Clutch problem after engine work


18 replies to this topic
  • Helithumper

Posted September 08, 2005 - 06:45 AM

#1

Need some advice from the maintenance gods. Blew my starter stop on an '03 WR450. Had the shop split my case, had it welded, and shop reassembled the whole mess. Took it out last night for a quick ride, about 1 mile in the clutch lever would flop with no tension. Turned the bike around and coasted downhill with the motor running in neutral. About 1/2 mile down the clutch came back so I rode up a dirt road for 3 miles when it happened again. Turned around and headed for the truck but this time it never came back.

So ????

Obviously I'm taking it back to the shop but wanted some knowlege before they try to BS me.

Thanks for any help.
Dave

  • Frostbite

Posted September 08, 2005 - 08:17 AM

#2

2 things come to mind
1 - when the clutch gets hot the plates swell which throws your clutch lever/cable out of adjustment - did you notice any overheating? When my bike gets hot in tight riding or stuck in mud, I gain play at the lever and have to spin the adjuster out to compensate. Then when the bike cools down a bit I have to readjust to get a bit of freeplay back at the lever. If the clutch pushrod has not been assembled correctly the hot clutch is more of a problem since there isn't enough adjustment in the cable adjuster to compensate. In this case your lever goes loose, like yours, instead of just gaining some freeplay. This is problem 2.

2 - On some models there is a ball bearing that goes in with the clutch pushrod and some service manuals don't show or list it. My WR 400 manual does not show the ball but it is there. It is possible to reassemble and adjust the clutch without the ball, but the arm on top of the engine ends up being moved quite a bit to take up the slack. Due to the angle it sits at it has less mechanical advantage when you pull the clutch lever in. In simple terms, when the arm is in the proper position and you pull the clutch lever in it seperates the clutch plates by a certain amount. In the position it sits without the ball installed, it can't seperate the plates as much even though the lever moves the same distance.
You'd notice a hot swelled clutch more. In the proper position you'd feel a bit more play in the clutch lever when the clutch starts to overheat. On an improperly installed setup the hot clutch would overcome the limited pushrod travel distance.
When your lever flopped, the clutch was still working right? It wasn't slipping?

When you coasted down the hill the clutch probably cooled and freeplay returned to normal. Riding back to the truck the 2nd time the clutch may not have cooled or if it got hot enough it may have warped the plates which would explain why it didn't come back the second time. When the engine cooled, did the lever play feel normal?

  • Helithumper

Posted September 08, 2005 - 08:47 AM

#3

After sitting in the trailer overnight I still have no tension on the lever. It appears not to be engaged and I didn't get the burned clutch smell at all. Pulling up to the truck the clutch had no effect and while trying to stomp the bike into neutral it stalled out. The "flopping" lever is in reference to the fact that it would move in and out with a corresponding movement in the lever on the case but there is no tension felt and it was not engaging. I can even move the lever on the case by hand without much effort. Don't think I should be able to do that.
Didn't notice any overheating on the ride. Oil level good, coolant level good.
Initially I did mess with the adjustment (full out and full in) but that had no effect on the problem.
I know for a fact that this one has the ball bearing (saw it) but rather it was assembled right I was not there to verify.
Thanks for the lesson in clutch operation :banghead: , I appreciate the help.
Dave

  • Frostbite

Posted September 08, 2005 - 09:20 AM

#4

Another remote possibility is that you shattered one or more fiber plates. That has happened to me a couple of times and the broken pieces take up the slack in the clutch pack and the lever is inneffective.
I'm pretty sure mine was caused by the plates hanging up in notches on the basket fingers.
I filed the notches smooth a few times and the plates lasted a while, but eventually the notches wore in again and broke more plates. Finally the basket disintegrated and I replaced it with a Hinson. No trouble so far.

  • Helithumper

Posted September 08, 2005 - 09:31 AM

#5

Nice pic!
This will give me enough info to get some warrantee work, I hope. I want to be there to see what's wrong when they pull the cover.
Thanks again,

Dave

  • Frostbite

Posted September 08, 2005 - 09:59 AM

#6

Let us know what they find.

