Master Cylinder Viewing Window Popping Off - Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-20-2019, 7:08 PM Thread Starter
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Master Cylinder Viewing Window Popping Off

Well haloooooo EX-ers!


It's been a LONG time since I've been here. Hope all is well with everyone. I'm posting this in troubleshooting rather than "other bikes" since it's not really a Ducati specific issue. (Or maybe it is!) Happy to repost elsewhere if you deem it appropriate.


I have a 2009 Monster 696 and the viewing window of the front master cylinder has popped out. Twice. (First time, I admit, I put it right back, topped off, and bled.) It doesn't happen while riding, it happens while parked, covered in my yard. Yes, it gets awfully hot under the cover, but... this is a new little trick it has come up with.
I get ready to ride, go through a quick pre-flight and... wha?? There it is. On the ground or in the cover.
Do I just replace the whole darn master cylinder? Has this happened to anyone else? It just seems so bizarre to me, I'm curious what other people have to say on this.


I still do have my old EX, faithfully waiting for me for when the Duc gives me trouble. (Frequent!) I may move the EX to Utah, since the beau (make that fiance!) moved up there.

'99 red EX500.&nbsp; Completely stock, and proud of it!, <br />'09 DucM696, '03 Yamaha XT225<br />http://operaflute.blogspot.com/
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-20-2019, 7:23 PM
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Hey!! long time no see/read!! I read your post over on dot MS too but didn't respond there. I figured you'd not know who it was responding. Anyway, I don't think it is specific to Ducati. I've heard of such a thing happening before.



If you are going to just replace the whole master cylinder, I'd recommend getting one with a remote reservoir instead. That way you no longer have a window to pop out to worry over.



Since you were last here (both the forum and NorCal) a couple of Ducatis have come home to reside with me.






and this one...which is currently in pieces in my garage:



Talk to you later.....sean


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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-20-2019, 7:28 PM
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Wow! I thought you were dead! Just kidding . Nice to hear from you again.

There's no problem posting this issue with your Monster here. Heck, sometimes it seems this place is becoming the ex-500/ Ducati forum anyway

If you want to keep the old master cylinder you'd need a new sight glass. Easy to install, probably not so easy to source.

BTW, Congrats on the engagement.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-20-2019, 7:39 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, I can get a sight window for just $14 from a dealer! Cheapest Ducati part ever. Just hard to know what is fatiguing - the window, or the cylinder itself. I will have to take a closer look. (Yesterday was the last day of a very busy symphony season, today I start figuring out how to get up and running!)

Thanks for the kind words. Past few years haven't let me ride much: lots of out of state work, then one parent getting ill and passing, then the other, now dealing with the estate. It's all consuming. But next year I may have my life back. And I want to be ready for it. ;-)
Nice wheels, Aprilia.
Thanks again for the warm welcome. Good folks, here.

'99 red EX500.&nbsp; Completely stock, and proud of it!, <br />'09 DucM696, '03 Yamaha XT225<br />http://operaflute.blogspot.com/
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-20-2019, 7:44 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, goodness, how could I forget? The appropriate blog post, documenting the first time this happened:
https://operaflute.blogspot.com/2018/11/test-rides.html

'99 red EX500.&nbsp; Completely stock, and proud of it!, <br />'09 DucM696, '03 Yamaha XT225<br />http://operaflute.blogspot.com/
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-20-2019, 10:51 PM
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My condolences for your loss. I know what it's like. It's a tough adjustment and it takes time. The best thing is to get on with living, because the more you do, the better your memories of them will be. My parents have been gone quite a while and there's still not a day that goes by that a piece of long forgotten advice or the examples they set doesn't pop into my head.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-21-2019, 4:44 AM
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+1 ^ I would say it was time for a new MC obviously the glass is no longer secure once it's popped back in. what caused it come out in the first place could be due to internal pressure so should it not be vented though the cap. and did you over fil/under fill the fluid.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-21-2019, 7:13 AM
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Hey, @operaflute great to see you back at the EX (now we add a /Ducati) forum. Sorry for your losses...I convey ditto's to K's well written thoughts to you. Certainly a turning point in ones life.

