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Discussion Starter #1
I drove my 1972 Daytona after it sat for around a month (I unstuck the plates with the kick start) and for some reason now the friction zone on the clutch has become non existent and it goes into gear with only a sliver of travel left prior to full release of the lever. It’s very odd - any idea what could have changed and it caused this? It shifts and goes into gear fine. Thank you.
 

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Hi Gibsonsmu,
Is there any change in the amount of free play at the clutch lever, have you had to adjust the free play?

I would without hesitation check that the nut on the gearbox mainshaft has not come loose, this is the nut on the gearbox end, not the clutch end. If they come very loose there is a chance that the mainshaft breaks. It is quite a common thing that they undo.

also check the clutch cable for fraying, it might be elongating if it is breaking up.

If it is not these things then start to look at the clutch.

best regards
Peg.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank yi
Hi Gibsonsmu,
Is there any change in the amount of free play at the clutch lever, have you had to adjust the free play?

I would without hesitation check that the nut on the gearbox mainshaft has not come loose, this is the nut on the gearbox end, not the clutch end. If they come very loose there is a chance that the mainshaft breaks. It is quite a common thing that they undo.

also check the clutch cable for fraying, it might be elongating if it is breaking up.

If it is not these things then start to look at the clutch.

best regards
Peg.
Thank you Peg - no new free play - I’ll check the nut at the gear box. Thank you very much
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I adjusted the cable and it didn’t have any effect. It doesn’t look like the cable is loose at the gear box. So I took the adjustment cover off the primary and tried to adjust the push rod adjustment screw for the pressure plate per the manual but must have gone too far in the wrong direction as now I can’t get it disengage the clutch in gear even when the lever is pulled. Tried to fix it by adjusting the screw in the opposite direction and then the engine won’t catch even when it’s in gear. Any trick to adjusting that?
 

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Hi,

Two things:-

took the adjustment cover off the primary
You mean the slotted plug in the primary cover? When removed, it exposes a slotted screw in the centre of a locknut?

If yes:-

trick to adjusting
Firstly, to be clear, what Triumph labelled "Abutment" is screwed fully into the gearbox outer cover?

Then, when carrying out the following procedure, the cable should detached from the handlebar clutch lever.

Loosen the locknut and then the adjusting screw quite a bit - you're ensuring the adjusting screw is not pressing on the end of the clutch operating pushrod,

When you're sure the adjusting screw isn't pressing on the pushrod, turn the adjusting screw clockwise holding the screwdriver only between a thumb and forefinger - you'll be able to turn the screw clockwise only 'til it reaches the end of the pushrod but not once it has. (y) When making this adjustment, ensure the adjuster locknut does not reach the clutch pressure plate.

When the adjuster screw reaches the end of the pushrod (you can't turn the screwdriver held only between thumb 'n' forefinger), turn the screw 1/2 turn anti-clockwise. Hold the adjuster in this position while turning the locknut clockwise up to the clutch pressure plate..

In theory, the aduster should be held in position while the locknut is tightened against the pressure plate. In practice, it's more important you don't bugger the adjuster plug threads in the chaincase trying to get an unsuitable wrench around the screwdriver holding the adjuster screw. Fwiw, having turned the locknut up to the pressure plate, I note the position of the adjuster screw slot then tighten the locknut with a socket that happens to fit both over the locknut hex, and easily past the chaincase threads without bashing the latter. Not holding the adjuster screw when tightening the locknut usually means the adjuster moves a little clockwise; as long as this movement's less than the aforementioned 1/2-turn, there is still clearance between the ends of the adjuster screw and clutch pushrod - risking labouring the point, only some clearance is required, not precisely 1/2 a turn of the adjuster screw.

Reattach the clutch cable to the handlebar lever and adjust it for about 1/8" slack, I measure this between lever and mounting, pulling the lever gently with just one finger to ensure I'm measuring only cable slack and not as the lever starts to pull the clutch.

Finally, risking telling you something you know already, there are two different "Adaptors" - "short" (57-2062) and "long" (57-2063) - that fit between the cable outer and the "Abutment" in the gearbox outer cover; either if you have to turn the handlebar cable adjuster a lot to get the aforementioned 1/8" adjustment, or if it's difficult to get 1/8" because the cable doesn't appear to have enough slack, try changing the fitted "Adaptor" for the other one.

