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she goes into 1st gear, and stalls

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by davey1207, May 23, 2011.

  1. davey1207

    davey1207 1981 Yamaha xs400 Special

    i just bought a 1981 xs400 special. shes my first bike and i want to learn as much as i can about her. i am enjoying bonding and doing all the work on her myself. i got her to start, she is now also running. she idles beautifully, but as soon as i put her into 1st gear, she stalls out. the guy i bought the bike off of never rode it. he bought it from a friend cheap. he said his friend had adjusted the side stand safety switch in order to ride it. he said that his friend used a gator clamp to ground the wire under the bike (im assuming where the side stand safety switch would be) and thats how it ran. now i have looked this bike up and down and im almost certain there is absolutley no side stand safety switch. a buddy of mine has the same exact bike and hes never heard of it. the only thing i can think of is that there once was such a switch, and the previous owner removed it, and bypassed it so the bike would not stall out automatically. problem now is trying to back track and find where it was bypassed (if this ever happened to begin with). so this is where i am and i would appreciate any information anyone has for me! i am very excited to join the forum. i was refered by my friend who has the same bike as me. thanks for taking the time to read this, ill probably be in my garage!...

    -dj
    email: djoseph85@gmail.com
     
  2. HoughMade

    HoughMade XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    I have a '79- no side stand safety switch. Never had one. Doubt yours ever had one, but someone with an '81 will have to chime in.

    Adjust the idle to 1200 rpm and adjust the clutch. That should take care of the stalling. Sounds like the clutch is biting a bit when it should not be.
     
  3. davey1207

    davey1207 1981 Yamaha xs400 Special

    i tried adjusting the idle because i was afraid it had too much power going to it. it also makes a kinda "clunk" sound when she stalls. maybe the clutch is biting...
     
  4. hmusket

    hmusket XS400 Addict

    I have an 81 and I don't remember any sidestand switch, however there is a clutch switch, maybe thats out of wack. Just saw your last post, does the bike lurch forward and stall, or does the engine just stop. You may need to adjust your clutch cable if it lurches.
     
  5. davey1207

    davey1207 1981 Yamaha xs400 Special

    hmm clutch switch... i didnt find anything about that in the manual. that would kill the engine?
     
  6. davey1207

    davey1207 1981 Yamaha xs400 Special

    yes it does lurch forward. i put it up on the center stand and the back wheel lurches forward and then she stalls. i adjusted the clutch cable from the handle bar super tight and really loose and got the same results. is there another way to adjust the clutch cable?
     
  7. HoughMade

    HoughMade XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    Step 1- download the manual from this site. Step 2-adjust the clutch, not the cable, the clutch. Check the manual.
     
  8. davey1207

    davey1207 1981 Yamaha xs400 Special

    i can't find a manual on this site, but i did pick one up earlier today.. i'll check into the clutch.
     
  9. davey1207

    davey1207 1981 Yamaha xs400 Special

    im going to bed. thanks for the help guys ill check back in tomorrow. i am already a fan of this forum!
     
  10. hmusket

    hmusket XS400 Addict

    Manuals are in the Tech section of the forum, this one covers most issues, View attachment 3882
    Check page 3 of the PDF for clutch/clutch cable adjustment info.

    With the bike on the center stand, staying away from the back wheel, leave it in gear and see if the starter works with clutch lever pulled in. If its in gear, with the clutch pulled in, and doesn't turn over then I would think the switch is the culprit.
     
  11. Nope, no kick stand safety switch. The guy must be thinking of some other bike! Yep, sounds to me, too, like the clutch adjustment through a port (hole) on the left side casing needs adjustment. It is a simple procedure but you do need to download the service manual. It will also tell you how much plat should be adjusted in at the clutch lever.
     
  12. davey1207

    davey1207 1981 Yamaha xs400 Special

    im gonna get in the garage today after work and check. if it is the clutch switch, where would i find it...?
     
  13. MrMe

    MrMe XS400 Member

    11
    0
    1
    sounds to me like the clutch is stuck. how long has it been sitting?
     
  14. HoughMade

    HoughMade XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    I don't know anything about a clutch switch. My bike doesn't have one. Maybe later years do.

    Your issue is that the clutch is not fully releasing when pulled in. Here is the adjusting procedure:

    1) Loosen the clutch cable as loose as it will go.

    2) On the sprocket cover, the aluminum cover on the left side of the engine/transmission just above the left footpeg, pop the round rubber plug out.

    3) There is a 10mm lock nut under there with a a phillips head screw in the middle. With a 10mm deep well socket or (better) the original tool kit 10mm deep well, loosen the lock nut, but do not remove it. As it is a locknut, you can expect it to not break free easily and you will probably have to turn it against the spring pressure of the clutch until it stops, then a bit more- and it will break loose. This is normal.

    4) Loosen the phillips screw a bit so it feels like it is not meeting any resistance. Then slowly screw in the phillips head screw until it meets resistance lightly. Turn the screw back about 1/4 turn (no more), away from the resistance.

    5) While holding the screw where it is, tighten the lock nut- this is where it's nice to have the original tool kit 10mm deep well because you can put a 17mm wrench on the outside while holding the screw with a screwdriver though the middle. If you don't have that, I would put vise-grips on the socket and use the screwdriver through the middle. Tighten that locknut very well.

    6) Now adjust the cable. there should be 1mm to 3mm free play, but you can do it by feel. Just tighten the cable until the slack is taken up, but not so much that the cable is being pulled.

    - I give this about a 98.6% chance of fixing your problem.
     
  15. davey1207

    davey1207 1981 Yamaha xs400 Special

    Thanks Hough. I'll report back after i finish this task to keep you posted..
     
  16. davey1207

    davey1207 1981 Yamaha xs400 Special

    i dont know how long its been sitting. by the look of it a while.. i dumped the original gas and it looked like dinosaur blood.
     
  17. davey1207

    davey1207 1981 Yamaha xs400 Special

    awesome... im in the garage and i adjusted the clutch and the wheel was turning over in first. i started her up and when i went to engage the clutch to put her in first, the clutch cable popped free from the handle bar... guess i need a new one.. how do i put one in?
     
  18. davey1207

    davey1207 1981 Yamaha xs400 Special

    it almost seems like there is too much slack in the cable at the handle bar
     
  19. davey1207

    davey1207 1981 Yamaha xs400 Special

    found the culprit... the clutch cable came out at the engine.
     
  20. davey1207

    davey1207 1981 Yamaha xs400 Special

    /Users/Davey/Desktop/clutch.jpeg
     

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