Clutch situation driving me crazy
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Sat May 16, 2020 8:18 am quote
I have a new rebuild trying break it in but have come across a strange issue that I can't seem to troubleshoot. Need some help. I have been having this problem where when I squeeze the clutch the engine dies... it is almost acts just like a kill switch but sometimes it doesn't die.

Yesterday evening started the scoot up idled for a bit, died when squeezing the clutch. Started up, idled for about 5 min, pulled the clutch, didn't die, into gear and off for a quick trip.

This morning, started it up, idled for 5, died with the clutch. idled for 10 died. idled for 15 died. I have no clue what is going on and it is driving me crazy. Like I said, acts like a kill switch. I have previously adjusted the clutch when this issue first started, didn't seem to help.
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'13 LML '70 Sprint Veloce
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Sat May 16, 2020 10:06 am quote
What scooter is it?

I'm pretty sure that scooters with an electric start need the clutch pulled in to operate the starter, so depending on the age of scoot you could well have some electrical fault brought about by operating the clutch...
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Sat May 16, 2020 12:53 pm quote
[quote="jackytwoshoes"]What scooter is it?

Yah, my bad I should have started with that.. It is a 74 Super. I did convert it to an electronic 12v system but the clutch is not part of it. Unless there is so off the wall situation happening that when I squeeze the clutch. The cable in the frame is applying pressure on an electrical wire which has a spot that has no insulation. This then is shorting to the frame... crazy thinking? I am desperate.
Ossessionato
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Sat May 16, 2020 1:12 pm quote
It certainly sounds like the clutch moves the cable or actuator in a way to move a wire to short it out....
Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Mon May 18, 2020 2:31 am quote
[quote="chilidog"]
jackytwoshoes wrote:
The cable in the frame is applying pressure on an electrical wire which has a spot that has no insulation. This then is shorting to the frame... crazy thinking? I am desperate.
This seems like the most likely cause given the randomness of it.

You may be able to isolate the issue by disconnecting the loom at the junction box. Take it for a little run and see if it happens again. If not then time to start looking for pinched/worn wires.
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Mon May 18, 2020 3:48 am quote
Try temporarily running a long spare clutch cable from handlebar lever to clutch, but not routing it through the bodywork? Then see if it behaves any differently. Could help narrow the search?
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Mon May 18, 2020 6:40 am quote
VesperGeezer wrote:
Try temporarily running a long spare clutch cable from handlebar lever to clutch, but not routing it through the bodywork? Then see if it behaves any differently. Could help narrow the search?
This, or disconnect the clutch cable at the clutch. Start the engine and reach under there and move the clutch arm with your hand or vise grips to see what happens.
Molto Verboso
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Mon May 18, 2020 6:44 am quote
Quote:
You may be able to isolate the issue by disconnecting the loom at the junction box.
This is a 2 min test - easy to execute.
Just open up the junction box on back of motor and disconnect the wires that take stator power to the rest of the scooter.
Same with the kill switch wire that is connected to the CDI if it doesn't go through the junction box.

The idea is - isolate the motor from scoots electronics.
You might then plug back in the various circuits one at a time to find which one is the likely culprit.
Ossessionato
1979 P200e
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Mon May 18, 2020 10:26 am quote
great idea, remove the green kill switch wire, and see if it dies... you can always kill the engine with the fuel tap.
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Mon May 18, 2020 6:42 pm quote
[quote="charlieman22"]
Quote:
You may be able to isolate the issue by disconnecting the loom at the junction box.
Okay- I was able to work on it a bit today and tested the following- I removed the kill wire from the junction box. Started it up, tested that it wouldn't die when pressing the kill switch(should be disconnected,right?) and pulled the clutch handle....

engine died.

So it is definitely not that unless I am missing something.

20200518_174324.jpg

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Mon May 18, 2020 6:50 pm quote
SLOhound wrote:
disconnect the clutch cable at the clutch. Start the engine and reach under there and move the clutch arm with your hand or vise grips to see what happens.
But, with engine running I reached under and grabbed the clutch arm with some pliers and it dies... The strange thing is that I am barely moving the clutch arm and it dies. I just don't get it. No electrical close by. So we are looking at something mechanical in the clutch right? Has anyone experienced anything remotely like this before? I have it on video if someone is interested.

