81 XS400 Not Shifting

philodendrin

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I was fixing some oil leaks on my wife's 81 XS400 over the weekend. Replaced the neutral switch seal and a clutch push rod seal. I followed the advice in this post

When I took the side cover off, it was pretty gunked-up from the oil leak, so I removed the clutch cable and degreased the whole cover. I was careful not to mess with the actuator for the clutch and the ball bearing is still there and appears to be fine.

When I got everything back together I tried to shift down from neutral into first and the shifter wouldn't shift down. The clutch engages and I can shift up all the way to 6th gear, but now I can't get the thing to click to any of the lower gears. I ran the bike on its center stand and can see the clutch engage (wheel stops spinning), but no matter how much pressure I put on the shifter, it doesn't budge to the lower gears.

What the heck did I do? The clutch rod seal replacement was pretty simple. The rod pulled right out and I was able to remove the seal and replace it. No biggie. But, something must have gone haywire.... no clue what to do from here. I've seen other posts describing a ball bearing behind that rod that gets lost... but, I was pretty careful... no ball bearing came out. If it's in there, it should still be.

Any help would be appreciated.
 
I would check your clutch adjustment. You can easily shift up without the clutch disengaging, which would explain why you can upshift but not downshift.
 
Were you doing the shift changes with out spinning the rear tire? The assumption of changing gears, is that the bike is moving, and you can damage the if the bike isn't in the moving phase,(rear tire spinning) The device is a Yoke, or Fork, that is with the transmission drum.

That thread/post, has alot of us there, (minus me)
 
The bike was in neutral and I went to shift down into first with the engine running and the tire on the ground.... no different than if you were stopped at a light. Pretty normal stuff. It would only shift up.

While diagnosing the issue, I had the bike on its center stand and rocked the rear tire back and forth while trying to shift down. It would only shift up... and I eventually shifted all the way to 6th to see what gears were or weren't engaging.

I'll try the clutch adjustment at the lock nut and screw window. Seems weird that any of this would just change... but I guess any minor change in the cable could cause some weirdness. Hopefully that's all it is. I'll try that and report back. Otherwise, it sounds like some sort of linkage issue to me.
 
are you 100% sure that the clutch cable end and the worm drive for the clutch went back together properly? I seem to recall being able to mess it up a bit when I put mine back together a long time ago. Still functioned but could never get it adjusted right until I took it off and repositioned everything based on photos someone posted here.
 
I am not completely sure... no. Actually, while I was changing the seals, I left the cover perched/wedged against the exhaust and the bike and at some point it came unwedged, hung by the cable for a minute ...and then the cable came out and the cover fell off. All of which was no big deal and I had intended to remove the cover to clean it... but I didn't really get a chance to unhook the cable myself. The way I have it back together looks right to me. It doesn't look like it can go any other way, but I will take another look and see if I can find the post you're referring to for reference.

I didn't take apart the worm drive. Once the cable was off the actuator (the spring loaded part)... I degreased the cover and just put the cable back on. When I have the bike open later... I'll post a pic.
 
Adjusted the clutch at the lock nut and screw (under opaque window) and still no luck. Made sure the push rod ball was there behind the rod at the seal I replaced and it is...

Clueless as to what I did to cause this to no longer shift. Clutch engages and I can ride the bike in one gear.

Posting some pics of the rod seal, the rod and ball, neutral switch, cable and actuator... maybe someone will see something I'm missing.:banghead:
 

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Not seeing anything, (just a place to put some JB weld. I am afraid that your Forks got bent. I can not think of a way to check, with out separating the case.
 

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Not seeing anything, (just a place to put some JB weld. I am afraid that your Forks got bent. I can not think of a way to check, with out separating the case.

could just pop in a little brass ferrule or something, then peen it over
 
I am pretty sure that there should be a ball bearing in the worm gear also, cant really tell from the pic if its in there or not.
 
I was fixing some oil leaks on my wife's 81 XS400 over the weekend. Replaced the neutral switch seal and a clutch push rod seal. I followed the advice in this post

When I took the side cover off, it was pretty gunked-up from the oil leak, so I removed the clutch cable and degreased the whole cover. I was careful not to mess with the actuator for the clutch and the ball bearing is still there and appears to be fine.

When I got everything back together I tried to shift down from neutral into first and the shifter wouldn't shift down. The clutch engages and I can shift up all the way to 6th gear, but now I can't get the thing to click to any of the lower gears. I ran the bike on its center stand and can see the clutch engage (wheel stops spinning), but no matter how much pressure I put on the shifter, it doesn't budge to the lower gears.

What the heck did I do? The clutch rod seal replacement was pretty simple. The rod pulled right out and I was able to remove the seal and replace it. No biggie. But, something must have gone haywire.... no clue what to do from here. I've seen other posts describing a ball bearing behind that rod that gets lost... but, I was pretty careful... no ball bearing came out. If it's in there, it should still be.

Any help would be appreciated.
hi .did you ever get to the route of your problem?
 
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