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  1. #1
    Member jwf88's Avatar
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    86 VF500 Clutch wont disengage when cold

    By disengage, I mean that when I squeeze the clutch lever in first gear, it still grabs first gear enough to pull the bike foward. Yesterday I experienced this while starting the bike and I also found that it refused to shift gears while the clutch was squeezed.

    I reached down with my hand and pulled on the shifter while still holding the clutch, and was able to get it into nuetral.
    After letting it heat up for a few minutes it began to operate a little better, but the gear shifts are still a little rough, and the clutch engages VERY quickly when I begin to release it from the fully depressed position. It connects so soon infact theat over half the travel of the lever does nothing.

    Can anyone explain what the problem is here? I have not yet tried any kind of clutch adjustment.

    thanks


  2. #2
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    I would start by Bleeding the Hydraulic clutch......If it has air in it, it will not disengage fully, etc.

  3. #3
    Member jwf88's Avatar
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    Thanks, I will see if this works when I get some time.
    As long as I can remember, the shifter on this bike has been stiff so I wonder if this has been the issue the whole time. Though after pulling it from 3 year storage the actual clutch issue is a new development.

  4. #4
    Member jwf88's Avatar
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    Can someone please move this thread to the mechanics garage section? I'm going to be working on this Saturday and I feel I may have better luck with information having this thread located there.
    Thanks


    As an update, I haven't bled the system yet but I took it for a ride the other night and the problem has gotten worse. It took 15 minutes of idle before I could shift to first without having it pull. Riding around the the shifting was VERY stiff and the clutch would only disengage when the lever touched the hand grip. I read in the mechanics garage section about others who have had similar problems which, as CRFan has said, seem to relate to the air in the system. However none of the people who started these threads reported having fixed the issue.
    Last edited by jwf88; 07-25-2012 at 10:34 AM.

  5. #5
    Uber Guru squirrelman's Avatar
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    Not only bleed the system but change out the old fluid entirely. You might possibly need to replace seals in MC or slave cylinder.



    " Goin' to Hell in a bucket, but at least I'm enjoyin' the ride. "


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  6. #6
    Member jwf88's Avatar
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    Yeah I was reading in other threads about similiar issues. I am going to drain the system and look inside the MC for blockage or dirt before I refill and bleed it. Are the seals still available for purchase?

  7. #7
    Member jwf88's Avatar
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    Okay so I bled the system according to the service manual. I drained the master cylinder completely, wiped dirt out of it, and then refilled it with new fluid. Following the manual, I pumped the clutch lever several times then held it, then loosened the slave cylinder bleed valve, fluid drained through the hose (with some air bubbles), then I tightened the valve and released the lever. I did this several times until the new fluid was coming through the hose with no bubbles. I checked the fluid level in the MC and re-assembled everything.

    ...however the bike still does not roll with the clutch in. In fact it seems worse now and the lever feels really loose. Does everything listed above look correct? Anything I should check or do over? I'm going to go out and pump the lever more..maybe let the thing heat up and see if it makes a difference.

    EDIT: Heating it up didn't make a difference, but I noticed the fluid level had dropped some. I added a bit more to the upper level line, but there is still no difference.

  8. #8
    Uber Guru squirrelman's Avatar
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    New seals wound be the next thing to try, mc first.

    If you or a PO waS acting hooligan, there could be warped clutch plates.

    Test mc by finding a bolt that threads proppaly into the outlet hole. With the outlet plugged, if you don't have a rock-solid lever, you probably need a rebuild with new seals.
    You could also squeeze the hydraulic line with pliers to test.



    " Goin' to Hell in a bucket, but at least I'm enjoyin' the ride. "


    FRACKING: kiss your aquifer good-bye !!

  9. #9
    Member jwf88's Avatar
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    Ive always tried to be easy on the clutch considering its age. The previous owner may have been hard on it though, as he is generally known for carelessness (I've known him my whole life).

