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2014 Suzuki DL1000A
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bleed the brakes and clutch last week. The the brake resevoir was fine, but the fluid in the clutch resevoir looked like black ink.
Found a previous post (Black Clutch Fluid (2009)), but there was no resolution. Also, no mention of the diaphragm, which seems strange since it's black rubber material actually in the resevoir.

Any similar experiences with discolored fluid in the Clutch?

The service manual has a maintenance schedule to replace lines every four years. This is a 2014 with low mileage and two previous owners, so I doubt they've been changed in the intervening 8 years. As much as shinny new steel mesh lines would be cool, no cracks in the rubber and the linese are undamaged. I'm not in any rush to spend $225 if I'm good for another year (one year at a time).

Still, the other discussion suggests rebuilding the master cylinder, and the parts don't seem very expensive.

clutch master cylinder
  • PISTON/CUP SET 59800-32810, $40
  • BOOT 59866-23H00, $6
  • DIAPHRAGM, 59667-49460, $10
Rebuild kit, $30

clutch release cylinder
  • CUP 23163-06B00, $7
  • SPRING, 23164-05A00, $5
 

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Finding black contamination on the brake (or clutch) fluid is a somewhat normal condition in anu brake system. However, the V1000 has a design problem: the clutch push pin moves too close to the front sprocket and is sprinkled with whatever shit your chain picks up. This could be a point of access for foreing contamination.

If you ever remove the clutch slave cylinder, get a piece of rubber hose and cover the push pin with it. Although I can not assure this is the cause of your black fluid, it won't hurt to try
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If the fluid has been replaced has the discoloration come back?
Too soon to tell. I took a look a week after I replaced the fluid. There did seem to be a tinge of it, but I also didn't fully clean the resevoir. It could just be small amount of sediment from before.

If you ever remove the clutch slave cylinder, get a piece of rubber hose and cover the push pin with it.
Are you talking about the rod (22)? And the dust cover (27) is poorly designed?
Font Rectangle Slope Parallel Circle
 

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22 is the rod. The length from the cover to the engine casing doesn't change so the rod will slide inside a loose fitting rubber tube, that goes a long way to protecting both the clutch slave cylinder and the seal in the engine from having grit jammed into them.

From memory 35mm long for the rubber hose and agreed on that dust cover.
 

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Just be careful with the rod seal at the motor,

there is nothing behind the seal stopping it from pushing into the motor
 
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Instead of just an arbitrary piece of rubber hose, get a Shimano Y8AA42000. This is apparently the right length and diameter, and is formed as bellows so it compresses before it pushes the seal into the motor.

No personal experience yet, but I intent to do this at the next service.
 

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Dark clutch hydraulic fluid is caused by one thing. Lack of maintenance. Because the clutch lever is actuated so many times, and at full stroke each time, ( compare this to a brake system which only moves part travel and not as often) it will pick up more dirt to be picked up and there is more seal/piston bore wear. Due to slave cylinder design there is a bit of crud that can get into the front of the slave cylinder and a bit of that will migrate over time past the seals. These contaminants are what darken the fluid. I deal with clutches on these bikes daily. I recommend YEARLY flushing and proper bleeding of the clutch hydraulic system. These systems are marginal ( especially on the 2014 and newer DL 1000-1050) and keeping them in good operating condition makes a difference.
I don't know too many owners replacing brake lines every 4 years....
I too have heard the Shimano bike cable bellows works well. But I have no experience with it.
 

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Black fluid is B-A-D. Flush it out, bleed until you have clean new fluid. Truth is that as old as that bike is (eight years) and the fact the fluid is black I would buy that rebuild kit as cheap insurance and redo the system. Then I would change the fluid every year or two at the most. My general advice on black fluid is that its a clear sign that the fluid should have been changed a couple of years sooner! If I see any discoloration in any thing that uses brake fluid its an automatic flush and fill. Black fluid is evil and an indication that its been WAY TOO LONG and as always say, the black is what use to be the lips of the seals.
 
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Too soon to tell. I took a look a week after I replaced the fluid. There did seem to be a tinge of it, but I also didn't fully clean the resevoir. It could just be small amount of sediment from before.



Are you talking about the rod (22)? And the dust cover (27) is poorly designed?
View attachment 309924
Exactly. The dust cover has to deal with TOO MUCH dirt. That's why a little help will go a long way.
 

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Black fluid is B-A-D. Flush it out, bleed until you have clean new fluid. Truth is that as old as that bike is (eight years) and the fact the fluid is black I would buy that rebuild kit as cheap insurance and redo the system. Then I would change the fluid every year or two at the most. My general advice on black fluid is that its a clear sign that the fluid should have been changed a couple of years sooner! If I see any discoloration in any thing that uses brake fluid its an automatic flush and fill. Black fluid is evil and an indication that its been WAY TOO LONG and as always say, the black is what use to be the lips of the seals.
The black is the carbon from the rubber seals. If the fluid is very black, replace all the seals.
 
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