That's me, folks. Worse, I've done this before (change a clutch cable). But I'm too frustrated to care about pride now, because the sun goes down in another 2 hours and without a working clutch cable I ain't riding - and I typically commute on my bike!
After my clutch cable started to feel sticky, I decided to swap it out for a Motion Pro nylon cable rather than deal with messy lube everywhere (oh yeah, my wife just loved
that). (Er, that didn't quite come out the way I meant it - never mind.)
Anyway, I've done this exact operation before on another bike (another VN750 at that), it took me about 1-2 hours to do the first time, so I've had this cable sitting in my garage for about a year now waiting for the next time it needed lubing, at which point I'd swap it in. In addition, it felt like the clutch was slipping a bit the past day or two, and when people suggested (in another thread) that the free play was probably in need of adjusting, I figured I'd go whole hog and change the cable at the same time.
Well, I took the old cable out right easy enough. Putting the new one in, well, getting the cable head attached on the little arm thingy on the frame side was a right pain, and this time I removed the little arm thingy to access it better. And now I think I'm putting it back on at the wrong angle, because after reassembling everything, I have no clutch engagement at all: I can start my engine in 1st gear with the clutch pulled in (on the centerstand), then pop the clutch and the engine doesn't stall, just hums along like it's in neutral.
Can you guys help me to figure out where I've gone wrong?
As I understand it there are only three places to adjust: the clutch cable on both ends (I'll call them the lever and frame ends), and the lock nut in the middle. So here are three pics of those three places on my bike right now:
Clutch Cable - Lever Side
I don't have any "looseness" in my lever, but I don't remember ever having looseness in my lever?? - Also, I don't know how to generate more slack to get this any looser. This picture was taken with the middle lock nut in its initial loose position (as loose as I could get it, which didn't seem all that loose).
Clutch Cable - Frame Side
I took the "arm thingy" off and was afraid I'd put it back on at the wrong angle, possibly with too much tension so that the clutch never engages - like if it's got too much tension, so that even when I'm not pulling in the clutch lever, it's acting as if it's pulled in all the way. But based on a pic posted by DavesVulster in the other thread
, I have mine lined up right. This is how mine looks when I've attached both ends of the cable and tightened the center lock nut:
Clutch Cable - center lock nut
This part in the middle on the Motion Pro cable is really, really stiff, to move it up or down I have to use two wrenches, one to hold the cable still and the other to force the nut up or down the cable. I don't know if this is indicative of something wrong, so I thought I'd mention it.
But to release the cable tension to the point where I can wrestle it into the lever side slot (which still takes me a lot of force), I am moving that lock nut down toward the frame side, which I think of as lengthening the cable and thus generating slack. To tighten it, I'm moving the nut upwards toward the lever side. I hope I'm right about that. Twisting those nuts up and down all afternoon with a 10mm or 12mm wrench has become is a major pain in my fingertips.