HOW TO: TRIUMPH 650 CLUTCH INSPECTION & SERVICE

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So, you just dragged home a that crusty Triumph or Harley from some craigslist ad and you get her running. As you set out for your maiden voyage and you pull the clutch lever in, nothing happens and the bike dies. The likely answer to your problem is your clutch plates are stuck together from sitting in some Joe Schmo’s garage the past 10 plus years. Todd purchased a pretty raw 1970 Triumph 650 chopper at our last swap & meet and low and behold that same scenario happened to him. So we are going to walk you through on what to inspect and replace under that primary cover “to make her ride like the wind”.

First order of business you have to see what evil lurks underneath the primary cover by actually removing it. It is easiest on this bike to simply remove the rear motor mount plate and leave the brake pedal and peg attached to gain access for removal of the primary cover. It is held by two bolts to the motor and one nut to the frame.

 

Todd removing the rear motor mount with foot and brake assembly left attached. Triumph 650 clutch inspection and service Todd removing the rear motor mount with foot and brake assembly left attached.

Now that we have the rear motor mount plate off, remove that pesky cover. Todd chose to put a drip pan underneath the bike instead of draining it because you are going to have to clean it up anyway.

 

There are 3 types of bolts to remove, you will need 3/16 and 1/4 inch allen along with a 1/4 whitworth wrench. Triumph 650 clutch inspection and service There are 3 types of bolts to remove, you will need 3/16 and 1/4 inch allen along with a 1/4 whitworth wrench.

Once removed do a once over on the primary cover and look for cracks near the front 2 larger holes where the studs come through, they are prone to cracking there from over tightening.

 

Todd showing one of the places to check your primary cover on the inside. Triumph 650 clutch inspection and service Todd showing one of the places to check your primary cover on the inside.

It’s always good to do a quick visual inspection of the clutch components once the primary cover has been removed before disassembling the components.

 

Notable things to look at right away when removing the primary cover. Triumph 650 clutch inspection and service Notable things to look at right away when removing the primary cover.

One thing in particular Todd noticed right away was how far the primary shoe was adjusted upwards on this particular bike. This is one indication of a chain being beyond it’s useful life. We have new primary chains available here at lowbrowcustoms.com along with a tons of replacement parts and tools to help you restore your clutch back to new. If the primary chain tensioner shoe is worn out really bad we also suggest to replace that as well. 

 

All the parts and tools you could ever need to rebuild your clutch assembly are available on our site. Triumph 650 clutch inspection and service All the parts and tools you could ever need to rebuild your clutch assembly are available on our site.

Using a special tool that you can purchase called a Clutch Spring Adjusting Tool you can remove the three clutch spring nuts. 

 

Todd removing the 3 spring adjustment nuts first using a special forked screw driver, after a little bit you can then use a normal flathead screw driver. Triumph 650 clutch inspection and service Todd removing the 3 spring adjustment nuts first using a special forked screw driver, after a little bit you can then use a normal flathead screw driver.

Once those nuts are removed you can take the pressure plate springs and cups off all in one motion. Now would be a good time to take a look at your springs. The springs need to be equal length and you can check them on a work bench, if any look bent or distorted we also carry replacement clutch springs.

 

Notice the top right picture of the three springs on a flat surface. See how the springs are leaning and not straight, this means it's time to replace them. Triumph 650 clutch inspection and service Notice the top right picture of the three springs on a flat surface. See how the springs are leaning and not straight, this means it's time to replace them.

Next you will remove the 6 plain steel and friction plates, generally if they are stuck together they will come out all in one lump sum. Some may come out separate while others will be stuck together. Notice on Todd’s new bike there were a bunch stuck together hence the reason we disassembled it in the first place.

 

Todd's suspicions were correct, 8 or more plates were stuck together. Triumph 650 clutch inspection and service Todd's suspicions were correct, 8 or more plates were stuck together.

Now is the time to get your plates unstuck and inspect the little tangs on both plain steel and friction plates. If they are hammered or distorted it’s time to replace those babies with some of ours plain steel plates and friction plates.

 

If the tangs look hammered on either end, you should replace with new clutch plates. Triumph 650 clutch inspection and service If the tangs look hammered on either end, you should replace with new clutch plates.

Slide clutch pushrod out of the center of the main shaft. Inspect each end of the push rod to see if they are mushroomed and also check if the rod is straight. You can replace with a brand new clutch pushrod.

 

Note the clutch pushrod location, inspect both ends for mushrooming and make sure the rod is straight. Triumph 650 clutch inspection and service Note the clutch pushrod location, inspect both ends for mushrooming and make sure the rod is straight.

