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NeodyTone

1999 VFR800 Clutch

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Over the summer, I rebuilt my clutch master cylinder.  Recently, the clutch has been slipping under high load, but only when the engine water temp is over 190 F.  The clutch lever has zero play no matter how I adjust the thumbscrew on the handle.  It makes me think the clutch plates are not fully engaging because the clutch slave cylinder still has hydraulic oil pressure on it.  If this is the case, is there any way to adjust this condition?  Possibly too much oil in the master cylinder?  Maybe the clutch plates are shot and I just don't want to admit it?  The bike just rolled past 20,000 miles, I bought it used with 16,000 on it.  Any thoughts/advice is greatly appreciated, thanks!  

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I don't think it's the clutch plates...

 

First thing to check is the clutch push rod. If it is rusty at all polish it and put it back in. Seems to be a common problem with the 5th gen by looking at forums. A rusty push rod will make it stick to the oil seal which will hinder the return travel after using the clutch.

 

Second thing to check is the very small return hole in the clutch master cylinder, if you like me forgot about it when rebuilding the master cylinder. You'll find it in the bottom of the master cylinder beneath a steel bracket, just remove that bracket with thin pliers and clean out the hole. A messy hole will keep the hydraulic pressure up (just like you thought).

 

If that didn't help continue with the clutch springs, you check them by following these simple actions:

Put the bike on the side stand.

Remove right hand fairing.

Remove right side engine cover.

Remove clutch springs and measure them.

 

Are they within spec? By how much? You could try to change them and test again. No need to change oil, and if you're lucky and you didn't break the oil seal for the engine cover you don't need to change that either for a quick test.

 

If the springs are within spec by a fair margin you could continue your dissection by removing the clutch and steel plates and check them for wear. But I think the above steps are well worth to try before that, and a more probably source of your fault then the clutch itself.

 

Edit: Another thing to check if you get that far into the clutch is notches in the clutch basket from the clutch plates. Those could also mess up the operation of your clutch. You could gently file them down and rebuild.

Edited by SweViffer
Added things...

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On the master cylinder back the 3  bolts a few turns to see if your no play suspicions are

the problem... you can even test hop it but be prepare for major clutch drag during shifting...

 

If the Clutch is slipping I offer a way to save $240.00 in new clutch parts by investing in
some sweat equity... deglazing clutch plates ain't nothing new... no
sir... back in the 70s it use to be part of every savvy rider's
maintenance plan... and for some reason that all change during the
90s... why fix what you can buy new is the what you hear now a days...
but if your interested in making your clutch bite good as new then
roll up your sleeves and read on...

 

Inspect the friction plates for glazing... make sure you have plenty
of material to work with... check the manual for clutch thickness range...

 

First removed the contaminants with something like Acetone... then lay
each plate over a 600 grit black dry emory paper and rotate in a
circle... you're just busting the glaze... don't get carried away
remove too much material... You should end up with a friction plate
looks dull like a new one as opposed to a shinny glazed one... recheck
thickness...


gallery_3131_51_129667.jpg

 

Next check the pressure plates for bluing caused by localized heat...
make sure they are not warped... the manual does not state a thickness
range... now removed the contaminants with something like Acetone
and wire wheeled them to erased the blue and also to generally scuff
up the surface... you should end up with a dull surface free of Blue
marks...

 

gallery_3131_51_40098.jpg

All in all there are no reports of a new clutch slipping no matter
what oil the owner selected... but around the 25K to 35K mile mark
your clutch maybe glazed enough that oil choice affects their
performance... deglazing brings back the plates to the new condition
were the oil doesn't matter again... it's your choice...

 

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I forget to mention the option of laying the bike on its side for clutch maintenance...

simply lay the bike at an angle to shift the oil level at an angle to remove
the clutch cover without spillage...

 

ClutchFix2_zpsd4fae11b.jpg
ClutchFix3_zpsa99f34bf.jpg

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I can confirm the above. Having coached 100+ people through removing & replacing their clutch covers, none have had to do more than simply parking the bike on the side stand to avoid spilling more than a couple drops of oil.

 

It helps to let the bike stand for a few hours after running, to allow residual oil fling to pool in the pan. 

 

Tipping Mr. RC45 over on a shop stool... that takes some balls Larry! Lol

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I own an example of both "sub-generations" of the 5th Gen VFR800, a 1999 bike and a 2001 bike.

 

I don't know if you've noticed this but something happened to the VFR800 clutch pack internal parts arrangement when Honda changed the 5th Gen over from the first half of the 5th Gen (the '98-'99 bikes) to the second half of the 5th Gen (the '00-'01 bikes)

 

Here's the 5th Gen VFR800 clutch question I've been asking myself (but as of yet I haven't been willing to do the work to find out the true answer):  What happened to the "Judder Spring Seat" (part number 22125-ML7-000) and the "Judder Spring" (part number 22402-ML7-000)?  You'll find the Judder Spring and the Judder Spring Seat are listed on the parts fiche diagrams for the '98 and '99 year models of the VFR800, but these parts are not listed on the '00 and '01 year models parts fiche diagrams (even though the parts providers often use the same drawing of the clutch parts for both 5th Gen sub-generations, which shows the Judder Spring Seat and the Judder Spring).

