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 Clutch problem

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chilterns
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PostSubject: Clutch problem   Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:47 pm

Clutch/transmission problem 1997 VS800, triked with Ford Capri rear axle.



I've not used my trike for about a year. I was taking it out for its MOT and 200 yds. up the road, changed down to pull out onto the main road, let the clutch out (engaged the clutch) and nothing happened – no strange noises (grinding or crunching) just the revs. I tried to engage other gears with the same result, even difficulty in finding neutral.



I returned home and drained the engine oil, after which I was able to select the gears at will.



The oil I drained from the engine smelled burned – I have read that if that is so it is an indicator of a failed clutch although I have not experienced any clutch slipping.



Has anyone any ideas ?
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simbo
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PostSubject: Re: Clutch problem   Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:58 pm

From your intro you're running a capri axle on your trike, I'm suspecting the clutch has been upgraded to allow for that? It'll be under quite a bit of stress getting it rolling I should imagine! What width wheels are you running for out of curiosity?
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OldManYam
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PostSubject: Re: Clutch problem   Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:01 pm

Since changing the engine oil, you say you can now select gears, but can you get drive ?
i.e. can you rule out a problem in the final drive from gearbox to diff ? 

Its fairly easy to take a look at your clutch - but in doing do you will need to drain the engine oil !
Once the clutch casing is removed, you will see the clutch basket. There are 8 bolts holding the clutch plates in, but be aware they are 2 sets of 4 bolts because of the 'slipper clutch' function (for smoother 'fast' down changes etc.). So you need to keep a careful check on the parts as you dismantle them. If you dismantle the plates from the clutch basket it is wise to keep a check on the order of the friction plates & spacer plates. From memory - the inner plate is different to the others & has a bevel on one edge (i.e. only fits one way around).

Taking the clutch apart will give you an idea of the condition. The friction linings are not that thick when new, so you really need a micrometer to check against the Suzuki tolerances to see how 'worn' they are. If they are glazed you could try roughing them up with wet & dry (old school trick - if you are on a tight budget). If money is not an issue, and you are unsure - then treat yourself to some new clutch plates (& springs if you are feeling flush !). 

I suppose I should have started by checking you are aware of the clutch adjuster that sits on the motor/gearbox end of the clutch cable ...... that is the first place I would check for correct adjustment before stripping the clutch down - you need to look it up in the workshop manual.

Hope that gives you some food for thought !
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chilterns
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PostSubject: Clutch problem   Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:54 am

simbo wrote:
From your intro you're running a capri axle on your trike, I'm suspecting the clutch has been upgraded to allow for that? It'll be under quite a bit of stress getting it rolling I should imagine! What width wheels are you running for out of curiosity?

Tyre size is 225/50Z R15 (Kumho)
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chilterns
Prospect



PostSubject: Clutch problem   Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:02 am

OldManYam wrote:
Since changing the engine oil, you say you can now select gears, but can you get drive ?
i.e. can you rule out a problem in the final drive from gearbox to diff ? 

Its fairly easy to take a look at your clutch - but in doing do you will need to drain the engine oil !
Once the clutch casing is removed, you will see the clutch basket. There are 8 bolts holding the clutch plates in, but be aware they are 2 sets of 4 bolts because of the 'slipper clutch' function (for smoother 'fast' down changes etc.). So you need to keep a careful check on the parts as you dismantle them. If you dismantle the plates from the clutch basket it is wise to keep a check on the order of the friction plates & spacer plates. From memory - the inner plate is different to the others & has a bevel on one edge (i.e. only fits one way around).

Taking the clutch apart will give you an idea of the condition. The friction linings are not that thick when new, so you really need a micrometer to check against the Suzuki tolerances to see how 'worn' they are. If they are glazed you could try roughing them up with wet & dry (old school trick - if you are on a tight budget). If money is not an issue, and you are unsure - then treat yourself to some new clutch plates (& springs if you are feeling flush !). 

I suppose I should have started by checking you are aware of the clutch adjuster that sits on the motor/gearbox end of the clutch cable ...... that is the first place I would check for correct adjustment before stripping the clutch down - you need to look it up in the workshop manual.

Hope that gives you some food for thought !

I'll have to refill with oil (10/40) before I can start her up and check final drive, then take it from there. I have the Suzuki workshop manual so will study - no cable though, it's hydraulic.

Thanks for the advice, most appreciated
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chilterns
Prospect



PostSubject: Clutch problem   Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:23 pm

chilterns wrote:
OldManYam wrote:
Since changing the engine oil, you say you can now select gears, but can you get drive ?
i.e. can you rule out a problem in the final drive from gearbox to diff ? 

