2006 Vulcan Nomad Clutch Noise [Archive] - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums

2006 Vulcan Nomad Clutch Noise

otgt
10-22-2009, 11:14 PM
About 1500 miles ago I replaced my clutch plates due to slipping. Got everything put back together and all seemed fine. Today, while I was riding it, I started noticing a pretty bad whining noise during deceleration. It doesn’t make that noise as long I’m on the throttle but when I let go, it makes that noise. It also stops when pressing the clutch lever. Any Ideas what it might be and what is the fix.

NomadNorm
10-23-2009, 02:19 PM
How many miles on the bike? And who did the clutch work.

NomadNorm
10-23-2009, 02:20 PM
One more thing, Did you buy the bike new?

otgt
10-23-2009, 05:09 PM
One more thing, Did you buy the bike new?

I did the clutch work. I have the service manual and it was pretty easy. the bike has around 14k miles. When I bought the bike, it had only 300 miles on it. I bought oil and a filter today as well as final gear oil. I will be changing the oils today to make sure theres no metal in the oil. If you have any ideas on what it may be, let me know please.

RichLockyer
10-23-2009, 05:22 PM
The "whine" is the front bevel gear assembly.

It is normal for that assembly to whine on decel, though not all bikes do it, but the troubling part is that the whine stops when you pull the clutch in. That is often a sign that the outer bevel gear bearing is failing.
Replacing it now, before it damages the housing, is difficult but not expensive if you do it yourself. The manual says to remove the engine, but it can be done by moving the engine to the right in the frame to get enough clearance to remove the housing.

If it is not repaired early, the next sign of a problem will be no clutch... the bearing will overheat, and the heat transmitted through the housing will boil the clutch fluid. When the bearing/housing cool, clutch operation will return to normal.

The next sign of failure may or may not be visible smoke behind the bike, with the overheated bearing burning oil.... at that point, failure is imminent and it will lock up the drive (and rear wheel).

NomadNorm
10-23-2009, 05:47 PM
Your clutch may not of needed replacement. The Kawasaki Nomad clutch doesn't release until the last part of its travel and being hydraulic it could be mistaken for a worn clutch. The best method to test would be, to be traveling down the road in a gear with the clutch fully out and then give it "full power", if the engine revs and you are slow to go then maybe the clutch plates are worn out. The gear whine on deceleration is normal, mine did it more in the beginning and now broken in at 31K is hardly noticeable. I don't think my bike actually broke in until 25K.

otgt
10-23-2009, 07:43 PM
The "whine" is the front bevel gear assembly.

It is normal for that assembly to whine on decel, though not all bikes do it, but the troubling part is that the whine stops when you pull the clutch in. That is often a sign that the outer bevel gear bearing is failing.
Replacing it now, before it damages the housing, is difficult but not expensive if you do it yourself. The manual says to remove the engine, but it can be done by moving the engine to the right in the frame to get enough clearance to remove the housing.

If it is not repaired early, the next sign of a problem will be no clutch... the bearing will overheat, and the heat transmitted through the housing will boil the clutch fluid. When the bearing/housing cool, clutch operation will return to normal.

The next sign of failure may or may not be visible smoke behind the bike, with the overheated bearing burning oil.... at that point, failure is imminent and it will lock up the drive (and rear wheel).

WOW! Thanks for the information. Is there any way to be sure thats the problem before removing the engine? Are there other signs to look for that may pinpoint this as the problem.

RichLockyer
10-23-2009, 08:13 PM
WOW! Thanks for the information. Is there any way to be sure thats the problem before removing the engine? Are there other signs to look for that may pinpoint this as the problem.
You could remove the left cover and look for oil leaks around the large flat press-in seal on the outside of the bearing, but I don't know that failure (especially in the early stages) always manifests itself in that way.
With the cover off, you could ride the bike and feel for excessive head on that cover and the housing around it... but again, engine oil is circulated through the bearing, so it may not be possible to "feel" the difference (what's the difference between "hot" and "damned hot"?)

How many miles are on the bike? This doesn't seem to be a common failure on bikes with less than 50k on them.
One of the forum members, Jesus Granados, recently had to replace the bearing on his 1500 Nomad (yes, Jesus rides a Nomad).

otgt
10-23-2009, 09:56 PM
My nomad has about 14k miles on it. Believe it or not, I had to get the engine removed about 4k ago because I had a small oil leak were the slave clutch cyliner was at. The oil cap that the clutch rod went through came loose and like an idiot, i remover the rod and hammered that cap right into the engine. STUPID!!! So I ended up removing the engine the get this piece out. I think I saw that cover your talking about. Can I open that cap and look inside. Does the same oil that circulates the engine go through there or does it need its own lub? Since I just replaced my clutch, should I open it back up to make sure nothings wrong there before dismounting the whole engine?8)

otgt
10-23-2009, 10:14 PM
One other thing, Not to go off topic, If I end up removing the engine or clutch, I want to start using synthetic oil, What is recommended for the nomads?

RichLockyer
10-23-2009, 11:36 PM
Ahh... the infamous clutch pushrod seal. My '06 started leaking after 6 months, 4000 miles.

