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Old 09-13-2013, 10:01 AM   #1
securety10 OP
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Riding TAT, burnt up KLR clutch in Eureka, NV

Update: Swapped clutch plates between bikes and made it to Vegas. Thanks for everyone's input/ideas.


Probably a long shot, but yesterday on the ride from Battle Mountain towards Eureka we ran across some nasty mud/clay. Dad ended up burning up his clutch about 50 miles from Eureka. Bike won't even move. Let the clutch out and it just sits there. Luckily an overly generous rancher let us load our bikes into his stock trailer and hauled us to Eureka where we are now in a motel.

But I can't get any parts until at least Monday. Is there anyone within 150 miles of Eureka that has some KLR friction plates they are willing to part with? Even if they are used? If I could even get the bike limping enough to get to Vegas, I have family there and tires etc waiting anyway. I've also been trying to find a uhaul or similar to haul the bike to Vegas, but no luck so far. Or if anyone is headed towards Vegas through here and could haul the bike I'd be more than happy to pay for the fuel for the trip plus meal(s) and some beer

I hate to sit around here for 4 days, so if anyone could help (or has any better ideas) I'd really appreciate it.

securety10 screwed with this post 09-17-2013 at 03:46 PM
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:17 AM   #2
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Hey securety10,
Went to your ride report and looked at some pics ...
Are you both on KLRs?
Can you mix and match friction plates between the bikes
to get dad limping along?
see you around the campfire,
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:19 AM   #3
securety10 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFMCjohn View Post
Hey security10,
Went to your ride report and looked at some pics ...
Are you both on KLRs?
Can you mix and match friction plates between the bikes
to get dad limping along?
see you around the campfire,
-- SFMCjohn
Yeah we are. Didn't even consider that. Guess it wouldn't hurt to try!
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:44 AM   #4
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I have in a pinch, took nickles/dimes/ or actually some washer and put them between 2 steels!
you want something that wont roll around, something that fits tight between 2 fingers and the inner basket!

I also witnessed my uncle use some bailing wire- he took a couple plates out, then ran some fence wire thru the fingers!

but that was ALONG time ago in Hawaii, riding an old Yamaha!
the klr is much more work cause u have to remove the coolant!

then don't us the clutch, get it rolling and stab her into gear and go, this is last resort stuff though!

I would wait it out since u are in the middle of nowhere

wow, just looked, u are really out threre, not even a brothel to help kill the time
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:53 AM   #5
securety10 OP
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Yeah we are...

Luckily the motel owner is really nice and willing to help us out however he can and said he'd take care of the coolant and oil for us and there is a hardware store down the road that hopefully has some coolant and oil. I liked the idea above of mixing friction plates though I'm a little reluctant to pull my bike a part because if something goes wrong in disassembly we'll have no bikes and really be screwed!

We're really lucky the rancher was willing to help us out as we were really in the middle of nowhere when he lost the clutch. At least we have internet and a dry bed
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:59 AM   #6
viper05
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KLR Clutch

Back in the old days clutches were lined with leather. Maybe a belt or shoe sole cut into pieces and put where the friction material was. I like the washer idea. As you are trying to put enough material in there that the spring tension will not let the plates slip and the springs have probably lost significant tension, if there is a way for you to also shim the springs with washers it will help. The clutch may not disengage when you are done but you can always ride without using the clutch. Good Luck!
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:50 PM   #7
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Pulled it apart and as expected there was disk fiber everywhere. The disks did look to still have a tad bit left on them so we went to the hardware store and picked up some washers to try shimming the springs first. With an additional washer in front of the spring the bike would move and he had a clutch, but when he got on to the highway it just slipped above second gear. Decided to try a second washer on the spring which required another dissasembly. Somewhere between dissasembly and reassembly the water pump shim "disappeared." Guess someone shouldn't be working on the bike without supervision...

Continued assembly anyway. Now while off the bike acts like it is in gear clutch in or out, but won't move under it's own power.