Hth.

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That was exactly the procedure I was looking for thank you so much. I will try and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi,

Two things:-


You mean the slotted plug in the primary cover? When removed, it exposes a slotted screw in the centre of a locknut?

If yes:-


Firstly, to be clear, what Triumph labelled "Abutment" is screwed fully into the gearbox outer cover?

Then, when carrying out the following procedure, the cable should detached from the handlebar clutch lever.

Loosen the locknut and then the adjusting screw quite a bit - you're ensuring the adjusting screw is not pressing on the end of the clutch operating pushrod,

When you're sure the adjusting screw isn't pressing on the pushrod, turn the adjusting screw clockwise holding the screwdriver only between a thumb and forefinger - you'll be able to turn the screw clockwise only 'til it reaches the end of the pushrod but not once it has. (y) When making this adjustment, ensure the adjuster locknut does not reach the clutch pressure plate.

When the adjuster screw reaches the end of the pushrod (you can't turn the screwdriver held only between thumb 'n' forefinger), turn the screw 1/2 turn anti-clockwise. Hold the adjuster in this position while turning the locknut clockwise up to the clutch pressure plate..

In theory, the aduster should be held in position while the locknut is tightened against the pressure plate. In practice, it's more important you don't bugger the adjuster plug threads in the chaincase trying to get an unsuitable wrench around the screwdriver holding the adjuster screw. Fwiw, having turned the locknut up to the pressure plate, I note the position of the adjuster screw slot then tighten the locknut with a socket that happens to fit both over the locknut hex, and easily past the chaincase threads without bashing the latter. Not holding the adjuster screw when tightening the locknut usually means the adjuster moves a little clockwise; as long as this movement's less than the aforementioned 1/2-turn, there is still clearance between the ends of the adjuster screw and clutch pushrod - risking labouring the point, only some clearance is required, not precisely 1/2 a turn of the adjuster screw.

Reattach the clutch cable to the handlebar lever and adjust it for about 1/8" slack, I measure this between lever and mounting, pulling the lever gently with just one finger to ensure I'm measuring only cable slack and not as the lever starts to pull the clutch.

Finally, risking telling you something you know already, there are two different "Adaptors" - "short" (57-2062) and "long" (57-2063) - that fit between the cable outer and the "Abutment" in the gearbox outer cover; either if you have to turn the handlebar cable adjuster a lot to get the aforementioned 1/8" adjustment, or if it's difficult to get 1/8" because the cable doesn't appear to have enough slack, try changing the fitted "Adaptor" for the other one.

Hth.

Regards,
ok - so I went and tried this - unscrewed both out quite far then slowly screwed the screw in until it bottomed after slackening the cable and then locked it back down, then went and readjusted the lever . Now if I put it first gear and pull in the clutch it acts like it’s still in gear. What did I screw up now? Apologies for my ignorance
 

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Hi,

As suggested by Peg, have you checked the mainshaft nut is tight? If I understand Peg correctly, the gearbox outer cover must be removed to check this nut (so the pushrod adjustment will need to be done over again)?

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi,

As suggested by Peg, have you checked the mainshaft nut is tight? If I understand Peg correctly, the gearbox outer cover must be removed to check this nut (so the pushrod adjustment will need to be done over again)?

Regards,
I thought I did but if it involves removing the entire gear box cover I certainly did not. Is that the only proper location for the the adjuster screw?
 

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On my Daytona, if I let it sit on the side stand it would allow gear oil to seep into the primary housing, and cause the clutch to slip. I always leave it on the center stand, if its gonna sit for awhile. I also lowered the over flow tube about a 1/4".
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If
On my Daytona, if I let it sit on the side stand it would allow gear oil to seep into the primary housing, and cause the clutch to slip. I always leave it on the center stand, if its gonna sit for awhile. I also lowered the over flow tube about a 1/4".
if that is what has happened, how did you fix it?
 

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You really can't fix it. My bike was a 69, the gear oil seeped in around the mainshaft. There is just a bushing that the shafts runs through. Some people run 50w motor oil in the gear box as a solution. I did that for awhile, but it makes for a noisy gear box, and it doesn't shift as smooth. I just run a lower amount of oil in the gear box (trimmed a 1/4" off the overflow), and if the bike is going sit for awhile, like more than a few hours, I'll put it on the center stand.

