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Old 04-09-2012, 06:36 PM   #1
elioporky OP
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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1971 Suzuki T500 Titan Clutch Problem

Hey Folks!

So I just got given a 1971 Suzuki Titan with less than 6K miles and a stylish cafe racer face lift. It had been drained of fuel and left to sit for a year or two (covered) before it fell into my hands. I was told that the carbs had been rebuilt about two years ago and that it had received new plugs around the same time. After throwing in a fresh battery and kicking the hell out of it, I was unable to get it to start. I pulled the spark plugs and they were drenched so, after some interweb research, I drained the cylinders through the drain plugs, releasing about 1/2 cup out of each. 5 kicks later it fired into life and idled as happily as if it had only been two days -- rather than 2 years -- since last being run. My problem now is that when I kick it into 1st it jumps forward and stalls. I've read -- again on the interwebs -- that the clutch is most likely stiff from sitting for a while and that if I get at it I can free it up, oil moving parts (???), and it will be fine again. I don't have ANY experience with transmissions and I figured this sort of fix wouldn't be too bad. I'm good at blasting things with penetrant, wiggling them, lubricating them, and putting them back together. The only thing is, I don't know which side of the bike to open up first to get at the parts of the clutch that I need to free up. I have a pdf repair manual and the parts catalog so I know how things come apart and go together, I just don't know which side to start from. Also, what do I need to look out for so as to not screw anything up?

Thanks guys! Here's a pic so that you know what I'm working with!

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Old 04-09-2012, 06:52 PM   #2
Tosh Togo
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There's no need to crawl under the sidecover...just put it in second gear (engine off!), pull the clutch lever to the bar, and then rock the bike forward and backward against the piston compression until the clutch plates break free. You don't need to get crazy with movement back and forth: just push with your feet while your butt's planted on the sadlle- no lunging required.
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:07 PM   #3
elioporky OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tosh Togo View Post
There's no need to crawl under the sidecover...just put it in second gear (engine off!), pull the clutch lever to the bar, and then rock the bike forward and backward against the piston compression until the clutch plates break free. You don't need to get crazy with movement back and forth: just push with your feet while your butt's planted on the sadlle- no lunging required.
I will try this miracle method in the morning. How long/how many rocks will it take? What is the signal that I should look for that the clutch plates have broken free? Also, what happens if this method doesn't work?

Thank you so much for the quick response!
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:57 AM   #4
Scrivens
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Maybe half a dozen rocks backwards and forwards. The clutch is under the right side cover on the engine and a pretty simple thing to dismantle if you want to clean the plates. I had abut half a dozen T500s from the original Cobra up to the final disk brake 500M. Nice bikes for fooling around on. This is one of mine from around 1980 and had the worked over engine and wheels from my Metisse road racer in a standard frame, Borrani rims, 4 leading shoe brake and a few other goodies. Fast but quite docile on the road given the motor was race ported. (I sold the Metisse frame, chambers, carbs, tank and seat etc to another racer.)

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Old 04-10-2012, 11:32 AM   #5
elioporky OP
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Clutch Problem Fixed (Thanks!) Possible Fuel Delivery Issue?

Thanks for you all help, guys! You all are geniuses and I can't believe how quickly the 2nd gear trick worked to free the stuck clutch.

Now I seem to have a small fuel delivery issue. It runs and got me around the block no problem but I have a few questions:

1. When I got the bike, the vacuum hose from the intake to the petcock was removed at the petcock end and plugged. Do people commonly operate this bike with this sort of setup to compensate for a failing vacuum system in the petcock? If this is common, how perfect should the seal be? I'm pretty sure the vacuum hose has a hole in it so I'm prepared to replace it anyway. I read in the T500 shop manual that you're not supposed to attempt to fix the vacuum valve system in the petcock. What is your experience with this aspect of the delivery system?
2. The fuel lines on the bike as I got it were clear and of a larger diameter than the nipples on the carbs and petcock. To compensate for the discrepancy, little bits of rubber were placed on the nipples to make the clear hose fit. The seals seemed sketchy so I swapped out the clear hose for black hose of the proper diameter. Will this effect the flow of fuel into the carbs? If this is the case, what sort of adjustments do I need to make to make everything work as it should?

Thank again for all your help. I'll send more pics soon.
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:52 PM   #6
elioporky OP
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**thread moved to two smokers**

I meant to post it there the first time but it ended up in Airheads by mistake.
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