Starter Clutch not engaging all the time - Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-20-2019, 7:54 PM Thread Starter
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Starter Clutch not engaging all the time

I have a 2007 Ex500. New starter, new battery, new starter relay. Sometimes the starter clutch doesn't seem to be engaging.

One of two things:

1.) the starter clutch is worn out

2.) the Rotella t6 5-40 I put in it is causing the issue.


Bought the bike with 13k on it and it ran great. Either it's coincidence or it's the oil.

Opinions?


Thanks
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-20-2019, 8:31 PM
fog
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Oil with friction modifiers or labeled gas saving or synthetic are contrary to the working of the clutch. Three rolls are driven by a cam to engage the inside rim of a drum. They are driven by light springs ,but require a bit if friction to fully engage or lock to the drum.
So check you oil container for any of the no noís

Fog
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-20-2019, 8:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fog View Post
Oil with friction modifiers or labeled gas saving or synthetic are contrary to the working of the clutch. Three rolls are driven by a cam to engage the inside rim of a drum. They are driven by light springs ,but require a bit if friction to fully engage or lock to the drum.
So check you oil container for any of the no noís

Fog

So I am guessing based on that the Rotella T6 Synthetic 5W-40 is the issue? (Sorry I assumed since it was rated JASO, JASO MA/ MA2) it was okay). I'm also reading a lot on this forum with people saying they use this exact oil.

Should I drain and refill with Rotella T4 15W-40?

Thanks for the quick response.

Last edited by VAEX500; 6-20-2019 at 8:43 PM.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-20-2019, 8:42 PM
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I would

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-20-2019, 8:44 PM Thread Starter
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I would

Fog
Thanks! I'll do it this weekend and post up the results. Hopefully it works. Like I said I didn't have issues till after the switch to Rotella T6.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-21-2019, 7:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I would

Fog

You’re the man! Put some Rotella T4 15-40 and it’s gone. I started it, let it heat up, and it started fine. Then let it cool down and it started fine.

For the record. This absolutely works! No more synthetic for me.


Thank you again
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-21-2019, 9:26 PM Thread Starter
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Well I went out and tired it again and it wasn't catching. It's definitely much better than it was. I'm going to let it sit overnight, ride it tomorrow, and see what happens.

I have a new starter clutch in hand if it's still doing it after the next few days I will go ahead and replace it.

I'm guessing the springs are worn and the extra slickness from they synthetic oil didn't help.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-22-2019, 5:01 AM
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My thoughts on it are, I 100% agree with fog that the synthetic oil led to the clutch slipping. But once it started slipping damage has occurred to the clutch that makes it prone to more slipping, regardless of the oil. I think the fact that yours is better but still not perfect more or less confirms this.

I don't put too much stock in the possibility that the springs are worn to the point of the issue. But I'm only basing this on the history of mine going tens of thousands of miles with out issue.

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006; 0 miles. Miles as of January 2019; 102,137. It's a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-22-2019, 7:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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My thoughts on it are, I 100% agree with fog that the synthetic oil led to the clutch slipping. But once it started slipping damage has occurred to the clutch that makes it prone to more slipping, regardless of the oil. I think the fact that yours is better but still not perfect more or less confirms this.

I don't put too much stock in the possibility that the springs are worn to the point of the issue. But I'm only basing this on the history of mine going tens of thousands of miles with out issue.

Thank for the input. I’ll swap the clutch in the next few days; should be fairly easy.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-22-2019, 7:41 AM Thread Starter
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While I have you all on board, let me ask one more thing.

For the starter clutch replacement I'm reading a lot about make sure it's lubricated. Is this necessary or is it okay to put in in dry and then assume the oil will pull up to the mechanism.

If it needs oiling before hand what should I use?


Thanks
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-22-2019, 10:04 AM
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Dry is fine but weld all around the partial weld on the cup to gear.
These welds fail often

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-22-2019, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpe View Post
My thoughts on it are, I 100% agree with fog that the synthetic oil led to the clutch slipping. But once it started slipping damage has occurred to the clutch that makes it prone to more slipping, regardless of the oil. I think the fact that yours is better but still not perfect more or less confirms this.

I don't put too much stock in the possibility that the springs are worn to the point of the issue. But I'm only basing this on the history of mine going tens of thousands of miles with out issue.
You do know he's talking about the starter clutch?
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-22-2019, 4:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-woppa View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpe View Post
My thoughts on it are, I 100% agree with fog that the synthetic oil led to the clutch slipping. But once it started slipping damage has occurred to the clutch that makes it prone to more slipping, regardless of the oil. I think the fact that yours is better but still not perfect more or less confirms this.

I don't put too much stock in the possibility that the springs are worn to the point of the issue. But I'm only basing this on the history of mine going tens of thousands of miles with out issue.
You do know he's talking about the starter clutch?
Correct, I’m talking about starter clutch. Everything is 100% minus the intermittent lack of starter clutch to engage the flywheel.

I’m hoping this Rotella T4 will work some magic and that this somehow cures the issue. I did hate to drain out all that good T6 yesterday.... like I said, there was an immediate change from the starter clutch not engaging 50% of the time to 25% immediacy after the oil swap.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-22-2019, 5:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-woppa View Post
You do know he's talking about the starter clutch?
I do.

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006; 0 miles. Miles as of January 2019; 102,137. It's a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-23-2019, 5:22 PM Thread Starter
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Update: The issue is pretty much gone. I had one failure to engage yesterday then drove half an hour. It’s been working 100% ever since.

I’m going to keep following up for a bit just so if anyone searches this forum for the same problem they can confirm that Fog was correct.

Synthetic just isn’t good for this bike. This is a fact, not an opinion
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-23-2019, 8:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VAEX500 View Post

Synthetic just isnít good for this bike. This is a fact, not an opinion
That is correct

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006; 0 miles. Miles as of January 2019; 102,137. It's a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-24-2019, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fog View Post
Dry is fine but weld all around the partial weld on the cup to gear.
These welds fail often

Fog
Sorry, I somehow missed this, if I end up pulling it I will.
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-24-2019, 9:58 AM
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The welds may already be broken and would account for the intermittent slippage.
I would recomend a inspection. if it is the weld ,it will eventually slip completely and strand you.

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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-24-2019, 11:43 AM
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Pull it off and look for flat spots on the rollers, give the rollers a light coat of iol fram a rag and throw it all back together. If the weld fog is refering to is broken you should be able to see it and order the replacment.

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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-24-2019, 1:21 PM
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The weld will show thin cracks don't think it OK if it is only welded in 4 places it's junk take it to a welded and have it re welded all the way round.
a replacement will break too, they all do.

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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old 6-24-2019, 6:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fog View Post
The welds may already be broken and would account for the intermittent slippage.
I would recomend a inspection. if it is the weld ,it will eventually slip completely and strand you.

FOG
Since that oil worked in it hasn’t done it again. I’m guessing the synthetic was just causing what rollers to slip on the gear
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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old 8-23-2019, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Update: problem came back a week after my last post. Ended up changing the rollers and springs and it is 100% fixed.

Just wanted to update everyone in case they run into this issue.
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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old 8-24-2019, 5:23 AM
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Thanks for the update.

Just curious, could you notice any wear at all on the old rollers compared to the new ones? Maybe small flat spots on the round portion? And did the old springs look compressed at all compared to the new ones?

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006; 0 miles. Miles as of January 2019; 102,137. It's a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
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