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Clutch Adjustment & Clutch Cable Replacement Procedure

Discussion in 'XJ DIY How-To Instructions' started by RickCoMatic, Nov 23, 2006.

  1. RickCoMatic

    RickCoMatic Well-Known Member

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    You need the whole throw-out on these XJ Clutches. It is not unusual for the adjustment to be complicated by the improper replacement of the Clutch Throw-out Arm, after any work, which might have made removing it convenient or necessary.

    If you are not getting enough Clutch throw-out; it might be necessary to reposition the Throw-out Lever a notch or two Counterclockwise on the splines of the Clutch Throw-out ROD.

    Remove the Throw-out Lever from the splined end of the Throw-out ROD. Turn the ROD Clockwise until its motion stops upon contact at the clutch.
    Maintain contact at the Clutch by holding the ROD fully Clockwise and reposition the Throw-out LEVER back on the spines to where it's new position removes cable slack.

    Make the necessary adjustments to all the lower components and adjustment features until you get ZERO Lash at rest ... and complete movement of the ROD Clockwise when the Clutch Lever is pulled.
     
  2. RickCoMatic

    RickCoMatic Well-Known Member

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    Clutch Adjustment & Clutch Cable Replacement made simple.
    Special to: XJBikes.com
    Copyright: November 23, 2006
    All Rights Reserved.

    By: Rick Massey

    Here's my submission to our up-coming Tech Section. There's nothing worse than grinding a pound of gears trying to get the bike into first gear, fighting with the gear change pedal to get into Neutral, having the bike do the "Red Light Creep" and missing a shift. This article will cure those symptoms for you.

    Eventually, you'll need to replace the Clutch Cable; too. I have done my best to provide a step-by-step procedure that even the most inexperienced Member should be able to understand and follow when the time comes to swap-out a Clutch Cable.

    Following Repair Manual format; here's everything you need to know ... to replace the whole Clutch Cable or simply Adjust your bike's Clutch for smooth riding or Track Day!

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Cable Replacement:
    Note the way that the old cable is routed, from the Clutch Lever Perch, around the front, along the frame, through guides, over or under parts, down along the frame, to the mounting point on the Engine Case, below the Carb's, at the rear of the Clutch Case.

    (Make notes, a drawing, or stick tape with arrows pointing the way, if you can't remember how it needs to go.)

    Down at the Engine Case:
    Bend the tab on the Clutch Throw-Out Lever Mount to allow the Lead "Bullet" Cable End, to be removed and release the cable from the Throw-Out Lever's attachment point.

    I use a big Crescent Wrench. Push DOWN on the wrench lifting the Throw-Out Lever and maneuver the Cable End Bullet out of its holding bracket. Pad the jaws of the wrench (or any tool you use) with paper towels.

    After detaching the Bullet, relax the wrench pressure allowing the Throw-Out Lever to retract. Clean and lube the pivot point of the cable attachment bracket.

    At the Cable's End:
    Remove the hard rubber Dust Seal. Un-screw it and slide it to the end of the cable along with the nuts and washers collected as the Cable is removed.

    With fresh brake fluid or Armoral, lube the Dust Seal for withdrawing the rubber dust seal off the end of the cable, over the Bullet.

    Loosen and remove the Lower Hex Locking Nut and Washer (if present).

    Push the threaded Adjusting Barrel through the top of the Mount if the Adjusting Barrel does not come loose from the bracket. The barrel might slide right out from the Mount. Other's may need to be withdrawn. Either way; undo the Adjusting Barrel from the Mounting Bracket.

    At the Clutch Lever Perch:
    Remove the Hex nut on the end of the Clutch Lever Pivot Pin.
    Remove the Pivot Pin bolt.
    Slide-out the Clutch Lever from the Perch.

    Remove the Cable End and Bullet > (or any remains of a broken cable) < from the Clutch Lever.
    Line-up the Cable with Slot on the Lever allowing for the removal of the Cable End from the Clutch Lever. Slide the Bullet UP and out of the "Bullet Hole" on the Lever.

