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Thread: 1999 bearcat wide ratio clutch

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    Default 1999 bearcat wide ratio clutch

    So I had a 1999 bearcat 550 wt flown in a couple of weeks ago and having an issue.The machine only has 409 miles on it and is in almost new condition.I warm the machine up and go to take off and it doesn't want to go untill I give it proboally 3/4 throttle and even then the clutch barely grabs but if I push the machine at the same time it slowly takes off and then runs great.It hasn't been above -25 since I got the machine so i'm wondering if this is common with the wide ratio clutch in cold temps or possibly with such low miles and not being rode in who knows how long maybe it just needs to be run around for a bit to loosen things up or something else all together.Any input will be much appriciated.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Our 340 always acted the same when it was really cold and had been sitting for awhile. I always blocked the tail up on a stump when it was parked at home... Give it a couple minutes to warm up, spin the track easy for a few seconds to get things loosened up, and she was always a happy camper. Great machine.
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    Never had a problem witth my 96. Try a new belt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pike it alot View Post
    So I had a 1999 bearcat 550 wt flown in a couple of weeks ago and having an issue.The machine only has 409 miles on it and is in almost new condition.I warm the machine up and go to take off and it doesn't want to go untill I give it proboally 3/4 throttle and even then the clutch barely grabs but if I push the machine at the same time it slowly takes off and then runs great.It hasn't been above -25 since I got the machine so i'm wondering if this is common with the wide ratio clutch in cold temps or possibly with such low miles and not being rode in who knows how long maybe it just needs to be run around for a bit to loosen things up or something else all together.Any input will be much appriciated.
    So is it burning the belt as you are doing this? A couple of things to check, the 1st would be to dump the oil out of the chaincase and see if there is any water. Refill with a 0w-40 oil. Next check your track tension you should get about 3/4" between track and slides about mid track with an easy push. The other thing is to make sure the secondary clutch is holding the belt correctly. Should have about an 1/8" of belt above the secondary. Last while in the air is the primary closing correctly.

    The suggestion of propping it up and spinning the track is very sound advice when it's cold or the sled is stored outside without defrosting.

    That wide ratio clutch is specifically built for pulling loads and giving good fuel economy. So it should have a good low ratio takeoff and there is absolutely no reason to do what you are doing. Something is up and simple.....I am going to bet ice in the chaincase or the secondary may not be closing all the way.....outside chance the wrong belt.

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    Also, clean your secondary clutch (take it apart and clean the inside) It sounds like it is not shifting all the way down. The belt dust gets caked on and gums things up. They aren't hard to take apart and you should routinely check the buttons/rollers on the helix anyway. It will make a world of difference on performance if they are gummed up. Cleaning the clutches is an annual event for me.
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    If the secondary clutch is stuck then it's stuck in low gear. That should make it take off just fine, but not shift out. I'm thinking primary clutch. Even though it is low mileage, corrosion reeks havoc on clutches. The primary being stuck will make it hard to get going. Either the outer half not sliding on the main shaft, or the weights being stuck.

    Otherwise, Dupont has covered the other possibilities.

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    My 2007 will do the same thing, but not to the extent of your machine. You can take the belt inside with you when you've finished riding it, or keep the machine covered to prevent any snow dust from getting on the clutch sheeves. In the cold, the rear of the machine must be kept off the ground when you want to warm up. I wait until I can feel warm air coming out of the engine cowling. Then with the track clear of the ground, blip the throttle HARD to engage the belt quickly so it doesn't burn. This will alleviate the hard getting going. The belt and track are quite stiff at -25*F. I do not agree with the 0-40w oil. Use the synthetic chaincase oil or Amsoil synthetic tranny oil in the chaincase.
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    keep the little rollers lubricated with a touch of white lithium grease. Your clutch will last twice as long. This was told to me by a former Arctic Cat dealership owner regarding my 340 Bear Cat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroman View Post
    My 2007 will do the same thing, but not to the extent of your machine. You can take the belt inside with you when you've finished riding it, or keep the machine covered to prevent any snow dust from getting on the clutch sheeves. In the cold, the rear of the machine must be kept off the ground when you want to warm up. I wait until I can feel warm air coming out of the engine cowling. Then with the track clear of the ground, blip the throttle HARD to engage the belt quickly so it doesn't burn. This will alleviate the hard getting going. The belt and track are quite stiff at -25*F. I do not agree with the 0-40w oil. Use the synthetic chaincase oil or Amsoil synthetic tranny oil in the chaincase.
    Do not use tranny fluid it will ruin the seals in the chaincase. Also do not use the synchro mesh oil as it is slightly caustic to help keep the brass and bronze clean in trannies.

