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  #1  
Old 07-22-2007, 11:25 AM
Rainmaker Rainmaker is offline
Rob (MN)
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Eden Prairie
Posts: 407
Clutch Cable Maintenance

I have discovered the secret to clutch cable longevity. I broke 2 in about 7000 miles before I started doing the following maintenance procedures.
Weekly I check the tension on the lever. It should completely relax the tension when you release the handle. You only need 1/8 inch or less of play but it must relax to take the tension off the ferrels at both ends of the cable.Keep in mind, thatthe cable tightens over time, so you'll need to loosen it occasionally.
Every 1000 miles or so, I completey loosen the cable and remove clutch lever so I can remove the ferrel from the clutch handle. I clean and lube all the parts with, VERY IMPORTANT, Black Moly grease. It gives you the least friction and smoothest action. It is very important is that the ferrel rotates as the handle is engaged and disengaged. General Lube does not work as well, you will notice the difference in how smooth it is, I gaurantee it.
Inspect the cable right at the ferrel, if there are any strands borken it indicates that the ferrel isn't rotating so the wires are fatigueing.
Do the same at the other end too.
I haven't broken a cable in more than 11K now.
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  #2  
Old 07-22-2007, 06:47 PM
sid2002 sid2002 is offline
Sid (moved 2007 from MN)
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: 390 Terrace Ct Buellton California 93427
Posts: 990
Rob I may need you to show me the tightening and lossening tecniques next time we are together thanks for the advice.
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  #3  
Old 07-22-2007, 07:52 PM
Rainmaker Rainmaker is offline
Rob (MN)
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Eden Prairie
Posts: 407
Sure, I'd be glad to demonstrate. But it's simple. With the bars straight I loosen the jam nut and back the long hex sided adjuster all enough to get some play in the lever. You can watch the lever move if it's loose or you may have to go squeeze it to see if you are loosening.
To set the right slack I pull the lever back and it kind of stays there, then turn the adjuster and watch the lever move away from me until it stops. then back up so there is some slack. The Manual specifies the play is correct when you measure .010" to .030 inches measured between the lever and the lever housing (the thing that stops it). I just make sure there is a little play (don't get hung up about measurements).
To do the lube job, just back that adjuster all the way off and then remove the pivot pin nut and pull the pin out, then you can remove the bushing ang disconnect the cable.
I can't stress enough you have to use Moly grease. I got some stuff at Checker Auto parts, it's called Engine Assembly Lube (with Moly Graphite). Take the ferrel off (some call it a bushing) the thing the cable connects to anyway. This is the end of the cable you want to look for problems. Wipe everything with a clean rag.then grease her up good and reassemble. You'll feel the difference!
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  #4  
Old 07-22-2007, 08:23 PM
Schamby Schamby is offline
Paul
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Lakeville, MN
Posts: 1,728
Do you lube the cable itself? Do these cables only break on the ends?
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2007, 08:55 AM
Rainmaker Rainmaker is offline
Rob (MN)
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Eden Prairie
Posts: 407
The cable should be lubed too. This helps prrvent binding and wear on the plastic coating that covers the cable itself. I usually put a few drops of oil in each time.
My sources say 100% synthetic engine oil works best and they fasion a funnel out of a plastic bag to aid it getting the oil in. I haven't done this method, because it only takes a few drops and it starts coming out the bottom in just a few minutes.

There is no reason for a clutch cable to break anywhere else except at the ends. As I said earlier, what happens is if the barrel doesn't rotate the cable gets bent back and forth and fatigues the wires and they break. Just like a paper clip bent back and forth a few times.

Another point I should make. If you haven't been lubricating the lever parts. The barrel wears down and becomes smaller, then wears a narrow notch in the lever. After you replace the cable and put in a new barrel, it might not rotate smoothly even with good moly grease. You may want to consider replacing the lever itself.
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  #6  
Old 07-23-2007, 09:33 AM
DEZ DEZ is offline
Mike (formerly MikeD)
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Big Lake (Orrock), MN
Posts: 553
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainmaker View Post
To do the lube job, just back that adjuster all the way off and then remove the pivot pin nut and pull the pin out, then you can remove the bushing ang disconnect the cable.
BTW, you can also just use a vice-grip or channel-lock pliers (and a shop cloth) to rotate the clutch arm at the back of the primary and unhook the cable to get the slack you need, instead of backing the adjuster all the way off. Just another way to skin the cat.
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  #7  
Old 07-23-2007, 10:40 AM
Johnny Ritz Johnny Ritz is offline
John
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Mendota Heights, MN
Posts: 4,034
Is there a name for the Black Moly Grease?
Or is that the name of it?
Where do you get it?
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  #8  
Old 07-23-2007, 11:43 AM
Rainmaker Rainmaker is offline
Rob (MN)
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Eden Prairie
Posts: 407
I had a little trouble finding it in a small tube.
I got some stuff at Checker Auto parts, it's called "Engine Assembly Lube" (with Moly Graphite).

