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Hard to get into 2nd Gear - So what's ahead of me?

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Hey all,

 

Have been working on my DRZ400S. Changed out all of the fluids, new springs, new sprockets, new chain, and finally finished it up. Took it out today and went to shift into 2nd aaaaand... Neutral. :|

 

Figured I missed my shift, so i tried it again. Oops, Neutral again. Finally it finds second, and off I go. I stop at a stop sign, begin again.. same story. 2nd is hard to find.  :foul:

So i speed back in 3rd, and hop on the internet where I am treated to a plethora of problems. Loose bolt in the shift star, worn gear dogs, bent shift fork, clutch too loose, rider error, etc etc-- basically a thousand different variables. 

 

I'm pretty convinced it's worn gear dogs / shift fork. Know the idea of Occam's razor? What would it be for this one? I've already eliminated it's me being lazy in my shifts, as I tried a bunch of different methods (preload the shift lever with my foot, double clutch etc)

 

And then the big question: What all do I need parts-wise if I have to break into the transmission? 

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Was it perfectly fine before you changed out sprockets and oil? What kind of oil are you running? Different than what was in it before? How many miles are on the bike? How often do you change your oil?

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Was it perfectly fine before you changed out sprockets and oil? What kind of oil are you running? Different than what was in it before? How many miles are on the bike? How often do you change your oil?

 

Seemed fine before- no complaints or any indications otherwise. Running Rotella T 10w30. 10046 miles indicated, and changed every 2-3k, depending on how lazy i am. 

 

 

http://www.thumpertalk.com/topic/540670-counter-shaft-sprocket-loctite-fix/

Is the problem the second gear bushing mentioned in this thread?

 

Can't confirm. I did do the Loctite fix because when I switched the chain, I noticed that the front sprocket was loose (to a point that I removed it using my fingers! eeehh). I will say that this did come up as a possibility-- but would the problem being present, and the torque being taken off the bushing then put back on hose 2nd gear like this? I'll concede and say that I did not inspect the bushing for damage, and simply buttoned the bike back up. 

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Hey all,

 

Have been working on my DRZ400S. Changed out all of the fluids, new springs, new sprockets, new chain, and finally finished it up. Took it out today and went to shift into 2nd aaaaand... Neutral. :|

 

Figured I missed my shift, so i tried it again. Oops, Neutral again. Finally it finds second, and off I go. I stop at a stop sign, begin again.. same story. 2nd is hard to find.  :foul:

So i speed back in 3rd, and hop on the internet where I am treated to a plethora of problems. Loose bolt in the shift star, worn gear dogs, bent shift fork, clutch too loose, rider error, etc etc-- basically a thousand different variables. 

 

1a I'm pretty convinced it's worn gear dogs / shift fork. Know the idea of Occam's razor? 1b What would it be for this one? I've already eliminated it's me being lazy in my shifts, as I tried a bunch of different methods (preload the shift lever with my foot, double clutch etc)

 

And then the big question: What all do I need parts-wise if I have to break into the transmission? 

 

1a you can't know until you split cases. don't convince yourself until you've exhausted external influences. 1b does not apply here. there ARE lots of variables, some of which are easily overlooked. to apply the razor, a new bike would be the fix. sorry. 

 

2 a splitter, case gaskets, lots of sandwhich bags, a new timing chain, MCCT, possibly piston rings, possibly transmission bearings, possibly crank bearings, possibly shift forks, loctite (different grades for different fasteners), and grease. 

 

2 is very involved. i haven't seen a drz have a transmission failure yet, it's always outside influences like:

rider error

clutch pack assembled incorrectly

bent shifter rod (HOPE ITS THIS... THIS ONE IS EASY!)

chain too tight

lugging the engine (rider error)

worn 2nd gear bushing (LOCTITE FIXES MATTER, yes, even on 2016 drz's)

loose shifter lever

loose shifter drum

 

 

the drz transmission is very reliable, very robust. i'm sorry it wasn't the easy answer (razor) but this is the stuff that is true/normal. :)

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Since the only thing you did to affect the transmission is tighten the nut, that seems the logical place to look for a problem.

