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2006 VN900B with Mustang Seat / Backrest
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Discussion Starter #1
Stopped at favorite Dunkin Donuts this morning, when I came back out to the bike it would try to lurch forward when attempting to start with clutch lever fully pulled in.

I'm guessing the Clutch assembly or actuating arm is damaged versus the shift mechanism which will go in and out of first to neutral and back. She limped home in first gear but would not upshift to second. Attempts to shift just produced an unpleasant sound from the gearbox but not like metal on metal - more of a "nope, not shifting" whine.

What say you? Start with the clutch assembly and actuator?
 

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I remember reading on here somewhere that someone had the clutch linkage go, they suspected from hitting the heal shifter too hard over time. Do a search, sounds like a similar issue.
 

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2006 VN900B with Mustang Seat / Backrest
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Discussion Starter #3
If it was heel shifting that they suspected, wouldn't it be the shift mechanism that took the abuse? I'll do the search as you suggested though. thanks!
 

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Hitting the heel shifter or the toe shift lever too hard (like stomping on it) can actually bend the transmission shifter forks. Hopefully that isn't the issue here - requires splitting the engine casings to repair.
 

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EDITED:
When does the noise happen? Does it happen when you pull the clutch in?

Here is a test to do.
Given that pulling the clutch lever is not required for shifting while moving, you should be able to get through the gears just using the throttle and the shifter.

If you can change gears the problem might be clutch linkages.

If you can not change gears, then the problem might be shift forks or stem rod or linkages
https://www.bikebandit.com/oem-parts/2008-kawasaki-vulcan-900-custom-vn900c/o/m148882#sch549396
 

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EDITED:
When does the noise happen? Does it happen when you pull the clutch in?

Here is a test to do.
Given that pulling the clutch lever is not required for shifting while moving, you should be able to get through the gears just using the throttle and the shifter.

If you can change gears the problem might be clutch linkages.

If you can not change gears, then the problem might be shift forks or stem rod or linkages
https://www.bikebandit.com/oem-parts/2008-kawasaki-vulcan-900-custom-vn900c/o/m148882#sch549396
Shifting gears without using the clutch can place heavy and repeated heavy loads upon the gearbox which in turn can lead to premature transmission and gearbox failure. Having noted that, with my previous bike I sometimes changed gears without using the clutch in heavy commute traffic and still had no related problem.
 

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Shifting gears without using the clutch can place heavy and repeated heavy loads upon the gearbox which in turn can lead to premature transmission and gearbox failure.
It is like anything else, you have to practice to become proficient with it. I grew up on equipment with crash gearboxes. When you are proficient at rev matching and changing when off the throttle momentarily, you can slip in and out of the gears easily. Of course it is easier in the 3-4-5 range and requires more practice and better throttle control when down in 2-1 but it is still a skill that can be learned.

Anyway, I do not have any interest in who does it or not. I only meant to say that the technique could be useful right now for the OP to see if he/she can get through the gears.

Good luck to the OP with the problem.
 
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2006 VN900B with Mustang Seat / Backrest
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Discussion Starter #8
No. I actually tried the powershifting on the way home limping along in 1st gear - no soap. It seems to me that the overriding factor is that the bike would not move forward or backward with the clutch lever fully pulled in. It was only by repeated rocking back and forth that I finally was able to get her into neutral, start the bike, shift back to first and then 35 mph all the way home....

That, to me, smells like an internal clutch problem.

Once I made it back to the house, as soon as I came to a stop, with the clutch lever full in, she stalled and went back to the not wanting to roll either direction. Oil level looks good but is due for a change. Could have sworn I heard a rattle from the gearbox when I first started out that morning - maybe a broken clutch spring?
 

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2006 VN900B with Mustang Seat / Backrest
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Discussion Starter #9
OK - So i have opened the clutch and have removed all of it excpet the basket and I just received the tool to hold it so I can pull the hub nut. Now I'll be able to see if the thrust washer is damaged. Steels and frictions looked worn but not burned.

I have also started tearing down on the drive pulley side so I can have a good look at the shift mechanism. if i can get any further with it this weekend I will post some pics of the progress so some of my fellow gear heads on here can offer up any observations.
 

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2006 VN900B with Mustang Seat / Backrest
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
OK. Further info - Got the clutch basket off and had a good look at it. There are 4 slots where the tabs of the friction plates ride that some sort of build-up on / in the slot. It's about a thumbnail thickness and about 3-4 mm in height and will not come off without filing. Looks like a transfer of the material from the edge of the friction plates tabs?

