MTC clutches, new changes!

Tech Q&A for the VTX 1800 - PLEASE keep this section tech-oriented only!

MTC clutches, new changes!

Postby Bareass172 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 11:25 am

Edit 6/28/11:
I got an email from my contact at MTC today, he thought it was important enough to mention this to help avoid confusion:

MTC wrote:Our latest shipment of springs are not black, we were told that this was a process that our supplier no longer provides as it adds nothing to the function of the spring. This is an across the board change, other springs we order from them had a brownish/blackish tint are now all silver. In fact when we first received this last shipment they were just plain silver. We sent them back and asked them to put a blue stripe on them, so they would at least have that on them. Rest assured they are the same rate/pressure springs we’ve been shipping for the past few years, just from a new batch. It’s been almost 3 years since a kit left here with the red springs, so I doubt anyone has an old one lying around on their shelves. There is nothing different about the springs other than the color or lack thereof.


So from here on out the springs are no longer black with a blue stripe - they are either silver or silver with a blue stripe. There is no other change to the springs themselves. I'm mentioning this just to avoid any confusion.

-----End Edit-----

As some of you may know I've been working with MTC Engineering on testing and improving their clutch packs for the VTX off and on for a couple of years now. A handful of guys from the VTXOA did some excellent troubleshooting the clutch on this bike:

http://www.vtxoa.com/forums/showthread.php?t=217471

http://www.vtxoa.com/forums/showthread.php?t=100401

http://www.vtxoa.com/forums/showthread.php?t=128965

http://www.vtxoa.com/forums/showthread.php?t=144770

And thanks to their time and effort I was able to provide MTC with some great feedback outside of just what I'd been finding on my own. Well I spoke with MTC today and they told me that they are now shipping these clutches with the new "blue" springs. For those that don't know I've been testing these springs in a few other people's bikes to get real world feedback and results in an attempt to improve the existing clutch setup. Now all the work has come to fruition and a the new springs will ship in all MTC clutch packs for the bike from now on. If you're ordering and want the blues make sure you're getting new product and not something that's been sitting on the shelf.

Per MTC - they are shipping these with shims so that riders with high-performance needs (mostly guys running NOS or other engine mods that need additional pressure on the clutch pack) can shim if they feel it's necessary. Since the blue springs are a little taller than the reds they don't recommend shimming over .150" or else you may experience coil binding.

So thanks to all those out there who helped diagnose the clutch deficiencies so far, those guys as well as the testing I've been doing myself and with other riders has made this change possible. ;)

EDIT:
After a lot more measuring, testing, etc - and a big thanks to Verbatim for all his hard work - currently the best setup IMO is the new MTC blue springs with .075" shims on each. You can read some of Verbatim's work in the first thread linked above (if you can wade through the bullsh!t). Verbatim's testing produced a lot of great info, and it will continue once riding season is over and winter gives him time to be curious again. :elated:
For those not wanting to wade through pages of information, the extremely condensed and abbreviated version is -basically- like this...

Stock springs average 72.3 lbs/spring
MTC blue springs w/ .075" shims average 82.5 lbs/spring

Average clutch pack disengagement with stock springs is .064"
Average clutch pack disengagement with MTC blue springs w/ .075" shims is .063"

So you get approximately 60 extra pounds of pressure and sacrifice only .001" of clutch pack disengagement.

Again, this is a very abbreviated version and doesn't give the full details and measurements, but it gives the idea for those who are "sort of" interested. :elated:

Hopefully we'll have more data come next winter, but for the time being I feel comfortable enough with what data we have that I use and recommend the .075" shim pack until we have more data. ;)
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Re: MTC clutches, new changes!

