Idiot's Guide to Basic Clutch Adjustment - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Idiot's Guide to Basic Clutch Adjustment

I've been having some issues with my clutch ('77 TR7V) and I wanted to give it the standard adjustment before troubleshooting it further. I have the shop and Haynes manual, but I'm still a little hazy on the details. Can some please fill in some of the blanks for me? I'll start with the directions as posted by daveforty recently (thanks!), which match the instructions in my manual :

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveforty View Post

Slacken off the cable adjuster on the handlebar lever.
This seems to be adjusted by a bolt which has a curved shape meant to lock it into the handlebar lever base. I'm guessing I turn this clockwise to slacken off on the cable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveforty View Post

Unscrew the rearmost plug in the primary case, you will see a screw with a locknut.
Eh, Primary Case? Is this what the parts manual calls the "chaincase" on the left side of the bike where the gearchange lever is sticking out of? If so, then I'm looking for something under the "inspection plug"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveforty View Post

Slacken off the locknut on the centre screw, (you will need a 1/2" AF offset ring spanner), and turn the screw in until it feels like it has contacted the end of the clutch pushrod i.e. it will start to tighten. Back off the screw by 1/2 a turn and tighten the nut to lock it.

Adjust the cable at the handlebar for a little slack. If the cable adjuster is at the end of its range, there is another adjuster where the cable enters the gearbox.
I believe the second cable adjustment refered to is on the right side, the only cable going into the Gearbox Outer Cover and protected by a rubber sleeve.

Thanks in advance. Once I get this sorted I'll post up something with pretty pictures so the next time someone as clueless as me comes around they can refer to that .

-M
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 02:02 PM
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Here goes.
Yes, unscrew the knurled ring holding the clutch cable into the housing. The cable should have enough slack in it that you can touch the lever to the handle bar with no resistance.
The chain that connects the engine to the transmission is called the primary chain and it is located inside the case on the left of the engine/transmission unit, called the primary side or drive side. On the face of case cover towards the rear there is a plug about 1.5" in diameter. This is the access to adjust the clutch pressure plate. Remove the plug and you will see a slotted screw secured with a lock nut. Loosen the lock nut and turn the screw clockwise until you feel resistance. At this point the screw is bearing against the clutch push rod and causing the pressure plate to lift. Now back the screw off 1/2 turn and tighten up the lock nut. Don't let the screw turn when you are tightening up the lock nut.
I find that a box wrench with a deep offset works well for this. Reinstall the plug and go back to the clutch lever and tighten the ring until you have about a 1/8" play when you squeeze the lever before the cable tightens. You don't want it too tight. If there is not enough play in the cable, go to the other end of the cable above the transmission. Slide the boot up and you will see another adjuster. Loosen the lock nut and screw the adjuster
into the case to give you more slack in the cable. Vice versus if you are trying to take up excess slack. Most of the time you won't have to mess with this adjuster unless you are installing a new cable. To check the adjustment, with bike off pull the clutch in and cycle the kick starter a couple of times, after a couple of kicks, it should kick through without any resistance from the engine. If not, try tightening the the main adjuster and cable tension a little to get more lift on the pressure plate. Now with the clutch lever released kick it through. It should turn the engine over, if not it is adjusted to tite and the discs are slipping.
Sometimes, its a fine line with these clutchs between dragging and slipping. If an adjustment doesn't solve the problem, its probably time to pull the primary cover and have a look at the clutch discs. Highly recommend you get a factory parts book so that you can see what the components look like in an exploded view.
I am wondering if our moderator could make a sticky out of this?

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 02:33 PM
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Nice post but can I repost it like this - easier to read . . .



Yes, unscrew the knurled ring holding the clutch cable into the housing. The cable should have enough slack in it that you can touch the lever to the handle bar with no resistance.


The chain that connects the engine to the transmission is called the primary chain and it is located inside the case on the left of the engine/transmission unit, called the primary side or drive side. On the face of case cover towards the rear there is a plug about 1.5" in diameter. This is the access to adjust the clutch pressure plate.

