Clutch problem on my 1965

Transmission, clutch, chains and belts
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2007 8:21 pm

Clutch problem on my 1965


Post by redinthehead » Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:01 pm

Description: Once she is running the mouse trap won't release.

Post by redinthehead on Jun 19, 2007, 3:39pm

Hi Guys,
I just started having a problem with my Mousetrap on my 65. Before I start my bike the clutch will release fine. Once she is running the mouse trap won't release. I greased the fitting on the mousetrap and that seems to move freely. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Post by 57pan on Jun 19, 2007, 5:43pm

Could you explain what you mean by "the mouse trap won't release?" Do you mean that you pull the clutch lever in and the clutch does not DISengage? Or, do you mean that you pull the clutch lever in to shift into gear and then when you let go of the lever the clutch does not ENgage?
Not sure I have anything to offer either way, but just wanted to get it clear so we don't go off down the wrong path.
Did the problem progress gradually? Or, did it appear suddenly?
What have you done to it lately? Remember: there's no such thing as coincidence when it comes to diagnosing problems and you can never provide too much information.

BTW, welcome to the fray!

Post by redinthehead on Jun 19, 2007, 7:44pm

Hi 57Pan,
Sorry I should have been more clear. When I pull the clutch lever in to shift and then release the clutch lever the mousetrap is not returning to its original position. I have not done anything to the clutch "path" recently except take a little slack out of the clutch cable thru a little cable adjustment. Since I posted the original message I tightened the clutch springs 3/4 of a turn and all seems well. I would have only tightened them a half turn but they felt so loose. And that brings up another question, I have not checked my service manual but is there a torque spec for the clutch springs? The felt loose when I gave them a turn enough that I noticed it.


Post by redinthehead on Jun 19, 2007, 7:48pm

oh, one more thing 57pan, Thanks for the warm welcome!


Post by 57pan on Jun 19, 2007, 8:57pm


There are no torque specs for the clutch springs (in face, there are very few torque specs for ANYthing on these ol' bikes), but the service manual does give a dimension for how much the springs should be compressed. IIRC it is 31/32"
But, you mentioned that you adjusted them 3/4 of a turn. Normally, you adjust them in 1/2 turn increments because there are a couple of recesses in the underside of the nut that engage a little bump on the spring plate which keeps the nuts from losing their position. If you don't have the correct adjuster nuts on your clutch hub that might be the cause of your problem - they just worked loose and when you tightened them you were just bringing them back into spec.

Post by 65 Eric on Jun 19, 2007, 10:41pm

Welcome aboard redinthehead, I also have a 65 with a mousetrap and adjusting it was a whole new learning experience for me! I just went by the detailed instructions in the Clymer manual I have. I'm running a 3" open belt so my clutch basket and springs are a different set-up I think. Sounds like you got it figured out though. There's no problem that someone here can't help you with, I know, I've learned all kinds of good stuff from these folks.


Post by redinthehead on Jun 20, 2007, 12:29pm

So you are saying there are detents on the spring nuts? I guess I will have to double check and see if I can feel the when I turn the nuts. I don't recall my shop manual mention that. I will take another look though. All seems better for the moment!

65 Eric, Sounds like you have got it figured out. I read the whole section on adjusting the clutch "path" and my head started to spin. starting with the Lever and the cable then the mouse trap then the actual clutch. I Think I need to read it a couple more times and take it one step at a time! Thanks everyone for the help.


Post by 57pan on Jun 20, 2007, 5:04pm

Just don't try to remove and replace all three nuts at once - you'll have 10 springs flying all over the place Surprised

Post by panacea on Jun 21, 2007, 5:08am

There is a detailed adjustment procedure in the manual, the ten springs push the plates tight together, which holds pressure on the releasing rod that goes thru the mainshaft, which pushes the releasing arm back,which pulls the moustrap just past center. The arm should measure 4 1/4" from the shifter housing. (picture in manual). Sounds like the hand lever cable is adjusted to short which won't let the mousetrap swing past center. If you do need to remove the pressure plate and releasing disk, there is a method in the manual that works slick, remove the adjuster lock nut then put a large washer on the adjuster screw that is big enough to push the pressure plate in. put the lock nut back on and tighten untill the spring pressure is off the adjuster nuts, spin them off and pull the whole package off as a unit. Sure beats trying to get all the springs back in place with only two hands! Mike

Post by redinthehead on Jun 21, 2007, 1:24pm

Hi Panacea,
Good tech talk on putting a large washer on the adjuster screw! That's what I call good info! I think the cable is adjusted properly. The manual calls for 1/4 inch of play before the clutch is disengaged. I did have it adjusted tighter which may have caused this whole problem. It may not have been fully releasing the clutch causing some minor wear which caused me to have to tighten the clutch springs and re-adjust the cable again. Not sure but I am just guessing. Since I tightened the clutch springs and re-adjusted the cable everthing is back to normal. Nothing is worse than a mouse trap that won't release. I like the tip though I will keep it in mind when I pull the clutch.


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