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Rear wheel gets stuck if put in first gear

Discussion in 'XJ Technical Chat' started by Jose Zambrana, Mar 2, 2020.

  1. Jose Zambrana

    Jose Zambrana Member

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    Hi to all the members here. My name is Jose and I got a very nice 1982 XJ650RJ pretty cheap. I cleaned the carbs, put new spark plugs, new air filters, new battery and new fuse box. I also painted the frame, tank, side covers and seat cowl. The bike now starts nicely. The problem is that if I try to get her into first gear, the rear wheel gets stuck. Also, finding neutral is a pain. I have to pull up the bike from second gear and she seems to run good, but If I put her into first gear the rear wheel gets stuck even with the clutch lever pulled all the way in. Any ideas as to where to start? I have a 2013 Triumph Thruxton and a 1980 Yamaha XS400. I do all the work on my bikes but I have never deal with transmission problems.

    I'll appreciate any help.

    Thank you.
     

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  2. Timbox

    Timbox Well-Known Member

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    First of all welcome to the forum. Lots of great information here and that upper right icon will link you to all kinds of great information and great parts.

    Does the rear wheel spin freely when in neutral? Is the bike running when you are shifting in the description above? Just want to make sure we get this right, with the bike running normally if you shift into first gear and let the clutch out, the rear tire will stop and kill the bike? If you have it running and then shift it to second gear, let the clutch out the rear tire will spin and the engine will stay running.

    Are you sure you don't have the back brake adjusted too tight and it is dragging. If it is not that, you could have lost first great. More help on the way other will chime in.
     
  3. a100man

    a100man Well-Known Member

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    There are several thread on here about gearbox issue with the shaft-drive XJs (650 and bigger) caused by a composite primary chain guide/tensioner that break up over times and jams the gearbox. Could be worth searching a bit more. IIRC theres also an emergency fix you can undertake without lifting the engine and splitting the cases.. apparently :cool:
    .. I'm a chain drive man.
     
  4. Jose Zambrana

    Jose Zambrana Member

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    Man, thank you for your prompt reponse. To answer some of your questions,

    1. Yes, the bike spins free in neutral, when I find neutral which is a pain. However, she jumps out of neutral.
    2. It does it when the bike is both running or if I do it when she is on the center stand.
    3. The engine does not get killed. The engine is still running but the rear wheel is stuck. Is like when you downshift to first you’re pulling the brakes fully. The wheels just stop running.
    4. Rear brakes are not the problem as she runs good in other gears.

    In summary, the issue is that even pulling the clucth lever all the way in, when you downshift to first the rearwheel gets stuck.
     
  5. Jose Zambrana

    Jose Zambrana Member

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    Any more help?
     
  6. Jose Zambrana

    Jose Zambrana Member

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    I tested again today and it also gets stuck in third. It makes a really scary clanking noise when she gets stuck. It does does it even when the clutch lever pulled in.
     
  7. kerriskandiesinc

    kerriskandiesinc Active Member

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    I'd go with the above poster...possible Hy Vo alternator chain drive guide has broken up, which can mean bits of mettalised rubber inside the gearbox....dogs, shift forks etc, which CAN cause all sort of gear change lock up problems....
     
  8. kosel

    kosel Active Member Premium Member

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  9. Franz

    Franz Well-Known Member

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  10. Franz

    Franz Well-Known Member

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  11. a100man

    a100man Well-Known Member

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    Tut..
     
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  12. kerriskandiesinc

    kerriskandiesinc Active Member

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    Yup, you're the first mate!, I was just trying to reinforce your advice, to the original poster !!

    ( hey...are Wheels International still in the Bedfordshire area..or are they long gone, a100man. ??)
     
  13. Jose Zambrana

    Jose Zambrana Member

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    Thank you all for ur help. I definitely have my hands full for this weekend.
     
  14. kerriskandiesinc

    kerriskandiesinc Active Member

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    You might get 'lucky', using the inspection hole technique, to fish out some pieces of guide, also an engine oil flush,or two etc.....might buy you some time, basically the Hy Vo alternator chain is TOUGH, and will easily outlast the guide itself......what can happen though, is there is a small oil spray tube that runs close to that chain.....with the guide compromised, that oil tube can get severely chewed up......I've had this happen twice......admittedly on very hi mileage XJ's ( Also knew of one other that succumbed, all three required an engine strip, to replace the guide.......chain was replaced also, although in my case, when measured next to a new one, stretch was not that bad ! ( this after 110K, and 120K respectively )
     
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  15. Jetfixer

    Jetfixer Well-Known Member

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    As stated earlier this does sound like the chain guide is breaking up, chunks can jamb the gears in the transmission, this will also make it difficult or impossible to shift gears. The best and in my opion only way to fix , pull engine split case and replace guide, while your at it do the starter clutch. My seca 750 starter clutch slips when hot , I will do the deed when it quits turning over. I have a spare engine just in case .
     
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  16. Jose Zambrana

    Jose Zambrana Member

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    I couldn't wait until the weekend so today I took out the side cover and inspected everything there through the hole but I found no plastic parts anywhere. Now the bike is stuck in 1st gear and the shifter does not move at all. I tried rocking the bike back and forward but there is no change. I guess splitting the engine will be the way. Is this too difficult?
     
  17. kerriskandiesinc

    kerriskandiesinc Active Member

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    This is EXACTLY what happened to my XJ......had to ride home in first gear, about 25 miles!!
     
  18. Jose Zambrana

    Jose Zambrana Member

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    Never mind. I found a thread here that explains the whole process with photos. Thank you all!
     
  19. Jose Zambrana

    Jose Zambrana Member

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    And what did you end up doing? Engine split?
     
  20. kerriskandiesinc

    kerriskandiesinc Active Member

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    Yes....no other way, no other 100% way......split 2 motors, also my friend at the time, her XJ locked up, in 3rd gear, ended up splitting her motor too.

    After it was put back together, it went on to do ANOTHER 120K miles, at which time it was upto 240K........but, by then I was already on my way to 'Merica....it was STILL running, when I sold her......drive shaft was clunky, on take off, motor would NOT idle on its own at all ( carb butterfly rubbers leaking0 but she ran strong, still did 100MPH and 47MPG!!
     

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