Remove the plug and you will see a slotted screw secured with a lock nut. Loosen the lock nut and turn the screw clockwise until you feel resistance. At this point the screw is bearing against the clutch push rod and causing the pressure plate to lift. Now back the screw off 1/2 turn and tighten up the lock nut. Don't let the screw turn when you are tightening up the lock nut.


I find that a box wrench with a deep offset works well for this. Reinstall the plug and go back to the clutch lever and tighten the ring until you have about a 1/8" play when you squeeze the lever before the cable tightens. You don't want it too tight. If there is not enough play in the cable, go to the other end of the cable above the transmission. Slide the boot up and you will see another adjuster. Loosen the lock nut and screw the adjuster into the case to give you more slack in the cable.

Vice versus if you are trying to take up excess slack. Most of the time you won't have to mess with this adjuster unless you are installing a new cable. To check the adjustment, with bike off pull the clutch in and cycle the kick starter a couple of times, after a couple of kicks, it should kick through without any resistance from the engine. If not, try tightening the the main adjuster and cable tension a little to get more lift on the pressure plate.

Now with the clutch lever released kick it through. It should turn the engine over, if not it is adjusted too tight and the discs are slipping.

Sometimes, its a fine line with these clutchs between dragging and slipping. If an adjustment doesn't solve the problem, its probably time to pull the primary cover and have a look at the clutch discs. Highly recommend you get a factory parts book so that you can see what the components look like in an exploded view.
I am wondering if our moderator could make a sticky out of this?

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the extra detail, htown. I'll give this a shot tonight when I get home. I've been plagued with several nagging issues lately and I think they are all clutch related.

- bike dies shifting into first unless the throttle is open slightly
- difficulty shifting, especially into first (I try to shift and it clicks and bike jumps a little, feels like 1st is engaged - but there is no power when I let off the clutch. Takes two - three cycles of this to really engage 1st gear)
- creeping forward with the clutch lever fully depressed (when I'm trying to engage first as described above)
- cannot seem to free up the clutch using the procedure you described for testing (depress clutch lever and turning the engine over with the kick start lever)
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 03:18 PM
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On the basis that a picture is worth a thousand words.....

slacken off the handlebar lever;



remove plug from primary drive case;



I have made a small tool from a bit of mild steel

slacken off lock nut, adjust screw, tighten locknut;



re-adjust handlebar lever, a small amount of slack is required;



Apologies for the mediocre pictures.

p.s. I made one error in my previous posting, you will need a 9/16 ring spanner for the locknut.
.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 06:21 PM
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Phenominal! this forums is wonderful, its so cool to see how we can work together to help each other.... first a full write up than a picture to picture procedure....

Take care
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up

daveforty - Thanks for the pictures! Thanks to you and the others, I was able to complete this procedure in five minutes. Funny how you can get hung up on even the simplest things. The weather is no good today but I'll take it for a test drive soon and see if the adjustment helps.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-21-2009, 10:59 PM
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TR7RV 1973 Tiger 750

Thanks for this thread all contributors. Very useful and instructive.

I've just fired up my 1973 Tiger for the first time in a year, and it seems the clutch plates are stuck solid.

I tried the first gear / front wheel against a brick wall method - but even dropping my weight (180lbs) on the kick wouldn't shift it. (But did a nice job of squishing the front tyre against the bricks).

Any more ideas on how to free up a stuck clutch?

(btw I've had the bike over ten years in which time it's been through a major rebuild. Approx 17,000 miles on the clock since then, but the clutch was replaced more recently.)

Last edited by lucas_sparks; 04-21-2009 at 11:25 PM. Reason: additional info
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-21-2009, 11:25 PM
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Use a higher gear. I used fourth on mine. It had been sitting for 15 years. Once I got it running, I put it on the center stand and started it in fourth gear, reved it up a bit with the clutch pulled in and applied the rear break. Freed right up.

Last edited by jimmy bush; 04-21-2009 at 11:28 PM.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-22-2009, 08:13 AM
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Otherwise, drain primary case, remove primary cover, remove 3 adjuster screws, remove lump of clutch plates and separate them.

Wash them off thoroughly with solvent or gasoline and sun-dry on both sides.

Scuff up the plain steel plates by swirling on flat concrete until nice and uniformly scuffed.

Re-assemble and adjust.

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