Freeing the clutch

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Freeing the clutch

Postby Steve S » Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:02 am

I have now finished my Model 8 frame change and still have a clutch that is very hard to free by pulling in the lever and kicking over prior to starting. As a result of course, the first selection of a gear is accompanied with a tremendous clunk and very often a stall.

I followed the manual's clutch installation and adjustment to the letter, ie 3/8" play at the rod and at the handlebar lever. The springs are new and the plates are in excellent condition. I have the required amount of oil in the chaincase.

Can anyone suggest why it is still so hard to free please?

Steve S.

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Re: Freeing the clutch

Postby Mick D » Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:53 am

Hi

You say you have 3/8" play at the handlebar lever - in my opinion this is too much and will limit the plate separation, try reducing this to 1/8".

Is the pressure plate pulling off evenly and fully - sounds like your clutch may be dragging. Quick check is to wind out the handlebar lever adjuster and see if it improves, in which case the adjustment needs to be re-set.

Another thought, were the friction plates new or de-greased before you built up the clutch? Dry plates can sometimes bond together a little, if this is the case things should improve with use. I always spread a little oil onto the friction plates af a wet clutch when assembling.

Regards Mick

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Re: Freeing the clutch

Postby dave16mct » Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:58 am

Surely the play on the clutch pushrod should be say half a turn not 3/8"? How would you measure it ? Slacken the adjuster locknut. Tighten until you can just feel the pushrod, then back off half a turn and lock in place. Light oil in the chaincase say 20 or 30 will help, some use ATF.
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Re: Freeing the clutch

Postby Steve S » Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:30 am

Sorry, I meant to say 3/16 at the pushrod (half a turn back) and the same at the lever as the manual says.

The plates were clean and I left the oil on them when I reassembled

I will try reducing the lever play as suggested and take it from there.

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Re: Freeing the clutch

Postby ajscomboman » Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:50 am

If everything is ok play wise I'd be looking at cable routing or the pivot point centres on the lever, should be 7/8" and crunch wise an overtight primary maybe loading the mainshaft pulling onto the sleeve gear causing drag and crunch.

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Re: Freeing the clutch

Postby raffles » Tue Apr 28, 2020 6:29 pm

Could it be the springs are wound in to far
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Re: Freeing the clutch

Postby Steve S » Wed Apr 29, 2020 9:36 am

Thanks for all the suggestions. I have double checked all the adjustments and I remember carefully screwing in the springs until the stud just reached the lower recess of the nuts. I managed to turn the clutch plate adjuster in some more and checked the levers had 7/8 centres and re-adjusted the handlebar cable play carefully.

I then tried to free it but with no success. I then started the bike on the centre stand and with the clutch in and then out, repeatedly engaged second gear until the change sounded less clunky. I then turned the engine off and found the clutch was freeing beautifully. I hope it frees next time I come to it. I could put in straight 30 oil as well if that would help, or was it just a question of the plates sticking after the rebuild?

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Re: Freeing the clutch

Postby Mick D » Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:38 am

Result :D

Sounds like the plates were stuck together.

I use Castrol XL in the primary case and engine, its a straight SAE 30 oil and as recommended in the manual, however I have to ensure I free the clutch before every start or the first selection can be clunky, (the longer its left the clunkier the first selection), after that all's fine.

Some people recommend ATF in the primary, don't know if that's an improvement or not though.

Regards Mick

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