Tip & How-To about Motorcycles
It is often possible to resurrect frozen or binding control cables (brakes, clutch, carb etc.) by the following method;
Remove the cable from the bike. Make sure the plastic sheathing is intact. If it is not, tape up those areas that are not, with electrical tape. Find a bit of shop rag or some foam rubber and wind it around the outer housing near one end so as to make a seal of a diameter that will allow you to insert this end into the nozzle of the hose of a shop vacuum. What you are doing is making the sheath of the cable into an extension of the shop vac's hose. Immerse the other end of the sheath into (preferably) a non flammable penetrating fluid. I prefer Tri-Flow. The fluid will be drawn up between the cable and sheath. This may take a while. But 9 time out of 10, with a bit of twisting and pushing and pulling of the cable, they will free up. Keep it up until there is no more improvement. If I use WD40 for this trick, I do this outside with the vac's top clamps loose so if it goes WOOF, nobody gets hurt. In 30 years though, there's not been a WOOF. The interior of the vac hose will have some amount of the fluid in it, you may want to wash it out, but I never have. Works on auto emergency brake cables as well.
Posted by Ken... on
May 27, 2015 | Cars & Trucks
Aug 11, 2014 | 2006 Honda VTX 1300 S
Feb 05, 2011 | 1983 Suzuki GS 650 GT
The problem can be several things including the clutch cable, throw out bearing, or just a lack of lubrication.
I would start by checking the clutch cable. I attached a diagram along with the adjustment procedure for your reference.
Remove the cable from the clutch form and with someone inside the car and someone at the transmission end of the cable gently push down on the clutch pedal by hand. While this is being done the person holding the cable should feel for any binding or listen for any squeaking. If it is binding or noisy I recommend replacement rather than lubricating it as most likely the cable is already damaged and it is not worth getting stuck for an inexpensive part. If you do want to try and lubricate it you can get good cable lube at any motorcycle shop.
If the cable appears good gently move the clutch form back and forth to feel for any binding or to see if you hear your noise. If you do it will require removal of the transmission for further diagnosis.
When you reinstall the cable follow the adjustment procedure I attached to this string.
Jan 26, 2011 | 2002 Kia Rio
Aug 15, 2010 | Vehicle Parts & Accessories
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