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Clutch release cylinder pin & clutch line problem while servicing front sprocket

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Clutch release cylinder pin & clutch line problem while servicing front sprocket

Old 07-16-2010, 08:50 AM
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Clutch release cylinder pin & clutch line problem while servicing front sprocket

Disclaimer first: "weekend mechanic" here. Terminology and/or procedures may be waaay off! Still, I try!

With this out of the way, here's what happened. It looks like my drive chain is gone. It's getting some tight spots. For little more than a year and some 13K kms that I own the bike I was lubeing it regularly at 500-600kms intervals. But it looks I wasn't very good at it. Either that or bike was sitting before I bought it, which is possible considering relatively low mileage. Me being overweight probably factors in too... Anyway, I read my Haynes a bit, checked some online tutorials and decided to give it one last attempt in servicing before replacing it. So, I opened (for the first time since I own it) the sprocket cover. Bike was on the rear stand, shifter in neutral, and I left release cylinder attached to the sprocket cover hanging on the side. The clutch release pin was sticking out a bit, as expected from tutorials but I read that I should just leave it alone. Well, as you would expect, the inside of the box was a real mess: gunk, small stones, dead bees, yeah... mess. I'm surprised that sprocket was even turning inside that mess. I started cleaning with WD-40, screwdriver and old rugs. It was going really slow, so after a while I decided to spray some more WD-40 over everything and take a short break while it disolves the gunk.
Went in the house, started doing something else and short break became not so short... After a while I remember to get back to my bike. Although I knew I MUST NOT touch my clutch lever while release cylinder is dettached, I DID IT - huh - while moving the bike around. Hey, when you hit fifties, your brain is not so sharp any more And also I put it in gear while lowering it from the stand (I am not sure if I was allowed to do this?!?) - all this while release cylinder was still removed, hanging on the side. But I didn't think anything of it at that point. Proceeded with cleaning... and then noticed that release pin (see the pic - right in the center) sticking out way too much!




Tried pushing it back in, but it wouldn't move! Not even when I asked nicely...

I think I have two separate problems now:

First, that pin must go back in, I guess. How?

Next, my clutch lever can't be operated any more. Pressure has built in the clutch line and I can't squeeze the lever any more. ???

I know solutions to this may look obvious to most, but again, I am not as experienced in wrenching, and specially not on my VTR. Other than lubeing the chain and changing oil couple times, this is my first attempt at it.

Any help would be welcome and appreciated. BTW, I did the search thing, but did not find much. Also re-read a bit from the Haynes. It does specifically say "not to operate clutch while release cylinder removed", but it obviously does not account for dummies, so it desnt offer any help in case you actually did it...

TIA
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:31 AM
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Well... Touching the clutch while the slave is dismounted isn't catastrophic, worst case scenario there is that you end up having to flush and bleed the clutch...

The problem here is that you have managed to combine several small ooopsies into one big freaking mess... First rule of wrenching... If it goes up on the stand in one piece, it comes down of the stand in one piece... No two ways about that... Moving it about before putting it together is not a good idea... And putting it in gear when disassembled wasn't a very good move either... There really is no need to do that to get it of the workstand, and there really was no reason to get it of the workstand until it was assembled again...

The reason the pin isn't moving regardless of how nice you ask is that you are featherweight compared to a hydraulic clutch... It's much stronger than you... The reason it came out, well, you shifted gears...

Now if you are lucky, you can get it in neutral, and the pin should then drop in to normal... Then you can push in the caliper for the clutch slave cylinder... Use a piece of wood and a clamp and carefully get it in... Once that's done, remount it, and if you are lucky it works...

Once that's done, I'd say it's a good idea to flush and bleed the clutch... But when doing that, remember the rule above...

Last edited by Tweety; 07-16-2010 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 07-16-2010, 01:16 PM
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Thanks Tweety! Sometimes it seems like you're on call here

First, yeah, I should know better about moving bike around. It's not an excuse, but my garage is pretty small and I had to move bike away for a moment. That explains lowering the bike and, while doing that, accidentally pressing the clutch lever. And then, my garage floor slopes a bit, so whenever I lower the bike from the stand, I tend to put it in gear, just in case. I guess not the best idea in this scenario. Learned the lesson now, hopefully!

