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Of the Vincent clutch - I think I am close to giving up now - what are the options?

BlackLightning998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Evening All,

Well I have been battling for more than a couple of weeks now, and have had the clutch apart over 20 times and more than as many hours spent - I just don't seem to be able to get it sorted and I think the time is approaching for me to throw in the towel - sorting it looks like it is beyond my capability.

Today I have even resorted to getting a complete Vincent clutch from a fellow member who has already changed to a plate clutch and I have gone through my bike and swapped out piece by piece, from the shoe assembly through to the primary, plate by plate and fitting a new friction insert from the VOC - no joy.

I can't get it to free off reliably every time - yet when I pull in the clutch lever and find it not disengageing on pulling in the lever, if I tap the end of the clutch nut then all goes free and smooth. When I turn the engine over on the valve lifter and kickstart the clutch might be free as can be on first lift, then move the engine again in the valve lifter and kickstarter and the clutch refuses to disengage and is locked solid, a tap usually releases it though.

I do think I have a problem with the clutch sprocket in the primary gear train - the clutch basket if fixed rigidly to the spocket but there is some lateral play - when you grab the basket at either side, or top and bottom you can noticeably "rock" it - and when I take the dynamo drive cover off I can see that rocking the clutch basket has the effect of noticeably rocking the sprocket in the primary.

I reckon the bush inside the sprocket is worn, I don't think there is a bearing in there.

Perhaps this wear is adding to the problems inside the basket.

I have one more thing to try and that is a modification with a thrust bearing to seek to try and lift the plate on the primary more effectively. Let's see what that does when I get it made up in a week or so.

So - I think I am nearing the end of my patience and abilty now - and so if the modification mentioned above does not do the job - then a plate clutch conversion looks on the horizon.

It has to be a direct, exact exchange - no engineering prowess needed for fitting - so what would Club Members recommend I should contemplate fitting?

I know there is a V3 out there - but have heard of people having problems running it dry.

I think VinParts offer a clutch replacement - has anyone had one recently and does it fit straight in with no modification required?

Do the VOC spares company do one? If so what is it and what is it like - has anyone had experience of one recently?

I'm off to the Manx GP in a month - and can't face a clutch not working for a whole week on the Island.

Any/all help gratefully received on advice on what to fit?

Stuart
 

Vic Youel

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Twin clutch

Evening Stuart,

Don't give up yet....... with our IOM trip coming up I felt my twin clutch problems finally have to be cured once and for all. So my machine has beaten yours to the Old Windsor clutch clinic....... a thorough forensic analysis is in process and several minor faults have been corrected.

In the last year or so I have overcome a long standing cable abutment problem thanks to Russell. Clutch shoes have been relined and rebushed and a new clutch plate from Conways and a rebushed sproket with new oil seal from the same supplier has also been fitted. Then it was new springs and cups that did not fit the VOCS outer plate. Also lost count of the number of times I've selected springs and cups from my enormous collection.....broken teeth on the clutch plate etc and as for eliminating oil contamination......

Then there was the usual G91/1 wear problem.....what a pain dismantling that side of the machine.

Result was a usable bike but with an intermittent drag problem. Our mutual colleague and highly skilled engineer rejected the mini valve FYO modification and developed a much better solution for me....

So tomorrow afternoon is the next test.

Hopefully there will be an opportunity to improve your own clutch at this clinic from the lessons learned so you can really test your new braking capability next month!!

Mind you one of the V1,2,3 etc would have been a lot cheaper. But I am a person who still persists with original Amals, magnetos and Miller dynamos.....not for me the disc brakes and other modern bits.

Vic :):):)

PS I gave up on the Comet and invested in a Conway Honda clutch today because the Burman design is so poor.
 

indianken

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Vic,

To hell with a proper headlight. I'd rather die some rainy night than give up the dim flicker of the original one. Or the cutting edge clutch design which has become the pattern for motorcycle manufactures everywhere. And give up the best motorcycle brakes money could buy 60 years ago?

Poor designs? No, but we all are riding in a new environment, quite unlike 1950.

Ken Smith
(Fearless in modern traffic? Not me):eek:

Evening Stuart,

Don't give up yet....... with our IOM trip coming up I felt my twin clutch problems finally have to be cured once and for all. So my machine has beaten yours to the Old Windsor clutch clinic....... a thorough forensic analysis is in process and several minor faults have been corrected.

In the last year or so I have overcome a long standing cable abutment problem thanks to Russell. Clutch shoes have been relined and rebushed and a new clutch plate from Conways and a rebushed sproket with new oil seal from the same supplier has also been fitted. Then it was new springs and cups that did not fit the VOCS outer plate. Also lost count of the number of times I've selected springs and cups from my enormous collection.....broken teeth on the clutch plate etc and as for eliminating oil contamination......

Then there was the usual G91/1 wear problem.....what a pain dismantling that side of the machine.

Result was a usable bike but with an intermittent drag problem. Our mutual colleague and highly skilled engineer rejected the mini valve FYO modification and developed a much better solution for me....

So tomorrow afternoon is the next test.

Hopefully there will be an opportunity to improve your own clutch at this clinic from the lessons learned so you can really test your new braking capability next month!!

Mind you one of the V1,2,3 etc would have been a lot cheaper. But I am a person who still persists with original Amals, magnetos and Miller dynamos.....not for me the disc brakes and other modern bits.