Its fairly easy to take a look at your clutch - but in doing do you will need to drain the engine oil !
Once the clutch casing is removed, you will see the clutch basket. There are 8 bolts holding the clutch plates in, but be aware they are 2 sets of 4 bolts because of the 'slipper clutch' function (for smoother 'fast' down changes etc.). So you need to keep a careful check on the parts as you dismantle them. If you dismantle the plates from the clutch basket it is wise to keep a check on the order of the friction plates & spacer plates. From memory - the inner plate is different to the others & has a bevel on one edge (i.e. only fits one way around).

Taking the clutch apart will give you an idea of the condition. The friction linings are not that thick when new, so you really need a micrometer to check against the Suzuki tolerances to see how 'worn' they are. If they are glazed you could try roughing them up with wet & dry (old school trick - if you are on a tight budget). If money is not an issue, and you are unsure - then treat yourself to some new clutch plates (& springs if you are feeling flush !). 

I suppose I should have started by checking you are aware of the clutch adjuster that sits on the motor/gearbox end of the clutch cable ...... that is the first place I would check for correct adjustment before stripping the clutch down - you need to look it up in the workshop manual.

Hope that gives you some food for thought !

I'll have to refill with oil (10/40) before I can start her up and check final drive, then take it from there. I have the Suzuki workshop manual so will study - no cable though, it's hydraulic.

Thanks for the advice, most appreciated
Have now re filled with oil, started it up, engaged bottom gear and let the clutch out (engaged it) and there is a slight pull forward, but not enough to move the trike more than a couple of inches.
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OldManYam
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PostSubject: Re: Clutch problem   Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:13 pm

Hi Mel,
Yes, I know some models have hydraulic clutches, but I was guessing the VS would be like my VX with a cable clutch.
I'm not sure how hydraulic clutch is configured, but doubt it will have that 'internal adjuster'. .... but I wonder if you can see the actuating mechanism working ..... are the parts moving as they should ?, or only moving slightly (not a full stroke). There could be a hydraulic fluid leak .... or even 'dud' hydraulic fluid - it would be worth changing that if you've not done it since purchasing the bike (It deteriorates with age through moisture absorption), & make sure you bleed the hydraulic clutch system (Fairly easy).



Best to do all checks for correct functioning of easy to access parts before you strip down the engine casing to inspect the clutch assembly


Hope it might be something simple rather than clutch plate swap.

Cheers                   Yam
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bigmal
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PostSubject: Re: Clutch problem   Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:14 pm

Hey what do you reckon Mel? You've only been on here a short time and all this helpful info is on hand. Some great guys on this forum 
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chilterns
Prospect



PostSubject: Re: Clutch problem   Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:46 am

bigmal wrote:
Hey what do you reckon Mel? You've only been on here a short time and all this helpful info is on hand. Some great guys on this forum 
Totally agree +++++
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chilterns
Prospect



PostSubject: Clutch problem   Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:03 am

OldManYam wrote:
Hi Mel,
Yes, I know some models have hydraulic clutches, but I was guessing the VS would be like my VX with a cable clutch.
I'm not sure how hydraulic clutch is configured, but doubt it will have that 'internal adjuster'. .... but I wonder if you can see the actuating mechanism working ..... are the parts moving as they should ?, or only moving slightly (not a full stroke). There could be a hydraulic fluid leak .... or even 'dud' hydraulic fluid - it would be worth changing that if you've not done it since purchasing the bike (It deteriorates with age through moisture absorption), & make sure you bleed the hydraulic clutch system (Fairly easy).



Best to do all checks for correct functioning of easy to access parts before you strip down the engine casing to inspect the clutch assembly


Hope it might be something simple rather than clutch plate swap.

Cheers                   Yam
Yam B

Thanks for the advice Yam. Just thinking (in my ignorance). If the clutch lever is released, the clutch being engaged, there is neutral pressure on the clutch fluid and the plates should be operating with pressure from the springs. When the lever is operated there is positive pressure in the fluid thereby disengaging the clutch i.e. the master, slave and fluid are only there to disengage the clutch.  In this case would bleeding the system be of any benefit, although the fluid does need changing as it has not been done for years.