Postby Hoppy » Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:52 pm

Is there anywhere you would recommend buying the clutch from so I would be sure to get the new blue springs?
I have needed a clutch for awhile now, only slips when I really get on it, but was having a problem deciding whick clutch to go with due to the problems some were having with the MTC and Barnett. I'm riding a 2005 VTX 1800C. I put a Barnett in my 2002 X at about 12,000 miles and had no problems that I can remember. After first hearing of the MTC I thought maybe it would be an improvement over the Barnett but I wanted a "Plug and Play" clutch, not one I would need to take back apart to shim the springs. Now that it sounds like the bugs are worked out of the MTC I might go with it now.
Thanks for all the hard work you have put into this project so VTX riders like myself can reap the benefits of your work. It is appreciated.
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Re: MTC clutches, new changes!

Postby Bareass172 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:28 pm

I can't vouch for anyone elses stock, I would recommend a phone call before ordering to be sure they tell you directly that it is either brand new or old stock. MTC said that everything going out from now on will be new stock. ;)
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Re: MTC clutches, new changes!

Postby Hoppy » Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:40 am

Bareass172 wrote:I can't vouch for anyone elses stock,


Does that mean you sell the MTC clutch? If so, where do I find that information"
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Re: MTC clutches, new changes!

Postby highplainsxer » Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:55 am

This is great news, Bare! I need to replace my clutch but have been in a quandary as to which clutch/springs/spacers to use. Thanks for your work on this!

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Re: MTC clutches, new changes!

Postby Morgan Buchanan » Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:25 am

I know HDL is shipping with the new springs...I just bought one. If you DO purchase from HDL, be sure to take advantage of the price guarantee. They sell the MTC for like 190, but Xtremerevolution.com sells it for like 168 with shipping, so HDL will sell it to you for 163 if you ask for the price guarantee.

On that note, there's a guy over on the OA site who insists the MTC still needs to be shimmed, and there seems to be another guy who installed a new clutch with the new springs, and it slips in 4th and 5th on him, if that can be believed.
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Re: MTC clutches, new changes!

Postby Bareass172 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:13 pm

Morgan Buchanan wrote:On that note, there's a guy over on the OA site who insists the MTC still needs to be shimmed, and there seems to be another guy who installed a new clutch with the new springs, and it slips in 4th and 5th on him, if that can be believed.

Some guys just believe that the shims are necessary and some guys are always gonna say they're a more extreme rider than everyone else. "My clutch slips in every gear so I must be the baddest mother effer on the block!"
I've used and installed MTC clutches since the first incarnation with the red springs and only .075" shims and have only ever had one problem in all that time with one kit. The kit I had problems with came to me via a rider who had left it sitting on a shelf for about 3 years, so not only was it old but I have no idea what he may have spilled on that kit or done to it in all that time. The kit spec'd out fine but still slipped badly. I replaced it with a brand new set of fibers and the thing worked perfectly, so everything points to a problem with the fibers I was given by him.
But every kit I've installed, from .075" shims to .150" shims to the new blue springs that come in the kits now and don't require any shims have always worked well. Is there some discrepancy from bike to bike? It's something I discussed with MTC and we both think it's possible that Honda may have made minor changes even though it doesn't make much sense - but it's the only way we could explain some of the results people were reporting.

I can only say that I've never had issues and I've certainly dogged the hell out of a few of them. :elated:
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Re: MTC clutches, new changes!

Postby Morgan Buchanan » Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:37 pm

Well, i'm not speed racer, but I ride it a little like I stole it from time to time... and the new MTC has been awesome for me. Thanks for the info man.
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Re: MTC clutches, new changes!

Postby jsnakebite 316 » Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:25 pm

O.K. I know about the difference between the Red Springs and the Blue Springs but now people are saying they got the new springs to install and are saying they are Black with blue strip. I called Xtremerevolution and they say yes we just got new order in,so I asked what color are they and his reply is Black with blue strip. Is this suppose to be what everyone else refers to as blue? Or these O.K. ? or should I request Blue springs only? Just trying to make sure I order the right part the 1st time.
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Re: MTC clutches, new changes!

