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Discussion Starter #1
As many know, I recently replaced my oil soaked clutch with a rebuild by Southland Clutch in San Diego. They machined both surfaces fairly lightly (I calculated a total removal between the two surfaces of 30 thousandths) and replaced the friction material on my OEM disk.

I had to return the disk for replacement of a bad rivet that Eagle Eye John Zeiler caught, but otherwise things looked good. Unfortunately, the results after assembly are less than satisfactory. The very first time I engaged the clutch, it had a severe {shudder, judder, chatter} (I see all three used to describe this phenomenon) with the engine at idle and in my garage on a level concrete floor.

I thought it might just be a high spot that needed to be worn in a little, but I dropped a note to Southland anyway. They said this was not normal and asked me to get back to them after a significant number of starts have been made. I have run nearly a full tank through and made probably 50 starts now, all fairly easy at RPMs varying from just above idle to 2,000 or so. I thought the other day that the shudder was gone as I rode nearly 40 miles and it didn't occur once. However, just as I was leaving the last stoplight before my house, it shuddered heavily. Since then, it seems to shudder more when cold and less when hot, but it is fairly random. Hard to believe something like this can be random. When it is smooth, it is really smooth just as smooth as it was before the rebuild.

I tried to get it to do this earlier today so I could get it on video while I had my wife with me to run the camera, but I could not get it to shudder no matter how easily I engaged the clutch. However, I washed the LT and when I went to move it into the garage, the shudder was back with a vengeance and I got it on video. I was along, so it had to be done at idle with me riding one-handed.

The shudder is worse at idle or low RPM and if I rev to 2,000 or so, it doesn't audibly shudder or chatter, but I can feel a slight pulsing as the clutch engages. However, at other times, it will be as smooth as silk. I am including a link to the video and I think you can easily hear what I hear if you turn your volume up.

I have read several articles on this and they give a range of possible causes, but I think I can rule out almost all of the causes other than improper machining by Southland or an improper friction material. Other causes, such as oil contamination I ruled out as this happened the very first time I engaged the clutch and I had cleaned the parts several times prior to assembly per the Clymer manual and I was quite careful as to how much grease I put on the splines and pressure plate pads.

Anyone have any other thoughts as to possible causes? I can't think of any assembly errors that would cause this, but I don't want to point a finger at Southland if there are other equally likely causes. I have not seen this before personally, but as I read more I see this is a fairly common issue with some of the new automatic DCT cars and can be do to oil contamination, improper friction material (I found a pretty interesting research paper on that topic alone) and software that doesn't engage the clutches properly.

I probably won't bother to tear it down again as the clutch works great otherwise. It disengages fully, shifts smoothly, and holds full throttle torque. If I remember to rev to 2,000 or so to launch, the chatter is nonexistent and just a light pulsing occurs. I normally wouldn't like doing this, but since the only fix now is to replace the clutch cover, pressure plate and friction disk, I am not too worried about damaging them as I have nothing to lose.
:smile:


 

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Discussion Starter #3
That is an interesting sound. Curious to see how Southland responds.
I plan to run two tanks through so that I have 500 or so miles and at least 100 launches. If it is still bad then, I doubt it will correct itself through wear.

I think all they would do is offer to machine the parts again, but that is trivial compared to what I have to do to R&R the parts!
 

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Try doing a few 3500 RPM launches and really feather it (you should be smelling clutch) to burn off the high spots and see if it doesn't go away. It sounds like a high spot since you hear the banging with no appreciable decrease in RPM as you let out the clutch
 
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Well, from the sound, I would guess you have two uneven surfaces, one metal and the other on the friction material tapping on each other as they rotate. If it was just one or the other, you wouldn't get the chatter as it rotated. John has the right idea, see if it can be minimized with a few zealous starts but one of your metal plates was not machined flush with the rotational plane.

I hope it smooths out at least some.
 

