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clutch loosens constantly

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  • clutch loosens constantly

    2006 roadstar. replaced clutch cable.. seems the actual actuator that the clutch cable connects to is "skipping teeth" or free turning causing the clutch cable to loosen again.. so I take clutch cable off post, turn counter clockwise and put back on.. that will keep it tight until it loosens again..

    please roadstar gods, tell me whats happening and what can do to fix it..

    thank you

  • #2
    pictures of the splines and the other part that fits on it? Is anything obviously missing? Is the bolt tightening properly? Clutch cable adjusted properly?


    • #3
      Only three reasons why this would happen. Your cable is frayed/damaged and stretching, the barrel bolt that the clutch lever is stripped or the splines are stripped on the horizontal lever or the vertical shaft at the engine.


      • #4
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        You mentioned in initial post that you changed the clutch cable….. why…. Did you gave this issue of constantly having to adjust clutch with the old cable?

        it is a pretty simple system…. The serrated pin through the left side of engine is attached to a short lever which is pulled by the clutch cable… the lever is tightened on the serrated shaft by a locking bolt… provided the lever dies not skip serrated teeth when the cable pulls it… the cable should be pulling the same distance… see pic for typical “at rest” position…

        any adjustment on the cable should leave the clutch handle with about 3-4 millimeters of play measured as shown in pic… (with engine cool in my opinion)… if the case of the clutch cable is seated correctly at both ends in the respective adjusters… the cable should maintain proper tension when clutch handle is pulled in..

        as shores pointed out….

        Are tension adjusters stripped at either end of cable?

        is the lever/splined shaft stripped and skipping teeth on the knurled shaft?

        did you obtain a cable that is fraying or the end crimp balls moving…? (That will show up rather quickly and break off)


        • #5
          You guys are the best.. its funny people here at work are like "do you think its time to bring into the shop".. I'm like HELL NO.. not when you have the roadstarclinic website at your disposal.. there is no one who will collectively know what you guys do about my roadstar.

          so basically the serrated pin throught the left side of the engine that is attached to that short lever which is pulled by the clutch cable has now turned all the was counter clockwise where there is no clutch at all..

          like its bottomed out and cant / wont go in anymore..

          the adjustors are fine.
          the external serrated pin is holding tight against the "arm"..

          its just the Arm is moving couterclockwise more and more..

          I adjust clutch.. works for a day or two and then loosens for some reason.. but nothing is loosening .. I think the arm is just moving more and more counterclockwise..

          i lift up on it, reset the arm more clockwise and adjust again..

          I've now bottomed out on how far that arm can travel and the clutch can't be pulled at all like that splined shaft has hit its endpoint..

          I think Shores had it right saying "the barrel bolt that the clutch lever is stripped or the splines are stripped on the horizontal lever or the vertical shaft at the engine."

          I guess I can pull it apart tonight.. anything I should be looking for in terms of see if its stripped?

          how bad if stripped vertical shaft at engine?

          I hope this isn't going to be a big deal..


          • #6
            if you remove the arm from the serrated shaft, are you seeing a worn arm or serrated shaft… should be obvious with metal shaving evidence at the connection….

            The left side cover removal is straight forward… you should drain the main engine of oil first if you want to eliminate the chance for a big oily mess….make a cardboard pattern for bolts during removal… there are some different bolt lengths that can be easily put back in wrong holes… don’t be “that guy”…. Also make sure you find the wire disconnect socket on the pickup wire before you remove the cover…. Its behind the left cover near the fuse block if i remember correctly…. Take your time and clean old gasket material off the cover and engine… you will need a new one…. It is baked on pretty good and will be a bit of a chore to clean off…

            the serrated pin and bearings are easily removed from cover… a visual inspection should show you exactly what the problem is… it will be interesting to find out what you discover….


            • #7
              If you take the left engine side cover off to replace the shaft, you might as well replace the clutch spring if you haven't already done so.


              • #8
                I'm going to open it up tonight and see what it looks like. I will send pics tomorrow.. ..

                I have opened it before when I installed these clutch plates and installed the spring conversion kit about 18 months ago..


                • #9
                  If the 3 things that Shores said to check and they check good, then Check the throughout bearing on the clutch plate. I would think you would hear noise coming from it, and or, feel something wrong.