Yes, that is engine oil that is circulated through there, but there is no way to inspect the bearing without removing the housing.
You might be able to see part of it by removing the press-in cap, but with the lip on the housing, you would not be able to see any evidence of damage unless you find metal shavings in the area.

14k, I would not expect the bearing to be failing yet. Like I said, I haven't heard of a failure earlier than 50k, and even above that, it's not a common failure.


For a fully synthetic oil, I recommend one of the following four:

10w40 for temperatures not exceeding 100 degrees:
Mobil-1 Racing-4T (MX-4T is the old packaging)
Amsoil MCF

20w50 for temperatures not below 35 degrees:
Mobil-1 V-Twin
Amsoil MCV

http://personal.linkline.com/rlockyer/oil/oil.xls

otgt
10-24-2009, 01:13 AM
I know, I feel cursed with this bike. My plans are that tomorrow, I will remove the clutch casing and inspect the clutch assembly, gears, and plates. if that doesn’t fix it, I guess it will be the bevel gear bearing. I will keep you posted on what I find and the result of what the problem ended up being. Thanks for the great advice.:D

RichLockyer
10-24-2009, 02:50 AM
There's nothing on the clutch side that could cause it.

Also, is the whine consistent with actual speed or with RPM? Everything on the right side of the case is running at engine speed, so if you are decelerating from 50mph in 5th, then downshift to 4th and the pitch of the whine doesn't change, it's on the left side and not the clutch assembly.

otgt
10-24-2009, 09:09 AM
There's nothing on the clutch side that could cause it.

Also, is the whine consistent with actual speed or with RPM? Everything on the right side of the case is running at engine speed, so if you are decelerating from 50mph in 5th, then downshift to 4th and the pitch of the whine doesn't change, it's on the left side and not the clutch assembly.

I guess with the PRM. It does it during engine braking. Its preaty consistent on the sound. I really wanted to go on a ride tomorrow through the georgia tennessee mountains to look at the leaves. I guess I'll leave the clutch alone and get some fresh oil in it just for the ride tomorrow. I will check the oil to see if it has metal shavings in it and report back. If I work the clutch enough, I can keep the sound down to a minimum and hopefully last me for at lease one more ride before fixing it.

Thanks

otgt
10-24-2009, 09:55 AM
OK I just rode my bike up and down the street and here are a few more details. I doesnt make that noise in 1st gear when decelerating, only 2nd and up. When I press in the clutch, you can still hear it but very faintly. When riding like 60mph and decelerating to lets say 50 or 40mph, the sound is louder/higher the faster your are when decelerating to the pitch goes down as the bike slows down. I tried to listen to see where the sound is coming from but the best I can tell, its either from the front or the left side. Hope that helps.

otgt
10-24-2009, 10:10 AM
RichLockyer, I saw another one of your post similar to mine and this is what you said.

https://www.kawasakimotorcycle.org/forum/kawasaki-cruisers/96058-my-shaft-drive-making-noise.html

"No... it's like a jet turbine winding down.
As soon as any throttle is applied (even still slowing down) it goes away... it's from the shaft gears driving the tranny gears."

You hit the nail on the head. Is it the bevel gear bearing or what? Should I ride it tomorrow? :D

RichLockyer
10-24-2009, 04:53 PM
Mine has done it from day-1.
The concern over failure is if it completely goes away when the clutch is pulled in (which changes the load on the bearing).
Doing it all the time? Some bikes do it, some bikes don't.

It sounds like yours is normal, I wouldn't worry about it.

One thing that'll help to make it easier to hear is to ride right up against (safe distance) a k-rail... try it on both the left and right side of the bike. The concrete rail will reflect and amplify any noise from that side of the bike.

otgt
10-25-2009, 12:14 AM
Mine has done it from day-1.
The concern over failure is if it completely goes away when the clutch is pulled in (which changes the load on the bearing).
Doing it all the time? Some bikes do it, some bikes don't.

It sounds like yours is normal, I wouldn't worry about it.

One thing that'll help to make it easier to hear is to ride right up against (safe distance) a k-rail... try it on both the left and right side of the bike. The concrete rail will reflect and amplify any noise from that side of the bike.

Ok, I know the sound is not normal. Ive owned the bike since new and know others with Nomads and no one makes the noise like mine. I changed the oil today and there was metal in the oil. I took a magnet and run it through the oil and looked like small chips and pieces. I decided I will skip my ride tomorrow to make sure the problem doesnt get worse. The sound does go away when I press in the clutch. I guess I was hearing things when I rode it earlier. I will start tearing down the bike next week and keep you posted. What areas or parts should I look for, for damaged parts. I have a guy helping me that has worked on harleys and metrics since the 80s and Im sure he will have an eye for failed parts. If I open the left cover, is there anything else I should just go ahead and replace while I have the engine dismounted? Again, thanks for the great advice. Hopefully, this will help some other poor sole out there having the same problem.:cool:

RichLockyer
10-25-2009, 04:38 AM
You're looking for signs that the outer bearing has been spinning in the bevel gear housing. The bearing is on the outside right under the flat press-in cover.