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Hopefully it will wear in. For all the labor this is a good case for OEM parts. I commend you for doing the work yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Try doing a few 3500 RPM launches and really feather it (you should be smelling clutch) to burn off the high spots and see if it doesn't go away. It sounds like a high spot since you hear the banging with no appreciable decrease in RPM as you let out the clutch
Yes, my thought exactly. However, I decided to do a normal break-in first to see if anything changes and then review with Southland before taking more aggressive measures.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, from the sound, I would guess you have two uneven surfaces, one metal and the other on the friction material tapping on each other as they rotate. If it was just one or the other, you wouldn't get the chatter as it rotated. John has the right idea, see if it can be minimized with a few zealous starts but one of your metal plates was not machined flush with the rotational plane.

I hope it smooths out at least some.
That is my lead suspicion also. Either one or both surfaces were not machined flat (potato chip problem) or one or both were machined off axis so that the surface is not orthogonal to the axis of rotation.

I don't want to jump to the harsh approach just yet, but that is on the agenda. Just don't want to get it too hot and glaze the disk such that it starts slipping in high gear. I would rather deal with the shudder via higher RPM starts, than have a clutch that slips every time I pass a car.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hopefully it will wear in. For all the labor this is a good case for OEM parts. I commend you for doing the work yourself.
In retrospect, I should have cleaned up my original parts, bought the basic Siebenrock from BBY, and put it back together. I would have saved $200, two weeks of time and likely had a better result!

I very nearly did that, but most of what I read online suggested this to be a risky approach. Kind of like replacing rings without honing the cylinders, so I decided to get the resurfacing done. I think a good resurfacing would have been best, but an improper resurfacing is worse.

If it stays bad and we have a hard winter, I may just get the ambition to tear it down again next winter. It will be much easier a second time and I won't need to mess with the crankcase ventilation or fuel injection systems.

The one good thing is that my off-idle hesitation/stumble seems to be gone. Not sure what I did to fix it, but it could be one of at least these three:
1. New oxygen sensor
2. Thorough cleaning of TBs
3. Disconnecting vacuum hoses to pulse valve.

I actually suspect the last one given how random the issue was. I don't know the algorithm for pulse valve actuation, but if there was a leak in the vacuum line upstream of that valve, every time it pulsed it would be creating a vacuum leak. And that would explain the fact that it would hesitate at one stoplight and then run fine at the next. I wish now that I had tried unplugging the electrical connector to that valve to see if that would have fixed it. However, now that in have the "non-US" plumbing, I don't have to worry about that valve.
:smile:
 

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Curious to know how this worked out? I have the same issue.
Matts issue was from improper machining of the old plates. Did you attempt to do the same or has this judder developed during use?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Curious to know how this worked out? I have the same issue.
The issue is lessening over time, but still rears its ugly head occastionally. If I keep the RPM above 1200 at launch, the judder can be held at bay. I tend to rev to 1500 and then as the clutch engages a little, let the RPM fall back to 1200 or so as I would do in a normal launch. The judder only occurs at the initial clutch engagement. Once there is a little pressure on the clutch, the judder stops.
 

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Voyager - Thanks so much for getting back to me. Old thread, I know! I guess the answer in your case is, one can live with it over time.

bmwcoolk1200 - My issue is with a new clutch assembly entirely. 2005 R1200GS, so not an LT. Hope I'm not hijacking the thread, but this is very similar and a very similar engine.

I don't know if we're allowed to post links to other forums here (I can't because I'm too new to this forum) but I have another thread on the subject over at AdvRider: "2005 R1200GS New Clutch - SHUDDER! VIBRATION!" where I also have a video of the bike and the shudder.

Mine is a new aftermarket "oil-resistant" clutch from Beemer Boneyard. As recommended, I got the entire clutch assembly, not just the plate. When I ride it around for a little, ten or fifteen minutes, and it warms up, I get a very bad shudder and vibration at very low maneuvering revs. If I were to let it really get going with the shudder, it kinda feels like the whole transmission will just shake off the bike entirely! Once I "rev through it" though, like Voyager above, I can get past the severe vibration.

NOTE: I have 83K miles on my bike. I had a broken cam chain tension rail which had me pull the engine apart. I had a reputable local shop here in San Francisco do the work. We replaced all the rails, tensioners, and the cam chains themselves. Because the entire engine was completely apart, and because I had 83,000 miles on it, we figured we should probably do the clutch as well. The original clutch was still working fine though. I sort of wish I'd left it alone now!
 

