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I have a clutch issue that seemed to develop in less than a mile. I have an 01 1800 with roughly 150,000 miles on it and I put the last 30+ on it and have had no clutch related problems until this morning. I left for work and on the way in I could feel 1st and 2nd gear going almost as I pulled out of my driveway, was downhill so noticeable but not to the point of stopping. Little further trying to ride I pulled off a stop light and was in 1st at 3500 RPM and doing 10 MPH. Quickly went through the whole range of gears and it had no change. So now I decide to return home, uphill about a mile of course and in about 200 yards I lost everything, rolling backwards in all gears. Luckily I did get some help and my trailer and got the bike home safely.

So at first I thought the clutch went out on me entirely. After thinking about it a mile is not nearly long enough for it to go from working fine to completely gone with no indications of it going. I am wandering if there is a bolt or nut that holds the clutch assembly together and if that could have come loose and caused my problems. If so would that be as quick and easy as tightening it up and riding on or should I really be looking further into the bike for an underlying cause? Also at that point should I go ahead and replace the clutch plates? TIA for all the upcoming help.
 

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I have a clutch issue that seemed to develop in less than a mile. I have an 01 1800 with roughly 150,000 miles on it and I put the last 30+ on it and have had no clutch related problems until this morning. I left for work and on the way in I could feel 1st and 2nd gear going almost as I pulled out of my driveway, was downhill so noticeable but not to the point of stopping. Little further trying to ride I pulled off a stop light and was in 1st at 3500 RPM and doing 10 MPH. Quickly went through the whole range of gears and it had no change. So now I decide to return home, uphill about a mile of course and in about 200 yards I lost everything, rolling backwards in all gears. Luckily I did get some help and my trailer and got the bike home safely.

So at first I thought the clutch went out on me entirely. After thinking about it a mile is not nearly long enough for it to go from working fine to completely gone with no indications of it going. I am wandering if there is a bolt or nut that holds the clutch assembly together and if that could have come loose and caused my problems. If so would that be as quick and easy as tightening it up and riding on or should I really be looking further into the bike for an underlying cause? Also at that point should I go ahead and replace the clutch plates? TIA for all the upcoming help.
Well.......you are going to have to get a manual for this one. Could be a couple things.

Slave rod could be stuck, line full of trash, could be. Bears checking first.

The clutch on the 1800 is very different than other motorcycles and is pressure assisted by the engine oil. The oil helps hold the clutch closed.

Doubt it is a nut, as you would hear that making noise. You are going to have to go in after it so yes new plates are in order while in there, but I would suspect an o ring, or the large pressure spring. It is not like the five or six springs in most bikes it is one large spring steel affair kinda like a spring finger deal. Then there is an internal piston if you will with another o ring on that. So a good leak or rolled o ring will just let the oil go on by and return and not actuate the clutch assembly.

You would hear the main nut, and if the clutch basket nut came unstaked, you would really hear it.

A gear or slipped gear on the main shaft could do this too, you will not know until you can access the clutch basket and see what is going on. If the clutch basket turns freely while in gear, then there is an internal situation.

So one step at a time.
 

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Sounds like a clutch. What type of oil are you using? Pull the dip stick and see if it smells burnt. If the oil is synthetic, and oil does not smell burnt, do an oil change back to Honda dino oil, retry, and report back. Sometimes clutch issues are resolved going back to basic dino oil. Do you trailer, sidecar, trike ... slow race compitition?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I run amsoil and have for the 30+ k I have put on the bike. It has helped smooth out my shifting, less cluncking. Only have about 3 k on this change so far too. I am curious as to how oil would cause it to go out in less than a mile? I am planning on tearing into ot this weekend to check the spring and internals. Appreciate the info and any more would be greatly appreciated. Also anyone know a good link where I can get some directions on doing the job?

I do some trailering and a little bit of the slow riding.
 

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Open up the clutch master cylinder... Does it look nice and clean in there??? If not, then remove and clean the master and flush through a bunch of new fluid (to flush out the slave)... See if that helps... You didn't mention if there was normal resistance felt in the clutch lever or not...
Also, in the future, when ever you have slipping problems, don't keep running the bike (especially up through the gears)... The clutch disks can be worn out in very short order by doing that...
 

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I run amsoil and have for the 30+ k I have put on the bike. It has helped smooth out my shifting, less cluncking. Only have about 3 k on this change so far too. I am curious as to how oil would cause it to go out in less than a mile? I am planning on tearing into ot this weekend to check the spring and internals. Appreciate the info and any more would be greatly appreciated. Also anyone know a good link where I can get some directions on doing the job?

I do some trailering and a little bit of the slow riding.
One of the benifits or properties of synthetics is that the oil fills in pours. That is great for bearing but to so great for surfacis that need rely on friction to work. Did you smell the oil. If all is good with the master cylinder/slave cylinder, I would still go back to Honda dino oil. I know of others that had a sliping clutch and their symptom went away with dino. They eventually sold the Wing so no history if it was permanat. But they probably put another 5-8k on it befor selling it. I believe he was using a Mobil 1 oil.
 

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If it is dirty in the clutch MC try this:

Get one strand of wire from an extension cord 16 gauge. Remove the baffle from the floor of the reservoir and poke that strand into the TINY hole there. If that hole gets plugged, you will see the symptoms you describe because your clutch line will still have pressure.