Drain the primary, if you smell gear oil, that may be what's going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just out of curiosity what in the mechanism is causing it to be in gear even if the clutch is pulled in?
 

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The engine is connected to the friction plates, the smooth plates are connected to the gear box, when you pull in the clutch, it separates the plates, thus disconnecting the engine from the gear box. It sounds like you have some clutch issues??? Most likely bad friction plates, and or springs. If you are new to vintage British motorcycles, get a manual, either a triumph shop manual, or a Haynes manual. These bikes aren't very complicated, aren't hard to work on, and there are plenty of people here willing to help.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
The engine is connected to the friction plates, the smooth plates are connected to the gear box, when you pull in the clutch, it separates the plates, thus disconnecting the engine from the gear box. It sounds like you have some clutch issues??? Most likely bad friction plates, and or springs. If you are new to vintage British motorcycles, get a manual, either a triumph shop manual, or a Haynes manual. These bikes aren't very complicated, aren't hard to work on, and there are plenty of people here willing to help.
I do understand a clutch in principle generally - I meant more the rod adjustment and how that could lock the engine in gear and effectively make the clutch useless. I have all the manuals there just isn’t a clear picture of all of that I could find. I guess what’s perplexing to me is that it was working fine for the last 500 miles (since I bought it) - then it sits for a month and now the whole clutch is busted? That just seems weird to me.
 

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Hi Gibsonsmu, You seem unsure of your clutch adjustment. Using Stuart's instruction & this video you can see more clearly what you want to achieve. Here's a video of adjusting rod on 650. Basically the same as 500. They have a fancy hollow wrench to loosen nut. You can break nut loose with normal socket & then hold socket with pliers if you like. Finally final tighten nut with your socket & ratchet handle.

Importantly notice how you can see the adjuster screw lift the pressure plate when you pull clutch lever. Just shy of 1/8" is good lift.

Sometimes you can feel excess end play in main shaft from loose nut. Grab nut tight as you can with needle nose pliers. Push & pull the nut hard as you can without pliers slipping off. It should only have a trace of end play. Basically you'll feel zero. The nut is held tight to pressure plate through adjuster screw. The pressure plate is held tight to clutch by the springs. So you can often get an idea of loose nut on right end of main shaft by this method.

Another way is run adjuster screw all the way in until you visibly see pressure plate lift. Back off adjuster screw about 4 turns. Tighten lock nut. Back off cable adjuster fully at bar so lever just flops about. Now... take a wood or plastic dowel & gently tap adjuster screw towards right side of bike. The screw should not move or only move a tiny amount. If it's moving 1/16-1/8" or more nut is likely loose & backed off. On later 650/750 filler plug is on outer cover so you can feel nut with finger. Not so on 500 or earlier 650.

You may not be able to tell if nut has backed off. No matter. The sure way is remove trans outer cover.

Once you feel the rod & cable are properly adjusted. You see what looks like normal lift of adjuster screw pulling lever, road test. Pay close attention to change in lever play as you ride.

Occasionally on severely worn/notched clutch hub, basket the plates can get caught on the worn notch & do the oddest things. Often it will change the lever play when this happens. You chase your tail on rod, cable adjustments. Just won't make sense like internal parts keep changing. That's because the plates are hanging up or not. Sometimes every pull of lever gives a different outcome. Won't release one time, bad slip the next.
Don
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Gibsonsmu, You seem unsure of your clutch adjustment. Using Stuart's instruction & this video you can see more clearly what you want to achieve. Here's a video of adjusting rod on 650. Basically the same as 500. They have a fancy hollow wrench to loosen nut. You can break nut loose with normal socket & then hold socket with pliers if you like. Finally final tighten nut with your socket & ratchet handle.

Importantly notice how you can see the adjuster screw lift the pressure plate when you pull clutch lever. Just shy of 1/8" is good lift.

Sometimes you can feel excess end play in main shaft from loose nut. Grab nut tight as you can with needle nose pliers. Push & pull the nut hard as you can without pliers slipping off. It should only have a trace of end play. Basically you'll feel zero. The nut is held tight to pressure plate through adjuster screw. The pressure plate is held tight to clutch by the springs. So you can often get an idea of loose nut on right end of main shaft by this method.

