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 Variator wear

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J.R.
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buddy19520
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PostSubject: Variator wear   Variator wear I_icon_minitimeMon 10 Jun 2013, 19:35

Starting last year I had some odd behavior from the Silverwing. At high speeds (over 60 mph) sometimes the RPMs would be reasonably normal and at other times it would hang up and run 500-700 RPM too high. It seemed to occur after I'd been on a ride for 50 or 100 miles.

I am running a mix of 24 and 21 gram Dr P's. I cleaned the variator up last year, then again this year and blamed the problem on dust build up. Well, it happened again two weeks ago (less than 1000 miles since the last clean out) so I ordered some new parts - both halves of the variator, the backing plate, the bushing for the inner half of the variator, new slide pieces that go on the backing plate and even a new bolt and washer.

When I took it apart and looked at the new parts vs. the old, it was apparent what the problem was - the two halves of the variator had a fair amount of wear on them. Keep in mind that I have 28,000 miles on the scoot and I used a J Costa for 15,000 of those miles. Holding a straight edge across the face of the outer variator face (from the center to the edge) you could see about 1 mm of wear. The inner half of the variator had about half as much wear (since it was replaced by the J Costa for half the time). The wear is worst near the outer edge of the variator - were the belt rides at higher speed.

I measured the new belt and compared it to the old belt (which has about 12,000 miles on it) and the old belt shows less than .5 mm of wear. I replaced both variator halves, the center bushing and the backing plate slide pieces but used the exact same Dr Pulley sliders and the old belt and took it out for a ride. The results were encouraging.

55 MPH 4400 RPM
60 4700
65 5000
70 5100
75 5400
80 5800

Before the new variator parts went in, I would run an easy 300-400 RPM higher all the time. When I was coming home on the Interstate 10 days ago, it wouldn't go less than 5900 RPM at 70 MPH. Earlier in the same day, it ran about 5400 RPM at 70 MPH.

Accelerating from a dead stop it won't go over 5100 RPM with the new variator. Next time I get in there I am going to go back to all 21 gram Dr Pulley sliders. Its back to running pretty good again.

The best news about this is that the parts that would normally wear (inner and outer variator halves and the slide pieces that fit on the backing plate) are less than $60 total (plus shipping) - about half the cost of a belt. I got the parts from Honda Parts Direct.

I wouldn't doubt that some of us have replaced our belts because the RPMs are too high when it is probably the fault of a worn variator.

Hope this helps somebody out there.
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RArch
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PostSubject: Re: Variator wear   Variator wear I_icon_minitimeMon 10 Jun 2013, 20:23

That's interesting information, thanks for sharing. Wish I'd known a few weeks ago before I replaced the belt (16k miles) as I could have checked the variator Wink I will have to keep an eye on the revs.

Were you able to check the faces at the clutch end?


Last edited by RArch on Tue 11 Jun 2013, 16:44; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)
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wis-rider
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PostSubject: Re: Variator wear   Variator wear I_icon_minitimeMon 10 Jun 2013, 21:22

Thanks for the info. Proves once again the value of this Forum for plenty of information and problem solvers, as well as great people willing to share.
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buddy19520
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PostSubject: Re: Variator wear   Variator wear I_icon_minitimeMon 10 Jun 2013, 22:12

The clutch did not appear to be worn at all. The variator was darkened where the belt rides, but the clutch faces looked pretty clean.

I have never attempted to take the clutch apart. That big spring looks like it could poke a whole in your head it not taken apart correctly.
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buddy19520
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PostSubject: Re: Variator wear   Variator wear I_icon_minitimeSun 07 Jul 2013, 13:47

Follow up - miles per gallon has gotten better since the variator replacement. Prior to,the replacement the best I saw was 49.7 mpg, with the last four tanks all being in the 49.x range ( all during may and June). Since then, I've ridden 767 miles with an average of 52.4 mpg. That is a solid 3 mpg improvement, riding the same way I did before. Temperatures have not changed much before/after (I.e., winter was long gone before I swapped the variator).

My intent is still to switch to all 21 gram Dr. Pulleys next time I open up the variator. Acceleration is decent, but I am sure it will be better with lighter weights.
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yammer
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PostSubject: Re: Variator wear   Variator wear I_icon_minitimeSun 07 Jul 2013, 14:58

Is there really a need for 21 gram sliders? As far as I know mine has the standard rollers and I find it has very good acceleration and I ride with pillion most of the time.
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DaveR
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PostSubject: Re: Variator wear   Variator wear I_icon_minitimeSun 07 Jul 2013, 17:18

That's interesting, maybe I should consider changing my variator the next time I change my belt. The light hasn't come on yet but I am sure it will pretty soon as I now have 36,500 smiles on the bike. I do have to get the body panels changed out after it was hit and laid over on the left side at the store on the 4th of July. And, yes, the Forum has a lot of good and valuable info on it. My Bestem T-Box has been pretty well beat up. I have another plate with a set of flag holders that mounts on the same mounting bracket which also has a tool kit on it. I used it to ride with the Patriot Guard a while back and when I took it off, put the T-Box on I didn't get it locked on good was doing about 35 mph hit some bumps in the road, the box came off and did a number on it. I fixed the scratches on it pretty well with a small torch heating then taking a cloth to bring the textured look back. It is amazing what you can come with to fix things. Thanks everyone!
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buddy19520
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PostSubject: Re: Variator wear   Variator wear I_icon_minitimeMon 08 Jul 2013, 19:08

yammer wrote:
Is there really a need for 21 gram sliders? As far as I know mine has the standard rollers and I find it has very good acceleration and I ride with pillion most of the time.

