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Old 7 Jul 2008
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Clutch Problems, Advice Needed Please!

I am currently in Lima, Peru, traveling on a Honda NX400 Falcon. A Brazilian made Honda enduro based on an XR400 motor.

I came into Lima on a wafer thin clutch (already starting to slip a little when I´d hit the gas hard in 5th gear). I went to the mechanic and bought new plates, the separators were new in Mendoza (5000 km ago). I went to Tato next to desert sport racing.

After having the mechanic replace the 6 clutch discs (part# 7 & 8), the mechanic also advised me that I should consider reapalcing my housing (?, don´t know the name of this, but parts # 3 & 5) because they were slightly worn. He told me my clutch would not last as long if I didn´t replace these.

Within a couple of km´s riding the bike, it would often lurch forward when starting off in first gear, making an awful metal on metal sound. I was able to avoid this with delicate starts. I promptly returned to the mechanic, who at first denied there was any problem and said it was due to my riding. I found this remark a little bothersome. After I refused to buy into that explaination, he said it was my separators (parts #9,12 & 6). When I informed him that those parts were fairly new, he came back to parts #3 & 5 and then threw in #10 for good measure.

Thus my dillema, I do not think the clutch was assembled properly and now has a problem. Could this problem be caused by the parts he mentioned? They are expensive and I would prefer not to replace them if I don´t need to. My spanish skills are limited, but I get the impression that he does not want to look into the problem unless I buy the new parts. I have also already paid for a vale adjustment that he has not yet performed.

Anyone ever experience similar problems? I don´t really understand clutches very well and would appreciate some advise.

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India Himal, 3mo,2x; Kazak/Krygyz/Tajik, 3 mo; Kashi-Lhasa, China 219! 6 wk; Nepal, 4 days/trekked 55; Santiago-Ushuia-Cusco, 7 mo; Peru, 3 mo; Chile-Medellin 3 mo; Medillin-Arica, 3 mo
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Old 8 Jul 2008
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Sorry to hear you're having grief!
Firstly, as daft as it is, has your so called mechanic loaded the plates correctly!
Looking at your diagram the first plate to go in (onto the inner basket no 5) looks like it should be a fibre plate (no 7 on your diagram) then alternating with steel plates (9) and finishing on a fibre plate again.
The correct number of plates must be used (7 friction & 6 steel on the Honda XR400).
If a couple of steel plates have been loaded together this may cause your problem!
Also it could be the release bearing/mechanism (21 & 13) which lift the pressure plate (10) when you pull the clutch lever.
Also, most set ups have a thrust washer or bush in between inner and outer baskets (no4 on your dia) which can cause snatch when worn.
If you can have a look at the outer basket (3) to see if there is any wear on the "fingers" where the tangs that are on the fibre plates (7) slot into. You may see undulations where they have worn the basket slightly. You "can" carefully file these fingers flat but would "probably" need to remove the outer basket to do this.
Numbers 12 & 6 are a bit odd though! They are not shown on the diagram for the Honda XR400 so not sure how they feature on your clutch, could this be the problem?? Not sure how your motor differs from the Honda motor.
Sorry it's all if's and but's but not seeing it makes me an email mechanic!
If it's making metallic grinding noises though, don't ride it untill something is sorted!!
And change your oil for fresh stuff when it's done (or even use some to do a flush out and change it again). Change your oil fiiter too!
You may feel like having a go yourself! Just take your time and if you have a digi cam take loads of pics as you go along to help with assembly.
It's pretty straight forward once you have the side case off.
Hope this has helped. let me know how you get on or if I can do anything else.
All the best.
Dave, UK.
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Old 2 May 2009
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just wanted to add when servicing the clutch all the parts should be replaced at the same time.
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