I had been hearing some noises when starting my "88 Vmax for the last year, that I didn't like the sound of. I had asked my dealer mechanic if he thought it needed work when he installed new tires last Fall, and he said that was pretty much normal and to keep riding.
Last evening, I tried starting it after a weekend of too much rain to ride, and I heard the sick sound of starter spinning, but not engaging but for a second. I did get it to start a couple of times, and should have loaded it on the trailer right then, but the optimist in me hoped it was just being a little contrary. So I hooked up the tickle charger, and said a little prayer that the battery was just weak.
This morning, still no hook up of the starter clutch.
After reading the how-tos and watching a couple of U-Tube videos, I don't think I'm enough of a mechanic to remove/repair the clutch myself. I see me getting to the part where the flywheel pulls off and having a disaster.
I'm the kind of guy that found the spring and washer in the oil catch pan after the last oil change.
I talked to a couple of cycle buddy/co-workers who work on their own bikes, to invite them over for a good time, and they informed me they weren't THAT good of buddys! They both have been through removing stuck flywheels on this kind of starter system.
So I invited them to help me push it onto my trailer next weekend, for a trip to the Dr's office. Luckily, I have another bike to ride to work until I can get Vera back on the road. Oh, the joys of a 25 year old motorcycle!
haven had to mess with the one on the max, but have done a few on other bikes. Its not a hard job really. But you are correct that getting the flywheel off is probably the hardest part of the job for some. Good luck at the dealer, and I hope they treat you fair on parts and labor.
The bikes name is Maxine, but she prefers to be called MR MAX.
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If I were you I'd get it to the point where the flywheel needs to be pulled & then let the dealer just do that part (since that is the diffiult part for most) and finish the job yourself. I'm pretty sure you can roll the bike (onto a trailer if need be) though-out the repair.
Should not take more that 1/2 hour for the dealer to attach the puller and pop it off. The rest of the rebuild is well documented here and your buddies might be more willing to tackle the job with you knowing they don't need to deal with pulling the flywheel...or you could ientice them with a lot of beer...
Thanks for the encouragement to at least starting the job myself. I'm trying to work up the courage. I have another riding friend who I am pretty sure would help me pull the flywheel and would have the tools. He is semi-retired and works on boat motors and motorcycles to keep busy. He is an old dirt bike racer, so isn't afraid to tackle about anything, including a few trees and boulders in his day!. I guess I could still take it to the dealership if we run into a problem.
The dealership has a tech who rides his own Vmax and has always treated me pretty good on work done there. It is dis-appointing to have to repair the starter clutch right now, as everything else on the old girl was working and running really good.
Is it normal for starter clutch to go down at about 25,000 miles?
Also, I was able to start it a couple of times last night by just giving the starter button a quick jab, just enough to catch the flywheel and spin it just a little. The bike is in good tune and fires right up if I can spin it at all. Is there a danger of a lockup if I start it and ride it to the dealer 30 miles away in this condition....if it starts for me again?
If you can get it started (you could jump start as well, but that sucks with a Max) I'd think you'd be ok, but I'll defer to the more seasoned fellas on the lockup issue...personally never heard of it, but you'd hate to be the first!!!
Your semi-retired friend sounds like a pro...between the 2 of you I'm sure you'd get it up & running in no time!
I'd Bump/Push Start it, I did that when my Starter died years back (the bike was only about a year old at the time).
Mine was actually still under warranty so I rode it to the Local Yamaha Dealer in Durham, NC and they replaced it for free.
I haven't had an issue with it since.
__________________ Dennis VMOA - 2695
If you're NOT seeing the Oil Light, you're NOT riding it Right !
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Go to the local autozone/parts house that rents tools. Rent a harmonic balancer puller. Ensure it comes with grade 8 bolts, they usually do.
Remove the LH footpeg and shifter
Remove the 5mm allens that hold the middle gear cover, gently pry the cover off.
Remove the allens holding the stator cover, gently work it loose. You're fighting the magnets in the flywheel as you try to remove so it does take a little force. Set the cover aside, there's no need to undo the wiring.
Remove the big bolt from the center of the crank. Put the puller on the end of the crank and thread the three bolts into the flywheel. Make sure you bottom the threads. Blast the puller with an impact gun until it won't turn anymore, then give the center bolt a sharp whack with a mini-sledge. Repeat. After a couple tries it should pop loose. Put a towel or something in the area in front of it since sometimes they fly off there pretty good. If it's being really stubborn and refuses to pop, or you break the puller/bolt, you can get a 3 jaw puller at harbor freight, just be very careful about positioning the jaws.
When it's off, flip it upside down and remove the gear ring it pulls straight out. You'll see a ring with 3 allen screws holding it to the flywheel. More than likely all of these will be loose and the ring can jiggle about, which makes the bag-of-rocks noise. Remove all the bolts, apply loc-tite, and reinstall tightly. Inspect the ring for any cracks around the perimeter. If it's cracked, you should replace it. If not, don't worry about it. Carefully slip the gear ring back into the clutch, and reinstall the flywheel and the starter reduction gears that probably fell out. They only go together one way so don't worry. Scrape all the old gasket off, this is the longest and most annoying part of the job. Use new gaskets and personally I like to smear a little Yamabond 4 on the surfaces for insurance against leaks.
Run a conventional/ non synthetic oil, this seems to make a difference for a lot of people. Even after tightening the clutch mine would still slip in cold weather, with conventional oil it never missed again. Don't feel bad people have this issue on 2007 models also, it's just not a very good design. Only 3 pucks. New designs have this thing that resembles a caged needle bearing, but with flattish rollers, that are much more reliable.
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I would only add - Get a great battery for it. Many times the sole reason that starter clutch goes , is a weak battery . I would also recommend a battery tender for maintenance when not riding.
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So, evidently we've learned nothing at all over the past 2,060 years.
Have a little confidence in your self, if you get the right puller the fly wheel will come off. You will save youself a bunch of money by doing it your self, and all the information is right here in the forum along with videos and members who are happy to answere your questions. And as for parts Sean Morley will sell/send what ever you need and you can rest assured he will know what you need. He even has the loaner puller he will send you to get the job done, but if you should borrow his puller have enough courtesy to buy your parts from him.
Of course I talk to myself,sometimes I need expert advice.