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Thread: bad clutch ?

  1. #1
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    Default bad clutch ?

    Need some expert advice..
    I picked up a cheap used XLT 600 and it has been sitting, motor seems strong but today while driving around the yard it didn't want to engage and I started getting alot of black smoke..
    I know the belt needs replacing am I also looking at a new clutch or does it just need some tlc?

  2. #2
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    It's almost impossible to diagnose over the internet. Are you getting black smoke from the clutch? If so it is most likely sticking for some reason. They are totally rebuildable and any Polaris shop should be able to handle it. It sounds like some corrosion is holding the sheaves on the primary clutch from engaging smoothly. It can be disassembled with the right tools and cleaned up. The secondary clutch (the big one) will also stick with corrosion.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Polaris' are great machines. My '90 Indy 500 running strong with nearly 4000 miles on it.

    It does sound like a clutch, my Indy is doing the same thing. This will only be the second time I've had to replace the clutch.

    Tim

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    OK, I tried to move on but... how can one call a Polaris Indy a "great machine" when you've had to replace the clutch twice? Sounds like you need to upgrade to a Comet and be done with it.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    I've got over 4000 miles on my stock clutch (Polaris 700 RMK). Yours is probably just dirty and not moving correctly. Belt dust gets into them over time and gumms everything up.

    Quick clean -

    Take the belt off and spray the primary clutch down with brake cleaner. Get inside all the cracks and crevices as best you can. Keep spraying until the liquid comes out clean.

    Secondary clutch is easy to disasseble. Take it apart and clean it all with Scotchbrite, polish the helix ramps and you will probably need to replace the fiber buttons that ride up the ramps. Once everything is nice and clean/shiny give it another try.

    I had my secondary clutch on an old 500 SKS so gummed up I had to push it to get it rolling. Once it was moving it would work ok but not from a dead stop. I cleaned the clutches and it was "wheelies" off a dead start.
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  6. #6
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    OK, I tried to move on but... how can one call a Polaris Indy a "great machine" when you've had to replace the clutch twice? Sounds like you need to upgrade to a Comet and be done with it.
    If someone doesn't know how to take clutches apart, it can be a scary job and the dealer ($$$) will probably just recommend buying a new one . He too may have just had dirty clutches or maybe tows a LOT.

    I went to a dealer one time who had a ruined clutch on display. The damage was caused from the machine towing a 1/2 ton Chevy truck across Lake Louise a few years ago......it was a wreck! No reflection on the machine though, just overworked the clutch.
    AKmud
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    Member MARV1's Avatar
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    Are you sure you unhooked the parking brake? If the brake was on it would have locked it in place and hence smoked the belt! It also takes a good cleaning of the clutches and rebuilding if necessary. Change the springs also. Good luck with it.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

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    Clutches don't usually wear out, but their parts do. Springs, helix buttons, rollers, etc need some attention. Stock clutches are in need of love when you buy them. Find a good clutch guy and have yours set up to suit your riding style. You'll never regret it! It's the best cheap performance mod available. Horsepower means nothing if you can't get it to your track!

    Smoke from your exhaust pipe is motor related. Smoke from inside your cowl is from a burning belt. Identify and repair the correct problem. If nothing else, remove your belt and de-glaze your clutch sheaves with a scothbrite pad.(Most guys neglect their clutches way too much!)

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    Speaking of corrosion, check the brakes. If they are hydraulic, the brake fluid may have absorbed enough water to corrode the caliper. If this happens, it may not release. Also look for corrosion on the rotor, the pads may be seized.
    Mechanical brakes may have rusty cables, causing the same symptoms.

  10. #10
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    All good ideas above.

    I would not call a Comet to be a step above a Polaris clutch though I had a clutch on an XLT last 8000 miles, even after I heavily modded the machine. I did, however, replace weight bushings and main spring a couple times.

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