Author Topic: Clunk in gears while shifting  (Read 1227 times)

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Offline Geeltee

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Clunk in gears while shifting
« on: April 08, 2019, 07:33:32 pm »
I was in about 4000 miles and ready for an oil change when I started hearing a clunk or knock sound right after shifting, not just the typical neutral to first gear. I changed oil with Valvoline 4 stroke 10W40 Synthetic which I have always used. I did not change the filter, however, because I wanted to see if the noise went away with fresh oil, it did not. It has gotten worse. The bike has just under 70K. I had put on about 35,000 of those miles so the bike is not new to me. My question is, Is this a normal aging sound, the need for better oil and filter or something much worse ? :'(

Offline DC Concours

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2019, 07:43:50 pm »
It's definitely not an aging sound or a need for a different oil. It is something mechanical. What service have you done on this bike in the last 35k miles other than oil/fluid change.

Is the clunk only there during shifting? Do you have a feedback on your clutch? How does the bike run otherwise?

Take care of this before riding more and end up with a busted something.

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2019, 11:47:33 pm »
seeing as a filter is about the same cost as a quart of oil, I can't understand why you didn't change that; as if it's reached it's point of becoming "non functional" (unlike oil that can run for many thousands of miles..without blowing something up). it's the weak point in the system, and can prevent oil flow to critical areas needing lube...
change the filter. :truce:

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Offline DC Concours

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2019, 12:13:44 am »
MOB, doesn't the oem manual say change the filter every other oil change? I change my filter w/ every oil change but my filter is always clean. I always wonder if the engineers are right.... Of course they are right. I have been brainwashed.

seeing as a filter is about the same cost as a quart of oil, I can't understand why you didn't change that; as if it's reached it's point of becoming "non functional" (unlike oil that can run for many thousands of miles..without blowing something up). it's the weak point in the system, and can prevent oil flow to critical areas needing lube...
change the filter. :truce:




Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2019, 12:29:13 am »
I dunno
I've had "outlet oil change places" install oil filters on my truck, when the weather was bad and I didn't feel like laying in snow @ 20*, that didn't last (totally plugged up to the point of valves rattling) in 2k miles... go figure...

I don't play the filter guessing game anymore...


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Offline DC Concours

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2019, 01:34:05 am »
I stand corrected MOB. You always set us straight.

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Offline Geeltee

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2019, 02:28:38 am »
Thanks for the feedback. I drained oil and check oil for engine chunks but it was clean. I changed the filter even though it was clean, and put the oil back in because it had only a couple hundred miles on it. I used a stethoscope to listen for origination of sound, It was predominately on the drive shaft up front but also could hear the sound transfer to the rear gear. I  drained and changed to a slightly thicker gear oil, It gets very hot in Arizona. The gear looked clean and sharp. The oil seemed low and a bit dirty but no chunks. the sound appears to be mostly coming from the clutch master cylinder area and has a bit of a rattle to it when in gear on the center stand. Could it be a weak spring in the master cylinder? It shifts very good no slipping.
I'm hoping to rule out a few things or fix things I can before, no offence, turning it loose for a $90 Hr mechanic do internal exploratory surgery!

Offline Geeltee

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2019, 02:35:44 am »
P.S. I Have had the valves done recently. The bike overall runs great. I have temporarily parked it just until I get it fixed. It is my urban assault commuter and I am now forced to drive my 2009 C14 to work ;)  I prefer the C10 for in town.

Offline Greenie

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2019, 07:56:09 am »
At times like this an oil analysis (cost about $25) will give a good indication of internal conditions.
 
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Offline Bob_C_CT

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2019, 09:49:52 am »
You mean clutch slave cylinder. What year is your bike? I was thinking possibly a broken piece of the star spring in clutch as you saw it happens when shifting gears.
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Offline Brooke_Benfield_OR

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2019, 04:50:32 pm »
Check the universal joint in the driveshaft for play.
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Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2019, 09:06:08 pm »
You mean clutch slave cylinder. What year is your bike? I was thinking possibly a broken piece of the star spring in clutch as you saw it happens when shifting gears.

