Horrible clutch!

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Dave.Barkshire
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Horrible clutch!

Postby Dave.Barkshire » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:34 pm

I've been reading some posts about clutch friction materials on this forum and thought I'd put up some photos of mine (38VH) for some expert advice (that's you lot)

The clutch even after a good clean really grinds when I put it into gear, especially first but going up the order it is still a bit unhappy. Once in gear there is no real drag. My plates have seen a lot of life and have fibre inserts. I'm thinking about replacing as much as it takes to make it sweet again as it really affects the riding experience and my mechanical sympathy is on edge.

The club have cork 7" plates and also plain plates. I was thinking about getting a complete set and new springs.
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clutchplates2.jpg
clutchplates1.jpg
clutchplates3.jpg
1938 Ariel Red Hunter VH1 http://www.barkshire.co.uk/bikes/images/ArielVH_1938
1927 Triumph Model N http://www.barkshire.co.uk/bikes/images/TriumphModelN
2015 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer Mk2 (ABS) http://www.barkshire.co.uk/bikes/images/MotoGuzziV7RacerMk2
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Paul_Linden
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Re: Horrible clutch!

Postby Paul_Linden » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:51 pm

I can see gaps at the edge of the inserts, which may mean they could rattle, leading to poor clutch action.

I’ve just changed all the friction plates on both my squares from the ones Drags sell to cork insert plates. These take the softer springs, and the clutch action is a lot lighter and smoother now. I wish I had done it years ago. I also reset the primary chain tension on one bike as it had mysteriously tightened. That same bike had a crunchy gearchange, but all the changes mean that it is now slick to change gear.
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Re: Horrible clutch!

Postby Paul_Linden » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:54 pm

Post Script: I see some folk report that cork clutches can overheat, I haven’t had mine in long enough to see if that happens yet.
Ariel Square 4 mk2, Ariel Square 4 mk3 (yes, really), Ariel Colt, Matchless G12, BSA C12. Room for one more......

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Re: Horrible clutch!

Postby will_curry » Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:08 pm

If you misuse the cork clutch just like any other clutch it will eventually cry 'enough', except sooner.

In over 50 years I haven't yet burned one out, solo and sidecar.

Have you checked the state of the clutch basket? if that gets notched by the action of the tongues
of the friction plates you'll get what you describe no matter what material you use.

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Re: Horrible clutch!

Postby john.whiting » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:30 pm

Also worth checking if your clutch plates are flat ,and if not, make them flat ,or replace them.

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Re: Horrible clutch!

Postby simon.holyfield » Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:36 am

What does the clutch centre look like? Are the grooves nice and smooth?
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Re: Horrible clutch!

Postby nevhunter » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:23 am

Crunching into first means it's not disengaging fully. You may also have trouble getting neutral with the engine running. Stick to cork. It won't overheat unless slipping or you try to take off in top with a lot of power up a hill...Notching of the inner and the basket make a bad operating clutch as well as the PLAIN plates being rusted or not running true otherwise just make sure it disengages evenly by adjusting the springs. Gearboxes running oil spin more freely and crunch more. Blip the engine with clutch disengaged to free it and have the engine idling and wait briefly when selecting the gear when you are starting off. Too tight a primary chain can cause trouble also as others have said. Nev

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Dave.Barkshire
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Re: Horrible clutch!

Postby Dave.Barkshire » Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:16 am

Thanks all for comments. The basket and centre don't look too notchy so I think it's the plates.

I've just sent an email to Geoff Brown to ask for a full set of plates and springs and hope this will cure it.

I'll take a look at the primary chain tension and also check the clutch centre for eccentricity.

Some years ago on my 37 NH at an Ariel LDR in North Devon I remember charging up Porlock hill chasing someone done and giving it full beans, must have opened the throttle without the clutch being fully home. When I got to the top of the hill there was no clutch, I thought I'd broken it and started to take it apart. It was due to the corks expanding after such rudeness and after 5 minutes it regained its composure and I carried on with it never to happen again. This does explain why racers use fibre.
1938 Ariel Red Hunter VH1 http://www.barkshire.co.uk/bikes/images/ArielVH_1938
1927 Triumph Model N http://www.barkshire.co.uk/bikes/images/TriumphModelN
2015 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer Mk2 (ABS) http://www.barkshire.co.uk/bikes/images/MotoGuzziV7RacerMk2
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Eero.Korhonen
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Re: Horrible clutch!

Postby Eero.Korhonen » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:07 am

I have fibres in my VH and I am very happy with those.
I used to have corks, but they keep slipping when kicking
over.
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adrie.degraaff
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Re: Horrible clutch!

Postby adrie.degraaff » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:56 am

Eero.Korhonen wrote:I have fibres in my VH and I am very happy with those.
I used to have corks, but they keep slipping when kicking

It was just the other way around with me.


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