In order to remove the clutch basket and front drive sprocket you must now remove the stator followed by the rotor

 

Using a 1/2 inch socket remove the three bolts holding the stator. Slide the stator off of the rotor and set above the primary casing out of the way. Triumph 650 clutch inspection and service Using a 1/2 inch socket remove the three bolts holding the stator. Slide the stator off of the rotor and set above the primary casing out of the way.

Once the stator is removed the rotor should slide right off the crank shaft followed by the rotor key and the spacer.

 

It helps to use a impact to remove the rotor nut from the crank shaft. Slide of the rotor and remove the key and spacer. Triumph 650 clutch inspection and service It helps to use a impact to remove the rotor nut from the crank shaft. Slide of the rotor and remove the key and spacer.

Next we are going to remove the nut from the main shaft in the center of the clutch assembly. Then utilizing a Clutch Hub Puller Tool, there are threads on the clutch center and their purpose is only for this tool to be used. Thread the puller in then tighten center nut on puller, this will pop the clutch center off of the taper of the main shaft.

 

Using our special clutch basket puller makes removal easy. Triumph 650 clutch inspection and service Using our special Clutch Hub Puller Tool makes removal easy.

If the front drive sprocket doesn’t want to come off the splines on the crank shaft, a puller can be used by threading into the two holes on the sprocket, be careful not to damage the threads on the end of the crank shaft.

 

Todd using a puller to help get the front sprocket off of the spines. he is using a penny in-between to not damage the threads on the crank shaft. Triumph 650 clutch inspection and service Todd using a puller to help get the front sprocket off of the spines. he is using a penny in-between to not damage the threads on the crank shaft.

You must remove the clutch basket, chain, and front sprocket at the same time.

 

You have to remove the clutch basket and front sprocket with chain all together. Triumph 650 clutch inspection and service You have to remove the clutch basket and front sprocket with chain all together.

Now would also be a good time to take a peek at the transmission drive sprocket to see if the teeth are starting to hook and may be in need of replacement. It is just behind the round cover with the 6 screws in it where the main shaft is sticking out.

 

Notice the 6 flat head screw where the clutch basket was located. Remove that cover to inspect the transmission drive sprocket. Triumph 650 clutch inspection and service Notice the 6 flat head screw where the clutch basket was located. Remove that cover to inspect the transmission drive sprocket.

Remove the clutch center hub from the basket. Next thing we want to look at is the clutch bearings. There will be qty of 20 rollers in between the center of the clutch basket and clutch center hub. Inspect the rollers for pitting and also inspect the race on the center of the basket. You also need to look at where the rollers ride on the hub. 

 

Here is the roller location, when putting back together be sure to grease thoroughly. Triumph 650 clutch inspection and service Here is the roller location, when putting back together be sure to grease thoroughly.

The clutch center hub can be rebuilt with new clutch hub rubber shock absorbers.

 

The clutch center hub has three screws that you can remove to inspect the rubbers inside. If they looked damged like this one in the above picture, we recommend to replace the rubbers. Triumph 650 clutch inspection and service The clutch center hub has three screws that you can remove to inspect the rubbers inside. If they looked damaged like this one in the above picture, we recommend to replace the rubbers.

If the grooves are worn you can simply replace the entire hub.

 

Notice the wavy grooves on the left clutch center hub, this is caused from the clutch plates slamming to hard into it. This creates a sloppy clutch. Triumph 650 clutch inspection and service Notice the wavy grooves on the left clutch center hub, this is caused from the clutch plates slamming to hard into it. This creates a sloppy clutch.

Now we need to inspect the clutch basket teeth and grooves for wear. If any of these are worn badly you should replace the basket with a new one.

 

 These are the three areas to inspect on your clutch basket. Grooves in the inside of the basket are bad. broken teeth on the outside are bad. Pitting or gouges in the center are also bad. Triumph 650 clutch inspection and service These are the three areas to inspect on your clutch basket. Grooves in the inside of the basket are bad. broken teeth on the outside are bad. Pitting or gouges in the center are also bad.

Also inspect the front sprocket for wear.

The moral of the story is when doing your clutch inspection and some or all of your parts look like they are on the verge of wearing out. Now would be a good time to go ahead and replace those parts. This way you know you will have a smooth operating clutch and primary drive system for years to come. Assembly is reverse of disassembly once you have all your components back in order and everything is torqued to spec; as Todd always says, “GO FOR A RIDE!”

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