Friday, 6 December 2013

VFR800 Clutch Replacement Vtec RC46 DIY

My RC46 Vtec VFR800 was leaking oil, nothing major- but annoying none the less

Problem was the clutch /crankcase housing gasket, which dripped oil onto the exhaust making it very smokey once the bike warmed up. As a new clutch is only 30quid, I decided to replace that along with this gasket as kind of preventative maintenance which could also sharpen up the clutch 'bite' hopefully, in the process.

Luckily the VFR 800 is pretty straightforward to work on and parts are really
cheap (in comparison to say a newer model CBR1000RR!) and the whole process took less than an hour to replace the clutch and fit new (15% stronger) clutch springs.

Once you remove the right hand fairing ( I didn't completely remove this, but held it back with elastic straps for just enough work space) you are greeted by a series of 10mm bolts holding on the crankcase / clutch housing.

Before you remove these, you need to firstly drain the engine oil (17mm sumpnut underneath) or it's gonna get real messy and trace the sensor wire from the housing up the inside of your frame and back up under the petrol tank, which needs to be raised about 4inches (depending on the size of your hands) to disconnect a red plug for this crank sensor, which will be removed along with the housing.

You need to be careful removing the clutch housing as some gear wheels may become detached (little one towards the front came off with mine) and must be put back the same way / direction etc.

If you haven't already done at this stage, it's probably a good idea to view an exploded diagram of the clutch from either here / or the like, just to see how it operates. Basically you are removing the pressure-plate (5 bolts) and the clutch plates slide out, so just replace like for like.

Only thing to watch here is the deepest clutch ring, ie. one nearest the engine, is large in diameter than the rest as it fits around the circumference of a spring (which should be not be fitted inside out), for i think, engine idling or something. All the rest are pretty straightforward to fit in series ie. clutch-metal plate-clutch-metal plate - clutch etc.

3 of mine were well worn, but probably had a few more miles left in them, the new ones have certainly sharpened up the clutch action since fitting, more noticeably on downshifts while trailing into corners on engine braking and will lock the rear tyre on wet roads as apposed to slipping the clutch a little beforehand, which is probably more down to stronger EBC clutch springs than anything.

Everything's in reverse for putting it back together, 11Nm torque reinstalling those pressure-plate springs and the same for the outside crankcase housing bolts, of which there are about 10, and don't forget to fill up with oil before 'testing' it !

Haven't tried wheelies yet as it's been too cold, damp and miserable out, but watch this space!

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