Changing the clutch in an ATV

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Jun 9, 2005
OK, this post is two-pronged. Vehicle is a 1987 Suzuki LTF250. 1) Does it need a new clutch? I have not had a professional look at the machine, but a person I work with who has a lifetime of experience told me that he thinks it does. I was plowing snow when I lost reverse. Forward gears worked fine. Shortly after, I lost forward gears. After sitting a while, it seemed the vehicle would crawl forward, I mean crawl as in about 1MPH in first gear. Shut it off, put it in neutral, pushed it into my garage, and there it sits. My co-worker said not to keep attempting to drive it. 2) Can a guy like me do this job myself? I have plenty of tools and a shop manual for the vehicle, but in all honesty I am not a mechanically-inclined person. I can change oil and do basic maintenance, I understand the "hows and whys" about how vehicles work, but generally do not get involved in things like opening up an engine to fix a clutch. I am a white-collar academic type who just seems to be missing that mechanic gene that many people have (and I wish I had!!!). Thanks for looking smile
Assuming it is the clutch that is bad, are you looking to change the clutch by yourself only to save money as opposed to taking it to a mechanic? If so that is fine, and is why I generally work on stuff myself. I would watch a couple of Youtube videos and see if it takes any special tools or is a good bit beyond your comfort level. If so then take it to a good mechanic. If you have the time, tools, and are comfortable with the job then do it yourself. You may want to at least call a mechanic and ask how much the job costs, sometimes it is much cheaper than you think...espcially in the dead of winter when some mechanics are really slow on work.
If you think you can properly tighten the nuts and bolts and you have the service manual give it a try. It is probably a centrifugal type. Is there any adjustment.
If the engine is revving up and you are barely moving,,then yes the clutch is done. Clutch changing is fairly simple,,but,,,you seem to be apprehensive about the task and have never done one before. With no prior ATV clutch experience and not knowing what to look for I would suggest you take it to a dealer. Cost would not be exorbitant for a set of fiber and steel plates installed. Now if the ears on the clutch basket were worn down the basket needs to be replaced but that should not be a deal breaker. If you like the quad and use it often and it runs good otherwize,,,I'd take it in,,,it would be just a overnight job.
Thank you for all of the replies. I was out of the area unexpectedly for a few days and just got back. The two main reasons I would like to do this myself are to get more familiar with working on ATVs in general, and because it would be difficult to get it to a repair shop. It would be nice to save some money too, but the education for myself would be priceless. I live in the middle of nowhere and do not have a vehicle that can transport the ATV, nor do I know anyone who does, so I would probably need the repair place to come get added expense.
Just changed the clutch a few weeks ago in the wife's 660 Raptor. First off, i'm not a mechanic. Not even close. Information is your friend. Online shop manuals, and you tube searches. Also dont be in a rush. Take your time, and realize there may be extra parts to purchase. (gaskets, bolts, washers, etc) AND.....if you dont have one, buy a GOOD tourque wrench. One of the "clicker" kind is nice. Buy TWO. A pound-foot, and a inch-pound. You WILL need them to put it back together properly. If i can do it, you can do it! LOL!!!
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