soft downshifting - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2006, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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soft downshifting

I have a 1986 VN750 that I bought this winter. I've put a little over 100 miles since I bought it. Down shifting felt soft (not the positive click like up shifting) and it had a tendency to hit nuetral instead of 1st when going from second. Notice the past tense in there? Yesterday I had to shut the bike off and rock it to force it into first (big mistake). After getting up to third, i tried to down shift and the shifter flopped down. I am in the process of pulling the engine to see what broke in the shift linkage. My real qustion is what could have been causing the spongy feeling on the down shifts? I'd hate to fix one thing and not the other or spend a lot of time trying to figure it out if they are the same thing.

Last edited by wwmkwood; 05-01-2006 at 03:26 PM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2006, 02:48 PM
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Before you pull the engine, ask on the yahoo board about the (shifter) return spring. There have been a few riders who have had to replace theirs and you can check with them to make sure if an engine pull is necessary.

Deuce (Loran Naperville IL)
1995 VN750 (Black w/ 2004 tins - no teal)
2003 VN750
Both have: - F&S Bags & brackets
- Corbin seat w backrest
- Progressive suspension.
- Kury iso goldwing grips
2 1983 V65 Magnas
2 1985 V65 Mangas (1 which is in many parts)
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-02-2006, 03:08 PM
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Mine often misses 2nd and goes to nuetral when shifting from third. Anyone know why?
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-05-2006, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quick update and more questions. I've got the engine out and the side covers off. It feels like the connecting link from the shift lever shaft to the shift ratchet mechinism has broken or the turnbuckles have come apart. I can rotate the shift lever shaft and here it clacking around inside the crankcase but nothing moves inside the rear cover area (cover with the oil sight glass). Now I need to figure out how to get at the darn thing.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-22-2006, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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The internal tie rod between the shifter shaft turnbuckle and the external shift linkage turnbucle had bent and then broken. I think the Engineers at Kawasaki recognized the problem exists, The Kawasaki replacement rod is almost twice as thick as the original.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-04-2006, 07:45 PM
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I am having the same problem you are describing. How did you solve the problem? I already have the engine out and on my workbench.

Thanks.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2006, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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The linkage from the shifter shaft to the ratcheting mechinism is inside below the crankshaft. Once you pull the right side cover and counter balancer you can barely see the front of it and taking the cover with the sight glass off of the left side allows you to see the back part. Wiggling the shifter shaft while looking in there should help you figure out what broke. I've had to take mine apart twice now. The first time I replaced the rod between the turnbuckles that had broken, what I didn't find the first time was the turnbuckle mount on the shift shaft had cracked. I discovered that 300 miles later. I am getting real good at splitting the crankcase and Ron Ayers has gotten used to me ordering all the gaskets required to do it.

Last edited by wwmkwood; 08-05-2006 at 12:38 PM.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2006, 04:17 PM
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I can see the part and it is the tie rod that is broken. What I did not want to hear was I have to "split the crankcase" to fix it. Do you have any suggestions to make this long and involved task go smooth?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2006, 08:37 PM
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First, get a shop manual or two. I used both the Kaw and Clymer's manuals. They fill in each other's weak spots.
Second, check out this website: http://jr_allas.tripod.com/documents/gasket_replace.htm
JR will give you some tips about pulling and reinstalling the engine. It saved my butt more than once.
Just remember, it's not overly difficult, just take your time, don't hesitate to ask questions here, learn about the wonderful contraption we call a VN750, and above all, enjoy the ride.

Jim W
93 VN 750 "Ursula"
Moved R/R 08Sep06
R/R rewire 17Feb07
New R/R, Installed 14Jun08
New Stator installed 10 Jun08
Maintenance Free Battery 12Jan08
21480 Miles
VROC #8542
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-06-2006, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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Keep all of the parts organized. The front and rear parts are NOT interchangeable so keep everthing seperated. Read both the Clymers and the Kawasaki manuals. You can download a Kaw manual at http://tocmanufacturing.com/toc.htm
It is a huge adobe file. Other then that take your time. One other thing, a couple of good torque wrenches are a must.
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