    I just tried pinching the line with pliers. The lever moved freely but stopped hard about an inch away from the hand grip. Without pinching the line the lever seems to move freely in its whole range of travel, very little resistance.

  10. #10
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    I had a similar issue with my Shadow's BRAKE cylinder.

    I had to remove the lines and blow them out with compressed air, and blow out the MC AND the caliper.

    Worked like a charm, there must have been some debris trapped int here...

    dv

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    l had a Kawasaki that used to do a similar thing if it hadn't been ridden for awhile, l had to start the bike in gear with the clutch and front brake on to free up the clutch, l ended up changing the oil from mineral to synthetic and it fixed the problem, maybe you've got a similar problem

  12. #12
    Member jwf88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgash1 View Post
    l had a Kawasaki that used to do a similar thing if it hadn't been ridden for awhile, l had to start the bike in gear with the clutch and front brake on to free up the clutch, l ended up changing the oil from mineral to synthetic and it fixed the problem, maybe you've got a similar problem

    I did just change the oil when I took this thing out of storage. I used a high mileage type and I've been wondering if this was the wrong thing to do. This might be something to try.

    I think I'm going to try squirrelman's suggestion first and change the seals. I was reading in my service manual about slave cylinder disasembly and I found this: "Make sure the piston seal is correctly seated in the groove in the piston. If not seated correctly, fluid will leak past the seal and render the clutch useless."
    If fluid is leaking past my seal then that last sentence pretty much describes my problem perfectly.


    It looks like BikeBandit has the parts, but I don't see the piston seal listed here. Could someone clarify or give me another source? I believe I'm just looking for the slave cylinder's "oil seal" and "Piston Seal". Item 14 looks like the piston seal but they are calling it something different.
    http://www.bikebandit.com/houseofmot...1673#sch544438

  13. #13
    Member jwf88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirrelman View Post
    New seals wound be the next thing to try, mc first.

    If you or a PO waS acting hooligan, there could be warped clutch plates.

    Test mc by finding a bolt that threads proppaly into the outlet hole. With the outlet plugged, if you don't have a rock-solid lever, you probably need a rebuild with new seals.
    You could also squeeze the hydraulic line with pliers to test.
    As far as the master cylinder goes, what "seals" do I need to be replacing? There are lots of pistons and hoses but the only rubber seal I see is the diaphram that sits under the cap (mine looks almost new for that matter).

    This is a link to bikebandits diagram and parts list 1986 Honda Interceptor 500 VF500F Parts, 1986 Honda Interceptor 500 VF500F OEM Parts - BikeBandit.com

    Your assistance is MUCH appreciated sir

  14. #14
    Member jwf88's Avatar
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    OK, I replaced the piston set, seals, and push rod. Still nothing.
    I noticed that when I'm bleeding the line, air bubbles rise to the top of the MC fluid reservoir. You guys know what that means? Seems like the opposite of what should be happening, though some air still comes through the SC when I bleed it.

    It's beginning to irritate me. I would really like to figure it out without having to buy a new MC assembly.

  15. #15
    Senior Member orion3814's Avatar
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    Get a pair of pliars
    fight the power. Google maps latitude. Moeraetrans@gmail.com . U can watch my wife and I travel the country we are always moving. Really easy to do if u have and Android phone.

  16. #16
    Member jwf88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orion3814 View Post
    Get a pair of pliars
    And do what exactly? I tried pinching the line. That's why I replaced the MC internal parts but its still doing the same shit.

