Replacing Clutch Cable

For specific matters pertaining to the smoking thundering twins

Replacing Clutch Cable

Postby sam1am » Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:09 am

I came out from work to find my speedometer cable hanging off my '75 T500 Titan. Got it re-attached, started up, and pulled in the clutch, only to snap the cable an inch or two from the lever. One of those days...

I unscrewed the cable from the top of the engine hoping the connector was underneath, but it looks like it goes down inside. Am I correct in thinking I need to take the side piece off the engine there to get to it, or is there some way to reach it from the rubber grommet on the outside?

Here is where I'm looking, for reference (not my bike):
Image

If I need to remove that panel, could someone confirm these steps:
  • Drain Oil from the engine (big nut at lowest part of engine
  • Remove Shifter and Kick Starter
  • Undo the screws on that panel (4-6ish)
  • Remove panel, replace cable (I'm assuming this will be self-explanatory once I get inside)
  • Put it all back together, put in more oil, adjust the clutch according to the manual, ride into the sunset

Does that sound about right? Anything else I should be aware of or watch out for? (Yes, clearly I'm a noob). I got this bike two weeks ago and I feel like something breaks every time I ride it, so I'm hoping you guys can help get me up and running!

Thanks!
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Re: Replacing Clutch Cable

Postby Batterstyle » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:38 am

Take off the kick starter, gear lever and then sprocket cover. The cable is then easy to replace. Suzuki dealers have these cables.
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Re: Replacing Clutch Cable

Postby Batterstyle » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:40 am

Sorry, just to confirm you don't need to drain the oil at all! :P
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Re: Replacing Clutch Cable

Postby pedro » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:52 pm

nope no oil draining
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Re: Replacing Clutch Cable

Postby sam1am » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:19 am

I got the clutch cable installed and now have set about trying to figure out how to adjust the cable. I followed the manual best I can figure it out (it's pretty damn confusing) and the best I've gotten is getting the clutch to grab at the very end of releasing the clutch, which makes me think it may be slipping. There's also a worrisome part in the manual that talks about making sure the clutch release screw is seated at the bottom of the guide that I can't interpret (what guide?).

Image

It's starting to get warm again outside and so far every time I've taken this bike on a short ride it's resulted in several hours of maintenance. I'm kinda afraid to even take it out again for fear that I missed something and will cease the engine.
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Re: Replacing Clutch Cable

Postby sam1am » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:37 am

I'm still not sure I got it right, but I read a guide that said to turn the clutch adjustment screw until it caught and started getting tight, then loosen it just a hair. That got me a lot closer to having it feel like it should, but I still might need a little adjustment in the handle or the other end.
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Re: Replacing Clutch Cable

Postby al249v » Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:07 pm

The deal with "making sure that the screw is seated at the bottom of the guide" is pretty much the norm for these Japanese screw-style release mechanisms, but this is the clumsiest way of describing it I've seen yet. Basically, the further out that the inner screw "thread" is from being seated, the less thread engagement there is between the inner and outer threads. If you look closely at the little diagram in your manual, "incorrect" has the inner part of the adjuster, the "bolt" portion of this threaded arrangement, partially disengaged from the "nut" or outer part of the adjuster whereas the "correct" diagram has the threads fully engaged, meaning that the adjuster is as far retracted as it will go.

This really is S.O.P. for this type of adjuster, all Kaw triples use this same type of mechanism. You back the cable and the adjuster off and let/help the inner "screw" with the cable arm to fully relax or wind into the outer portion. Now, the threads are fully engaged and perhaps more importantly, the arm is slightly below 90 degrees, which means that when it starts actually turning to push the clutch plates, the arm will be working at it's best leverage. You then loosen the lock nut and turn the release screw, which is actually a threaded shaft, clockwise to take up the slack betwen that screw and the longer, inner rod. I usually tighten it until it lightly bottoms, then back it off 1/2 turn to provide some play- leaving it tight against the inner rod is sort of like leaving your foot resting on the clutch of your car, when the clutch is fully engaged you want a little play betwen the parts. Once the release screw is backed off that 1/2 turn, lock it down with the locknut and then set your cable to release and engage at the point you like best.

As to your worries about working on your bike more than you seem to have expected, and possibly seizing your bike, you sort of have to accept that these are pretty old bikes now and that they will take a bit more looking after than a modern bike. I admit to being a bit of an idiot with this, but when I buy a bike over 20 years old, I do a very thorough front to back inspection, looking for worn bits and parts, and I always end up replacing something, regardless of how nicely the bike was maintained or how much I paid for it. They're just older mechanical devices and things wear just through age. These are great choices, however, for an older bike, especially for a 2-stroke, and anyone who's bought a Kaw Triple in the last 10 years will agree that those darn things are made of poor quality green cheese and there's usually a whole bunch of stuff to fix when you first buy one. T500s are probably the most reliable large 2-strokes ever made and if you do that stem-to-stern inspection and replace any parts that look marginal, weepy, loose or worn, and keep your oil tank full and clean gas in your tank, your T500 will not let you down. My road/touring bike is a '74 GT750 with 138K on the clock and I take it all over the country without hesitation. The T500 is basically a GT750 with 1 less cylinder and no water cooling to worry about. Get it right, then ride it!
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