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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1996 Adventurer has a very clunky gearshift.

I'm thinking a different engine oil might help, and I still need to check the chain tension and sprockets for looseness/play in the drive rubbers.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks :).
 

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I think those two items are the most likely culprits, with oil being the top. Also change the clutch fluid if it's old.
 

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Mine does that on occasion and an oil change seems to bring it back to reality, but it is beyond me why.
The condition is generally long before the pil change is due, generally after a seasonal layup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Old thread, but I just cleaned the chain/rear sprocket, and adjusted the chain to give me about half an inch (1.5 cm) of play and wanted to add some info in case it helps someone else later.

It slides nicely into first now (no nasty clunk), but it's a bitch to change to 2nd when it's cold. It takes at least 2 tries and feels like it's locked solid :confused:.

Although once in 2nd it's great through all the others, so new oil might fix that.

I also noticed that the chain tension is tighter in certain parts of the chain, ie I check the tension, roll it backward a few feet and check again. There is definitely a slack spot and big gaps between the link plates so I'm going to order a new chain/sprocket set.

I'm so glad I cleaned it up, I can now actually see that the chain is a nice bright silver colour (not quite chrome, but still nice), and I can see writing on the rear sprocket at last!

It was so thickly covered in black dirty grease it wasn't funny :eek:
 

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Did you set the slack at the tightest spot on the chain? Even so, 1/2" is very little. You could cause some serious mechanical mayhem if the chain is too tight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Did you set the slack at the tightest spot on the chain? Even so, 1/2" is very little. You could cause some serious mechanical mayhem if the chain is too tight.
Ya reckon? Maybe I should back it off a bit tomorrow before I ride to work :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK, I slackened it of a bit, it's now showing 25mm in the slack areas and about 18mm in the tight spot.

I'm setting the chain while on sidestand cos I don't have a main, but I also checked it while holding the bike upright and also while sitting on it and it seems consistent.

The odd thing is that when I press the chain upwards to check the tension, it hits the bottom front rubber guide thing first, then I apply a bit more pressure to get to the full slack level and it goes up even more (if you know what I mean).

I just ordered a bike scissor jack lift, so when that gets here I can do it again with the rear wheel off the ground.

Also, is there a trick to loosening/tightening the rear axle bolts? The right side bolt loosens but not the left side (looking from rear of bike), this leads to a gap between the axle rod and the RHS bolt, seems very dangerous to me :eek:.
 

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You should be aiming for 25mm at the tightest point, that is combined up/down movement from rest. It's best to do it with you sat on the bike, or on the sidestand. You will probably get a different reading on the centrestand, as the swingarm will be at maximum travel.

Are you checking the free play at the centre of the run?

Not sure what you mean about the rear axle. It's only one through-bolt, with a nut on the other end. If you have a gap at one end when you are loosening it, it's because you are unscrewing the nut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well it's back to the old (rather embarrasing) clunking again, and on first start it actually grinds the gears selecting first if I don't stamp hard and fast enough on the lever.

It's also extremely hard to find neutral and takes a bit of up/down shifting to find it, but it gets better as the engine warms up.

It has been doing this since day one.

I also noticed that sometimes if I have left the transmission in first gear over night and hold in the clutch (instead of selecting neutral first) to start, it actually lurches forward if I don't hold the front brake on!

The clutch engages right at the last few centimetres of travel too, maybe that is an indication that the clutch plates are worn or something, not sure. But it doesn't slip at all while riding.

I'll start with changing the oil, that might help. The dealer I bought the bike from said he changed ALL the fluids including the engine oil, but I would assume he used the cheapest stuff he could find as the bike was on consigmnent and he gave me no written details of the work carried out.

I'm thinking of using an oil that's thinner when cold, would that be the first number, ie the ten in SAE 10/50? Maybe a 5/50 or 5/40. My thinking being that when the engine is cold a thinner oil wouldn't make the clutch plates stick together so much (when the clutch is released).

As for the axle, that's an odd one, I checked my µFiche catalogues and it shows a 1 piece rear axle like you said.

Mine looks like this in cross section -



...and when I loosen it using 2 big ring spanners, the bolt on the right side loosens, but the nut on the left stays put. And on re-tightening, the nut starts to take up the slack leaving an ever increasing gap on the right side between the axle and bolt :eek:.

It's no biggie at the mo though, the gap is only a few millimetres and the axle is still sitting well in the metal of the swinging arm, and I'll work on it when I change the chain and sprockets.
 

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Sounds like you may have a little clutch drag going on there. It could be down to worn components (how many miles?). It could also be that the clutch fluid needs changing and bleeding.

Yes you have to take oil viscosity into account and match it to your local conditions. The lower number is the cold viscosity, lower is better. I use a 5/40 synthetic in mine.

Do you have the early, box section swingarm with eccentric adjusters? Maybe that is why you have the 3 part axle (I'm just guessing).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Today on my usual elongated ride home from work the neutral light stopped working!

