Stuck in neutral or will not shift to first gear - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-14-2013, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
Omega
 
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Stuck in neutral or will not shift to first gear

I recently acquired a 2004 VN750 with 16000 miles from a local bike shop. There was doubt if the title was available and It had been involved in a tip over. I was told the bike would not shift. Basically the bike was cheap, looked decent. I planed for it to be a parts bike.

Then the title showed up and I realized the bike shifted, so I got it running. Thinking maybe the shop it came from did not know the bike was not supposed to shift to second gear wile sitting still. The carburetors were dirty and I noticed it was leaking water out of the right side cover because it was put together with no cover gasket just silicone so water was in the oil but at least I knew the charging system and ignition worked. I cleaned the carburetors ordered a new right cover gasket water pipe o rings and changed the oil three times. All seemed good.

Test ride time, went for a ride around my driveway it's a big driveway. Bike seemed to go threw all gears fine initially. Then I noticed it was hard to get into first gear actually it seemed the warmer it got the more difficult it was to find first gear. It would be easy to think it was stuck in neutral but with a little push or roll it shifts right into second gear but way harder to do if you stop on a hill. I rode bike about 8 miles.

Back to the garage. Reading this forum I have noticed many post regarding
left to right play in the shift shaft with a cir clip issues. I have very little play there and the shift shaft turns freely. I then pulled off the gear change cover to inspect the shift pawl and spring, detent assembly and cam change drum. I also manually shifted the bike wile it was on the center stand not running. I spun the rear wheel to fake out the positive neutral finder All gears shifted but it's still much harder or will not go into 1ST gear.

I noticed two things #1very minimal wear on the inside fingers of shift pawl #2 the location of the pawl in relation to the cam change drum shift pins is slightly lower in all shift positions and in neutral position which is set the with the detent assembly the gap is even greater. Then I placed a very thin flat screw driver tip against the cam change drum shift pin and shifted to 1st gear. Went right in gear.

My next step was to remove everything I could. I shifted the transmission to 5th gear which turns the shift drum counter clockwise then heated the cam change drum with a propane torch in order to break it's factory lock tight and loosened the Phillips screw with a hand held impact screw driver. Then shifted it back to neutral. removed Phillips screw, cam change drum and washer that's behind drum. Then removed the pawl spring which was easy then pawl a little tricky. I did this just to get a better view of the shift pins exspecially the pin that shifts it to 1ST gear. There is maybe a tiny bit more wear on that pin it's, hard to tell. Put everything back together for next test ride.
Rode another 8 miles everything is the same. Still is hard to or wont go in 1st gear back to garage took the shift cover back off again.

I am convinced now that since it was in a tip over something has moved or the adjustable internal shift rod was set not quite center to the the shift pins on the shift drum which is limiting the throw of the shift. The pawl is hitting the shift pin to late which makes or causes a incomplete shift.

I read that somebody said they replaced the internal shift rod with out taking the engine apart. If I could just get the rod to adjust or turn this problem would be cured. I give up. I am thinking my next step is to pull the motor to see if I can get to the adjuster nuts of the rod. Any ideas?

Everything has changed. The internal shift rod has now become disconnected from the gear change pedal. It disconnected wile I was hand shifting with the gear change cover off hard to believe ! I am including these two photos to show the location of the gear change assembly photo A wile it was connected Photo B is after it disconnected where I was trying to say it should be to begin with. Time to remove the engine everything above is now mute.

Photo A

Photo B

Last edited by W2SS; 09-15-2013 at 06:10 AM.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-14-2013, 04:58 PM
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very similar to what mine does.. shifts like a dream when cold, as it warms up (3-15 or 20 miles), shifting is more difficult.

try this test.. when its warm, put it on the center stand and with it in gear, clutch pulled, see if the rear wheel turns... if it does, the clutch is dragging. as the clutch warms up, the metal parts expand, reducing the clearance between the plates and frictions. or a warped friction or plate can do the same. Also, is the clutch basket drilled? (mine is not).

once its warmed up enough (like 20+ miles), mine actually gets easier to shift, not as easy as cold, but I dont have to fight with it.

Of course, make sure the clutch cable is properly adjusted first. it could be set with too much play (not seperating the plates enough).

also, since the clutch is wet, maybe try a different brand oil? may make a difference.

when stopped, if I cant find first (from neutral), I release clutch, and try again, usually drops right in
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-14-2013, 06:49 PM
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I'd try adjusting the clutch 1st. I don't think the shift rod itself would cause that problem. now if the rod ends are bent up them maybe (but doubt it). You won't be able to see that unless you take the engine out and split the cases. There is not easy way to get at the shift rod assembly. Believe me, I read that post many times and you would have to be a magician to pull that trick off. If the rod is broken then it wouldn't shift at all. What oil are you using?

"Show me a man who makes no mistakes, and I'll show you a man who doesn't do things." Theodore Roosevelt."

2007 Victory Kingpin
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 05:44 AM Thread Starter
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Everything has changed. The internal shift rod has now disconnected from the foot gear shift pedal. It disconnected wile I was hand shifting with the gear change cover off. I am including two photos of shift drum location in neutral A = before and B = after. A B
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 06:39 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michiganteddybear View Post
very similar to what mine does.. shifts like a dream when cold, as it warms up (3-15 or 20 miles), shifting is more difficult.

try this test.. when its warm, put it on the center stand and with it in gear, clutch pulled, see if the rear wheel turns... if it does, the clutch is dragging. as the clutch warms up, the metal parts expand, reducing the clearance between the plates and frictions. or a warped friction or plate can do the same. Also, is the clutch basket drilled? (mine is not).

once its warmed up enough (like 20+ miles), mine actually gets easier to shift, not as easy as cold, but I dont have to fight with it.

Of course, make sure the clutch cable is properly adjusted first. it could be set with too much play (not seperating the plates enough).

also, since the clutch is wet, maybe try a different brand oil? may make a difference.

when stopped, if I cant find first (from neutral), I release clutch, and try again, usually drops right in
Thank you for the reply. I have some how lost my post maybe I should repost it? The internal shift rod has now disconnected by it self wile I was hand shifting it.
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