  17. #17
    Senior Member orion3814's Avatar
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    What happens when u pinch the rubber line just off the master and pull the clutch is it rock solid or sponge like mr sponge pants. Imo clutches can be a bitch to bleed. If its rock solid when u pinch there just pull the master cyl cover off and get ready to bleed like no other. Get ya a hose and just bust open that bleeder down on the slave and put that lil rubber line on there put the other end in a pop bottle.. in a symphony of pull the handle pinch pull the handle pinch pull the handle pinch. Just keep bleeding it till u get past the first half resiviour. Then top off. Move down to the rubber line just off the slave. Pull the bar 1 time and hold. Pinch pump up the clutch see how solid it is with the line still pinched. If its solid then bleed it a few more times pull pinch release pump it up eelease the pliars pull pinch again. Pump it up and see how solid it is. If its prety solid then ur pretty close. With the line still pinched close the slave bleeder and release the pliars. Top off ur resivoir again up top. Tap the slave down below slightly with the handle of a screwdriver to help the smalllll air bubbles acumulate at the bleeder. Pull the bar in once and hold it crack that bleeder and let the last one flow close it while still holding the bar. Now check ur clutch if that didnt work then theres somethin else goin on. Im goin to have to make a video when i get home next time so yall can see how i do it. Never had a problem with my process b4 granted everything was in propper working condition..
    fight the power. Google maps latitude. Moeraetrans@gmail.com . U can watch my wife and I travel the country we are always moving. Really easy to do if u have and Android phone.

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    jwf88 (09-14-2012)

  19. #18
    Member coucours grad's Avatar
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    I once had a ZG1000 that did the same thing. The PO had let it sit alittle longer then he first confessed too......The clutch Steels and friction plates were stuck together after sitting unmolested. In fact, I had to completely dis-assemble the clutch and clean the steels and plates with brake cleaner....And steel wool the RUST off of the Steels to get the whole thing working correctly.


    Get you clutch bled correctly and pull the clutch cover (Dont know where it is on the vfr but others do!)
    Doveryai, no proveryai!!!

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    jwf88 (09-14-2012)

  21. #19
    Member jwf88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orion3814 View Post
    What happens when u pinch the rubber line just off the master and pull the clutch is it rock solid or sponge like mr sponge pants. Imo clutches can be a bitch to bleed. If its rock solid when u pinch there just pull the master cyl cover off and get ready to bleed like no other. Get ya a hose and just bust open that bleeder down on the slave and put that lil rubber line on there put the other end in a pop bottle.. in a symphony of pull the handle pinch pull the handle pinch pull the handle pinch. Just keep bleeding it till u get past the first half resiviour. Then top off. Move down to the rubber line just off the slave. Pull the bar 1 time and hold. Pinch pump up the clutch see how solid it is with the line still pinched. If its solid then bleed it a few more times pull pinch release pump it up eelease the pliars pull pinch again. Pump it up and see how solid it is. If its prety solid then ur pretty close. With the line still pinched close the slave bleeder and release the pliars. Top off ur resivoir again up top. Tap the slave down below slightly with the handle of a screwdriver to help the smalllll air bubbles acumulate at the bleeder. Pull the bar in once and hold it crack that bleeder and let the last one flow close it while still holding the bar. Now check ur clutch if that didnt work then theres somethin else goin on. Im goin to have to make a video when i get home next time so yall can see how i do it. Never had a problem with my process b4 granted everything was in propper working condition..

    First off, thanks for posting your procedure. This is the kind of information I was hoping to get .

    I started by pinching the line and pulling the lever...this time it never became solid. Before I replaced the internal parts, the lever became solid 3/4 squeezed.
    I opened the bleeder, attached my hose, pumped/pinched/released several times until I had to top off the MC. Air bubbles continued to come out so I continued until there were none.
    Now, I'm not sure what your referring to when you say "pull the bar" by the slave. There's a stiff bar like tube above the rubber section of the hose, but when I pulled on it, it made no difference.
    Periodically I pulled the lever while pinching the hose, but it still wasn't solid. It actually went from being stupid loose to relativley sponge like. An improvement? I don't know. To the best of my knowledge there aren't any bubbles in the line right now.

  22. #20
    Member jwf88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coucours grad View Post
    I once had a ZG1000 that did the same thing. The PO had let it sit alittle longer then he first confessed too......The clutch Steels and friction plates were stuck together after sitting unmolested. In fact, I had to completely dis-assemble the clutch and clean the steels and plates with brake cleaner....And steel wool the RUST off of the Steels to get the whole thing working correctly.