20200518_174149.jpg

Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Mon May 18, 2020 7:03 pm quote
[quote="chilidog"]
charlieman22 wrote:
Quote:
You may be able to isolate the issue by disconnecting the loom at the junction box.
Okay- I was able to work on it a bit today and tested the following- I removed the kill wire from the junction box. Started it up, tested that it wouldn't die when pressing the kill switch(should be disconnected,right?) and pulled the clutch handle....

engine died.

So it is definitely not that unless I am missing something.
Now try it again disconnecting the blue and black wires.

Jet Eye Master
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Mon May 18, 2020 9:52 pm quote
If it's mechanical, the clutch nut could be loose. This allows the crank to move and touch the casing when the clutch is pulled. Stops really quick when this happens.
Molto Verboso
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Tue May 19, 2020 7:40 am quote
Jack221 wrote:
If it's mechanical, the clutch nut could be loose. This allows the crank to move and touch the casing when the clutch is pulled. Stops really quick when this happens.
Along these same lines, a crack in the case, a bad bearing, or a bad seal would possibly leak when you push on the clutch end of the crank. After eliminating any electrical shorts I'd be doing a leak down test.
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Tue May 19, 2020 6:36 pm quote
Performed more testing and investigation this evening. I attempted to disconnect the entire loom from the junction box, disconnect green and black, but I was unable to disconnect the blue wire. The blue wire also acts as a kill for some reason, not sure why. On my wiring diagram I have the blue wire running from stator to the regulator from the BGM diagram. I guess somehow it provides power back to the system to keep it running.

I didn't yet pull off the wheel to get to the clutch housing... I guess I am hoping to not have to dig into that unless I have to. I am not really sure what I am looking for when I open it up. I checked again that manually moving the clutch arm at the base does kill the engine so I think I know where I need to be going next.

So am I only looking for loose/floating parts? Do you think I need to open the casing and inspect the pads? I will take pictures...
Ossessionato
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Tue May 19, 2020 7:58 pm quote
It doesnít take too long to check the clutch...90 seconds to remove the rear wheel, then another 90 seconds to remove the clutch cover. 5 seconds to pop out the thrust plate.
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Tue May 19, 2020 11:41 pm quote
If moving that actuator arm makes the idling engine die, then I'm pretty sure you can rule out something electrical.

What happens when you get the revs up a little and pull the clutch handle? Does it die then? Also, when you do successfully ride around, how is the clutch performing? And what happens if you're at a stop, you apply half throttle, and then slowly pull out the clutch? Does the bike want to creep forward?

My guess right now is that there's something wrong with the clutch, plates sticking in there or some such. That, and you've got the idle set really low, just enough so that the slightest resistance on the crankshaft is enough to kill the idling engine. That's an assumption on my part, just throwing that out there.

Some of those other theories above though, about a clutch nut being loose, the crank getting pulled clutch-ways and coming in contact with the crankcase etc, are pretty interesting (though unpleasant to think about and/or troubleshoot.) Here's hoping it's just a sticky clutch, which is easily isolated and resolved.
Jet Eye Master
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Wed May 20, 2020 3:36 am quote
Easy way to check if the crank is still in the correct position; with the engine off and clutch pulled it is hard or impossible to turn the flywheel by hand.
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Wed May 20, 2020 7:41 pm quote
Jack221 wrote:
Easy way to check if the crank is still in the correct position; with the engine off and clutch pulled it is hard or impossible to turn the flywheel by hand.
So I did this - With engine off, pulled the clutch and manually turned the the flywheel without any problems. I am not sure what it means when the crank is not in the right position and how it affects the clutch.

I also pulled clutch housing and to me, things look to be normal.

20200520_182949.jpg
back of housing with arm

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Wed May 20, 2020 7:47 pm quote
I pushed in all the springs and pulled the bolt cover. I didn't have time to pull the clutch assembly. Most of the time I spent tonight trying to find something stable enough to prop the rear of the scoot off the ground.