  • Helithumper

Posted September 08, 2005 - 06:45 AM

#7

Need some advice from the maintenance gods. Blew my starter stop on an '03 WR450. Had the shop split my case, had it welded, and shop reassembled the whole mess. Took it out last night for a quick ride, about 1 mile in the clutch lever would flop with no tension. Turned the bike around and coasted downhill with the motor running in neutral. About 1/2 mile down the clutch came back so I rode up a dirt road for 3 miles when it happened again. Turned around and headed for the truck but this time it never came back.

So ????

Obviously I'm taking it back to the shop but wanted some knowlege before they try to BS me.

Thanks for any help.
Dave

  • Frostbite

Posted September 08, 2005 - 08:17 AM

#8

2 things come to mind
1 - when the clutch gets hot the plates swell which throws your clutch lever/cable out of adjustment - did you notice any overheating? When my bike gets hot in tight riding or stuck in mud, I gain play at the lever and have to spin the adjuster out to compensate. Then when the bike cools down a bit I have to readjust to get a bit of freeplay back at the lever. If the clutch pushrod has not been assembled correctly the hot clutch is more of a problem since there isn't enough adjustment in the cable adjuster to compensate. In this case your lever goes loose, like yours, instead of just gaining some freeplay. This is problem 2.

2 - On some models there is a ball bearing that goes in with the clutch pushrod and some service manuals don't show or list it. My WR 400 manual does not show the ball but it is there. It is possible to reassemble and adjust the clutch without the ball, but the arm on top of the engine ends up being moved quite a bit to take up the slack. Due to the angle it sits at it has less mechanical advantage when you pull the clutch lever in. In simple terms, when the arm is in the proper position and you pull the clutch lever in it seperates the clutch plates by a certain amount. In the position it sits without the ball installed, it can't seperate the plates as much even though the lever moves the same distance.
You'd notice a hot swelled clutch more. In the proper position you'd feel a bit more play in the clutch lever when the clutch starts to overheat. On an improperly installed setup the hot clutch would overcome the limited pushrod travel distance.
When your lever flopped, the clutch was still working right? It wasn't slipping?

When you coasted down the hill the clutch probably cooled and freeplay returned to normal. Riding back to the truck the 2nd time the clutch may not have cooled or if it got hot enough it may have warped the plates which would explain why it didn't come back the second time. When the engine cooled, did the lever play feel normal?

  • Helithumper

Posted September 08, 2005 - 08:47 AM

#9

After sitting in the trailer overnight I still have no tension on the lever. It appears not to be engaged and I didn't get the burned clutch smell at all. Pulling up to the truck the clutch had no effect and while trying to stomp the bike into neutral it stalled out. The "flopping" lever is in reference to the fact that it would move in and out with a corresponding movement in the lever on the case but there is no tension felt and it was not engaging. I can even move the lever on the case by hand without much effort. Don't think I should be able to do that.
Didn't notice any overheating on the ride. Oil level good, coolant level good.
Initially I did mess with the adjustment (full out and full in) but that had no effect on the problem.
I know for a fact that this one has the ball bearing (saw it) but rather it was assembled right I was not there to verify.
Thanks for the lesson in clutch operation :banghead: , I appreciate the help.
Dave

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  • Frostbite

Posted September 08, 2005 - 09:20 AM

#10

Another remote possibility is that you shattered one or more fiber plates. That has happened to me a couple of times and the broken pieces take up the slack in the clutch pack and the lever is inneffective.
I'm pretty sure mine was caused by the plates hanging up in notches on the basket fingers.
I filed the notches smooth a few times and the plates lasted a while, but eventually the notches wore in again and broke more plates. Finally the basket disintegrated and I replaced it with a Hinson. No trouble so far.