After a long slump here...it would appear this forum is experiencing a refresh as new members are now numerous and active.

Now formally retired, acquired another Duc an '07 SS800. Still have the 24 year old 900SS and 21 yo VFR. My carb venture keeping me quite active and focused.

Grats on your engagement and hope you'll stick around!

Custom Carb Service

**Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba.... Hunter S. Thompson**


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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-21-2019, 9:51 AM
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I have nothing to offer you on you Ducati part, but a warm welcome back. please tell us more stories of you adventures.

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-21-2019, 9:08 PM Thread Starter
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You are all too kind. Thank you. <3

Someone elsewhere suggested a vent path was clogged. Quote: "could the vent path between the rubber insert & alloy body be clogged? "
Do these master cylinders have vents? I thought that was old school. (I do not believe it had been under or over filled, and didn't see any vents, although there are two tiny channels in the cap, which are filled by two corresponding "berms" in the rubber fitting beneath the cap. But it certainly makes sense to my feeble mind.
Looking forward to finally having actual adventures to share!

'99 red EX500.&nbsp; Completely stock, and proud of it!, <br />'09 DucM696, '03 Yamaha XT225<br />http://operaflute.blogspot.com/

Last edited by operaflute; 5-21-2019 at 9:17 PM.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-22-2019, 4:07 PM
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Quote:
My parents have been gone quite a while and there's still not a day that goes by that a piece of long forgotten advice or the examples they set doesn't pop into my head.
My mother is gone three years and dad is @ a year. Not a day goes by where I dont think about them. We sleep in the same bedroom set they bought back in 1971, refinished the wood etc and I see things every day that I grew up with as a yute. Still don't make it any easier.


Your master cylinder has a vent on the cap part of the assembly, look closely and you will see two small cut outs on either side of the cap, this is where it vents to the atmosphere. Never heard of a glass window going AWOL mind you, had problems with foggy site glasses on Ducatis and BMW though. Anyway, stay positive and sorry for your loss
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File Type: jpg 20190430_181030_HDR.jpg (505.4 KB, 6 views)
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-22-2019, 4:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for those thoughts. On top of the losses, the logistics of caring for ill parents, and then dealing with the estate are simply overwhelming. Just when you need to ride, you have no time to do so!



I do indeed see the cutouts you refer to, but the rubber gasket bit seems to be shaped in such a way that it fill in the cut outs (on purpose), if that makes sense?

'99 red EX500.&nbsp; Completely stock, and proud of it!, <br />'09 DucM696, '03 Yamaha XT225<br />http://operaflute.blogspot.com/
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-22-2019, 8:18 PM
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I don't know about the Ducati but the EX has one. I once had to change a bent bar and left the lever hanging down by the front wheel while I got the bar changed. result a pool of brake fluid on the floor where it has leaked out.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-23-2019, 2:59 PM Thread Starter
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Here are a few photos of what might be a vent channel, and the corresponding rubber part that seems to have a berm that fills in channel. If it's not some sort of vent, what IS it?
First photo - you can see a little cut out at right side of cap.
Second photo - you can see the "berm" that seems to fill in the cut out
Third photo - looking at inside of the cap - you can see the channels
Fourth photo - a better look at the cut out shown in 1st photo (the cut out is now on the left, since the cap is upside down in this photo
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Front Master Cylinder 1.JPG (28.6 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg Front Master Cylinder 2.JPG (34.9 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Front Master Cylinder 3.JPG (34.4 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Front Master Cylinder 4.JPG (28.7 KB, 13 views)

'99 red EX500.&nbsp; Completely stock, and proud of it!, <br />'09 DucM696, '03 Yamaha XT225<br />http://operaflute.blogspot.com/

Last edited by operaflute; 5-23-2019 at 3:01 PM.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-23-2019, 3:19 PM Thread Starter
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And finally, here are photos of the viewing window (it's a gasketed part) and the master cylinder area where it goes. Both look fine, IMHO.
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File Type: jpg Front Master Cylinder Viewing Window.JPG (137.0 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Front Master Cylinder 6.JPG (69.2 KB, 11 views)