I'm guessing the second washer abutted the shaft which resulted in less spring tension than just one washer. So tomorrow we will pull it apart again and try moving one of the washers to in between the disks as mentioned above. As for the water pump shim, I'm not having much luck finding one, looks like it will be at least a week to get one. Hopefully he won't wreck to much riding the 300 miles to Vegas with no shim!
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:40 PM   #8
skag
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Are the clutch parts you need in stock in Vegas? Why not send the good bike to get the parts and return. Its less than a one day trip. Rather than risk breaking down again in between.
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:01 PM   #9
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:25 PM   #10
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I've heard, never tried, that you break a friction plate in half and double it up. Sure, it's uneven, but again that is a get-you-down-the-road/trail fix. Limit use of the clutch as much as possible.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:13 PM   #11
securety10 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skag View Post
Are the clutch parts you need in stock in Vegas? Why not send the good bike to get the parts and return. Its less than a one day trip. Rather than risk breaking down again in between.
Not that I could find. We called all over Nevada and nada. Dealers never seem to stock anything anymore. I ordered parts that will be in Vegas on Monday. I'd like to have the bike there when the parts arrive...

Quote:
Originally Posted by renogeorge View Post
Put washers on the pressure plate bolts--on top of the pressure plate . At some point this will lock up the clutch solid--good to get you down the road. To get going--in gear, do not pull clutch lever, hit starter and go. Warm up motor first in neutral if problems.

George 775 772 2164
That's what I did today, put washers between the bolt and spring which press on the pressure plate. When I put one washer on, the clutch felt locked when we tried to push it in gear so we reassembled, but above second gear it'd slip. So pulled it apart and added a second washer and reassembled. The bike feels like it is firmly in gear if you try to push it (tire won't spin) when off, but it won't move if you start it and try to ride, just revs like it is in neutral. You would think more washers would equal tighter lockup but it seems adding an additional washer seems to have mad it worse (well the slipping while riding it with one washer probably made it worse and adding the second made no difference). From looking at the schematics/diagrams, it seems to me the bolt standoffs in the hub only allow it to smush together so tightly no matter how many washers ones add. I'm thinking at this point the disks themselves need more pressure eg washer/dime/belt etc between them as noted above.

That's what we'll be trying tomorrow anyway. Luckily there isn't much of anything around here so he won't need a clutch for most of it. I've had to ride through the city with a snapped clutch cable before, and while not fun, I know it can be done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt. Ron View Post
I've heard, never tried, that you break a friction plate in half and double it up. Sure, it's uneven, but again that is a get-you-down-the-road/trail fix. Limit use of the clutch as much as possible.
Will add that to the consideration list also.

securety10 screwed with this post 09-13-2013 at 09:18 PM
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:51 AM   #12
wbbnm
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You have my sympathies. I wiped out the clutch on my KLR a couple of years ago on this trip

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=727309

A couple of other guys also trashed their clutches. One guy got his wife to come and pick us up and take us home.

When I went to fix the clutch I discovered that my water pump seals were also worn out and had to be replaced. I think it took a month to get everything straightened out. At least I wasn't stuck in Eureka.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:49 AM   #13
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Tough break, man. KLR clutches are largely indestructible except in cases of improper oil use. Don't be hard on yourselves as one wouldn't have expected this particular maintenance gremlin to surface on a TAT trip.

I put a heavy duty one in mine some time back, but I have never known another KLR rider to need one.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:52 PM   #14
HAPPYTRAILSINC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by securety10 View Post
Not that I could find. We called all over Nevada and nada. Dealers never seem to stock anything anymore. I ordered parts that will be in Vegas on Monday. I'd like to have the bike there when the parts arrive...



That's what I did today, put washers between the bolt and spring which press on the pressure plate. When I put one washer on, the clutch felt locked when we tried to push it in gear so we reassembled, but above second gear it'd slip. So pulled it apart and added a second washer and reassembled. The bike feels like it is firmly in gear if you try to push it (tire won't spin) when off, but it won't move if you start it and try to ride, just revs like it is in neutral. You would think more washers would equal tighter lockup but it seems adding an additional washer seems to have mad it worse (well the slipping while riding it with one washer probably made it worse and adding the second made no difference). From looking at the schematics/diagrams, it seems to me the bolt standoffs in the hub only allow it to smush together so tightly no matter how many washers ones add. I'm thinking at this point the disks themselves need more pressure eg washer/dime/belt etc between them as noted above.

