SUZUKI CAVALCADE OWNERS GROUP NEWSLETTER
Jay Johnson, Editor
rides in ontario,
~ TRIPS AND TIPS ~
Well it happened and I did not have to react. Coming home from work and
taking my time because I did not want the ride to end so soon. I was
riding down a lazy road and taking in the sights. “What a beautiful
day!” Off on the side of the road, on one of the BLM ditch roads was a 9
year boy, his pet lamb and dog. I slowed down just in case the motorcycle
might spook the animals and waved at the boy. He waved back and just as I
got my left hand back on the handle bar, a 50 pound Brittney came out of the
field on the right side of the bike about 2 feet away. He came out so fast
that I didn't have time to hit the brakes. I gripped the grips and it was
over except for the bucking ride as I tried to control the bike. I've rode
a couple of bulls before but none like the "Two tone Brown Cavalcade".
Somehow I got the bike under control and stopped. As I turned around I
could see the boy running toward me. I knew that moment what I was going
The boy was upset, but to find out later it was not
his dog...he just saw what had happen. As the boy approach, he asked if I was
alright. Then he saw the dog... ask if I would hold his lamb ...he had to
go and get his Dad ...then he took off running. The next thing I know is
this white pickup comes driving up and the driver gets out. Then the boy
came running up. The thought went thru my mind..."Why didn't the boy
ride back with his Dad?" As his Dad came up, he saw that the dog was
gone... As I introduced myself, he never gave me his name but instead
turned around and started yelling at the boy. Totally abusive beyond
believe. When he turned back toward me...I thought he was going to lay
into me...but in a totally different voice and attitude he stated that it
was his dog. After talking with the man and offering many solutions, the
man said that he understood. He took his dog and left...again leaving the
boy behind. I really feel that the man was hurt over the dog. Before
the boy left, he said that it was his fault that the dog got hit but that he was
glad that I didn't get hurt. As I explained to him that it was not his
fault...that sometimes accidents just happen and there is absolutely no way to
avoid them...that all you can do is try and get control as soon as possible to
avoid more problems.
He hugged me, said “thank
you” and walked away. I've realized as he was walking away...that he was
going to have to handle more problems at home. ~Mac, ‘86 LX,
anyone know the factory paint code for an 86lx that is what I call the pale gold
color? I have a couple of pieces to have painted and the local dealer couldn't
tell me. While I am asking what brand and type paint has anyone had luck with
matching the code? ~TRUCKINPEACH 86LX
the color names & codes are on pages 3 & 4 of the parts catalog, I think
the gold you described is "Legato Gold Metallic", code 24G, and was
two-toned with "Jewelry Brown Metallic", code 18B. But I doubt that'll
do you any good since the suppliers aren't likely to have the formulas
cross-referenced anyway. Besides, you really don't want to match the original
UNFADED color anyway; you want to match the rest of your 19 yr old paint, right?
halfway decent auto paint supplier can scan the color directly from a part. If
painting a single piece, I'd recommend having them scan the nearest item for
best color match, but if totally repainting the bike, scan whatever has the
least fading. Then they mix it and the good part is that THEY assume
responsibility for the color matching. Or at least the ones I've dealt with did.
you're just doing a couple of panels, you'd be better off to ask them for a high
quality SINGLE STAGE paint rather than a modern base coat/ clear coat type. The
original paint seems to be single stage, so that would give the best matching
oil in the secondary!
ever had any problems with the seal between the engine and secondary failing?
This is the second time I have had this happen. I have had several failings of
the secondary shaft seal but this is only the second time this other seal has
failed in the eighteen years I have owned the bike. Could a crankcase vent be
plugged causing excess pressure in the engine? ~
is very easy to dislocate the spring on the seal when installing. Make sure you
have the secondary cover off, the spring and drive dog removed. Then look inside
at the seal once installed to make sure it is still intact. Yes you can hook up
the breather hose and the air cleaner drain hose in reverse, which then pinches
the breather hose shut.