 

You'll also notice there are differences in the number of Clutch Plates and Clutch Friction Disks:  The '98-'99 bikes have 8 Clutch Plates and 9 Clutch Friction Disks, while the '00-'01 bikes have 7 Clutch Plates and 8 Clutch Friction Disks.

 

The part numbers for these Clutch Plates and Clutch Friction Disks are different for the '98-'99 bikes and the '00-'01 bikes.

 

If the '98-'99 clutch pack includes all of these extra parts (the Judder Spring Seat and the Judder Spring and 1 more Clutch Plate and Clutch Friction Disk) my guess is that the plates and disks in the '98-'99 bikes must be thinner and the plates and disks in the '00-'01 bikes must be fatter.  Or... Honda changed the "stack height" inside the clutch basket (which would explain the need to change the number of disks and frictions and do away with the Judder Spring Seat and the Judder Spring). 

 

Further evidence that something was changed in the "stack height" of the clutch, the part number for the Clutch Center (the part of the clutch that transfers power into the bike's transmission) is different between the two 5th Gen sub-generations.  This is the part you would have to redesign if you were going to change the overall height of the of the clutch internals. 

 

Could it be you're working with a clutch that the prior owner somehow miss-matched parts or accidentally deleted parts (for your '98-'99 5th Gen sub-generation)?

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The Y2k Honda Press Information pack (ROW) said this about the new model's clutch:

 

Lighter Clutch Operation
The VFR also received improvements
to its clutch design that improve its
operation. The piston ratio and
spring rate of its master cylinder
were changed and the number of its
clutch plates was reduced from nine
to eight, resulting in lighter action
and smoother gear change operation.

 

Not much to go on, but for some reason they decided to lighten the clutch action.  

 

Ciao,

 

JZH

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7 hours ago, JZH said:

The Y2k Honda Press Information pack (ROW) said this about the new model's clutch:

 

Lighter Clutch Operation
The VFR also received improvements
to its clutch design that improve its
operation. The piston ratio and
spring rate of its master cylinder
were changed and the number of its
clutch plates was reduced from nine
to eight, resulting in lighter action
and smoother gear change operation.

 

Not much to go on, but for some reason they decided to lighten the clutch action.  

 

Ciao,

 

JZH

 

Interesting, I didn't know that. I just looked at the 2000 and 2005 clutch masters I have here, both are 1/2" (12.7mm) 

 

Other units on hand:

Superhawk 14mm

84 VF500F 14mm

2x Brembo 16mm

ISR 15.87mm 

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Here's the General Information Clutch specs:

 

105448673_VFR800FiW-1(US-spec)ClutchGeneralInformationSection.jpg.05c9729977e1efaf7e4a3023b6973cd3.jpg

 

The only reliable source of Honda specs regarding piston sizes and the like is the General Information sections in the Honda Workshop Manuals (which is why I have dozens of them!)

 

Ciao,

 

JZH

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Ha, that might explain why 98-99 clutch springs are a different part number! 

 

I wonder if later models have taller springs to compensate for thinner chutch disc packs? Or am I talking carp? 

 

EBC offer the same kit for all 5th gen years, no? 

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I wonder why the 5th and 6th gen clutch baskets differ so much. Can a 6th gen clutch be installed in a 5th gen? 

 

Here are some microfiche pics to compare: 

 

5th gen

A8EF66AE-8840-4609-B9C0-D00A0A8A14BD.thumb.png.691476bc2758a930d3d2092c3342cf31.png

 

6th gen 

FA81E0DE-F0A7-479D-B919-A120E1289817.thumb.png.18796535087e59b55e9839b5c8a3732a.png

 

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Hmmm...

 

I've posted a similar question on the "other" forum, but I'll ask it here also.

 

I have a '99 bike, in which I plan to install a 2000-model engine (as it has half the kms) after "refurbing it").

 

Questions:

 

If I replace the Y2K clutch bits and pieces with the appropriate Y2K parts, is that going to work in the '99 bike? I assume the mechanics are identical (hydraulics/pushrod etc.), but the thing about the change in Master cylinder has me wondering. If it's all about lighter feel at the lever, but has no effect on the inner workings of the clutch, no issue, If not...?

 

And yes, I'll be refurbing the '99 throttle bodies (hoses/injectors) and installing those on the Y2K engine.

 

Are there any other gotchas I should be aware of in doing this swap (different sensor locations/part numbers, major differences in wiring looms between the 2 engines etc.)???

 

Or am I over-thinking it?

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The cklutch pack and basket on the 00/01 is different from 98/99, and I believe it is shared with early 6th gens.

The master cylinder was changed on the 00/01 to make clutch operation easier, and is also shared with the early 6G.

Easy enough to find a 00/06 master to make it light, or you can leave it as is and keep it the same as you're used to now.

 

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15 hours ago, VFROZ said:

The cklutch pack and basket on the 00/01 is different from 98/99, and I believe it is shared with early 6th gens.

The master cylinder was changed on the 00/01 to make clutch operation easier, and is also shared with the early 6G.

Easy enough to find a 00/06 master to make it light, or you can leave it as is and keep it the same as you're used to now.

 

 

Cheers mate. Happy to leave (the clutch) as is. Only concern is making sure that I have all the rights bits and pieces to bolt the later engine straight in and go. From what you're saying, it sounds like I can order the Y2K-specific clutch plates/springs, chuck those in, and the rest of the clutch system on the '99 will work with it. Happy with that!

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