It's never done that before.

I found neutral OK, and it came back after a bit of riding, but very strange to say the least.

Plus I still intermittently get the "jammed in first gear" problem :(.

Very odd.

I received my chain and sprocket set today, all I need now is the sprocket cover gasket, new oil and filter, and the time to do all the work and I can swap everything out :).
 

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Clutch plates sticking when starting in any gear except neutral after sitting all night, even with the clutch squeezed is normal behavior.
You have lots of variables to address, and normally I would encourage you to do one thing at a time and then test drive it. That would help you find out which symptoms go away and when. Unfortunately, the chain and sprocket R & R really is more easily done by draining the oil first, as it can be a messy affair otherwise. If these two and a flush and fresh fluid in the clutch don't sort it out, you may have some internal tranny stuff to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Took the bike apart today to change the brake disks, pads, chain and sprockets, and oil.

I couldn't change the front sprocket for lack of a 36mm socket, but I did notice that when I rotate the front sprocket while in first gear, the shaft (cog) rotates about 1.5 centimetres (1/2 an inch) freely in either direction!

Is that normal, or should it be totally solid?

This play could explain the clunking (if it's not normal), but could also indicate something wrong inside the gearbox :(.
 

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I had a similar clutch problem - I spent a ton of money on an oil change with Red Line motorcycle oil (did it myself, but the oil is $12-14 a quart).

The problem went away completely.
 

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I did notice that when I rotate the front sprocket while in first gear, the shaft (cog) rotates about 1.5 centimetres (1/2 an inch) freely in either direction!

Is that normal, or should it be totally solid?
I would not worry about that, if the shaft and sprocket are rotating together. If the sprocket were rotating on it's own, that would be a loose sprocket.

These gearboxes are very tough, it would be unusual to find a problem.
 

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Clunck Gear Change

Well it's back to the old (rather embarrasing) clunking again, and on first start it actually grinds the gears selecting first if I don't stamp hard and fast enough on the lever.

It's also extremely hard to find neutral and takes a bit of up/down shifting to find it, but it gets better as the engine warms up.

It has been doing this since day one.

I also noticed that sometimes if I have left the transmission in first gear over night and hold in the clutch (instead of selecting neutral first) to start, it actually lurches forward if I don't hold the front brake on!

The clutch engages right at the last few centimetres of travel too, maybe that is an indication that the clutch plates are worn or something, not sure. But it doesn't slip at all while riding.

I'll start with changing the oil, that might help. The dealer I bought the bike from said he changed ALL the fluids including the engine oil, but I would assume he used the cheapest stuff he could find as the bike was on consigmnent and he gave me no written details of the work carried out.

I'm thinking of using an oil that's thinner when cold, would that be the first number, ie the ten in SAE 10/50? Maybe a 5/50 or 5/40. My thinking being that when the engine is cold a thinner oil wouldn't make the clutch plates stick together so much (when the clutch is released).

As for the axle, that's an odd one, I checked my µFiche catalogues and it shows a 1 piece rear axle like you said.

Mine looks like this in cross section -



...and when I loosen it using 2 big ring spanners, the bolt on the right side loosens, but the nut on the left stays put. And on re-tightening, the nut starts to take up the slack leaving an ever increasing gap on the right side between the axle and bolt :eek:.

It's no biggie at the mo though, the gap is only a few millimetres and the axle is still sitting well in the metal of the swinging arm, and I'll work on it when I change the chain and sprockets.
In respect to the bike lurching forward. It is absolutely vital, especially in cold weather and no matter what oil you are using, to 'break' the clutch plates prior to selecting 1st gear after a cold start. This is done by selecting 1st gear (prior to starting) holding in the clutch lever and rocking the bike in a forward direction. Initial resistance will be felt, keep pushing until no resistance is felt, the clutch plates are now no longer 'bound' together. In some cases with a very sticky clutch the strain being put on the gearbox is sufficient enough to cause major damage when engaging 1st gear with the engine at high idle.
On our old T140's we overcome this problem by 'tying' the clutch lever to the handle bar with a plastic tie. Trying to 'break' the clutch on one of those with the kick start can be very onerous.
Another point to remember is that no matter how great the oil is, it will not account for wear. Oil does not take the place of steel in any cases. Most manual gearboxes (automotive inc) are çlunky when cold, it's quite normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah you're right Slinky, I think I'm just going to have to get used to it. I put 5/40 oil in and it hasn't made any difference at all.

That's interesting lovecuba, never thought of that but it makes sense and I'll do that from now on. Thanks for that.
 

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months ago I had the same noise (if I understood well): my mechanic found that the clutch lever, an aftermarket adjustable lever, was not working well, not moving at 100% the piston in the clutch master. Changed the lever with the old original one and the noise disappeared ;)
 
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