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  1. #1

    Default XS650 How To: Thru the Cover for Foot Suicide Clutch

    So I had been searching online like crazy lately on how to mod the left cover on a build I’m doing to run a foot clutch. There was two options I kept finding: one was through the cover that basically ended up with you having to use a wrench as the lever. The other was an expensive way in which you sent your cover to someone and they machine the parts you need and fit it to the cover. There were other various options too with drilling another hole in the cover for a lever or completely going around the cover with various linkage set ups but none of those appealed to me.

    As far as the expensive way, it looks great and I have no doubt that it’s probably the most “bulletproof” way to go. My hang up was paying someone $200 for something I felt I could do without a machine shop. As for the “wrench” way, I’m sure it works fine but I just didn’t like the idea of a wrench just hanging off of a bike that I put a lot of time and effort into to make look nice.

    So my way was made to be the middle ground i guess. I made it to be functional, look nicer than the “wrench” way, but still way cheaper than the “expensive” way. I took a little from the cheap way and made it my own to look better. Note: I did all of this with hand tools and a lot of patience. Just thought I’d put this out there for everyone as another idea on how to do this.

    So.... here we go....

    WHAT YOU NEED:
    -Your clutch worm gear out of the cover
    -M8x1.25 x 100mm threaded rod (was in stock at my local Menards)
    -M8x1.25 threaded coupling nut (also at Menards)
    -Old rear brake drum splined shaft and lever (you can buy them for like $20 each online)
    -M8 washer
    -M8x1.25 lock nut
    -M8x1.25 acorn nut
    -Metal drill bits in various sizes from 1/16” to 5/8”
    -Needle files
    -The acceptance that you might fuck this up and have to buy a new worm gear.
    (Buy extra hardware in the sizes I mention just in case you mess something up.)

    The reason your using M8 hardware is because the threads inside the worm gear for the adjustment screw is M8x1.25. This allows you to not have to drill out the threads in the worm gear like the “wrench” method if you don't want to. But in all honesty, it is easier to drill out the threads because when you weld the coupling to the worm gear it’s difficult to keep the threaded rod (your new adjustment screw) from binding because the weld shrinkage tends to misalign the coupling threads from the inner worm gear threads. But not drilling the worm gear out gives you options if you can make it work. It's up to you.

    So the first thing you want to do is get your splined shaft from the rear brake drum assembly. Should look like this out of the drum:

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    What you’re going to do is drill into the spine end of this right in the center. Use a punch to mark the center and start drilling with small drill bits and gradually you’ll run a 5/16” bit into the end and then you’re done. Drill into the end carefully to a depth that goes past the splines about 1/4” (about an inch or so total depth). Make sure you are drilling in the center because when you drill with the 5/16” bit it’s gets pretty close to the outside and you don’t want to drill a hole through the side of the splines. I did this with a cordless drill by hand so it can be done.

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    Now cut off the splined end that you drilled about 1/4” or so past the splines. Make sure you cut it off square or, if you didn't, clean it up with a grinder when your done. The 1/4” leaves enough material to weld so you don’t end up welding over the splines. Bevel the cut edge a little too to give your weld a place to sit when you start welding.

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    Now lay all your pieces and hardware out. It should look something like this:

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    So first, screw in your M8 threaded rod into the worm gear and turn it until you feel resistance from the ball bearing on the other side. This will help stabilize the rod and help to keep the threads aligned when you weld the M8 coupling nut to the worm gear. If you would rather drill out the worm gear so you don’t have thread alignment issues, use a 5/16” drill bit and carefully drill into the worm gear to remove the threads. Make sure you don't drill into the ball bearing and make sure to clean the shavings out. Be careful not to lose the ball bearing because it can fall out now that the threads aren’t there.

    Once you’ve sorted out which method you want to use, insert the ball bearing and threaded rod and then thread on your M8 coupling nut onto the rod until it’s against the worm gear. I beveled the ends of the coupling nut on both sides but you might not need to depending on your welding skills. Once you have it centered and where you want it, weld it in placed taking care not to ruin the threads on the outside of the worm gear. If you do distort the threads, you can make them right again with the needle files and a little time.

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    Last edited by 79Josh81; 03-21-2019 at 12:38 AM.

  2. #2
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    Max of 5 pics per post. add next 5 photos with related details in next post, then repeat.
    If pics done by phone, I find I need to download photos on laptop, open, rotate and save, then pull them from stored file for posting.

    Looks like a great mod you did by researching and adapting,then making work what ya got.

