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Hi all,

I'm just after some advice on my clutch troubles, before I go pulling it to pieces...

My VBB's clutch cable snapped whilst out riding, I was able to pull over pretty fast. I then replaced the inner & outer cable and once it was adjusted to where I think should be right, it doesn't quite perform how I'd expect: When releasing the clutch handle (engaging the clutch) it begins to engage normally, to a point where I can have the bike moving as though I was riding the clutch but when the clutch handle is released totally it doesn't engage but remains where it was. The handle can than be pushed forward and the clutch engages fully and can be ridden like so. I've experimented with tightening & loosening the cable but the issue is fairly consistent. This obviously isn't normal... Since other than this it is operating normally I'm thinking it could be the clutch springs? I've never pulled the clutch off before and would be happy to give it a go myself but I'd like to go in with my eyes open!

Any advice would be great! Thanks.

Cheers.
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Quick question, did the clutch operate normally before the cable snapped.If so I think you may have pinched the cable upon reinstallation. Maybe. If this is not the case get a clutch puller before you start, it will save lots of headaches. They can be bought reasonably from Scooterworks.
Good luck.
jiro from sapporo
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Before you go about rebuilding the clutch, see if you can move the clutch arm itself (i.e. the one under the scoot, not the lever at the headset). Does it seem to bind?

As jiro pointed out, it may just be a snagging cable.

Rule out the easy stuff first.

You can drop the whole engine if need be, or you can even just put the scooter on its side (on a blanket on the grass or other soft surface), take off the rear tire, and then have easy access to the clutch. Just make sure you've drained gas and oil first.

If you do totally pull the clutch to replace the springs, you'll definitely want to use a new clutch nut (it's castellated and can strip after multiple loosenings) and will need a new O ring for the cover. You'll need a clutch nut removal tool and might need an impact wrench or prybar to undo the nut (there's a specialty name for the latter that just gives more leverage, but I forget what it's called at the moment). You will want the aforementioned clutch holder tool, too, of course.

With the cover off you can easily replace the brass plunger, clutch pressure plate, plate wire clip; with the clutch nut off, you can replace the brass bushing along with the springs. These are all common wear parts. This is not to mention the clutch plates themselves, of course (soak the cork overnight before installation).

No need to by a clutch compression tool (you can make your own with a long bolt and appropriate washers and nuts) -- it basically just keeps the springs compressed allowing you to remove/insert the circlip.

You'll need a torque wrench to button it all up back to spec, of course.

Once you know what you're doing and with the right tools and replacement parts on hand, it all takes probably less than an hour to entirely rebuild the clutch. First time around give yourself double or triple that.
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jiro wrote:
Quick question, did the clutch operate normally before the cable snapped.If so I think you may have pinched the cable upon reinstallation. Maybe. If this is not the case get a clutch puller before you start, it will save lots of headaches. They can be bought reasonably from Scooterworks.
Good luck.
jiro from sapporo
Hi Jiro,
the clutch was pretty good until just before the snap, I think it partially gave, I felt something wrong and a few minutes later it went.

I'm pretty sure the cable is in straight, the long version!:
After the snap I threaded a new inner, noting the outer was in poor condition, nevertheless I lubed it up and threaded. Thats when I noticed the problem, so thinking it was the dodgy outer, I replaced it. I needed to play with the petcock so I had the seat/fuel tank out when I put the cable outer through - which is why I'm pretty sure it's done well - then inner didn't snag at all when threading it...

Thanks!
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phaetn wrote:
Before you go about rebuilding the clutch, see if you can move the clutch arm itself (i.e. the one under the scoot, not the lever at the headset). Does it seem to bind?

As jiro pointed out, it may just be a snagging cable.

Rule out the easy stuff first.

You can drop the whole engine if need be, or you can even just put the scooter on its side (on a blanket on the grass or other soft surface), take off the rear tire, and then have easy access to the clutch. Just make sure you've drained gas and oil first.

If you do totally pull the clutch to replace the springs, you'll definitely want to use a new clutch nut (it's castellated and can strip after multiple loosenings) and will need a new O ring for the cover. You'll need a clutch nut removal tool and might need an impact wrench or prybar to undo the nut (there's a specialty name for the latter that just gives more leverage, but I forget what it's called at the moment). You will want the aforementioned clutch holder tool, too, of course.

With the cover off you can easily replace the brass plunger, clutch pressure plate, plate wire clip; with the clutch nut off, you can replace the brass bushing along with the springs. These are all common wear parts. This is not to mention the clutch plates themselves, of course (soak the cork overnight before installation).

No need to by a clutch compression tool (you can make your own with a long bolt and appropriate washers and nuts) -- it basically just keeps the springs compressed allowing you to remove/insert the circlip.

You'll need a torque wrench to button it all up back to spec, of course.

Once you know what you're doing and with the right tools and replacement parts on hand, it all takes probably less than an hour to entirely rebuild the clutch. First time around give yourself double or triple that.
Phaetn,

Thanks for the note on the clutch pulling, I think they'll come in handy. I've a friend who has 'volunteered' to help, he's pretty handy with this sorta stuff.
I'll have a play tomorrow and see about the clutch arm binding, fwiw I didn't notice too much difference in it's action whilst rigging up the clutch cable. I'll also double check the cable. It was running smoothly, but I guess it's hard to say when it's not under tension.

So, if it is internal, what part is it likely to be? The springs was a but of a stab in the dark for me...

Thanks for all your help
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Re: Clutch Spring?
downlow wrote:
Hi all,

I'm just after some advice on my clutch troubles, before I go pulling it to pieces...

My VBB's clutch cable snapped whilst out riding, I was able to pull over pretty fast. I then replaced the inner & outer cable and once it was adjusted to where I think should be right, it doesn't quite perform how I'd expect: When releasing the clutch handle (engaging the clutch) it begins to engage normally, to a point where I can have the bike moving as though I was riding the clutch but when the clutch handle is released totally it doesn't engage but remains where it was. The handle can than be pushed forward and the clutch engages fully and can be ridden like so. I've experimented with tightening & loosening the cable but the issue is fairly consistent. This obviously isn't normal... Since other than this it is operating normally I'm thinking it could be the clutch springs? I've never pulled the clutch off before and would be happy to give it a go myself but I'd like to go in with my eyes open!

Any advice would be great! Thanks.

Cheers.
Did you tighten the pivot bolt on the lever too tight? Did you put a schmear of grease on the pivot portion of the lever? I had this exact issue and it was simply me tightening the pivot bolt just a tad too tight so that the lever wouldn't fully seat unless I nudged it back.
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phaetn wrote:
Rule out the easy stuff first.
Well, I'm glad I posted this thread to do so...
brentscheffler wrote:
Did you tighten the pivot bolt on the lever too tight? Did you put a schmear of grease on the pivot portion of the lever? I had this exact issue and it was simply me tightening the pivot bolt just a tad too tight so that the lever wouldn't fully seat unless I nudged it back.
We have a winner, I didn't think to not crank it down and she's riding perfectly now Clown emoticon
All I can say is thanks for the help folks...
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Great news!!
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