Clutch/Transmission issue?


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sans1
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:04 pm
Location: Colorado Spring, CO
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500 Aspencade

Clutch/Transmission issue?

Post by sans1 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:24 am



Bike: 1996 GL1500 Aspencade 98K miles. My daily commuter since 2006.
A couple of months ago, bike starting shifting harder when stopped (as in trying to put into neutral when sitting still). To clarify, it was more about getting it out of first gear versus not being able to find neutral. I could do it, just felt like there was more than normal clutch drag. During my last tire replacement, I was told by the shop that my clutch slave cylinder appeared to have minor leak so be sure to keep an eye on the fluid until I rebuilt it. I’ve never allowed the fluid to run low, but did top it off a couple of time over the past year. When shifting started getting harder recently I assumed the fluid might be low. It wasn’t so I decided to do a fluid flush since it was past due. Other than some initial bleeding challenges until I loosened the upper banjo bolt (thank you to whomever posted that tip), no change in symptoms. Over the next few weeks the problem slowly worsened to the point I was afraid of doing damage to the clutch or transmission. In fact on my last ride, I had to turn the engine off twice so I could get it into first so I could make it home. Also, the clutch began feeling like it was ‘hitting’ something when fully depressed. One of the times when it was 'hitting' or maybe 'binding' is a better description, I tried pumping the clutch several times while slowing down for my next stop. As I was stopping and it was hard to shift, I tried pulling past the binding and heard/felt something in the engine that made I can only describe as 'the clutch is going in too far'. This seemed a little strange to me and only happened once, and I thought it might be in my head since I was already trying to figure out why I was starting to have issues with shifting. That and 'too far in' really didn't make sense. One search suggested the brass bushing in clutch handle was worn so I replace with no change in symptoms. I decided to replaced slave cylinder instead of rebuilding because the road grime made it look like it was in worse shape than it was. No change in symptoms. Rebuilt clutch master cylinder, although it seems the clutch handle travels a bit smoother, no change in symptoms with the shifting. And, the clutch lever, once bled, does not pull all the way into the handle without feeling like it is hitting something right before handle contacts hand grip. The best way to describe this is it feels like there is a mechanical limit from the clutch, not the handle. I arrive at this conclusion because if I bleed off the pressure, the handle pulls all the way in without any binding. So to summarize, I can pull in the clutch, drop it into first gear with a nice clunk, and shift up through the gears with minimal effort but does not quite feel normal. Coming back down, not so easy, I have to match the RPMs to the lower gear to be able to shift down without forcing the shift lever, even that is difficult. As I come to a near stop I can’t find neutral and very difficult to get it into 1st. If I do manage to get it into first before stopping, I cannot get it out of first with the engine running. Once I am completely stopped, I need to turn off the bike to get it out of first, or into neutral if I am not in first. I am very sad at this point and at a complete loss – I ride this baby nearly everyday and it is going on 60 days without a ride other that testing to see If my latest attempt at repair has been successful. Books no help, can’t find anything I haven’t already tried when searching for symptoms. Anymore ideas besides take it to the shop?

On a side note, since this issue started, I’ve also switched back to real oil (10W-30) from synthetic. I’ve been running synthetic for about 5 years, but one of my searches suggested not using synthetic in the GL1500 and since I was due for an oil change anyway, I put in the real stuff. Of course there were no change in symptoms. Frustrated and open to suggestions. Thanks in advance!!



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bluthundr31
Posts: 440
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Location: Morgan Hill, CA.
Motorcycle: 1991 GL1500 Interstate (Cinnamon Beige)

Re: Clutch/Transmission issue?

Post by bluthundr31 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:05 am

When you dealt with the clutch reservoir, did you happen to remember to gently pry off the shiny silver "tab" and use a torch tip to clean/ream out the return line? That gets full of "gunk" and makes the clutch do some strange things. DOT 4 fluid in clutch, right??

You say that you changed oil when this issue began, , were you careful to put in oil WITHOUT any friction modifiers?? Some oils don't "play nice" with our clutches because of the friction modifiers.

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DenverWinger
Posts: 1035
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: Clutch/Transmission issue?

Post by DenverWinger » Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:08 am

Rather than the clutch slipping from issues with the oil, this is clearly the clutch dragging.

Here's an exploded view of the clutch.


The way it works is the slave cylinder pushes on rod part 15 and 10 into bearing 23 which rides on release plate 9. Plate 9 bolts to plate # 8 at the opposite end of the clutch pack. Spring 11 smashes all the clutch plates together, sandwiching them between clutch center #2 and plate #8.

When you pull the clutch to disengage, slave cylinder pushes rods 15, 10 bearing 23, plate 9, plate 8 and smashes spring 11 flat which releases the clutch plates.

Thinking you might have an issue in bearing 23 or parts 9 or 10. Shouldn't have to disassemble the clutch.

Don't know what a PITA it will be to get to, but sounds like you've done everything else.
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark

sans1
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:04 pm
Location: Colorado Spring, CO
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500 Aspencade

Re: Clutch/Transmission issue?