You can find more information by googling Molybdenum Disulfide. It is an additive to the general purpose Lithium Grease and is especially good under load.
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  #9  
Old 07-23-2007, 10:13 PM
sid2002 sid2002 is offline
Sid (moved 2007 from MN)
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: 390 Terrace Ct Buellton California 93427
Posts: 990
Got my cable installed and lubed with MollyGraph. I used a toothpic to put the grease in the whole then inserted the roller in the lever and of coarse it fell out as I was inserting into the bar. I caught it but you can imagine how my hands looked after that. You might want to wear rubber gloves during this process, or maybe just don't be in hurry. I think my tube of molly should last me about one hundred years at this rate. Or maybe I could start a clutch lubing business on the side. Thanks for the info Rob it works great.
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  #10  
Old 07-24-2007, 08:24 AM
Rainmaker Rainmaker is offline
Rob (MN)
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Eden Prairie
Posts: 407
Next Time I do this I'll submit pictures

I can't quite visualize where you used a tooth pick. Although I understand about the lifetime supply of grease, I use more than a toothpick full to grease the barrel shaped ferrel on the end on the cable, and pivot pin and bushing.

Once I take the lever off I pull the little barrel (13) off the end of the cable and cover it with grease. Then put it back on to the cable. Then put the cable and barrel on to the lever, then lever back into position, slide the (greased)pivot bushing (5) and Greased pivot pin (4) into the bracket and carefully tighten the nut (7) on the Pivot pin.

Then wipe everything down and adjust the play inthe cable.

Does that make sense now that you've done it?

See attached drawing.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf CltchLeverAssembly.pdf (60.0 KB, 904 views)
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  #11  
Old 07-24-2007, 03:25 PM
Obe-1 Obe-1 is offline
Mark (MN)
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Apple Valley Mn.
Posts: 427
rainmaker,
Good advise, I have been through 2 cables in the last year and a half so the minute you posted this i drove up to my friendly Checker auto and bought me some molly lub and did a little P.M. Everything looked fine on my bike. As far as the correct amount of free play though everyone should be aware that to much free play and the clutch saftey switch will be inactive
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  #12  
Old 07-24-2007, 04:56 PM
Rainmaker Rainmaker is offline
Rob (MN)
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Eden Prairie
Posts: 407
Free play adjustment

Good point Mark,
(I have after market levers so I haven't had starter interlock for two years)
The adjustment spec is .010" -.030" which isn't much. It is just enough to feel the cable go slack.
See attached pdf. document
Attached Files
File Type: pdf CltchLvrFrply.pdf (42.8 KB, 469 views)
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  #13  
Old 07-25-2007, 05:25 AM
payner payner is offline
Brian (MN)
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Coon Rapids MN
Posts: 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainmaker View Post
Good point Mark,
(I have after market levers so I haven't had starter interlock for two years)
The adjustment spec is .010" -.030" which isn't much. It is just enough to feel the cable go slack.
See attached pdf. document
One of our friendly dealers said to use a dime between brake lever and brake level bracket.
Payner
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  #14  
Old 07-25-2007, 09:50 AM
DEZ DEZ is offline
Mike (formerly MikeD)
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Big Lake (Orrock), MN
Posts: 553
I checked over my clutch cable and lubed it a few weeks ago (at about 7500 miles) after a discussion about this subject showed up on the VMC board. So far, mine just started showing a little bit of wear on the plastic coating up at the upper clutch cable bushing (that's what the parts manual calls the "ferrule" at the lever end of the cable).

I made sure there weren't any burrs on the lever or bushing to catch, greased the bushing and lever, as well as the barrel on the other end at the clutch arm, and used a spray-can cable lube tool to inject lube into the cable itself. The grease was just plain old lithium grease from my grease gun. I should probably either use my bearing grease (a small tub of it I use on my trailer wheel bearings) or pick up a tube of this moly grease y'all are using.

Today, I've got the bike in for its 10K scheduled maintenance, which is supposed to include re-lubing all of the cables (clutch, fast idle, throttle), and several other things I didn't want to mess with. Plus, I like to have someone else (professional) checking the bike over every 5K miles (every other service interval -- I do the 2500 & 7500 interval, plus all oil changes).

The clutch cable, though, is the one I pay regular special attention to.
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  #15  
Old 07-26-2007, 12:15 AM
IBVic IBVic is offline
Greg
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Buffalo, MN
Posts: 766
Wow! All this snapping clutch cables is a surprise to me. I've only lost one and that was after 55k on my 01. Maintenance is important. Are any of you folks using aftermarket levers? If so thier specs/standards may be below VICS. Check for interference and/or sharp edges.

Follow Rob's advice/posts and you should be good for 100,000+

Ride On
GREGO
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