Worth a shot. Here's a pic.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
So far I have checked the oil and it looks and smells fine still. I do know it isn't good to run through the gears but was really hoping to make it home on it that way. As for when I was riding everything felt just like it always does except for the slipping part. Resistance was normal and it shifted just as smooth as it always does. Unfortunately not really able to do any work till the weekend so not going to be able to give any feedback on what does or doesn't work for a couple of days. Again I really appreciate all the assistance from everyone.

Update.

I got a tip to try checking the drive shaft and from the test I done it seems to be the culprit. Apparently on some of the older 1800's, 01-04 range they have a rubber gasket at the back end of them where the drive shaft connects to the rear hub. The test to troubleshoot is put bike on center stand. Remove the chrome side cover and there is a rubber boot where the drive shaft comes out of the transmission, pull the boot down so you can see the drive shaft. Turn the bike on, put in 1st gear, hold the rear brake and see if the drive shaft spins when you engage the clutch. If it does that shows you that the rubber gasket at the end of the drive shaft is the issue. So after conducting the test that really seems to be the culprit. Going to dig into it over the weekend and will keep all updated on my progress.
 

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That's not a gasket, that's the rubber damper built into the drive shaft itself, all years have it. You need to look for a shaft from a trike shop to replace yours. Make sure it is from an 01-05 bike, the later years have a longer shaft and they are not interchangeable. If you pull off the rear drive unit and the small shaft, you will probably see rubber fragments inside the swing arm where it is coming apart. In this picture, the red arrow is pointing at the area that is put together with rubber molded inside to connect the outer shell to the inner shaft that is coming out the rear. Your's is one of the first 1800's that I've heard of coming apart like this.

 

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Discussion Starter #11
techdude2000

Thank you for the pic and explaining it more in detail. I got the info from a mechanic who owns a trike shop and he has apparently seen this problem before in 01-04 or so bikes. I appreciate the tip on where to look for a replacement part since that was on my list of things to do today. Anyone know a good trike shop in the Augusta GA area without having to go to the one all the way in Atlanta?
 

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That's not a gasket, that's the rubber damper built into the drive shaft itself, all years have it. You need to look for a shaft from a trike shop to replace yours. Make sure it is from an 01-05 bike, the later years have a longer shaft and they are not interchangeable. If you pull off the rear drive unit and the small shaft, you will probably see rubber fragments inside the swing arm where it is coming apart. In this picture, the red arrow is pointing at the area that is put together with rubber molded inside to connect the outer shell to the inner shaft that is coming out the rear. Your's is one of the first 1800's that I've heard of coming apart like this.


I have read of a few other members with early wings suffereing from this same fate.


Could be why Honda went to different length shaft n a shafts in 06? Sort of a redesign on the internal rubber dampener.:shrug:

I even though my own shaft was slipping inside itself when I first encountered my second gear "clunk".I thought the shaft was slipping inside itself?.

I have a brand new spare and installed it.It was not my problem and the stock shaft is back in the bike after the new engine was installed.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So today I pulled the bike apart to search out the issue. I pulled the drive shaft out and measured it and it is about a half inch short from what it is suppose to be and the rubber bushing in there is completely torn up which allowed the drive shaft to compress. I ordered a new one through a trike shop and should have it towards the end of next week. Will post one last time to let you know how it works.

Also for anyone who is interested in the work that was required to remove it you need to get bike on lift, remove rear wheel and brake assembly. Then remove the four bolts that hold the pumpkin on to the swing arm, 17mm box wrench with a breaker bar works. Also I ended up removing the exhaust from the right side of the bike to get to the last bolt. Once they are all removed remove the pumpkin. Next using needle nose pliers reach in and you have to work the drive shaft a bit but it will come out that way.
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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So today I pulled the bike apart to search out the issue. I pulled the drive shaft out and measured it and it is about a half inch short from what it is suppose to be and the rubber bushing in there is completely torn up which allowed the drive shaft to compress. I ordered a new one through a trike shop and should have it towards the end of next week. Will post one last time to let you know how it works.
So you had to order one, the trike shop didn't have one laying around from a conversion? What's it going to cost you?
 

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Guess I should have been more specific, I ordered a slightly used one through a trike shop. I got it for around $100. I priced them new and they run roughly $350.
 

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Glad this got diagnose quickly and correctly.

Never sounded like a clutch problem. Clutches usually start going bad by slipping in top gear. Open the throttle, engine speeds up and the bike doesn't.

How would a clutch nut become unstaked?
 

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JWOO;

Your old one was NOT too short. Older ones have to be a bit shorter as Honda changed the output shaft length. Make sure the one you have purchsed s for your model year, I think the change occured around 2005. I recently ordered one myself --- dang, the brown truck jsut this second delivered it. In my case it is a spare, but I have felt mine "give" a time or two after hard engine braking and them modest acceleration. You might regret having pulled that boot, it can be the devil to get back on. Make sure its on before you install the new shaft through it. Tire lube can help.

prs
 

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JWOO;

Your old one was NOT too short. Older ones have to be a bit shorter as Honda changed the output shaft length. Make sure the one you have purchsed s for your model year, I think the change occured around 2005. I recently ordered one myself --- dang, the brown truck jsut this second delivered it. In my case it is a spare, but I have felt mine "give" a time or two after hard engine braking and them modest acceleration. You might regret having pulled that boot, it can be the devil to get back on. Make sure its on before you install the new shaft through it. Tire lube can help.

prs
Slim.you may remember this old thread.lol

This should help the OP.
http://gl1800riders.com/forums/showthread.php?t=293380&highlight=drive+shaft+length

It has all the measurements between the different length shafts (with pictures).
 

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Definitely a wealth of knowledge on this board.
 
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