88 RM250 Clutch Issues

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8/6/2017 9:53 AM

Rebuilding my engine and got things all back together yesterday but when I attached the clutch cable to the pin, it doesn't move at all. It seems like something is locked up inside the motor. I took the clutch case and everything inside back apart again today, reassembled according to the diagram in the manual, and it still will not pull. Everything inside spins as it should it's just when I put the case cover on things get tight. It is the correct case and I'm thinking possible the rack pin isn't right or something. I can only get the case together when the rack teeth are facing the teeth on the clutch pin.

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I don't know what else to do now. Someone suggested a bearing in the case that the rack sits on might be missing but I don't see a bearing in that area in any schematic nor do I recall removing one on the disassembly. I've ruined two gaskets thus far and have a helluva time getting the cases together without the freaking kickstart spring popping out.

I'm at a loss here. Any suggestions would be welcomed!

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8/6/2017 10:52 AM

There are two bearings in that setup...one at the top, and one below the pinion gear. Does the pin turn when the case is off? Also, when you reassemble it, is the arm that the cable goes into removed? If not, you need to remove the lever prior to reassembling the cases.

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Many thanks to everyone helping me out this GNCC season: SRT Offroad, Acerbis, FCR Suspension, O'Neal Racing, Evans Waterless Coolants, Rekluse, Twin Air, Braking Brakes, Carbsport

Profile image credit Ken Hill Photography

8/6/2017 10:56 AM

Also when you reassembled the clutch, you didn't forget the thrust bearing which goes between the rack and the pressure plate, did you? If it's not there, the rack is too far out, and may bottom in the side case

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Many thanks to everyone helping me out this GNCC season: SRT Offroad, Acerbis, FCR Suspension, O'Neal Racing, Evans Waterless Coolants, Rekluse, Twin Air, Braking Brakes, Carbsport

Profile image credit Ken Hill Photography

8/6/2017 12:40 PM

Yes, it's all assembled and functioning according to the manual. This only occurs when the case cover is installed. I removed it all three times now and checked and triple checked and it will not disengage when the cover is on.

I'm preparing a second cover I have from my parts just in case. I'm wondering if maybe the clutch basket I have in there is out of round? I may try putting the old one back in and seeing what happens.

Thanks, hare!

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8/6/2017 1:17 PM

It sounds like the clutch arm is not lined up correctly when you install the cover.

Paw Paw

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8/6/2017 3:52 PM

Paw Paw wrote:

It sounds like the clutch arm is not lined up correctly when you install the cover.

Paw Paw

That was my next thought. There should be a dot on the top of the clutch pinion shaft which should be lined up with the dot on the clutch arm that the cable goes into.

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Many thanks to everyone helping me out this GNCC season: SRT Offroad, Acerbis, FCR Suspension, O'Neal Racing, Evans Waterless Coolants, Rekluse, Twin Air, Braking Brakes, Carbsport

Profile image credit Ken Hill Photography

8/6/2017 3:56 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/6/2017 3:57 PM

rocket0322 wrote:

Yes, it's all assembled and functioning according to the manual. This only occurs when the case cover is installed. I removed it all three times now and checked and triple checked and it will not disengage when the cover is on.

I'm preparing a second cover I have from my parts just in case. I'm wondering if maybe the clutch basket I have in there is out of round? I may try putting the old one back in and seeing what happens.

Thanks, hare!

Are you certain the clutch basket, inner hub, pressure plate, sleeve and needle bearing are all 1988 parts? if you've got a frankenclutch, that might be the reason why it won't work. You say it won't disengage...do you mean you aren't able to pull the clutch lever in or that the clutch just won't release? it might be helpful if you could provide a close up photo of the clutch pinion shaft and pull arm with the cable attached once you get it back together

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Many thanks to everyone helping me out this GNCC season: SRT Offroad, Acerbis, FCR Suspension, O'Neal Racing, Evans Waterless Coolants, Rekluse, Twin Air, Braking Brakes, Carbsport

Profile image credit Ken Hill Photography

8/7/2017 3:13 PM

I don't know 100% if the two clutch baskets I have are 88 specific. They were listed as 88 RM250 specific on eBay but you know how that goes. Both basket do not look like the one I removed originally and broke. I'll post a photo of the one I broke with arrows pointing to the only difference I see between the two types.

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Below is a pic of the basket setup I have now installed with the plates.

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Yes, I can't get the clutch lever to move when I install it. I even tried getting the plates to disengage with the cover off today and they ain't budging! I don't know if maybe this is normal and will work when the engine is fired and warm. It just seems wrong to me as I thought you could pull the clutch lever and open the plates any time.

