Sunday, May 20, 2012

Valencia's got a new clutch!

Craig and Darrell, fellow Uralisti and mechanical gurus, showed up a bit before 9:00 AM today at my home on their Ural rigs...ready to show/help me install the new clutch components onto Valencia, my 2011 Ural Patrol.

From previous posts, you know I had "smoked" the clutch on Valencia while attempting to reach the summit of Engineer Pass near Ouray, CO.  The trouble was, the clutch was not properly adjusted and the conditions and my constant "slipping" of the clutch caused component damage.  This caused "suboptimal" clutch operation and led to Valencia being sidelined the last two weeks while I waited for parts and Craig's time.

Craig walked us through the dismounting of the engine from Valencia's frame, the process went incredibly smoothly and soon we had the engine out and onto the workbench without anyone getting injured!

Getting ready to remove the transmission from the rear of the engine

The transmission slid off easily, and good news, the drive splines were fine!

 While I blocked the flywheel from moving with the screwdriver above,
Craig removed the staked material holding the six clutch screws in place.
I then loosened the screws with an impact driver and they came off easily enough.
I buggered up the screws pretty good this way but was replacing them with better ones.

 OK, mounting plate off, the outer clutch plate is visible and noticeably damaged!
 I pried the outer clutch plate off and look at all the loose clutch material
that was just separated and crumbling.

 The above picture shows the inner clutch plate which had all it's clutch material
completely crumbled off!

 The above shows the thrust plate where the springs go, note the
pile of crumbled clutch material at the bottom portion of the flywheel!

 All that remains of the inner clutch plate's material.

Note the heat discoloration on the thrust plate above.

 One last view of the old springs, the crumbled clutch material and the
flywheel which appeared undamaged but coated with clutch material/dust.
 Much cleaning, blowing by compressed air, and use of vacuum cleaner later,
the new clutch springs are placed into the new thrust plate within the flywheel.

 The above shows the outer clutch plate in position, the intermediate plate and inner clutch
plate are already below it and it's time to align the plates with the Ural tool that Craig brought.
Note how tight a fit it is into the flywheel. 

 Using two M8 x 1.00 bolts and nuts, we compressed down the cover plate 
(after a couple of careful alignment attempts) and finally got it to go into the tightly fitting 
gear grooves of the flywheel.  I was sure glad to have Craig for this part, I would have 
messed it up for sure!

 Cover plate is in and the new allen-headed clutch screws are in place and
the use of red loctite was ensured.
 I put the clutch release rod into the square hole where it meets the engine drive spline,
then it was a simple matter of sliding the transmission onto the release rod.  A little
alignment, nudging, some light blows with a rubber hammer and the transmission was on!
It helps also to move the rubber donut to align the splines.

We got the engine into the frame with very little problems, though we did find out that the mounting rods are of different length!  Still, we swapped them easily enough and from that point on it was a flurry of reconnecting activity by myself and Craig.  Darrell had assisted during the engine mounting and dismounting and other portions but mostly he did tire swaps for his rig and also ferried his stepson over to the zoo.  I sure was glad he was there for the engine moves though, the sucker is heavy!

 The only photo taken of the work involved with hooking all the cabling back up, remounting the carburetors, re- installing the starter, the ignition system, putting the final drive back on, the rear wheel, 
the battery and finally the gas tank. (there's more to it but those are the main items).

 We put a bit of gas into the tank, and she fired up on the second attempt after engaging the 
chokes on the carburetors.  Success!  Craig had adjusted the clutch cable and it was
spot on in terms of clutch movement!  Houston, we have clutch action!

We all donned riding gear and went for a short check ride, Valencia did great and her clutch permitted smooth up and down shifting of gears once more!  The idle was a bit high but I would end up fixing that up later.
 Here are Craig, Valencia and Darrel.
My profound thanks to both of you for giving up your Sunday to help!
Thanks especially to Craig and his confident expertise and advice throughout the process.
I couldn't have done this without both of you.

 A parting shot of the guys, Darrell above on his Patrol
and Craig below on his Gear-UP Rig.

The guys headed home while I put away all the tools and I cleaned up the garage.  There sure was a lot of clutch material dust all over the work area!  Once everything was squared away, all the other vehicles put away and things cleaned up; it was time for a social commitment.

I rode Valencia to get her fully gassed up and picked up my youngest son to go to a friend's daughter's high school graduation party.  It felt great to be riding Valencia again and she was running great!

All is well with my motorcycles once again.  I have to do some minor tweaking of the carbs on Valencia but that will wait till tomorrow.  We also found the locking ring on the spare wheel to be stripped so I'll be getting a replacement under warranty hopefully.  We found this while mounting what had been the spare as the pusher tire.

All in all, a great tech day, I learned a lot about the clutch on a Ural, how to dismount the engine, some tricks to remounting the final drive and how to adjust the proper angle of the rear brake pedal.  Also covered were how to properly adjust the clutch (both major and minor adjustment points) and I enjoyed the help and camaraderie of fellow Uralisti.

Thanks Guys!  I am in your debt.


Chris said...

Glad you were able to get it fixed relatively easily. You're lucky to have such knowledgeable people around to help!

SonjaM said...

You make it sound easy as pie. Now you are back to having a great selection of fully functional bikes in the stable. Cool to have friends who can help. You must have gathered some good karma. Isn't life great?

RichardM said...

Great write-up. Was it essential to remove the engine from the frame or did that just make everything easier especially with the sidecar still attached? I heard that the engine/trans combination is pretty heavy.

redlegsrides said...

Chris, I am indeed....

SonjaM, it sounds easy but there were moments when experience and technique were key!

RichardM: Removing the engine makes it so much more easier. I can't imagine how easily we would have been able to align the clutch components into the flywheel gears with the engine still mounted!

cpa3485 said...

You are turning into quite the gearhead. Good and informative post. Thanks

Gary France said...

Holy Smoke! You certainly did, err, smoke that clutch.

What a great friend Craig is, spending that time to help you repair the damage. It never ceases to amaze me how much skill and patience Ural owners have to work on their own bikes. Posts like this must also help others needing to do the same thing and be a very useful source of advice, information and inspiration. Well done to both of you!

BeemerGirl said...

Now that sounds like a perfect day. Everything successfully removed, fixed and replaced! With no spare parts left over! :)

Sounds like a lot of work, but rewarding with the learning process.