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1998 RM250 clutch replacement... questions...

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I just got a '98 RM250. We took it to an offroad park today and found that the clutch seems to be in dire need of replacement...

I am new to bike mechanics, but have worked on cars/trucks for years.

I am really not sure where to start. Can someone give me some direction? I will be installing a new cable (due to age) but doubt that will fix my overall problem. I definitely notice the clutch slipping and the other odd thing is that the clutch lever doesn't completely let the clutch disengage. I kept stalling the motor even when the clutch lever was pulled all the way in.

ANYWAY: I see these $100 or so clutch kits on ebay - I also see clutch baskets... How do I know what I need? Is this a simple replacement process?

ANY HELP would be greatly appreciate - I just need to know where to start.

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Welcome and congrats on your purchase!

Clutches are pretty easy to replace. All you will need are some basic hand tools. If you don't have a manual for the bike spend a little and get one - you will thank yourself repeatedly.

IMO, don't go with the cheap eBay kits. Invest in some quality components and the clutch will last a lot longer.

The best route to take is to take the side cover off, remove the clutch plates, inspect them and the basket. Then decide which parts you need. Post up pictures of what you find and we can help you decide.

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1 Get yourself a Clymer Manual.

2 Check your clutch basket while it is apart and see if it is grooved badly. If so, you may be able to file the grooves down. However, this can only be done like once or maybe twice before you need to replace the basket.

EBC makes good clutch kits and you can get them cheap at TT store or other places.

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Can I take the cover off w/o draining the case? Will I need a new gasket if I open it?

I am trying to assess what I will need, but can't afford to actually do it right now.

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If you cannot afford to maintain your bike properly, sell it to someone who can.

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Can I take the cover off w/o draining the case? Will I need a new gasket if I open it?

I am trying to assess what I will need, but can't afford to actually do it right now.

You'll have to drain the oil and remove the cover to get to the clutch. A new gasket is required, but is not expensive.

If the clutch isn't working properly you need to take a look at it.

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ATF-F might solve the grabbiness as in another thread. If you haven't worked on bikes before, 'taking it apart and looking at' is really going to do you not much good except if the basket is grooved and you have broken plates or something obvious. It's a 98 and if you don't know when it was last replaced and ATF-F doesn't solve it, just get an all new clutch kit and then you'll never have to worry about it again and I like the idea in the other thread of using a KDX250 clutch kit because unless it already has hinson or something high end in it, it won't take much to have more in the clutch than what you may have paid for the bike in the first place!

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Can I take the cover off w/o draining the case? Will I need a new gasket if I open it?

I am trying to assess what I will need, but can't afford to actually do it right now.

You can take the cover off without draining the oil, but you have to lay the bike on its side to do so and it only works if there is a secondary clutch cover that only gives you access to the clutch and basket. You may or maynot need a new gasket, but like UA said, they are cheap.

You can get a Turner clutch kit for around $65, but I don't know if they are available at the TT store.

If you cannot afford to maintain your bike properly, sell it to someone who can.

Ignore this comment.

Fix what you can, maintain what you can afford. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

ATF-F might solve the grabbiness as in another thread. If you haven't worked on bikes before, 'taking it apart and looking at' is really going to do you not much good except if the basket is grooved and you have broken plates or something obvious. It's a 98 and if you don't know when it was last replaced and ATF-F doesn't solve it, just get an all new clutch kit and then you'll never have to worry about it again and I like the idea in the other thread of using a KDX250 clutch kit because unless it already has hinson or something high end in it, it won't take much to have more in the clutch than what you may have paid for the bike in the first place!

ATF is a decent band-aid, but won't totally fix your problem if at all. I know alot of guys use atf in there trannies and love it, but I am inclined to disagree with the magic healing properties of ATF and worn clutches.

Post some pics of your basket and hub. We can give you a better idea of what you need.

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If you haven't worked on bikes before, 'taking it apart and looking at' is really going to do you not much good except if the basket is grooved and you have broken plates or something obvious.

As mentioned previously, if he will take pictures of the components the various folks here can help him decide how to deal with it. :)

Rule #1 with a bike: get a manual for it. The manual will tell you how to do the maintenance, what tolerances are allowed, torque values, etc.

