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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

So the other day i was out riding. On my 2003 vrod anniversary, high ks 93000 kms to be exact. Bike was running fine until i came to a stop and tried taking off in first gear and the bike wouldnt move at all.
Ended up towing the bike home and im thinking its a clutch issue because the bike starts and can shift through all the gears just will not move when given throttle.
Im based in New Zealand and a local harley mechanic said to drain the oil and check for shards of metal on the magnetic plug which i did and found a couple of shards of metal (as seen in pictures) i sent him the photos and he said it would cost $8000 (OMG) to do an engine rebuild as the shards of metal may have gone through the engine.
Has anyone had this problem before? 8k is alot of money so i want to give it a crack to fix it myself. I was thinking of replacing clutch to a slipper clutch or am i facing bigger problems?
PLEASE HELP!!!
Brown Wood Finial Hardwood Tints and shades
 

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Two 2003 VRSCA's: CTHULHU is Black/Sterling, N/A ; EVIL TWIN is Anodized and S/C
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There's so much that could be going on...you came to the right place for advice, though.

Welcome to the forum!

Before believing a mechanic about an $8000 job on a $5000 replacement bike...(But you are in New Zealand and I've heard V-Rods go for huge money over there)...I'd be looking into a few things first. The cost of a used engine isn't that high, so why should you go the route of a repair job that costs $8000? Example eBay: a new engine can be had in the $2000 range. But you are in New Zealand...that shipping could get you.

First: Remove the oil filter and cut it open. Let us know what you find with pictures...that will tell us what you need to do next.

Remove the airbox lid, the filter element lid, and look at your throttle body. Sometimes the butterfly shafts can break.

That said...if you can remove the engine from your bike (not really that hard...takes less than a day), turn it upside down and remove the oil pan (This CAN be done without removing the engine but depending upon what you find you may have had to remove the engine anyways so now you are half way there). Look to see what if anything else you can find in the oil pan.

This could also be a failing clutch putting pieces in your oil.

This could be a broken gear putting pieces in your oil.

This could be a broken ring putting pieces in your oil.

Or a broken valve, or a detonated piston (but I doubt it).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the comment and yes Vrods go for ALOT of money here ranging from $20,000-$45,000 depending on customisation.

I will remove the oil filter ,cut open and get you some pictures, and also check the throttle body.I am some what new to work on anything mechanical so pulling a motor apart will be huge step for me might take me a week haha

Is there tell tale signs to know you clutch has failed when you take it off? I really do think its s clutch problem. Ive ordered the slipper clutch so i think im going to put it in with sn oil and filter change and then see if it fixes it?
 

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If the engine starts up and runs fine, why would you need an overhaul of the engine?
From description of the fault , check first:
  • movement of the clutch slave cylinder.Your master cylinder could be stuck not allowing the clutch to engage.
  • drive belt and related components
But first : Forget the f....n HarleyMechanics or whatever they want to call themselves and find a decent motorcycle repair shop or a fellow biker with some maintenance experience under his belt.
Just my (maybe couple of others...) opinion based as a former customer of "HD of xxxxx- quality service".
Our rides are different than classic HD and more related to modern motorcycles with integrated tranny and clutch.
 

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Yes, well said you guys - 03Vrodnz pull the rt clutch side cover & inspect clutch. Rusty G had 200K miles on his '07 VRSCX and went thru like 4 clutches so do the math, you may just have a clutch failure, not much on that magnet really certainly NOT a catastrophic failure I can assure you. Go for clutch master & slave cylinder operation first then inspect clutch assy. Clean drain plug, reinstall with your fresh slipper clutch & oil & you should be OK - (y):cool:
 

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Is there tell tale signs to know you clutch has failed when you take it off? I really do think its s clutch problem. Ive ordered the slipper clutch so i think im going to put it in with sn oil and filter change and then see if it fixes it?
OK so if you've already ordered a slipper clutch then do what SRR said: Install it after making sure the master cylinder and slave unit are operating normally. When was the last time you bled the system? Pick up a bottle of DOT 5 brake fluid for your 2003 clutch system and replace the fluid/bleed the system. Put in new oil and filter. Try it out. You can take your old clutch apart any time thereafter for the sake of knowing. Send us pictures of the discs to evaluate.

p.s. DON'T lose the bleeder screw. That little bugger is very expensive for what it is IF you can find one.

Sean
 

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Worse case, you can pull easily the oil pan for a closer inspection, without removing the engine and as it sits. I have done my A model on the side stand when the ration of famous stripped drain plugs affected me, and had to replace my oil pan. took me about 45 minutes on the ground to change out. IMHO it's piece of cake, compared to the work involved to change 2 spark plugs
 

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Yes oil filter inspection is crucial after suspected internal mechanical problems - you can use a chisel and cut a hole that you can stick the metal shears into and snip your way around the can - in a pinch I've even just chiseled all the way around only takes 5 minutes, then you can cut the filter paper pleats and remove it from the can, pull the pleats apart and inspect with a magnet. If most of the paper is clean then it probably didn't bypass and re-infect the oil pressure side of the engine, your bearings etc. 😟 As I've said before I use a K&P openable, inspect-able and re-useable oil filter with a 35 Micron rating so I don't have to cut open filter cans, make a mess and possibly cut my hands - Oh yea before you cut it open put the filter in a shallow pan, wear thick gloves and do it on the floor - makes it much easier and you won't have the filter roll off the workbench onto the floor and across the garage spitting oil all along the way. Let us know what you find 03Vrodnz -(y):cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow thankyou all for your comments.i have definitely come to the right place for help!
It will be 2 days before i receive the slipper clutch so until then i will give you all a review on how i go.

From whats been said i think i will.
-Take off oil filter and cut open to inspect(will provide photo)
-check to see if Master cylinder and slave cylinder is still working? Is this done by bleeding out the system and adding new DOT5 fluid ,making sure no air in the line?
-Remove old clutch and install new slipper clutch
-New oil and filter change .

If that don't work i will try attempt the oil pan.
Will give youse an update. Wish me luck
 

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before you pull the engine out, take off the drive pulley cover and see if the pulley rotates, check your drive belt tension, make sure rear axle hasn't come loose. are you missing teeth on the belt, missing belt?

from what you say motor still seems to run fine, gears select ok, just doesnt drive.

when you run thru the gears are you using the clutch??.... any noises? vibrations?
 

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-New oil and filter change .
If that don't work i will try attempt the oil pan.
It is an easy affair to remove the oil pan.
Clean the relevant area first - frame and oil pan / engine flange.
Place a scissor jack under the frame/fuel tank, drain the oil, a 5mm allen head bit and a ratchet to remove the pan bolts.
A new oil pan gasket has part number H-D 26034-01K.
Oil pick up bolts and oil pan bolts are all set with torque of 9.7Nm / 85in-lbs. Oil drain plug 35Nm / 25.8ft-lbs.
And yes, it is the ground cable for the engine that is to be seen during the process.
 
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