I'm thinking of springing for the Mitaka basket but would hate to have it not work also.

I'm at a loss here. I have taken it all apart a half dozen times now and reinstalled it according to the diagram and still nothing. I don't know....

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8/7/2017 4:20 PM

You won't get the plates to budge with the cover off...too much spring tension. I was hoping to see a pic of the clutch arm with the cable in it and all buttoned up, so I could see if everything is lined up correctly. Don't go spending more money until you figure out the issue. Worst case, I might be able to come out and look at it...I'm 1.5 hours away.

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Many thanks to everyone helping me out this GNCC season: SRT Offroad, Acerbis, FCR Suspension, O'Neal Racing, Evans Waterless Coolants, Rekluse, Twin Air, Braking Brakes, Carbsport

Profile image credit Ken Hill Photography

8/8/2017 2:53 PM

hare, I gave in and ordered the Mitaka basket. I drilled out the gearing on one of the baskets I have and hope it will work when it arrives.I also ordered new washers (again) and even a new rack pin to be sure. I screwed up royally by tossing away that clutch basket that was in the bike when I bought it. I assumed the others I had in the parts bin where the same. Live and learn I guess!

When the clutch cover was on, the clutch arm with the cable in it was pointing up to 12 o'clock.

On the kickstarter spring, is it supposed to sit cockeyed of the left side? That seems to me like it may be what's causing the clutch cover to be so friggin hard to get on. Should that cover simply slide on easily or do you have to fight it a little bit?

Lastly, I tried shifting gears with the shifter today before taking the clutch basket and plates off again. It seemed to shift into gear and back to neutral again. When I removed the clutch basket and plates and tried shifting gears, it seemed like it was in neutral no matter what I did. Is that normal without the clutch installed?

I appreciate the offer also. Hopefully I can get this figured out on my own. I'll keep you posted. Do you have a regular email address?

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8/9/2017 3:32 PM

I PM'ed you my email address.
The clutch cover should go on relatively easily.

The kicker spring being off center isn't going to be a problem unless its so bad it ends up between the case and the plastic sleeve on the kicker shaft. What will cause a problem is if the kicker spring end pops out of the hole it's supposed to be in. I'm assuming that's not what happened because if it is, you cannot get the cover back on.

As for the transmission acting like it's in neutral when the clutch basket off, it's entirely normal. There's nothing tying the transmission input shaft to the crank at that point.

I ran a Mitaka basket in my 1991 RM250 for several years...it's a good piece, no problems whatsoever. Just follow the instructions on how to attach the gear to it and you'll be fine.

Lastly. when you install the clutch basket, the gear on the back of it should line up with the kicker gear and the primary gear on the crank. There should not be an offset between them, so they get full width engagement. I didn't see this before, and it's difficult to see from the pic you provided, but it looks like your primary gear (and the entire clutch assembly is too far out.

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Many thanks to everyone helping me out this GNCC season: SRT Offroad, Acerbis, FCR Suspension, O'Neal Racing, Evans Waterless Coolants, Rekluse, Twin Air, Braking Brakes, Carbsport

Profile image credit Ken Hill Photography

8/10/2017 9:56 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/10/2017 9:58 AM

hare, I don't see any PM from you...

I have a quick video I shot to show the situation. I can get the clutch pin to turn to the left but not to the right. Turning to the left will actually move the case out away from the engine so it's obvious the pressure plate is moving. I just can't understand how to reverse this!

https://www.facebook.com/ken.veze.3/videos/1917012985222636/

Maybe, I don't know, this is all correct and there isn't a problem. I know when I attach the cable and pull the lever, it doesn't budge so I'm assuming the clutch is not opening.

email to" krv123 @comcast.net

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8/10/2017 10:57 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/10/2017 10:59 AM

It looks like to me that you don't have the arm located correctly when installing the cover. The arm needs to be about 90 degrees to the left of the position you are using.
Also, you are going to be hard pressed to be able to rotate that arm by hand. You just don't have the leverage to do so.

Paw Paw

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8/10/2017 1:16 PM

Paw Paw, when I had the clutch cover on a bolted down when I noticed this, I couldn't get the pin to move even with the clutch cable installed. This is how this all started. I'm hoping it's just in my head and there isn't anything wrong but it just seemed funny to me that I had no movement with the clutch cable installed and the cover bolted down.

There are no marks that I can see on the arm so I'm basically winging it and hoping for the best. I can only get the cover on, though, when things are lined up perfectly. The damn cover is a real SOB to get on with a lot of wiggling around. It definetely isn't a smooth install.

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