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1981 GL500 Silverwing
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm was in the final stages of restoring an '81 GL500 when I discovered that the clutch was seized. Once I got the pack out, the friction plates and drive plates were all stuck together and had to be pried apart. This resulted in a good deal of the friction material remaining stuck to the drive plates (see pic).

I've ordered a set of new fiction plates, but I'd very much prefer avoid having to buy all new drive plates as well. Ceaning by hand with scraper and steel wool is a long, arduous process and while it does eventually get the drive plates relatively clean, there is still a small amount of visible fiction material left. I tried a scotchbright disk on an angle grinder, but all that got me was a mangled plate.

I have two questions:

How important is it to remove the friction material from the drive plates, and to what degree (i.e. shiny and new, or just relatively smooth)?

Do you know of any more efficient ways to clean the plates than simply hand scrubbing? Some type of solvent perhaps? Or a method of sanding that won't warp or thin the plates?

Thanks.
 

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Tape the sheet of 120 to a piece of flat glass, and use circular motion.
Keeps it even.
 

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I am lazy, I would drop it in a bucket of carb cleaner to get it all loosened up and then ideally hit it with shot blaster. If you sand it, I would prefer a rougher grit like a 60.
 
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Shot blasting would improve grab for hard takeoffs wouldn't it? Reduced surface for greater specific pressure and somewhere for the oil to squeeze to?

I've only done it once on a set of rusty CB450 steelies. It seemed to work well enough.
 

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81 Gl500i 83 CX650E
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120 grit sand paper is Good by hand (in direction of rotation),or wire wheel on a grinder. Forgot, boiling them in water works sometimes,10 to 20 minutes ,glue is a water base on wet clutches(that also applies for the. Clutches in your automatic trans in your car). What ever you decide don't bend them. They need to be flat to work properly. Smooth surface on the metal dics will give you longer overall clutch life. Cxpheak is correct the rough surface exhausts oil ,and makes for a agressive grabbing clutch ,bad point does cut into the fiber dics material and shortens it's life.
Hard for me to writed out thirty years of automatic transmission rebuilding experance in one paragraph. My choice would be the wire wheel on the bench grinder, don't stay in one spot very long (warps the disc) cheers
 

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would ultrasonic do anything?
 

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1978 CX500 "The Grub", 1983 GL650I "Nimbus"
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would ultrasonic do anything?
That was my first thought, but cavitation works on exposed surfaces, rather than between layers. I've found that even relatively soft greasy dirt will resist the US cleaner if it hasn't been removed beforehand.
 
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Thick stuff you should be able to scrap off with a gasket scraper , then wire wheel it to a smooth but dull surface, no polishing .
 

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1981 GL500 Silverwing
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions. Unfortunately I don't have a grinding wheel yet, but sandpaper did the trick. I tried both 60 and 120, but 60 was much faster and didn't seem to mar the surface that much more so that's what I primarily used. Boiling was quite helpful too; it removed a decent amount and softened the rest which made the scraper much more efficient. Didn't have any carb cleaner, but an acetone bath had no noticeable effect. I didn't get them completely spotless, but the surface is smooth so hopefully that's good enough. Thanks again.
 

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If your finger nail slides over without catching you have them clean enough. Cheers
 

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Not having my clutch out yet, what are the brass looking rivets for?
 

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Kind of like the cush drive in sprocket driven bikes?
 

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Is that for shaft driven bikes?
 

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To be honest Doug, I don't have a clue why it's there.

I hear it can be replaced with an extra steelie and friction plate but I've looked at this. You can only replace an odd number of plates {1} with an odd number {so,3} or your last plate will be steel, not a friction plate as it should be.

I haven't tried replacement with one steel, one friction, 1 steel. but this is how you'd need to do it. I think the stack would be getting a bit high.

Anyone done this?

In summary of the rambling gibberish above, other clutches don't have this and I doubt it's actually necessary. I believe you'll get a harder hookup without it.
 

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:unsure: the mystery continues...
 

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It is there to give a slower engagement of the clutch. I believe somewhere on our forum is a thread on deleting the cushion plate and getting one more friction disc in there for extra holding power.
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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The damper plate is a known weak point in the GoldWing world. When the one in my GL1000 engine came apart the leaf springs moved around and the clutch wouldn't disengage. I adjusted the cable and the next time I squeezed the lever to disengage it they moved again and wouldn't re-engage so I had to stop and adjust it again. I was less than 10 Km from home when I first noticed symptoms and by the time I got home the friction material on the plates on either side of the damper plate was almost completely scraped away by the rivet heads. I was lucky and the parts of the broken rivets didn't get into the oil pump.
The standard advice for GL1000/1100 owners is to replace it with 2 plain plates (the extra one can be either in the middle of the pack or next to the pressure plate).
This is not so urgent on the CX/GL500/650 so I wouldn't take the clutch apart just to eliminate the damper plate but I did convert my last 650 engine's clutch when I had it apart and I'll probably do the one in my current 500 engine if/when have it apart.

BTW: I would have tried using a razor blade to remove the worst of the friction material before sanding.

Bobert:
Welcome to the forum. Please add your location to your profile and your bike's model and model year to your signature so that you don't have to remember to tell us every time and we don't have to keep asking when you forget (see Forum Settings link in my signature).

And welcome to the world of antique vehicle ownership (they own us, not the other way around). Your bike is about 4 decades old and the Previous Owners may or may not have done the maintenance necessary to keep it safe & reliable so it is highly recommended to download the Factory Shop Manual for your model (available through the CX Wiki - link in my signature) and go through all of the service procedures, regardless of whether your bike has reached the specified mileage.
I also recommend looking on all rubber parts with suspicion because rubber does not age gracefully. Check the date codes on your tires and replace them if they are over 5 years old no matter how good they look & feel (old rubber simply cannot flow around the irregularities in the asphalt well enough to grip, especially if it is cool or wet). If your bike still has the original rubber brake line(s) (should be replaced every 2 or 3 fluid changes = 5 or 6 years) I recommend shopping for modern stainless braided ones (they last practically forever and double the life of the fluid). And don't forget things like the rad hoses and the boot between the engine and swingarm (they can crack on the bottom where you don't see it).
 
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