Thursday, June 9, 2011

How to align clutch plates on Kawasaki GPz550D1?

your clutch is comprised of alternating steel and friction plates. the steels have teeth on the inside, the friction plates have wider teeth on the outside.

to my knowledge, this will be the same procedure for slipper, and non-slipper clutches.

read this before going thru with it just to make sure you got everything!

preferred tools:
-assortment of allens sockets
-various wrenches and sockets
-oil pan
-magnet on a stick and small, flat, long screwdriver

ghetto tools:
-allen wrenches
-cresent wench and various wrenches and sockets that fit
-big pot no longer used for cooking (hopefully)
-silicone sealant
-coat hanger wire

now, i tend to remove some oil before hand to keep it from pouring out all over the place, but you can opt not to do this, or take your oil pan and place it under the clutch cover to catch what will come out anyway..

*on cable clutches... take loose the cable and remove it from the bottom of the clutch cover, and spin the disengagement shaft 180 degrees

hydraulic, you'll probably not need to do anything but this next step..

(take you plastic off if you have to!)

***some plates require that you soak them in oil for a while to get them to spec and grippy.. if you use clutchplates that need soaked, do this now while the cover is still on. give it an hour or two, or whatever the manufacturer suggests. i usually use DP cluches,.. they don't need a presoak, and can be installed and ridden.

* ok, with a pan under the cover, remove whatever type of bolts hold the clutch cover on. try to follow some sort of pattern to keep flex to a minimum in the cover.

*set the cover aside and on something soft, as to not scratch it up.
take the proper tool the will
i take the filler cap out and put my finger in the hole just to keep a good grip on the cover on removal.. just a suggestion..

**now is the time to make sure you have the correct size clutchplates!!!
make sure they're not too big or small....

-for multi-spring (5 or 6) pressure plates, get the correct tool, and remove the bolts holding the springs in and the pressure plate down. the springs are shorted then the bolts, so they wont fly across the room when you remove them..

-for belleville washer type, just remove the big nut in the center holding everything in place. NOTE the direction of the curve of the washer! if it doesn't go back in this way, you'll change the pressure applied to the clutch!

* ok. now with the pressure plate off, you will see your first plate. it is a friction plate. you'll begin and end with this style plate....
remove it and inspect the side of the teeth.. are they dented? remove the rest of the plates in there... use a small screwdriver, or magnet on a stick to pull the plates out.
are the teeth of the steel rings dented?

* ok.. if your new plates are soaking in oil, go fetch them and get em ready to put in!
either way withwhatever plate brand you have, if they're ready to be put in, go ahead and slide the first friction plate to the back of the basket and hub.

now a steel.

keep alternating them until you have installed all the rings back in place.

* after reintroducing all the appropriate rings, go ahead and button everything back up in the reverse order yo took them off and go for an easy ride!
btw... if you didn't happen to buy a new clutch cover gasket upon buying your new clutch, clean the mating survaces of the cover and case, and apply some "rtv" type silicone sealant to them, bolt them together at 1/4 torque.. give it maybe a half an hour to cure and bond, then torque everything the rest of the way down!

heres what the stagger looks like. notice te last friction plate's tab position?
This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized %1%2.

empty basket



assembled clutch

if you have a plastic package for your clutch pack, you can cut it off the cardboard and use it as a bowl to soak the plates.

now, remember how i was sayin about how the pressure plate may only go on one way or a certain way on some bikes?

see the dots at 12 and 6 o clock where the screwdriver and extention are pointing? those are alignment markers.

the reason is this...

see how that plate is milled with protrusions?
those fit in the milled pockets on the hub.


see it at 6 o clock? the gap in the splines? thats where that dot 9one of them) has to line up. it can be 180 degrees out.. but not 90 or 270. then the plate won't fit tight up against the stack. it'll instead be resting on the hub.. not the plates.

also, very important. if your clutch is acting like an stuck or locked , it may be because of the "clutch pushrod" seen here.

if yours doesn't look anything like that as far as the radius on the end or how it's shaped, it's probably worn out and needs replaced. this could be due to either improper assembly or a pilot/thrust bearing failure.