Sunday 2 June 2024

VX800 - fixing the clutch lever

So my dad has got this somewhat weird, yet in a way wonderful Suzuki VX800. Whilst it has reached the point where it is actually usable by now, some of the bits on it are still heavily worn out and somewhat neglected. Such is the case with the clutch lever. It appears that the bike at some point was dropped onto the left side as the left footpeg is a bit mangled and the clutch lever slightly bent. 

The thing with the bent clutch lever is though that it wore out it's pivot very oval. In general a slightly sloppy clutch lever is not the end of the world, but here the hole has widened to the point where it affected the clutch disengagement. So the plan was to drill it out, fit a bushing made from bearing bronze and then bore/ream/drill that one to size as needed. 

So I drilled out the hole until I ended up with one that was round again and there was still some wall thickness left.

Chamfered the edges to make pressing in the bushing a bit easier.

I decided to make the bushing AFTER drilling out the lever mainly, because it is easier to make the bushing fit the hole than the other way round. I recall the bore being 8mm and I think made an 11 or 12mm hole, with a 3mm pilot hole and the bushing 1/10mm oversize. I had originally contemplated using some bearing retaining compound (e.g. Loctite green), but the bushing went in nicely and showed no signs of being either loose in the hole OR having deformed either part.

After putting the little engineer back into his cage, I realized that plain old drilling the bushing would be more than adequate for the task at hand.

... and fitted to the bike. Vacuum cleaner is strictly optional.

Obviously this one of those repairs which makes next to no sense unless you have the machinery needed to do it yourself, as it was easily a one hour job. On the other hand the bearing bronze bushing will last for a very, very long time now, especially if greased up properly. And if not, it can be replaced.