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4 Degree Timing Mod and Replacing Clutch Springs VLX
Old 08-18-2012, 06:44 PM   #1
gochisox81
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4 Degree Timing Mod and Replacing Clutch Springs VLX

I will be demonstrating how to change out the clutch springs and perform the 4˚ timing mod on my 2003 Honda Shadow VLX. This job is very similar for all models of the VLX and could probably be used as a guide to replacing the springs on most Honda clutches. McV has a write up specifically for the 750 that I used as a basis to do the same to the VT600CD.


***DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a mechanic. I have NO FORMAL TRAINING to work on motorcycles, or any engine of any sort. Perform this task at your own risk.***



That being said these jobs are such that a novice would have difficulty screwing them up. They are best done when you have to change the oil since you will need to drain it anyway.

I have to give credit to McV, without his write up in the 750 Mods, I wouldnít have been able to do this nearly as confidently.


What you will need:
2.5 qts Oil of your choice
1 oil filter
1 oil filter wrench
Socket set and ratchet
Flat head screwdriver
Black Liquid gasket
Choice of new springs
Brake cleaner


Rotary grinding tool
Grinding wheel
Pointed Carbide or Stone tool
Feeler guage
New gasket (some older models)
Approx. 3hrs
2-3 cold beers(your choice)


Getting Started:


Step 1:



Remove the entire exhaust system if stock, or just the lower pipe if possible with an aftermarket system.



Step 2:



Drain oil and change oil filter, it is ok to put the plug back in after draining , but DO NOT REFILL THE OIL!!!





Step 3:



Release the clutch cable from the mount and set to the side so itís out of the way.




Step 4:


Take out all 14 bolts holding the cover on, and gently pry the lid using minimal pressure needed. All you are doing is breaking a seal, and once it is broken the cover comes off quickly. Pull the cover straight back to remove. This is where if you chose not to remove the exhaust it can get tricky. You cannot tilt the cover since there is a guide bar at both ends.




Once removed you should see something like this:



Step 4:

Remove the 4 bolts holding the clutch plate by backing them slowly out a little at a time. REMEMBER they are under pressure and its best to back one bolt out a little bit and then move to the others to match movement so that the clutch plate doesnít bend or tilt too much. Donít worry about a sudden release however, the bolts are longer than the springs.



Remove the old springs and replace with new springs.




Replace the clutch plate tightening the plate down with a torque wrench to 9lbs
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Old 08-18-2012, 06:50 PM   #2
gochisox81
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Continued

Step 5:


ONTO THE TIMING MOD:


Carefully note the distance between the magnets and the wheel using a feeler gauge. If you need it to line up better, with a good amount of force you can usually get the clutch to spin counter clockwise by firmly grabbing it with both hands and twisting. Iím sure there is other ways, but this worked well for me.







Remove the top magnet sensor and COVER THE CASE so that no debris gets in while grinding.





Using the rotary too and grinding wheel, grind off the ridges on back until you have a flat smooth area.





The goal here is to move the sensor approximately 4˚ counter clockwise for a slightly faster timing. Keeping this in mind, grind the holes so that it will allow the sensor to be moved that way while still leaving plenty of strength to hold the sensors on. This is really where you can make your only mistake by grinding the wrong side of the hole, and even that isnít a complete disaster.


I was unable to get a clear picture of this, so this will have to do.






THOUROUGHLY clean the sensor and replace the sensor carefully noting the distance between the sensor and the wheel so that it is as close to the same original distance as possible. I cannot stress enough to clean this well. It is a magnet and as you can see from my pictures, it will collect a lot of the shavings. Whatever you donít clean will end up in your engine. I also recommend doing another oil change before 2000 miles after this mod in assumption shavings will get in.


Picture of upper sensor installed. Note the original position by the mark on the metal.




REPEAT THIS PROCESS ON LOWER SENSOR.


First remove the right bolt and take out the wire harness that holds the wires out of the way.





Grind down the raised backs and drill out the openings to allow the sensor to slide counter clockwise. CLEAN and replace wire harness and sensor making sure to keep the sensor at the same distance from the wheel as before you removed it and pushed as far counterclockwise as your cuts will allow.



Step 6:


FINISHING UP!


Clean off the remaining old gasket using a non-residue forming cleaner like a brake cleaner sprayed onto a shop rag.
Place a small bead of black liquid gasket around the rim circling the bolt holes, and replace cover. Some earlier models will have an actual gasket you will need to use. It is recommended to replace this gasket when doing this job instead of reusing the old one.


Proceed to tighten all 14 bolts until the gasket starts to ooze out the sides. Make sure you have full coverage around the entire case. Wait 1 hour and tighten the bolts the rest of the way. (the wait is highly opinionated. I only give it to you since thatís what the directions on the back of the gasket bottle says. Most donít wait from what I hear.)


Refill with oil of your choice:




Replace the exhaust and the clutch cable and adjust as needed so that it feels right.


Thatís it youíre ready to go. Enjoy! You should feel a bit better throttle response and a peppier feel because of the 4˚ modification, and less slippage when shifting in the high gears while really giving it the throttle with the new clutch springs.

Let me know what your results are.
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:05 PM   #3
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sticky oh yeah....
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:46 PM   #4
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Great write up...tell me what you think of the difference. I wish I would have replaced my springs when I did mine but didn't.
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:17 AM   #5
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Just got back from the ride. You can def feel the faster throttle response. It seems like it runs a bit smoother and is def faster to react to the throttle. Found myself cracking the throttle just for kicks. Was well worth the time and effort.

The springs are nice, they claim to be 10% stiffer, and although you don't feel it when you pull in th clutch you can tell when you are releasing. It just feels like it locks in faster, and I never once felt the slip I did sometimes when was really on the throttle. Occasionally when really getting on it going onto 3rd would slip on me, and with only 12k on the bike I was skeptical that the clutch was worn. Seems like this will solve the issue.

All in all for 3 hours and $15 in parts and shipping, this was very worth the effort.
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:48 AM   #6
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awesome write up, ive read the 750 write up a million times, but my only question is... how much do you drill out to get the 4 deg timming? can you drill out too much? are you just removing 1/8in of material? 1/4in? 1/2in? and sliding it counter clockwise an 1/8in? 1/4in? 1/2in?. thats pretty much the only thing thats stopping me from doing this is not knowing how much material to remove.
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:16 AM   #7
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It's not a exact science or measurement, I left about 1/4" of bar so that I had plenty to grip onto when I tightened it all back in. All you're trying to do is get the sensors a bit further forward to advance the timing. Try to do it the same to both, use a ruler or a boley gauge to check your work with actual measurements. Honestly though, it's hard to screw this up. Your ammo boxes were probably harder to mount than this was to do.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:22 AM   #8
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I'm just waiting for the day where I can bribe BE to do it for me..

Great write up.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corigan
I'm just waiting for the day where I can bribe BE to do it for me..

Great write up.
bribe means money. if money were involed i think he would do it. what you want or need is blackmail. plus it a lot more fun for us to watch. lol.
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:37 AM   #10
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I'm squeaky clean, no chance for blackmail. ;-)
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