I had and have this problem (I have to change it on my bike before
Laughlin engine oil mix with gear oil) reason #1 it wasn't installed
properly. Reason #2 your transmission shaft is wobbly (bad news!) to check put
you bike on the kick stand start it and rev the engine @ 3000 rpm in
neutral of course! Listen for a rattling sound in the sec. bav. gear box if
you think you here a noise open the sec. bav. gear box hold the shaft, if
it moves you're screwed! I hope for you that's not it! You might as well
park it and use it for spare parts. Or you can take the engine out split
it replaces the shaft and put everything back together. Have fun! If
someone knows a way to replace the transmission shaft without splitting the
engine, I would love to hear from you! ~Jaurdan
The problem is not the shaft, it's the bearing.
Yes, you have to split the cases to repair it but I've done two of them so it's
becoming old hat. The bearing has been discontinued but I make an exact
replacement for the original from a stock bearing.
what I've seen, there are several reasons why that seal will fail.
A lip was folded back when it was installed or the spring popped off. This would
only be the case if it had been repaired recently.
Its just worn out
There is a huge groove worn into the shaft that rides in the seal (actually not
a shaft but a collar pressed onto a shaft). There's no real solution for that
but to dress the surface as well as possible with emery cloth to minimize the
depth of the groove and soften the edges of it.
grit from sanding must be kept out of the bearing/motor.
The main output bearing is shot and is allowing the shaft to move around too
much for the seal. You can check it by taking off the drive gear bearing carrier
(the cast iron piece that sticks out of the secondary drive after you take the
chrome cover off), grabbing the shaft and giving it a good shake up and down (or
side to side). If it moves even a teeny bit, then the bearing is on its way out
and has to be replaced. It's a fairly big job (motor out and case split) but is
perfectly repairable. I have replacement bearings if you end up needing one.
The vent and drain hoses on the air filter box were switched and are on the
wrong nipples and the vent hose is being pinched shut allowing pressure to build
in the crankcase. ~
I am really new at this whole 'motorcycle' maintenance thingy. How do you tell
if you are getting engine oil in your secondary? .....and does that mean you are
getting gear oil into your motor? ~BigD
gear oil level in the secondary rises and will also discolor (darken).
Generally, the gear oil won't go into the motor since that's the direction the
seal is actually sealing. The other direction (from the motor to the secondary),
they rely on the dirt lip (or dust lip) to seal. I kinda wished
had used a double seal (seals from both sides equally). Unfortunately, there's
no room in there for that the way it was designed. ~
weekend I put a trickle charger on my battery for a while with the battery
cables still hooked up. Now, she doesn't want to start. Did I toast something
and if so, WHAT? I used to do this all winter with my previous Cade and it never
seemed to bother it so now I wonder what happened? ~
seems to be OK. Lights work, OK panel works, fuel pump is running, it turns over
but I just get a putt-putt-putt like an ole John Deere 2 cylinder and it doesn't
fire up. The battery may be bad (it's only a year old) but it lights up the
battery icon after a couple minutes of cranking. Thanks again...
My ‘86 LX appears to have some kind of clear coat
applied to the inside of the windshield. It's quite clear and does not
impede visibility, nor is it tinted, but it is starting to chip off. It
won't budge with normal cleaning, but I was trying to polish out some hazing
when I noticed it. Is this stock? Would anyone know what it is or
why it is there? ~Peter in
It is a scratch resistant coating. Without it, the wind shield will scratch
easily. There is no fix for it, just replace the wind shield when it gets bad
enough for your liking. ~Brian in IN
I had the mirror glass replaced in my flag style
mirror for only $15. I do remember discussion in the past about wanting to
change it but being afraid of breaking it. I live in a VERY rural area, so
I'm sure it could be done cheaper too. ~Jack in NV
I finally got around to changing out my headlight bulb. The original
bulb was still fine, but I wanted to upgrade to the brighter, whiter light. I
chose the "Wagner Trueview 9003TV" (H4). I've always done my own
work on my bike (bought it in 2001 with 5200 miles), from changing tires to
going through the carbs but didn't want to pull the fairings off to change that
bulb unless I really had to. I was able to reach up from underneath behind
the horn bracket without removing
AIR COMPRESSOR IS DEAD
Anyone ever have problems with the Air Compressor
not working at all? What should I look for? How hard is it to repair an Air
compressor on a 1986 LXE?
