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What happened to my clutch?

1171 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  realshelby
Hi everyone,

I bought this "fixer upper" to put nicely last summer from someone who had in my estimation just ridden the poor thing for the last 50000km without any major repairs or maintenances. The bike has 160000 miles on the odometer so i spent most of July and august fixing everything i could think of. I sacrificed most of the riding season just to have the bike in mostly working order and i must admit i like tinkering with the bike and learning bike maintenance along the way.

Then the clutch broke.
I was just about to leave the yard and suddenly i could not get the clutch to disengage.
I thought that great, now the clutch is totaled on top of everything else and bought new clutch set.

When i opened the clutch cover this is what i saw.
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Sorry for the potato quality but you can see the issue, the outermost plate has somehow gotten out of the basket.

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And here in the next picture you can see what it did to the clutch cover.

So can you help me with what on earth caused this and what do i need to do before i dare to start the engine.
I already replaced the clutch set and i was thinking if i should check the push rod and and cylinder.
The only thing i have done that relates to the clutch before this happened was that i replaced the clutch fluid.
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The push rod has pushed too far and the outer plate is no longer aligned, I have heard of this happening a few times.
 

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Typically caused when you do maintenance on the clutch slave cylinder or thereabouts (other side of the bike) and remount the slave cylinder without releasing the hydraulic pressure (loosening the handlebar tie). This then pushes too hard/far on the push rod like mentioned above.

When you remount the slave cylinder, always remove hydraulic pressure, and wiggle the cylinder in place by hand until it sits flush against the casing. Only then insert and do up the bolts.
 

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Well there was no need to replace the clutch set ... are you meaning the friction plates?

All you need to do is get the outermost plate (under the pressure plate) to engage the short slots:
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Check the service manual, it defines which plates go into which slots!

When you mount the slave cylinder make sure that the push pin is not under pressure or else you end up with the same problem again. If it happens, normally you can coach the plate into position carefully with a screwdriver through the oil fill opening.

The abrasions will come out with the next oil change, I would not worry about them, especially since it is aluminum that should not cause any serious issues. If you want to be extra careful, change the oil.

Next time you are at a maintenance impasse post question and pictures before you proceed with fixing it. Almost nothing is happening for the first time and most of the time someone knows what needs done to fix the impasse .

Good Luck!
 

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FWIW: The clutch springs failed on my high-miler before any of the clutch plates. I doubt many owners will EVER need to replace plates.

And, yeah, assuming the plates are assembled in the right order, just get that plate engaged and you should be good to go. No biggee.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the help everyone!

I had already replaced the whole clutch assembly plates and springs, I guess i now have a spare set...

But because people were talking about this being caused by improperly installing the slave cylinder i popped it out and i guess the next step is to replace the push rod oil seal and the drive shaft oil seal. At least i now know where my oil keeps going :D

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After i cleaned everything and put it all back together the clutch feels amazing!
 

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Why do you want to replace those 2 oil seals unless you have proven that they leak?

Clean everything, maybe replace the pushrod and likely replace the slave cylinder, unless its still in good order. Then consider to add a pushrod protector: Clutch Seal Saver
 
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