Clutch Help Please!

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by shimzy, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. shimzy

    shimzy New Member

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    Hi Guys,

    I have been creeping around this forum trying to work out whats wrong with my clutch. Ive seen loads of detailed threads but none of them seem to address my problem.
    My clutch is SUPER stiff. I know the clutch arm is supposed to be stiff when you try to move it with your hand but mine wont even engage with the lever. I have pulled the cable as tight as it can go but now the clutch lever on the handle bar cant even pull it.
    I got so mad i even took a hammer to the clutch arm to see if it would move but nothing!

    I took the cover off, took the pin out and the ball bearing is there.
    I took the right side cover off and tried adjusting the "flower nut" but that seems to be stuck on and wont budge.

    Does anyone know of another way to test/check the clutch. Or how to get the flower nut unstuck? Mine looks like its not supposed to move!

    Please help???!!!!
     
  2. Cabinfever1977

    Cabinfever1977 New Member

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    dont use a hammer on clutch arm.
     
  3. shimzy

    shimzy New Member

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    yea i no, i knew it was a bad idea at the time but i didnt hit it that hard to be honest. just tapped it to see if it would move. I cant see how the cable would be strong enough to move it. Theres got to be something restricting it from inside, i just dont know what.

    I thought maybe if I took it all appart I might be able to work it out. I recall one guy saying he took his appart and found that it had been assembled incorrectly at manufacture.
    I cant take mine appart as the flower nut seems to be welded on!
     
  4. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    The first question I'd ask is; Is this a new engine that has never run? Many guys have trouble with the clutch at first because from manufacture until the time you get it the clutch pucks (friction surfaces) can stick. Usually all it takes to free them is a good hard push on the clutch lever (the one at the engine) I know it seems stiff and hard to move with your hand but it will if you apply enough pressure. I made a tool to move the clutch lever but Vise-Grips will work too. Wrap the lever with a cloth so you don't scratch it all up then rotate it toward the engine using the Vise-Grips as a lever which will put more pressure on it than you can comfortably do with your hand. If the pucks are stuck they will usually free up with this method. It's always recommended to lubricate the clutch cable also. Oil works but if you remove the cable from the sheath you can coat it with a light grease. Good luck, let us know how you do.
    Tom
     
  5. Cabinfever1977

    Cabinfever1977 New Member

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    even a small skinny guy like me was able to work the clutch,sure it was hard at first(took my both arms to move it)but it was easier after breakin in and riding a while.
    maybe yours is stuck.my clutch lever still working.goodluck.
     
  6. shimzy

    shimzy New Member

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    Hi Tom,

    Yep, this is a new engine, never run. I began putting it together about a week ago.

    Somehow i managed to get enough pressure out of my thumbs to push against the clutch arm and i can see the clutch plate moving in and out ever so slightly on the other side. Its taking a huge amount of force to get this to move and the bike still will not roll when the arm is pushed in.

    The flower nut can now move. I've pulled on the handlebar lever and put in the locked position, tried adjusting the flower nut and this bike still will not roll.

    Oh and Cabinfever1977.... would this be a good time to mention that im only a little lady? with very little strength??? lol
     
  7. Creative Engineering

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    Thanks skjjoe :D

    shimzy,

    It is a design flaw...some are worse than others.

    Jim
     
  8. shimzy

    shimzy New Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the link skjjoe.... but it seems as Jim has pointed out that it is a design flaw.
    Even if I were to use the clutch actuator, it doesent quite resolve the issue of the bike not rolling.
    It might make it easier to pull the clutch but i've been fighting with this clutch for almost 2 days now and like i said, even with the clutch arm pushed in, the bike still will not roll.
    Theres got to be something wrong in there.
    Does anyone know of any other way to get the bike to roll? Should I take the entire content of the clutch (on the right side) out and start again??? Something must be causing the restriction and i really wanna find it and give it a peice of my mind!
     
  9. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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  10. shimzy

    shimzy New Member

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    Thanx Bikeguy Joe! I've been trying to find that thread for ages! I came accross it a while ago (before I knew I had a clutch issue) and forgot to bookmark it.

    So heres my new problem... in my attempt to carry out Jims "External adjustment of the primary clutch spring " heres what I did....

    Took off chain sprocket cover on left side
    Took off outer casing on right side.
    Took out little screw
    Unscrewed flower nut
    Took off clutch plate
    Removed spring
    took the tool supplied for spark plug and chain sprocket and turned the nut in the centre of the right side a couple of notches and all of a sudden, the bike is happy to roll.

    Hip hip horray? no.
    Now, the bike rolls freely with the clutch cable detached from the clutch arm. i.e, the lever does nothing.