'99 red EX500.&nbsp; Completely stock, and proud of it!, <br />'09 DucM696, '03 Yamaha XT225<br />http://operaflute.blogspot.com/
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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-23-2019, 7:29 PM
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Can I ask about the manner of installation? Looking at it, I'd think you want to seat this o-ring in the groove of the opening and then pop the glass in place.
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-23-2019, 7:39 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, you are exactly right. I think the plastic window is a bit warped from heat. I have JUST NOW ordered a new one. It doesn't seem to be as snug as the first time this happened. Recently the bike was in the sun under a black cover for quite a stretch. That might have been the final kiss of death for that already possibly compromised part. That's my theory for the moment... We'll test the theory when it arrives, I guess.
I was hoping to ride to Utah on Monday. Guess not!

'99 red EX500.&nbsp; Completely stock, and proud of it!, <br />'09 DucM696, '03 Yamaha XT225<br />http://operaflute.blogspot.com/
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-23-2019, 7:59 PM
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I have to wonder if the cap screws were over torqued. Might be that the tip of rubber sticking up to fill the void was originally not quite so tall? With the cover over torqued, the rubber boot was forced to fill the void maybe? I dunno. I do know there is a specified torque for those specific screws and it is very, very low inch pound numbers.


According to my factory service manual, the torque for those small screws is 2 NM or 17.7 inch pounds. That's roughly 1.5 foot pounds. Anyone going gorilla on the screws can easily exceed that. I mean, I probably turn my fuel cap key with more force than that.



It wouldn't take much extra torque to force the rubber to fill the void more than required. Add a little dust or corrosion in the mix and the tiny breather port could become plugged. Between that, and the heat expansion of the aluminum MC body it would be enough to force the window out.



That said, when I lived in New Mexico, the heat alone was enough to expand metal enough to have glass pop out if it were contained by such. I saw plenty of wire framed sunglasses have their lenses pop out if left in a car during the summer......hope that's some sort of help.....sean


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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-23-2019, 8:45 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I wondered about that as well- if the rubber contorted itself. But I also wonder if that's just a system to help keep it in place, and really not meant to be a vent at all. And hoo boy, yes it gets hot hot under that cover here in AZ, even in the winter.

Somewhat related: my "life long dream" of some sort of motorcycle parking structure (shade! rain protection!) is taking a step forward. I just went over some final details to have a sort of miniature carport built in the corner of my yard! No more cooking the bikes under their covers in the summer!

'99 red EX500.&nbsp; Completely stock, and proud of it!, <br />'09 DucM696, '03 Yamaha XT225<br />http://operaflute.blogspot.com/
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-24-2019, 7:01 PM
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Maybe look into a tough shed? A car port like thing is nice for getting shade but a shed....lockable, out of the sun and rain too....even provides space to work on things.....kinda eliminates the NEED for a cover.


I think you can pick up an 8'X10' at Home Depot for just shy of $2K....maybe less with Fathers Day sales approaching.


I dunno how much it costs for assembly though....sean


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post #21 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-24-2019, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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It's hard to explain why my fence would be in such a configuration without seeing the yard, but the moto-port will actually have fencing on 3 sides of it. So it will be pretty protected. I could actually put a closing/locking front on it, now that you mention it. This will be 12x12. More room for more bikes!
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post #22 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-25-2019, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by operaflute View Post
More room for more bikes!
One can never have TOO MUCH room for more bikes!!


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post #23 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-25-2019, 1:04 PM Thread Starter
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Truth! I might even be able to squeeze my bicycle in there! If it's lucky.

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post #24 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-25-2019, 4:49 PM
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Originally Posted by operaflute View Post
Truth! I might even be able to squeeze my bicycle in there! If it's lucky.
Truth...my bicycles live in our spare bedroom. Any guests have to deal with them as a condition of their staying. No shed for them.....the bicycles I mean ....sean


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post #25 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-25-2019, 8:25 PM Thread Starter
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If only I had a spare bedroom! Wait.. once I have a moto-port, maybe it can serve as a spare bedroom as well?

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