Another way is run adjuster screw all the way in until you visibly see pressure plate lift. Back off adjuster screw about 4 turns. Tighten lock nut. Back off cable adjuster fully at bar so lever just flops about. Now... take a wood or plastic dowel & gently tap adjuster screw towards right side of bike. The screw should not move or only move a tiny amount. If it's moving 1/16-1/8" or more nut is likely loose & backed off. On later 650/750 filler plug is on outer cover so you can feel nut with finger. Not so on 500 or earlier 650.

You may not be able to tell if nut has backed off. No matter. The sure way is remove trans outer cover.

Once you feel the rod & cable are properly adjusted. You see what looks like normal lift of adjuster screw pulling lever, road test. Pay close attention to change in lever play as you ride.

Occasionally on severely worn/notched clutch hub, basket the plates can get caught on the worn notch & do the oddest things. Often it will change the lever play when this happens. You chase your tail on rod, cable adjustments. Just won't make sense like internal parts keep changing. That's because the plates are hanging up or not. Sometimes every pull of lever gives a different outcome. Won't release one time, bad slip the next.
Don
Hi Don - thank you for your thoughts. I guess let me rephrase what has happened.

  • Clutch was slipping until near full release of lever - new development after sitting for about a month on the centerstand while I was traveling
  • Attempted to adjust lever at handlebar and no luck
  • Then performed the procedure mentioned here above with the clutch rod adjustment which seemed to be proper. Slacked the cable, bottomed the screw backed it out and lever felt good after adjusting for proper play at the handlebar.
But now - if I put the bike in gear and pull in the clutch the bike will not move. I can kick the clutch free with the starter with the clutch in, but after a short period of time it becomes "stuck" again. I guess my questions is what could have changed? Eric
 

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Hi Gibsomsmu, Hmmm... Things are not adding up. Now I'm getting what you're experiencing.

Do you have a Verner caliper? If not you need one. Cheap at Harbor Freight or ebay. 6". This will allow you to measure plate lift very accurately. I'd like to know that. The amount of lift tells me a lot. But it must be measured accurately. Ruller is not good enough.

Also you bike shares primary oil with motor. Exactly what oil is in your motor right now? I'm wondering if you are having friction plate sticking issues. This can be caused by certain types of oil.... Let us know what is in it if you know.

Yikes! We may be chasing the oil ghost. This oil issue is the oddest thing, but very real.
Don
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi Gibsomsmu, Hmmm... Things are not adding up. Now I'm getting what you're experiencing.

Do you have a Verner caliper? If not you need one. Cheap at Harbor Freight or ebay. 6". This will allow you to measure plate lift very accurately. I'd like to know that. The amount of lift tells me a lot. But it must be measured accurately. Ruller is not good enough.

Also you bike shares primary oil with motor. Exactly what oil is in your motor right now? I'm wondering if you are having friction plate sticking issues. This can be caused by certain types of oil.... Let us know what is in it if you know.

Yikes! We may be chasing the oil ghost. This oil issue is the oddest thing, but very real.
Don
Thank you Don - Ok good - at least I'm not totally crazy :) I do have a caliper - guessing I need to take off the primary chaincase to check this? I'm running 20W-50 Amsoil V-Twin in the engine. Had it in there for around 400 miles or so. In the gearbox I put in Red Line MT-90 75W-90 GL-4 in the gear box. If I overfilled the gearbox would that cause problems - I spilled when I changed that and it may have been overfilled. Thank you, Eric
 

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Hi Gibsonsmu, Don't remove primary cover. Just remove plug in center for adjuster. Put end of Verner on cover at side of hole. Push depth stem to nut. Record, Has assistant pull lever, or bungi cord it tight to grip. Measure same way. Subtract difference. That is lift.

I have no experience with Amsoil V-twin. I have lots of experience with Mobil V-twin 20-50 . I can assure you Mobil1 Vtwin will not stick old cork, new cork or any of the modern friction materials I've seen. Even after several months. Mobil1 Vtwin has never caused slip either.

But what's the lift first? Need to be sure that's good before moving on.
Don
 
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