I'll post a couple of pics of this in just a minute. Since there is not supposed to be an interference fit on those tabs I'm thinking I'll just file down the buildup, install a new clutch pack with frictions, steels, and springs and see if this doesn't fix the clutch release issue. I can easily imagine the edge of the plates sticking / galling on that build up.

First picture is of the buildup slots, second picture is of the remaining slots with just normal wear. Anybody else recognize this kind of buildup?
 

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You can sand off that buildup, although it does not look to be interfering with anything.
You can see the beginnings of grooves starting to form. If you can catch your nail on them, you can consider sanding/filing them. Honestly, the basket looks good.
 

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2008 Vulcan 900 Custom, Hard Krome exhaust
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Checking in to see if the OP has gotten the problem solved - ?

CMOS
 

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2006 VN900B with Mustang Seat / Backrest
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Discussion Starter #13
FINALLY updating... my garage is filled with grandchildren's toys and bikes which are finally being organized to allow me to drop the engine and split the crankcase. Inspection of the clutch basket did reveal some odd metallic material buildup that I was able to remove with a Dremel. The external shift mechanism is fine on visual inspection as is the engine pulley splines. SO... now I get to prove I can read AND do.... I'll document it, as of now it's a $4000 paperweight so it can't get more broke.

Sorry to take so long to update but I couldn't do much during the winter months and it's been a wet spring. But now thanks to CoVid-19 and a job furlough I've got plenty of time to tear into it!
 

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2006 VN900B with Mustang Seat / Backrest
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Discussion Starter #14
Ok. So I have started the engine teardown. It's on the bench. I am posting a step by step tutorial on the job because I have searched extensively and cannot find anything on YouTube for the Vulcan 900B engine other than a clutch repair or similar simple external work. Just search for 2006 Vulcan 900 engine and it should pop up in the results. I'm posting the updates every couple of days.

It's surprising to me how much editing time is required to produce a watchable video.... but anyway I'm hoping that hundreds of other 900 owners will find something of value in the videos.
 

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Nice to see your still at it, sorry to see that you are still at it as well. Keep us up to date. I'm headed for YouTube for the vid. Thanks
 

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2006 VN900B with Mustang Seat / Backrest
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
OK. So let me try to embed the first video of the disassembly by referencing the link,
and let me try the link embed feature on the post entry box... 2006 Vulcan 900 Engine Teardown #1 Hey, hey! I think i'm figuring this out.... as long as I'm at it here also is the second video link - 2006 Vulcan 900 Engine Teardown #2

Please note that A) The audio of the first video is kinda bad for the first 12 minutes due to a bad camera. That is resolved after that first 12 minutes or so... and B) The Numbering of the videos is off by one (1) since I had an intro video but something is corrupted from the original source file and it plays at Mickey Mouse speed and cuts off the last 45 seconds so I just am eliminating it from the sequence references here on the forum. Enjoy!
 

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2006 VN900B with Mustang Seat / Backrest
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Discussion Starter #17
I'm not sure I understand the difference between "Profile Posts" and "Discussions"? If I want to post something for others to look at and respond, what's the best way? Posts or discussions? Anyway, engine is torn down and crankcase split. The shift forks are blued and ground away in an arc extending back from the shift fork finger about 10-15mm showing that they have been grinding against the gears / shift fork grooves. Tomorrow the transmission comes out for total teardown and individual component inspections.

The shift drum has what Kawasaki calls a "spring" at the back. It's obviously a spring washer - mine is completely flat no spring action at all. I'm guessing the previous owner was really hard on shifting and mashed the poor thing out of existence which would put the entire drum a few mm out of position, which would explain why ALL of the shift forks are blued and ground away.
 

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These are just ways to distinguish posts you've made to threads in your profile (discussions) and any messages someone may have left on your profile for you (profile posts). They aren't private as anyone who looks at your profile can read them. If you want to do a private message with a member use the conversation option.
 

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Twhite, I enjoyed watching the videos you have produced so far. Seeing an engine tear down of a VN900 is rare, yours is the only video I'm aware of. That leads me to believe that an engine failure is fairly rare for a VN900. I've never heard of a shift fork issue on a VN900 either (but I've heard of this on other bikes). Please keep us up to date on your progress.
 

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2006 VN900B with Mustang Seat / Backrest
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Discussion Starter #20
These are just ways to distinguish posts you've made to threads in your profile (discussions) and any messages someone may have left on your profile for you (profile posts). They aren't private as anyone who looks at your profile can read them. If you want to do a private message with a member use the conversation option.
Got it Northern. thank you! I wonder why they won't let us directly post pictures though unless they are already posted on one of the big sites?
 
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