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FIXED: 4T clutch failure

 
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johnk
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Joined: 03 Sep 2018
Posts: 58

2012 Stella 4T

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:13 pm    Post subject: FIXED: 4T clutch failure Reply with quote

Hi everyone. I am in dire need of some clutch-repair guidance. My 2012 4T is currently in the shop (not a scooter shop but a willing motorcycle shop), and I need the scooter running in the next three days to be able to take my road test for the motorcycle license. The scooter only has about 45 miles on it, but admittedly I have probably strained the clutch a bit while learning. (And I imagine that people squeezed the clutch all the time for the six years that the scooter spent in a showroom.)

The clutch hand lever was extremely loose when I bought the scooter (going in all the way to the grip), so I tried to tighten the cable down under the engine. I loosened the lock nut, backed the adjustment barrel out, and tightened the lock nut. No change. So I used some vise grips to pull the cable tight and moved in the pinch barrel at the end of the cable. The hand lever was nice and tight, but after one squeeze, I heard a snapping noise and everything went slack.

I pulled out the inner cable, figuring that I had broken it, but discovered that it was in one piece! I put in a new inner cable for good measure (rather than putting the old one back in), but even after tightening everything as much as I could, the hand lever was still completely slack. I noticed that the threaded part of the cable housing, where the lock nut and barrel adjustment are, was no longer flush against (or screwed into?) the the guide the cable runs through on the frame.

Rather than risking doing any more damage, I took it to my local motorcycle mechanic. After working for a bit, he just called me to report that he can't get the clutch to disengage at all, even by pulling on the under-engine lever directly, which indicates to him that (at least part of) the clutch itself is broken. He's willing to keep working, and he has a copy of the Service Station Manual.

So I'm asking all of you with experience working on scooters: Does this sound like something a motorcycle mechanic can fix in a few days? Is it really possible that I broke the clutch by over-tightening the cable? Might there be an easier fix to try (like replacing the threaded part of the housing) before opening up the clutch? If the clutch really is broken, is there a "weakest link" that likely needs to be fixed or replaced? Are there any parts that I should rush-order right away? Is there any other information I should give the mechanic?

Thank you!


Last edited by johnk on Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:42 am; edited 2 times in total
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Stanza
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Joined: 29 Jan 2018
Posts: 261
Location: Chicago
Puch Maxi

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have assumed that the cable would let go (slacken) before the clutch could be in any danger......is it possible that the clutch arm (which the cable attaches to) has come loose on its shaft?
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johnk
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Joined: 03 Sep 2018
Posts: 58

2012 Stella 4T

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought the same thing—surely the cable would be the first to go.

If the clutch arm is loose on the shaft, where/how would it need to be tightened?

Sorry that this is a little complicated, as I can't look at it myself. Thanks for your help!

Update: this post suggests that the actuation lever might be broken (called the "inner lever" on pg. 107 of the Service Station Manual), so I ordered a replacement from SIP.

Update: I found a clutch actuation lever stateside at ScooterWest, which I'm hoping will arrive quickly.

Update: I rescheduled my road test, so this is no longer (as) urgent. Soon I should hear from the mechanic about how the clutch looks.
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jimmbomb
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Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 801
Location: St Louis
81 Vespa P200... past bikes. 08 stella 09 stella w/p200 motor and 2010 4t stella

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a first year 4t 2010, and the clutch actuator arm broke on mine.
It was replaced under warrenty.
Cable was intact.
Good luck

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johnk
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Joined: 03 Sep 2018
Posts: 58

2012 Stella 4T

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, jimmbomb. It's helpful to know that major clutch parts can fail early, and that I'm not necessarily just missing something.

The actuator arm is the same thing as the outer lever, right? Namely, the part that the clutch cable pulls on to manipulate the clutch?
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jimmbomb
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Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 801
Location: St Louis
81 Vespa P200... past bikes. 08 stella 09 stella w/p200 motor and 2010 4t stella

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not on my old 2010.. it was a small part that sorta looked like a hook or claw with a square hole in it that sat ontop of some type arm that went down. no bigger than a cigarette butt..it broke where the claw met the square hole thing.
Good luck.

Ps. Probally sits ontop of that thing you posted.

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johnk
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Joined: 03 Sep 2018
Posts: 58

2012 Stella 4T

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah! The inner lever/actuation lever? I think it was an old post of yours that led me to the hypothesis that my inner lever is the culprit, so I already ordered one and gave it to my mechanic. Now I'm just waiting to hear what he finds inside the clutch. Thanks again.
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jimmbomb
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Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 801
Location: St Louis
81 Vespa P200... past bikes. 08 stella 09 stella w/p200 motor and 2010 4t stella

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He'll have to drain the oil and find the pieces of the old part in there.
Mine was found in 2 pieces.

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johnk
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Joined: 03 Sep 2018
Posts: 58

2012 Stella 4T

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:41 am    Post subject: Clutch is fixed! Reply with quote

I got my Stella back from the mechanic today! I am very happy to have it back.

jimmbomb, I am so glad I found your old posts here about the inner clutch lever. It was indeed the inner lever (AKA actuation lever) that was broken.

To emphasize how easily the inner lever can break, my Stella only has 45 miles on the odometer! I broke it by adjusting the clutch cable too tight with a fourth-hand tool and then yanking on the hand lever.

I bought the replacement from ScooterWest but if you have some extra time/money for shipping from Germany, SIP has one that looks more heavy-duty.

Just to be safe, my mechanic also replaced the clutch actuation pad (AKA clutch push pin) (also from ScooterWest), which the inner lever fits into. (In turn, the outer lever goes into the rectangular hole in the inner lever, and the clutch cable pulls the outer lever.) In the photo below, you can see that mine was already worn.

Thanks, everybody, for all your help! Do yourself a favor and keep a spare inner lever around.
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