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Can't adjust B175 clutch
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cpimm
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October 8, 2019 - 10:35 pm
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Hi

I'm struggling to sort out the clutch on my B175. I've looked at a lot of threads on this but some fresh ideas might be useful.

I bought the bike about a year ago and it had allegedly not been used for 20 + years. It had been in a leaking lock-up by the seaside and every part was coated in rust. Lots of people said the seals would have gone but, I thought, before tackling the rest, I'd see if the engine would run. To cut a long story short, it was a right carry on trying to get a spark but after persevering and a new battery it started up and seemed to run quite sweetly. At that point I thought I'd just ride it up and down our lane to check gears worked etc. When I tried to engage a gear either the bike stalled or if it was put into first 'on a roll' it took off and you couldn't stop the bike as pulling the lever in didn't disengage the clutch. Interesting when the lane met the main road!! I tried adjusting the clutch as per the manual - screw in the threaded rod until resistance was met and then back off half a turn but still the clutch wouldn't disengage. I then read about problems with different length clutch cables so (foolishly) put ithe problem down to this and thought when I finished off I'd just stick another clutch cable on and it would be fine! How wrong can you be!!

Over the past year I've restored the frame, wheels, tin ware etc but didn't do too much to the engine on the grounds of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'! Even had the engine out to clean it up, polish  the covers etc! 

Anyway, it's all back together now with a new (second hand) clutch cable but the problem is still there. However I try and adjust the clutch it still won't fully disengage unless I screw the adjuster right in. Then of course the clutch slips like mad and still pulling in the clutch lever has no effect. The lever is the standard one without a screw adjuster. I wondered if I might have two cables which were the wrong length (unlikely) so got some spacers in between the cable ferrul and the lever to, in effect, shorten the inner but again this made no difference. Unfortunately the engine is now back in the bike so I'm not quite sure where to go from here. A couple of other points which may or may not be relevant; the ball is present behind the screw adjuster and when I drained the oil it was like a yellow emulsion. I think in storage some  rain water may have been leaking down onto the engine casing and possibly getting in through the gearbox filler. The kick start, although it does return, is very 'lazy'.

Any ideas about what the possible problem could be or where to go from here would be gratefully received!!

Colin

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carpetralph
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October 9, 2019 - 6:49 am
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I would suggest taking off the sidecover and having a look. It sounds as if there has been moisture in there and could well have rusted up the clutch plates. If the plates cannot move freely in the basket it will stop them disengaging, can also happen if the basket has steps worn in where the plates contact. Just a case of removing the gear lever and kickstart lever, undoing half a dozen screws, and easing the cover off over the points cam taking care not to damage the oil seal, then all will be revealed.

Oh, don`t forget to drain the oil again first.

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Mick W
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October 9, 2019 - 8:10 am
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Hi Colin had the same issue with the clutch as you seem to have after taking on a long standing bike. This has come up a number of times and almost always is the clutch plates stuck together, either rusted solidly or able to part. First you could try placing the bike in gear and with the ignition off rock the bike back and forward. You may be luck and the plates release. Otherwise you may have to lay the bike on its side remove the cover and see if the plates are stuck. By laying on its side you will not have to drain the oil. However, don’t forget any fuel in the tank.  Have a look at this thread may help. ** Please log in to view **

** Please log in to view **

sorry for the rushed answer but just on the way out and will be skinned alive if don’t get a move on.out-a-hereold-lady

 

Mick

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sunny
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October 9, 2019 - 8:48 am
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hi Colin    the  wers   thin  it   can   be  is  that  some   armhole    has  put  a  ballbrering   inside the  gearboxes  mainshaft  betewn  the  long &short  bushrod     ,, as a new  shaft  will  be  needed   any  thin  els  is  a  nut/bolt&  malet  jot     ,, we  do  have  some  fun  you  know

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cpimm
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October 9, 2019 - 5:53 pm
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Thanks everyone. I tried rocking the bike in gear for 5 minutes but there's no improvement so removed the foot rest, silencer, gear lever and kick start. Tomorrow I'll have a look behind the cover to see what's going on. Slightly concerned about the state of the screw heads holding the cover on as they look fairly 'butchered'! The general consensus of opinion on some of the links above seem to be to lie the bike on its side which makes sense. There seem to be different ideas though as to whether it is necessary to drain the oil if the bike is on its side. I presume there will be a gasket between the face of the cover and the main engine casing. Is it necessary to replace this or can I reuse or use some sort of sealant instead? 

