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TOPIC: Clutch cable routing

Clutch cable routing 5 months 3 weeks ago #842

  • Alan
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I’m slowly putting my machine back together again after many years in boxes. I thought I’d got enough photos of the complete machine from my late father but the odd detail is not clear. I’d appreciate some comments on clutch operation and cable routing.

The clutch cable on my machine apparently was routed under the floor pan and does a 90 degree turn up through a hole. I still have the old cable which seems to verify this routing. It looks like the 5/16” cable adjuster is screwed from below into the fixed anchor bolted to the clutch housing , and the inner cable then engages with the clutch arm, although space is tight with the various nuts and brass caps etc.

I’ve looked at loads of photos of other machines, and see a number of alternative arrangements. Some have modified the arm so it is vertical, allowing a clean run over the gear selector box. Others route the cable into the horizontal arm from above. Some others seem similar to mine. Which is considered original/ the best?

I think the fitting I’ve attached( see photo) was a guide for the clutch cable under the floor. Can you confirm? ALAN
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Clutch cable routing 5 months 3 weeks ago #843

  • keithsams
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on images of early abc,s ie 1919 it shows the cable across the top of the gearbox to a vertical clutch lever as per les taverner. on the 1920 abc,s photo it shows the cable running across the top of the engine down the front of the gearlever box to the cable retention plate ( peter has a box of original ones)
and the outer cover moves the lever not the cable.
that is how mine is set up and it works good
if its not broken dont fix it
they all work fine so the choice is your but i doubt if it ran from the underside as yours did but it may give a better run that way but stay away from bumps in the road
if you run it 1919 style you will have to file a groove in the clutch cross shaft to locate the bolt
Last Edit: 5 months 3 weeks ago by keithsams. Reason: spelling mistake
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Clutch cable routing 5 months 3 weeks ago #844

  • Paul
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Hallo Alan,
The attached photo (if I've got it right) shows how your machine left the Sopwith factory, 100 years ago. Except for the pepper-potting, that is. There is no corresponding hole in the undershield. Note that the inner cable is anchored (with adjuster) at the bottom (by a bracket now being offered for sale by P. Gillespie), and that the outer cable does the moving.
A common mod. is to mount the clutch operating arm in a vertical position, as per Keith's description. In fact, both styles of operation were recently road-tested in the D-J 2020! And both styles came out with flying colours! However, the latter style often involves anchorage of the outer cable via the inlet manifold, not a good idea I think.
Further: the clutch cable would have left the handlebar via its special central, rear slot, and looped round the RHS of the nose of the tank, and down under it. Make sure that your cable is long enough to avoid tight bends.
I wish you happy riding, when your machine is all fixed up! Paul.
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Clutch cable routing 5 months 3 weeks ago #845

  • Alan
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Thanks both. I couldn’t believe the original idea was to go under the floor, but that’s what the evidence here pointed to. I have the bottom bracket. Glad I asked. Happy riding ... some way off but making progress.
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