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XR400 clutch won't engage and makes whining noise

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I just replaced my entire clutch on my 1997 XR440 after the clutch lifter pin broke.  I replaced the lifter pin and the lever spring too.  Everything worked fine for about five dirt rides. This morning I fired it up and rode it about 200 feet and then the clutch just disengaged.  Now the bike runs fine in neutral but is soon as I put it in any gear it makes a whining noise and the clutch will not engage. Strange because  when the clutch lifter pin broke, the clutch was always engaged.  Now the clutch won't engage.   Again, it runs fine in neutral  so I don't think the cam chain broke. But any gear makes a whining noise and there's no movement of the bike in any gear.   The clutch lever seems to work  fine and the cable loosens up as I work the clutch  back-and-forth.  Any suggestions? Thx

Edited by tvscum

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Replaced the clutch pack with what........some aftermarket brand or OEM?

Did "entire clutch" include the basket and pressure plate?

What oil are you using?

Did you adjust clutch lever freeplay after installing the new clutch?

Edited by Trailryder42
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1 hour ago, Trailryder42 said:

Replaced the clutch pack with what........some aftermarket brand or OEM?

Did "entire clutch" include the basket and pressure plate?

What oil are you using?

Did you adjust clutch lever freeplay after installing the new clutch?

OEM friction disk and metal plate pack, pressure plate not replaced, new oem center basket, I filed down the outer basket teeth smooth, new oem springs, Maxima Synblend 20w-50 4-stroke oil (been using it for years), clutch free play seems okay and it is definitely releasing enough slack in the cable.

 I suppose I have to take it apart again and check the disk order :-(

Edited by tvscum
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14 minutes ago, notoriousE-R-I-C said:

How are we sure if the cam chains not broken?...

 I'm thinking it wouldn't idle perfectly in neutral if the cam chain were broken 

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36 minutes ago, notoriousE-R-I-C said:

It wouldn't run at all if your cam chain was broken
Did your bike fall on its left side recently? This sounds like another broken paperclip(24624-MT3-000)

 The bike hasn't fallen recently  but it is 20 years old.  Never heard of that paper clip spring, can't seem to find it dicusssed on the forum

Edited by tvscum

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There's totally someone with this same issue within three months in BOTH the xr250/400 as well as xr600/650. Its the same part and happened to them. Its happened to me before too. This effing paperclip that takes ten hours to replace! That's what " motor runs but won't shift into any gear" means to me.
The noise...something's bent or broken. Stethoscope or open up look and measure.
But you saying it ran fine before tells me you put it together right... just withsomething bent or broken by .001mm's that you just can't see. This is why if you're in there, measure. A digi caliper is a tool as important to have as a socket wrench in this game. But don't feel bad. If it is that spring then take a number. Its not only you.IMG_3915.PNG#10

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 OK thanks for the assistance. I'll look around for other riders with the same issue. 

 It starts up in neutral fine. And when I pull in the clutch it feels like it's shifting through all the gears. But as soon as I let the clutch out it whines and the bike does not move in any gear, it just sits and spins.

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3 hours ago, tvscum said:

OEM friction disk and metal plate pack, pressure plate not replaced, new oem center basket, I filed down the outer basket teeth smooth, new oem springs, Maxima Synblend 20w-50 4-stroke oil (been using it for years), clutch free play seems okay and it is definitely releasing enough slack in the cable.

 I suppose I have to take it apart again and check the disk order :-(

As for disc order, you start and end the pack with a disc and the last one gets offset from the previous ones. The previous discs tabs going in the deep notch between the basket fingers. The last discs tabs fit in the shallow notch of the basket fingers themselves.

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So, I checked the lubrication system and all seems good.  I see no metal shavings in the oil.  No burnt smell.  No clutch debris in the oil.  Oil level is correct at the crankcase check bolt hole too.

I removed the clutch cover and the plates are all in the correct order.  This bike was performing and shifting flawlessly on 100 mile rides for a couple months after the clutch was replaced, so am moving on to checking the external shift mechanism as described in the troubleshooting section of my service manual.  This will check the operation of the stopper lever, shift cam and shift shaft.

After that, it will be on to the operation of the shift shaft return spring and and stopper lever spring.  But the manual says to check those springs only if the transmission "overshifts", which it is not doing.

My transmission seems to be shifting fine into all gears.  Just no power the rear tire when in any gear and a whining nose as stated above.  The whining noise stops when I put it back into neutral.

 

Edited by tvscum

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So the clutch is always "pulled in", meaning the crank is delivering power to the clutch, but not through the clutch to the primary tranny shaft (which is meshed with secondary/output tranny shaft). I would pull the clutch off, and see if you can see any scraping/rubbing behind the clutch basket. Something putting pressure on it, "opening" the clutch pack. I forgot to install a washer behind the center basket once, and it caused some funny issues. Not saying that's what has happened, but you need to get in there to see. Possibly broken teeth between crank gear and clutch basket? I'm really curious what your bikes solution is. Let us know.

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His clutch is fineIMG_3938.JPG
This isn't a right side easy access thing. You don't have to pull clutch to see if the detent arm works, just need a partner. Shifting isn't what the clutch does. That's the transmission. If you didn't say...drive without oil or somersault down a mtn causing damage. Than this is your problem. Gotta split cases and go all the way in. Have printed schematics to compare. Gotta pull clutch basket off ifyou gotta go in that deep so you can look there then. But this is shifting issues and this is the easiest to break on the shifter spindle without a major crash or motor blow up
Buy an OEM manual and a gasket/seal set and dive in

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Thanks Eric.  The shift shaft appears to be springing back okay against the shift cam.   However, it's difficult to see the spring you are referring to from the right side.

I made a video.  Can a broken "paperclip" shifter reset spring cause this type of problem?  Take a look at the video.  The transmission main shaft is turning no matter what gear it's in.  Again, thanks for the help!

 

Edited by tvscum

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That video clears up all your issues, you absolutely have to pull the engine and split the cases. Go to RockyMountainATVMC.com, and watch their motorcycle engine case videos. (they're on YouTube as well). You'll need to acquire a case splitter too. Where do you live? I have all the tools, but I'm sure you're quite a ways away.

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splitting the cases ani't as bad as it seams . I had about the same issue on one of my 400's and it was"t the spring but the selector it's self, mine broke a couple of years ago where it had worn almost through on the slide part right under my thumb.post-394290-0-82800100-1409653771_thumb.jpg

post-394290-0-82800100-1409653771_thumb.jpg

Edited by Tryingoutdirt

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The Spring I'm referring to is inside. That is why you cannot see it.
You can see the detent Spring from the right side but yours is fine if you're switching gears. the shifter has a spring inside that's literally a paperclip. Your detent sounds fine. The other spring on that spindle is thicker and wound different. Its that one in the photo.Split the cases man. Even if its not that, that's where your problem is

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Ok, what else should I do while I'm down there?  Top end was completely rebuilt recently including new 440 cylinder and piston, oem valves, etc.

 

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