Wasn't able to push that rod back even in neutral (btw, shifted in neutral no problem). While doing this, since the two cover bolts also hold the clutch cylinder together and they were out, cylinder detached a bit from the cover. It all fell in place at the end, but I guess I have to replace that gasket now?!? Anyway, since this didn't work, I opened clutch bleeding nut (carefully with rugs and oil pan ready!). It looks I did it carefully enough: no spills. Also, opened cover on the clutch fluid reservoir on the handlebar (slowly!). No spills, again. Now I was able to push that rod and put the cover along with cylinder back in place. I will have to remove again to replace the gasket, but I would have to do that again anyway because in the meantime I inspected the chain and sprockets and all have to be replaced. But now I know how to handle this... which, I'm sure, will not prevent me from coming up with some new ooopsies

Oh, yeah, I remember: still have to bleed the clutch. I'll do that after everything - new chain, sprockets, gasket - is in place.

Thanks again Tweety, much appreciated!
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Old 07-16-2010, 01:39 PM
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BTW... A hot tip if you for whatever reason decide to take all this apart again... Use a Ziptie around the clutch handle... Then the clutch mastercylinder blocks the passage, making the fluid and clutch slave stay where they are supposed to stay... And it also makes touching the handle a non-issue...

Doesn't help if you decide to shift gears in the middle though...
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Old 07-16-2010, 01:52 PM
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Tweety, is that ziptieing the clutch lever in a fully pulled in condition?
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Old 07-16-2010, 02:01 PM
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Yes... That puts a slight pressure on the slave, making it move out some when you unbolt it, but it also locks the fluid in the line, since the master cylinder blocks the other end... Nothing goes anywhere... Just unbolt the slave and hang it on the handlebar in a piece of string and start working...
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Old 07-16-2010, 02:16 PM
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Tweety: slave on the handlebar? I am probably missing something here, which one is the slave and which one the master?
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Old 07-16-2010, 02:18 PM
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BTW, just checked your album with mods. Huh, now I get what OCMD stands for...
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Old 07-16-2010, 02:24 PM
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Master = the one making the deciscions... Ie the one on the handlebar/handle... Slave = the one down below following orders...

But once hanging by it's fluid line, using a piece of string keeps the danged thing from being in the way...
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Old 07-16-2010, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Tweety View Post
BTW... A hot tip if you for whatever reason decide to take all this apart again... Use a Ziptie around the clutch handle... Then the clutch mastercylinder blocks the passage, making the fluid and clutch slave stay where they are supposed to stay... And it also makes touching the handle a non-issue...

Doesn't help if you decide to shift gears in the middle though...
Originally Posted by lazn View Post
Tweety, is that ziptieing the clutch lever in a fully pulled in condition?
That was a total Batman & Robin moment. Thanks dynamic dou!
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Old 07-16-2010, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by dannyz View Post
BTW, just checked your album with mods. Huh, now I get what OCMD stands for...
Just FYI, the mods pictured and listed there are only about half of the real list... Partly because I'm to lazy to describe them, partly because I have forgotten exactly what I have and haven't modified by now...

A last count I had 5 unmodified OEM parts left... I have since corrected 2 of those oversights...
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 97Wolverine View Post
That was a total Batman & Robin moment. Thanks dynamic dou!
Like this!
And yes, thanks to the duo, and not only for this thread.
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:10 PM
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Related question regarding chain replacement....All my previous bikes were shaft drive, and I'm due for a chain as well.

If you don't put it in gear, how do you torque the drive (front) sprocket nut? I'll use an air impact to remove it, but I'd like to torque it (spec is 40 ft lbs) after installing the new sprocket.

Is there a boss on the housing behind it that a screwdriver can be braced against?
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Tweety View Post
Just FYI, the mods pictured and listed there are only about half of the real list... Partly because I'm to lazy to describe them, partly because I have forgotten exactly what I have and haven't modified by now...

A last count I had 5 unmodified OEM parts left... I have since corrected 2 of those oversights...
Tweety, you're sick...







... in a good way
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:17 PM
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VTR, I haven't gotten to that part yet, but searched around and it seems either an assistant on the rear brake, or (I believe i read this on THIS forum somewhere) a 2x4 through the rear wheel
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by VTRsurfer View Post
Related question regarding chain replacement....All my previous bikes were shaft drive, and I'm due for a chain as well.

If you don't put it in gear, how do you torque the drive (front) sprocket nut? I'll use an air impact to remove it, but I'd like to torque it (spec is 40 ft lbs) after installing the new sprocket.

Is there a boss on the housing behind it that a screwdriver can be braced against?
The easy solution... Put it in gear first... Then remove the clutch... And keep it in gear until you have assembled it...
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by dannyz View Post
VTR, I haven't gotten to that part yet, but searched around and it seems either an assistant on the rear brake, or (I believe i read this on THIS forum somewhere) a 2x4 through the rear wheel
Actually thats a good idea... Just snug it up to the swingarm and nothing moves...
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Tweety View Post
The easy solution... Put it in gear first... Then remove the clutch... And keep it in gear until you have assembled it...
Thanks Tweety, that had been my plan before reading this thread. Boy are shaft drives easier...but unfortunately heavier.
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:39 PM
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So, here is an update.