    A chaincase needs oil, gear oil to be exact is what comes recommended. I run straight Lucas oil additive in my chaincases without issue. The idea behind the 0w-40 is that it easier to get it moving when it's cold if left outside and the ability of the oil to act the same as 40 wt when warm will provide plenty of wear protection when running hard. Here is the link to the oil http://www.amsoil.com/storefront/aff.aspx. It is also what I provide to some of my bush customers for their utility sleds.

    You will find most call for a gear oil but a 75w oil to start would be a little heavy if left outside most times. I would almost be willing to bet that the Lucas additive would be fine but I am just not sure how cold is to cold. I have had mine down to -50 on an overnite trip and it was fine. I know when I used the regular Cat oil I always had to lift the sled and run the track for a good 3 to 5 minutes. The Lucas not so much. The good thing about the Lucas was if you ever broke a case you didn't have to worry about the lube pouring out as it stuck to the chain and gears.

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    If the secondary clutch is stuck then it's stuck in low gear. That should make it take off just fine, but not shift out. I'm thinking primary clutch. Even though it is low mileage, corrosion reeks havoc on clutches. The primary being stuck will make it hard to get going. Either the outer half not sliding on the main shaft, or the weights being stuck.

    Otherwise, Dupont has covered the other possibilities.
    I had a Indy 500 that introduced me to secondary issues. The problem was the gummed up clutch wouldn't completely shift out as i came to a stop. When I tried to start from a dead stop, it was like starting in 3rd gear. I had to push and run along side till she got rolling then it was fine till I would stop again. Once I cleaned up the secondary it would pull wheelies again.
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    Thanks for all the replies,lot's of good advise.I don't have my shop built yet so the machine is kept coverd outside.It's been around -45 today so I haven't done any wrenching on it.The other night when I was trying to trouble shoot the probolem I noticed that the shaft on the secondary clutch has a little surface rust and also the little plastic rollers wouldn't spin so I cleaned and lubed up both best I could and it took awhile but I got the rollers to spin.I'm second guessing the belt.I first thought it was the original factory belt but I looked a little closer today and it's not, seems extremly tight.One of the first things I did was checked track tension and it was good.As soon as I get the time i'm going to take apart and clean the clutches, replace the chain case oil,and also a new belt and see how she does then.

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    A quick belt check.....At rest, the belt should be about 1/8" above the secondary clutch sheaves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dupont Spinner View Post
    Do not use tranny fluid it will ruin the seals in the chaincase. Also do not use the synchro mesh oil as it is slightly caustic to help keep the brass and bronze clean in trannies.

    A chaincase needs oil, gear oil to be exact is what comes recommended. I run straight Lucas oil additive in my chaincases without issue. The idea behind the 0w-40 is that it easier to get it moving when it's cold if left outside and the ability of the oil to act the same as 40 wt when warm will provide plenty of wear protection when running hard. Here is the link to the oil http://www.amsoil.com/storefront/aff.aspx. It is also what I provide to some of my bush customers for their utility sleds.

