Drip Drip Drip

Question XL1200 Custom Sportster – I have an oil leak at the clutch cable end that is about the size of a quarter or half dollar after it sets for a bit. The cable end is tight, would you think it may be the “O” ring. I have almost 23k on it and have changed the primary fluid a few times and did a clutch adjustment the last time and it has been leaking ever since. I drain well and only put in 1 qt. and I am about to change it again and will look closer for problems, I am pretty sure the quad seal is fine, but I will install a new one. BTW-I have the Sportster edition the Fix My Hog video, good job. Thanks and have a good one.

Answer Yes, your cable o-ring may need to be replaced but older cables will also tend to leak from the cable’s casing. When this happens, it can be deceiving. This means replacing your cable. Also, be sure that it is not leaking from your shifter shaft seal. I’m not sure if that is what You meant by “quad seal”.

Feedback: I think you are right, it could very well be the cable leaking from the end, I did pick up an “O” ring just in case, by quad seal I am meaning clutch inspection cover seal which I don’t think it would cause the leak. I’ll try to see what is going on my next service which I have moved up 1k mi., been doing 3k now going to 4k…

This just in:
I was just reviewing some of your solutions to problems a d on the problem of leaking oil from the clutch cable area on the Sportster and I discovered a other possible cause for leakage. I discovered that mud bees plugged the transmission vent on my wife’s 2007 Sportster. Oil was being forced up the cable and leaking down the cable from the adjuster nut area and running down the cable and dripping off near the case. After cleaning out the mud bee obstruction and cleaning the oil mess, no more oil leak. – Richard T.
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7 Responses to “Drip Drip Drip”
  1. Maria

    The past few weeks I’ve been having trouble with my 2007 Sportster 883L, it just kept leaking and leaking oil from the clutch cable adjuster. We had recently changed the transmission oil and wondered if maybe we put too much in even though we had just put what we thought was the recommended amount. After emptying that and replacing it, taking off the clutch cable entirely to see if we could fix the problem and then in turn having to readjust the clutch we were a bit baffled – next we were going to buy a new clutch cable and just replace mine thinking that was the only other option.
    We read somewhere about the primary vent being plugged but understood from someone that it would take a while for it to plug if it’s being kept outside and I only just bought it in the end of June so it didn’t sound like enough time for it to plug at all but it was possible for that to happen due to dirt getting in. As a last stitch effort before spending money on a new clutch cable with no guarantee that it would fix the problem I took a look at the primary vent… totally blocked up with dirt, but not just from the environment and dirt happening to go in, but because of a bug! I thought it was from a mud dauber at first (I’ve heard of them plugging pitot tubes on planes) but now I’ve noticed a couple of what appear to be wasps flying around my bike. Now I’m blocking the area of the tube with a cloth in hopes it won’t be able to get in and it will decide to find a new nesting area (hopefully not my boyfriend’s bike parked next to it).
    So I removed the clog in my primary vent (there was actually a nest in there, larva and all) and guess what?! My clutch cable is no longer leaking, it’s been a couple of days since the fix and I’ve ridden it a couple times and still no leak. I’m so happy!
    But, lesson learned, if my clutch cable starts leaking like that again, primary vent will be the first place I check!

  2. Diamond Dave
    Diamond Dave

    Dealing with the same issue on my ’95 RoadKing. There’s a nick in the clear casing on my braided cable about 1/8″ wide by 1/4″ long that leaks about 3 drops if it sits for a day. I’ve tried e everything I can think of to try to seal it up but there’s no stopping it so…new cable. It sucks ass because the leaking cable is only about 3 months old. Check the whole length of your cable because it’s gonna drip at the lowest point, I was thinking o-ring too but I don’t get that lucky. Anyway just throwing my 2 cents in, good luck

  3. JAY

    I have a 2013 Tri Glide 103. I am experiencing the same type of transmission oil leak. It appears to be leaking close to the clutch cover. I’ve cleaned the area twice in attempt to pinpoint the leak. No luck yet. I checked the vent tube on tranny, no obstruction. Bike stays in garage. Clutch cable has less than 500 miles. Changed out with handlebar up grade. Anyone else having this type of issue on your touring or trike models with clutch cable ?