Installed new clutch, now won't engage.

6 replies to this topic
  • Azriel_strife

Posted April 28, 2015 - 06:22 PM


Hi everyone, i'm new to the forum, did some searching but nothing to cover my issue.

I just pilled out a carbon clutch of some type from my bike, i hated it, grabby, impossible to start smooth, stalled the bike all the time, very inconsistent.

Anyway, i just dropped in a tusk clutch kit for the bike, the job itself was a breeze, but i have run into an issue i cant get past. my bike didn't have the little ball bearing in the push rod when I replaced the clutch that was in there, but it was working even though the cable was adjusted to the max. The bike has a 444cc big bore kit installed from weisco, and a forged bottom end as well, but i'm not sure the make, i bought it this way.

I decided to install a ball bearing in the clutch that i had on hand. I felt was the appropriate size, its a perfect fit inside the push rod. and from what i can see in a couple videos on youtube, its approximately the right size. I also have a smaller one i could use, but neither of them work because the clutch will not engage with either of the ball bearings that i have, i know for sure one of them is even smaller than the stock one.

if i don't use a ball bearing the clutch will not disengage even when the cable is adjusted up all the way. so it defentitely needs some sort of spacer or bearing in there. I even tried disconnecting the cable completely to remove it as the problem, still no dice. i could use a very small ball bearing, but from what i have seen the bearing should fit snugly in the hole in the push rod. getting frustrated here as i cant ride the bike till i figure it out obviously.

Can anyone point me in the right direction? thank you in advance.


  • Krannie McKranface

Posted April 28, 2015 - 06:56 PM


Just put it back to factory specs with factory parts as shown in the parts diagram exploded view

  • Azriel_strife

Posted April 28, 2015 - 08:00 PM


it wont work with factory parts, if i put any sort of ball bearing or spacer in the push rod the clutch wont engage. something is out of wack and i dont know what it is.

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  • Just_a_trail_rider

Posted April 28, 2015 - 10:30 PM


it wont work with factory parts, if i put any sort of ball bearing or spacer in the push rod the clutch wont engage. something is out of wack and i dont know what it is.

The WR-s need the ball bearing.   


Wait... is it that the clutch won't engage, or is it that the clutch won't disengage.    


Its possible that your cable is way too tight.  Take all of tension off of the clutch cable.  As a matter of fact, completely remove the cable from the actuator arm just to see that the clutch plates will grab.     


Definitely check the cable.  If the old clutch was worn, its possible that the cable was adjusted to compensate, which would give you problems when replacing all the plates.


I didn't have good success with Tusk plates in my wr when I had it.  They swelled and cooled so much that I was always using the barrel adjuster.  You experience may vary.

Edited by mauricedorris, April 28, 2015 - 10:31 PM.

  • Azriel_strife

Posted April 29, 2015 - 06:57 AM


it wont engage with the ball bearing, as i said in my first post. and it won't disengage without it. And I also removed the cable already, I'm reasonably sure I said this in the first post. (not being rude, just frustrating to answer questions I already answered)

The clutch doesn't have enough throw to disengage without, and won't close enough to engage with the bearing.

  • grayracer513

Posted April 29, 2015 - 02:05 PM


If you have a 444 kit, it was not a WR450, and that more than likely means that the bike was built without the central ball bearing in the clutch push rod stack.  Later models that do use it have a different short push rod under the pressure plate to accommodate the ball.   You cannot just add the ball to the two-piece setup, as you have discovered. 


So that leaves you with a clutch that doesn't want to disengage.  This is actually pretty typical of low cost aftermarket clutch kits.  They are made of different friction materials and sized to be a broader fit across a wider range of applications, rather than precisely to the specs of a certain model.  The linings also tend to be "spongy", especially the Tusk clutches.  Reduce the free play to a minimum and take it out and ride it for an hour.  It may well improve to an acceptable degree. 


All in all, OEM clutch plates are always the best choice for 98% of all YZ/WR's.

  • Azriel_strife

Posted April 29, 2015 - 06:37 PM


Well it appears the previous owner didn't buy the right clutch cable. went and got a wr400 specific one and it works like a charm.

Thank you though for that tidbit of info about the 400 not having the ball bearing. that lead me to believe it was the cable being the wrong length that was the issue since my clutch was assembled correctly, also my clutch doesn't drag anymore!

This bike has a 426 clyinder bored out to handle the piston, and some manner of forged bottom end, also has hotcams with auto decomp, head porting, diamond valves, the guy really went all out on the build. hopefully it will have lots of life left, only about 10 hours on the engine rebuild.


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