'78 Clutch Rattle


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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whiteclad57
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:48 am
Location: Sisters, Oregon
Motorcycle: 1978 GL1000 Goldwing

'78 Clutch Rattle

Post by whiteclad57 »



Welp the bike I've bought last year has been an absolute lemon, between all the (still being discovered) missing parts, terrible fairing wiring splice job, and attempting to fix the most half-***ed carb "rebuild" known to man, I've finally got the girl running somewhat decent. Or so I thought until a month or so ago when a new issue surfaced.
When pulling in / letting out the clutch , and even a bit when it's fully depressed, there is a terrible clacking sound coming from the middle to rear of the bike when moving at around idle speeds. It disappears almost entirely around 10mph or so and gets louder and more noticeable while going closer to 0. Upon reaching a fully stopped position the noise disappears entirely.
At this point I could write a book on How Not to Fix a Goldwing with all the "shortcuts", I've had to properly repair after the bike was "resurrected" by the previous owner. Still this ones new to me and my preliminary attempts to fix it have as of yet been unsuccessful. Firstly I've taken as much slack out of the clutch cable as I could, however even after reducing free lever travel from almost 1 3/4 inch down to 1/4 inch, this clacking is still present, also noticeable is that the rear wheel will still spin (weakly, probably less than 200rpm) when placed on the center stand while idling with the clutch in gear, something it doesn't do at all while in neutral. However I can't eliminate this as doing so takes all of the free play, and then some, from clutch lever. Time for a new lever and bolt perhaps? It does have quite a lot of rotational slop in the handle lever?
It has also, around the same time that this issue started manifesting, been getting more difficult to switch up from first to second gear, neutral being almost impossible to find without the bike still being in motion.

All these symptoms would point to the clutch cable or the clutch itself being the cause, but I've also heard that improperly synced carbs can possibly cause primary chain rattle I just don't know how to rule that being the cause without rebuilding the carbs, which due to the "unique method" that the previous owner employed in "fixing them" (stripping out almost every screw and threaded opening in them and using locktite to "fix" it), would require an entire carburetor swap with a different set in order to be properly done.

I should also add that upon completing it's first oil change since I've bought it, the oil filter washer and spring were missing, and a worrying amount of fine and superfine metal particulate was in the filter housing and oil. Well over 500 miles on that oil by this point plus however many were put on potentially since whenever the spring went missing. Not sure if that would effect the clutch discs but didn't want to leave it out in case it was relevant.


whiteclad57
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:48 am
Location: Sisters, Oregon
Motorcycle: 1978 GL1000 Goldwing

Re: '78 Clutch Rattle

Post by whiteclad57 »

Well took it on a 95 mile ride today, about half of it was smooth sailing until the shifter started acting up. After the first 35 or so miles shifting out of/into 1st, Neutral, and second became difficult. After the next 20 miles shifting out of 1st, Neutral, and 2nd became impossible unless the bike was right around idle speed, 3rd and 4th became difficult to shift in and out of, didn't test 5th. In addition the "clattering" from deceleration-to-stopping which was negligibly present when cold returned with a vengeance around the half way point.
I'm sure at this point that whatever is wrong is unrelated to the clutch discs themselves and while it could have been caused by the PO's overfilling of oil and missing filter spring, my fresh JASO refill and repaired filter case should at very least be no longer worsening the problem. If anyone has any pointers on where I should start looking before I just tear into it one component at a time I'd be very much obliged.
whiteclad57
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:48 am
Location: Sisters, Oregon
Motorcycle: 1978 GL1000 Goldwing

Re: '78 Clutch Rattle

Post by whiteclad57 »

While I never got a reply from anyone, I'm leaving this update here for anyone else who may however unlikely face the same problem.
The Clutch "Plate B" spacer had broken several rivets resulting in the three of the spring spacers stacking on one edge of the plate and the fourth falling to the bottom of the clutch housing, the now broken and lopsided spacer plate didn't result in any issues while engaged but disengaged, the extra width caused the plates to drag and be partially engaged as well as rip off the clutch friction material on the two closest plates to it. I think it's fair to assume at this point that my overheating issues are due to this damaged friction material and brass rivets blocking the return filter for the oil sump. While I have yet to rebuild and test this yet I will post another update if it does indeed solve my temp issues that developed and persisted after the ride on July 24th.
Rather than replace the "Plate B" with a new or used replacement and risk this repeating, I'm going to follow Wingovations improvement detailed here and add additional plain plates to cover the missing width. Let this serve as a confirmation that the updated spacer plate in the post '78 bikes can also suffer from this issue as well.
I'll leave another update when I get around to fixing this, probably in a week or two once I get the additional clutch plates and clutch nut spline washer.
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