Well if it's not working at all, check the wiring,
switches, and fuse first. I just took my compressor out and apart, it worked,
but wouldn’t build pressure past say 20lbs?? Need to take the left fairing
off to get the compressor out, then 4 screws in the head and 6 in the body to
take it apart. My problem is worn rings, which are plastic, and who knows where
to get replacements, but
Can you elaborate on
the ground that shorts out the stator? I keep burning up stators! If you have a
way to end this I would be very grateful! ~Jaurdan
Well, the failure of the ground connector probably
won't cause a stator failure directly, but it can cause the regulator to burn
up. Since the Cade uses a constant stress systems (puts out full blast all the
time), the regulator has to send the extra amperage to ground by a
controlled short. So, if the ground is less then perfect, most likely it would
trash the regulator and not the stator. But, if the regulator were too short to
ground (somewhat unlikely but possible), then the stator would be under a direct
short and put additional stress on the windings possibly leading to a burn out.
The most common failure of stators is degradation
of the insulation on the windings that leads to them shorting to each other. The
insulation degrades because of heat. The most common failure location is in the
upper quadrant where heat will tend to gravitate to (convection) and where
there is the least amount of oil spray.
You mentioned before that you use Slick 50. As a
thought, Teflon (the stuff in Slick 50 that's suppose to make it slick) is also
a fairly good insulator of heat. Not a great one, but if it plates the stator
like it claims that it plates the moving parts (and there's no reason to believe
that it won't), and with the extreme heat generated by the stator, it could
actually fuse to the stator wires (Teflon melts at a pretty high temp but the
stator gets pretty dang hot) and then additional layers would build up over time
insulating the stator from the oil. That's bad because the only cooling the
stator gets is from the oil.
Those that use synthetic oil exclusively should see
an extension of stator life. Synthetic oil will carry heat away better than dino
oil and it won't burn and stick to extra-hot surfaces like the stator and clutch
This is all supposition but if you are going
through stators in less than 40K miles each, then you either are getting poorly
wound stators, the wire used in rewinding the stators doesn't have a high-heat
insulation (or lacquer if you like), or the oil isn't carrying the heat
The ground connector that is a problem can be seen
finally got around to taking all the fairings off and installing the r/r.
I measured 12.2V across the battery with the bike running. Unplugged the
Stator from the r/r and measured across the 3 wires, 2 at a time.
I got 50vAC across the wires. I
assume this means I need a new stator, as it should be about 90vAC?
and new stators are available from Custom Rewind and Ricks and Willies which are
all listed at the SuzukiCavalcade.com website. I can also get you one for $125.
It will be a rewind from Custom rewind and you will have to send your old back
to them as a core.
aware that the rubber grommet that goes through the stator cover is a little
smaller than the stocker so a generous layer of Yamabond or Grey import sealer
(not sloppy generous) around the grommet is needed to prevent a leak there. Put
it together and let it sit OVERNIGHT before starting the motor. ~
Speaking of stators and charging systems, at what voltage should the
Cavalcade be charging? I know cars are usually between 13.8 and 14.8 and
that's what I'm comparing it to. Now assuming that my voltmeter is
accurate I'm usually around 13.8 to 14.0 while riding with no extra accessories
running other than the radio. At an idle, I'm lower, maybe 12.8 but I'm guessing
it's normal to discharge at an idle since the lights are always running.
Am I wrong or do I have a stator on the way out? It's been like this for
some time but I just got curious enough to ask about it now. ~Rick
Idle voltage doesn't say much so I wouldn't sweat the 12.8. 14 on the road is
pretty normal. Can be higher depending on where it's measured and load and where
the reg. gets its voltage feed from. ~
FRONT END WOBBLE
had a chance to check out the front end today and when I lifted the front wheel
off the ground it turned quite hard and seemed to be binding at one point in the
rotation Went to loosen the axle nut and I think someone tightened that thing
with a 3/4 inch impact wrench. When I loosened the axle clamp those bolts were
also way over torqued and the threads on the studs that screw into the fork
stripped off at the nuts so I took the studs out and replaced them with the
bolt and then tightened the axle bolt so that it was nice and snug yet allowed
the wheel to spin freely without binding. Took it for a short ride and it seems
to have fixed the problem. I guess time will tell if it’s fixed permanently.
