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Where do I start?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Yolandamaha, Apr 24, 2021.

  1. Yolandamaha

    Yolandamaha XS400 Member

    Hello! Brand new here. I'm not new to riding, but this is my first project bike. I've wrenched on my old 96 XJ for the last 8 years (anyone interested? she's for sale). I just scooped up an 82 and looking for a good place to start.

    She'll crank up but I know I need a clutch rebuild and rear drum. Should I just dive right into the clutch? Any recommendations?

    What kind of tune up work do y'all recommend, especially to familiarize myself with the bike.

    I've got a Haynes in the mail but I saw that some manuals have been posted here - thank you all!

    Also, if anyone has photos of their xs Cafe or bobber I'd love to see! Thanks!
  2. JPaganel

    JPaganel XS400 Addict

    Replacing the clutch on one of these is about a 45 minute job if you have a beer and stop to pee. The only slightly tricky part is adjusting the slack in the cable at the engine end.

    If you leave it on the sidestand, you won't even lose more than a tablespoon of oil. You don't want to do that, you can drain the oil and have an oil change at the same time.

    Soak the new friction plates in clean oil for a couple of hours (or overnight if you don't plan well, like me) before you start.

    Make sure it's in gear to keep the clutch basket from spinning.
    Undo the 8 (or is it 10?) right crankcase cover bolts, tap on the cover gently to dislodge it.
    Under the cover undo four (or five?) clutch pack bolts, remove pack. Note how the teeth fit in the basket, take a picture. This will be important later.
    Replace friction plates. Check steel plates for heat discoloration and damage. If any are damaged, put your project on hold and get new ones.
    Replace the pack in the basket. Mind the orientation of the plates, there is only one way for them to fit proper. You get it wrong, the clutch won't engage. If you didn't take a picture or forgot, go look at the manual.
    Put the basket bolts and springs back in.
    Put the cover back on.
    Adjust the clutch cable per manual.
    Clean up and ride.

    I would advise having a new gasket handy. Old one is likely stuck to the case and will rip.
    Also, I replace clutch springs on principle. You don't have to unless they are saggy and weakened, but they are cheap enough, why not.

    Rear drum, also not a big deal. I change those on all my old Yamahas, 30 year old brake shoes tend to delaminate, and that can be bad.

    Don't breathe the dust, clean everything, and really not much else to it.
    Yolandamaha likes this.
  3. Yolandamaha

    Yolandamaha XS400 Member

    Thanks so much for your response! Is there anywhere you'd recommend for the clutch parts?

    I did my oil and filter change today and felt like I was dealing with lunch break at the junior high school when I went to AutoZone. My new filter didn't come with o-gaskets so I just tossed the old one in the freezer - that'll do for now. The kids behind the counter were about as useful as my dog rolling in the grass.
    motoTrooper likes this.
  4. Yolandamaha

    Yolandamaha XS400 Member

  5. Yolandamaha

    Yolandamaha XS400 Member

    Can you recommend a clutch with which to rebuild?
  6. spectra

    spectra XS400 Junkie Top Contributor

    First off looks like you have an 82 seca if thats whats in your avatar ?

    why do you think you need a new clutch ?

    make sure you use the right oil in it also......... if not yes the clutch will slip........
  7. Yolandamaha

    Yolandamaha XS400 Member

    Yes it's an 82 SECA DOHC. I know I need a new clutch because it's completely seized. I bought it knowing I needed a clutch. The second owner, from whom I bought it, knew it needed a new clutch. The clutch doesn't slip. The friction plates are likely ground to smithereens - I found metal bits in the sludge in the oil plate which are very likely my clutch plates - a final sign it needs to be replaced.

    All that being said. I will post photos when I get in there if you would like to see.

    I'm replacing my oil with Mobil 1 10w-40 per recommendations on this forum. Put in some cheap 10w-40 yesterday since I know I'll be dumping it this week when I do the clutch. Figured I'd give it a chance to pull more of the sludge out before I put the good stuff in. Didn't touch the clutch so I don't throw extra metal in there.