 :great: :great: :great:

as I just returned to see this thread, and read thru, I did have to ask the same question, as it was not given from the start...

What year?

I'll also ad, as you have put some miles on this bike, and I assume a few rear tires also...
was the rear hub's "drive splines", the ones that mate to the actual wheel assembly, ever completely cleaned, and inspected, and lubed?

the hub drive splines are a hidden problem on many of these bikes with "miles on them", and unless you clean the splined portion on the rear rim, and inspect closely, and lube... they tend to wear out "invisibly", and fail...  the splines (the extended "male" portion on the drive housing) are hardened, and wear very little, but the ones contained in the wheel damper of the rim are much softer steel, and nobody ever cleans or inspects them closely... until they fail.



« Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 09:13:27 pm by MAN OF BLUES »

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Offline Geeltee

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2019, 04:44:48 am »
The bike is a 2003.
I have inspected the rear spline last time I replaced rear rotor.
Yes I am referring to the clutch slave cylinder. If it is the "CSC" is this something that when pulled will show an issue? I am pretty handy and like working on bikes but I also don't want to bit off more than I can chew. Is this or the axle something the average garage mechanic could/should tackle?
For reference I have replaced the water pump and rebuilt the old one for a spare, is the CSC or drive shaft anymore difficult than the water pump?
I heard people buy used drive shaft with universal on line, Any concern about doing this or is it just buying someone elses problem?

Offline Pbfoot

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2019, 09:41:08 am »
Pretty easy to replace the driveshaft.
If you don't have time to do it right, when do you have time to do it over.                                                                17" wheels, Nissin 4 piston calipers.1kg Sonic Springs.Cartridge Fork Emulators. KB Brace. Galfer brake lines  Free power mod.

Offline Bob_C_CT

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2019, 09:46:43 am »
I thought it could be an older model that has the older star spring in the clutch that had tendencies to break off one or more of the finger tabs and cause noise issues.

The clutch slave cylinder wouldn't be the cause unless it isn't fully disengaging the clutch when you shift and then you are somewhat power shifting. Problems with the csc usually are when it gets gummed up and doesn't want to return and would exhibit a slipping clutch feel.
As far as ease I believe you have to take the csc off to get to other screws when you did the water pump. Long shot here but you aren't mistaking the csc (left side of bike) to the right side of bike cover where the clutch actually resides? Could it then be a sloppy starter chain slapping against the clutch basket. Or could that noise be transmitted through to the csc. Have you stethoscoped the right side cover?

Let's assume you rule out the clutch basket/chain noise, more questions,
Do you only get one clunking noise once when you are done with the up Shift? How about downshifts? Or does it happen in between gear changes too?
Only once may indicate that it only happens when you put a load back on the drivetrain.

You said when you have it on the center stand it has a bit of a rattle to it when in gear, what has a rattle? and is the engine running or are you moving the rear tire back and forth by hand to cause the rattle?

How long after the valve adjustment did the noise appear? I would think anything that may of come loose in the valve train would be noisy more than just shifting.


Southern Connecticut.
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Offline Pbfoot

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2019, 11:50:02 am »
Put the bike on the center stand in gear with the engine off. Rotate the wheel until it stops. Note position. Rotate wheel in other direction. Note position. Place piece of broomstick on driveshaft tube and rotate back and forth and see if you can hear anything. I can pull the driveshaft in 35 minutes. There have been failures.
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Offline Geeltee

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2019, 02:41:13 am »
It does clunk periodically between shifting, not just during. I took it into a general motorcycle mechanic and he didn't think it was uncommon everything shifts great. He suggested trying a thicker oil to see if noise changes, it may help diagnose...I still don't think its normal.
The rattling noise is when it is running... Could be parts pieces. I don't remember if I had it in gear out its been so long, I will check this as well as test the back lash. It does sound like a cog in the gear is missing and clunks periodically. I will check if I notice if its more during acceleration, coasting or deceleration.

Thank you all for sticking with me, this is still one of my favorite bikes! I will be out of town for another week before I can get back to my Connie...