Is it OK to use bolts on the axle clamp rather then studs and nuts? How tight is
the axle nut supposed to be? Thanks for "steering" me in the right
direction on this. ~Brent
preference is to use studs for the clamp. The reason is that repeated removal
and replacement of the clamp with bolts will wear on the threads in the rather
soft fork legs (the aluminum ain't that good). I would find the replacement
studs and Loctite them in.
axle nut needs to be just tight. I use a standard 15/16" wrench and don't
go overboard. There's a torque spec of 26-37.5 ft/lbs and that's not that much.
You're just trying to get all of the slack out of the assembly and get it
snugged up. The cotter pin and the pinch clamp do the rest.
Tighten axle first, pinch clamp second, fork brace third. ~
NO ’86 LXEs?
have an 86 LX with all the options (which some would call an LXE) and I have had
it for a few months now. Everything is working fine EXCEPT my dang marker
lights. I have the original package that came with the fork lights and the ones
that go in the rear. I don’t think the relay is working so I was wondering if
anyone knows how to wire them direct. I want to add a switch and an inline fuse
for them and hook them direct to the battery but I don’t know which wires to
cut and tie in. I do have the CD but I'm not much of a schematic reader. If
anyone can help all comments would be appreciated. Just to clarify these are the
amber and red little lights that cover most of the bike. Hopefully by Sunday I
will be looking like Clark Griswald (of National Lampoon’s “Vacation”).
~Jim, 86 LX (No LXE was made in 86!!)
they did make LXE's in ’86, lots of them. Secondly, go to the accessories
section of the CD and it will show the wiring harness for the marker lights. It
is an add-on to the main wiring harness. I recommend that you simply put on a
new relay or adapt a standard auto relay (like they sell for driving lights). ~
HAS MY CLOCK DIED?
my LCD shows is the headlight icon, and the kickstand down icon when the
kickstand is down...I cannot get my clock to work....I replaced the piece
that covers the key with the hour and minute setting button, I just
figured that the clock wore out ~Larry
Well, if it shows any light out warning (such as
the headlight out warning which it's showing now) then you won't have a clock or
gear indicator. You have to resolve why it shows a headlight out first, and then
it will show the clock. Also, does it show a kickstand down icon even when the
side stand is in the up position?? If it does, then you may also have either a
bad kickstand switch or a connection problem.
The LCD warning icons are driven by the lamp outage
relay (also referred to as an okay monitor) that sits just to the left of the
headlight (when sitting on bike). You can take the cover off that box (it just
snaps on) and see if there are any burned components on the board (usually a
diode or 2). If that's the case, then you need to either fix it (I can replace
the diodes if they are burned) or get a new or used one ($20-100 used, $200+
Just wondering, if it shows a headlight out
warning, is the headlight working?? That may sound like a stupid question but it
may simply be why the display is showing a lamp outage. Also, do you have an
owner’s manual?? If so, you need to do a little reading in it. ~
shows the headlight icon and battery icon, but the kickstand switch does work,
goes on and off when I put stand up or down. Headlight works, no problem there.
I need to get a manual!! ~Larry
Any warning icon will deactivate the clock/gear
position functions. The battery icon is simple, you have a problem with the
sensor either not being in the acid or it has become too short to reach the
acid. You can check the water level in the battery and you may find it low. You
may be able to resolve that icon by simply bringing the water level up in the
battery. Or, you may find that you need a new sensor.
But, the headlight outage is another issue. Again,
the okay monitor may have a problem or you could simply have a connection issue
between the monitor and the display. Need to do some connection checking. When
all of the warning icons are out, you should have your clock/gear display back.