    Clean-out the channeling and the Pivot Port for the lead Bullet. Put a dab of Waterproof Grease in the "Bullet Hole" and set the Lever aside.

    Clean the Knurl Cable End Adjuster and its Locking Ring.
    Add NeverSeize to the Knurl's threads.
    Place a dab of NeverSeize in the threaded hole for the Knurl on the Perch.
    Place the Knurl, with its Locking Ring all the way on, into the Perch's threaded opening.

    Spread the NeverSeize along the Perch's inside threads by running The Knurl > IN, to the end and back OUT; several times. Add additional NeverSeize, if needed, to insure the Knurl Adjuster moves freely, without binding. "Exercise" this vital Clutch adjustment mechanism until it is able to move with precision. The Smooth and precise adjustment of this feature is absolutely necessary to properly and precisely adjust the Clutch.

    Make sure the Locking Ring is on tight, at the end.
    Bottom the Knurl into the Perch, against the Lock Ring.
    Turn Knurl OUT 3-1/2 Turns. (Exercise the Knurl IN and OUT, in this particular area, until it adjusts velvety smooth, with no binding or resistance.)

    The Cable:
    Out with old and in with the new. Follow your notes or taped-on arrows.
    Thread the end which attaches to the Clutch Perch > up through the bike < Starting at the Case Mount and ending at the Clutch Lever Perch.

    At the Clutch Perch:
    Thread the Cable through the > lined-up slots < of the Perch, Knurl and Locking Collar.
    Put the lead barrel "Bullet" into the Clutch Lever "Bullet Hole" and mount the Clutch Lever, the Clutch Lever Pivot Pin and tighten Hex nut.

    Make a "Final adjustment check" on the Knurl and Locking Collar. Run the Knurl OUT 3-1/2 turns -- positioning the slot > Inboard < to prevent the Cable from escaping during the remainder of the replacement and adjusting.

    Critical Proceedure:
    Use the Knurl's "Thumb Wheel" Locking Collar and LOCK the KNURL tightly in place, 3-1/2 Turns OUT. Place the Cable Sheath's End-Fitting FIRMLY into it's seat at the open end on the Knurl.
    SECURE the sheath against escaping from the Knurl's seat with a strip of Vinyl electrical tape until all Cable and Clutch adjusting is complete.

    Down at the Case:
    (Mod's for Performance and Precision Adjustment of Clutch include some additional hardware items.)
    Place a Hex nut, a Stainless Steel washer and a Nylon washer on to the Threaded Clutch Cable Adjustment end. (Nut, Stainless washer, Nylon washer.)
    Slide ... or slip-in from the top ... the Threaded Adjustment End into the Clutch Cable Holding and adjustment mounting bracket. Secure the bottom of the Threaded Adjuster with additional hardware items:
    Place a Nylon washer on first.
    Place a Stainless Steel washer on next.
    Place the Hex nut on the Adjuster; third. (Substitute NyLoc Hex nut for stock nut.)
    Rubber Dust Shield; last.

    Critical Procedure:
    While holding the Threaded Adjustment End tight into the mounting bracket; tighten the Lower Hex nut, with sufficient force, until BOTH Nylon washers "Crush" and mould themselves to, and around, the top and bottom edges of the holding bracket.

    [Use standard, thin, stainless washers. Use Nylon washers that are "Soft", about as thick as a Nickel or slightly thicker. The Nylon washers are > supposed to < get Crushed and become non-slip fasteners ... holding the Threaded Barrel of the Clutch Cable, firmly, in the same place, while final installation and adjustments are carried out. Also, to allow fast and accurate adjustments of the upper and lower hex nuts should future cable adjustments be necessary.]

    With the Threaded Adjuster tightened in place; place the Lead Bullet End of the Cable into the Cable Attachment Pivot at the end of the Throw-out arm. Push the arm UP, as before, using a proper tool, and capture the Bullet in the pivot attachment devise. Don't fold-over the tab until ALL the Clutch Adjusting is complete.

