Friday, November 13, 2009

Next steps with my clutch

Here's my plan for next steps in trouble shooting the clutch problem, which I compiled from speaking from a few different people:

1. Disassemble the brass retaining ring, and inspect and count the needler rollers. I suspect the problem is here, but even if it is not, you need to eliminate the possibility.

2. Test assemble the corks and circlip, to confirm that with the eared cork plate in place, the other corks slide freely in the basket slots.

3. Reassemble the clutch fully, after oiling the corks. Before installing, use your clutch compressor tool to compress the clutch slightly, and confirm that the plates are slipping smoothly as they should.

4. Reassemble the clutch on the bike.

5. If the lurching symptom is not solved, (only after the above tests) consider using "clip the ears" theory. I'm only suggesting this as a diagnostic, not as a permanent fix. I think you want to avoid riding long and hard on clipped ears, but for test purposes, I don't think you'll get into trouble. If the clipping solves the problem when nothing else did, well then I'd suggest we brainstorm some more to figure out how to keep the ears intact (substituting a new back plate of course), and still solving the problem. But at least if the clipping works, you can rule out some of the possible causes, and try to zero in on the real culprit.

Also, it occurs to me that it is just possible that your problem could be caused by insufficent oil on the clutch corks. Didn't you let the motor sit for quite a time before getting the bike on the road? If so, it is just possible that the corks are not saturated enough with oil, and thus don't disengage correctly at first. I'm not putting alot of stock in this theory, but do me a favor, and make sure you soak your corks in SAE30 overnight, just to make sure.

And while you have the clutch open, check to confirm that there is no play in the rivets that secure the large gear (which engages the inner diameter of the internediate steel clutch places) to the back steel plate.

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