First slip on cold engine. - Honda Rebel Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-12-2020, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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First slip on cold engine.

Hello guys.
I wanted to grab some opinions from some of the old timers. Lord knows I have been working on becoming a knuckle-dragger learning on this machine and as I have gone along; I've tried to speak of any of the mods I have done to my First generation Rebel. And they are all pretty well documented here in this forum from the highway gearing to the LED light conversions. Some of the maintenance and scheduling of maintenance that has evolved differently than manufacturer suggestions has been less documented but doesn't include too drastic of changes from the accepted norms. Mostly it is more frequent oil changes especially as warm as my bike runs with the highway gearing, that made much more frequent oil changes mandatory. I kept bumping it to more frequent until the oil wasn't getting too dark or too thin at changing time. Using the conventional 10w-40 oils that had settled into around every 800 miles (I had been targeting every 500 for changing) as my clutch was already into high miles this last summer I decided to try to thicken my oil. I started using a conventional 20W-50 and it seemed to help and I bumped my oil changes back to 1K miles and I was pleased to see the oil not too dark or too thin as it drained. The clutch demanded replacement a little before the end of the riding season.

Now I tend to ride some year around. I jokingly say If I can't be frost bitten lets ride. But truthfully in my old age I find that my scally-bark hide aint thick enough for my Eskimo suit to do enough good at temps lower than the high 30's. Living in the south that means I ride some in the dead of winter. And so my bike has had a bit more than 3 K miles put on it since that new clutch went in. Earlier this week I changed the oil, re-tensioned the chain and reset the rear brake like I prefer it before taking her out. I cranked up, allowed her to warm up about a minute and started her off the hill I live atop. After I hit high gear going down the hill she suddenly broke loose and slipped drastically. It was very sudden. RPMs jumping like a rocket. I backed off the throttle and caught her, re-engaged the clutch and she went on with no more slips that ride (but admittedly I took it a bit easier on her). I thought about what had to be the problem with the bike and decided to warm her up really well before pulling out to allow my oil to thin out as much as possible before putting her to work. So the next day (yesterday) I pulled her out and left her at an idle for several minutes and went in got my trusty laser thermometer that I use to keep heating from killing her when I'm on a trip and know her RPMs will be high for an extended period of time while running in high gear (when she really gets warm). My crankcase was reading 160 when I dropped her in gear and took off. No slipping all the way into town (Pulaski is 18 miles away). I picked up a pack of smokes and started back toward home very happy she had done that well. On the way back I wanted to see how easy it would be to make her slip at temperature, I had her a bit higher than 70 MPH when a quick hammering on the throttle again caused her to dramatically let go. So now I am thinking about whether I need to break open the crankcase and put some washers on the clutch basket springs to stiffen them up a bit (like I did when the clutch was well worn) and keep my heavier oil, or should I thin it a bit by putting it half and half using both 10W-40 and 20W-50 and re-test her performance.

What do you guys think?

I'm just knockin' around on me 1986 CMX250C Honda Rebel
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-12-2020, 03:10 PM
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I would lean more towards tightening or replacing the clutch springs. Did you replace the clutch springs when you reworked the clutch? There are stiffer replacement springs available. I doubt the oil has much to do with it, but the frequent changes certainly won't hurt. Member Buickguy put over 100,000 miles on his '87 using conventional (Castrol IIRC) oil, and never had to replace the clutch.

Keepin' all the left over parts. Gonna use 'em to build another bike!

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post #3 of 8 Old 03-12-2020, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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I do remember that! I wondered how he managed not to use his clutch! HAHA *joke*

The new clutch came with springs so I used the newer stiffer ones. Maybe the quality was not up to snuff? Because I bought best price and now without a doubt it needs stiffing again. I will try the washer method I had used before to see if that stiffens them enough and will try to remember to update here.

I'm just knockin' around on me 1986 CMX250C Honda Rebel
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-15-2020, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quick update.
I still figure to have to crack open the crankcase. But before I did I thought I would remove .5 Qt of the 20W50 and replace with a thinner oil. I had intended on 10W40 but I didn't have any conventional 10W40 at the moment, but I did have 5W30. So... 1Qt 20W50 .5Qt 5W30 is in the crankcase now. I let the bike warm up a bit more than had been calling 'the usual' (by happenstance) and I took her out. I didn't try to make her let go (she likely would have) but on a short run to the store down the road and back she performed quite well (right at 10 miles round trip). Rain has kept me from testing any more extensively so far.

I'm just knockin' around on me 1986 CMX250C Honda Rebel
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-15-2020, 04:05 PM
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That 5W-30 wasn't energy conserving, was it?

Keepin' all the left over parts. Gonna use 'em to build another bike!

'01 & '09 Rebel 250, '06 Ninja 250, '89 VN 750
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-19-2020, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
 
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Not synthetic

The 5w30 was a strictly conventional oil. I actually had access to some 10W40 that was part synthetic; it was left here by my son when he was up here to see me and his Ma last.

I'm just knockin' around on me 1986 CMX250C Honda Rebel
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-19-2020, 04:30 PM
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Most XW-30 oils contain friction modifiers that will cause the clutch to slip. That's how I ruined my first Rebel's clutch.

Keepin' all the left over parts. Gonna use 'em to build another bike!

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post #8 of 8 Old 03-20-2020, 02:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flitecontrol View Post
Most XW-30 oils contain friction modifiers that will cause the clutch to slip. That's how I ruined my first Rebel's clutch.
This right here. Try something rated JASO/MA/MA2 non energy conserving with some thin spacers on the springs. You may be able to squeeze some more life out of it. If it is bad oil, it's best to get it changed as soon as possible as it soaks into the friction material. If/when you break it open it may be a good idea to inspect the steel plates also. They might be able to use a little scuffing up to help provide some extra grip. Hope this helps.
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