    Release tension on the Throw-out Lever.
    Inspect and insure that the Bullet end is firmly seated in its holding slot.
    Now, check the Throw-out lever for Cable Slack and Throw-out Lever End Play.
    Remove all Slack and End Play.

    If the Cable is slack and the Throw-out lever has loose End Play ... LOOSEN the LOWER Hex nut on the Threaded Cable End Adjuster and TIGHTEN the UPPER Hex nut > Holding the Barrel from rotating by holding the Fixed Hex Flats atop the barrel, just above the locking Hex nut on the Threaded Adjuster ... until ALL the SLACK in the CABLE is REMOVED and Throw-out Lever End Play is reduced to Zero Lash.

    ADJUSTING THE CLUTCH:
    Continue adjusting the Threaded Adjustment End of the Clutch Cable until you remove ALL the Slack in the Cable and the Throw-out Lever is > "On the edge" of ZERO LASH. NO End Play." Use finger pressure on the exposed cable to "Feel" the adjusting process.
    You need to adjust the Throw-out arm to ZERO Lash. Such that adjusting the Hex nuts on the Cable's Threaded Adjustment by only one or two flats will provide just a hint of LASH. Adjust the Cable at the Lower Cable Mounting Bracket for ZERO Lash at the Throw-out Lever.
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    ** [ You need the whole throw-out on these XJ Clutches. It is not unusual for the adjustment to be complicated by the improper replacement of the Clutch Throw-out Arm, after any work, which might have made removing it convenient or necessary. If you are not getting enough Clutch throw-out; it might be necessary to reposition the Throw-out LEVER a notch or two Counterclockwise on the splines of the Clutch Throw-out ROD.

    Remove the Throw-out Lever from the splined end of the Throw-out ROD. Turn the ROD Clockwise until its motion stops upon contact at the clutch.
    Maintain contact at the Clutch by holding the ROD fully Clockwise and reposition the Throw-out LEVER back on the spines to where it's new position removes cable slack.

    Make the necessary adjustments to all the lower components and adjustment features until you get ZERO Lash at rest ... and complete movement of the ROD Clockwise when the Clutch Lever is pulled.] **

    The Clutch is preliminarily adjusted. Although, it very well might be Precisely adjusted.

    Test ride and observe for the ease of shifting, finding Neutral, and NOT bucking or jumping into gear.

    Further fine-tuning of the Clutch Adjustment is done by adjusting the Knurl, on the Clutch Perch, IN or OUT as needed.

    The ability to tweak the adjustment of your Clutch using the Knurl ... allows you maintain Perfect Adjustment at all times.
    This feature also allows you to make immediate adjustments if heat becomes a factor in the Adjustment.

    When the fine-tuning and adjusting is done ... LOCK the adjustment with the Knurl Locking Ring. Lock it up TIGHT. Most clutch problems are a result of the Knurl vibrating and loosing it's position.

    Good job adjusting that Clutch.
    Like a new bike ... ain't it???
     
  3. Flooglebinder

    Flooglebinder Member

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    If that's not the definition of "step by step", then I don't know what is.

    Good job and thanks! I'm sure I'll use that info in the future :D
     
  4. xjnoob

    xjnoob New Member

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    You'll have to excuse my lack of knowledge, but I've been working on my xj650 and my clutch is all over the place. I read your step by step, but I'm still a little confused. It seems as though the throw out lever has too much travel to be taken up by the clutch lever. how far should the throw out lever be able to move? Thanks!
     
  5. bigfitz52

    bigfitz52 Well-Known Member

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    What you need to do is take up the "play" in the throwout mechanism before installing the lever. (You may need to remove the c-clip and move the lever "back" a spline or two.) The rotating shaft that sticks up is "geared" to the throwout piece, they call it a 'pushrod' but it actually pulls. Be sure the shaft is rotated fully clockwise (looking down from above) before you install the lever. Right now your lever is just taking up the play in the mechanism and not pulling the clutch open. Actual "throw" once the lever is actually pulling against something is about 1/2" at least on a 550. (I just went out and measured on both my bikes.) And Floogle: +1 on "forgetting that whole selling thing."
     
