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Discussion Starter #1
OK I am going to de-glaze my clutch plates first, but I believe my clutch is going to need replacing. Accordingly, who has recenly replaced theirs and with what. I ride hard, no doubt about it so I want something good that will last. Recommendations?
 

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EBC Kevlar clutch kit with heavy duty springs. About 80 bucks from Dennis Kirk.

You can just wet sand (220 grit) the non friction plates (the all metal ones) as opposed to replacing them.

There are a few write ups here on the proceedure. Just make sure to soak the new plates in clean motor oil overnight.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. $80.00!! that I can live with.

I kind of wonder if the PO's EMF auto clutch has side effects. I will not sell or trade it if it causes premature wear on the plates. 15,000+ is way too few miles to need to be replaced unless it was a real hard 15,000. It only slips under load from 2500 to red line in the low gears and above 50 - 60 miles an hour at speed on the highway. My H2 still has the original clutch assembly even after more drag races than I can remember. Plus the last time out she would bring the front 2 feet off the ground at 80 with just a downshift.

I'm already making a jig to hold the basket in my drill press. That mod makes so much sense and is probably something that would not have occurred to me for ages, it is one more thing that makes this forum great. Actually most mods on the site are actually really easy thanks to the previous work and documentation of other forum members.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I hate worms

I knew I was probably opening a can of worms when I decided to check/change my clutch and I was right. Yesterday the clutch was slipping so bad that I decided I had to do something if I was going to ride this weekend. I had already ordered and received my EBC clutch plates but was still waiting on the springs (I also ordered the basket wrench to since we will probably be doing my son’s bike later down the road). I figured I would just bite the bullet and pull the cover twice. Anyway as soon as I did pull the cover the first thing I see is one spring just about ready to fall out. The other four were only finger tight and two were out quite a bit. I figured this was probably the main cause of the slippage. When I pulled the pressure plate the first friction plate was put into the same groove as all the others, so I figured the PO maybe had put in a new clutch pak when he removed the EMF auto clutch. The friction plates looked really good and when I checked them they measured 2.9mm almost the same as my new EBC plates (2.93). Accordingly I cleaned up everything ran some 180 grit (that was what I had on hand) over the steel plates and put everything back together. When I checked the clutch lever it was like a rock which I expected.. I went ahead and adjusted it according to the book but it really never felt right. You can’t feel the springs compress. Long story short, I have taken it back apart reassembled the plates from the way the book says and back again and am now out of ideas. No matter how I adjust it as soon as you put it in gear, no matter how hard you pull the lever, you cannot get the clutch to disengage. Comparing it to my son’s I do not seem to be able to get the same range of travel at the rod as he does. Also when I tried the clutch with the cover off the pressure plate barely moves. Ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Won't more free play at the clutch handle result in the pressure plate moving less and keep the clutch engaged more? As it is, it is almost like I have too many plates installed. I have watched all watched the videos by Roach (which are very well done and highly recommended) as well as done a ton of research on this site. Knifemaker indicated he installed his Kevlar plates all in the same location with no ill effects and I do not see any difference either way. The only thing different I have done was to make my own clutch cover gasket, which should not have ant effect on my current issue. The plates are well oiled and not sticking and the springs are are in acceptable condition. Before I tore it down all I had was slippage at speed or under application of power.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Release shaft

My first thought was something was missing because the Clymer manual says “Don’t lose the clutch push piece in the backside of the pressure plate.” Mine is in there rather tightly and does not just fall out I do not see any adjustment or setting for the release shaft or a place for a ball bearing, it just runs off of the rack drive and the slots have been aligned up correctly (several times as I tried different cable adjustments. The shaft is sticking out of the hub and moves freely so I do not believe it is bent. If there is a piece that fits over it I do not have it (or see it in any diagram). Also in Roach’s video the shaft seems to be the only piece that operates the pressure plate. The bearing and “push piece” as per Clymer) in the pressure plate are in place as well.

