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NorthCust

2003 Contact TXT Pro 280 clutch not disengaging properly

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hi all,

[edit: apparently it's a contact TXT not a Pro, also it's 2002]

I realise this has sorta been asked before but none of the previous posts seemed to be quite the same thing. 

so I recently bought my bike, I do all the maintenance on my street bike (4 stroke) and I've got a couple of very modified scooter builds on the go so I don't mind getting my hands dirty, but this seems to be somewhat of a different animal so figured I'd check with people who might know before I start ripping things apart unnecessarily, esp as the the (paper) "service manual" ..er well.. doesn't exactly go into much detail, to put it mildly. I've downloaded the parts list pdf which seems to have a bit more detail but it's still a far cry from what I'm used with with my yamaha service manuals.

Basically my clutch doesn't really want to disengage, so when I start it and drop it into gear, initially it wants to take off unless I hold it on the brake. Then after a bit it's like it "unsticks" and then the clutch disengages ok(ish), but not really enough to change to a different gear once I'm in a gear. I discovered today after (landing in the flower beds) that if I pump the clutch lever a couple of times then it'll let me change gear.

previous posts on the subject made me think that it might be swollen clutch plates, but the pumping the lever thing makes me wonder whether it's more a worn hydraulic cylinder/seals thing, though it all feels pretty nice and tight otherwise. The bike is generally in very good shape which is why I bought it, but whilst the chap I bought it from demo'd it I didn't actually test ride it since it's not road legal yet and I wasn't wanting to launch myself thru his neighbour's garage. Naturally if he was aware of the problem he could have just pumped the lever a couple of times and I wouldn't have known to look out for that and all would have seemed to be fine. I'm not annoyed tbh, I expected some niggles to sort, I'm not on a deadline and I want to do it right.

When I pull the clutch lever I can hear the clutch make a sort of "puck puck" noise so it seems like it's doing *something* in there - just not enough.

Initially I thought perhaps it was low fluid in the lever/master cylinder but that seemed ok, tried bleeding the clutch end and although the bleed nozzle seems blocked, fluid came out of the side of the banjo bolt right away (rather than air) so I'm leaning towards that maybe the plates need sanding down a bit or replacing, but that pumping the lever a couple of times means it'll change gear made me wonder whether it was a master cylinder/seals thing rather than a plates thing.

One other thing - I was looking for the oil level window and the only one I could find was on the right-hand side of the bike (is that the correct one for the clutch?) but the fluid in it appeared to be clear which confused me somewhat. It's still thick and gloopy so not water, but the ATF I use (for other things) have has always been red. Could this be some silicone-based malarkey?

thoughts/opinions/advice? 

thanks in advance :) 

Edited by NorthCust

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Clutch plate pack needs to be 9.75-9.85 mm thick.Clutch lever needs a little free play to allow master cylinder piston to return completely.400 mil of a good light gear oil in the box is needed,ATF works but can swell the clutch plates.The hydraulics need mineral oil not brake fluid,the wrong fluid ruins the seals.When these clutches are right they're excellent 

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27 minutes ago, huski said:

Clutch plate pack needs to be 9.75-9.85 mm thick.Clutch lever needs a little free play to allow master cylinder piston to return completely.400 mil of a good light gear oil in the box is needed,ATF works but can swell the clutch plates.The hydraulics need mineral oil not brake fluid,the wrong fluid ruins the seals.When these clutches are right they're excellent 

thanks for the quick reply :)

 

- I've not added or changed any fluid in the clutch/master cylinder, may drain and refill just to be sure it's right. Is that the same for the brake cylinder too then?

- there is a little free play on the clutch lever, made sure of that but forgot to mention it

- looks like I'm taking the clutch plates off then ;)

Thanks for the advice :)

 

Edited by NorthCust

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 It is best to lay the bike on the ground while working on the clutch. You do not have to drain the coolant. Just fold the cover to the side and use a strap to hold it out of the way. There is a small washer that goes on the KS shaft. It usually sticks to the case. Don`t lose it. You can just measure the finger height. 17.5 mm is the best. If you are down around 14mm the plates are swollen.

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PS.

 The trick to getting the kick start lever off is just loosening the bolt two - three turns and folding out the lever. It pry`s itself off pretty slick.

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aha that's a good idea re laying the bike down - will try that. I've just ordered the light gear oil and some mineral oil for the hydraulics.

Thanks guys, I'll let you know how I get on :)

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I believe the `03 used dot 4. Somebody correct me if I am wrong. The clutch should have a green cap on the mc if it takes mineral oil.

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hmm ok - it felt/smelt a bit like dot 4 but wasn't sure so didn't mess with it. The caps are both red(ish) anodised alloy.

The manual helpfully says nothing about which fluid to use.

Edited by NorthCust

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 It becomes a mess if you mix the wrong fluid. Or that could be what is wrong with the clutch!

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I haven't messed with any of the fluids yet. sounds like I need to check the thickness of the plates or whatever and go from there...and it sounds like by lying the bike on its side I can continue to not mess with the fluids whilst doing so. I will check with gasgas what's supposed to be used where.

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GG changed from DOT4 to mineral oil for the clutch hydraulics in 2004 so the 2003 model would have been DOT4 as mentioned earlier. From the description it seems as though the clutch master is passing and needs a new DOT4 kit. Bye, Peter B.

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ok so update on this - Thanks for the advice so far everyone :)

 

I took the clutch apart the other day (laying the bike on its side so didn't lose the oil), the stack of disks was 26.3mm, the service manual says min is 25.5mm. Is that about where we need to be roughly? Whilst it was in bits I could operate the clutch lever and see the central pusher bit move and it looked to be moving a couple of mm or so, just I guess those few mm are slightly short of where we need it to be. 

It's like the pushrod moves ok but I could do with an adjustable starting position or something, but the "service manual" doesn't really go into any detail and the parts list doesn't seem to show the other end clutch actuator bit, and I've not tried taking that side apart yet so who knows. If there's adjustment we're gravy .

However assuming no adjustment i guess it's probably a hydraulic issue, so I guess start with a seal rebuild on the clutch mc followed by seals on the other end, and then see where we're at.

The clutch plates didn't seem excessively swollen or damaged, they seemed unused more than anything. There was also some greenish tinge around some of the clutch contact patches (looked like mould). I cleaned them up as best I could but tbh I think what it needs more than anything is a bit of a thash round a field and then the clutch might well be fine but I'm not able to move the bike easily yet (working on that).

The oil which was in it was sorta pale and weird. idk. Either way I didn't think it looked too great so changed it out with light gear oil is per manual and suggestions here.

I'm waiting on a reply for seals and whatnot from gg but I think I emailed just before christmas break so timing was a bit off.

 

Thanks for the advice so far everyone. I keep thinking "oh just take it to the shop" but it was christmas, plus I'd kinda prefer to figure it out myself, however utterly *frustrating* it is that I can't ride my new bike in the mean time ;)         

I'm waiting on parts for making her road legal for a little while anyway so I may as well try to fix it myself till I'm ready with the lights and whatnot. 

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