    Based on the oil that came out yesterday, I'm guessing it's had maybe one other oil change in its life. It has 8200 miles and I'm the third owner. The guy before me never got it on the road.
  8. xschris

    xschris XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    The oil you need is 20-w50 oil meant for wet clutches. If it's not for wet clutch it can destroy the pads. Walmart has good cheap bike for around $4.50 a qt. made for wet clutch bikes.
  9. Yolandamaha

    Yolandamaha XS400 Member

    Mine is made for wet clutch bikes. I'm not in Arizona - didn't think I needed oil that heavy.
  10. xschris

    xschris XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    The 10-40 stuff is for cold temps like 40f or less.
  11. Yolandamaha

    Yolandamaha XS400 Member

    Interesting. OK. I can swap it out. I was just trying to find the post where like five people recommended 10w-40. Looks like most folks seem to agree on 20w-50 semi-synth so I'll grab that instead.

    Thanks, y'all.
  12. JPaganel

    JPaganel XS400 Addict

    Most importantly, it's what Mama Yama agrees on.

    It's what the manual says.
  13. Yolandamaha

    Yolandamaha XS400 Member

    How about this for a reason to rebuild the clutch?

    Attached Files:

  14. Yolandamaha

    Yolandamaha XS400 Member

    So I got in there and found one of the bolts on the hub completely sheared off and then I guess someone gave up, threw the oil back in and sold it?! So now I'm wondering about keeping the basket from spinning when I try to remove that big (maybe 24mm? Haven't thrown the caliper on it yet) nut that holds the basket/hub assembly on. Bike shop in town told me I'll need an impact driver (only have a cute manual impact) and I'm considering dragging it down there to let them do it.

    Background: I got the bike into first gear when I bought it but then it got stuck and it was difficult to get back into neutral. I haven't looked too much into the cable because it didn't feel too awful and now I'm glad I cracked open the case anyway to find this sheared off bolt.
  15. JPaganel

    JPaganel XS400 Addict

    Sigh. Previous owners. Gotta love 'em.

    There are a couple of ways to get the main basket bolt out. An impact wrench is one. Another is a special basket holder tool. Or, you can go redneck and put the bike in gear and put a 2x4 trough the spokes to keep the wheel from spinning.

    Or, you could try and extract the broken bolt in place. Not sure if you have the tools for that, though.
    Yolandamaha likes this.
  16. Yolandamaha

    Yolandamaha XS400 Member

    You had me at redneck! I think I'll give that a go. Since I know it's possible to get it into gear, that's worth a shot, right? Thanks a bunch for your responses. You're the only person in this forum and fb group to even acknowledge my posts.

    Do you also have an 82 seca? I'm learning (with some dismay) how limited they seem to be.
  17. spectra

    spectra XS400 Junkie Top Contributor

    I havent been into the clutch yet on my maxim............same motor you just have an extra gear.............

    Anyway to pull the good bolts out and go from there ?
  18. Yolandamaha

    Yolandamaha XS400 Member

    I wish! Haha the whole housing is fubar... I have a new hub assembly to put in and now just have to wrestle the main nut off. I think if I can get it into gear it'll go OK. I might try to reuse the clip on that nut if possible. Not sure if they're universal.

    Attached Files:

  19. JPaganel

    JPaganel XS400 Addict

    That clip should be reusable if you are careful. A chisel helps, but a big-ass flat screwdriver works, too.

    You're right. The basket is shot.
    Last edited: May 12, 2021
  20. JPaganel

    JPaganel XS400 Addict

    That's what I did.

    This place is a lot slower than it was a few years ago.

    I'm guessing there aren't as many of these bikes around as there were. Probably fallen to neglect and caferacer's hacksaw.

    Right now I have an 82 Heritage Special. SOHC, spoke wheels, drum brakes.

    Used to have a 79 SOHC with alloys.

    Also had a few XJ bikes. DOHC is much more closely related to the XJ series than to the SOHC XS.

    These weren't very fancy bikes to begin with, so they didn't build as big a following as some others. Good commuters, though. And once you get through the previous owner bullshit, pretty reliable.
    Yolandamaha likes this.

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