If the frame had a drop-away on both sides instead of just the right, it would just be a matter of removing the swingarm and it would be a 2 hour job.

otgt
10-25-2009, 11:02 PM
You're looking for signs that the outer bearing has been spinning in the bevel gear housing. The bearing is on the outside right under the flat press-in cover.

If the frame had a drop-away on both sides instead of just the right, it would just be a matter of removing the swingarm and it would be a 2 hour job.

We are going to order gaskets and stuff tomorrow but will hold off ordering parts till we see wats going on. I will take pictures and post them if I need an opinion. Thanks again, I will keep you posted on what I found.

otgt
10-27-2009, 04:20 PM
OK, Took us about 2 hours but got the engine loose and the left side cover off. You were exactly right where the problem was. The bevel gear bearing was 100% shot. There as metal around the area and the whole mecanism was loose due to the bearing being bad. It cost me about $126 in parts. Im replacing a few other things not mentioned but I dont want to risk there being any more issues. Here are some photos.

http://www.onthegotechs.com/donotdeletephotos/1.JPG
http://www.onthegotechs.com/donotdeletephotos/2.JPG
http://www.onthegotechs.com/donotdeletephotos/3.JPG
http://www.onthegotechs.com/donotdeletephotos/4.JPG
http://www.onthegotechs.com/donotdeletephotos/5.JPG
http://www.onthegotechs.com/donotdeletephotos/6.JPG
http://www.onthegotechs.com/donotdeletephotos/7.JPG
http://www.onthegotechs.com/donotdeletephotos/8.JPG

I'll let you know how everything works in the end. Thanks again

RichLockyer
10-27-2009, 04:59 PM
Excellent.

That afternoon and $126 saved a major expense 200 miles from home!

otgt
10-27-2009, 08:51 PM
Excellent.

That afternoon and $126 saved a major expense 200 miles from home!

One quick question, what is the best way to flush out the metal shavings out of the engine. Someone told me to put cheap oil in it and run up and down the road a couple of times and drain it out. And to do it a couple of times. Is that ok?

RichLockyer
10-28-2009, 03:25 AM
Before closing it back up, I'd pull the oil screen and flush it with a very light oil under pressure if you can (without circulating it).
Between that, the oil screen, and the oil filter, you aren't going to get anything into the engine that you don't want in there.

Is that aluminum or steel? (magnetic?)

After that, ya... I'd get some cheap 10w40 MC oil and run it for 20 miles or so, then change the oil and filter again, and clean the screen one more time, then go to whatever oil you prefer, but I would continue to check/clean the screen for the next 2-3 oil changes.

The screen is going to catch anything large enough to damage the oil pump. The filter should catch anything large enough to damage the engine unless it gets so loaded that it goes into bypass.
Especially now that it's cooling off, I'd definitely stick with 10w40 to help prevent that.

otgt
10-28-2009, 06:56 PM
Before closing it back up, I'd pull the oil screen and flush it with a very light oil under pressure if you can (without circulating it).
Between that, the oil screen, and the oil filter, you aren't going to get anything into the engine that you don't want in there.

Is that aluminum or steel? (magnetic?)

After that, ya... I'd get some cheap 10w40 MC oil and run it for 20 miles or so, then change the oil and filter again, and clean the screen one more time, then go to whatever oil you prefer, but I would continue to check/clean the screen for the next 2-3 oil changes.

The screen is going to catch anything large enough to damage the oil pump. The filter should catch anything large enough to damage the engine unless it gets so loaded that it goes into bypass.
Especially now that it's cooling off, I'd definitely stick with 10w40 to help prevent that.

Its definately steel. It sticks to the magnet. Luckily, the housing is ok. I dont think it would be long before the bearing would have siezed and cause more damage. I will find the oil screen filter and clean it too when i get ready to put everything back together.

otgt
10-31-2009, 03:37 PM
Before closing it back up, I'd pull the oil screen and flush it with a very light oil under pressure if you can (without circulating it).
Between that, the oil screen, and the oil filter, you aren't going to get anything into the engine that you don't want in there.

Is that aluminum or steel? (magnetic?)

After that, ya... I'd get some cheap 10w40 MC oil and run it for 20 miles or so, then change the oil and filter again, and clean the screen one more time, then go to whatever oil you prefer, but I would continue to check/clean the screen for the next 2-3 oil changes.

The screen is going to catch anything large enough to damage the oil pump. The filter should catch anything large enough to damage the engine unless it gets so loaded that it goes into bypass.
Especially now that it's cooling off, I'd definitely stick with 10w40 to help prevent that.

Got everything back together and all is good. I did pull the oil screen filter and there was lots of metal shavings in the screen, Thanks for your help.

bison41187
07-11-2010, 02:55 PM
I have an 2003 Vulcan 1600 Classic with the same symptoms, including not having the clutch after a long ride. Not very pumped to read this and see the solution haha

FYAH
06-11-2015, 08:46 AM
How did you get the 4 shaft bolts out