Any thoughts on next steps? Should I pull and dismantle assembly? I think I have a clutch tool somewhere.

20200520_183011.jpg
with cover

20200520_183418.jpg
without cover

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Ď78 P200E, '66 125 super
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Wed May 20, 2020 8:28 pm quote
That castlenut looks like it may have come loose. The tab on the right hand side of the nut should be pressed all the way down on the nut to keep it from spinning. I'd get a castlenut tool and crank it back down to 30lbs, press that tab all the way down, reassemble and see if it dies now.
Molto Verboso
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Wed May 20, 2020 9:39 pm quote
I see what v150 is showing.
But There looks like there is also some scaring or metal on the end of the crank? Is that a tab broken off?

If the castle but comes loose, it can make it so the clutch canít be engaged - but not sure why that would stall the motor.

Have you pressed and pulled on the clutch to see if the crank end play is out of whack? Is the crank moving in and out?
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Thu May 21, 2020 9:08 am quote
v150super wrote:
That castlenut looks like it may have come loose. The tab on the right hand side of the nut should be pressed all the way down on the nut to keep it from spinning. I'd get a castlenut tool and crank it back down to 30lbs, press that tab all the way down, reassemble and see if it dies now.
Thanks v150super. I have a castle nut tool and will crank it down to 30lbs. Will let you know later this evening if it.
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Thu May 21, 2020 8:43 pm quote
So I don't have a way of holding the clutch assembly to tighten or loosen. I will have to make one tomorrow when I get the steel.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Fri May 22, 2020 12:53 am quote
chilidog wrote:
Performed more testing and investigation this evening. I attempted to disconnect the entire loom from the junction box, disconnect green and black, but I was unable to disconnect the blue wire. The blue wire also acts as a kill for some reason, not sure why. On my wiring diagram I have the blue wire running from stator to the regulator from the BGM diagram. I guess somehow it provides power back to the system to keep it running.
No it doesn't.

You don't need the regulator to run the engine. The stator has lighting coils and an ignition coil, and they are not really connected.

So just disconnect every wire at the junction box, start it up, try the clutch. If it stops, then you can rule out any odd electrical issue. If it keeps on running, put it in gear to stall it and start looking for frayed wires, probably in the headset or where the wires pass into the frame.
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Mon Jun 01, 2020 3:41 am quote
Oldish thread but

is there any noise when you pull in the clutch, a metal on metal grinding?

Could the crank be floating across?

Hand on flywheel, pull clutch in, any movement?

Had this on a t5 years back.
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Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:49 pm quote
So a bit of delay... I got my clutch assembly removal tool in the mail today finally. Dismantled the clutch as well. I seems to be okay to me but wanted to check with you all before re-assembling and putting it back in.

Should I be looking for any other reasons for the stalling while I have the assembly out?

20200602_173652.jpg
clutch assembly

20200602_174307.jpg
dismantled - pads look all pretty good. nothing ripped or worn.

20200602_174319.jpg
Could dry pads be a reason? They seem a bit dry to me but I am not sure how oil soaked they should be.

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Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:12 pm quote
OK, so, there was one question you didn't answer Chilidog -- now that you have your clutch off, what happens when you push on the crank stump? Like, is there any lateral play there? Are you able to move the crank *at all* in the direction of the flywheel?

Based on your description of the problem, it sounds like the most probable thing is that the crank is migrating rightwards as force is applied on the clutch, and catching on something.

Another possibility though is that you've just got your idle set low, so perfectly low, that the slightest additional resistance kills the engine. What happens when you turn the idle up, just enough to notice the uptick in RPM? Does pulling the clutch still kill it?

Also: those plates do indeed look a little dry. No need to immerse them for days beforehand though -- that myth was debunked some time ago, it seems. Just liberally wipe them in some gearbox oil, reassemble, and you're done.