Did anyone ever discover the purpose of placing the last friction plate differently than the rest of the set. Strangely I found an extra pressure plate, push piece/beading, springs and bolts in with the extra parts given to me by the PO. This is good as when I was removing the pressure plate for the 3rd time trying to see anything odd one bolt broke off right at the washer. I really did not want to keep the Ace Hardware cheap zinc bolt and washer I used to get me by after drilling out the broken bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Pre-load clutch

I have determined a possible way to help with my immediate problem. Since I have tried putting everything back together several times the way according to the manuals and the various posts with no success, I think I will set some “pre-load” into the shaft. I have measured the amount the shaft protrudes into the housing with everything bolted up stock. by loosening the bolts slightly and resetting the release lever so that it maintains pressure and a constant position when I remove the pressure plate I can measure the increase in the effective length of the release shaft. I am starting off with an additional .060 and I can increase or decrease the spacing as needed. I hope that this will allow the clutch to release enough to perhaps burn off whatever is causing the excess pressure. My homemade gasket combined with Gasgacinch is working great. On and off now 4 times in 36 hours with no tears and no leaks.
 

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Am sorry if I threw you off with ball bearing thing...going from
Memory and I've taken ALOT of clutches apart.

I always thought that whatever the measurement was in cable gap when you pull in the clutch translated to the same measurement in rod movement.

Again not having an actual spec on how far it is supposed to move makes it difficult in seeing what your issue is here. I thought that cable play was independant on actuator movement...meaning the outer plate should start moving exactly as soon as the arm on the engine case moved

You are sure you reassembled all the plates in the right order??
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes I put it back together right. Well oiled and friction plate 1st then steel plate until the last friction plate,which I have alternated between placement of between the groove it is supposed to be in and the same groove the others are in. Neither one seems to make any difference. Putting the plates back in seems almost fool proof. As I indicated the bolts holding the pressure plate on were only finger tight at best and one was almost out (i1 was only on by a few threads). I just checked the thickness and put them back in after sanding them and the plates lightly. I can't think I made them too rough but I could put in the new EBC plates to check and see if there is a difference. When I compare the cable's movement on my bike against my son's, his seems to move more. The gap on the clutch release lever moves about 1/8 of an inch more than mine does. When I watch the actual pressure plate move with the cover off it barely moves at all . Maybe half the thickness of a plate if that. So far no matter how much I tighten the cable when you put it in first (on the centerstand) pull in the clutch and step on the brake it kills the engine dead.
 

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Check the clutch cable itself down by the tranny end...theyre low quality cables, and on an older bike can compress at the end, or the cable might even be overstretched. Even at a dealer, replacements dont cost too much, and the OEM replacements will be at factory specs and a better quality.
I had the same issue after installing my new clutch (std EBC). I just added a spacer down by the tranny end to make up for the stretched cable.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The cables don't appear that bad and they were/are well oiled and fairly clean. With less than 16,000 and who knows how much of that with the auto clutch I wouldn't think they would be stretched. Also, after my last post, rather than put more than an even more than the .060 I already did as a “pre-load” (since this puts extra pressure on the bearing in the pressure plate) I tried several different things. First I put in my new EBC plates, no change. Then I swapped out the current springs with the old ones the PO provided as “extra parts.” No change. Then I swapped the old pressure plate since it was worn about .020 more than the one presently used. No change. Then I loosened the spring bolts and tightened them just until they made contact. No torque at all, just making contact. Next I carefully backed each bolt off one exact turn and put the cover back on. Without doing anything at all to the cable it felt right. The springs collapsed normally, with an even, steady pull whereas before I almost had to use 2 hands to pull the lever. Just as the clutch on my son’s Vulcan. I started her up and other than a slight difficulty in actually shifting into first everything else was fine. I could easily fine tune the cable and get it right. But the bolts are loose.

So I don’t know where to go from here. There are eight friction plates and seven steel plates right? Other than finding some shim stock to move the pressure plate out farther I do not have any ideas. The EMF auto clutch came with a 1/4 inch spacer that apparently went between the case and the clutch cover. Other than that I have no idea what else may have been changed or modified. Maybe the basket is different, I cannot tell by looking and the PO is out of the picture now. I know that one full turn on those bolts can not be very much in terms of actual thickness, so I may be able to shim the plate out if nothing else. New ideas?
 