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Voyager - Thanks so much for getting back to me. Old thread, I know! I guess the answer in your case is, one can live with it over time.

bmwcoolk1200 - My issue is with a new clutch assembly entirely. 2005 R1200GS, so not an LT. Hope I'm not hijacking the thread, but this is very similar and a very similar engine.

I don't know if we're allowed to post links to other forums here (I can't because I'm too new to this forum) but I have another thread on the subject over at AdvRider: "2005 R1200GS New Clutch - SHUDDER! VIBRATION!" where I also have a video of the bike and the shudder.

Mine is a new aftermarket "oil-resistant" clutch from Beemer Boneyard. As recommended, I got the entire clutch assembly, not just the plate. When I ride it around for a little, ten or fifteen minutes, and it warms up, I get a very bad shudder and vibration at very low maneuvering revs. If I were to let it really get going with the shudder, it kinda feels like the whole transmission will just shake off the bike entirely! Once I "rev through it" though, like Voyager above, I can get past the severe vibration.

NOTE: I have 83K miles on my bike. I had a broken cam chain tension rail which had me pull the engine apart. I had a reputable local shop here in San Francisco do the work. We replaced all the rails, tensioners, and the cam chains themselves. Because the entire engine was completely apart, and because I had 83,000 miles on it, we figured we should probably do the clutch as well. The original clutch was still working fine though. I sort of wish I'd left it alone now!
Hmmm, I wonder if it is the clutch or something like a binding U-joint. If it is the clutch, you should only get the judder while the handle is pulled in and starting out or feathering the clutch. If you have a vibration at any other time, you have a different issue. Is this only while you are working the clutch handle? Is it OK when fully deployed?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Voyager - Thanks so much for getting back to me. Old thread, I know! I guess the answer in your case is, one can live with it over time.

bmwcoolk1200 - My issue is with a new clutch assembly entirely. 2005 R1200GS, so not an LT. Hope I'm not hijacking the thread, but this is very similar and a very similar engine.

I don't know if we're allowed to post links to other forums here (I can't because I'm too new to this forum) but I have another thread on the subject over at AdvRider: "2005 R1200GS New Clutch - SHUDDER! VIBRATION!" where I also have a video of the bike and the shudder.

Mine is a new aftermarket "oil-resistant" clutch from Beemer Boneyard. As recommended, I got the entire clutch assembly, not just the plate. When I ride it around for a little, ten or fifteen minutes, and it warms up, I get a very bad shudder and vibration at very low maneuvering revs. If I were to let it really get going with the shudder, it kinda feels like the whole transmission will just shake off the bike entirely! Once I "rev through it" though, like Voyager above, I can get past the severe vibration.

NOTE: I have 83K miles on my bike. I had a broken cam chain tension rail which had me pull the engine apart. I had a reputable local shop here in San Francisco do the work. We replaced all the rails, tensioners, and the cam chains themselves. Because the entire engine was completely apart, and because I had 83,000 miles on it, we figured we should probably do the clutch as well. The original clutch was still working fine though. I sort of wish I'd left it alone now!
I just watched and listened to your video. Sounds exactly like my LT and at the same time. I had my clutch rebuilt by Southland Clutch in San Diego. My best guess was that their machining of my two clutch surfaces wasn’t exactly true leaving a high spot on one or both surfaces. Given that the clutch disk material always has some thickness variation around the circumference, I suspect that the thick spot on the clutch disk touches the high spot on the metal once a revolution causing the disk to grab, take up the slack in the drivetrain and then release letting the drive train “unwind” just in time for the next revolution and grab.

However, after reading some of the responses to your post in ADVRider, I am wondering if this isn’t also exacerbated by a different friction material. You used an aftermarket disk and I had mine rebuilt using aftermarket friction material. The Southland disk really seems to engage more firmly and solidly than did the OEM disk. So, the folks at ADVRider may well be correct that it is the combination of a high spot on the metal surfaces, which I suspect is always there to at least a 0.001” or so, and a friction material with a higher coefficient of friction than the stock material.

I have been launching a little harder than I used to using higher RPM and letting the clutch out more briskly and this seems to have not only reduced the severity of the shudder when it does happen, but seems to have lessened the frequency of occurrence. So, it may well be that some reasonable wear and tear will clear the problem over time. However, I have nearly 20,000 miles on my clutch and it still persists. So, it may take 50,000 to correct the problem. However, I do like the feel of the Southland clutch better than the OEM clutch and if it holds up the the harder launches, I guess I can live with that.