  6. xjnoob

    xjnoob New Member

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    I adjusted it this afternoon and failed again. I took all the free play out of the shaft, and now it doesn't have enough travel to engage the clutch fully. does this mean it's a problem with the clutch itself? I read an article on adjusting the clutch pack on a harley. Can I adjust the clutch pack on my bike?
     
  7. bigfitz52

    bigfitz52 Well-Known Member

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    "and now it doesn't have enough travel to engage the clutch fully" If you mean DISENGAGE, then like I said, you may need to move the lever "back" a spline or two so it has more range of pull. If it truly won't engage, then you need more play in the mechanism. The clutch pack itself is not adjustable, the screws simply tighten down against their stops.
     
  8. Bushy

    Bushy Active Member

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    Today I did what Rickomatic advised at the top of this thread, that is; moving the lever back 2 notches on the spline at the engine case, now the gear changes are so smooth and quick, maybe better than its ever been. Thanks for that tRick.
    Try it you`ll like it.
     
  9. redcentre003

    redcentre003 Member

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    Hi Rick,

    Followed your instructions on clutch cable replacement on this post and sure enough, once all connections and adjustments were made the feel at the lever was really smooth.

    The old cable was still OK but after pulling it in and then easing it out it had started to feel a little notchy. That is, as you relaeased it it didn't have a smooth progression. More like it was being released in small slightly stuck steps. Which made clutch engagement at low revs a somewhat tricky affair where in one of thoses steps it would just grab, not because of the clutch plates but because the release wasn't smooth.

    Like a new bike ain't it?

    You bet.

    Thanks. Hope all is well Rick.
     
  10. Krashen

    Krashen Member

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    I have zero play in mine now but ever since i've got my bike its crazy hard to pull the clutch in like i'm going to get carple tunnel from using my clutch i think. I tryed spraying WD-40 in the clutch cable and moving it back and forth to get it worked in and spraying the lever on the clutch itself but its still hard as hell to pull.
    Should I try putting new clutch springs in or something?
     
  11. TIMEtoRIDE

    TIMEtoRIDE Active Member

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    WD-40 is the wrong stuff, and will make the cable worse.
    You should completely lube the cable (properly), or just replace it.
     
  12. Krashen

    Krashen Member

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    K well the cable moves freely but the level thats on the clutch case that the cable connects to is impossible to move. so? what do i have to do?
     
  13. RickCoMatic

    RickCoMatic Well-Known Member

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    You have to POSITION the the Throw Out Lever on the Throw Out Rod to be in an optimum position for moving easily when the Cable is pulled.

    Remove the Throw-Out Lever from the top of the Rod that extends down into the Case.

    Remove ALL the SLACK in the ROD.
    (Turn the Rod Clockwise until it make contact with the Pinion that releases the Pressure Plate. I use a Shoe Lace and wrap it around the Top of the Rod.
    Then, I wind it a few times around the Rod and "Pull it" ... causing the Rod to Rotate Clockwize. Once the Slack is out from the Rod ... Tie or Tape the Shoe Lase to KEEP the ROD tight against the Pressure Plate.)

    With the Skack removed from the ROD ... Position the Throw-Out Arm on the top of the Rod ... very close to where the Cable Attachment fits to the Clutch Cable.

    Once you have the Slack removed and the Lever in Position... Adjusting the CABLE Slack will make the Hand Lever easy to operate.
     
  14. bigfitz52

    bigfitz52 Well-Known Member

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    The 550 clutch should be relatively "light" pull-wise. When you say "impossible" to move, are you talking about moving it with your fingers? You won't be able to. (Not enough "mechanical advantage.")

    But it should pull smoothly with the cable attached and adjusted correctly.

    If not, you may have a problem with the throwout shaft or "pull rod." You might want to go ahead and pop the cover off, and have a peek. (Be sure to order yourself up a new gasket first, you WILL destroy the original upon removal.)

