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Author Topic: Sprag clutch problem  (Read 2731 times)

ridgerunner

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Sprag clutch problem
« on: August 01, 2012, 11:37:54 PM »
 It appears the sprag clutch has locked up on my 08. I had the bike in for state inspection, they fired it up and rode it out to me when done and off for home I went. The bike felt like it was pulling a trailer. A little while after getting home I was getting ready to go to work and went to kick start it(I always kick start) it sounded like one of those wind up flashlights. Hard as hell to kick. I pulled the starter of and it kick started fine.
    Is there any way to plug the hole where the starter goes? Can I manually disengage the sprag clutch? I never use the electric start anyway, so no big loss to remove it...if I can plug that gaping hole.
08 Bullet ES (AVL)
The Enfield saves on gas, riding the Enfield saves on Prozac. ;)

Arizoni

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Re: Sprag clutch problem
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2012, 12:14:27 PM »
i don't own a AVL and I haven't seen a drawing of the engine parts but if it is similar to the UCE my solution would be to remove the primary cover on the left side and then remove the starter drive gears between the crankshaft and the electric starter.
I would then put the electric starter back in place to plug the gaping hole left by its removal.

My thinking here is the gears between the crankshaft and the starter weren't designed to be constantly running and although the gear teeth could probably live a long life the bearings might not.

At some future time, at my convienence I would remove the starter and measure its mounting face so I could cut out a flat aluminum plate that would cover and seal the mounting hole.
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

REpozer

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Re: Sprag clutch problem
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2012, 01:20:03 PM »
Seems someone removed the starter guts and installed the empty starter case as a tool holder.

Or you could get an expanding rubber pipe plug, put in the hole after the starter removal.

To my knowledge there is no KS kit to install on the AVL to make it look nice and pretty.
2008 AVL Classic Bullet in British Racing Green
REA # 84 ( the first time)

ridgerunner

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Re: Sprag clutch problem
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2012, 12:00:31 AM »
I guess I'm just going to fix it the way it should be. If I need to pull the whole thing apart to get the gears, I might as well do it right. I'm just one of those guys that once in there, I'll want to replace the clutch springs and the plates and then...$$$
08 Bullet ES (AVL)
The Enfield saves on gas, riding the Enfield saves on Prozac. ;)

The Garbone

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Re: Sprag clutch problem
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2012, 07:12:35 AM »
Doing it right is a matter of perspective.  I myself would just pull out the sprag guts and put a rubber plug in the hole.

If you want to go all in I bet you can get a KS Only inner and outer for an iron on eBay.  They would be rh shift so you would have to convert the gearbox but cost would be only few $100 more than buying a new sprag. 
Gary
57' RE Crusader 250
67' Ford Mustang
74' Catalina 27 "Knot a Clew"
95 RE Ace Clubman 535
01 HD 1200 Custom
07 RE 5spd HaCK

* all actions described in this post are fictional *

ridgerunner

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Re: Sprag clutch problem
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2012, 11:22:59 PM »
I have been adding up the price of the factory tools for doing the job, plus the cost of parts, and the fuel cost I'm paying while it's down, and I'm leaning toward the suggestion of gutting the starter and letting it go at that. This bike has been my daily commuter at 75mpg, while my van gets a whopping 18mpg. Just going back and forth to work is costing me $10 per day instead of $15 per week!
08 Bullet ES (AVL)
The Enfield saves on gas, riding the Enfield saves on Prozac. ;)

The Garbone

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Re: Sprag clutch problem
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2012, 09:55:06 AM »
If its costing you money I would gut it post haste.   

As far as the springs and plates, can always do those later as they are very easy to get at without tearing everything else down. 

In know on my irons no special tools are required to the primary apart. AVLs may have a different setup on the crank tho. 
Gary
57' RE Crusader 250
67' Ford Mustang
74' Catalina 27 "Knot a Clew"
95 RE Ace Clubman 535
01 HD 1200 Custom
07 RE 5spd HaCK

* all actions described in this post are fictional *

ridgerunner

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Re: Sprag clutch problem
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2012, 11:48:01 PM »
According to the manual, I need a special puller for the magneto, crank sprocket, and a third one for the clutch center befor the primary can be removed. Each one is $20-$30 plus shipping.
08 Bullet ES (AVL)
The Enfield saves on gas, riding the Enfield saves on Prozac. ;)

Reloader

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Re: Sprag clutch problem
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2012, 08:23:16 AM »
All I needed was a deep 32mm socket. I removed all the stuff in the primary chain case without any special tools, then the inner cover to reveal two shattered cogs. I replaced these at a cost of 120 (sorry I'm in England!), now the sprag clutch has seized and the engine is driving the starter motor. A new sprag is 100 over here, so I have bought a blanking plate for 9.75p from Hitchcocks in Birmingham (England, not Alabama) to fill the hole when I remove all the electric starter gear, and just get used to kicking it. I do kick start most of the time anyway. This is a weakness and design fault in the Electra X because if the engine kicks back (and there's no manual advance or retard on this one so it will), then the sprag engages and forces the idler gear and driving cog backwards against the compression, often destroying these cogs in the process. The electric start on this model is really just a gimmick. It's as much use as the human appendix. It can only go wrong and cause grief. With these Enfields, they are easy to kick start when you know how. Plenty of demo's on youtube to show us how to do it easily.

