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Hi all new member here. I have a 1991 750 and am the original owner. I recently bought the house I grew up in off my father and my old bike was still in the garage covered up. I drained the fluids and replaced them. Had to buy new brake lines and master cylinder so far is all and battery. After the battery installation I went to fire it up and viola started right up and purrs like a kitten. My only issue is the shifter lever is dead when I try to put it in gear the lever is just kinda free floating. This is with the clutch pulled and not. And I mean nothing you can’t feel anything when working the lever but fortunately I can still start it. Also when I sat down to give it a look I noticed the lever would pull in and out of the engine about two inches. Won’t come all the way out but never really seen this on any of my bikes and four wheelers before. I know something is up but before tearing into it to far thought I’d ask for some advice. Could it be the clutch or do I need to pull the engine and split the case and get started?
 

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The good news is that you are a lucky guy for sure to reclaim your vulcan. But the bad news is I think Spockster is 100% correct. During the repair be sure to account for the circlip because pieces can get in the oil.
 

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If you can pull the shaft out 2 inches the shift tie rod is broken. The entire shaft is only about 4inches long and there are 2 clips on it. If it was just the c-clip you would still be able to get it in gear. You need to split the case to repair it. It is not hard but does take some time and almost every gasket there is for a Vulcan as well a a sealer for the case. (I didn't trust RTV or silicone.) There was one member who said his dad or father-in-law was able to repair it through the holes in the side of the engine. I do not believe that. My son and I could barely see it through the holes and the nuts holding it together and spaced correctly were way to tight to loosen without a wrench. I have a picture of it inside the case. I think I have pictures of the side of the case that show the holes also if you want to see them.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Rim Automotive wheel system Automotive exterior
 

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I picked up a project bike with a broken shifter after reading that guy's post. I have NO idea how they managed it, because those oil circulation holes are NOT something you'd be able to fit a wrench into to tighten the ends of the rod.
 

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If you can pull the shaft out 2 inches the shift tie rod is broken. The entire shaft is only about 4inches long and there are 2 clips on it. If it was just the c-clip you would still be able to get it in gear. You need to split the case to repair it. It is not hard but does take some time and almost every gasket there is for a Vulcan as well a a sealer for the case. (I didn't trust RTV or silicone.) There was one member who said his dad or father-in-law was able to repair it through the holes in the side of the engine. I do not believe that. My son and I could barely see it through the holes and the nuts holding it together and spaced correctly were way to tight to loosen without a wrench. I have a picture of it inside the case. I think I have pictures of the side of the case that show the holes also if you want to see them.
View attachment 55154
I can't imagine how the heck that could break?!? Shifting too hard?
 

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Here is the tie rod. The one we removed, the one I bought on EBay and the new one I bought to actually use. How they get damaged may be due to soft metal and hard use.
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If the bike falls the wrong way it can really put a lot of torque through that shaft. Looks like since the linkage is attached with a ball, there isn't any lateral support where the arm meets the rod, so the whole thing buckles outwards under extreme pressure. The neck of the rod is the weak point as the head flexes sideways, probably levering the rod against the case. Pretty crazy.
 

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The rod where the threads are shouldn't have been necked down. But using the full size rod means using a larger heim joint and that's more expensive than an extra machining step.

That's one of the few differences over the years, the later years got a beefier shift rod. Somewhere, there's a comparison pic.

I suppose there could've been some warranty repairs that triggered the change. Hmm, shift rods failing under warranty but not stators?

People also have a tendency to abuse the shift lever. I've seen riders stomp the juice out of the shifter when the bike isn't running right or their ole lady has them PO'd. I'd guess falls are the number one cause.

Notice in the pic above, the flat arm is bent at different angles on each assembly. Middle one might have a bit of a twist on that arm too.
 

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I know my son dropped his bike onto the shifter side several months prior to the rod breaking. Doing a fairly low speed turn around on gravel in a nearby park. At the time he had no visible damage since his"crash bar" caught his bike for the most part. About a month after that his C-clip failed and I used the rubber hose method to hold it in place. That worked well until he was getting ready to leave work one day and coludn't get it into gear. The rest as they say "is history".

The top assembly in the picture was a brand new one still in the Kawasaki baggie (from Bike Bandit if memory serves me) and actually is at a right angle. The rod is slightly tilted in the picture and not truly parallel to the other rods.

When I received a used one from EBay and checked it I found it was already slightly bent. Since I didn't want to risk using it as it was and didn't have access to a torch to straighten it myself, I ordered a new one. Splitting the case once is enough for such a simple task.

I would have thought dropping the bike onto the shifter would have shoved the rod into the engine and resulted in bending the rod in the opposite direction. The new rod was pretty much ready to use out of the bag and did not need any adjustment for the gears to mesh easily and completely. I just tried to make the exposed threads equal on both ends.

If my bike had been the one to break I would have blamed it on my riding habits, but my son is a really safe and sane rider. He really doesn't drag race or get crazy through the gears. (Of course he bought his bike used with about 5000 miles on it so who knows how it was treated early on.)I'm attaching another picture of the rods. I found it interesting that the "used rod" was already slightly bent in the same direction as the one that broke. I'm attaching another couple of pictures to show the assemblies from a different angle.

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Bicycle part Gas Nickel Metal Engineering
 
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