Postby Bareass172 » Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:28 pm

That's got to be them. I have a set here and it appears they were black with some sort of blue "paint"(?) on them. I can see how this could be misconstrued as both black and blue, but I wouldn't say it's black w/ a blue stripe. Of course one could argue this is merely semantics. :elated:
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Re: MTC clutches, new changes!

Postby jsnakebite 316 » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:19 pm

O.K. Thanks Bare
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Re: MTC clutches, new changes!

Postby Morgan Buchanan » Tue Aug 05, 2008 7:11 am

Yeah, I don't know that "stripe" is the absolute best way to describe it.. it looked to me like they took black springs and someone with a sponge brush and blue paint made 1 swipe from top to bottom on each spring.
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Re: MTC clutches, new changes!

Postby verbatim » Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:59 am

Last winter I put in the barnett clutch and steels. It hooks up fine, but shifting into neutral when stopped is almost impossible. I've re-bled (both ways) bent out my shift lever some and still no joy. I'm likely going to tear into it this winter again and put in the MTC instead and likely go back to stock steels as apparently they're just a c-hair thinner. My question is, do I need the other shim for the throwout so that it disengages fully? I don't plan on shimming the springs, but after a year of riding, I REALLY hate not being able to get into neutral at a stop.
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Re: MTC clutches, new changes!

Postby Clay-san » Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:47 pm

Hey you bikers!

I'm new to this forum :D , but I'll start here because this week I received my new MTC kit from HDL (not yet installed) - BO on the steels until next week. Yes, the springs are definitely NOT red - they are dark with a blue "tinge". If I'm understanding correctly I shouldn't have to use the included shims? Is that accurate? :?: Thanks!

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Re: MTC clutches, new changes!

Postby Bareass172 » Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:30 pm

verbatim wrote:Last winter I put in the barnett clutch and steels. It hooks up fine, but shifting into neutral when stopped is almost impossible. I've re-bled (both ways) bent out my shift lever some and still no joy. I'm likely going to tear into it this winter again and put in the MTC instead and likely go back to stock steels as apparently they're just a c-hair thinner. My question is, do I need the other shim for the throwout so that it disengages fully? I don't plan on shimming the springs, but after a year of riding, I REALLY hate not being able to get into neutral at a stop.

I don't think you'll need the shim with an MTC clutch, but it wouldn't hurt to get one from Steve (Showtime56). In truth, the shim may be all you need to get the Barnett to disengage properly, depending on if you want to take the time I'd try the shim before an entire new clutch as it might save you a few bucks.

Clay-san wrote:Hey you bikers!

I'm new to this forum :D , but I'll start here because this week I received my new MTC kit from HDL (not yet installed) - BO on the steels until next week. Yes, the springs are definitely NOT red - they are dark with a blue "tinge". If I'm understanding correctly I shouldn't have to use the included shims? Is that accurate? :?: Thanks!

-Clay

It was my understanding when I did this work with MTC that the blue springs would not require any shims, but I have heard people say they come with shims (like yourself). I'll contact my guy at MTC and see what he says they're recommending, maybe he's learned something more since we did the testing on the new springs. ;)
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Re: MTC clutches, new changes!

Postby verbatim » Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:43 pm

Yes, I'm sure the shim likely would help, but I really hate messing with the RTV on the cover, so if I'm going in there anyway, I thought I'd just swap out to the MTC anyhow since everyone raves about it so much. I'm actually happy with the Barnett except for the neutral thing. Was racing a buddy's stock Vulcan 2000 (yes, I won, just barely) and it hooked up fine. I still haven't decided for sure.

I am going back to OEM plates, will do the shim and likely go to braided hose all this winter to try to eliminate the problem.

I've heard of steve's (showtime's) shims. I have plentiful resources here to make my own. Will he divulge the dimensions or does anyone know what they are? I live in Canada and shipping stuff across borders is always a pain and usually costly simply because of UPS's brokerage fees.
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Re: MTC clutches, new changes!