Offline Geeltee

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2019, 03:18:59 am »
ON the stand the rear tire moves very little when rotating the tire. I changed oil to 20W50 form 10W40 to see if I could get a different sound, was hopping the sound would disappear, it did not. May have been quieter. I did notice when riding, on/off acceleration made the clunk. I switched oil back to 10W40 and will take for another ride. again it shifts great accelerates fine and there is no real when running. I want to guess its between the engine and the drive shaft. Maybe the splines on the front of the shaft. I will take it to a Kawasaki service  shop to get a second opinion. If I am not getting a good reason for the noise I will change the drive shaft and then run it till it dies or symptoms change.   :??:

Online Bud

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2019, 10:52:08 am »
Doesn't cost anything to pull the drive shaft for inspection.
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Offline Geeltee

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2019, 01:32:57 am »
Yes indeed. A good project for Arizona summers. How do I determine if there is issues with it. I can get used ones on Ebay but I'm not sure I know if I'm getting one with the same problems... I'm currently working on getting a Ninja 250 back on the road from sitting too long.

Online Bud

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2019, 10:37:59 am »
I think when you pull the drive shaft, it will be obvious.  There will be slop in the joint that would make a clunk when power is applied.  A short video of the joints would be helpful to others that may encounter this.
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Offline DC Concours

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2019, 04:12:49 pm »
Aren't these drive shafts basically fault free? And isn't his clunk in the front and only between shifts so before the power moves to the shaft.

I say check the shaft if you like. If nothing found, prepare to buy a new bike next year. It has high miles anyway and these bikes are cheap.

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2019, 07:42:20 pm »
Shaft problems aren't common, but that doesn't mean there are 0 failures.  Back in my auto parts selling days, I sold an awful lot of u joints.  Reminds me of the time I was driving down the street in my 62 Ford econoline pickup when the rear joint failed and it dropped the drive shaft in the street! :-\  Wasn't as funny then as it is now! ;D
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Offline connieklr

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2019, 03:41:33 pm »
You mean clutch slave cylinder. What year is your bike? I was thinking possibly a broken piece of the star spring in clutch as you saw it happens when shifting gears.

 :great: :great: :great:

as I just returned to see this thread, and read thru, I did have to ask the same question, as it was not given from the start...

What year?

I'll also ad, as you have put some miles on this bike, and I assume a few rear tires also...
was the rear hub's "drive splines", the ones that mate to the actual wheel assembly, ever completely cleaned, and inspected, and lubed?

the hub drive splines are a hidden problem on many of these bikes with "miles on them", and unless you clean the splined portion on the rear rim, and inspect closely, and lube... they tend to wear out "invisibly", and fail...  the splines (the extended "male" portion on the drive housing) are hardened, and wear very little, but the ones contained in the wheel damper of the rim are much softer steel, and nobody ever cleans or inspects them closely... until they fail.

The ONLY way to really inspect the hub splines is to pull the splined hub out of the wheel and inspect after cleaning. The full scope of the spline's condition are kinda hidden unless you do. I have pictures (somewhere) of a fella's hub that failed completely and left him stranded 'cause the bike would no longer move.

If all okay, recommend using a good moly-paste grease. Back in the day, Honda Moly Paste 60 was the go to lube for hub splines. It's since been discontinued due to some CA legislative a***** deeming it unfit for human use a number of years ago, and Honda pulled it from the market. It was replaced with a Honda M-77 Assembly Paste, which long time users have claimed as not being as effective.

Fortunately, I purchased two tubes of the original stuff back in the mid-80's. The first tube opened back then is on the right and has been cut down to about half of its original height so I could get to the grease. You really don't need to use all that much of it. My second tube is still squirreled away.

A supposedly suitable substitute sits on the left. I haven't used any of it yet, but will do so in the next week or so when I pull the back end of my bike apart for general suspension lube.

« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 05:23:41 pm by connieklr »
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Offline DC Concours

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Re: Clunk in gears while shifting
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2019, 06:22:57 pm »
What about Lithium base grease?