 

Simple quick test  - loosen the countershaft nut.  Just go finger tight and bend the lock washer.  Go for a ride.  Did the problem go away?

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1a you can't know until you split cases. don't convince yourself until you've exhausted external influences. 1b does not apply here. there ARE lots of variables, some of which are easily overlooked. to apply the razor, a new bike would be the fix. sorry. 

 

2 a splitter, case gaskets, lots of sandwhich bags, a new timing chain, MCCT, possibly piston rings, possibly transmission bearings, possibly crank bearings, possibly shift forks, loctite (different grades for different fasteners), and grease. 

 

2 is very involved. i haven't seen a drz have a transmission failure yet, it's always outside influences like:

rider error

clutch pack assembled incorrectly

bent shifter rod (HOPE ITS THIS... THIS ONE IS EASY!)

chain too tight

lugging the engine (rider error)

worn 2nd gear bushing (LOCTITE FIXES MATTER, yes, even on 2016 drz's)

loose shifter lever

loose shifter drum

 

 

the drz transmission is very reliable, very robust. i'm sorry it wasn't the easy answer (razor) but this is the stuff that is true/normal. :)

 

So is it possible to work on the shifting assembly without busting into the case? I've always avoided transmission work like the plague, and chalked it up to magical rodents who lived inside that connecting things to other things. Ok, maybe not that mechanically stupid, but I know it's full of a ton of fiddly bits that I've never had the courage to deal with. I know you can open up the right side and see some things, but for full service?

 

 

Since the only thing you did to affect the transmission is tighten the nut, that seems the logical place to look for a problem.

 

Simple quick test  - loosen the countershaft nut.  Just go finger tight and bend the lock washer.  Go for a ride.  Did the problem go away?

 

You know, i did overlook that, and if it's been rocking it for a while at finger tight, then maybe something is just too snug in there now. 

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Do the test and report back.  Finger tight is just for a test not the permanent fix.  We can talk about that later.

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Do the test and report back.  Finger tight is just for a test not the permanent fix.  We can talk about that later.

 

Just got back from doing it, it shifts!

 

For now, I put red loctite on it and tightened it down to 60ftlbs-- definitely not spec, but better than it was.

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It will not stay tight.  You are better off going finger tight and using the lock washer to hold the nut.  Check the nut often, you do not want it to fall off as will happen if you ignore it.  Carry a new nut and lock washer with you.  When I get a chance I will post a link to another thread that deals with this.

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It will not stay tight.  You are better off going finger tight and using the lock washer to hold the nut.  Check the nut often, you do not want it to fall off as will happen if you ignore it.  Carry a new nut and lock washer with you.  When I get a chance I will post a link to another thread that deals with this.

 

.

so i should back it back off from 60 to hand tight? what im understanding is that now im susceptible to the dreaded oil explosion seized engine fun time? 

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Only if you let the nut fall off.  Read the link I posted in reply #12.

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Only if you let the nut fall off.  Read the link I posted in reply #12.

 

Thanks, Noble. Just still a bit errkk about my DRZ being hosed, or rather, the possibility of it. Going to keep an eye on it.

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Thanks, Noble. Just still a bit errkk about my DRZ being hosed, or rather, the possibility of it. Going to keep an eye on it.

 

 

cool, you found the problem. sounds like 2nd gear bushing is worn from under torqued nut beating on it. the fix is... not cheap or simple, but it's not safe to ride around with the cs nut loose. loosing the oil at speed is scary, but have the chain turn you into a whipping boy at 50mph is much scarier. 

 

i would fix it... and i have zip ties holding my seat on. ;-)

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cool, you found the problem. sounds like 2nd gear bushing is worn from under torqued nut beating on it. the fix is... not cheap or simple, but it's not safe to ride around with the cs nut loose. loosing the oil at speed is scary, but have the chain turn you into a whipping boy at 50mph is much scarier. 