I have the owner’s manual in .PDF format but it's
about 75 megs, too large to e-mail or download (unless you have a high speed
connection). It comes on the CD-ROM that I have (900 pages of information about
the Cavalcade) for $22. That's less than you might have to pay for an owner’s
manual on e-bay. ~
the situation: My bike failed state inspection due to a leaking rear
shock. I have an extra set. But the oil has drained out of them.
Question # 1: What type of oil goes in
Dexron ATF is fine
Question #2: How much oil goes in them?
6-8 ounces if empty
Question #3: How in the world do you
get the oil in there?
With a livestock syringe (throw away plastic for
under $1) through the air port
You’re Welcome, ~
Is it best to drain out all the remaining oil,
then fill? Also, how can I test whether these other shocks are not
leaking, without installing them? ~Don
It's not easy to drain all of the oil but if
there's too much in them now, you risk overfilling them. You'll know it,
they will hydraulic lock before they bottom and oil will come shooting out of
the air fittings (don't ask me how I know that). You should be able to hang them
upside down for a day and that should do it.
Just hook them up to the fittings and press the
“auto level” button. You will have to have some assistance to hold the bike
up (auto level won't run with side or center stand down) but you can let it run
for a bit to make sure they don't leak. You can stop the compressor by
turning the ignition key to off. Motor doesn't have to be running for the
“auto level” to function. ~
I did the last set of rear shocks, I stood them upside down in a pan. Then took
a 2x4 to compress and release the shock. I was able to get most of the oil out
of them. ~Jerry Wisc
have a brand new charging system in my ‘86 Cade and it includes battery,
stator and rectifier. However the battery is not being charged. The advice was
to cut the ground wire black with white stripe. I cut one of them but there is
I supposed to cut them both? ~scoot725
so it's clear, cut both and solder both together and insulate. It may not be the
sum of the problem with your charging system but it is the first and easiest fix
that might take care of it. ~
have a new battery in my ’86 Cavalcade, but it won't charge. Can you tell me
what to look for? ~Don
stator is located in the LEFT side engine cover (left when sitting on the bike
facing forward). The failure of a stator is typically through shorting of the
windings to each other or to the stator stack (the stack of thin plates that are
riveted together to provide the poles on which the windings are wound). In case,
some or much of the power is generated by the movement of the magnets past the
poles will be drained off by the short.
is a connector in the battery compartment through which the RR Sends its extra
current to the ground side of the system. That connector in some (possibly many)
cases will become corroded, loose or whatever and the RR can't shunt the extra
power to ground properly so the RR
see much more heat than what it was designed to and is destined to fail if the
connector is not repaired. Actually, the connector isn't even needed since it is
only there for the original assembly of the bike. If you check it and it looks
fine, good. Just make sure it's clean and tight and it won't hurt to use some
dielectric grease on it to prevent future corrosion. Dielectric grease is
available at any auto parts store and is also listed as bulb grease. It is
generally silicone based and has a very high viscosity and won't melt and run
out of the connector like ordinary dino grease or Vaseline. Silicones have
extremely high melt temperatures and those sold as electrical grease
(dielectric) are made especially for electric applications. A tube will cost
$2-3 and is enough to do about every connection on the bike. In fact, every time
you have to take a connection apart, it's a good idea to make sure it's clean
and grease it to prevent future problems.
connector in question can be seen at http://www.billydump.com/cav/instruct/statorregrec.htm
connector looks good, then you can proceed to checking the stator output. BTW,
I'm assuming that the battery in the bike is good and doesn't have an internal
short or something else wrong with it. If you aren't sure, have it load checked.
Most places that sell batteries can also test them. If the connector is melted
or has other obvious signs of high resistance through it, it should be cut out
and the wires soldered together. If you repaired the connector, recheck the
system voltage with the motor running at 3K or so and if it still won't come up
to 14 volts, then checking the stator is next.
the only way to check the stator is with the stator leads unplugged from the RR.