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I havent done it to a Vulcan, but to other bikes with wet clutches...know how the last friction plate goes in one tooth off ?...take one of your old ones (hope ya kept em), and add that to the top of that. Also, when I did my 700s clutch, the center rod was very finicky and I had to redo it a few times before it went in "just right"...mebbe check that first...part 13116A...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks,Wolfie,that is a great idea. I never throw anything away so of course I have the plates. I will try that now. 2 days without a ride seems like forever. I need to get to the store to buy my rain gear for the winter here in California.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Springs

Well I tried the extra plate and while it made a slight difference, the problem is still there. I have came to the conclusion tha my springs are just to compressed at 78-80 in lbs. to allow the pressure plate to move. When the bolts are loosened the plate moves freely and allows the clutch to disengage. I guess I will wait until my new EBC springs get here on Tuesday to replace them. I may end up tapping the bolts to a larger size since the threads may have became stretched when they were loose before and I was still riding it.
 

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I really don't know much about clutches I've never messed with one, I did replace my cable once. I didn't read all the post fully so I don't know if this Was mentioned. Of course this may not be an issue, but on the bevel gear case there is a raised ridge near where the clutch lever is attached. When all is said and done and adjusted properly the space in the lever should line up with ridge. It's just another part of the puzzle and u may already know this.
 

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I'm not sure either here what is wrong. The set of bolts that hold the outer plate should be torqued down and loctited to prevent them from loosening up.

If you loosen the bolts slightly and the clutch seems to work better.....something is wrong.


My only thought here is that you have not rode the bike but only run it a brief time on the centerstand. Perhaps with a few miles of shifting the oil will warm up and the clutch might behave better?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Finally fixed

First of all I want to thank you guys for posting your ideas. I truly appreciate it. Also I want to assure you that I have read every clutch related post back for 18 “pages?”. I don’t post about a problem until I read as much on this site as I can. It seems as though everyone has had the same problems one time or another. That is how I found out about the vacuum hose into the ear and after I marbled, I continued looking for a crack in the small vacuum line (it was almost broken off at the T). I am in the process of cutting out my new coasters now.

The clutch was so “tight” that as soon as I put it into gear it would die. On the center stand, in first gear, with the handle fully pulled in, the brake would kill the engine. I tried to “burn” the clutch in that way in case it was just a minor interference problem. Anyway after I had a number of beers while thinking about the overall problem, I kept thinking how loose the clutch bolts were when I first removed the cover. I also remembered that when I ran a thread chaser through all the bolt holes and cleaned the threads on the bolts, first there was a lot of material in the hub’s bolt holes and second the bolt threads were “loose” until I got the chaser to within the last ½ inch of the head. Because the actual holes in the clutch hub are fairly deep and the pressure plate bolts kind of short I started to look through my bolt supply. I found some bolts that were about ½ inch longer. With some steel ARP washers left over from another project I ended up with about an extra 7/16 longer thread. I put those into the pressure plate and torqued them to 75 inch pounds. PERFECT, the clutch lever resistance was just what I expected and when I started her up I could finally put her in gear without killing the engine. The shift into first had a little “clunk” so I readjusted the clutch and took off for a ride. Holy crap its like a new bike. I can lay rubber from a start and take her up to 90 in a heartbeat.:lockd:

I think that the bolts being loose for who knows how long (and there was no locking material of any kind on the threads) buggered the threads in the hub. Therefore until the bolts reached virgin threads they really had no resistance. I am going to see if EBC can tell me the specs on their for when they are compressed. Then if there is enough space I may run all thread and double nuts, or I just may drill the hub for the next size larger bolts when I pull it for drilling to do the coffee maker mod.

Thanks to everyone for the assistance. It is easy to get frustrated when things don’t go as they should. What should have been a 45 minute job, including making my own gasket, took 2 days. At least I learned something.
 
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