I went few staps back and opened up the cover again to clean some more and preparre for chain replacement. Well, it turns out that after cleaning everything properly and working out some Motul Chain Clean into the chain, it may be some life left there before replacing. Look at the inside cover now:



I am sorry now I didn't take a before pic.

Also, this gasket looks OK to me - little dirty from my hands - may only need a bit of grease?!?



And here is the sprocket after cleaning:



I'm not done with cleaning yet, but you can probably tell the difference from the pic in the first post above? Although, when I try pulling like this...



... it has a little play. Not much, maybe not even a 1/32nd but still. Is that OK? Bolt seems to be tight, though.

Any suggestions, advice, tips welcome.

TIA
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by 97Wolverine View Post
That was a total Batman & Robin moment. Thanks dynamic dou!
I don't know.. I don't look so good in tights.

And Mikstr is at least as active on this board as I am.

edit: Tweety is #1 non-moderator around these parts though.
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tweety View Post

The reason it came out, well, you shifted gears...

Now if you are lucky, you can get it in neutral, and the pin should then drop in to normal...

How, exactly, does the transmission being in (or out) of gear affect movement of the clutch rod??

That's one of the silliest things I've ever read.


Rex
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by bjorn toulouse View Post
How, exactly, does the transmission being in (or out) of gear affect movement of the clutch rod??

That's one of the silliest things I've ever read.


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Are you chewing on Tweety's cuttlebone?
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Old 07-16-2010, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by bjorn toulouse View Post
How, exactly, does the transmission being in (or out) of gear affect movement of the clutch rod??

That's one of the silliest things I've ever read.


Rex
Well... You go try it, and then report back if it's silly or not...

Being in gear or not doesn't affect the rod, as long as it stays in that position... Changing gear however makes the rod move if the clutch slave cylinder is disassembled... And the most likely way of making it pop back into place is in neutral, where there is the least load on the least parts...

Feel free to disprove it... It's just observation from figuring out how to get the rod back in once a friend tried the same thing as dannyz...

Last edited by Tweety; 07-16-2010 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:05 AM
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Just a quick update. Cleaned some more over the weekend. Both chain and sprockets now look like brand new - sorry no more pics, my garage was in big mess while doing this. No noticeable wear on sprockets. ALL tight spots on the chain gone. Took almost entire can of chain cleaner, two tooth brushes and couple of rags. Definitelly not going with new chain/sprockets yet. BTW, was surprised I couldn't find a master link on the chain. Am I correct in concluding that this may be because this is the original, factory installed chain?

Put everything back, put some sylicone grease on the clutch rode before closing, drained old clutch fluid (was pretty dark already), filled up new fluid, bled the system. Went for a quick test ride and was surprised how much smoother my clutch and shifting were. Must have been some air in the system, or something.

Thank you all for help, tips and directions. Tweety, when I finally get to ride the Europe, Sweden will be in my itinerary. When I get to Malmo, you have a drink - or three - on me. But you may have to wait for this to happen for couple more years

Cheers!
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:11 AM
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No problem, glad to help...

And however long it might take, I'll have a bed ready and a beer cold for you when you arrive...
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:14 AM
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Yes OEM fitted chain is endless, with a riveted master link, as are many aftermarket chains. A properly installed clip type link is fine as well, but many seem to screw up the install, have problems and then blame the part... ..
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by dannyz View Post
So, here is an update.

I went few staps back and opened up the cover again to clean some more and preparre for chain replacement. Well, it turns out that after cleaning everything properly and working out some Motul Chain Clean into the chain, it may be some life left there before replacing. Look at the inside cover now:



I am sorry now I didn't take a before pic.

Also, this gasket looks OK to me - little dirty from my hands - may only need a bit of grease?!?



And here is the sprocket after cleaning:



I'm not done with cleaning yet, but you can probably tell the difference from the pic in the first post above? Although, when I try pulling like this...



... it has a little play. Not much, maybe not even a 1/32nd but still. Is that OK? Bolt seems to be tight, though.

Any suggestions, advice, tips welcome.

TIA
There was some play in mine too, think it's supposed to be there so the sprocket isn't (*****) tight against the crankcase. It's not moving very far as long as you have the bolt tight.

I also just replaced my master link with a clip type like Greg N did and it held up great over the 450 miles I put on it this weekend.
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