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Author Topic: clutch lever engages when 90% extended...the cure  (Read 1026 times)

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rheiner

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clutch lever engages when 90% extended...the cure
« on: January 23, 2019, 07:05:19 PM »

I don't know if this issue has been addressed lately. I attempted a search and I found a 13 page thread from a few years ago https://www.cvoharley.com/smf/index.php?topic=102435.0 and in that thread the only solution at the time was an adjustable lever, because as we have been told over and over, the hydraulic clutch is non adjustable. I have learned about and experienced a cure for my 2011 SESG hydraulic clutch that was not engaging until 95% of the lever release travel. One issue though, is that I am using a Barnett Scorpion clutch. The principles of how the OEM vs. Barnett hydraulic systems work are the same but the hub on the Barnett is smaller in diameter about 4.25 inches, versus the OEM, about 5 inches. As a result, the parts I am using will not, unfortunately, work with the OEM hub.

It started with a call to Barnett. I wanted to inquire about exchanging or buying a new pressure plate for my Scorpion clutch to convert it from a hydraulic to a cable style pressure plate. The reason being, Baker makes a hydraulic side cover for hydraulic clutches that, beginning at the inside of the side cover, it converts it to a cable style clutch where you can adjust the pushrod/nut at the pressure plate in order to change the friction engagement point on the clutch lever. There are only a few minor parts needed such as a cable style pushrod and pressure plate. Barnett told me that wasn't necessary because they had a fix. He explained that the fix is to put in a thicker seat damper, which is the flat ring, not the concave one, that is furthest inboard in the hub (where all the alternating steel plates and friction plates go). He (Chance) suspected mine was .063 inches thick but wanted me to verify before sending parts. So I pulled the primary cover off and pulled off the pressure plate, friction and steel plates to get to the seat damper. I measured it and it was exactly .063 inches thick. Barnett makes two different size replacements, one is about .078 and one is .089 inches thick. I told Barnett to send me the thick one first. I received it and measured it. It was .090. I installed it, replacing the .063 seat damper and put everything back together.

I started the engine in my shop and and let the motorcycle run a little while to warm up, then engaged the clutch and put it in 1st gear. I slowly released the lever and it started to engage about 1/3 of the way and not at 95% of the travel like before. I am very pleased. I did not enjoy riding this motorcycle because of the clutch. We just got 7 inches of snow yesterday so I couldn't do an extended road test but I did several tests in the shop to confirm it was real.

Unfortunately the Barnett part will not fit the Harley OEM hub because of hub size differences. I don't know if the MOCO or any aftermarket companies make thicker seat dampers for OEM clutches. But there are two solutions I am aware of if you want to keep your OEM lever: (1) get a Barnett Scorpion hydraulic clutch or (2) get a Baker hydraulic side cover and convert your hydraulic to a cable style clutch to adjust the lever friction engagement point. Other than the side cover, you just need a few parts from Harley to finish the job, including a cable style pressure plate and pushrod, which are not that expensive. The exact parts needed are described in the Baker install instructions for the hydraulic side cover that can be found on their web site.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 07:04:38 AM by rheiner »
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rheiner

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Re: clutch lever engages when 90% extended...the cure
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2019, 07:26:31 PM »

To be sure, I think this is somewhat of a recent discovery by Barnett in my previous post. The reason I say this is because a few years ago I was troubleshooting this issue with Chance, at Barnett. He was sending me thicker sized steel plates as we were troubleshooting and none of that stuff worked. If the plates get too thick then the clutch lever bottoms out before it gets to the handle.
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OBB

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Re: clutch lever engages when 90% extended...the cure
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2019, 07:42:15 PM »

Someone on the Road Glide forum with a M8 bike posted up about this. I'll have to find it and get the details over here. They're very pleased with the results.


Ok, more info. The part number came from an HD tech and this guy installed it. Here's the pix I got from the RG site. Looks like it's the spacer that gets changed out, not the spring itself.


Quote
Here is a "how to"  I made for the friction zone fix. Thanks to crazy4ink for letting me know about this part.

 This mod reduces the reach of the clutch lever before it enters the friction zone. Not the total throw itself, but as you release the clutch lever it starts to grab earlier (closer to the grip). It will grab around the mid point instead of the very end of the lever throw.

