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1993 Vulcan 88 VN1500A
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, looking for advice here please.

About a year ago acquired my Vulcan which only clocked 16K miles (now 19K). Right from the beginning I noticed the clutch would engage right at the end, but now it seems to slip in the 1st gear on a higher rev so I’m having to switch to 2nd as soon as possible.

My first question is whether I would need to replace the whole lot, i.e. the friction plates, the metal plates and the spring? Is it possible it’s just the spring gone, considering it only has done 19K?

My other question is in relation to the sickness of the metal plates. Should I need to replace them would I need the standard 2mm or do I need to consider getting 1.6mm or 2.3mm? Again, based on the low millage should I expect the need for adjustment? that the alternative sickens is for, right?

Any recommendation on the brands? Do I just buy OEM form Kawasaki or am I better off with Barnett or EBC or similar?

Would I need anything else apart of what I’ve already mentioned and the clutch cover gasket?
 

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I would have a look at the relief port in the reservoir. You will see two holes at the bottom, one of which is about the size of a human hair. If that port is blocked, the clutch could drag and not totally relieve the spring pressure thus causing slippage.

I don't see how your clutch plates could be worn out at only 16,000 miles unless someone was abusing it.
Although if someone ran the wrong oil, the plates may have glazed and that will cause slippage.
 

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Hydraulically actuated or cable? The first, I think. When was the last time the clutch fluid was replaced? I do mine yearly.
 

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I rebuilt a hydraulic clutch master cylinder just a few weeks ago. I replaced the master cylinder seals and it solved my clutch issues. The OP's clutch is hydraulic and probably could use fresh fluid.
 

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1993 Vulcan 88 VN1500A
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
[/QUOTE]
I would have a look at the relief port in the reservoir. You will see two holes at the bottom, one of which is about the size of a human hair. If that port is blocked, the clutch could drag and not totally relieve the spring pressure thus causing slippage.

I don't see how your clutch plates could be worn out at only 16,000 miles unless someone was abusing it.
Although if someone ran the wrong oil, the plates may have glazed and that will cause slippage.
[/QUOTE]

well, I’m glad I asked. It didn’t seem right for the clutch to go that quick. I have to admit I have been looking forward to work on the clutch just for the fun of it (that’s why we keep old bikes, right?!) but if there is an easy solution then it’s great, I’m sure soon enough there will be something else wrong with it to keep me busy.
 

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1993 Vulcan 88 VN1500A
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi all.

new problem.

got the DOT 4 and a bleeding kit. Checked the return port and run the new fluid throug to displays the old one. All seemed fine but now clutch will not disengage!!!

what did I do wrong. It’s not a rocket science right?
wgen squeezing tge clutch handle it’s just too easy, no resistance at all although does push the fluid through and if I do it fast the fluid squirts out from the return port
 

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It has to be at the slave cylinder end, or the seals in your Master Cylinder are shot, and actuality no pushing any fluid through. You could test that by disconnecting the line at the slave cylinder at put your finger over the holes and see how much pressure you get. You shouldn't be able to hold it. That's the end I'd start it, once you rule out the Master Cylinder, then you move onto the slave cylinder part. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It has to be at the slave cylinder end, or the seals in your Master Cylinder are shot, and actuality no pushing any fluid through. You could test that by disconnecting the line at the slave cylinder at put your finger over the holes and see how much pressure you get. You shouldn't be able to hold it. That's the end I'd start it, once you rule out the Master Cylinder, then you move onto the slave cylinder part. :)
You are probably right. Thanks. The seals on master seem week as it does not push much fluid through but I did find the reason why it was not disengaging tge clutch. There was a bit of air trapped ion the hose connection to master cylinder. Stupid design if you ask me, it’s a right angle joint and is tge highest point of the system. Anyways, I had to lean the bike to the right and sure enough tge bubbles came up straight away and clutch now works l.
Now I back we’re I was. The clutch still slips on higher revs. I may be wrong but I think the clutch spring is the cause but I guess I might as well replace the friction disks at the same time.
 

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I just did the clutch on my bike, the friction plates (the ones with material one them) were worn, and the springs measured 1mm shorter, within tolerance, but too slack for my considerations. WHen I replaced the clutch, I did not replace the metal plates, and put in heavy duty clutch springs, I realized that the bike had been slipping for years, I just hand't noticed it. It grabs so hard now, and when I get into it's powerband, it's like a completely different motorcycle. I try to bleed brakes by plumping the fluid from thee bottom up, that way there is no air in line. It depends on the system if this is possible. So then, is your bike all fixed now? ;)
 

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Most clutcjers have a final adjustment. It could be a locknut with the push rod tube aand a flat head screwdriver slot in it to do the final adjustment. As the clutch wears in, you have to take and adjust the pin so it hits the clutch and then back it of just a tiny bit, and then tighten the locknuts. I would look for that adjustment. I don't know your bike, but I've never seen a motorcycle without one, and once a new clutch pack is put in it has to be adjusted, or the clutch won't close. :)
 

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1993 Vulcan 88 VN1500A
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The clutch diaphragm spring is the usual culprit, but usually slips worse in higher gears. item 92144B here:


more info:

thank you 9094. that's what I was thinking.
Would you just do the spring (plus cover and exhaust gaskets) or would you recommend changing the friction disks too as I'll have it open? (only 20K on the clock)
 

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Ummm, another thought also occurred,,, that is the dual carb model, It IS the clutch slipping and not the tire spinning?
 

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1993 Vulcan 88 VN1500A
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ummm, another thought also occurred,,, that is the dual carb model, It IS the clutch slipping and not the tire spinning?
It’s definitely the clutch, in fact I had a pillion passenger yesterday and when I was accelerating in the third gear it felt the engine was moving turning faster than transmission. It’s definitely slipping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Wait till you put a new clutch in, and it bites, you'll feel like you have a new bike! :)
I though to give you an update. The friction discs clearly needed changing, they looked burnt. So I have replaced the friction discs and the clutch spring and yes it grips a bit better but literally just a bit better. And it still grips right at the end and sudden, not much play from the first bite to fully engaged.

someone said the hydraulic clutch is not as smooth as the cable clutch but I don't believe its the way it was intended to work.
 
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