"Into The Clutch"

Please read this document entirely before attempting any of its instructions.

This page will attempt to familiarize you with the clutch system of the Yamaha Vmax.  It does not cover bleeding the hydraulic system, however bleeding is done just like the braking system. 

The clutch must be opened for several reasons.  One experience was to figure out why fifth gear had seemed to disappear.  The other is to perform regular clutch servicing.  A third reason may be the Double "D" clutch modification. 


Qty Part Number Description
7 26H-16324-00-00 Clutch Plate
8 26H-16307-01-00 Friction Plate
1 1FK-16334-00-00 Clutch Spring*
1 3JP-15462-01-00 Cover Gasket
*Only required if doing the Double "D" modification


You are going to need:

Torque Wrench
12 mm socket
5 mm Allen head driver
Needle Nose Pliers
Shop rags
New housing gasket*
Gasket remover
Piece of cardboard 8x10 or so
Blue Permatex Loctite
Yamaha Service Manual

Things to remember:

Make yourself a cardboard holder for the fasteners that are removed.  
Do not stand your bike up with the clutch housing cover off!  If you do, add floor dry to your list of materials.

Prepare a crude drawing of your housing cover on the cardboard. Use an awl to punch holes about where the bolts are located.  If you wish, use the replacement gasket as a template, draw it out and then punch the holes.  This helps insure the proper bolts get returned to the proper hole on reassembly.

Place your bike on the side stand.  This will allow all of the oil to run to the opposite side of the crank case.  Remove the right side foot peg.  There will be a spring that connects the brake lever to the brake light switch.  Once the two fasteners for the peg are removed, maneuver the assembly to disconnect the spring.

Remove the bolts holding the clutch cover on.  Make note of the bolt that holds the rear brake switch.  Draw it on your cardboard for easy assembly.  The picture on the left allows you to see where all of the bolts are located.  

You may have some resistance removing the cover from the gasket "welding" itself to the cases, or possibly Yamabond.  It is best to have a new gasket.  Do it right the first time.

Here's a side note on the missing fifth gear.  Behind the clutch housing is the shift drum.  By pushing on pins, the drum rotates like a turret to select the next/previous gear.  In this instance, a simple adjustment of the pin retainer was necessary.  The retainer had bent, causing the turret to get hung up on the shifting arm.

Complete repair would have consisted of removing the clutch boss and replacing the selector.  An updated version is available from Yamaha.  Some help in removing the clutch boss may be found here.

Back to servicing the clutch.  Six bolts used to hold the clutch spring retainer are removed.  Loosen each evenly to prevent uneven stress on any one of the retaining fasteners.

Once the retainer ring and spring are removed, there is a spring washer and the pressure plate left.  These pull straight off with no trouble.  The spring washer here is held on by the oil.
Removal of the clutch and friction plates is straightforward.  Use a 90 degree pick or bent paper clip to help slide the plates forward for removal.  After seven friction plates and six clutch plates are removed, there is a retaining wire that must be removed.  A pair of needle nose works ok here.  Don't mangle the wire if you are not doing the Double "D", or plan to return things to stock later.

One thing to note here is there is usually no wear on this last friction plate and clutch plate.  Removal is only necessary to do the Double "D" or complete clutch replacement. 

Once the wire is removed, there is another clutch plate, a half friction plate, clutch boss spring and spring seat.  This picture shows the difference between the half friction plate and full one.  The I.D. is larger on the half disk.
Here's the complete layout of the parts.  Only thing not shown is the spring, spring seat and pressure plate.  

When doing the Double "D", the wire, clutch boss spring and spring seat are discarded.  The half friction disk is replaced with a full disk.  

The stock setup uses all the same friction disks except for the half disk located behind the wire.

Inspect the plates for bluing or warping.  A slipping clutch can generate a lot of heat, causing discoloration.  This clutch has obviously been through a lot.
Reassembly is relatively easy.  Stock setup starts with the clutch boss spring seat and clutch boss spring, followed by the half friction plate, a clutch plate and the piano wire.
There are some things to note here:

*There is a rounded edge and sharp edge on the clutch plates from the manufacturing process.  Be sure all clutch plates are facing the same direction.  It is said direction does not matter as long as all are the same.   I choose to have the rounded edge out.

*The friction plates are marked on two ears.  A single cut on one ear, and a double cut 180 degrees from there.  All similar friction plate ears should line up with the indicator of the clutch boss.  If clutch drag is noticed after reassembly, Yamaha recommends to rotate all friction disks 180 degrees with the friction plate alignment indicator on the clutch boss.

*Coat all friction plates with fresh oil before assembly.  This will help prevent excessive wear the first time the new clutch is engaged.

Alternate friction plate, clutch plate after the wire and you should end up with a friction plate out front.  Then install the pressure plate, aligning the mark on the pressure plate to the mark on the clutch boss.  Install the clutch spring seat.
Install the clutch spring (both springs if doing the Double "D") and the spring retainer.  Use blue Loctite on the clutch spring retainer fasteners.

Note: Tighten each fastener a little at a time as to not stress an individual bolt.  Yamaha recommends 5.8 ft/lbs (8Nm) of torque for these, however use your own judgment.  I recommend firm.  Removing a broken bolt from the clutch boss is not how to spend the weekend.

Reinstall the clutch housing cover and brake light switch.  If you placed the cover screws into the cardboard, identification should be easy.  Yamaha says crankcase cover torque is 10Nm (7.2 ft/lb.)

*Use a new gasket if possible.  Successful sealing is possible without the use of a gasket maker material (Yamabond).  Be sure both surfaces are absolutely clean.  This is the key to a dry garage floor.  Double check no gasket material is floating around inside the clutch or housing as well.  You may choose to clean the gasket off prior to disassembly of the clutch plates so nothing falls into your new setup.

Reinstall the foot peg after reconnecting the brake switch spring.  Yamaha says 23Nm (17 ft/lb).

Double check your oil level and give her a spin.

There are no warranties as to the accuracy of this information.  This may or may not work for you.  If you have any doubt, seek a trained Yamaha service professional.


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Last updated July 06, 2013

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