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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I have a 1984 VT700 Shadow with 57,000 miles on it. I had noticed a slight ticking sound coming from around the clutch area on the right side front of the engine, but it wasn't bad and I didn't think anything about it. A day or two later after a little 20-mile ride, the noise had increased to be loud enough I know something is wrong. The noise does not change when I pull in or let out the clutch and the bike still starts quickly and moves in gear with no problem. But the ticking noise is telling me something is not right. I used a mechanics stethoscope to hear the noise and locate it somewhere around the front of the clutch area.

Any suggestions? I'm going to change the oil and look for steel shavings in the filter and oil but don't know where to go from there. Other than taking it to a shop.

TexasShadowRider
 

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I have a 1983 750 and the first couple of years they made the VT engine the spring-loaded timing chain tensioner was a weak spot. It is a long arm that is supposed to stay snug against the slack side of the chain, but can allow it to slap.
Mine is pretty loud at idle speed, but when I increase up to about 2000 it gets quieter. And I noticed if I accelerate from idle steadily the noise is almost gone, since the chain is under a more steady tension as the cams are winding up
It doesn't cause any real harm except a bit more wear on the plastic guide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a 1983 750 and the first couple of years they made the VT engine the spring-loaded timing chain tensioner was a weak spot. It is a long arm that is supposed to stay snug against the slack side of the chain, but can allow it to slap.
Mine is pretty loud at idle speed, but when I increase up to about 2000 it gets quieter. And I noticed if I accelerate from idle steadily the noise is almost gone, since the chain is under a more steady tension as the cams are winding up
It doesn't cause any real harm except a bit more wear on the plastic guide.
Swifty,
So would you suggest a good way to test it is start it and increase the engine rev's to about 2000 (which will be a guess since the tach works when it wants to), and listen to see if it gets quieter? Then try to accelerate from idle and listen to see if it changes and gets quiet? But is it difficult and or expensive to fix this issue and make it quiet again?
 

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Yes, just increase the speed and see if it changes. I just happened to hear it when I revved slowly up to 2-3000 RPM.
To do it right with the many years on our bikes it would be a top end engine overhaul.
So I just put up with it for now.
This is what the auto tensioners look like.
 

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If you want to fix the tach here is a video about a way to do it. Mine was intermittent too.
But I would take it loose out of the housing first and loosen and tighten the screws on the back that are wire contact connections. That may be the main issue.Then cut it open if you have to.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, just increase the speed and see if it changes. I just happened to hear it when I revved slowly up to 2-3000 RPM.
To do it right with the many years on our bikes it would be a top end engine overhaul.
So I just put up with it for now.
This is what the auto tensioners look like.
Well fudge!! I went out and started the bike. The tapping noise did not change at all and I revved it slowly up to 3,500 RPM's but the tapping never got quieter. Damn! Now I guess I gotta take it in and spend the big bucks unless someone's got another idea.
 

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If is really concentrated at the clutch area and not above, maybe the springs on the "split gear" on the clutch housing are worn and rattling.
They may be for the one way clutch function also.
I haven't had mine out yet, but I looked at pictures of used one on ebay and some had a lot of wear at the ends of the springs.
Not sure if that would do it, but possible.
I think I would take that area apart before engine major repair.
 

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Here is what I mean about the spring wear.
 

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Had the same issue with mine before my accident, almost sounded like excessive value noise but I went over the entire engine with a fine tooth comb only to determine it was more of an annoyance to me than an issue on performance and or operations of the bike. Probably put 10,000 miles on it after that with no issues just an annoying tick that I could have gone broke chasing.
 

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How is your oil level?

There are also spring-loaded parts for your shifter down there, as well as the little chain for your oil pump. Mine seemed really loose, so it’s possible it could be contacting something. Should be bathed in oil, though, so the sound should be somewhat muted, I would think. I can’t remember if you said the ticking frequency changed with engine RPM or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How is your oil level?

There are also spring-loaded parts for your shifter down there, as well as the little chain for your oil pump. Mine seemed really loose, so it’s possible it could be contacting something. Should be bathed in oil, though, so the sound should be somewhat muted, I would think. I can’t remember if you said the ticking frequency changed with engine RPM or not.
Oil level is good, (but does need changing) but ticking sound did not change as rpm's increased still pretty loud and did not change in speed our loudness. I really want to get this fixed cuz it just isn't correct but this 37 year old bike is still in very good condition. It's been a garage bike all it's life.
 

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A ticking noise from that area that DOESN’T change with RPMs? That’s kind of a good thing, since anything I can think of inside the clutch or engine would be rotating. Would it be the fuel pump? That should be just to the rear of the bike from there, and it makes a ticking sound...
 

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Good thought.
Just unplug the relay for a minute and see if it changes til it runs out of gas.
 
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