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#886631 07/26/22 11:24 pm
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Measuring the lift plate pockets with a radius gauge, the stock 1/4" balls do not fit the radius of the pocket.
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
This allows the plate to move sideways with the cable pull which results in less clutch lift. Measuring with a 9/32" gauge it is closer but still too small.
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
With a 5/16" radius gauge the ball will fit the pocket and keep the plate from moving sideways.
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
The large adjusting nut has to be checked for clearance with the cover.

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Hi Dave— I understand what you are saying but——
Have you tried it in real life with 5/16” balls?
Certainly looks like the potential to save quite a lot of lost motion and therefore gain plate lift.

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Next step is to get bigger balls and make some measurements.

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I tried it. I will start by saying I have adjusted a triple clutch zerp times. (I have bigger balls on hand) (ball bearing assortment) so....
With the large nut just loose ( and finger springs off but locknut on it was hard to get the free play at the lever without tightening the large nut. But (no clay on hand) I put a dab of white grease on there and the cover snug with no gasket and it was clean after..
Given the amount of available double entendre in this post I'm reticent about my next statement.
My understanding is much like any clutch you don't want pressure on the pullrod when not applied. It puts thrust on parts that aren't designed for it and leads to excessive wear and failure


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[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

That's lift from face of the nut yes?
Also it's doesn't go to zero unless I manually push the cable end ferrule back down. Are the finger springs what return the cable?

If so, then if they're weak of fatigued it could explain my Freeplay or lack thereof.
Another factor in the above 0.017 lift is the lever is a type with 7/8 between the pivot point. I read some threads that debated wether parts books are wrong or they were intended to get 1 or 1 1/16 as on Norton's. I don't have any first hand knowledge of those other than reading the threads

Last edited by DAMadd; 07/27/22 7:56 pm.

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The vertical split Lucas switches with the aluminum levers are 1" between pivots and a T140 steel clutch lever measures 1.08".
The pullrod returns the lever. The spring fingers do not have enough force, they sort of help settle the plate in place when the cable is slack but mostly add drag.
Of course with a hydraulic slave there are no spring fingers and just the pullrod returns the piston.

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I seem to remember asking about using larger balls in this mechanism some years ago. The idea was shot down by the OP of this post.
The best things I did to get better clutch action and lift was to fit the roller bearing kit from Triples Unlimited and a Norton clutch lever with more space between the holes.


It's not a bug, it's 'character.'

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I think you are referring to this post?
https://www.britbike.com/forums/ubb.../clutch-actuator-larger-balls#Post791877
You asked about using larger balls for more lift presumably (by me) because larger balls would move further up the ramp. Nothing was said about the lift plate moving sideways as a result of the cable pull.
To other questions about making ramps with more lift, the ramps could be made steeper initially to take up the slack which is what you get with the dimpled lifter of the twins.
It could be done but after the cost of machining and heat treat I doubt anyone would buy it. Minimum on heat treat is $150.

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I always assumed that the lift plate stayed in place because one has to heat the case to remove it (although mine came out of the case without coercion the last time I had the mechanism apart.) Maybe they get loose with age?
When I first did the Jack Wilson trick the bike was only 15 years old.


It's not a bug, it's 'character.'

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I have never had the base plate get loose. I was referring to the moveable lift plate moving sideways due to the lateral pull of the cable and the balls rolling up the sides of the ramps.

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Im wondering if there is a problem to be solved .
if the side-to-'side slope is steeper than the intended radiused slope direction
the balls will take the lesser intended sloped angle without
needing to be more perfectly restrained .

Tighter ball constrainment might make for a harder Pull ?
( I can't believe I just wrote that )
Worth investigating , but the outcome could go either way

Last edited by quinten; 07/31/22 9:40 pm.
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Originally Posted by DAMadd
My understanding is much like any clutch you don't want pressure on the pullrod when not applied. It puts thrust on parts that aren't designed for it and leads to excessive wear and failure
We were always told not to rest the foot on the cluch pedal or you'd toast the release bearing AND the plate. Following that advice, it certainly seems obvious that the factory manual recommendation to leave a few thou of slack behind the big nut is a sound one. However, the radial thrust bearing fitted actually specify a certain amount of pre load, as do the bearing in the pressure plate. To obtain this I've employed a two piece nut with a Belleville washer sandwiched between them, which I've used since I installed it in 2015. It puts a load of some 80 lbsf on the pullrod. It should help against "Brinelling" in the bearings caused by flutter. The mileage on it isn't huge but closing in on a 10.000 miles, it works beautifully.
I think it can be argued that by the time you've managed to get a clutch that frees properly, you've already introduced an amount of preload through your clutch cable. Phil Picks adjustment procedure certainly indicates this IMHO.

Not pertinent to the OP, I know, just a comment.

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Have you run the radius gauges up the ramp?


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Also, it may be insignicant but shouldn't the cable ferrule/ connection rotate? At least slightly like a rear brake, to make the most of the linear pull. I get that it would possibly spit out the cable if it had full rotation.