  3. #3

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    Now take the hollowed splined end and place it onto the threaded rod so it sits on top of the welded-on coupling nut.

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    Now thread on an M8 nut to hold it place.

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    Now weld the splined end to the coupling nut. Try to keep your weld as flat as possible so it will fit through the case when you reassemble the clutch mechanism. If you have to, clean the weld up after welding so it will fit.

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    Now make sure the threaded rod is threaded in all the way to the ball bearing again. Figure out the length you need past the splined end to fit on a washer, lock nut, and the acorn nut. Cut the excess threaded rod off at this length. Then make a slot in the end of the threaded rod to accept a flat head screwdriver. This is now your clutch adjustment screw.

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    Now insert your modded worm gear back through from the inside of the case. It should look something like this:
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  4. #4

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    Now get the round chrome cover that used to go on the outside of the case over the clutch adjustment screw. Mark the center with a punch and drill the center out to 5/8”. Clean it up nice and put the cover back into place. I figure this will help by keeping debris out of the worm gear. Packing a little grease in there as well isn't a bad idea.

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    Now put the lever on the splined end. Add your M8 washer and then your M8x1.25 lock nut. The nut is obviously your new lock nut to "lock-in" and set your clutch adjustment. As far as the end of the lever goes, depending on how you want to link your forward controls, you can leave it as is or cut the end off and drill a hole to accept a heim joint.

    Also, you essentially can use any type of splined shaft end and lever that you might have laying around or anything similar you can score real cheap off eBay or wherever. I just used the old brake drum parts because I had them laying around but the decision is really yours.

    Now add your acorn nut to cover the end of your adjustment screw. This should help protect the end of the adjustment screw. A little anti-seize on the threads of the end (and the entire rod for that matter) will go along way and make sure you don’t end up with problems down the road.

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    And there it is. No mess on the inside of the cover or on the outside. Obviously, make sure you re-grease everything and you should be good to go.

  5. #5
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    Nice work! I am sure this will be very helpful for many people. thank you for sharing.

  6. #6

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    Thanks, I figured people might appreciate a step-by-step for this to give them another option.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by 79Josh81 View Post
    Thanks, I figured people might appreciate a step-by-step for this to give them another option.
    Thanks for your work, experience and submission. This is always a good thing to document for XS fans. If only we had the internet back in the day to share knowledge, so much insight and info about the wonderful XS would have endured beyond what is available today.
    Last edited by Skjoll; 03-24-2019 at 5:00 PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skjoll View Post
    Thanks for your work, experience and submission. This is always a good thing to document for XS fans. If only we had the internet back in the day to share knowledge, so much insight and info about the wonderful XS would have endured beyond what is available today.
    I'll tell you what...what's impressive are those guys who did this stuff without the internet. Having to figure things out by just a service manual and maybe a good buddy that rode the same bike. Like you said, that knowledge would have been killer if it could have been shared then like it can be today.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 79Josh81 View Post
    I'll tell you what...what's impressive are those guys who did this stuff without the internet. Having to figure things out by just a service manual and maybe a good buddy that rode the same bike.
    Believe it was fun.... Not always a lot of fun but that's the best way to learn as far as I'm concerned.........

    That's why I know what I know today.........

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    Believe it was fun.... Not always a lot of fun but that's the best way to learn as far as I'm concerned.........

    That's why I know what I know today.........
    Right on man

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by 79Josh81 View Post
    ... Like you said, that knowledge would have been killer if it could have been shared then like it can be today.
    Even the stuff I tried to document in the mid to late 90s has been lost or even edited out over the years from sources like the Wikipedia page. And I sure as hell don't remember everything I once knew and learned either from first hand experience or via the old flat track and road racers/builders I once knew.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skjoll View Post
    And I sure as hell don't remember everything I once knew and learned either from first hand experience or via the old flat track and road racers/builders I once knew.
    You know I guess I'm lucky.... I still remember most of what I was taught or learned the hard way from years ago.... Sometimes I'm a little off on the numbers but fairly close....

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    You know I guess I'm lucky.... I still remember most of what I was taught or learned the hard way from years ago.... Sometimes I'm a little off on the numbers but fairly close....
    Yea you should consider yourself lucky. I can't remember what piston sizes I preferred for an overbore or which cam grinds worked best with which valve sizes, carb sizes and header lengths and diameters in either flat track or road racing... can't even remember what we use to rephase a crank to. I'm thinking it was 277° but I wouldn't put money on it.
    Last edited by Skjoll; 03-27-2019 at 5:31 AM.

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