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Shifting - clutch adjustment?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Duck749, May 20, 2019.

  1. Duck749

    Duck749 XS650 Enthusiast

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    Ok, so finally got the bike out on the road after the two year project (pic attached). One of the problems I am having is moving up/down through the gears. I had a hard time getting the bike to shift into 3-5, usually had to rev the engine slightly, it would find gear and then go in. Looking at some forums and searches this weekend I see the common cant find neutral issue (yes I am plagued by that). I am thinking the clutch adjustment is set incorrectly and I need to redo that? Would this take care of both problems?

    The bike is a '78 Special which I replaced the clutch plates and needle bearing. Per some of the recommendations, I am running 20-50 Pennzoil no additives.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    Bike looks great!
    Yes could easily be clutch adjustment. Cable path, lube, worm gear lube, or even cracked . Usually yields to thorough painstaking cleaning, refurb, adjustment from lever to pushrod.
    lever/perch lube worn pivot repair
    cable path, lube, replace rusty cable
    worm clean lube check for cracks, do a proper adjustment.
    Some bedding in of new components may require a few rounds of adjustment.
     
  3. Duck749

    Duck749 XS650 Enthusiast

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    Thanks!

    As far as the other parts, I have replaced cable with new motion pro. The routing I tried following the Yamaha information on how it goes best I could along with trying to keep a clean look. The worm gear I took apart, degreased, cleaned, inspected and applied lithium grease to. I replaced the oil seal and removed shaft/balls to clean and inspect.

    I will get in tonight and try readjusting the clutch. Maybe as you suggested parts are getting bedded in, or might not have done it completely correct initially. .
     
    Wulfbyte likes this.
  4. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    Look here for some ideas, tips on cable routing. Did you thoroughly lube your new cable?

    A new cable on an XS at a rally, it was brutal hard to shift, I asked asked about lube? A: no it's new, I finally lubed it for him, problem solved.
     
    peanut and TwoManyXS1Bs like this.
  5. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    With lower than stock bars, cable routing can remain "factory" at the lower end but there is one important change you need to make up in the bar area. Originally, the clutch cable routed down along the left side of the steering neck, throttle cable down along the right side. You need to flip-flop those. Direct the clutch cable down the right side now, throttle cable down the left. This will help absorb some of the extra cable length generated by the lower bars .....

    [​IMG]

    Sounds like you may not have set your worm gear adjuster snug enough. Yes, some settling in does seem to occur with a new cable and freshly serviced parts, also after bringing a bike back to life after it's sat dormant for some time. Check that worm gear setting now and I think you'll find it can be tightened up some more.
     
    nhsteve, TwoManyXS1Bs and MaxPete like this.
  6. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    ...agree with all of the above. Tightening up the worm gear setting (most of us do not back off the little adjustment screw the recommended 1/8 turn - just lightly seat the screw and then tighten the lock nut gently). This should provide a little bit of extra clutch plate separation which may make shifting easier.

    Also - just to be clear, the proper routing of the clutch cable is down between the carbs and not down the LH side of the left carb. Many folks try that routing to ease the crowded area between the carbs where all of the fuel lines, crankcase ventilation and other fruit salad resides, but the clutch simply doesn't work properly unless the cable is routed as per the manual.

    Finally, (and this is a safety item) be sure to check your throttle cable after all the messing around under the tank. To do this properly:
    • start the bike (on the centre-stand) and let it idle in neutral;
    • now, move the handlebars from lock-to-lock several times.
    There must be NO change in engine RPM as you move the bars. If the RPM changes, your throttle cable is not routed properly and you must fix it before riding the bike.

    DAMHIK.

    Pete
     
    nj1639, nhsteve, geedubya and 3 others like this.
  7. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    Well not all cats skin the same way....

    [​IMG]

    I've got 10s of thousands of miles on XS650's with slightly straightened elbows and outside the carb (box) routing.
    Others I've run 'tween the carbs, shrug.
     