 

i would fix it... and i have zip ties holding my seat on. ;-)

 

There-in lies the big question. If it IS just the 2nd gear bearing, then how much effort / time is it to get down to it to replace? I take it that's something you have to bust into the transmission for?

 

I reallllyyyy don't want to split the cases. Sounds like a headache and a half. But if it's for peace of mind, i will. 

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I have owned my DRZ for 15 years.  I am one of the earliest proponents of the countershaft Loctite fix.  I have had my motor completely apart 3 times for various reasons.  I have replaced the 2nd gear bushing 3 times (it only needed it once but it is something I do when apart). Nothing I do keeps the countershaft nut tight long term.  For the last 2 years I have run the #2 fix (look up the thread in post #12).  It works for me.  I do not consider it a half way fix.  It, in my opinion, is more reliable than OEM Suzuki.  The countershaft sprocket floats, the nut is secure and will not loosen over time.  But it takes some custom machine work to accomplish and may need to be redone with a countershaft sprocket replacement.  I am not recommending 1 fix over another, only that all 3 work and in my opinion #2 is the most reliable.  Certainly nothing wrong with splitting the cases and replacing the warn parts.

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I have owned my DRZ for 15 years.  I am one of the earliest proponents of the countershaft Loctite fix.  I have had my motor completely apart 3 times for various reasons.  I have replaced the 2nd gear bushing 3 times (it only needed it once but it is something I do when apart). Nothing I do keeps the countershaft nut tight long term.  For the last 2 years I have run the #2 fix (look up the thread in post #12).  It works for me.  I do not consider it a half way fix.  It, in my opinion, is more reliable than OEM Suzuki.  The countershaft sprocket floats, the nut is secure and will not loosen over time.  But it takes some custom machine work to accomplish and may need to be redone with a countershaft sprocket replacement.  I am not recommending 1 fix over another, only that all 3 work and in my opinion #2 is the most reliable.  Certainly nothing wrong with splitting the cases and replacing the warn parts.

 

#2 definitely sounds better, as it's this rocking motion on the output shaft from the worn bushing is what's freeing it up, correct? Though I'm a little confused- the size is an 18mm ID/OD washer that's 1mm thick? Feels like a dumb question, but how can something be 18mm outer with an 18mm inner? wouldn't that be impossibly thin?

 

My main fear is, and i know it's hard to quantify, should I not ride it at all? I don't want the oil seal to explode or the trans to lock up while i'm doing 60mph. I'm spooked rather easy by these sorts of affairs; Had a KLR, and every mile I was on it, it was fear of "the doohickey".

 

Last question is: even with loctite, it's going to loosen itself up over time, isn't it? I get your logic of not clamping it down, as you want to give it some flex room. Sounds like I have a lot ahead of me.

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 Though I'm a little confused- the size is an 18mm ID/OD washer that's 1mm thick? ------The washer is 1mm thick, 18mm ID and I did not post the OD dimension because I don't remember right off.  It just has to fit inside the counterbore of the nut. (the nut is not flat , It has a counterbore on the back side) Probably something like 22mm OD.


 


My main fear is, and i know it's hard to quantify, should I not ride it at all?.------At the start of this thread you said it did not shift right.  So, no you should not ride it until you do something to correct that.  Loosen the nut to finger tight, bend the lock washer and ride it as a test to see if the shifting returns to normal.  If it does, you can consider what you want to do as a more permanent fix.  As long as it has a good nut and a good lock washer, it is not going to fall apart anytime soon.  Maybe good for 500 miles, maybe 5000 miles I don't know but certainly not going to come apart on a 20 mile test ride.


 


Last question is: even with loctite, it's going to loosen itself up over time, isn't it?------No clear answer.  Some people have very good long term success.  Some people like me have had less success.


 


One thing I can predict - If the transmission is binding when the countershaft nut is tight it is very likely to get worse not better.  The "worse" is the transmission friction welds which locks the rear wheel.  Bad if you are gong very fast and a lot more expensive to fix. If you split the cases and replace the warn parts now, parts are probably under $100 for the whole job.



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