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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I'm in a bit of a jam on what I thought would be a simple clutch job.

Basically, clutch was locking up and I know you've seen that thread 10,000 times.

I disassembled clutch basket, cleaned everything out top to bottom. I separated the stuck plates, cleaned them with brake cleaner and a brillo pad and started soaking them in oil. I moved on to test the clutch assembly itself to ensure the linkage that runs from the clutch release through to the pressure plate pusher was ready and that all was good. I hadnt checked the clutch lever when disassembling the clutch as I didnt feel the need to.

Anyways, when I went back and pulled the lever with no pressure plate or anything on, its stiff as all hell still and on top of that, it doesnt press the pressure plate pusher at all, more or less a wiggle (1/32 of an inch or less)

The force of pulling this clutch in is well beyond the realm of normal while this is happening, so much so that it was bulging the sprocket and clutch release case out about 3/16 or so.

I disassembled everything on that side, and the clutch release works freely when off the bike and on its own. I removed the push rods, cleaned with brake cleaner, shot brake cleaner through the hole, let everything dry and greased the hell out of them and re-inserted them. The rods now free float and I can push from the left hand side of the case behind the sprocket where the rod pushes through, all the way to the plunger piece that contacts the pressure plate and move the entire assembly side to side with ease and with a half inch of play or more to either side. I thought my troubles were through and I could finally get back to reassembling this bike (it's been apart for almost a week now for what should have been just a simple separating of the clutch plates and reinstalling)

When I put the case back on, it started doing the same thing. I'm sure the clutch release is making contact with the push rods, none of the push rods showed signs of excessive wear or anything beyond a bike that has about 9k miles on it. I noticed that the clutch release itself was bent and so I straightened it out before reinstalling it. Everything is greased, and everything appears to work until the release and the push rods come together, and then I get nothing.


The above link shows the diagram of what I'm talking about for those unfamiliar with the exact bike, the upper diagram is specifically the area thats causing me trouble. The force required is so great that it ended up snapping my clutch cable after the 15th time I disassembled it and put it back together so now i'm downright frustrated.

Can anyone point me in the right direction for things that could possibly be wrong? I let all the slack off of the clutch cable prior to the break, and I even tried tinkering with the clutch release adjuster bolt that has the port coming through the case, both to no avail. Same old clutch that was so stiff I couldnt move it. I undid the cable and the cable was thoroughly lubricated so I know it wasnt bound up, it moved freely, and the whole mechanism seems to work but for some reason everything wont come together on it and I'm not sure why.

Thank you for any suggestions you may have, I'm new here and finding information and parts on this bike is incredibly tough but I've managed for the last 6 years or so.
 

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On a quick look at your Partzilla link I was surprised it did not show a steel ball between the pusher and the long clutch rod. I am not familiar with your bike but here is what I am used to seeing in similar clutch assemblies. Note item 12, the steel ball.


If you look at your pusher and the long clutch rod, see if there is a concave surface on the ends. If there is, then that means it should have a steel ball, but I cannot explain why it does not show up on the Partzilla diagram unless it is a simple error in the diagram.

The effect of not having the steel ball, means your clutch will not have enough throw. This may not be your problem, but those are my first thoughts. Still early here and no coffee yet so my apologies if I am off base.

Oh, also it could be that you have incorrect clutch parts, like springs that are too strong, or clutch rods that are not the right length etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The effect of not having the steel ball, means your clutch will not have enough throw. This may not be your problem, but those are my first thoughts. Still early here and no coffee yet so my apologies if I am off base.

Oh, also it could be that you have incorrect clutch parts, like springs that are too strong, or clutch rods that are not the right length etc.
Well as I was taking the clutches apart I did not happen to notice any steel ball or any sort of linkage components that were damaged or otherwise inoperable, and nothing came springing out when I opened her up. The push rods are kind of tapered a touch and then flat where they touch each other, no real damage to them to that I can see. And the joint should get plenty of throw when its operable. The linkage rods can be moved over 1/2 and probably closer to 3/4 of an inch freely from side to side.

I'm thinking that that clutch release that connects to the cable could have too much play in it between the outer and the inner and is coming in from the side ever so slightly (but even this is really grasping, everything seems to work fine until I put it together), its loose enough that that could be happening a slight amount if it met extreme force but i can move those clutch rods back and forth with my little finger so i'm not sure why its not producing enough movement to push the clutch rods out. I am also unsure of how to adjust the set screw that threads through the inner clutch release (part 5) but maybe that has something to do with this. I thought the correct way would be to push it in until it touches the rod inside there, and then tightening the jamb nut (similar to a harley on the clutch spring where you turn it in until it just barely touches and tighten down the jamb nut)

As I understand it, this thing isnt going to get a half inch of play. What I expect however is being able to pull the clutch in at the handle bars and not snap the cable every 5 times I do it. At the moment there is way too much strain ( so much so that the front sprocket case bulges when I squeeze the clutch). But if I cant get it to work on a dry run I really cant get back to assembling it until this is solved.

Thanks for your reply WFO
 

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It might be time for some pictures of the outside of the engine case and the inside. In particular I am interested in the orientation of the inner release when it sits in the outer release.

I have not worked on these bikes for about 40 years so my memory is foggy but it seems to me that the inner release must be threaded in by starting it in the correct thread groove of the outer release. If you don't get it in the right groove, you won't get the mechanical advantage needed to operate the clutch.
 

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What do you know about this bike prior to this particular problem? Has the clutch ever worked correctly under your ownership? If it has, then you can assume that the correct parts are in there. If not, there's no telling what someone may have done to a bike this old. I have 3 F11's in various states, unfortunately none in operable condition at the moment. But at least one of them had cracks in the plastic clutch release gears upon disassembly. And I remember that the F11 clutch was notoriously stiff compared to comparable bikes of that vintage. Obviously not to the extent that you describe, but I think the design was lacking in mechanical advantage. The first few rides of the season always left me with a sore hand and wrist until I got used to it. If there's anything I can do to help, I can send pics of what I have. I also have a factory shop manual from which I will be happy to share information. But it will be a few days since I'm currently on vacation.
 

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This is all useful information. I think it would be helpful to Noah if you can post excerpts from your manual in regards to F11 clutch adjustment and in particular how to re-assemble the inner and outer release. If the F11 had a stiff clutch to begin with, then it cannot afford to lose any mechanical advantage that results from the incorrect assembly of the inner and outer clutch release mechanism.

It is my understanding that posting a small excerpt from a manual is not a copywrite violation.

Thanks for adding your two cent's worth here.
 
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