If feels more natural to me especially in low speed parking lot maneuvers and technical riding.

Hope this helps anyone looking for a fix and best thing is that it uses a factory part that is now being installed on the 2019 models. 
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 07:53:35 PM by OBB »
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rheiner

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Re: clutch lever engages when 90% extended...the cure
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2019, 03:43:41 PM »

I was able to get my bike out today and do road testing. It is fixed. Clutch lever starts to engage at about 1/3 of travel now. Night and day from before where it engaged at 90-95% of the travel.
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grc

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Re: clutch lever engages when 90% extended...the cure
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2019, 04:03:30 PM »


Increasing the thickness of the seat damper basically reduces the clearance between the plates (stack height reduced).  This was discussed years ago as a possible fix for the hydraulic clutch engagement point, but for whatever reason nothing was done until recently.  I do have one question for you rheiner; you probably haven't had enough opportunity to check it out under varying conditions yet, but have you noticed any increased tendency for clutch drag after making the change?  Reducing the stack height of the plates, even if only .030", may increase drag especially if any of the plates aren't perfectly flat.

Jerry
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rheiner

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Re: clutch lever engages when 90% extended...the cure
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2019, 04:52:43 PM »

Increasing the thickness of the seat damper basically reduces the clearance between the plates (stack height reduced).  This was discussed years ago as a possible fix for the hydraulic clutch engagement point, but for whatever reason nothing was done until recently.  I do have one question for you rheiner; you probably haven't had enough opportunity to check it out under varying conditions yet, but have you noticed any increased tendency for clutch drag after making the change?  Reducing the stack height of the plates, even if only .030", may increase drag especially if any of the plates aren't perfectly flat.

Jerry

Clutch drag was one of the things I was monitoring the entire time. I noticed no clutch drag once the motor and primary were hot. There was a little bit when the bike was first started cold but no different than before I switched to a thicker seat damper. Once warm, when I put it in gear it went in smooth and the plates would not engage or drag until about 1/3 lever release. I wish I was an engineer so I could more fully understand this issue. But one thing I have learned through trial and experience: Putting in a thicker seat damper is completely different than putting in a thicker steel plate in the clutch. The thicker seat damper moved the friction zone closer to the handle where the thicker steel plate did nothing to move the friction zone closer to the handle. And like I said above, putting in too thick of a steel plate causes the lever to bottom out with no more pull before it hits the handle.

Barnett told me if I put in too thick of a seat damper I'd get clutch drag with the lever pulled all the way in. That's apparently why they offer two sizes of thickness of seat damper, .078 and .090. My original was .063. He told me they don't even ship the .063 seat damper with the Scorpion clutch now like they used to. The replacement part that OBB showed in the picture, I'm not sure what that is, what models it fits, what the thickness is vs. OEM, etc.
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Ironhorse

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Re: clutch lever engages when 90% extended...the cure
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2019, 05:01:24 PM »

So if I understand correctly,...

It's as simple as removing the primary cover, and the clutch pack. Then installing that part in the photo, the wavy washer type thing, reinstall everything back,..and the clutch releases closer to the grip.

Did I get that right?
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rheiner

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Re: clutch lever engages when 90% extended...the cure
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2019, 05:24:45 PM »

So if I understand correctly,...

It's as simple as removing the primary cover, and the clutch pack. Then installing that part in the photo, the wavy washer type thing, reinstall everything back,..and the clutch releases closer to the grip.

Did I get that right?

If I had more information I could possibly answer your question. You are correct that it is a fairly easy fix, remove the primary cover, the pressure plate and pull off the clutch plates to access the part. The part you describe that looks like a wavy washer, it sounds like it's the spring damper, which is the cone type of spacer that sits right next to the seat damper. In all my discussion, I was referring to the seat damper, which is the flat looking spacer. Now maybe putting in a different (thicker) spring damper does the same thing as what worked for me but I don't know. Maybe someone could try that part in their OEM clutch and report back, but again, I don't know what models that part fits. I am fairly confident that putting in a thicker seat damper will work, but I don't know if the MoCo makes a thicker one.
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