Tusk Clutch in my 99' YZ400, need some help

I just bought a tusk clutch kit with heavy duty springs from rocky mountain ATV/MC I got a great deal on it I did a lot of research before I bought it to make sure I wasn't getting just pure crap. I know everyone has their opinions regarding different clutches, please keep them to yourself for this thread as I am needing to know how to shim the clutch to get it to operate properly..

I compared the stack heights to the one installed in the bike which was SMOKED and can not be reused. The tusk clutch is a tiny bit thicker overall but it is also brand new and has never been compressed.

With everything re-installed the clutch lever does nothing, I somehow need to either shim the cable away from the pirch or shim the end of the washer that pushes out the prreasure plate or.. shim the slave cylender... If anyone has ever ran into this scenario your advise would be most appreciated!

I want to try and do this as close to perfect as possible. Money is very tight so this clutch was my best option, it's here and it's in the bike so please please dont tell me to go buy something else.


The clutch is never shimmed. You probably assembled something incorrectly to cause the pressure plate to be too far out, or you don't have part of the release arm/push rod assembly right.

Hey grey,

The overall stack hieght on the tusk clutch compared to the one that was in the bike is about a mm taller. The issue is that when you pull the clutch lever with everything in place the clutch actuator that pushes the preasure plate away from the friction plates doesn't have enough reach with the new stack height.

I put a small washer on the inside of the little actuator that attaches to the rod that goes through the center of the clutch. This got everything almost perfect and the clutch is properly engaging and disengaging without having to do any major adjustments to the cable.

Is it possible to adjust the linkage where the clutch cable meets the case? Forgive my ignorance here I dont know exactly what that part is called but its the little arm that goes down into the case that pushes the rod which pushes the preasure plate away from the clutches.

I found a couple older archiived TT threads about tusk clutches and having to shim the slave cylendar but they weren't specific in the process. I think it might be possible to just adjust the clutch to work properly without having to have the little washer (shim) that I put in but with my knowledge I'm not sure how and the service manual just shows how to adjust the cable not the mechanical parts of the clutch.

YZF's don't have slave cylinders because they don't have hydraulic clutches unless they were added aftermarket.

You should be able to adjust the cable free play using the adjuster at the lower end of the cable. I do not recommend you run with the added "shim" in the release bearing assembly.

Did you lose the ball that went at the end of the rod?

I must have but I dont see one in this diagram. It does look like the end of the push rod and the inside of the bearing post thingy have rounded surfaces that maybe a bearing could be right there but in the diagram there is no 'ball' and I was very very careful when I took it all apart and I didn't see anything fall out. Anything is possible though. :-\


There's no ball between rod 1 and 2 on the 400. And yes, the rods rotate at random speeds depending on what's happening with the clutch. I don't know what you put there, but that's not the way to solve your problem.

Rode the last two days with no issues so far. Since I didn't really get any help on how to adjust the clutch I'm just gonna leave it the way it is with the washer in there. If anyone else has had this issue with a tusk clutch setup please feel free to coment on how you resolved it.

Did you by any chance add a different clutch lever (say an ASV) at the same time?

I'm curently running a full Tusk clutch pack with the HD springs in one of my WR400's (the exact same kit you are using). It works fine except when things get really hot like on gnarly, rocky single track where a lot of clutch finessing is called for. Then, the pack just expands so much (waaay more then the OEM pack ever did) that the clutch lever becomes essentially useless and you have to feverishly work the perch adjuster to retain any use of the lever. It hasn't slipped in those conditions yet, just gets very hot and expands. Then, as it cools when things start flowing again, you have to remember to dial slack back into the cable or you are going to be riding with a partially engaged clutch and fry it in no time.

Thanks SXP,

A buddy of mine has been a mechanic for two local yamaha dealers for the past 26 years. Today I talked to him about my issue and my solution (using the washer) he told me that not only what I did will work but that he did the exact same thing on a bike a couple weeks ago. He just warned me to make sure not to use a washer that's too thick that can restrict oil flow to the clutch through the pushrod opening.

He also told me exactly what you just did. That the clutch pack will expand when riding in harsh conditions like pulling huge hills, stuck in the mud or dunes riding. He said to "watch" my clutch lever very closely and never let it get tight all the way to the top of the handle.. The trail riding here is moderate for clutching, lots and lots of it but not really harsh like riding in the dunes. I'm really happy with this Tusk clutch so far, I read a lot of mixed reviews but overall most guys ran them for several years without worry.

My buddy told me a clutch can last for 10years + he said 95% of the time a clutch is smoked is when it expands like you said and there is no more slack in the lever effectivly the clutch is partialy engaged... that mixed with the high heat and poof... done.

He also warned me about towing my bike if I burnt another clutch. He said that on these 4 strokes the oil lubricates the transmission only when the engine is running. If my bike is off and I have to be towed out I can do serious damage to the bearings in the transmission even if in nuetral becuase they wont get adaquite oil. He said the best thing to do is take off your chain if you have to be towed out.

When I smoked my clutch in the dunes I got towed out about 5 miles.. So far I haven't had any problems but I did dump the bike several times (being towed behind a quad with about 2 feet gap betwean us) he said that likely saved my butt because by dropping the bike it effectively moved oil around in the motor keeping things lubed. Who knows, still runs good and no transmission issues have reared their head.. yet..

My buddy told me a clutch can last for 10years + he said 95% of the time a clutch is smoked is when it expands like you said and there is no more slack in the lever effectivly the clutch is partialy engaged... that mixed with the high heat and poof... done.

When the clutch pack expands with heat, the pressure plate is pushed outward, away from the clutch push rod, and that increases cable play, rather than decreases it. The problem comes in when you take slack out to make up for that on the fly, and then forget to readjust when it cools.

In order for the free play to be reduced, the plates would need to become thinner, which is the normal progression of wear. Cheap clutches can sometimes shed a considerable bit of lining material very quickly under extreme conditions of use (lots of feathering), which causes them to close up rather than grow taller. As they close, free play is lost, and a downhill spiral is begun.

I haven't experienced anything like you did with the part stack up problem but I did run a Tusk clutch briefly in my 06 YZ450 and I also had to adjust it constantly when I got it hot. I sold that bike before I got more than 10 hours on that clutch so I don't know about life but the performance fluctuated much more than the OEM clutches that I exclusively run now. I find you can get them on eBay fairly cheap. I paid $100 for a complete kit including gaskets and springs last month for my 09. OEM is a far superior clutch in my opinion than any other in regards to YZ's.

I did run a Tusk clutch briefly in my 06 YZ450 and I also had to adjust it constantly when I got it hot. ....OEM is a far superior clutch in my opinion than any other in regards to YZ's.
“The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.”

~Aldo Gucci

Bottom line is the OP didn't do anything but put a band aid on his "problem" if there was any. And when he couldn't figure out what happened, he came on here asking for solutions and an approval of said band aid. The problem was either a.) something installed incorrectly, or b.) he has no clue on how to adjust free play out of a new clutch. Usually if you wear your clutch out, or "smoke" it like you say, then there is a substantial amount of cable adjusting required when a new clutch pack is installed.

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