    [​IMG]

    The gear teeth on the bottom of the throwout shaft (at the top of the diagram) engage with teeth cut into one side of the "pull rod."

    Cracked or broken teeth on the shaft, a bent shaft, a crack or excessive wear in the housing where it supports the shaft, debris in the teeth, or a failed pull rod bearing can all cause stiff clutch action. The throwout mechanism is all in the cover (except the pull rod, plate washer and bearing) you should be able to figure out what the problem is once you look in there.

    Oh, and TIME is right; WD40 is evil. WD=water displacement; it wasn't supposed to be a do-all lubricant. It will gum up over a relatively short time, and you do NOT want to discover the hard way (like a stuck throttle cable) that it wasn't a good choice. (I learned the hard way.)
     
  15. Krashen

    Krashen Member

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    Thank you fitz!
    I'll be checking it next weekend when i'm back home.
     
  16. OnTheStorm

    OnTheStorm Member

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    I removed the cover to replace clean out oil level window (Which is still foggy) Now I cannot get the cable back into the throw arm (this is the right jargon correct?) I oiled it up (with motor oil) pushed and pulled but nothing. It won't budge. It was a pain just getting the cover back on, it finally jived with the rod on the inside, but not it wont budge. Where to go from here?

    On the oil level window note. I have 2.6 quarts in, just as recommended, and I was watching the window as i put in the final .6 quarts. I still have not seen a bubble, or any indication that it is filling up. Any suggestions to fix this problem?

    [​IMG][/img]


    p.s. This might be a nice picture if someone wants to label it for the tech section. Since i am going through this and will probably have to take the cover off a again I will be happy to take picts of the innards and email them to a member wanting to diagram it.
     
  17. RickCoMatic

    RickCoMatic Well-Known Member

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    Can you move the Shaft that goes down inside the Case?

    Whenn you replace the Cover,... you need to capture the "Push-rod" (Which is really a "Pull" Rod") and ease the Cover on while turning the Shaft ... to take-out the slack while the Cover is buttoned-up.

    Then, when you get ready to attach the Cable ...
    You have to Rotate the Shaft Clockwise. Hold it.
    Set the Throwout Arm upon the Splines.
    Fasten it.
    Lever the Throwout Arm clockwise to affix the Cable end.
    Make the final adjustment.

    If anything that's supposed to move, ... isn't moving.

    Start from Square One.
     
  18. yamaman

    yamaman Member

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    great Rick. In my collection of bikes I've joined other forums and almost non of them are as good as this one. The members' dedication is what makes it and yes folks, you know it, this is the text book example.

    so remember my thread 2 weeks ago about my clutch being hard to pull, approximately 60lbs pressure!? I found the problem today.

    it was the cable, a Brand New Cable, but it was the cable. the cable had no resistance At All when disconnected so when it gets connected and the resistance comes back it leads someone to look eslewhere. But today, with a bud, we routed the cable the most simplest way possible without the tank on and gave it a tug and it was better. I couldn't beleive it. so I put my finger on it and pushed it agains the frame as if the tank was on and Bam it was tight. WD40 fixed it but I'm still going to buy a high quality new one immediately. So now the cable is coming down the right side of the bike, UNDER the tank, not on the inside tunnel of it. Good luck everyone :)
     
  19. RickCoMatic

    RickCoMatic Well-Known Member

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    You'd have been better-off using 3-In-1 Oil or a Capfull of the Oil you buy for the Bike.

    WD-40 is closer to a Cleaner than it is a Lubricant.
     
  20. loggerbomb

    loggerbomb Member

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    Hey guys, I need some clarification on this. Finally got the stripped bolts of the clutch casing(?) and was able to get the cable back onto its perch, but it looks nothing like the drawing. Is there a difference with this on the 400s than the bigger bikes?

    Ok, that pic does make it official, there is a difference on mine.

    Can someone quickly tell me how to adjust the clutch play on my set up or point me in the right direction?
     

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