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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This thread is a series of notes to aid in the replacement of clutch springs on the Bonneville. This is a common modification, and is not particularly difficult. As usual it is recommended that you have a service manual to hand for detailed direction, plus it is assumed that you are mechanically competent.

I sure wish I was.

Make sure you have a brand new clutch cover gasket available before attempting the job.

I am replacing the springs because as a result of my airbox removal, and subsequent power increase, coupled with my not insignificant stature, my clutch has started slipping. This manifests itself typically in throttle roll ons in 4th or 5th gear, at around 4000 to 5000 rpm. It also happens if I whack the throttle open :D

I am using the green Barnett clutch springs, which are well able to handle up to 115 RWHP (as proven by Carlos at TPUSA) so for a fat bloke on an ARKed bike should be just fine. You can get these springs from our various site sponsors.

I changed the oil in my bike about 400 miles ago, and since I am a lover of a certain brand of quite expensive oil that shall not be named here (go find an oil thread if you’re into that) I didn’t really want to dump the oil. So – I took the advice of my good friend Sweatmachine, and leaned the bike way way over on the right side. I did it using an engine hoist that I happen to have. You can do it by carefully covering the bike with shop towels and leaning it up against something – whatever you are comfortable with.

I removed the seat, gas tank and battery for this.

Here is the bike as I am lowering it:



And here it is lowered as far as possible (you can go further if you remove the rear brake lever and the footpeg, but you don't need to):



In this position there is practically no oil loss when removing the clutch cover.

So – begin.

Remove the clutch cable from the engine mount, and remove the gear shift lever.

Then place shop towels / tray under the bike to catch any oil spillage.

Now, go around the bolts holding the clutch cover on, and crack them loose. Go around and remove all the bolts. Make sure you get them all. There are 2 different lengths used, but don’t worry it is quite obvious which ones go where when replacing them.

Now remove the clutch cover. If you are removing the cover for the first time it WILL be difficult to get to budge. Careful taps around the outside with a rubber mallet will dislodge it. Carefully mind you. Once it cracks loose, lift it vertically away from the engine case. Do not lose the 4 dowel pins that locate the clutch cover.

If this is the first time the cover is coming off it WILL tear the gasket. C’est la vie – it’s not worth worrying about. I had the cover off 6 months ago for a different reason, so my gasket came out whole.

Once you have the cover off, you must clean the gasket surfaces on clutch cover and engine case. If there are traces of stuck gasket, these are best removed with a gasket scraper (available from sears and other auto stores). You can also do it with a razor blade – BUT it is very easy to scratch the surface of the metal, which can lead to oil leaks. You must be very careful, and do not scratch, nick or mar the sealing surfaces. Do not leave any traces of old gasket material. It is adviseable to stuff shop towels everywhere before doing this so as to not drop any bits of gasket in the crank cases. Sometimes, when doing the clutch cover for the first time, it can be best to bite the bullet and dump the oil, so that you can have the bike upright, minimizing the chance of getting crap in the engine.

Once your gasket surfaces are clean, you can proceed with spring replacement.

This is what is behind the clutch cover:



The blue arrow points to a short shaft which transfers your clutch lever movement to the clutch plates. It is very easy to pull out with your fingers. Do so, and carefully consider how free it is. This is important later.

The red arrows are 4 bolts that hold the clutch spring retainer and clutch springs in place. You can crack these 4 bolts loose, and evenly undo them to release the clutch spring retainer and springs, and remove them. I made a note of the orientation so that I could put the retainer back the same way.

The yellow arrow is pointing to a wavy washer on the starter gear shaft. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ASSEMBLE THE MOTOR WITHOUT THIS WAVY WASHER. It may look inconsequential, but it isn’t.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here is a stock clutch spring, compared to the new Barnett clutch spring. The stock spring is on the right.



The springs sit over the 4 stubs in the clutch assembly here:



Replace the clutch spring retainer plate. The Triumph manual tells you that you should use a special triumph tool for this, however that is not necessary.

Tighten the retainer plate most of the way down. Then place a smear of oil on the clutch actuator shaft, and insert into the center:



Now tighten down two of the bolts. (9 Nm torque). Check the actuator shaft – you should be able to turn it with a finger, and lift it out with finger and thumb. If it is tight, gradually adjust the spring retainer plate until the shaft is completely free. Then tighten the other 2 bolts, check it again, and adjust. Continue until all 4 bolts are tightened to 9 Nm, and the shaft is nice and free:



Your springs are now installed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Check that your wavy washer is in place:



Now give the gasket surfaces a wipe over, clean any oil out of bolt holes, check you do not have any rags left in the motor, and assemble the clutch cover onto the engine with a new gasket – making sure that your clutch lever and actuator pin in the cover are properly assembled. This is straightforward, and you should not have any problems if you have not dismantled those. The workshop manuals explain how to set that part up.

Some people like to use gasket cement to keep the new gasket in place, and to help prevent oil leaks. If your gasket surfaces are properly clean and not marred or damaged, this should not be necessary.

Tighten the bolts down around the clutch cover in a criss cross pattern, to 9 Nm.

Now you can reattach the clutch cable and gear selector shaft, and lift the bike upright.

Then, the gas tank, battery and seat can be reinstalled, and then the clutch cable adjusted to give you the correct 2 to 3 mm of free play at the clutch lever.

