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Author Topic: Clutch adjustment  (Read 7277 times)

jonapplegate

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Clutch adjustment
« on: August 28, 2007, 01:07:42 AM »
Hi, I have about 100 miles on a new bullet 500. The clutch has begun to drag so much that it is getting real hard to start and keep it started. I suspect the cable has stretched maybe? Anyway , I am waiting on the repair manuals and would like to Know how to adjust the clutch.

Thanks

baird4444

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Re: Clutch adjustment
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2007, 05:03:03 AM »
Hi, I have about 100 miles on a new bullet 500. The clutch has begun to drag so much that it is getting real hard to start and keep it started. I suspect the cable has stretched maybe? Anyway , I am waiting on the repair manuals and would like to Know how to adjust the clutch.

How much play is in the handle??  I adjust my cable to only 1/16th to 1/8th inch freeplay in the lever.  If this is where you are already then you will need to adjust the "throw" on the rightside..
This is the actuating arm and rod assembly which can be very finicky...
The follwing is saved in my files from Tim in NZ who really knows his stuff!!
- MIke
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I have found the clutch adjustment very very fine... A difference of 1/8 of a turn on the adjustment nut makes the difference between slip and drag. Make sure that you cable is not kinked, well lubricated, and runs as straight as you can possible achieve. Do not over fill the primary case with oil; just enough oil to cover the bottom run of the chain on the clutch chain wheel. Do not use engine oil! Loosen off the cable adjuster, adjust the push rod clearance so that it just touches the rod, back it of 1/8 of a turn and carefully tighten the lock nut. Then take up the slack in the cable.
 Assuming that your plates are still serviceable,
 if it still slips, back the adjuster off another 1/8 of a turn. If it drags when hot, increase by 1/8 of a turn.
Tim N.Z.
"You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning!! "
        -Cody Baird
'My dear you are ugly,
 but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly'
 - Winston Churchill

dogbone

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Re: Clutch adjustment
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2007, 06:20:17 PM »
I would recommend atf in your primary case. This is an archaic limey clutch. I have mic'd my plates for warpage, adjusted everyway,everywhere, to no avail. Automatic transmissions have very similar clutch pac's
99 Enfield Bullet 535
a man isn't drunk,if he can lie on the floor without hanging on

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: Clutch adjustment
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2007, 08:03:10 AM »
The clutch is indeed an old design. From 2003 onward the newer the bike, the better the clutch. The bulk of shifting problems can be attributed to incorrect clutch adjustment. The best advice I can give you is to adjust it as "tight as you dare". It needs some free play, but the minimum amount is the best. The clutch does require frequent adjusting especiall when new. This is normal for any bike with a similar clutch. It is best to make adjustments at the transmission and not at the lever.

gemini641

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Re: Clutch adjustment
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2007, 04:58:24 PM »
Kevin,

What's your take on using atf fluid in the primary case? Will that work any better than oil?

Tom

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: Clutch adjustment
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2007, 05:32:21 PM »
This is a question where the facts are hard to sort from the wives tales and I may not be of much help. I will say that it does no harm and many customers swear by it. I will also say that back in the day, The type F fluid had an additive which helped prevent plate slip in the bands/clutch disks on their Automatic Transmissions which may be a good thing. It is also supposed to run cooler.
I am however reminded of an old friend of mine who used to sell a device called "Sparky" at county fairs etc. It was a device that was put on the top of the cars distributor and seemingly made the engine speed up like magic. Of course he had a very clever device installed in  the test vehicle that made the illusion. He told me that one of his most effective sales techniques was to find someone in the crowd who had purchased one before who would invariably "swear to its effectiveness". His point was that no one wanted to admit they had purchased something that produced dubious results. My own cousin owns a company that used to run infomercials showed an airplane in flight after having been drained of all oil. Of course the engine had been treated with his companies oil additive. Real or snake-oil? I don't know, but you wouldn't catch me at the controls of that plane.
  Would I use ATF in my own bike - yes I would. Woudl I expect it to change my life as a Bullet owner - no.

gemini641

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Re: Clutch adjustment
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2007, 06:06:18 PM »
Thanks, Kevin. Think I'll stick with oil since I started with that and it works fine.

