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XL 250 Clutch wont disengage

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1983 XL 250 R, pre RFVC

Bought the bike mostly complete, with a two broken bosses on the clutch basket. I bought a used clutch basket with everything; plates, basket, pressure plate, springs, etc., with the bosses in tact, and put the bike back together. Started up the bike (hadn't been started in over 8 years), and it ran great, but the clutch would not disengage. I adjusted both ends of the cable all the way out, still did not disengage.

Took it back apart, and found a parts fiche online to show the clutch plate pattern. Found out I was missing one fiber plate, and one metal plate. Added the two plates from the other clutch assembly, and it still does not disengage.

Now, all these clutch plates are used, but have not been used in MANY years. Should I soak these in oil prior to assembly as you would with new plates, or would it even make a difference?

As a side note, the fiche I found for the bike online does not actually match the bike innards. The reason I know this, is that the online fiche shows a pulse generator, but my bike does not have one, and is not supposed to have one, as it starts and runs without one.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks

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Not sure what you mean by 'adjusted both ends of the cable all the way out' but you want to have a small bit of play at the clutch lever (maybe 1/4-1/2 inch at the end of the lever) before it gets stiff when pulling. This bit of play will ensure the clutch is fully engaged when the lever is released.

Yes you want to soak the clutch plates in motor oil for at least 30 minutes prior to assembly, new or used. Get a micrometer and measure the thickness of each friction plate at several places around the ring to make sure each is even in thickness -- if a few are uneven you can stagger the thick portions in opposition positions in the basket but you really would be better off getting new plates if possible. Also, use the micrometer to measure the free lengths of the clutch springs -- if you have two slightly shorter springs and two slightly longer springs, put the matching springs opposite from each other on the pressure plate to even out the pressure (again you'd be better off with new springs if possible).

Hope this helps you.

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What I meant by adjusting both ends all the way out, is that when you put the cable back on, and if you pull it in and nothing happens, that tightening the cable at both ends can make a difference.

I know you want to have a small amount of play, but I wanted to see if adjusting it all the way out would get it to disengage, which it didnt...

I'm going to start soaking the plates tonight, and put them in tomorrow to see if that makes a difference.

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I just bought an XR350L that had not been run since 1998. The clutch would not engage on it either. I ran it up and down the road with the clutch pulled in. It eventually freed up and works like normal now.

Now if I could only get the front caliper to free up...

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