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Unitminor
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October 9, 2019 - 7:31 pm
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Hello Collin I had the same problem with my D7 clutch after the bike had not run since 84 . When I tried it on the lawn I could not get the clutch to  disingage. I had to strip it down and free it after that it has been ok . So I would say the plates are stuck to gether any way it would be good idea to check them after a long lay up .  

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cocorico
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October 9, 2019 - 8:14 pm
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For the volume of oil used, I'd drain it and work on the bike on it's stand. As Unitminor says - if it's been laid-up for a long time the plates may be well and truly stuck, especially if it had water ingress. It will probably benefit from a good clean inside. A new gasket isn't expensive and chewed-up screwheads are the norm on old 'British Iron'. Give them a spray of easing oil first.

1956 D3 running, lights to sort. 7 other bikes in the Barn, 6 runners (when I get time!) and a still in progress Morini 250

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cpimm
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October 10, 2019 - 11:21 pm
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Some progress made! Took primary cover off after draining oil. I expected to find a rusty mess after years of lay-up and possible ingress of water as described above. Once I managed to get the butchered screws out, the cover came away quite easily but unfortunately the gasket tore. I was going to get a new one anyway! I then adjusted the clutch using the threaded adjuster and looked at the clutch basket to see what was happening. In a word, nothing! (Well, nothing much anyway.) It all looked relatively clean but the only movement seemed to be in the outer steel plate, none of the other steel or friction plates seemed to be moving. 

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I used a small flat bladed screw driver to apply gentle pressure between the plates with the clutch lever pulled in. I managed to get the steel plates moving and this gave some improvement. When I then pulled in the clutch and put the bike in gear it still felt as though the clutch hadn't released and as I pushed the bike the engine turned over as before. I then realised that if I rocked the bike back first and then pushed it forward the clutch would partially release, at least enough to let me push the bike, in gear, with the clutch in. The clutch basket has been grooved/ 'stepped' by the steel plates and I thought that this might be stopping the plates moving in the basket but I'm not sure that's the case for the following reason. 

Shining a good light down through the clutch basket and using a small screwdriver I could see the friction plates plates were reluctant to part company with their corresponding steel plates. Levering them all apart with the clutch lever held in, the clutch was disengaged and the bike could be pushed in gear. Not completely sorted though as it seemed to revert to the situation above where it was necessary to rock the bike to free it off, however an improvement. I then separated the plates again and gave a good spray of WD40 in between to try and clear out any crud! A big improvement so I guess the problem must be related to the friction plates sticking. The question is will the situation continue to improve once the engine and bike are running? I don't really want to take the clutch apart unless I really have to mainly because I don't have a compressor and I'm a bit reluctant to buy yet another 'special' tool for what I hope will be a one off job. 

.

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Stoo63
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October 10, 2019 - 11:59 pm
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Hi Colin, glad you're making progress. If it was me, I'd be wanting to have that clutch apart. I'm sure there must be someone near you only too happy to let you borrow their compressor for the short time to strip/refit it, if you let us know where you are. I think we've all got a bunch of redundant one-off tools lying around taking up space !
Cheers
Stewart

'52 D1 direct lighting plunger, '58 Square Four (project), '59 D1 direct lighting plunger,  '59 Tiger Cub, '60 5TA,  '76 FS1-E

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cocorico
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October 11, 2019 - 7:45 am
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Stoo's right, it would be best to strip and clean the clutch - especially as all the prep work is done. However, as you are having success with your own method, I don't think you will do any harm proceeding with it. Last clutch I stripped the friction pads actually came out of their plates, stuck to the plain plates, so no choice for me. As for the notching, it will make the clutch less smooth (!), but you'd need some deep notches to stop it working! Again, an easy fix if you dismantle the clutch. Your choice...

1956 D3 running, lights to sort. 7 other bikes in the Barn, 6 runners (when I get time!) and a still in progress Morini 250

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cpimm
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October 11, 2019 - 10:58 am
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Had another look this morning. It's definitely better than before I took cover off and freed plates with a screwdriver. Maybe it's 'sticky' friction plates.

This is what happens; pull in clutch, engage first and try and push bike forward. Clutch drags, sometimes enough to turn the engine over, and then frees off. Same freeing-off effect can also be got by gently moving the bike back slightly in gear before going forward. Separating the plates through the basket with a small screwdriver also frees it off. I'm guessing the problem has been caused by the bike standing and the friction plates sticking onto the steel plates. Presumably this would account for the fact that if I separate the plates with a screwdriver with the clutch in everything runs free? Problem is though, when I then let the clutch out and pull it in again it binds. As I said above, not as bad as it was before when I just couldn't free it off at all.

