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Thread: Adjusting the engagement point of a Wethead Clutch or Brake! (pictorial)

  1. #1
    Kool Aid Dispenser! jimvonbaden's Avatar
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    Adjusting the engagement point of a Wethead Clutch or Brake! (pictorial)

    This process is identical for either the brake or the clutch. It takes almost no time to get the engagement point either closer, or further away from the grip.

    NOTE: I have aftermarket levers, but they use the stock plungers. There is no difference in the process.

    First, you need to remove the T-25 Torx that holds the inside point on your hand guards. (Not needed on the RT/RS/R.)


    Move the hand guard out of the way.


    Push the hand guard mount to the right to clear the lever mount bolt.


    Use the T-25 Torx to turn the mount bolr.


    On the bottom is an 8mm nut that you need to hold.


    Once the nut is off, push up the bolt until you can grab it and pull it all the way out.


    Once the bolt is out, simply pull the lever until the plunger pops out.


    Now you can see the plunger. This is the part you adjust.



    Before you start, not the number of exposed threads so you can bring it bact to where it was if you need to later.


    It takes a 2mm Allen to loosen the set screw. You will have to first clean out the pain to get the Allen to go in the hole to loosen it.


    Once the set screw is loose, you use the 2mm Allen to adjust the distance the plunger goes into the master cylinder. The more it goes in the sooner you will get engagement. Turn it in Clockwise from the perspective of the plunger) to bring the lever closer to the grip when engagement starts, and turn it out (counterclockwise) to move engagement away from the grip. I suggest moving it only one turn at a time at most. Reinstall and test.


    Once adjusted, tighten the set screw to 4Nm, or just lightly snug.


    Install the lever and plunger by pushing it into the master cylinder rubber seal. Make sure you push it directly into the hole or the rubber will be pushed out of shape. You will feel it pop into place.



    Put the lever retaining bolt back in, but not the 8mm nut. This is the time to test the engagement point. On the clutch you need it running and in gear to test it.


    If it is good, install the 8mm nut and snug down to 8Nm. It bottoms on the shoulder of the bolt, and is a locking nut, so no need to gorilla it.


    Now put the T-25 Torx back in and you are good to go.


    Remember, this process is the same for the brake or clutch.

    Jim
    www.JVBProductions.com Now, all videos available via download or DVD, or USB for the Wethead.

  2. #2
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Thanks for another DIY Jim
    It will be added to the index- http://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread....Mods-and-DIY-s
    Gary
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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  3. #3
    Kool Aid Dispenser! jimvonbaden's Avatar
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    Just an added FYI. If you can get the set screw loose while the levers are in place, you can adjust without taking it apart.

    Jim
    www.JVBProductions.com Now, all videos available via download or DVD, or USB for the Wethead.

  4. #4
    I'm wondering about the value of a small dab of silicone grease on the plunger to help it be reinserted into the plunger seal. It looks like there is some sort of grease on the adjustment screw. Any idea what this lubricant is?

  5. #5

    Trouble with 2mm set screw

    Today I tried to adjust my clutch lever and could not get the 2mm allen screw to loosen. I used 2 different allen wrenches with no movement. Any suggestions?

  6. #6
    Mehrten
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    Warning: A Potentially Dangerous Adjustment

    Quote Originally Posted by 175569 View Post
    Today I tried to adjust my clutch lever and could not get the 2mm allen screw to loosen. I used 2 different allen wrenches with no movement. Any suggestions?
    Jim, on initial assembly at the factory the set screw was slathered with thread locker and needs a bit of heat to get it loose.

    This is a potentially dangerous adjustment.

    I went aggressive and screwed in the threaded plunger until nine threads were showing (started at 5).

    A short ride around the block, keeping the brakes dragging to create heat, and the front brakes began to bind up.

    The front wheel totally locked up right at my drive way.

    A rubber fluid blocker is pushed into the bottom of the master cylinder and obstructs the view of the main plunger.

    The main plunger must be allowed to return to an "open" position or every time the brakes are applied the pressure in the brakes will continue to build until lock up.

    Without seeing the main plunger to help determine the farthest the threaded plunger can be turned in, I guessed and backed the plunger off 2 turns.

    Doing the same ride around the block, no lock up.

    Looking at the BMW OEM Repair Manual for the K5x bikes, I could not find any info on the threaded plunger or the set screw.

    I would expect there would be a min and max number millimeters the threaded plunger should be positioned.

    Question: Where did the 4 nm on the set screw come from? Is there a Brembo guide with a diagram of the master cylinder for the new Beemers?

    I find the front brakes on our RS LC model to be mushy and hard to modulate. Any improvement is appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Deryle Mehrten
    Sierra Vista, AZ USA

  7. #7
    Kool Aid Dispenser! jimvonbaden's Avatar
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    Yes, if you go too far you will get to the point where the clutch or brake will not disengage. Caution is always a good idea.

    The 4nm came from the BMW manual.

    Jim
    www.JVBProductions.com Now, all videos available via download or DVD, or USB for the Wethead.

