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ddialogue

WOODRUFF KEY takes it's next victim...

15 posts in this topic

Well, this was quite the anniversary present! I have had my bike ONE YEAR TODAY and in celebration of it's first birthday, the woodruff key fails. Happy, happy, joy, joy.

I logged 2600+ miles in 2003 on my WR450 with NO problems. I didn't have the TSB performed and thought I was one of the lucky ones to not have the woodruff key failure. Well, it happened to me today and I was SHOCKED! Unloaded the bike and went to start it and it just wouldn't go. A couple of pops, sputters and the kicker starter was kicking back and then nothing. The starter was just spinning and I knew I had become an official victim. Took the bike apart at the parking area and called a buddy who was coming out later to pick up a new key at the Yami shop on his way out. Replaced the key, torqued it to spec and put 20 miles on it with no issues.

When I pulled the cover, the flywheel nut was about ready to fall off. I think this failure is my fault and I'll tell you why. When I pushed the flywheel onto the crank, I really had to pull hard to get it back off. So, I believe I have well-matched mating surfaces on the crank and the flywheel. The bike is jetted well and hasn't back-fired since I have owned it. What I have neglected to do is check the torque on the flywheel nut at regular intervals and I believe that had I checked it on a regular basis, I could have avoided this. Should I have to do this? I don't think so but with the shady history of the 03's and the flywheels I guess I will make this a monthly ritual from now on.

Will the 04 upgrade parts help this issue? I'm not sure but I will definitely mull it over. I will tell you this, though...I will be packing several spare woodruff keys in my fanny pack so I can fix it trailside. :)

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Sorry to hear that Dave. :D Do you really think the nut backed off or the backfire may have stressed the taper fit and loosened? I was with you up until recently on upgrading or not. It just made sense that if Yamaha took the time to redesign it for the 04 which is mostly identical to the 03 that we would be wise to do so. I am starting to think that the 04 upgrade is an absolute must for all 03's. :)

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Well, this has me spooked. I have about 800 miles and I thought I was out of the woods. I'll be ordering some parts soon. In the mean time, I went out to check the rotor nut torque. How do you keep the engine from turning? I know there is a place to grab the rotor if the case is off, but I'm sure I saw a posing on how to do this without taking the cover off. Thanks

robert

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I am told that you can put the bike in 4th or 5th gear and it will hold enough for you to torque it. Unfortunately for me, that technique doesn't work because I have an auto-clutch installed.

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Good one Dave, I never thought there were downsides to the autoclutch other than not being able to stop it when you cant make it up a steep hill climb and it starts to roll back. But this issue seems like it makes it difficult to fix on the trail? Let us know how you solve this without taking off the clutch. :)

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Tightening it without taking the ignition cover off would be impossible for me. If (when?) I have to take it off again on the trail to fix it, I have all the necessary tools in my fanny pack. The only thing I didn't have (but will from now on) are spare woodruff keys and a 17mm socket for the flywheel nut. I'm just hoping I'll get more good life out of it while I'm saving up for the 04 parts. Here's to hoping for another 2600 trouble-free miles... :):D

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Hey guys I'am in the process of having that bushing made to go in the side case. I'am going by the dimensions that INDY WR450 gave me, so don't order a new side case until we make sure this works. They should only cost a few dollars, that a lot better than $90.00 for a new case.

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Hey thanks for the heads up. I will check mine before the next ride. The other thing I did was mark the crank and flywheel nut with a center punch. That way I can see if the nut is backing off.

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Hey guys I'am in the process of having that bushing made to go in the side case. I'am going by the dimensions that INDY WR450 gave me, so don't order a new side case until we make sure this works. They should only cost a few dollars, that a lot better than $90.00 for a new case.

YamahaRichey,

Once you have that bushing made and have verified that it's all good...would it be too much trouble and expense to have the machine shop guy build a few more?

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The other thing I did was mark the crank and flywheel nut with a center punch. That way I can see if the nut is backing off.

Bean329,

That's an excellent idea! :)

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This is not a major problem with UK bikes. It's weird, you would expect the same problem accross the globe.

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Dave,

Bum Hair! That sucks. I was hedging on whether or not I want to go through the hassle of upgrading to the '04 parts, but now that sounds like it may be mandatory rather

than optional. However, I'm not convinved the starter gear

assembly is the only problem. I have a feeling it exacerbates an insufficient crank/rotor taper that is borderline so it may or may not really "fix" it and that's a lotta coin to throw on a "maybe".

Time will tell I guess.

Later,

Jeff

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Ddialogue, thats what I'am talking about is having my guy make as many bushings as we need, I will send one to any TT'er that wants one for my cost which like I said shouldn't cost more than a few bucks. also I have been doing the same thing that you talked about, that is I carry a extra woodruff key and the and socket in my fanny pack, I leave the bigger closed end wrench that holds the flywheel in my gear bag, thinking I can send someone back for that, cause I usually don't ride alone. BUT!, I have been carrying a 24mm for the holding nut on the flywheel and a 14mm for the nut that you tighten down. Have I got the sizes wrong?

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24mm sounds right for the holding nut on the flywheel but the securing nut is definitely a 17mm. Heck, I'm already packing a suitcase for a fanny pack (MSR Dual-Sport pack) so I can easily throw in a 24mm boxend wrench for the repair. :)

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