I know what you're saying Stewart but I'm just wondering if I put it all back together whether the friction between the plates when the engine is running, will improve the situation? Incidentally I live in a place called Pocklington which is between York and Hull, rather 'out in the sticks'!

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cocorico
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October 11, 2019 - 11:26 am
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cpimm said
...I live in a place called Pocklington which is between York and Hull, rather 'out in the sticks'!  

I remember a rugby tour with Joseph Lucas back in the mists of time which ended up in Pocklington and a climb of the rugby posts. old

If you try your way, at least you know it's not a big job to get in there again if necessary.

1956 D3 running, lights to sort. 7 other bikes in the Barn, 6 runners (when I get time!) and a still in progress Morini 250

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Stoo63
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October 11, 2019 - 11:37 am
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Good that you're making progress, Colin. It might free-up,  but it sounds as if there may have been enough damage to give it a shorter life and  it may not  be too long 'til you have to open it up again. Yorkshire is a hot-bed of bantamites. If you put a post on the Yorkshire section or contact your area rep, I'm sure there will be someone nearby who will happily help you out. But at least it seems just a plates problem and nothing more serious.

Stewart

'52 D1 direct lighting plunger, '58 Square Four (project), '59 D1 direct lighting plunger,  '59 Tiger Cub, '60 5TA,  '76 FS1-E

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carpetralph
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October 12, 2019 - 10:12 am
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Hi Colin. I live at Pontefract, which is not too far away from you and have a spare clutch compressor which you can have if you want it.

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cpimm
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October 12, 2019 - 10:13 pm
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Hi Carpetralph

Thanks for the offer. I'll Private Message you if I can work out how to do it!

Colin

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cocorico
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October 13, 2019 - 11:32 am
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cpimm said
Hi Carpetralph

Thanks for the offer. I'll Private Message you if I can work out how to do it!

Colin  

Just click on the envelope icon at the top right of his post.

1956 D3 running, lights to sort. 7 other bikes in the Barn, 6 runners (when I get time!) and a still in progress Morini 250

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cpimm
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October 14, 2019 - 7:17 pm
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I'm getting there! Thanks to the very kind donation of a clutch compressor from Carpetralph for which I'm extremely grateful, the clutch came apart easily. The steel plates show rusty areas where the friction material was obviously stuck to them. These plates also have quite pronounced  'hooks' on the tags so I'm not sure whether this also may have been preventing the plates parting. My plan is to clean all the plates up (although the rusty areas where the friction material was sitting seem cosmetic rather than really rusty and rough), try and take the worst of the hooks out of the steel plate's tags, put it all back together and hope there's an improvement. Incidentally the friction material doesn't look that thick but the friction plates do measure about 3.05 up to 3.20 mm. in thickness which according to the manual should be acceptable. The friction material doesn't look like cork but something which has been bonded on. Just noticed that the workshop manual says that if there are any burrs on the plates they should be renewed! Is that strictly necessary or can I just square them up? I'll try and attach a picture though I haven't had much success with that in the past!

Colin

Tells me photos are too big so I'll have to try and problem solve that as well!

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swalsh58
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October 14, 2019 - 7:21 pm
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Just re-size your pics to less than 1Mb and they will load up easily - try this site if you are struggling -https://www.reduceimages.com/index.php

Current bikes......1958 D5, a 77 Suzuki GT250 and a 77 Honda CB125S. I have a B175 in the workshop and a 76 Honda C90 waiting its turn. A 1980 Honda CB400N waiting for MOT.  Everyday ride is a 2011 Harley Davidson Sportster. 

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cpimm
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October 14, 2019 - 8:47 pm
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Found one way to reduce size of photos! Problem with iPhone anyway, seems to be that there is no way on the phone camera to change the resolution nor on 'Photos'. However I've found that if I emailed the photo to myself it reduced it in size from about 1.5 Mb to 350kb!

Anyway,  photos show blurring on plain steel plate and also friction plate. I've never seen a Bantam clutch before but the friction material seems very thin. Does it look okay? The manual says so but it just looks as though it will wear away in no time!

image.jpegimage-1.jpeg

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stubaker58
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October 14, 2019 - 9:10 pm
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Hi,

That friction material looks ok to me, plenty of mileage!

As for the tangs, they can be squared up and perhaps put back facing the opposite way.  I would think that in their current state they would hinder the clutch action.

Regards

D7/14 hybrid (4 speed with D7 crank etc.) on the road, D10 Bushman awaiting rebuilding.

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