There is not a need for it, but there is a desire for it. I miss the great acceleration of the J Costa variator and 21 gram sliders get me pretty close to that acceleraton.
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yammer
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PostSubject: Re: Variator wear   Variator wear I_icon_minitimeTue 09 Jul 2013, 11:58

buddy19520 wrote:
yammer wrote:
Is there really a need for 21 gram sliders? As far as I know mine has the standard rollers and I find it has very good acceleration and I ride with pillion most of the time.

There is not a need for it, but there is a desire for it.  I miss the great acceleration of the J Costa variator and 21 gram sliders get me pretty close to that acceleraton.

Oh that explains it. I got my XJR to do the soiling in my pants, maybe that's why I don't desire it on my SW.Laughing Laughing 
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DaveR
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PostSubject: Re: Variator wear   Variator wear I_icon_minitimeTue 09 Jul 2013, 13:58

It seems we are never satisfied with what we have. I have the 24g sliders in my 2005 and am satisfied with the. I never have had real "good" gas mileage. I think I ride to aggressive maybe.
About the variator wear, How often does it usually need to be replaced? Does anyone know? I have 36,500 smiles on mine and have never changed it. Just put two belts on it. They are expensive to replace. Of course all of the parts are very expensive to replace. The one good thing is the Silverwing does hold together well if you do good preventive maintenance, you do not need to replace parts to often.
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J.R.
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PostSubject: Re: Variator wear   Variator wear I_icon_minitimeTue 09 Jul 2013, 23:02

I also replaced both sides after finding two grooves. One high one low. Miles were approx. 32k. Might be Kevlar or something else that wears on it over time and miles.
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tvanloon
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PostSubject: Re: Variator wear   Variator wear I_icon_minitimeWed 10 Jul 2013, 11:42

Late last summer I had some slight noises that sounded like things were getting dry in the clutch belt area and since I needed a new front tire I took it to the dealership and had them check out the noises. They said things had gotten quite dirty and dusty and were very dry in the clutch area so they cleaned out the area, lubed the items that needed it, inspected for any other problems, and replaced the belt since I had over 15,000 miles on it. It does accelerate differently and the variator shifts at different points now. I find the mpg to be the same but my riding is the same. When alone I accelerate much quicker than with the wife on the back of it on our evening rides. I have always gotten between 46 - 50 mpg but I live in the southeastern corner of MN and it is in the Mississippi River valley with lots of bluffs to up and down on. I indicate 4500 rpms @ 60 mph...this is a little lower than before the new belt and lube of clutch parts. The variator does feel like it must have some slight ridges on it as I do get some vibration with it messing with this new belt against the old belt wear patterns. The lube is allowing it to shift to a lower rpm quicker that with the old belt and dryer parts.
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buddy19520
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PostSubject: Re: Variator wear   Variator wear I_icon_minitimeTue 16 Jul 2013, 01:20

DaveR, the parts were not that expensive. About half the cost of a new belt.

My suggestion to all is to take a moment and check the face of each half of the variator whenever you have the transmission case open. Perhaps the variator has more wear on it than the belt does. If either is worn, it results in the same symptoms - too revvy. In my case, the variator had a groove in it, resulting in erratic behavior.

A new variator should be absolutely flat across its face.
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DaveR
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PostSubject: Re: Variator wear   Variator wear I_icon_minitimeWed 19 Aug 2015, 22:56

Well, I had to change out the variator. I had just over 51 thousand trouble free smiles on my 2005 and the V light came on. It was due for a belt change so changed and put a new Honda belt on. When I put the new belt on, I checked for wear on the face plates. They seem all right so just replaced the belt. Low and be hold after a couple hundred smiles the V light came on again. I purchased the new V plates cleaned the Dr Pully Sliders put it back together and so far the light has stayed off. It must not have to show much wear for the v light to come on. I now am coming up on 52 thousand smiles it seems smooth now.
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Cookie
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PostSubject: Re: Variator wear   Variator wear I_icon_minitimeThu 20 Aug 2015, 04:34

It would be lovely to be able to simply put new parts in but these parts are phenomenally expensive in the UK. I just priced up the parts that the original poster replaced and they come to £251 or $392 at todays exchange rate!
Replacing them has to be a last resort. Has anyone managed to 'dress' the faces of the old parts?
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tinman
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PostSubject: Re: Variator wear   Variator wear I_icon_minitimeThu 20 Aug 2015, 06:35

My variator made a grove at 30 k kl the light came  on and stayed on .Now I have 53 k kl on the new variator and no sighs of grooving.
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DaveR
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PostSubject: Re: Variator wear   Variator wear I_icon_minitimeThu 20 Aug 2015, 13:09

My parts as I recall were about 138 u.s. dollars. And yes, it is nice to be able to replace them. My 2005 is a great piece of equipment. Rode it 225 smiles yesterday had a great rides as the weather was cool and nice day in Western Nebraska.
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Greysilver
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PostSubject: Re: Variator wear   Variator wear I_icon_minitimeThu 20 Aug 2015, 14:00

This is a great, informative site for sure. TOP is a 2011 and box stock running gear. I don't know what a pulley or sliders are. I am completely happy with the stock performance.

I will share, my rpm at 76 mph is 6000. It seems a little high but I do not detect any strain. That is about 3/4 throttle. I know my 70 to 90 acceleration is brisk and steady. MPG at 75 is at 53, a little better at 65. This is just for comparison I'm not blowin' and crowin'.

If I could manage 5600rpm at 76mph I would consider the necessary changes.

(I am aware of the need for a third cylinder, 2 atmosphere blower with inter cool refrigeration and a Coffman starter Wink Shocked Smile ).
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