Vic :):):)

PS I gave up on the Comet and invested in a Conway Honda clutch today because the Burman design is so poor.
 

Mickthevin

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Clutch

Stuart

i was having terrible problems with my original clutch and i havent got your patience or capability so went for a vin-parts replacement. Tony came round to "help" (read - i made the coffee) fit it. Took just over an hour. What a difference! No dragging, no slipping, one finger pull, works perfectly. Next day delivery - cheers russ

mick
 

Vic Youel

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Twin clutch

Initial road test this afternoon; pause after you pull the clutch lever and then selct gear......no clunk whatsover. A gentle totter up the road only at this stage.

The lateral thinking approach of our clutch analyst was to examine the clutch linearity without the clutch plate. The 9 pin spider needed aligning and the back plate was running out of true and needed 20 thou skimming off the back. Compensating washers were added.

Seems excellent but still have to ride it home and do a proper road test for slip etc. next week

Stuart the problems you report are very similar to my experience.

Cheers

Vic

PS Some have told me that the Vince Farrell clutch from Australia is very good....not sure what V number this is. Maughans still recommend the Vincent standard clutch.
 

BlackLightning998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
It's not over yet...............

Stuart - have you considered letting Derek Sayer have a go?

He's known as Dr. Vincent in South London.

Hi Graham,

Thanks for that.

It's a wonderful club isn't it. Great the way that people come to your aid, Norman Walker is helping me with the design and manufacture of a modification including a thrust bearing to lift the outer primary plate square, one of our local members who is a renkown engineer is going to have a look at it for me next week and all for a problem that I appear to have caused myself, rather embarrasing.

I stripped the clutch reluctantly as I had a slipping clutch on a hot engine. I meticulously cleaned it and put it all back together again and that is when the trouble started.......my fault.

Thanks for the Dr. Vincent tip - if my local friend combined with the modification that is being re-machined this week are not able to help me then I think I am done, I'm going to fit a modern replacement clutch and so will only then have to decide which one to choose.

I'm off to the Manx GP shortly and can't contemplate the clutch playing up on the Island for 10 days.

Cheers for now.
 

BlackLightning998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Just a brief update on my "clutch woes"

Evening All,

So just an update for Forum readers on the saga of my stock clutch.

You may recall I had it slipping on a hot engine, stripped and cleaned it and caused myself all manner of slip and drag problems that made the bike unenjoyable to ride to the point I was close to giving up and fitting a plate clutch.

As a last resort before the change I left my bike with a superb engineer member of our West London Section, Paul Packman. Paul has sorted out and rebuilt my clutch for me following a bit of machining and repairing worn parts and I rode for 130 miles today with the sweetest and lightest gearchanges I can ever recollect on the Vincent.

Several first gear selections from neutral had me looking down to check I'd engaged a gear it was so slick.

Yes I know it's only 130 miles, (Swallow's and summer and all that) there's lots more miles to do before the Manx GP but I'm feeling back on top of the world again with the Vincent - and the rain stayed off me all day today too......:D

And all that before we try the thurst bearing pushrod modification that Norman Walker has designed and had machined for me - life just gets better.

Thanks and much gratitude go to Paul.:D

I'm off to Bill Little's tomorow - taking the long way to put another 250 miles on.

Here's a couple of pictures from todays run - out in the Chiltern Hills.

Regards to all:D
 

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Bill Thomas

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
The Chiltern Hills

Hello Stuart,
What a super photo, You have made me homesick.!!
Three years ago I moved from Ruislip, I spent many happy hours on Ibstone Common watching Red Kites = Birds. It was a quick half hour blast
up the M40 for me. If you are ever up that way check out Turville it's Magic.
Have a good Manx.
All the best Bill.
 

BlackLightning998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi Bill, glad you liked it - a few more being posted shortly

Hello Stuart,
What a super photo, You have made me homesick.!!
Three years ago I moved from Ruislip, I spent many happy hours on Ibstone Common watching Red Kites = Birds. It was a quick half hour blast
up the M40 for me. If you are ever up that way check out Turville it's Magic.
Have a good Manx.
All the best Bill.

Hi Bill,

Glad you liked it - I rode through Ibstone, Christmas Common and out to Crendon yesterday, and then again today - more photo's being posted shortly of my 210 miles ride to Bill Little's and back via Stow on the Wold, Burford, Lechlade, Swindon, Abingdon and home just for fun.

Cheers

Stuart
 

Vic Youel

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Twin Clutch

The major contribution to solving my clutch drag problems seemed to be associated with the selection of cups and springs for the pilot clutch.

Over the years I have accumulated at least 3 sets of spare cups and springs. Cup depths vary considerably whilst some do not fit the pilot clutch plate without some delicate machining.

Springs come in different levels of quality and by testing them in a vice you can determine the ones most likely to become coil bound as they bulge out sideways under compression. They also have widely differing uncompressed lengths and are occasionally wound in the counter clockwise direction.

Ian Savage at VOCS is very aware of these parts problems and they are no doubt on his "to do" list for the longer term.

It can be very time consuming to assemble and disassemble the almost infinite permutations so the Old Windsor clutch clinic has conceived a lathe mounted jig to ease selection and balancing. Combined with his very simple centering collar for the push rod even lifting of the pilot plates to minimise drag is ensured.

Some of us are thinking of forming a separate subsection of original twin clutch users.....there are not many of us around!

Vic
 

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