M696 - leaky clutch slave, but, also seems to be in the oil?? - Ducati Monster Forums: Ducati Monster Motorcycle Forum

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Old 11-05-2012, 12:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default M696 - leaky clutch slave, but, also seems to be in the oil??

Hey guys,

I'm a brand new Ducati owner after coming from several different SV650's, and week 1 of Ducati ownership has lived up to the reputation. This is a 2009 Monster 696, 20,000 km (12,400 mi)

After getting it into the garage for winter storage and leaving it overnight the first night, noticed there was a few drips on the floor. Closer examination revealed that it appeared to be green-ish in colour which confused me since I didn't think there was coolant in this bike since it's air-cooled. After trouble-shooting with a friend we figured out it must be hydraulic fluid from the hydraulic clutch. At that point I got on here, did a little searching, and found some posts suggesting it was a common problem.

Some photos...

What I found on the ground. This is approx 1" long, for size of leak context:



I pulled off the sprocket cover and had a closer look. I cleaned it up a bit, then pumped the clutch lever as I watched, and that's when the drop that is visible in this picture formed:



So, I do realize that this is a common problem with a simple enough repair, but the reason I bothered making my own thread, is that I also have noticed that it seems to be in the oil somehow?!



I am *not* terribly mechanically inclined, and I really don't know Ducati's at all. I've only had this bike a week so....I'm here to learn, and try to figure out if this is beyond my ability to deal with.

Thoughts, opinions? Thanks.

Ps, this is my bike...sorry my "intro" to the forum is looking for tech advice!

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Old 11-05-2012, 06:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm thinking that the colors are just coincidental. There isn't enough fluid in the clutch system to contaminate your engine oil enough to change the colors, unless the leak was so profuse the PO had to keep topping off the clutch. On the other hand, liquids and electricity always take the path of least resistance. If the oil is leaking out, then it indicates it's leaking out and not pushing into the engine.

You can buy a seal to replace the stock slave, or you can buy a clean used (sometimes removed with zero miles) cheap enough, but the better buy is a new aftermarket slave. I've had great luck with EVR brand oversized slaves.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I did have the thought that it was coincidence on the colour in the oil as well, since I couldn't understand how a leaking clutch slave, which weeps fluid out onto the ground, would also be somehow in the engine oil.

Any thoughts on the oil, then? Before taking note in the similarity of colour to the hydraulic fluid, I had thought the 'cloudy' oil was possibly due to washing the bike with a pressure hose (though really not that high-pressured). I'm not that familiar the bike's ins and outs yet and this was my first time washing it.

Is there a particular area that is prone to allowing water into the oil when washing, and could it cause the effect seen in the window?
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would change all your fluids and get an aftermarket slave cylinder. Brakes, clutch, oil, everything.
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'll pick up an aftermarket slave cylinder and will be flushing the clutch fluid when that goes in, and an oil change is happening in the next couple days here.

I don't personally see the need to change the brake fluid though. The brakes feel great, the fluid is clean, no sponginess. I think I'll leave the brakes as-is.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As a note, condensation can form in an engine for several reasons. Air is always moving in and out of the breather system so during colder temps, the moisture will separate and combine with the oil. Riding in rain can allow some moisture into the breather system.

Search back threads and you'll see many oil windows with cream colored oil. This can actually happen in just about any engine. My old Volkswagen Beetle would always have a water scum around the filler.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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^ thanks for the tips.


Question:

Is replacing the slave cylinder altogether the only solution when it's leaking? Would there not be just a gasket or something that could be replaced?

Is it generally thought to be a chronic problem with the stock unit, and that's why people replace it with an aftermarket unit?

Thanks...just trying to understand what exactly the issue with the seeping is.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You can pull the seal and oring from the slave and replace them on the cheap. About $6 in parts from a good bearing supply house, just a standard metric seal.

I've never understood why they seem to fail and often yet the aftermarket units seem to be just gravy for years.

The main reason to replace with an aftermarket is to get a larger piston which makes for an easier to pull lever. So it's kind of a win/win. You get an easier to pull lever and a leak free slave.
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01 M600, aka, The Pink Monster
97 900SS CR
72 Norton Commando 750
03 KX60 with S4R rear shock,Honda CB350F, Hodaka Ace90, 3x Yam-YGS1, Yam-CS3 200, Vespa small frame, Gilera 106, Puch Sabre, Puch 50 Boy Racer, Ducati 250 bevel, Benelli 250, Benelli 360, Honda CB350T, and many more.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thought I would add this, if you go digging around in there, consider getting a case saver from Desmotimes. It slips in behind the slave between the front sprocket and engine case. Should your chain ever skip a tooth, or break, it will save you thousands of dollars on an engine rebuild. Not bad for $25.
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06 Paul Smart Sport Classic NFS ever.
08 S4RS Tricolore #081 NFS ever.
01 M600, aka, The Pink Monster
97 900SS CR
72 Norton Commando 750
03 KX60 with S4R rear shock,Honda CB350F, Hodaka Ace90, 3x Yam-YGS1, Yam-CS3 200, Vespa small frame, Gilera 106, Puch Sabre, Puch 50 Boy Racer, Ducati 250 bevel, Benelli 250, Benelli 360, Honda CB350T, and many more.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Looks like desmotimes is shut down right now due to the owner getting called up for service. Any other source?
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