  8. #8
    Kool Aid Dispenser! jimvonbaden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robsryder View Post
    I'm wondering about the value of a small dab of silicone grease on the plunger to help it be reinserted into the plunger seal. It looks like there is some sort of grease on the adjustment screw. Any idea what this lubricant is?
    Looked like silicon grease to me. I didn't need to add any.

    Jim
    www.JVBProductions.com Now, all videos available via download or DVD, or USB for the Wethead.

  9. #9
    Kool Aid Dispenser! jimvonbaden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 175569 View Post
    Today I tried to adjust my clutch lever and could not get the 2mm allen screw to loosen. I used 2 different allen wrenches with no movement. Any suggestions?
    Pull it all the way out and put the lever in a vise. Heat the set screw with a heat gun, then try again.

    Jim
    www.JVBProductions.com Now, all videos available via download or DVD, or USB for the Wethead.

  10. #10
    Mehrten
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    Which BMW Manual?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimvonbaden View Post
    The 4nm came from the BMW manual.

    Jim

    Jim,

    Which BMW Manual?

    I purchased BMW part number 01 59 8 569 005 Repair Manual R Models K5x.

    I also have BMW Repair and Service Data BMW Motorad Edition 092015 R Models K5x R1200RS K54 (copied off the web).

    Neither manual shows any adjustment to the clutch or brake push rod, nor does either have an exploded view of the front master cylinder.

    www.REALOem.com does not show any exploded version of the front master cylinder and does not list a repair or rebuild kit.

    Again, which manual are you referring to?

    Thank you,

    Deryle Mehrten
    Sierra Vista, AZ USA
    Mehrten@cox.net

  11. #11
    Petey
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    Please confirm...

    I can't get my head around this adjustment. I'm after getting the bike going/moving after a stop, with the lever only up to an inch from the grip. With the plunger longer/going deeper wouldn't that move the lever away from the grip to get the bike to start moving?

  12. #12

    Clutch Lever Replacement...then problems

    Jim et al,

    I put a short aftermarket clutch lever on my 2014 R1200GSW, re-using the plunger from my OEM lever. Set the plunger length from the pivot point to be about the same as OEM.

    After riding for a few minutes, the clutch started slipping...a few minutes more, and no friction whatsoever. Took it apart beside the road, re-adjusted the plunger length, re-assembled and rode home. Notably, the bike had cooled down or hydraulic pressure had dissipated. Meaning?

    I took it apart again and shortened the plunger to move the engagement point, thinking that it was putting hydraulic pressure on the clutch circuit. Worked fine again for a short ride, but after a mile or two the same symptoms: Initial slipping, followed a few minutes later from complete disengagement/no friction. Luckily, I could coast downhill to get home.

    It seems cooling down has an effect on clutch function.

    Strikes me as strange - the back wheel rotates rapidly on the center stand with the clutch disengaged (pulled in), indicating there's incomplete disengagement. But when riding the bike, the clutch loses friction in short order, indicating complete disengagement.

    Any ideas what gives?

    Thanks,
    Mike

  13. #13
    Mehrten
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    Possible Problem

    Jim,

    You may have the plunger rod screwed in too far.

    Like the brakes, if the plunger rod doesn't allow the plunger to return all the way, it will build up pressure.

    Seems that with pressure the clutch is opening/disengaging and when you stop and it cools down it loses pressure.

    Go back to the last thing you did...try adjusting the plunger rod.

    This is just my best guess.

    Deryle Mehrten
    Sierra Vista, AZ USA

  14. #14
    Registered Schmoozer irish's Avatar
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    Nice write up. At the risk of displaying ignorance, what is the reason for doing this adjustment? I thought all wetheads came stock with adjustable brake and clutch levers. I know my oilhead does. Is this procedure for a more fine-tuned adjustment? Maybe I am just fortunate and available lever positions work for me without disassembling anything.
    14 R1200GS, 02 R1150RT (retired)

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by michaellmcc View Post
    Jim et al,

    I put a short aftermarket clutch lever on my 2014 R1200GSW, re-using the plunger from my OEM lever. Set the plunger length from the pivot point to be about the same as OEM.

    After riding for a few minutes, the clutch started slipping...a few minutes more, and no friction whatsoever. Took it apart beside the road, re-adjusted the plunger length, re-assembled and rode home. Notably, the bike had cooled down or hydraulic pressure had dissipated. Meaning?

    I took it apart again and shortened the plunger to move the engagement point, thinking that it was putting hydraulic pressure on the clutch circuit. Worked fine again for a short ride, but after a mile or two the same symptoms: Initial slipping, followed a few minutes later from complete disengagement/no friction. Luckily, I could coast downhill to get home.

    It seems cooling down has an effect on clutch function.

    Strikes me as strange - the back wheel rotates rapidly on the center stand with the clutch disengaged (pulled in), indicating there's incomplete disengagement. But when riding the bike, the clutch loses friction in short order, indicating complete disengagement.

    Any ideas what gives?

    Thanks,
    Mike
    As you might expect, I was too indelicate with the plunger length adjustment. Obviously, it was not releasing hydraulic pressure (similar to the brake problem cited above), which built up and disengaged the clutch. Adjusted the plunger it yet again, this time to about the same spot as original, and it seems to be fine.

    Thanks,
    Mike

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