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The clutch on my 85 1200 LTD has always (since I owned it in late 2006) dragged (drug?) enough to make for hard shifting through all the gears. It only has 25,000 miles on it and has never been abused (I am the second owner and my brother was the first). And when I switched from 10W-40 to 15W-40 oil this year, it started to stall on that first click into first gear when trying to take off.

The clutch master and slave were both rebuilt by me a couple of years ago and there is no air in the system. I replaced the fluid again this year and all is well with the hydraulic system. It has the correct feel at the lever, but has just enough drag when the lever is pulled in to make it hard to shift. It has the stock grips on is, so there is nothing getting in the way of the lever coming back as far as it should.

I am going to have to pull the clutch this winter (which already started a few weeks ago here in the arctic .... uh, I mean Ohio :()

I am thinking it could be one or more warped clutch metal and/or fiber plates or the damper plate is not right somehow.

Has anyone else had this sort of problem? Thanks!
 

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i would be changing the oil back to 10/40, drain a quart of oil and add a quart of mmo, or some seafoam, run it for a short while then drain it, and change the oil and filter,
 

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I remember Dan Philipi having that problem. He tried everything including swapping out the clutch pack several times. It wound up being the scavenger pump clogged and unable to remove oil from the clutch area.
 

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The bike may have been run low on oil, causing the clutch plates to warp a bit. If so, you can try abusing it a bit by slipping it under good rpm with the rear brake on to wear down the high spots.

Then change the oil.

It'll work for slight clutch drags, and delay the clutch replacement, your results may vary!
 

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Hi, Paul. I hope all is well with you and your family.:)

They have that wave plate. I took mine out, and that helped. But, not as much as I expected. I almost always just started it in gear, and no problems from there on up. Also, you're sure there's no air at the banjo. ? As I recall, my LTD started to separate the clutch, under power, at about 1" of lever (at tip end). But that can be a different scenario when in neutral.
That's why I thot removing the wave plate would make quite a difference. Never did get that clutch to release as good as the 1500, or 1800. And, that's using the same oil. There always seemed to be plenty of stroke on the slave. I actually thot about trying to convert it to the earlier cable set-up. Never did figure out if that would fit. Anyone know if that will fit. I doubt it, but ????

Did I mention? This problem was very severe when cold. When warmed up thoroughly, it was tolerable. No scavenge pump problem, as I had that all apart. In fact, when I had the rear cover off several times, it was almost void of oil.
Also, "pumping the lever" helped some.

I've been into quite a few of those clutches, and haven't found 1 warped plate yet. Found a few glazed, but no warped.
 

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On my other bike, (harley) the clutches were installed wrong which didnt help. I replaced the discs & plates & brought my pressure plate into the local bike shop. they checked it & it failed. It did not have proper deflection anymore. So I now have a new one. The manual also states that if you cannot achieve proper adjustment, you can double up a steel spacer to increase the overall thickness.

I wonder if that is the purpose of your wafer plate? If it is, I would pull it out & add 1 steel plate if the tollerances allow.
 

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Thanks for all of the replies. I have not touched the bike yet, but I am hoping to get working on it the first of the year (it was -2 degrees F with 30+ mph winds last night here, so I am not missing any riding weather).

I will try your suggestions and post again when I know more.

Oregonwinger - you askedabout me and the answer is not good. I am really messed up physically right now. I had both of my hips replaced (resurfaced) about 4 years ago because of severe arthritis. The left one was perfect, but the right one has given me nothing but pain ever since.

I found a doc at the Cleveland Clinicwho offered to try to fix what he thought was the problem. I had surgery on Oct. 3rd 2008, but somehow that put me in more pain than I was in before. I used to be able to walk without assistance, but now have to use a cane. I don't think this docdid anything wrong, but rather he somehow aggravated what was originally wrong with me. He is doing some research to try to figure out what to do next, but in the meantime I am really bummed out.

My wife still wants me to get a new 1800 when I get better, but if I get any worse than I am, I am going to have to give up riding altogether or get a trike (ain't gonna happen). So, at least for the time being I am going to have to keep the 1200 (which is why I am still trying to get all of the 'bugs' out of it).
 

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Paul,

Had the same kinfd of experience yesterday when I went out to start my 85 LTD after a 9 day rest. Temperature was cold (in the high 20's). Thought I had it in neutral but it was in 1st gear (duh). Got it in to Neutral and the bike still wanted to move with clutch released. I just got it a few weeks ago and have yet to change oil in it so I don't know what the PO's were running in it. I had it parked on the side stand so I deduced that a.) oil cold on clutch had everything gummed up and b.) oil probably needs changed. But I too am in Ohio and yes it has been cold of late so I think that the cold and the oil both may have somthing to do with the symptoms we are experiencing.

Chuck
 
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