As the problem occurred suddenly could this be a spring problem ?
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OldManYam
Very Valued VIP Member
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PostSubject: Re: Clutch problem   Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:40 pm

Hi Mel,

The difficult thing in diagnosing your clutch problem is that although you think this happened suddenly, it also occurred after a significant period of non-use, which could 'mask' other issues. 
The suggestion of bleeding the clutch system is to ensure there is no air in the system. Bear in mind I'm not familiar with the VS hydraulic clutch, but in general terms there will be a bleed on the slave cylinder that operated the clutch mechanism at the engine/transmission end. Of course replacing the clutch fluid will give rise to the 'need to bleed', as you want to get all of the old crappy fluid out & replenished with new clean fluid.   
Sometimes when the hydraulic fluid has 'gone off', or is past it best, it may not allow the pistons to move along their normal operating stroke and this can cause problems.
Given that fluid is relatively cheap, and the components are fairly easy too get to, it is worth exploring that option first before dismantling the motor to get to the clutch.

To answer your other point. The clutch springs hold the clutch plates together to provide drive. If the springs break it is hard to say exactly what would happen, but slipping of the clutch is likely. It depend how they break as to what else might happen, but the bits should be contained within the clutch assembly.

I'm assuming the VS will have a 'slipper clutch' like the VX, and I hope that a previous owner has not  worked on the clutch and got the clutch bolts mixed up (as mentioned previously the 8 bolt are not all the same. they are two sets of 4 bolts, alternating around the PCD). There are usually mechanical problems if they get installed wrong ! I wouldn't worry too much about that, as all would be revealed if you do have to strip the clutch down.

Again - I hope that might help !

Cheers                                          Yam
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chilterns
Prospect



PostSubject: Clutch problem   Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:48 pm

OldManYam wrote:
Hi Mel,

The difficult thing in diagnosing your clutch problem is that although you think this happened suddenly, it also occurred after a significant period of non-use, which could 'mask' other issues. 
The suggestion of bleeding the clutch system is to ensure there is no air in the system. Bear in mind I'm not familiar with the VS hydraulic clutch, but in general terms there will be a bleed on the slave cylinder that operated the clutch mechanism at the engine/transmission end. Of course replacing the clutch fluid will give rise to the 'need to bleed', as you want to get all of the old crappy fluid out & replenished with new clean fluid.   
Sometimes when the hydraulic fluid has 'gone off', or is past it best, it may not allow the pistons to move along their normal operating stroke and this can cause problems.
Given that fluid is relatively cheap, and the components are fairly easy too get to, it is worth exploring that option first before dismantling the motor to get to the clutch.

To answer your other point. The clutch springs hold the clutch plates together to provide drive. If the springs break it is hard to say exactly what would happen, but slipping of the clutch is likely. It depend how they break as to what else might happen, but the bits should be contained within the clutch assembly.

I'm assuming the VS will have a 'slipper clutch' like the VX, and I hope that a previous owner has not  worked on the clutch and got the clutch bolts mixed up (as mentioned previously the 8 bolt are not all the same. they are two sets of 4 bolts, alternating around the PCD). There are usually mechanical problems if they get installed wrong ! I wouldn't worry too much about that, as all would be revealed if you do have to strip the clutch down.

Again - I hope that might help !

Cheers                                          Yam
Thanks Yam for your usual comprehensive advice.

I'll replace and bleed the fluid first as it needs doing anyway. That thought (the pistons not returning due to old fluid) had occurred to me also, but I don't suppose it will be as simple as that, although it does seem a coincidence that it should happen after a long time with no use. As you say it could be one or more broken springs - if it is, while I'm down there I might as well replace the clutch plates and uprated springs as well.

Thanks again Yam
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chilterns
Prospect



PostSubject: Clutch problem   Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:26 pm

chilterns wrote:
OldManYam wrote:
Hi Mel,

The difficult thing in diagnosing your clutch problem is that although you think this happened suddenly, it also occurred after a significant period of non-use, which could 'mask' other issues. 
The suggestion of bleeding the clutch system is to ensure there is no air in the system. Bear in mind I'm not familiar with the VS hydraulic clutch, but in general terms there will be a bleed on the slave cylinder that operated the clutch mechanism at the engine/transmission end. Of course replacing the clutch fluid will give rise to the 'need to bleed', as you want to get all of the old crappy fluid out & replenished with new clean fluid.   
Sometimes when the hydraulic fluid has 'gone off', or is past it best, it may not allow the pistons to move along their normal operating stroke and this can cause problems.
Given that fluid is relatively cheap, and the components are fairly easy too get to, it is worth exploring that option first before dismantling the motor to get to the clutch.

To answer your other point. The clutch springs hold the clutch plates together to provide drive. If the springs break it is hard to say exactly what would happen, but slipping of the clutch is likely. It depend how they break as to what else might happen, but the bits should be contained within the clutch assembly.