  8. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    Well, of course, as you can clearly tell from my bike, the slightly off-kilter Lucille :yikes:, I'm a purist and do not believe in straightening-out OEM elbows....;)

    Consequently, if the elbow is NOT straightened out, I have found that the clutch won't work nicely unless the cable runs down between the carbs.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
    TwoManyXS1Bs, Wulfbyte and Skip like this.
  9. Wulfbyte

    Wulfbyte XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    I believe the cable runs a little different on the G’s and H’s, they run more like gggGary’s! I actually have mine running The same way but on the inside along side frame and filter! My old cable ran that way with no problems, when I put new one in I followed the first diagram I looked at, that’s why I was binding up! Seems like they rerouted starting with the G’s, I could be wrong on this, but that is how it looks on the diagrams, and so far no problems ,everything nice and smooth again! Going to hop on the interstate and give it a good run before my trip this weekend! If anyone knows more on the routing please let us know!
     
    MaxPete likes this.
  10. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    When you straighten the elbow on the cable, you don't do so completely, just about halfway. This lets the inner cable pass through it easier and smoother but still angles it in enough to run it up between the carbs.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Duck749

    Duck749 XS650 Enthusiast

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    Mine is going between carbs onto right side tank. I hate the setup with lower bars and how it comes across the key, more in the way...i sort of tie wrapped it down, lever pulls smooth and doesnt feel like any issues.
     

    Attached Files:

    gggGary, Wulfbyte and MaxPete like this.
  12. Duck749

    Duck749 XS650 Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the help, looks to be the clutch adjustment. Followed the procedure outlined in another thread, took the bike out and found the gears. Some were still tough but engaged/disengaged mostly with the clutch. I agree with 5twins that must be everything settling in and will likely need a few more adjustments.
     
    TwoManyXS1Bs, Wulfbyte and gggGary like this.
  13. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    Yes, it can take several adjustments to get it just right, not too loose, not too tight but tight enough. I recently readjusted the clutch on my new-to-me '83. I set it up last season but after some miles and settling in (new cable), it was obviously too loose. Shifting was hard and finding neutral when hot darn near impossible. It's better now but still all stock. I plan to implement all the little "fixes" I did on my other one eventually. These will include an XS400 worm gear assembly, long one piece pushrod, new pushrod seal & bushing, and probably a Kawasaki perch and lever. My other 650, while not perfect, is much better.

    For accessing the lock nut on the worm adjusting screw, an offset 12mm box wrench is perfect .....

    [​IMG]

    If you don't have one, they can be found cheap on eBay .....

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Metric-6-3...var=485146504230&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649
     
  14. Duck749

    Duck749 XS650 Enthusiast

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    Ok thanks for everyone's input so far, I am into my 4th adjustment. I take the bike for a ride into work and everything is perfect, sits all day, ride home and have problems downshifting which I have to give a slight bump of throttle and it goes well. My question is, is this a sign my thread on worm gear is too loose to start with or not enough to make it last? For example, 80% better when I do adjustment and I even found neutral and got it in ok on way home, I am not sure the exact feel for threading in the screw on worm when you "feel the resistance". Other thing is both days on the last two adjustments have been around 90deg so am I too hot on way home also causing slight issues and just leave well enough alone for now?
     
  15. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    Yes, heat is the enemy of this clutch set-up. The hotter things get, the more the engine cases expand. Being alloy, they expand more than the steel clutch activating parts (pushrod(s), balls). This creates more freeplay in the clutch lever the hotter the bike gets. That means less clutch plate separation. That's why neutral gets harder to find and if the freeplay gets to be too much, shifting gets harder. Most of us set our adjustment pretty snug, snugger than the factory spec of 1/4 turn backed out after the screw contacts the pushrod. I barely back it off 1/8 turn. But, keep in mind, it doesn't stay this way, tight, for very long. As soon as you start running the bike and it begins to heat up, more play starts to develop. The trick is to get the adjustment just right, snug enough so that too much freeplay doesn't develop once hot, but not too snug so the clutch slips.

    Practice on the worm adjuster screw to get a feel for it. Turn it in pretty tight, not just to the point where it lightly makes contact, back it off, turn it in tight again, etc. I also "fan" the clutch lever while I'm adjusting the screw. By that I mean I pull it in through it's range of freeplay then release, and repeat. I'm not pulling the lever in fully and disengaging the clutch, just pulling it through it's freeplay range until I feel it get tight. What this does is stack all the pushrods and balls running through the engine tightly together. If you do this while keeping some turning in pressure on the worm screw, you may find it goes in as much as a quarter turn tighter. After all that, then I back the adjuster screw off that 1/8 turn.
     

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