How to Bleed the Clutch on a 1986 Honda Shadow VT1100

The 1986 Honda Shadow VT1100 has a hydraulic clutch. You give up some of the clutch's feel when you go from a cable clutch to a hydraulic, but the lever is easier to squeeze. If you do a lot of stop-and-go city riding, using a hydraulic clutch can prevent a lot of strain on the wrist.

Tools Used: DOT4 fluid

Bleed Clutch

Move the VT1100s handlebar's until the clutch master cylinder is level or as close as you can get it. Despite having the word "cylinder" in its name, the clutch master cylinder is the rectangular reservoir on the top left of the handlebars.

Remove the master cylinder's cap, set plate and diaphragm. Clean it off first so dirt will not fall into the reservoir. Cover your plastic and paint; hydraulic fluid will damage the finish.

Fill the master cylinder to the top level. Use DOT4 fluid, the same fluid you use for the brakes.

Remove the left-side rear crankcase cover. Pull its two retainer clips, which are behind the cover (the end of each clip should be sticking up enough for you to see it). Pull them out and remove their washers. Remove the nut in the front of the cover in the bottom middle area.

Remove the dust cap from the bleed valve and push a clear plastic tube onto it. Put the other end in a container to receive the old fluid. This container should have some new fluid in it --- enough so that the end of the plastic tube is covered and cannot suck in air.

Squeeze the clutch lever over and over. Watch the bleed holes in the master cylinder reservoir for rising bubbles. When they stop, squeeze the lever and tap the master cylinder three or four times to free any remaining air bubbles.

Pump the lever more, then hold it in while opening the bleeder valve. Let the fluid and air come out, then tighten the valve when the flow gets weak.

Release the lever slowly. Wait a few seconds.

Repeat Steps 7 and 8 until no air bubbles are coming out. As the fluid drains, don't let the master cylinder reservoir on the handlebars run out.

Tighten the bleeder valve, replace its cap and replace the crankcase cover. Fill the master cylinder reservoir to its top level. Replace its diaphragm, set plate and cover.

Tips & Warnings

Do not mix different brands of fluid. Not all brands are compatible.

Post a Comment