BTW as you reassemble your clutch, keep this in mind:
(I don't think plate separation is the issue here, but just saying, good to keep in mind. Faster to discover problems *before* you put it back in the bike.
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Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:44 pm quote
No longer stalls!
JimVanMorrissey wrote:
OK, so, there was one question you didn't answer Chilidog -- now that you have your clutch off, what happens when you push on the crank stump? Like, is there any lateral play there? Are you able to move the crank *at all* in the direction of the flywheel?
I did check and there is no lateral play in the crank. It is locked in pretty good.

I did run out and get gear oil this evening, liberally applied the oil and removed the excess with my finger. Assembled the clutch and mounted it back into the engine. This took a bit longer than expected as the wooddruff key kept moving in the slot preventing the proper seating of the assembly. Replaced the cover, clutch cable and fired it up.

I am happy to say that the engine no longer stalls when pulling the clutch handle! I am not sure if anyone else has experienced this but I guess it was due to dried out cork on the clutch plates. I am now nervous if I maybe there is too much oil on the cork.

I wasn't able to take the scoot for a ride due to darkness so I am not entirely sure if all is well with the clutch. I guess I find out tomorrow when I can take it out.

Thank you all for your feedback. Great community and awesome advice and help.
Ossessionato
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Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:36 am quote
Did you make sure all the springs were reseated when you put the clutch back together. I'm learning myself about these clutches and have heard and read now about corked drying out and needing a soak overnite. Hope this works for you.
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Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:26 am quote
Re: No longer stalls!
chilidog wrote:
JimVanMorrissey wrote:
OK, so, there was one question you didn't answer Chilidog -- now that you have your clutch off, what happens when you push on the crank stump? Like, is there any lateral play there? Are you able to move the crank *at all* in the direction of the flywheel?
I did check and there is no lateral play in the crank. It is locked in pretty good.

I did run out and get gear oil this evening, liberally applied the oil and removed the excess with my finger. Assembled the clutch and mounted it back into the engine. This took a bit longer than expected as the wooddruff key kept moving in the slot preventing the proper seating of the assembly. Replaced the cover, clutch cable and fired it up.

I am happy to say that the engine no longer stalls when pulling the clutch handle! I am not sure if anyone else has experienced this but I guess it was due to dried out cork on the clutch plates. I am now nervous if I maybe there is too much oil on the cork.

I wasn't able to take the scoot for a ride due to darkness so I am not entirely sure if all is well with the clutch. I guess I find out tomorrow when I can take it out.

Thank you all for your feedback. Great community and awesome advice and help.
The plates normally run soaked in oil, it is a wet clutch. I would be questioning why the cork was dry. Do you have oil in gear case?

Last edited by Christopher_55934 on Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:11 am; edited 1 time in total
Hooked
Vespa PX200
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Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:22 am quote
Ah, good that was sorted, to a point.

No such thing as too much oil btw. That clutch is splattered with oil as it runs -- the gearing beneath it churns it all up. The little plastic oil deflector wedged into the engine casing contributes to the deluge.

Having said that, and speaking as a person who used to religiously soak clutch discs in oil overnight, apparently that doesn't do squat. Just liberally smear each side of the cork with oil as you reassemble it. Same same.

And yes -- check your oil level! The dry patches on the discs really suggests they weren't getting lubed during normal operation. Could it be that some were hung up on the basket and not separating properly? Are any of those discs in there warped or have their tabs mangled?
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Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:52 am quote
Darren.H wrote:
Oldish thread but

is there any noise when you pull in the clutch, a metal on metal grinding?

Could the crank be floating across?

Hand on flywheel, pull clutch in, any movement?

Had this on a t5 years back.
Just had this on mine. Metal on metal grinding was brass push rod grinding into pressure plate wearing them both down to dust. Mine was a result of setting up the clutch cable too tight.
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Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:12 pm quote
Not fixed! I don't get what is wrong...
And I was so hopeful. I put the wheel back on, topped up the oil and took my scoot for a spin around the block. At first it was working just fine, pulling in the clutch, changing gears. Then it started... noticing it was dying between gear shifts and a restart as I popped out the clutch in 3rd or 4th. Stopping at a stop sign killed it completely and had to get home with a running start and popping the clutch.