Postby Morgan Buchanan » Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:43 pm

Shimming makes it tighter , or hook up more, right? Disallows the disengage? I can't imagine that... I have to warm my bike up and cycle the clutch lever when I start cold now or the bike goes CLUNK when I shift into first.
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Re: MTC clutches, new changes!

Postby Bareass172 » Thu Aug 14, 2008 4:32 pm

verbatim wrote:I've heard of steve's (showtime's) shims. I have plentiful resources here to make my own. Will he divulge the dimensions or does anyone know what they are? I live in Canada and shipping stuff across borders is always a pain and usually costly simply because of UPS's brokerage fees.

Check the 2 links I provided at the top of this post, one of them will have his dimensions in them. I forget off the top of my head, but I know they're there. If all else fails I have 2 here I can measure for you. Make sure you read all of what he posted about the dimensions for the shim because he had several different versions he tested until he found the size that worked just right.

Morgan Buchanan wrote:Shimming makes it tighter , or hook up more, right? Disallows the disengage? I can't imagine that... I have to warm my bike up and cycle the clutch lever when I start cold now or the bike goes CLUNK when I shift into first.

We're talking about a different shim here, Showtime56 found (it's all spelled out in great detail in those links above) that the slave cylinder which actually pushes the lifter rod that raises the pressure plate and releases the clutch had a lot of "slop" in it. This means that when you pull the clutch lever you have a bit of movement before the lifter actually lifts and disengages the pressure plate. By adding a shim he was able to get more movement out of the lifter and additional disengagement as a result. He has a lot of pics to illustrate this here:

http://www.vtxoa.com/forums/viewtopic.p ... tc#1275971

;)
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Re: MTC clutches, new changes!

Postby Morgan Buchanan » Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:17 am

Thanks, Bare...that was very edumacational. :D
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Re: MTC clutches, new changes!

Postby Bareass172 » Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:09 am

To answer the question above about shims, this is what MTC had to say:

No they do not require any shims. Those were included for VTX riders running nitrous or some other larger power adder that may require additional spring pressure. Your average rider won’t require the use of shims, they are more of a “they have them IF they need them” but odds are they won’t ever use them. Sorry for the confusion, Number 4 on the instruction sheet tells the purchaser about the shims.


I figured they were there for this or perhaps because they had just forgotten to stop packing shims with the clutch packs. When we tested these new springs they were providing more pressure without shims than the old red springs with shims.

This is an excerpt from another post I made on the VTXOA:

The MTC comes with red springs and .150" in shims for each one, these blue springs are taller and require no shims at all. Because they are a taller spring they have a different spring rate then the shorter red ones and are not as "harsh" as the reds while still giving better performance.

To talk actual numbers in terms of "pressure per spring", the red springs provide 41 lbs each with .075” of shim on them (the .075" was the OLD MTC shim pack they shipped before some slipping problems surfaced). These same red springs provide 57.8 lbs each with the now standard .150” shim pack. These new blue springs provide 58.2 lbs each with NO shims and 64.6 lbs each with .075” shims - so the blue springs actually give a little more pressure per spring then the red ones AND since they are taller with a different spring rate they are more forgiving when disengaging the clutch.

I would recommend running them with no shims at all as I don't think they're necessary, I think they are just the right amount of pressure to provide good engagement without going to the other extreme of losing disengagement.


And here is another bit from when Showtime56 asked me to get spring pressures for .210" shims (which is what he was running on his bike at the time):

Red springs
no shims - 26 lbs
.150" shim - 57.4 lbs
.210" shim - 71 lbs

Blue springs
no shims - 56.2 lbs
.150" shim - 70 lbs
.210" shim - 75.8

Yes there is a little difference in numbers this time, but it's because of tolerances in the springs themselves... They're still within spec for the springs. FYI - the blue spring with .210” shims is about .150” from coil bind so I wouldn't recommend it.
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