Friday, April 17, 2009
Coming Through in the Clutch
Well, it seems that I've finally solved all of my clutch issues. I've been having problems getting enough throw to fully disengage. It would work well when cold, but as everything warmed up it began to drag, to the point that I would have to shut it down in order to get it in gear. No Good!! I realized that, again, my geometry was off. The bell crank from the cable to the booster was at too acute an angle to work properly. It got chucked into the "Big Tub O' Failures". I fabbed up this new one and what a difference. The clutch action is smooth and light. Not two fingers, but an easy three finger pull. I used the foot peg as a pivot on the old one. This one pivots on a bronze bushing. Not the Torrington bearing that was recommended, but I think it will be fine. I can always change it later if it proves to be inadequate.
At the beginning, I was asked why a vacuum booster AND a mousetrap? I had no real answer, I just thought I'd give it a try. I think I made the right choice. As stated in earlier posts, full disengagement, no heel assist pedal and a comfortable pull at the lever were my objectives. There just seemed to be no way to achieve this with the booster alone. I decided to piggy back the mousetrap onto the existing system to see if it would help. It did. I also discovered that the mousetrap alone, when adjusted tight enough to disengage the clutch would not re engage. This is due to the diaphragm clutch cover and the fact that it becomes easier to pull the farther it disengages. So, the answer turned out to be two boosters, one vacuum, one mechanical. It seems Rube Goldberg and, perhaps, it is, but it does work. I also believe that the necessity to replace the clutch every 10 thousand or so miles on the old clutch bikes is, partially, due to the fact that there was never complete disengagement. At a stop, the disc was dragging slightly. It wouldn't be noticeable due to the weight of the bike. Every time you would stop, you were wearing out the disc and overheating the cover and flywheel.
Another Ranger conversion has a hydro/electric setup on it. It seems to work well from the pix and videos that I have seen. He is riding the bike and so far, to my knowledge, has had no problems. I wish him well. I don't think mine is better or worse than his, just two separate roads up the mountain. We'll see after we have some real miles piled up.