Officer, I really didn’t want to pop a wheelie, but I have this clutch problem that requires harder than normal launches. :grin:
 
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Hmmm, I wonder if it is the clutch or something like a binding U-joint. If it is the clutch, you should only get the judder while the handle is pulled in and starting out or feathering the clutch. If you have a vibration at any other time, you have a different issue. Is this only while you are working the clutch handle? Is it OK when fully deployed?
bmwcoolk1200 - Yes, it's okay when the clutch is fully out and then it drives fine. This only happens when working the clutch and only under 2K RPM. Really only in certain starting out conditions, and very slow maneuvering/parking speeds. It also doesn't do it when it's cold and not warmed up.
 

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Voyager - Like yourself, I too have been adapting: launching a little harder using higher RPM, and letting the clutch out faster.

I guess I can live with it. Only thing that worries me is, well the problem itself (lol), but also the fact that the folks at Beemer Boneyard said that this is not at all normal and that they have never had or heard of any issues with these clutches. Perhaps they would say that, but they do have a very good and solid reputation. Maybe this only happens occasionally, and the few people it's happened to have worked around it or gotten used to it, and thus BBY haven't heard about it? I don't know.

Anyway, I do need to get back down to the guys who installed it, and at least give them a chance to say their piece. Maybe they'll have some "Ah ha!" moment and fix it? Wishful thinking! I'll report back.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Voyager - Like yourself, I too have been adapting: launching a little harder using higher RPM, and letting the clutch out faster.

I guess I can live with it. Only thing that worries me is, well the problem itself (lol), but also the fact that the folks at Beemer Boneyard said that this is not at all normal and that they have never had or heard of any issues with these clutches. Perhaps they would say that, but they do have a very good and solid reputation. Maybe this only happens occasionally, and the few people it's happened to have worked around it or gotten used to it, and thus BBY haven't heard about it? I don't know.

Anyway, I do need to get back down to the guys who installed it, and at least give them a chance to say their piece. Maybe they'll have some "Ah ha!" moment and fix it? Wishful thinking! I'll report back.
I suspect it is a “perfect storm” scenario where just the right factors are present to cause this issue.
 

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Voyager - Thanks so much for getting back to me. Old thread, I know! I guess the answer in your case is, one can live with it over time.

bmwcoolk1200 - My issue is with a new clutch assembly entirely. 2005 R1200GS, so not an LT. Hope I'm not hijacking the thread, but this is very similar and a very similar engine.

I don't know if we're allowed to post links to other forums here (I can't because I'm too new to this forum) but I have another thread on the subject over at AdvRider: "2005 R1200GS New Clutch - SHUDDER! VIBRATION!" where I also have a video of the bike and the shudder.

Mine is a new aftermarket "oil-resistant" clutch from Beemer Boneyard. As recommended, I got the entire clutch assembly, not just the plate. When I ride it around for a little, ten or fifteen minutes, and it warms up, I get a very bad shudder and vibration at very low maneuvering revs. If I were to let it really get going with the shudder, it kinda feels like the whole transmission will just shake off the bike entirely! Once I "rev through it" though, like Voyager above, I can get past the severe vibration.

NOTE: I have 83K miles on my bike. I had a broken cam chain tension rail which had me pull the engine apart. I had a reputable local shop here in San Francisco do the work. We replaced all the rails, tensioners, and the cam chains themselves. Because the entire engine was completely apart, and because I had 83,000 miles on it, we figured we should probably do the clutch as well. The original clutch was still working fine though. I sort of wish I'd left it alone now!
Seems to me your bike snuck out at night and ate a Harley. Then, the ghost of the Harley has shown itself by adding a well known and well loved, by some, Harley Shake. Change out your pipes to get a good deep growl and glue some H/D logos on your bike and your are good to go. In fact, you may find some new rider willing to pay a premium for your prototype bike set to hit the market in 3 years but you got your hands on this one from a connection through your cousin's wife's best friend's neighbor. Enjoy the shake and ride on :wink::grin:>:)
 
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