At home I started playing with the idle as was mentioned... still was dying even with a faster idle. Then strange thing... it was working fine. I could pull in the clutch and shift without a problem. Like wth... On a side note, where before it would die if I barely started pulling in the clutch, now it would die when putting more pressure on it.

Any other ideas???
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Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:11 pm quote
Re: Not fixed! I don't get what is wrong...
chilidog wrote:
And I was so hopeful. I put the wheel back on, topped up the oil and took my scoot for a spin around the block. At first it was working just fine, pulling in the clutch, changing gears. Then it started... noticing it was dying between gear shifts and a restart as I popped out the clutch in 3rd or 4th. Stopping at a stop sign killed it completely and had to get home with a running start and popping the clutch.

At home I started playing with the idle as was mentioned... still was dying even with a faster idle. Then strange thing... it was working fine. I could pull in the clutch and shift without a problem. Like wth... On a side note, where before it would die if I barely started pulling in the clutch, now it would die when putting more pressure on it.

Any other ideas???
Again it does sound a lot like crank float. Provided you are absolutely sure you have eliminated electrical issue, usually wire insulator degradation.

I have had this on a more modern scooter, my symptoms was at first it would only die now and again, then it progressively got worse each time I pulled in the clutch.

Two tests you can do, both after the engine has warmed up, both with the engine off.
1. One hand on the clutch lever the other on the flywheel, pull in the clutch feel for outward movement.
2. Put the scooter in a gear, pull in the clutch lever and hold it in, then roll the scooter backwards and see if the clutch engages or starts binding.

If either is positive then your crank is floating across and the flywheel side web is rubbing against the inner crankcase
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Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:50 pm quote
I tested all lateral movement to the crank as was asked. There is none. On another note, not sure what is causing this now but my clutch stopped working. It is something I guess I did when re-assembking even though I followed instructions. This is the reason why yesterday the engine wasn't stalling when pulling in the cluth handle... because I can shift gears without even pulling in the handle!. Looks like I am pulling it all apart again this weekend to see what's what.
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Mon Jun 08, 2020 4:42 pm quote
clutch washer
Behind the clutch is a washer...some are thick some are thin....and can be confused with the washer on the rear wheel.......maybe you accidentally sweapped them??? or ordered the wrong one

On the end of the clutch itself is a replaceable brass bush/ ring designed to wear down.....lots of peeps ignore that bit..replace it with new .....even a few mm worn down will ,do what your clutch is doing

The brass pusher in the clutch cover also wear down so get a new one

Thrust plates can be bent.or worn too

all new bits then report back
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Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:41 pm quote
Bluecati - Thanks for the advice. I opened up my clutch again and all I am seeing are decent parts, mostly without wear. There is some wear on the clutch assembly cap/pressure plate? but not too bad.

I am at a loss of what is going on... now thinking the scoot is haunted. I will re-assemble everything tomorrow and see if any of my fiddling made a difference.

Wondering if someone can explain/confirm as I haven't seen anywhere how the clutch actually works-
clutch handle pulls the clutch arm which then applies pressure to the cap/pressure plate. This then pushes in the clutch assembly causing the cork pads to apply pressure to their paired discs... to do what?

20200610_173445.jpg

20200610_173501.jpg

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Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:59 am quote
chilidog wrote:
This then pushes in the clutch assembly causing the cork pads to apply pressure to their paired discs... to do what?
All good until this point...
With the clutch lever untouched, the clutch springs press the plates together inside the clutch, forming a solid link from the engine side to the gearbox side.
When you pull the clutch lever you're compressing the springs, relieving the compression force holding the plates together. The plates then slip/separate. As alternate plates are dogged to the engine drive side and the gearbox drive side, this slipping breaks the drive link from the engine to the gearbox.
So, when plates or springs wear, the clutch will slip. Conversely, if the cable stretches, the clutch won't disengage, and changing gear gets clunky...
Hope that helps!
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Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:33 am quote
You mentioned this is a rebuild. Did you use the old clutch spacer/ oil pump drive cog? Or did you buy a replacement?

Like you mentioned the pressure plate is worn. When you can run a flat screwdriver over it and feel edges/ low spots its time to replace it.
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