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If the balls were a larger radius than the ramp they would sit on the edges instead of in the groove but it would not change the rolling resistance so I do not believe that is a factor in pull force.
Very old clutch release bearings were carbon, not ball bearings, and they would wear quickly if constantly loaded. The original radial ball bearing fitted to the pressure plate is undersize for the axial load (axial limit is usually one quarter of the radial). Since the ball bearing in the lift plate is only there to keep the pullrod in place and allow it to rotate with the clutch there has to be clearance between the large adjusting nut and lift plate. Using a trust ball bearing in place of the radial lift plate bearing allows the clearance to be nil and the pull rod can still rotate with the clutch.
Needle thrust bearings will always have the problem of skidding since the surface speed of the flat plate varies with radius and the needles are cylindrical. One way to fix the problem is to eliminate the thrust needle on the chainwheel and put a large ball bearing in the inner primary case to hold the assembly in place.
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
I checked the groove radius further up and it is still 5/16".
The cable barrel does rotate in the lift plate. The ends are smaller diameter to keep it from falling out and the barrel has a pocket to keep the ferrule from sliding out of the groove.
There are many factors which affect clutch lift. Probably the first to check is that the pressure plate lifts square using the paper test around the plate. One weak spot in the Belleville spring can cause the pressure plate to bind in the guide grooves which will make the pull hard.
One way to get around the lift problem is to make levers with changeable throw. Using a Brembo style adjustable lever, the pivot piece can be changed out for different throws.
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
Same can be done for the disc brake.
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

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Originally Posted by DMadigan
IThe cable barrel does rotate in the lift plate. The ends are smaller diameter to keep it from falling out and the barrel has a pocket to keep the ferrule from sliding out of the groove
On closer inspection the PO punched the barrel at several locations to prevent rotation. Could explain why the cable wouldn't adjust properly.

I had hoped to get this baby running before having to see the Belleville spring.

Addendum: cleaned up the punchs with a file, freed the barrel up. Am able to get free play at the lever without tightening the large adjuster nut, but still only about 17 thou travel

Last edited by DAMadd; 08/01/22 5:47 pm.

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Originally Posted by DMadigan
I have never had the base plate get loose. I was referring to the moveable lift plate moving sideways due to the lateral pull of the cable and the balls rolling up the sides of the ramps.
My bad. Perhaps if we all called the parts by the names used in the part catalog, Trust Plate and Clutch Lever complete?
Seems to me that the clutch lever must move sideways in order to pull the rod.
I have had to replace mine due to slop between the arms where the cable connects. I'm sure that this is due to the sideways movement, but that's how the mechanism operates.


It's not a bug, it's 'character.'

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Originally Posted by DAMadd
......I had hoped to get this baby running before having to see the Belleville spring.

Addendum: cleaned up the punchs with a file, freed the barrel up. Am able to get free play at the lever without tightening the large adjuster nut, but still only about 17 thou travel
I went through all this a while back on my T150V and this is what fixed it for me. Bear in mind, all this was with a new Sureflex disc too. Disc thickness effects spring pressure and where you are on the pressure curve. (Diaphragm spring pressure curves are not linear.)

A venhill cable because the casing doesn't compress as much

Careful routing so the abutments don't "adjust" their position when the lever is pulled in,

Replacing the fixed ramp with a NOS one because mine was indented right at the spot where .017" travel was

Re-bushing the lever pivot to eliminate lost motion and to slightly increase the pivot to cable end distance.

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There is a new venhill featherlite in the parts.
These measurements are with the handlebars off sitting next to the bike.
The cable end at the lever is an adjustable cable with a set screw in the barrel so the PO was just repurposing a cable, or leastways changing the length for the clubman bars
I apologize for somewhat jacking DMadigan's thread but triples are a somewhat steep learning curve in the clutch dept. All info is good
After loosening the "clutch actuator" cable barrel by filing the punches and working and repeatedly soaking in penetrating oil I got about 21 thou movement. But every time the cable/ assembly wouldn't return to zero without me pushing the actuator back down by hand
Could be roughness in the whole system or just being static instead of 2000 rpm


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+1 for the Venhill cable, a very nice piece of kit!. It also obviates the need for the cable abutment, PN 57-2220. You didn't have one? Neither did mine until I made one from a throttle cable abutment. One of those easily lost parts which makes people wonder why they can't adjust their clutch cable.


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Lol, no I had one the non rotating barrel wasn't allowinge to get that smidge of free play. Got ball bearing thrust bearing from DMadigan, too. I'm wondering tho, ball side out cage side in? It might not matter, also with that do you still go for the 0.005 under the large nut? Haven't played around with it yet, just finished the top end and realized I didn't have the copper washers for the sleeve nuts. Always something if you weren't the one that took it apart, another week down the tubes waiting for washers


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As suspected the bearing can go either way, but can be adjusted to zero play as long as the large nut is still free to turn from DMadigan


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Pretty much the same with the Triples Unlimited roller bearing.
That 0.005" spec was always too much. It usually worked best at half that clearance behind the big nut.


It's not a bug, it's 'character.'

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