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2003 Vulcan Classic 1500
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71 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 1500 (2003 carbureted Classic 28000 miles) had the clutch all the way up top and was slipping a little, so I bought the necessary parts to replace the clutch spring with a Mean Streak spring. I am using the excellent instructions from Gadget:
Vulcan 1500/1600 Clutch Replacement

So despite all of his warnings, I dropped a penny in the crankcase. At least I think so – I can’t find it anywhere else. So the questions – should I just run the bike with the penny in the crankcase until it causes damage? The bike is not worth the amount it would cost to split the cases and remove it. I can’t do the full engine rebuild myself, and have already proved I can’t even be trusted to replace the clutch spring.

Or is there some way to possibly remove the penny without splitting the crankcase? Any chance that the penny would go into the strainer? Probably no one has ever done this before, but I thought I would ask. Any thoughts appreciated.

Thanks, SouthernPA
 

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Bikers For Christ
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65 Posts
It's happened before.
I'd pull the oil plug and screen to try and get it out. With the plug out you may be able to "flush" it out by pouring the drained oil back in. Might want to reposition the angle of the bike and try it again if it doesn't come out the first time.
Don't suppose it was a 1944 "steel" penny?
 

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Registered
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79 Posts
On the other hand, if it was a 1943 copper penny cut the crankcase open, get the penny and sell it, junk the bike and buy a new one and then just enjoy yourself with the rest of the cash:).
 

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Strat Man ... ok, PRS too
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582 Posts
Flushing it out sounds like it is worth a try. Thinking about this, I wonder if the penney wouldn't just sit at the bottom of that crank case for ever? Like you said, you're not splitting the cases any way ..... I am curious to see what others with experience on this will say.

BTW - I hope when you pull out your car tomorrow, you find the penny rolled under it.
 

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2003 Vulcan Classic 1500
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71 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I got the penny out – thanks to everyone for your suggestions. The best thing about your responses was that it made me want to try to retrieve the penny, whereas previously I was too bummed out to even try.

This is the procedure I went through:

Determined that the penny had to have fallen into the crankcase return opening just forward of and below the clutch shaft (there are 3 large and maybe 2 smaller crankcase return openings on the right side of the engine). I used mirrors and flashlights to try to see the penny, but I could not see it. The crankcase is too deep to reach in with fingers, and the opening is too small anyway. So I drained the oil, removed the oil filter (no help, can’t see anything through oil filter base), and removed the left-side strainer. This is the key.

However, I still could not see penny. So I had to remove the entire clutch assembly. With that gone, you can see almost straight down into the crankcase through the crankcase return opening, and the penny was lying within sight. I could not figure out how the crankcase opened to the strainer location, so I shined a flashlight into the strainer from the left side, and then, looking into the crankcase from the right side of the bike, I could see that the penny needed to be slid towards the rear of the bike in order to get it into the strainer opening. Using a coat hanger I was able after several try’s, to get the penny into the strainer opening, and then remove it.

In other words, looking into the crankcase from the clutch side, you can’t actually see where the strainer opening is, which is why shining light into the strainer helped.

So I have learned my lesson the hard way. Thanks again for all help.
 

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2003 Vulcan Classic 1500
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71 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Alekkas, Thanks for your reply. I thought about leaving the penny there. I was hoping that it would migrate to the screen and just stay there. As you know, the screen is a cylinder maybe 5 inches long. But I don't understand the forces at work in the crankcase, and the transmission gears are just maybe 1 inch from the crankcase bottom, and at the same exact location! Anyway I got the penny out. Thanks, Brian
 

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Sick Puppy
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3,199 Posts
On a previous thread, there was a suggestion about drilling a hole in the penny so you can attach a string to retrieve it when it gets dropped. Apparently it's a good idea.
 

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2003 Vulcan Classic 1500
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71 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Ricksza - you are right about the string. Remember that everything you are working with including fingers, gears, tools, etc. are perfectly lubricated with engine oil!

Also I think you can buy a copper or bronze washer at a hardware store so you would not have to drill the penny.
 

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2003 Vulcan Classic 1500
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71 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Pat0021
You are right after it was all over I did feel a sense of relief and satisfaction. I caused the issue but eventually I managed to get out of it. Live and learn…
 

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Sick Puppy
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3,199 Posts
Ricksza - you are right about the string. Remember that everything you are working with including fingers, gears, tools, etc. are perfectly lubricated with engine oil!

Also I think you can buy a copper or bronze washer at a hardware store so you would not have to drill the penny.
Penny's cheaper.
 

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Strat Man ... ok, PRS too
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582 Posts
NICE! Well done! I agree, frame it. Great story.

When the time comes for mine, I believe I will be drilling a hole in the penny!
 

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Registered
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13 Posts
Glad you found the penny.

Piece of advice if you need to do it again: use a small section of broom handle wedged with the cross section between the gears. The wood is too soft to damage the gears but strong enough to prevent the gears from turning. I've done this on several bikes over the years. You can wrap the broom handle in a rag if the chance of a wood splinter worries you, it will still do the job.
 

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2003 Vulcan Classic 1500
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71 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Here is a picture of the offending penny. Of course this is after the oil was drained. The gear in the picture is the oil pump gear, which hides behind the clutch basket. As you see, I had to remove the clutch basket to get a way to see the penny.
 
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