    Get you clutch bled correctly and pull the clutch cover (Dont know where it is on the vfr but others do!)
    I thought about checking this. I took this bike out of 3 year storage recently and the clutch never did feel correct. But it gradually got worse until it stopped functioning. I might look at this next

  23. #21
    Senior Member orion3814's Avatar
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    by bar i meant lever. Im a southerner lol. Hittin the bar while doin work hahahhahahh. 2 much to drink hahhaha.
    fight the power. Google maps latitude. Moeraetrans@gmail.com . U can watch my wife and I travel the country we are always moving. Really easy to do if u have and Android phone.

  24. #22
    Member jwf88's Avatar
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    Hahaha fair enough man.
    I didn't see any lever though. I guess I'm going to drain the oil and pop off the clutch cover to inspect these plates. Although the lever isn't solid when I pinch the line, so I still feel like there's something going on with the MC, I'm just not experienced enough to know.
    I was really hoping there was somebody here who had been through this before.

  25. #23
    Member jwf88's Avatar
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    Removed the clutch plates tonight. When I pulled them out the whole stack stuck together just strong enough to be held in the air. When I took them apart it seemed like they were suctioned to the steel plates. I'm not going to work the lever again until I get replacement motor oil and maybe new plates.

    I've never looked at worn clutch plates before, but as far as I know these have never been replaced. Does this need replacement?

    disk.jpg

    The steel disks in-between have what looks like slight burn marks on them. None of these pieces are warped.

  26. #24
    Member coucours grad's Avatar
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    No, they have some miles left to go....clean them, oil them as you assemble them and make sure they go back in the same way they came out.....



    Lets us know how it does after you get her back together!
    Doveryai, no proveryai!!!

  27. #25
    Member jwf88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coucours grad View Post
    No, they have some miles left to go....clean them, oil them as you assemble them and make sure they go back in the same way they came out.....



    Lets us know how it does after you get her back together!

    Thanks, I'm going to put it back together tomorrow. I'm wondering though, can I try operating the clutch lever while the cover is off? I'm curious to see is there is any movement taking place in there at all...

  28. #26
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    yes....only way to tell if its all working like it should....but dont start it unless you like the taste of motoroil!
    Doveryai, no proveryai!!!

  29. #27
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    Ok, I soaked the existing plates over night and reinstalled today. As I sort of expected, when the lever was operated nothing moved. But I learned about clutch plates! Haha....

    I'm certain now it has to do with the MC or the fluid line. As I said before, when the lever is pulled, air bubbles rise to the top of the MC. I don't think this should be happening, something has to be blocking it to push air back right?. I'm gonna measure the ID of the MC bore and see if it matches the specs in the book. If that's not it, I don't know what it could be....maybe the line I guess. Or maybe a curse. Just gotta get batteries for my caliper..... damn spendin money everyday

  30. #28
    Member jwf88's Avatar
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    Well guess what.....it turns out that the original "secondary cup" seal and spring were installed BACKWARDS. This is probably the cause of the problem...I just cant figure out how anybody got it to work this way to begin with. I misunderstood the diagram in the book and just installed the new parts the same way the old came out. I'm now getting a lot of pressure on the lever now and when I pinch the line the lever is completely solid :) good things.

    However, no matter how long I bleed this bitch bubbles continue to come out of the bleed valve on the slave. Some big and some small but they just keep coming out. I have made sure the resivour stays filled too, yet i've spent over an hour sitting there pulling and pinching the line as orions procedure.

  31. #29
    Member jwf88's Avatar
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    Problem Solved

    The slave cylinder failed. It was just a coincidence that I discovered the master cylinder issue at the same time. Replaced the seals in both the master and the slave and now everything is golden. Thanks for the support everyone.


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