Those connections (also shown at http://www.billydump.com/cav/instruct/statorregrec.htm
) are located just to the right of the headlight (sitting on bike facing
forward) and will most likely require the removal of the right upper fairing to
access. If you have child-size hands, you might be able to reach them through
the right speaker hole. You have to unplug them so that the “no load”
voltage output can be checked. The stator wires are generally yellow but could
be another color is the stator had been replaced prior with a rewind. You would
then just look for the yellow wires coming from the RR and unplug the 3 large
plastic connectors. There are 3 small bullet type connectors that tie the stator
leads to the noise suppressor that hangs on the right side of the headlight but
those do not need to be unplugged to test the stator.
all 3 stator leads unplugged from the RR and with an AC voltmeter set to read a
least 100 VAC, test each pair of stator leads while running the motor up to 5K
RPM. By each pair I mean 1 and 2, 2 and 3, 1 and 3. Each pair should produce at
least 90 VAC at 5K rpm. If you get something less than that on one or more
pairs, then the stator must be replaced. Fortunately, stators are easily rewound
with new wire since the stator stack is reusable over and over. Several
competent rewinders are listed at http://www.suzukicavalcade.com/parts___vendors.htm
stators run about $125-$140 and there are even new stators available from Rick's
for a little more money. New isn't better, Rick's was running out of cores and
since the Cade and the FI Gold Wing share the same stator stack, Rick's had
tooling made to produce new stacks. If you get a rewind, you are normally
required to send in your old stator as a core.
stator checks "good" (90 VAC + on each pair of 3 legs at 5K RPM), then
the only thing left is the RR. New ones are available from several sources at
the same address as above and will run about $120-$140. Just a note, the
Electrex RR will not come with the factory style plugs for the stator
connections and you'll have to reuse your old ones and connect them on the new
reg. Also, it won't use the orange wire. That wire was used to sense system
voltage and the new regs do that internally. The one from Rick's comes with the
factory connectors all around. It's been expressed that if you want an Electrex,
you will probably get better service out of Dennis Kirk than buying it direct
stator checks bad then, obviously, you'll have to replace it but the RR may also
be bad. There is check procedure in the service manual using an ohmmeter. If you
don't have a manual, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
and I'll send you that page out of the manual.
about it. Simple as pie! Please note, though, that the stator may check
"good" but may still be on its way south. If you have 40K or more
miles and you want to be sure that it won't die on you in the worst possible
place, then you will have to remove the left side engine case and look at it.
Even though there's no steadfast way to tell whether it's gonna fail in the next
few miles, if it looks like a crispy critter then a replacement is probably not
a bad idea. ~
I'm certain this has been mentioned before, but I'm
just now facing actually dealing with mine. After I've let off the brake
for a while, the lever goes all the way to the grip, and I've got to pump it up
again before I start riding. Then it stays solid, though a little close to
the grip. Aside from checking the pad wear and bleeding the lines, I
thought I remembered something about replacing seals or rebuilding something.
Can anyone tell me what they've found? And who's got the source for the
Sounds like a seeping
caliper. Need to pull back the dust seals at the calipers and look for wetness
and/or white crusty stuff that is the remnants of brake fluid that has
dried. The only option is to rebuild or replace. But, if the seal groove in the
caliper is pitted too severely it may never work properly even after a rebuild.
I will be keeping pads in stock soon. EBC Kevlar for $26 a set (does one
OUT THE CLUTCH SPRINGS
I have a couple of questions on changing out the clutch springs. 1st,
according to the CD manual, the springs are to be torqued at 8 - 9.5 foot lbs.
Do you torque them at this or do you use a ratchet and "snug" them
down? 2nd, on the clutch plates, if they show some signs of "glazing"
what do you use to clean them up with and as far as "roughing them up"
what grit sandpaper are you using? Thanks for the info ~Joe in pa.
I use a 1/4" ratchet and snug them. They are cheap bolts and the
stanchions that they thread into are not that substantial. I use 120-150 grit
paper. Wash them well afterwards. If you smell them and they have a burnt odor,
then sanding is probably in order. ~
Editor’s Note: This issue of the
newsletter is so late, that I’m not posting any items for sale. A more
up-to-date list will be in the next issue.
Last updated: Wednesday, February 06, 2013
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