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Thread: Clutch time?

  1. #1
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    Default Clutch time?

    Background: '04 RSV 50k miles, most of which lugging sidecar. Though only 2k? Since purchased from original owner last year.

    Symptoms: friction zone is small and in first 1/2" of lever throw yet still creeps in gear. Considerable slippage in at least three gears under hard acceleration, like while passing. Neutral becomes difficult to find when stopped after getting to full temperature.

    I did the flush the clutch fluid with no change and out in fresh dino oil with only modest improvement.

    Is it time for friction plates? Is this a shadetree mechanic project? Doesn't look to bad in the service manual, except one specialty tool.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Default Re: Clutch time?

    Quote Originally Posted by ReCycled View Post
    Background: '04 RSV 50k miles, most of which lugging sidecar. Though only 2k? Since purchased from original owner last year.

    Symptoms: friction zone is small and in first 1/2" of lever throw yet still creeps in gear. Considerable slippage in at least three gears under hard acceleration, like while passing. Neutral becomes difficult to find when stopped after getting to full temperature.

    I did the flush the clutch fluid with no change and out in fresh dino oil with only modest improvement.

    Is it time for friction plates? Is this a shadetree mechanic project? Doesn't look to bad in the service manual, except one specialty tool.

    Thanks in advance.
    I replace my clutch using the Barnett spring replacement set. Did it in my garage. I don't mind working on stuff but would never classify myself as a gearhead. I did have my son who is a mechanic close by for comfort but it was super easy in my opinion. Go for it.
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    Default Re: Clutch time?

    The only special tool you need is a torque wrench. You can get one at Harbor Freight for under $20.

    As far as shade tree goes, I have a friend rebuilt one in a hotel parking lot on a Sunday morning. I don't think he had a torque wrench but enough experience to get them good enough. It does not sound like you have that level of experience.

    There is a good chance the only problem is the spring, not the frictions. Ideally you measure them and Harbor Freight also sells a dial caliper that won't break your wallet.

    If the frictions are good I'd suggest getting the clutch upgrade kit from @Skydoc_17. It's got the heavier spring, gasket and a full friction to replace the half disc on the standard clutch.

    Take your time, follow the manual. It's about the simplest job you'll find.
    Last edited by MiCarl; 03-26-2020 at 12:19 PM.
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    Default Re: Clutch time?

    Quote Originally Posted by ReCycled View Post
    Background: '04 RSV 50k miles, most of which lugging sidecar. Though only 2k? Since purchased from original owner last year.

    Symptoms: friction zone is small and in first 1/2" of lever throw yet still creeps in gear. Considerable slippage in at least three gears under hard acceleration, like while passing. Neutral becomes difficult to find when stopped after getting to full temperature.

    I did the flush the clutch fluid with no change and out in fresh dino oil with only modest improvement.

    Is it time for friction plates? Is this a shadetree mechanic project? Doesn't look to bad in the service manual, except one specialty tool.

    Thanks in advance.
    https://www.venturerider.org/forum/s...-Skydoc_17-Kit

    and

    https://www.venturerider.org/forum/s...Clutch-Upgrade

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    Default Re: Clutch time?

    Thanks for the replies. The links are very helpful. The process looks simple, the service manual doesn't really distinguish levels of difficulty.

    By shadetree, I have lots of hours in my own garage but my torque wrench, caliper, and mc lift are all from Harbor Freight

    After some reading here, I'm thinking the Barnett route is the way I will go as I don't like a reduced friction zone.

    So the plan is to order the Barnett kit and new gasket, disassemble and measure the friction discs. Does anyone with experience with the Barnett kit have any special thoughts?

    Again, thanks for the guidance.

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    Default Re: Clutch time?

    Quote Originally Posted by ReCycled View Post
    ... After some reading here, I'm thinking the Barnett route is the way I will go as I don't like a reduced friction zone....
    Then you wont like the Barnett kit as it is a reduced friction zone clutch as it is not a two stage clutch like the factory setup.

    I did not like the reduced friction zone either, so... I reinstalled the half-disk, the 2nd belleville spring, and the retaining piano wire. In essence the only part I really replaced was the large Belleville "diaphragm spring" which got me the mucho good clutch with no slip and I can pull houses now or burn the rear tire off trying.