Tom

DaveG297

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Re: Clutch adjustment
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2007, 11:57:43 PM »
My O2 Bullet ES has had several clutch adjustments.   When new and breaking in , it needed it often.  Since its got some miles on it , it has been ok.  I adjust mine so it just slips in 4th gear under heavy load,,,,,acceleration,,,,,,,,,then back off a tad.   How much is a tad...thats what makes the difference....its just a little bit.........dg

SRL790

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Re: Clutch adjustment
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2007, 01:34:51 AM »
I would be concerned that ATF would not provide adequate lubrication for the primary chain and sprockets leading to accelerated wear.
Andy Wiltshire
54 350 Bullet, 62 Jaguar MK II, 68 BSA Spitfire, 69 BSA Starfire
70 Bonneville, 71 Bonneville, 71 BSA B25T, 74 Jensen Healey
74 Honda XR75, 81 Yamaha MX80, 82 Suzuki GS1100G

Sam

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Re: Clutch adjustment
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2007, 01:51:51 AM »
I used to run type F ATF in my Norton primary for years, worked fine, but I think anything would work just as fine.
<Insert cryptic saying by obscure author here>

dogbone

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Re: Clutch adjustment
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2007, 01:27:20 PM »
ATF is just oil. It used to be whale oil, but we know where that went!  Automatic x-missions have chains, clutches  just like in the primary case.  The reason I switched is the clutch runs cooler.  I always had trouble with engagement and shifting when caught in traffic. It still will get hot, but much less often  I use type 4.
99 Enfield Bullet 535
a man isn't drunk,if he can lie on the floor without hanging on

gapl53

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Re: Clutch adjustment
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2007, 03:02:43 PM »
I was under the impression that ATF WAS A hydraulic fluid and not a lubricating oil. Yes it has lubricating additives but it is not truly an oil in this day and age. Whale oil hasn't been used in it for quite a while.

One of the thing to watch for in using a oil in a wet clutch application is the use of a Energy Conserving labled oil. They have lubricating additives that will cause the clutch to slip. You do not want any friction enhancing additive used in a wet clutch, they Will cause unwanted slippage. Motorcycle/ATV oil is specially developed to NOT cause clutch slippage in wet clutch applications.

Think about this when using ATF in a wet clutch application and you find a reduction in clutch drag and heat. Is the reduction in drag/friction/heat due to the loss of friction between the plates.  This loss of friction will also cause the clutch to slip under pressure/acceleration/top speed. They are not called friction plates for nothing. And remember friction causes heat so it is natural for the clutch to heat up. It will actually grip better when hot.

The problem with the Enfield design clutch mechanism is that it does not offer enough movement to have the plates separate fully when they heat up and expand. Causing them to drag. But I feel that it is better to have a little drag when disengaged that to have slippage when engaged. Also once the additives are in the clutch plates the only way to really remove it is to change out the friction plates for new ones

sewerman

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Re: Clutch adjustment
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2007, 05:48:11 PM »
I tryed ATF and it weeped out of the small vent hole in the filler plug(YES the hole was pointed up) which was a messy pain.  I went back to oil and did not have the problem any more.  My2cents. 

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: Clutch adjustment
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2007, 08:55:37 PM »
Are you sure you were using the right fluid level? There are two plugs on the side of the primary. The largest one (also the one toward the top) is a filler plug. It's purpose is obvious. Toward the bottom of the primary cover is a smaller bolt or plug. it is the level plug. In other words using the filler plug you pour in fluid until it just starts to run out of the lower level plug. You do NOT fill it up to the level of the filler plug.