    You will find most call for a gear oil but a 75w oil to start would be a little heavy if left outside most times. I would almost be willing to bet that the Lucas additive would be fine but I am just not sure how cold is to cold. I have had mine down to -50 on an overnite trip and it was fine. I know when I used the regular Cat oil I always had to lift the sled and run the track for a good 3 to 5 minutes. The Lucas not so much. The good thing about the Lucas was if you ever broke a case you didn't have to worry about the lube pouring out as it stuck to the chain and gears.
    Well we have something we disagree with. The machine came with synthetic chaincase oil in it, and I run the Amsoil synthetic tranny oil in the machine now, along with having run it in my previous sleds: '97 Ultra SPX, '99 XCR800. I would never run an engine motor oil in anything not specifically a motor. Sorry.
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    You are totally correct Mud

    As for "motor" oil in other things, lots of heavy equipment uses "motor" oil in other parts other than the engine. My Komatsu dozer calls for straight 30 weight motor oil in everything...finals, transmission, hydraulic, and the engine.

    I also have run synthetic Amsoil transmission oil in chaincases for a long time. Never had a seal issue using it.

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    So I took apart and cleaned the secondary clutch,installed a new belt and replaced the chaincase oil and it's still doing the same thing.Shortly after I started this thread the primary clutch started making a knocking sound.I didn't have a clutch puller so couldn't do much with the primary.I was hoping that since the machine sat so long maybe if I put a few miles on it things might loosen up and function properly.I've put about 15 miles on it and still the same and I don't want to risk damaging anything.I'm thinking the primary clutch is not engaging when it should.I'm not real fimilar with clutches and wondering what exatly engages the primary clutch?I'm thinking it's centrifical motion causing the cams to close the clutch but that's just an uneducated guess.What causes the secondary clutch to open?Is it the pressure on the belt from as the primary closes?And by the way the machine only does this when I first take off.If I ride around for a bit I can stop and go with no issues or if the machine has been in a shop overnight it will take off with no issues.As soon as i get a puller i'm going to pull the primary and clean it and replace any parts that need to be replaced and I believe it will solve the probolem (fingers crossed).

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    You stated it correctly.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

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    The primary clutch is a system consisting of fly weights and a large spring. If the spring is broken, it will engage too early (before the engine can rev up) and will lug things down. You should be able to inspect the spring without taking anything apart. Stick your finger in there and spin it to see if the spring is broken. If it engages at all, the fly weights are doing their job. The spring is for separating the clutch sheaves which "shifts down" the clutch. It is a pretty easy unit to work on overall.
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    The fiber bearing is shot. It almost sounds like it is binding.

    If ordering tools you need the puller, a holder, the special spider wrench and lock nut socket, also have a big bar handy. As a final hint the spider and locking nut is threadlocked in place. I believe red. So heat and more heat helps. Just be kind to the non ferrous metal parts. Did I say you were going to need heat?

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    Is the fiber bearing attatched to the movable sheave?I looked through the parts list and the only bearing that looked like it could be the one you mention is only sold with the movable sheave.Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pike it alot View Post
    Is the fiber bearing attatched to the movable sheave?I looked through the parts list and the only bearing that looked like it could be the one you mention is only sold with the movable sheave.Thanks.
    It's the one on the cover, most times its a reddish color sometimes a brown/yellow color......make sure to double check, but that is no longer a replaceable piece. I just do not know what year they started making it a non-replaceable piece. You have to buy a whole outer cover.

    Wish I was closer to get that thing right for you. Just so you know that clutch set up was a highly sought after piece for drag racers as it allowed a lower gear start and had a taller overdrive for top speed.

    Once you have it off the sled try pushing straight down on the outer cover with your hands. It will be stiff but not impossible. This will tell you alot of what you need to look at. A way hard clutch means it's binding. If you are to push in pretty easy then check the weights, hold the clutch down and move each of the weights, should moove fairly freely. If the clutch takes little to no effort to close then the spring is shot.

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