I'm assuming the VS will have a 'slipper clutch' like the VX, and I hope that a previous owner has not  worked on the clutch and got the clutch bolts mixed up (as mentioned previously the 8 bolt are not all the same. they are two sets of 4 bolts, alternating around the PCD). There are usually mechanical problems if they get installed wrong ! I wouldn't worry too much about that, as all would be revealed if you do have to strip the clutch down.

Again - I hope that might help !

Cheers                                          Yam
Thanks Yam for your usual comprehensive advice.

I'll replace and bleed the fluid first as it needs doing anyway. That thought (the pistons not returning due to old fluid) had occurred to me also, but I don't suppose it will be as simple as that, although it does seem a coincidence that it should happen after a long time with no use. As you say it could be one or more broken springs - if it is, while I'm down there I might as well replace the clutch plates and uprated springs as well.

Thanks again Yam
More from me.

Trying to find the right clutch cover gasket. The bike was first registered 1st. Feb 1997. Does that mean it is a 1996 model as the frame number is VS52A-111068 ?
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chilterns
Prospect



PostSubject: Re: Clutch problem   Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:04 pm

chilterns wrote:
OldManYam wrote:
Hi Mel,

The difficult thing in diagnosing your clutch problem is that although you think this happened suddenly, it also occurred after a significant period of non-use, which could 'mask' other issues. 
The suggestion of bleeding the clutch system is to ensure there is no air in the system. Bear in mind I'm not familiar with the VS hydraulic clutch, but in general terms there will be a bleed on the slave cylinder that operated the clutch mechanism at the engine/transmission end. Of course replacing the clutch fluid will give rise to the 'need to bleed', as you want to get all of the old crappy fluid out & replenished with new clean fluid.   
Sometimes when the hydraulic fluid has 'gone off', or is past it best, it may not allow the pistons to move along their normal operating stroke and this can cause problems.
Given that fluid is relatively cheap, and the components are fairly easy too get to, it is worth exploring that option first before dismantling the motor to get to the clutch.

To answer your other point. The clutch springs hold the clutch plates together to provide drive. If the springs break it is hard to say exactly what would happen, but slipping of the clutch is likely. It depend how they break as to what else might happen, but the bits should be contained within the clutch assembly.

I'm assuming the VS will have a 'slipper clutch' like the VX, and I hope that a previous owner has not  worked on the clutch and got the clutch bolts mixed up (as mentioned previously the 8 bolt are not all the same. they are two sets of 4 bolts, alternating around the PCD). There are usually mechanical problems if they get installed wrong ! I wouldn't worry too much about that, as all would be revealed if you do have to strip the clutch down.

Again - I hope that might help !

Cheers                                          Yam
Thanks Yam for your usual comprehensive advice.

I'll replace and bleed the fluid first as it needs doing anyway. That thought (the pistons not returning due to old fluid) had occurred to me also, but I don't suppose it will be as simple as that, although it does seem a coincidence that it should happen after a long time with no use. As you say it could be one or more broken springs - if it is, while I'm down there I might as well replace the clutch plates and uprated springs as well.

Thanks again Yam
More from me.

Trying to find the right clutch cover gasket. The bike was first registered 1st. Feb 1997. Does that mean it is a 1996 model as the frame number is VS52A-111068 ?
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OldManYam
Very Valued VIP Member
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PostSubject: Re: Clutch problem   Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:12 pm

Hi Mel,
Not sure on that .... it seems probable that its a 1996 model, but if you quote the chassis number a Suzuki parts dealer should be able to help.

There may be some good 'on-line' Suzuki parts suppliers that you can search on ..... but its some time since I looked. Maybe someone else can advise on that.

Not sure if there are parts lists in the library section of this site - they might help you out.

Cheers                          Yam
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chilterns
Prospect



PostSubject: Clutch problem   Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:53 pm

OldManYam wrote:
Hi Mel,
Not sure on that .... it seems probable that its a 1996 model, but if you quote the chassis number a Suzuki parts dealer should be able to help.

There may be some good 'on-line' Suzuki parts suppliers that you can search on ..... but its some time since I looked. Maybe someone else can advise on that.

Not sure if there are parts lists in the library section of this site - they might help you out.

Cheers                          Yam

Hi Yam

I've been in touch with Alpha-sports and the chassis number didn't help, although looking at their diagrams it appears that the 1996 VS800GLT uses the same clutch, cover and gasket as the 1997 VS800GLV, so me quoting VS52A seems irrelevant - just need to find a clutch plate set and might as well renew the steel plates and springs at the same time.
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