That's what we'll be trying tomorrow anyway. Luckily there isn't much of anything around here so he won't need a clutch for most of it. I've had to ride through the city with a snapped clutch cable before, and while not fun, I know it can be done.



Will add that to the consideration list also.
the problem and why adding washers under the springs are not working is cause the clutch pack is thinner than the total clamping distance the clutch pressure plate can travel!
u need to make the clutch pack thicker!
remove a few plates, then put washers inbetween 2 steels! then u will need to stack 2 fibers but this will get u moving!
if i knew i could have had those parts to u in 2-3 days!

there are probably other brand/bike plates that should interchange!
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:41 PM   #15
securety10 OP
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Saturday I ended up giving in and switching out half the friction plates from my bike into dad's bike. I also swapped a couple of springs which were noticeable shorter on his bike and everything I could find showed the same p/n between gen 1 & 2. After reassembly he had a clutch!

Sunday we rode to Vegas without incident where we had parts waiting (and still showing up).

Quote:
Originally Posted by wbbnm View Post
You have my sympathies. I wiped out the clutch on my KLR a couple of years ago on this trip

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=727309

A couple of other guys also trashed their clutches. One guy got his wife to come and pick us up and take us home.

When I went to fix the clutch I discovered that my water pump seals were also worn out and had to be replaced. I think it took a month to get everything straightened out. At least I wasn't stuck in Eureka.
Deja vu Luckily we were able to get out of there that night, though we had set the tent up as we didn't expect to see anyone and more rain was moving in. We also found it just got worse further down the road, the rancher almost jack knifed the truck in one spot.

It was just part of the adventure though, luckily we aren't on a strict timeline!

Dad did end up loosing the shim for his impeller at some point, and conveniently every source I could find had to order it which would be over a week before they could ship to me. Luckily I have a spare bottom end at home and had a buddy pull the shim and then my mom priority mailed it to Vegas. Dad also managed to crack the water pump cover when he tried tightening it down without the impeller nut being tightened. Luckily JB weld took care of that. He also has an oil leak, but I think that is just a gummed up gasket from taking it apart multiple times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDog View Post
Tough break, man. KLR clutches are largely indestructible except in cases of improper oil use. Don't be hard on yourselves as one wouldn't have expected this particular maintenance gremlin to surface on a TAT trip.

I put a heavy duty one in mine some time back, but I have never known another KLR rider to need one.
Wasn't improper oil use, or lack of oil, though there was a bit of negligence on our part. We had been running 16 tooth sprockets as most of the trails/ gravel road were decent and we ran a bit of interstate that morning. The 16 tooth closes even further the little bit of gap there is between the swing arm and tire on a gen 2. The clay was just a sticky horrible mess. He spent 3 hours the next day trying to chip enough off so we could even get his rear wheel to move at the motel (I was certain his rear brake was locked!).

I have read of a few people burning up KLR clutches in a similar scenario (see post above) though it seems to be more of an issue on Gen 2s. I agree it isn't common at all, but I also don't think too many ride their KLRs in such a scenario.

While my clutch was fine, since I have to pull it apart again to remove dad's bad friction plates I swapped in to get him going, I decided to buy some new ebc carbon fiber ones to replace mine with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HAPPYTRAILSINC View Post
the problem and why adding washers under the springs are not working is cause the clutch pack is thinner than the total clamping distance the clutch pressure plate can travel!
u need to make the clutch pack thicker!
remove a few plates, then put washers inbetween 2 steels! then u will need to stack 2 fibers but this will get u moving!
if i knew i could have had those parts to u in 2-3 days!

there are probably other brand/bike plates that should interchange!
Yeah I quickly figured that out, I was hoping to apply a bit more pressure to the springs as there was still some friction material on a few of the disks, but alas it did not work. I understood your original post to place between the disks, I was just trying to avoid any chance of a washer dropping into the motor if I could. I appreciate your response to the thread and attempt to help (as I do everyone else's). After the failed attempt to shim the spring, I was going to put the washers in between, but dad admitted he'd rather have a clutch so I broke down and swapped some of my friction plates with his which got us to a relatives place in Vegas without incident and now we can install the new parts.
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