dampking

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Re: Sprag clutch problem
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2012, 08:27:24 AM »
Better get rid of the sprag. Few friends of mine were lucky that their bikes never failed. But mine did and I know a zillion riders who faced the same problem. If I can kickstart a bike with 8.5:1 then anyone can :)

Machismo

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Re: Sprag clutch problem
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2012, 02:03:49 PM »
Well, mine broke about a month back.
Did a exhaustive search on the prevention and as  a result, filled the primary with 800ml of oil.
I use the decomp while anyway, so was good there.
Finally, too low an idle could also bust the sprag. Hope this helps.

Arizoni

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Re: Sprag clutch problem
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2012, 02:13:01 PM »
As I've mentioned before, if I owned one of these older electric start RE's and the sprag clutch seized up I would remove the gears that connect the sprag clutch gear to the electric starter motor.

With a frozen clutch, those gears will be running whenever the engine is running which to my thinking is a waste of power, not to mention that those gears were designed to only be used occasionally, not all of the time.

Without these gears it really doesn't matter too much if the old sprag clutch is there or not as long as it isn't dispensing pieces of itself into the engine.
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

ridgerunner

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Re: Sprag clutch problem
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2012, 11:05:35 PM »
Well, I gutted the starter and am running it as is. Gear noise is LOUD, but the bike seems to be running fine and with significantly more power. I think I'll open the primary again just to be sure I'm not tearing anything up. I just couldn't stay off it any longer!
08 Bullet ES (AVL)
The Enfield saves on gas, riding the Enfield saves on Prozac. ;)

The Garbone

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Re: Sprag clutch problem
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2012, 01:05:14 PM »
Well. 

The sprag on my 07 was still functioning when I removed it.  However the cage that held it together was cracked.  You can see bits of it sitting in the bottom of the chaincase here. (not the arrow)



This is what my sparg looked like when I pulled it.



My suggestion is getting rid of the sprag assembly as soon as you can.  Metal bits floating about in the chaincase can never be good..

I have had 0 electric start issues since January of 2009.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2012, 01:10:21 PM by The Garbone »
Gary
57' RE Crusader 250
67' Ford Mustang
74' Catalina 27 "Knot a Clew"
95 RE Ace Clubman 535
01 HD 1200 Custom
07 RE 5spd HaCK

* all actions described in this post are fictional *

ridgerunner

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Re: Sprag clutch problem
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2012, 12:08:12 PM »
What did you use to pull the "magneto"? I have a gear puller, but it seemed to flex alot so I was afraid to bend it.
08 Bullet ES (AVL)
The Enfield saves on gas, riding the Enfield saves on Prozac. ;)

The Garbone

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Re: Sprag clutch problem
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2012, 06:49:15 PM »
On the iron the rotor slides off after removing the crank bolt.   I imagine on the AVL it is pressed on but by looking at the Hitchcocks parts book it also has a woodruff key (red arrow) that keeps it from spinning on the shaft.    You may be able to walk it off using a flat wrecking bar inserted underneath, a rubber mallet and a 2x4 as a prop.   

I used the wrecking bar technique to remove my drive sprocket.  Being careful and moving the motor,  sorta a tap, move, tap, move type activity.

 I also made a spacer to put under the clutch center (using a big socket and wood) and used the center plate with the three bolts (no springs) to pull it off the spline.  You will need to walk the clutch and drive sprocket off at the same time as the chain really does not have all that much flex in it.

A nice rubber mallet is your friend.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 06:52:03 PM by The Garbone »
Gary
57' RE Crusader 250
67' Ford Mustang
74' Catalina 27 "Knot a Clew"
95 RE Ace Clubman 535
01 HD 1200 Custom
07 RE 5spd HaCK

* all actions described in this post are fictional *

ridgerunner

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Re: Sprag clutch problem
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2012, 10:29:29 PM »
thanks for the input.
08 Bullet ES (AVL)
The Enfield saves on gas, riding the Enfield saves on Prozac. ;)

KB8ANY

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Re: Sprag clutch problem
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2012, 08:45:24 AM »
It sounds like you have the skills to just take the sprag clutch out.

That's what I ended up doing, and a whole host of problems just went away.  It is not a complicated job, although you have to take the (left side) primary cover off to get at the gear train.

I don't recommend leaving the sprag clutch in there if it is bad - even without the load presented by the starter the loose dogs will eventually end up damaging the shaft, which means that if you ever want to go back to electric start you will have to replace the shaft, too.

Good luck.

Paul