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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
*SOLVED* Help... Replaced Clutch Plates, Now Stuck in Neutral. 1969 CL450

I've been working on getting an old CL450 back up and running after sitting in a shed for a couple decades. I pretty much got it back on the road, but the clutch plates were sticking. I went in and separated them and the clutch worked, but after sitting the plates would stick together again. I put a zip tie on the clutch lever to keep the plates separated. I know it's not great for the springs. Anyway, on a recent ride, the clutch lever wouldn't do anything, i.e. the transmission stayed engaged. I manged to get home after a few hard shifts, then parked the bike. Today I opened up the right crankcase and replaced the friction plates, sanded the steel ones, and installed new springs. Put everything back and... problem. The bike is stuck in neutral. Shifting the gear pedal makes little/no difference as far as the resistance in the back wheel (it's up on the centerstand). I adjusted the clutch and there's plenty of tension there. Any ideas?

Did I do anything wrong in replacing the plates/springs that would keep the bike in neutral?

I saw an old post saying it was a neutral switch, but I'm not sure where that would be located.
 

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All the neutral switch does is turn on the light to let you know the transmission is in neutral. Likely something didn't get back together quite right and the clutch is not engaging.
 

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What oil are you using?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm using 10W40.

I thought maybe the first steel plate was backwards so I flipped it but it made no difference. Does it matter which way it (plate a) goes in? I'm hoping it's a reassembly issue but don't know where it would be.

Starting from the bottom of the basket I've got plate A followed be a new friction plate then a steel plate and so on. I've got 7 new friction plates and there's a friction plate at the top of the stack before the center clutch goes back on. After that I put the springs on and screw them down in a star pattern until they bottom out, then a small turn to get them snug. Still no matter what gear I click in, the clutch spins like I'm in neutral.

The clutch is completely loosened out, so shouldn't the transmission be engaged? Is it possible I need to adjust the clutch to get the transmission to engage?

I will note that I didn't soak the plates, just rubbed oil on both surfaces prior to installing. Not sure if that could be the issue. Looking at the fische is it possible Iost something like the "lifter joint" piece?

I'm stumped.
 

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Nope. You can't just use regular 10W40 motor oil as these engines have wet clutches.

The friction modifiers in regular motor oil can and will cause clutch slippage.
Use a proper oil rated for JASO MA

A cheap and popular choice is Shell Rotella T4 or T6
 

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While the oil can cause clutch problems (slippage) it wouldn't cause what you are experiencing. I'd start by removing the clutch assembly. Shifting gears while turning the transmission input shaft will tell you if the transmission is actually going into gear. That will tell you whether the clutch or transmission is the problem. Problems after repairs are often the result of the repair, I suspect that is where you will ultimately find your fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The FSM doesn't say anything about orientation unfortunately. I know the steel plates have a sharp edge and a dull edge. Any idea if it's supposed to face one way or the other? The friction plates look the same on both sides except for a stamp on one of the fins.
 

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Excerpt from my CB500T manual which is essentially the same engine as the CB450.

Assembly
1. FilI the clutch lifter steel hall hole and its screw end
with grease.
"1g. 4-58 (l) Clutch lifter
(2) Screw end
(3) Steel ball
2. After installing the snap ring, check the operation of the
clutch center. It should rotate freely without binding.
i"ig. 4-59 (1) Snap ring
(2) Clutch center
3. Be sure to install the clutch lifter rod and the clutch litter
joint piece in their proper locations.
4. lnstall the clutch pressure plate so that its arrow mark is
aligned to one of the cut.out of the clutch center splines.
5. After assembling, adjust the clutch properly.


Photo to step 4.

Motor vehicle Auto part Engine Vehicle Automotive engine part
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I got it working. Thanks to everyone who offered solutions/suggestions.

In the end it was the orientation of the clutch pressure plate, per 76twin's suggestion above. It was a quarter of a turn out of alignment and therefore not seating correctly.

My bike doesn't have an arrow, but I noticed four holes around the center and one that appeared to be missing, so maybe that's supposed to be a guide? Anyway, I hope this is helpful to others who run in to this issue. I drained the case and got a big container of Shell Rotella.

Oddly, when I looked more closely at the friction plates, I noticed that 5 of them are stamped T2, while 2 are stamped T3. They appeared to be the same width, but I'm wondering if that's a mistake.

Thanks again.



Auto part Engine Automotive engine part Vehicle Clutch
 
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