Post by sans1 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:44 am

thanks to both of you. bluthundr31, yes, I did pull the cover and cleaned everything to the point the reservoir looked new. I used Dot 4 from a sealed container and after all the other troubleshooting and bleeding, I am confident none of the original Dot 4 is still in the systems - I'm nearly 3/4 through a 1 quart container. As for the Oil that was one of the many straws I was grasping at. The problem was already present before the oil changed and the symptoms did not change with the fresh oil (I just looked, I actually used 10W-40, Not 10W-30 - From Amazon HONDA 08C35-A141L01 Honda Pro GN4 Motor Oil, 10W40.)

DenverWinger, with a user name like that, it sounds like you are just up the road, what time can you come help me fix it :) ? Thanks for the tip, I will look at the manual and see how difficult it looks, but I am leaning on maybe taking it to the shop at this point because I really don't have the tools to start breaking into the engine. In the past I've always tried to do my own work, but after replacing my left handlebar electronics a couple of years ago (Turn signal housing) turned into a three day job and nearly a full front end tear down, I'm a little leery of cracking open the housing. On a brighter note, wife already suggesting I look for a newer bike - Coworkers tell me to do it before she changes her mind, I'm just a tight wad and don't want to spend the money. Had a chance six month ago to buy a friend's when he was moving out of state that was in awesome shape, low miles, and he was going to cut me a great deal but according to my wife then "I didn't need another Motorcycle". Timing is everything!! The good deals only come along when you don't need them.

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SG_Jay
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:55 am
Location: Northern MN
Motorcycle: 1998 GL1500 Aspencade

Re: Clutch/Transmission issue?

Post by SG_Jay » Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:37 am

I'd be starting a new thread tomorrow titled "Look at my new bike" :D When the boss is on board, you gotta take it!

JohnUSA
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:37 am
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1995 Goldwing TriKing Trike

Re: Clutch/Transmission issue?

Post by JohnUSA » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:42 am

sans1 wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:44 am

On a brighter note, wife already suggesting I look for a newer bike -
-according to my wife then "I didn't need another Motorcycle".
Translate into math...

+1, -1=0

Do what you need to do.

User avatar
DenverWinger
Posts: 1035
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: Clutch/Transmission issue?

Post by DenverWinger » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:45 am

....With the Wife on-board it is a perfect opportunity to check out another bike... :mrgreen:

In either case fixing this one will make her rideable again, and also increase her sale or trade-in value if you go that way. Or just keep her too! To work on the clutch, probably easiest to disconnect power to the fuel pump, start her up and run the carbs out of gas. Then drain oil and lay her on her side.

I'm in the NW corner of Denver city limits, by Lakeside Park if you know where that is (I-70/Sheridan Blvd). Don't know where you are in 'Springs, but we are a couple hrs apart at most.
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark

JohnUSA
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:37 am
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1995 Goldwing TriKing Trike

Re: Clutch/Transmission issue?

Post by JohnUSA » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:54 am

Hey, sans1, if you decide to tear into it, please let us know how it goes.

I'm thinking I might have to get into my clutch also.

As an aside, spent most of my youth in Colorado Springs, back in the day when civilians could simply drive out to the flight line of Peterson Field and watch planes come and go.

Good luck!

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Wing--Man
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Motorcycle: Its-A-Wing--Man

Re: Clutch/Transmission issue?

Post by Wing--Man » Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:21 pm

On another bike the rear brake pads would not retract properly.

Flushed the system and cleaned the return micro-hole still the same issue.

Before replacing the lines I tried this.
Drain hole open, full master reservoir AND capped, I fist smacked the lever hard several times. Should have seen the large flakes and more black gunk come out of the slave cylinder. Bled until clean and the rear brake worked just fine.
It is good we have dreams, for if they were real, most would not be alive.
Smile for yourself next time you wake up, you have another fine day to live.

sans1
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:04 pm
Location: Colorado Spring, CO
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500 Aspencade

Re: Clutch/Transmission issue?

Post by sans1 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:36 pm

Just a note to say thanks for the input. I looked at the manual and although it does not look like it would be too difficult, there are a few steps that are not 100% clear (at least not without digging into it).
I appreciate the tips like draining the fuel and turning it on its side, but I think I am going to get an estimate from the shop and balance cost against time without my bike and the uncertainty of me possibly still not being able to fix before I decide to try it myself. It is amazing how our perspective changes. Wow!, I just did the math and it was just over 35 years ago when I did not have the money to pay someone to work on a dirt bike someone gave me that wasn't running. I went to the library, grabbed a Hanes manual and just dove in and figured things out on my own. It was very rewarding then to get it going. I had that bike apart so many times I didn't need the manual and since I got it for free, the risk of messing something up was offset by not being out anything but the cost of parts. I am at that point in my life that while I would feel real good about fixing myself, I just don't have the time to do it. I am going on my third month now without my bike and every workday I walk past the Motorcycle parking on the way to the office and it is just bumming me out. Besides, people like me better when I ride because I am in a better mood. I think it is time to take the next step. At least I can ride it to the shop. If it turns out to be too expensive I'll start shopping for a newer bike, an maybe try to fix it after I replace it. Unfortunately, Bluelbook is only around $2800 at best I think so it will likely more value to have a second bike than sell it or trade it in. I'll let you know which direction I go. Thanks again everyone for the input. BTW, the slave replacement was much easier than I anticipated and access to do it was not as difficult as I expected. I spent more time getting ready to replace it than actually making the swap.



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