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Thread: Clutch Stuff

  1. #1

    Default Clutch Stuff

    My wife's sled is an '01 Polaris 500 RMK and has a very jerky engagenment when you are starting off. A new belt didn't seem to make much difference. What else should I be looking at? I'm mechanically competent, just ignorant on snogo clutches.

  2. #2
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default

    Have you pulled off the secondary lately and cleaned all the belt dust out of it? I have gotten into the habit of doing this every year and it makes a world of difference. The belt dust gums up the helix and other moving parts and doesn't let the clutch shift like it should.

    Other thing might be to check with the dealer and see what fly weight and primary spring combination is best suited for the machine. I changed mine around on my 700RMK a few years ago and when I dug into it, I found the primary spring was broken in half! (no wonder it was lugging so bad....)

    Clutching is definitely a fine art!
    AKmud
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  3. #3
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    Default Chain tension

    Check the chain tension. At the front of the chain case should be a set screw to tighten the tension. Make sure chain bearings are greased up good.

  4. #4
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    Once a year you should pull the driven clutch to access the grease zerks on the driveshaft and jackshaft bearing housings. Grease them! That has nothing to do with your problem, though. While the driven clutch is out you can clean it up. You may not feel comfortable disassembling it and may not need to. Take a scotchbrite pad and scuff any corrosion and belt residue off the sheaves. Lightly grease the jackshaft, reinstall the clutch with the spacer washers in the same location as they were at disassembly, Locktite the bolt and tighten it up. The driven clutch should have a slight bit of play if you try to move it on the jackshaft after it's torqued.

    Go forward to the drive clutch. Make sure all three flyweight rollers roll freely. Blow the flyweights out with compressed air but don't put any lube on them. Lube collects dust and debris. Clean the sheaves with the scotchbright pad. You can get after it pretty aggressively and may have to to clean things up.

    That's the simple maintenance plan. If you still need clutch work I'd seek an experienced clutch mechanic to help you. You'll need special tools and knowledge to get the drive clutch off and apart.

    As far as your chain you should have about 1/8" of movement when you grab your brake disk and work it back and forth. The rule of thumb on the adjuster bolt is to not tighten past finger tight. While you're there check your chaincase oil level and clean your magnetic dipstick. You should be doing those things often anyway. If your chaincase lube hasn't been changed for a couple of years it's time. It's a messy job but it allows you to check your chain while you're at it. If you decide to do it go to a dealer first and get an exhaust spring puller. A two dollar tool will save your knuckles.

  5. #5

    Default

    Sounds like an alignment problem, or could be any of the above plus excessive belt deflection, worn out buttons, loss of spring tension, probably need to have them rebuilt and balanced.

  6. #6

    Default Thanks!

    Thanks for the replies, now I have somewhere to start. Just to be clear:

    I can take off and clean the driven clutch without special tools but not the drive clutch?

    When I clean things out, just compressed air or should I use some type of solvent like a can of brake cleaner?

    Don't use lub on either clutches or just the drive clutch?

    What grit scotchbrite for the sheaves?

    And last, if all that doesn't solve the problem, recommendations on who to take a Polaris clutch to for fixing?

    Thanks again,

    Rick

  7. #7
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    The driven clutch is held on by one bolt to the jackshaft. There's a woodruf key that engages the clutch to the shaft. Once removed you can take a driven clutch apart without special tools but you should have somebody demonstrate it for you before you try it on your own. The drive clutch requires a puller to remove and special tools to compress the spring to disassemble it. I wouldn't use any solvents unless I had the clutch out and disassembled. I use fine or extra fine scotchbrite pads to scrub the sheaves.

    If you ride this machine and come to a stop the belt should sit 1/16" to 1/8" proud of the driven clutch outside diameter. Does it? If so, and considering you described a jerky engagement, your problem is more likely in the drive clutch. Try cleaning it up first and if that doesn't work, any Polaris dealer, Snowmobile Salvage, or Diversified Services can help you out. My first instinct for clutching would be to go to Eagle River Polaris.

    Make absolutely sure that you have the correct belt for that specific motor and model. I don't think a liquid cooled RMK belt is the same as that for a 550 fan. Your problem may be that simple. It happens.

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