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I was here checking out the RM's thinking about picking up a 97...I had a 2005 YZ 250 last year but had to sell it...stuff happens. I also went through several clutch issues some of it was my fault.:banghead: More than I can repeat without hours of typing you could search my username and look it up. I can say though a manual is the very first thing you should buy period.:) I would also suggest laying the bike on its side and inspecting the clutch. It won't hurt anything to take it apart and put it back together. Look over the basket and plates to check for warpage and grooves. This is where the book comes in handy with specs on wear tolerences. The more you work on your bike the more comfortable you will be. Take your time and don't lose anything. Also I discovered that it is not good to have bolts left over when you are done. :banghead:

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I ordered a clutch kit and new clutch cable today. I am hoping for, but not expecting that the clutch basket is in decent shape...

Question tho - Do the clutch kits come with the gasket? I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere. Any ideas where I can get JUST that gasket?

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If you cannot afford to maintain your bike properly, sell it to someone who can.

A very helpful comment

Plenty of riders (me included) don't have a heap of cash to be throwing at their beloved bikes (thats maybe why we're riding old 2 strokes?) and just want to keep them going with the minimum outlay required. It certainly isn't not maintaining your bike if you want to have a look at it first and find out how much you're gonna be up for, just good sense IMO :thumbsup:

Anyway, I know its all been said above and you have now ordered parts but you should be able to lay the bike over on its side and pull the clutch cover (being careful with gasket) without loosing your oil, remove clutch plates as an assembly, noting order and pattern you took them out in.

Now you can look at friction plates for wear and steel plates for distortion (I use a glass pane and feeler gauges to check this), see if any grooves are worn in the basket the plates were seated in, carefully file any grooves flat while trying to keep filings out of engine!!

You can check against specs in manual to find what parts are serviceable and what you should replace.

The other option (mandark's way :usa: ) is to buy all new plates (as you have done), take old ones out file the basket if needed (or buy a new one if money is no object) and put new plates in, re-tension cable.

Job done!! It is easier but there's nothing wrong with taking a look first.

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I'm in the same boat as you are. What is this ATF-F oil everyone is talking about? Whats the difference between it then normal oils? I wish you luck though.

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why lay the bike over on its side???? are we going to flip it over on the seat and bars like a bicycle next?? oil is like $7.00 a quart for good stuff and thats a standard first procedure when you buy a used bike!! Check the oil air filter before you ever ride it but its to late for that i would always test ride but expect to replace the top end soon. and no you dont need a new seal to inspect the cluch on a 98 it has a o-ring in the cover and its good for a few changes or you can use ultra black RTV cylicone to seal it back up but just pull the cover and take off all the spring tension botls there will be 6 of them then pull off the front plate and check the clutch out i would repalce it with a kevlar or carbon fiber cluch kit and second look at teh basket and make sure tis in good condition if you have to replace it get a hinson or wiesco it will last alot longer and will pay for it self in no time:thumbsup: its easy to do the work if you have any mechanical skills at all your safe just remember how it all came apart and your good as new, good luck with the bike and if you have any questions just post up some pictures and it will get taken care of hear lots of good people and good mechanics.:thumbsup:

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why lay the bike over on its side???? are we going to flip it over on the seat and bars like a bicycle next??

You know there is an oil drain plug, you don't have to flip over and drain thru filler cap :thumbsup:

Can I take the cover off w/o draining the case?

I was simply answering his question. It is a fairly common exercise if oil change isn't required or you just want a quick look.

Each to their own.

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Thats Understandable, But With A New Bike I Would Drain The Oil And Check The Air Filter Before I Ever Didi Any Hard Riding Becouse We All Know What Can Happen With A Bad Filter And I Allways Put In An Exact Amount Of Oil Then Ride And Drain It To Check For Leaks Thats All.

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Ive read this whole thread and i see some good advise but this is what i say fix it right the frist time this doesnt mean that you have to go out and blow hundreds of dollars. See what you need and shop around for the best deals main thing is to keep your bike up and running, if your short on money park your bike and save up abit cause if you keep running your bike it could end up costing you more in the long run. Good luck

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Is the oil that expensive or do they not make containers to hold oil where he is working on the bike? Damn! Drain the fluid into a container and then pour it back into the tranny when you are done fixing the clutch.........though I'd never be 'ordering stuff' until you were sure of whether or not it needs a new basket which by the time you find out is going to take another week to decide which one you want and order it and those are generally not cheap.

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I was simply answering his question. It is a fairly common exercise if oil change isn't required or you just want a quick look.

A very common practice even in the pro ranks. I still do it to this day.

I would still pull the cover off and look for bad parts like a clutch basket and the likes. A new basketplates and springs will do wonders if they are all needed. If you need a basket go buy the Moose. It's a Hinson in disguise and $50 cheaper.

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