    If you have been lugging around a side-car with a slipping clutch, you will need new friction disks and you have possibly toasted your "steels" from slippage.
    skydoc_17 has it all. Give him a shout.

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    Default Re: Clutch time?

    Hey David,
    Welcome to the forum! The thing to keep in mind here no matter which way you go is if you want to keep the length of lever action that you have now, you will NEED to keep the 1/2 friction disc at the rear of the Clutch Pac. Both the Full Barnett Kit and my Kit replace the 1/2 friction disc with a full friction disc to increase the gripping power of the clutch pac. This does change the point of engagement of the clutch lever. I am willing to sell you a "Modified Kit" with a new 1/2 friction disc instead of the full friction disc if that would help. I would certainly plan on replacing the rest of the friction discs. Because of your hack, you are placing extra pressure on the clutch system. It would be a shame to do a partial clutch rebuild just to be back in there next spring to replace the remaining pieces you didn't replace the first time.
    I offer complete written instructions with color pics and my email address and cell phone number should you have any questions during the install of any kit I sell.
    Good luck with this project, and a big thanks to you guys that mentioned my kits!
    Earl
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    Default Re: Clutch time?

    I just re-read the original post. The creeping and difficulty finding neutral definitely won't be a weak spring and probably not bad plates either (although if they're warped they might cause those problems). It's most likely that those issues are caused by the hydraulics.
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    Default Re: Clutch time?

    Thanks muchly guys!

    I didn't see the last two responses until now, but I went ahead and ordered the Barnett pressure plate and gasket and then opened it up.

    A couple of things making this project different is that the bike and I are not at the same place with the new "stay in place" orders. Another issue is access to the clutch is hindered by the sidecar. Though that is a mixed blessing as once I loosened the upper struts, I can lean the bike way over and the oil became a non-issue.

    So imagine my surprise when I opened it up and saw a Barnett pressure plate already installed. I realized that I may still have the PO's email address and contacted him to see if he could offer any insight. Seems the Barnett plate and discs went in ten years ago when he installed the sidecar.
    The friction discs still measured over over 3mms and everything looked good, but being more parts changer than mechanic means I don't always recognize an issue.

    Figuring the ten year old may be glazed or contaminated, I ordered a new set from Barnett. I soaked the new set in oil overnight and got back to it today. The new and old solid discs are different. The stacks measured the same but the face of the old discs had dimples and the new are perfectly flat. I liked the dimple idea better and decided to reuse so I scuffed up the old ones in a cross hatch pattern and reassembled.

    After all was back together, I decided to bleed the hydraulics again in case there were any contaminates after last year's flush.

    I was only able to squeeze in a 10-15 minute test ride but the results are promising. The friction zone is much larger, no longer at the end of the lever throw. Neutral seemed easy to find. I wasn't out long enough to get the oil HOT, nor try hard acceleration in 4th or 5th, but it didn't slip in 3rd as it had sometimes before. I'm calling it a success.

    The best part is finding how easy the procedure is. Oh, and there will be a brand new Barnett pressure plate available at a good price in the classifieds soon

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    Default Re: Clutch time?

    Barnett also sells heavy duty springs for their pressure plates. I was going through a clutch every 20-25k miles (spring weakening) and then did a Barnett. Lasted about 60k miles so it was a good upgrade. I then replaced the springs with the Barnett HD springs and I am good to go. With pulling the tug, I would suggest the HD springs.

    It WILL be a bear riding in rush hour Chicago traffic (harder clutch lever pull). DAMHIK.

    RR

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    Default Re: Clutch time?

    You got two different problems. Dragging clutch, which more than likely is air in the system, weak master cylinder, weak slave cylinder.

    The slipping during acceleration is either a week spring or worn plates or both. Could also be caused from running oil with friction modifiers. Once done, you canít just change the oil back and fix it. You have to replace the friction plates.
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    Default Re: Clutch time?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedRider View Post
    Barnett also sells heavy duty springs for their pressure plates.

    RR

    Yeah, that was my first thought when I saw the kit already installed and the discs were in spec. I decided to try new plates first as the P.O. said it worked well for ten years. After receiving the new the new discs I questioned whether I shouldn't do both as a belt-n-suspenders approach.

    I didn't want to lose another week so I improvised. I installed a (2mm?) Washer under each spring, hoping to give them a little more oomph. Knowing how easy it is to service this area, it's not a big deal if I need to upgrade the springs.

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