I always let freshly seated gaskets sit overnight before starting the engine. I don’t think this is really necessary, but I do it anyway.

This is how much oil you lose using the lean the bike over method – note old gasket (which I will clean and keep) and stock clutch springs:



Then – double check adjustment and bolt torque, and go for a ride! I can’t wait for tomorrow so that I can test it! :D

The job took 2 hours to get to bike upright, another 15 minutes to replace tank, battery and seat and adjust clutch cable. If you have to scrape the gasket surfaces allow another 30 minutes to an hour.
 

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nice post, but maybe i am missing something here, but you made it look waaaay to easy installing the actuator shaft without the triumph tool. i didnt use the tool and eventhough it's not difficult to do so, it's a tedious process to get all four of those bolts seated just right so the actuator slips in with no resistance. without the tool it's hit or miss and you have to repeatedly adjust the bolts one by one until you you have the shaft perfectly lined up, because any deviation with cause friction. again, it's not difficult, just time consuming if you don't have the tool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It took me between 5 and 10 mins to get that shaft properly free. The way I did it was to snug the 4 bolts just so tight, and then test the shaft. then nip the bolts a bit, and if the shaft went tight, I would gently lever the spring plate just the tiniest amount, using the rubber handle of my 1/4" ratchet, then test it, then snug some more, then adjust.

It seemed to work - in the end all 4 bolts were tight to spec and the shaft was nice and free.

I think I got lucky this time - other times on similar jobs I could throw away a lot of time. In those situations it's best to walk away for a couple of hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A quick follow up after the test ride -

MOST EXCELLENT! Absolutely no clutch slip, the clutch is firmer than before, but not any more difficult to pull the lever in. It just feels more positive somehow. I can run all the way through the rev range, no problem. Bike feels great! A couple of tuning tweaks to the carbs needed to get it perfect, but that's fun stuff. This clutch upgrade was well worth doing. :cool:
 

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well, you got lucky. i messed with mine for about an hour until i got it right, but also used gold springs, which are just a bit longer than the stockers, and think that might have been part of the reason it took me so long.
 

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Prop...
A question please. If you don't adhere to Sweat's advice about leaning the bike over and you drain the oil conventionally before you begin, can you do the job with the bike on a motorcycle jack i.e. with the cylinders straight up and down without the parts you show dislodging?
Thanks for sharing that DIY with us. Wondered how it looked in there. :D
Cheers,
George
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Indeed, there is absolutely no problem with doing the job with the bike upright, you simply have to drain the oil is the only extra requirement there.
 

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It took me between 5 and 10 mins to get that shaft properly free. The way I did it was to snug the 4 bolts just so tight, and then test the shaft. then nip the bolts a bit, and if the shaft went tight, I would gently lever the spring plate just the tiniest amount, using the rubber handle of my 1/4" ratchet, then test it, then snug some more, then adjust.
Nice pics
just replaced my clutch and springs today and that was the way I did it. Easy
Very gently because the tolerence is very very tight.

I admire the ingenuity of your oilless method but really just drain it and then reuse it if you must.
I reused mine. Had less than 1K on it.

glad it worked for ya.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
just drain it and then reuse it if you must.
A perfectly reasonable and straightforward approach! :thumbsup:

Incidentally, one slight downside to the lean the bike over method, is that a small amount of oil leaks down and gets trapped in some nooks and crannies outside the engine.

That isn't a problem, but a day later it drips on the floor and scares the bejeezus out of you, making you think you have an oil leak, when you really don't. It doesn't happen when you drain the oil out. Ah well. Forewarned is forearmed and all that. :D
 

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Indeed, there is absolutely no problem with doing the job with the bike upright, you simply have to drain the oil is the only extra requirement there.
When we were talked about changing the large cover gasket in a previous thread, I thought there a spring or something that stays in place better if the bike is laid over to the right? Is this so?
Thanks,
George
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It's just the wavy washer on the starter gear that is shown in one of the photographs. It is very easy to make sure it stays in place - it is not under high tension or anything, so it doesn't ping off, it's just that it is vital that it is put back when reassembling everything.
 

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Fantastic post, I didn't eve think about the fact you'd just tested this when I came over. Can't wait for our first group ride of the season!

Being the kid who would always do what he was told not to do, I'm wondering - what does that wavy washer do?
 

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I did my clutch yesterday - I installed the 4 green springs as I am progressively increasing the HP on my Thrux. The shaft on the start gear came out when I pulled off the cover. I had to move the gear slightly to slide the shaft back in with the wave washer.

A question - when installing the pushrod seat back in, the only way I could ensure a smooth in-and-out operation was to torque 3 bolts on the plate to 9 Nm and the 4th bolt was torqued to around 5 Nm. Any tighter and the pushrod would not slide. I used locktite 262 on the 4th bolt to ensure it did not come out. Do people think this could cause a problem?

Clutch works well and no problems during a short ride yesterday. Agree with prop that the drive seems more direct with the stiffer springs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think you'll be alright.

I was able to get my retainer in position by levering it over ever so slightly once all 4 bolts were at 9 Nm, then went and checkled they were still at 9Nm. The shaft was still free, so I called it good and put the clutch cover back on.
 
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