    Clutch arm still has same amount of stiffness.
    I put it all back together and the bike is still rolling.
    When I push against the arm, I can see, just as before, the clutch plate moving in and out, but the bike still rolls.

    So, i've gone from one extreem to the other.

    Have I broken it???? even more that it was already????
     
  11. skjjoe

    skjjoe Member

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    no you just adjusted it to far out go back take off right side cover turn the flower nut two clicks to the right that's click not turns. then try again if that don't solve it one more click at a time keep working on it until it will engage the clutch
     
  12. Creative Engineering

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    shimzy,

    If I'm reading your description right:

    You loosened up the wrong thing.

    You don't want loosen the hub nut.

    The fact that your bike rolls with this nut loose would suggest that the woodruff key is missing.

    Jim
     
  13. skjjoe

    skjjoe Member

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    yea jims probably right when you turned it it may have came out good luck with that thing where did you get it from just curious?
     
  14. shimzy

    shimzy New Member

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    ok, so i've checked out Normans step by step guide for getting to the woodruff key in another thread about the clutch but I dont have the tools to take off the small gear.

    But I can confirm that nothing fell out, unless its stuck in the gearbox somewhere? (although I cant see anything floating about inside).

    Also, when I turned that hub nut, all it did was turn the chain sproket on the other side in turn making the wheel roll backward. So I dont think it really loosened anything?

    The bike is still rolling freely with the clutch arm cover off on the left and the cover, flower nut, clutch plate and spring off on the right side.

    Still a woodruff problem??? If so, can anyone tell me another way of getting the small gear off? Unscrewwing it just turns the cogs.
     
  15. shimzy

    shimzy New Member

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    oh, sorry skjjoe, its a chinese engine kit off ebay....... yea i know... i didnt expect it to be simple or perfect!
    But im patient and determined :)
    and you guys are great at helping me to keep my cool !!
     
  16. skjjoe

    skjjoe Member

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    you have to have a puller to get the small gear off look for norms thread on this
     
  17. Creative Engineering

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    "The bike is still rolling freely with the clutch arm cover off on the left and the cover, flower nut, clutch plate and spring off on the right side".

    With those parts removed, it will roll freely! This is to be expected.

    Put it back together, adjust it, and simply ensure that the clutch plate is not against the friction material when the clutch lever is pulled.

    The design flaw I was talking about is in the factory clutch actuator assembly.

    Get it back to the point where you are simply left with a stiff clutch handle...In other words make sure everything else is functioning.

    If all that remains is an annoyingly stiff clutch...buy my kit and be done with it.

    Jim
     
  18. shimzy

    shimzy New Member

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    well, i would like to thank you all for your help and for your quick responses. I really was not expecting to get such an instant response to ALL of my bimbo posts!

    Skjjoe was right, I had loosened it up too much (I took the flower nut out complete)
    And Jim, you were right, I just needed to put it back together and take it slow.

    This helped me understand exactly what I was playing with....

    "Put it back together, adjust it, and simply ensure that the clutch plate is not against the friction material when the clutch lever is pulled."

    So thanks for that.

    At one stage I found that the bike would roll with the clutch lever in (as it should) but would still roll (with some resistance) with the lever out. Then it was a case of DAAARRR put the spark plug back in! And hey presto! No rolling!!

    Still got a stiff clutch but im going to assume this will be the case during break in. If not, i will be looking at purchasing one of those actuators ;)

    Thanks guys!

    Shimzy
     
  19. skjjoe

    skjjoe Member

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    glad you got it.Now go ride that thing lowriderl Oh by the way the clutch wont get any better you still need the part from Jim to make it better
     
    #19 skjjoe, Apr 11, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
  20. Earthman

    Earthman New Member

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    Shimzy,

    My clutch arm requires 14 to 16 lbs of force applied at the end of the arm to pull it in. The clutch lever on the handle bars requires about 14 lbs of force applied at the end of the lever. This amount of force seems “easy” for me, but my wife, daughter, and you may not agree. When pulled in all the way, the clutch lever causes the clutch arm to swing through about 30 degs of rotation on the engine. It seems like the clutch disengages about 90 percent of the way when the clutch arm on the engine is pulled in about 10 or 15 degs. This is the point at which the little button on the clutch lever will hold the clutch – so the button doesn’t disengage the clutch enough to make the button useful. I can’t push the bike unless I pull the clutch lever in all the way – I can peddle, but I wouldn’t want to for long.

    As I recall (all the way back to two weeks ago when I got the engine), the clutch arm on the engine was much harder to push thru it’s range of motion for the first few times, then either I got used to it, or it loosened up.

    Anyway, I hope this helps.
     
    #20 Earthman, Apr 11, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009

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