Clutch Issue - HELP!

My buddy has a 2009 WR450F that he bought new in 2011. About a year ago he put in a Rekluse EXP (not the Core EXP) and has loved it. His bike has seemed to run hot, boiling when mine doesn't, but other than that has had no issues until about a week ago. We were riding some higher speed stuff in the desert when all of a sudden his bike wouldn't go. It would idle just fine and would barely move (like 5 mph) when he held the throttle wide open. We towed it back to camp and his weekend was over.

Upon getting it home and opening up the clutch it was apparent that it was fried. He has another EXP on the way from Rekluse (it was still under warranty) and he bought new Tusk clutch plates. We put the new plates in yesterday with no Rekluse planning on riding with a regular clutch today, but we could get no feel at the lever. If you pulled it in it would just stay in. It was actuating the push lever (# 21), but the lever would just stay wherever we put it. We pulled the clutch apart and inspected the plates (# 7, 8, and 12), bolts and springs (#9 and 10), pressure plate (#6), clutch basket (#4), push rod 1, bearing, plate washer, C-clip, and push rod 2 (# 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20). All of these seem to be in good condition.

We did figure out that if we have no plates in the clutch that we could get feeling at the lever because the pressure plate (#6) would be closer to the plate washer (#17) and the little bit of action that the push rod has was enough to move the pressure plate. With all of the clutch plates in, the pressure plate was too far from the plate washer and they would never contact each other when pulling the clutch lever.

We did measure all of the fibers and steels to make sure they were in spec even though they were new and they were.

Any ideas? We are at a dead end and don't know what to try next.


Edited by woods-rider

You sure you're not missing a piece? I've seen people lose the washer that goes between the thrust bearing and the pressure plate.

We may be missing a piece but can't figure out what. We have what washer for sure. When we discovered the problem the only things that had been taken out were the springs and bolts, pressure plate and clutch plates. We dug deeper after discovering the problem.

Is the clutch push rod in, or does it not have one? I know my YZ250 has one. If thats not in there, the clutch will not work.

Yeah, the push rod is in. We checked all the parts I listed and they are in good condition and installed.

I'm leaning towards someone having removed the clutch actuation arm (#21) at some point during the rebuild. If you look at your picture, you will see the small notch that the clutch arm uses to "push" the pushrod (#20). If this isn't lined up correctly, it won't have much travel to it, and won't be able to push the clutch apart the required amount. This is where I would look next.

The problem existed before we tore down the clutch. Before this problem the only parts that were ever taken off were the springs and bolts, pressure plate, and like 3 fibers and steels in order to put in the Rekluse. The bike ran fine like this for almost a year then suddenly failed.

We did take off the actuation arm to inspect it and it looked fine. I am pretty sure we got it back in correctly, but as I said, the problem existed before we took it out.

Edited by woods-rider

Anyone else have any ideas? We are going to tear into it again next week to see if we can find anything we missed the first time, but going in blind with no real idea of what to look for sucks.

Why did you remove the Rekluse? If the plates were bad, just replace them. I prefer OEM, as do many of us, as this way we are assured of getting the correct thickness plates. Aftermarket stuff is notorious for measuring all over the ballpark.

Because the failure was so sudden we didn't suspect plate thickness to be the issue. We measured all of the new tusk plates with calipers and all were within spec a cording to the manual.

All of the stock plates were within spec also, just severely burnt.

Edited by woods-rider

What kind of oil are you using? Perhaps the oil is causing the plates to slip excessively.

In my mind, you've just added another variable into the picture when you removed the Rekluse and installed the stocker back in. As you had said, everything was fine with the Rekluse, but when it went suddenly, you replaced it with the stocker and then developed a new issue in that you couldn't get the proper travel in the lever. This is causing you to chase your tail with way to many unknown variables.

If all of the stock clutch parts are where they are supposed to be in the engine, then there can't be to many things that it could be. You shouldn't be able to pull the clutch lever and have it hang up and not return on it's own. Something is causing it to bind, or the complete clutch pack is sitting to far away from the clutch pushrod. This is where I would start, that is if I read into your problem correctly.

Did you readjust the clutch cable after you took out the Rekluse?

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