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'84 XR 250, No third gear when hot

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When the engine gets warm after extended riding, it becomes really difficult to shift into third gear, have to double clutch etc. Besides being annoying, this has lead to some near crashes. I've done some research and the XR 350 of the same vintage has had this problem, even when new, but I've never found any info on why it happens or if there is a fix for it. Mine is a low hour bike in fantastic condition, so I doubt that it's due to wear in the clutch or tranny. Anybody else have this problem?

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I'd check the clutch out anyway. May be just worn out springs. They are 20 years old after all. A set of Barnett HD springs run <$10.

Also could be too much cable slack

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check your shifter shaft, and shifter star also, but it sounds like clutch, because you siad it happens when its hot, that and try some mobil 1 15w 50

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The oil you suggested is what I run. Guess I'll take a look at the clutch springs and shift star. I doubt the springs are sacked. When I bought this bike it looked like it belonged in a museum (read: brand new). But, like you said, they are 20+ years old. The cable is adjusted properly and it shifts smoothly through all the gears unless it gets hot. Makes me think it's not the shift star, no popping out of gear or missed shifts except for third.

Thanks for the suggestions. :thumbsup:

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From the sounds of it, I think it's the springs. "When Hot" could mean that when hot the springs get weak, maybe then allowing the clutch to slip? :thumbsup: I don't know why it would do it only in 3rd though.

Ya, I'd check the shift star and I'd throw in some new springs since you're in there. I don't remeber if this has been mentioned but check the tightness on your shift lever. Again, I don't think It would have anything to do with it but you never know.

Let us know what you find.

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ok heres a good way to check for your springs.. get it good and hot to the point it doesnt shift

then shut it off and put it in third gear, then try rolling it with the clutch pulled in, if it rolls smoothly, then its not clutch related, if it has a hard time rolling, or even turns the engine over, the springs are toast.. after a long time springs loose their tension and get soft.. it could even be warped clutch plates.. but i would try springs first, they are cheap

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when it is good and hot-does it want to creep forward in 1st gear when the clutch is pulled in?

my xr400 clutch had no measureable wear on the fiber or steel plates. the steel plates were flat when placed on a surface plate- but when hot things got hard to shift.

I examined the steel plates carefully and noticed shiny spots which corresponded to the notches on the plates . the plates would deform when hot- and cause the clutch not to fully release.

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Since i can get a new clutch and springs for about $45, I think I'll probably go that route. Might as well do it all while it's apart. I'd hate to replace just the springs only to find out the clutch plates were the problem.

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