1. Having trouble logging in? Try closing your browser and re-opening it. If that doesn't work, try a different browser or device. The site will be updated soon to resolve these browser issues.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
  3. Hey Facebook people... We've created a group for XS400.com members to connect. Check it out!
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Want an XS400.com t-shirt? Go to the store to order. Limited sizes and quantities available.
    Dismiss Notice

How To: Starter Clutch Renovation / Rotor Removal

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by zaphoid18, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. Hi guys,

    Through a recent minor screw up which I will detail later I had to remove my rotor and starter clutch again, this time I thought to document it.

    If you are pushing your starter button and can hear the starter spin and chain rattle behind the alternator case but its not grabbing the engine, your starter clutch is likely damaged.

    Step 1
    Drain the oil out of the engine for simplicity (this step may not be necessary but you will lose some oil out of the left case when removing the alternator cover)

    Step 2
    remove the left foot pedal, shift lever and clutch plate cover. Now remove the alternator cover carefully and watch to see that the gasket comes away cleanly and is not torn during removal.


    Step 3
    stop engine from turning by placing a suitable metal screwdriver or rod through the rotor and brace it against some wood. Remove the rotor bolt with a 17mm socket.


    Step 4

    Insert the "yamaha rotor extractor tool" into the exposed threads being careful not to cross thread the bolt. The bolt is a 16mm x 1.5 pitch right hand thread and can be purchased from parts n more for 9 dollars under the "tools" tab.

    The general feeling i've gathered from everyone online and common sense is DO NOT use a 2 or 3 arm puller to get the rotor off. It may work but you risk damaging the case, best to use the right tool for the job :twocents:.

    Before tightening the removal bolt the engine must be stopped from turning in the opposite direction since you will be tightening the bolt to pop off the rotor


    Step 5
    keep tightening and the rotor will pull itself from its tapered shaft


    DO NOT loose the woodruff key, its a little half moon piece that acts as a guide for the rotor on installation

    heritage likes this.
  2. My Screw up that called for this

    I pulled the rotor from a parts bike I had and the starter clutch was intact so instead of disassembling it I just put it on my bike I mean hey they were the same right...wrong

    As I found out when attempting to set the timing on my bike 1979 XS400 (points) there was no RF line now :doh: the rotors are different between points and electronic ignition


    Just good to know :laugh:

    Step 6 (the actual starter clutch)

    looking in the clutch you will be able to see the rollers that grab the engine and turn it during starting. (though if you've gotten this far something is likely broken and they've already fallen out)

    Starter clutch kits are available online with new rollers, caps, and springs


    If they haven't fallen out there are little holes in the side of the starter clutch that can be used to push out the roller, cap and spring with a stiff piece of wire


    What breaks is likely the spring. Unfortunately the best system at the time used for starting our beasts was apparently the springs from ballpoint pens :shrug:


    Step 7

    Use a small screwdriver to compress the spring and cap so you can slip the roller into position


    Step 8

    When reinstalling the rotor onto the tapered shaft you will need to rotate it counterclockwise to get the rollers to engage and enter the starter clutch, Then insert the bolt and tighten it to 3-3.5kg m (22-25lb ft) It may be necessary to stop the engine once again as previously done

    Step 9

    Ideally install a new gasket and replace the alternator, clutch plate cover, shift lever and footpeg.


    Step 10

    Enjoy starting with the push of a button :thumbsup:
    heritage likes this.
  3. drewpy

    drewpy Excess twin Top Contributor

    good write up and good call on the rotors too :thumbsup:
  4. Drewcifer

    Drewcifer 1976 XS 360 Maniac

    My friend, THAT is a write up!! Steps, photos, tips! And lastly, success at the end! Gold Star for you!
  5. drewpy

    drewpy Excess twin Top Contributor

  6. shh1973

    shh1973 steebi

    Excellent write up and pictures. Thanks a ton!
  7. JARichmond

    JARichmond XSively Addicted

    If we are looking to save weight, will permanent removal of the starter assembly be feasible? Or does the clutch have a role similar to a flywheel and permanent removal will cause more harm than good.
  8. xschris

    xschris XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    I have removed my starter clutch as well as the entire starter setup with no issues:thumbsup: Btw the starter clutch weighs 2lbs:)
  9. Thanks for the accolades guys, happy to help. That gold star is going right on the fridge :laugh:
  10. PeoMarameo

    PeoMarameo XS400 New Member

    Thank you, very useful!
  11. Flexeril

    Flexeril XS400 Addict

    I will also give you another star! Your write up will help me get my same issue fixed.

    Brother, on behalf of the forum we commend you for your efforts!

    Thanks for the write up.
  12. Thanks guys, maybe we can get Travis to add this one added to the tech section for some easy access
  13. Flexeril

    Flexeril XS400 Addict


    where did you order your kit from? I am having some trouble locating one.... I need the spring and the cap...

  14. drewpy

    drewpy Excess twin Top Contributor

  15. njcafe84

    njcafe84 XS400 Addict

    Where can we get rebuild kits for the SOHC?
  16. Scorpio1963

    Scorpio1963 XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    Thank for this write up I think I`ll be using it in the very near future.
  17. well that would explain why my starter is acting up lol i think my clutch unit is toasted i went to start it today and it started to crank and the made a god awful noise and then just spins no cranking
  18. brockd

    brockd XS400 Newbie

    Chris - digging though here regarding issues I'm having and noticed your "I've done away with my electric starter altogether" comment. How'd you go about doing that? Mine won't start and it looks like the starter clutch chain is slipping as it's causing the assembly to spin. If I can get away with just a kick-start, I'd be happy as a clam!

Share This Page