  • Helithumper

Posted September 08, 2005 - 09:31 AM

#11

Nice pic!
This will give me enough info to get some warrantee work, I hope. I want to be there to see what's wrong when they pull the cover.
Thanks again,

Dave

  • Frostbite

Posted September 08, 2005 - 09:59 AM

#12

Let us know what they find.

  • Helithumper

Posted September 08, 2005 - 06:36 PM

#13

Hey Frostbite this was a no brainer!!! Shop pulled the cover and guess what..... Forgot to bend the tang on the keeper that holds the torque on the main clutch basket nut. Nut loosens up and the clutch cannot take up enough of the slack. Very appologetic mechanic!
Thanks for all your help.
Dave

  • Frostbite

Posted September 09, 2005 - 05:02 AM

#14

Hey Frostbite this was a no brainer!!! Shop pulled the cover and guess what..... Forgot to bend the tang on the keeper that holds the torque on the main clutch basket nut. Nut loosens up and the clutch cannot take up enough of the slack. Very appologetic mechanic!
Thanks for all your help.
Dave


Don't like it...to simple...to clear cut.

Just kidding, looks like I waaay overthought that one!
Thanks for letting us know.

  • SXP

Posted September 09, 2005 - 05:59 AM

#15

My WR 400 manual does not show the ball but it is there.


I have two 99 WR400s and have rebuilt them both. I just tore the motor apart on my second WR400 to install a 444 kit and Rekluse. No ball bearing came out of this sucker and it was bone stock and never been worked on prior to the tear-down. The Rekluse kit, however, includes a single ball bearing for the throw-out rod (or is it push rod?). Also, I don't recall a ball bearing in the clutch mechanism when I rebuilt my first WR400!!

  • Frostbite

Posted September 09, 2005 - 06:30 AM

#16

I guess it's possible that they changed the design 1/2 way through production and some have and some don't. I went to a Yamaha shop and they found the ball in a fische slide, but I don't remember if it was a 99 they were looking at. What I do know is that my clutch lever action is much better with the ball.
I bought my 99 new and no one has been in it but me and it had a ball at the end of the pushrod. It's easy to miss when you're pulling things apart and mine fell out while I was working on the clutch the 1st time, trhat's how I found it. I did forget to put it in once too. I realized the mistake when the clutch cable adjustment was suddenly out of whack and I had to max out the adjusters.
The arm on the engine is connected to a round shaft that drops into the engine with a flat spot machined into it- the flat spot pushes on the pushrod mechanism. Without the ball installed, the arm must be adjusted to take up the slack and sits at an angle instead of flat with the end of the pushrod. Now the round shaft is already 1/2 way through it's effective movement so you don't get as much action when you pull the lever in.

  • SXP

Posted September 09, 2005 - 09:35 AM

#17

The arm on the engine is connected to a round shaft that drops into the engine with a flat spot machined into it- the flat spot pushes on the pushrod mechanism.


I do recall the edge of the flat spot on the arm on both bikes has been rounded off quite a bit. Perhaps, as you suggest, from being cocked at an angle when it comes into contact with the push rod due to the slop created by the missing bearing and hence engaging the push rod at an angle. Maybe the ball bearing snugs the rod back against the arm. It's all begining to make sense.......good piece of info - thanks! You wouldn't happen to have a P/N for it, would you? I'd be interested in retrofitting the non-Reklused bike with the bearing.

  • Helithumper

Posted September 09, 2005 - 09:45 AM

#18

Can't find it for your bike but here is for the 03 WR450. Item 18

http://www.ronayers....20&parent=31610

BALL 11/32

Part Number: 93511-32027-00
Description: BALL 11/32
Price: $1.07
Source: YAMAHA

  • SXP

Posted September 09, 2005 - 10:28 AM

#19

Can't find it for your bike but here is for the 03 WR450. Item 18

http://www.ronayers....20&parent=31610

BALL 11/32

Part Number: 93511-32027-00
Description: BALL 11/32
Price: $1.07
Source: YAMAHA


Thanks! :banghead:




 
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