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Thread: New clutch won’t disengage (after sitting dry for 3 years)

  1. #1

    Default New clutch won’t disengage (after sitting dry for 3 years)

    1947 Indian Chief. My engine, transmission and clutch were rebuilt by a pro shop 3 years ago. I made sure the engine was lubricated and turned over regularly. I finally got it running and before riding I checked only to find the transmission and primary were dry. After filling, the clutch will not disengage. The lever moves too easily. I thought maybe the clutch discs were stuck after being dry for three years. If that is so, what would be a good way of unsticking them? (The rebuilder retired and closed his shop 2 years ago)
    Thanks for helping.
    Larry Gibson

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    486

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    I think the lever resistance would not change if the friction and steel plates were stuck together.You could try to bring it up to temp and then rock the bike back and forth with motor off ,but My recommendation would be pull the cover and see whats going on.
    Tom

  3. #3

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    Here's a painful video of the attempt to get it in gear.

    https://youtu.be/rCBfPucUcno

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    486

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    Work on getting it to roll in gear after warm up with the clutch in and in gear before you do any more grinding with motor running.
    Tom

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Catonsville,Md.
    Posts
    177

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    Use high gear for rocking it back and forth.

  6. #6

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    Thanks. Will be doing that today. Should I drain the oil and replace it with something thinner (now has 30 weight non-detergent) or heat up the oil and refill the case?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    North Hills, CA and Pine Grove, CA
    Posts
    5,464

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    start it in gear while up on the rear stand. After sufficiently warmed up hold the clutch pedal down and have someone push you off the stand. Keep the clutch pedal down while you accelerate and back off.
    Be sure to visit;
    http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
    Be sure to register at the site so you can see large images.
    Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

  8. #8

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    Good idea. I think I would need a large open area and I may try it later.

  9. #9

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    Howdy sir,

    Define lever moves to easily. Do you mean the arm attached to the worm on the outside of the primary, with 16 clutch springs it should never move easily, requiring a crescent wrench to actuate if the linkage is disconnected. Either it needs to be adjusted to actually engage the worm to draw your pressure plate off or if that adjustment yielding nothing, then among other possibilities you’ve had total throw out bearing failure, your clutch stack height is out of spec or the large nut securing your clutch basket to the drive side trans bearing is backing off. I’d remove outer primary and then trans lid in that order.

    Fours routinely lock their clutches in long storage, do not drop your machine off the center stand regardless of the fact it is a two man operation to undertake with precarious operator control, you risk breaking off the two cast steel mounting ears in the frame. If this clutch has truly dry welded itself, a first for a Chief I must say, merely start it, drop to a low idle, paddle off down the street with your feet while in the saddle, snick it in first gear and then commence rolling the throttle on and off with the clutch pedal disengaged. Has worked on my 440 for 25 years but I think your problem may lay elsewhere with this Chief.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    4,343

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    Quote Originally Posted by larrymgibson View Post
    Good idea. I think I would need a large open area and I may try it later.
    Line up hay bales on both sides of the launch, Larry!

    ....Cotten
    PS: Its easier to do as Tom recommended.
    Last edited by T. Cotten; 11-21-2018 at 03:34 PM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

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