                  • #10
                    I'd love to say I opened it up and the teeth were all chattered but everything looked pretty good.. the bearings seemed good.. it rolled well.. someone local suggested the clutch I installed 18 months ago could be dragging and thats why the arm bottomed out. I'm considering reassembling and try again.. should I take friction plates out and inspect? that rod in the side case spins freely.. does the top spring that push's the "arm" back after letting go of the clutch go bad? maybe its that rod in side plate that does not return.. I'm just guessing.. well I have it apart so if you have any ideas I'd love to hear them..



                    • #11
                      is the return spring on the lever that the cable attaches to broken?


                      • Hairless Hippy
                        Hairless Hippy commented
                        Editing a comment
                        the spring on the lever is there and seems to be working.. I dont know.. I can take it and move that lever it back further with my hand.. maybe that spring is going? It seemed strong to me when twisting it by hand but..... could that be the problem? a spring not moving arm back fully after release? and then I just kept tightening until there was nothing left.

                    • #12
                      Have you tried repositioning the lever arm one spline on the shaft that goes into the clutch?


                      • #13
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                        it would appear that your missing something… the shaft is splined at both ends…. Either the arm is slipping on the shaft end where the clutch cable connects or the shaft is slipping on the pin that releases the clutch pressure plate tension…

                        is there too much play in the bushing/pin (part #4) that allows slippage…? ( i would think you would feel a pop when it slips a tooth)

                        is the cable arm slipping… again i would think you would feel that with tension on the cable….

                        you may want to inspect your friction discs…. Maybe they are not installed correctly and excessive wear on one/ two of them…. Make sure they alternate (friction plate/ clutch plate)… you may want to inspect the barnett pressure plate very closely…. Something should pop out at you….


                        • #14
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                          personally i think this looks pretty worn and i suspect the arm is worn too…. Did you ever mark the shaft/arm connection to confirm it isn’t slipping?…. A dot of fingernail polish may be your best indication…


                          • #15
                            you guys are really awesome for helping me work through this problem.. I would not have been able to do it without you!!

                            I think we're getting somewhere..

                            I took off barnett clutch plate and noticed there was metal shavings radially emanating out in the back of the plate from the center.

                            when I inspected further it seemed the bearings in the middle were not really in the middle of the hole.

                            it became obvious that there was a problem with the bearings and maybe more bad parts in the middle of the pressure plate.

                            I think all those center components came with the plate and weren't moved over from old assembly.

                            do you think we may have found the culprit?? I guess I will be contacting barnett.. they seems like a solid company so I hope they can do something for me..

                            see pics..


                            • davej
                              davej commented
                              Editing a comment
                              interesting to see a bearing that lives in a oil bath in that condition.

                            • Bikerron
                              Bikerron commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Only thing that could shorten its life like that is lack of free play. It’d be spinning every minute going down the road.

                          • #16
                            Yikes! That doesn't look good at all! Let us know how it all works out. Good luck!
                            2012 Road Star Silverado S


                            • #17
                              Exactly what I was thinking.
                              I would just replace the bearing. Most bearing shops will have this bearing. Ask them about a bearing that takes a lot of side forces. I believe that there is 3 styles, the last time I checked. If I run across the bearing number, I'll let you know.

                              You might want to flush out the bottom end and replace the oil & filter. Then run it for about 30 miles and replace the oil and filter again. JMO


                              • Brad_G
                                Brad_G commented
                                Editing a comment
                                A magnetic drain plug might also be a good idea.

                              • davej
                                davej commented
                                Editing a comment
                                if he gets a side load bearing he better make sure its install the right way.

                              • Bikerron
                                Bikerron commented
                                Editing a comment
                                7003B is the bearing.

                            • #18
                              Did you check that you have the pressure plate rotated and completely seated? It’s like one or two paper thicknesses differences but causes what you describe
                              It's not that life is so short, it's just that you're dead for so long.---unknown.


                              • #19
                                I installed the new bearing and put everything back together. I adjusted the clutch it seemed good. After I added oil I started in neutral. I then pulled the clutch in and had resistance and was about to put it in first gear and heard a clunk in the clutch went completely loose. I'm assuming I'm no longer on the clutch rod connecting to that little tooth thing that pulls the clutch plate out. Such a disappointment. Have you guys had this happen before? It seems like it just disconnected maybe it wasn't seated all the way when I put that side cover on.


                                • Shores
                                  Shores commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Sounds like you need to get a service manual and follow the procedure.

                              • #20
                                the plates are/were not seated properly when installed. When you open it back up you will find the plates are loose in the basket. take the barrnett back off reseat the disc and reinstall the Barrnett. when all the springs are tq'd the plates should be tight together with no space between them so you shouldn't be able to wiggle them in the basket.


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