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Old 02-26-2013, 06:56 PM   #1
wb22rules OP
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2001 Gas Gas 321 TXT Clutch Issues

When I bought this bike last Feb from another inmate the clutch seemed to work just fine. I test drove two tanks of fuel through it, a 50/50 mix of putting around the lot and cruising in 5th or 6th gear a couple miles around the corner to my buddies houses. I live 5 miles off the state road on a private gravel road so we can drive anything back and forth between our houses. Anyway the clutch seemed to work just fine, I could use two fingers to depress it in until the lever touched my other two fingers and the bike had no desire to continue forward, and it would not slip in 6th gear when on the gravel road. The oil that was in it was grey so after two test tanks of fuel I decided I would start my catching up on some TLC with the bike by changing the bottom end oil figuring it was contaminated with water. All my life grey oil has meant water contamination, on the farm, or crew chiefing Amphibious vehicles in the USMC, so I changed it to 10w-40 which I think I read on the Jim Snells Gas Gas website. Clutch started to drag, if I adjusted it so it would not drag it would slip in 5th or 6th. Kept reading up here and saw others liked to use ATF, changed to that, same bat channel, dragging or slipping depending on the adjustment. During this time I also had an issue with the lever not extending fully after a few depressions. Was able to sort that out with a dissasembly and cleaning of the master cylinder, flushing the oil and bleeding the hydraulics. I did see that some recommend to only use 350 or 400cc of fluid and to not fill it halway up the the sight glass. I had been filling the sight glass half full on level ground which I think was about 600-650cc of fluid. Today when I put the BelRay 75W two stroke clutch oil in I used only 400 cc, but I still have dragging when using two fingers. It did not slip in 6th, but the bike still wants to creep enough to be annoying with the clutch depressed with two fingers, so much you cannot shift into nuetral from first if you have stopped rolling. So I guess I have couple questions you guys might be able to help me with.

1. Is there a grey oil that works great in these bikes that must have been in it when I bought it? if so what is it called and where can I get it :) btw the other oils have never turned grey after use and my radiator stays full so I am pretty sure I do not have water contamination.

2. Is 350-400cc ok to use if there is some trail riding expected with the bike on occasion?

3. Is the clutch basket fairly easy to inspect/service if I have the gasket for the side case on this bike?

4. anybody have a rough idea what plates and springs will run me?


Thanks in advance

wb
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:25 PM   #2
dbeck
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clutch

Just had to put a clutch in mine. was dragging like you mentioned. The steel plated were warped just a bit causing the dragging. Clutches go through hell so I would not say its a huge deal. super easy to replace. Only 10 fastners on my 2001 TXT280. I run ATF and it still dragges a bit when cold but loosens up. Paid about 300 bucks for the steel and friction plates.

Good luck.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:05 PM   #3
DerViking
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I don't think this is the issue, but a thought. I had a similarly aged bike, and discovered that adjusting the clutch throw at the lever can prevent the clutch from operating correctly. My symptom was slipping in the top gears. Dial the reach adjustment screw back out and see if that helps any.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:35 PM   #4
wb22rules OP
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I will try adjusting the lever adjustments again and see what the result is after this last fluid change, ran out of time today.
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wb22rules screwed with this post 06-22-2013 at 10:44 PM
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:01 PM   #5
lineaway
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The 321 takes 600cc of oil. 650cc on a engine rebuild. Chances are if it is slipping in the higher gears it is time for a clutch. But make sure you have not tightened the adj . too far as previosly stated.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:08 PM   #6
Lonestar JR
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GG clutch

I have a 98 GG 200 and no matter what oil I have used at startup when the clutch is cold it won't disengage. Kick it in 2nd and be leaning forward . As soon as everything warms up the clutch works fine no slipping. I thought the plates were sticking due to lack of use, but even overnight they will still stick some.

If your is slipping it's probably the plates are worn.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:56 AM   #7
laser17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lineaway View Post
The 321 takes 600cc of oil. 650cc on a engine rebuild. Chances are if it is slipping in the higher gears it is time for a clutch. But make sure you have not tightened the adj . too far as previosly stated.
+1 - TXT's have a big tranny - need alot more oil than the tiny pro tranny. I used 550cc-600cc in my 2002 280 Edition. I dont recommend using less.

Grey oil is bad - check/replace water pump seals if you suspect water.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:25 PM   #8
wb22rules OP
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Well I added 200cc more of oil as the reduced oil did not stop the dragging and it would forever worry me if I didn't.
I think my steel clutch plates are slightly warped, maybe because of the lever/hydraulic issue that existed for a time where the lever would not extend back out fully sometimes and cause slippage in the high gears. It does not slip now when adjusted correctly, just the dragging at a stop is the issue.

I will work through it until I can afford to replace the clutch plates, its really only a big annoyance when tyring to get to neutral when stopped. I have not gotten to the point where I need to be able change gears when stopped as I am still just starting to try the balancing and obstacle riding on the slopes around the house.

I grew up riding mx bikes, but always wanted to have a trials bike, so I am not a newb to dirt riding, just to trials
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:21 PM   #9
DerViking
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Finding neutral while the bike is running is a high bar with a gas gas. They are great little bikes, but the transmission is not the strong suit. At least that era didn't have the transfer case that sounds like it's going to explode between 4th and 5th. Shifting while balanced is a tricky proposition. I usually try to avoid shifting up in a section. The 07 era tends to hit neutral when you do, not when you want it to, but when you want 2nd. 2nd to 1st is a safer bet. I'll enter a section in the highest gear I need, (rarely if ever higher than 2nd) survive until i've cleared the hillclimb etc, then kick to 1st.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:24 AM   #10
Sting32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wb22rules View Post
Well I added 200cc more of oil as the reduced oil did not stop the dragging and it would forever worry me if I didn't.
I think my steel clutch plates are slightly warped, maybe because of the lever/hydraulic issue that existed for a time where the lever would not extend back out fully sometimes and cause slippage in the high gears. It does not slip now when adjusted correctly, just the dragging at a stop is the issue.

I will work through it until I can afford to replace the clutch plates, its really only a big annoyance when tyring to get to neutral when stopped. I have not gotten to the point where I need to be able change gears when stopped as I am still just starting to try the balancing and obstacle riding on the slopes around the house.

I grew up riding mx bikes, but always wanted to have a trials bike, so I am not a newb to dirt riding, just to trials
PLEASE NOTE: Been 8 years or more since I dealt with older TXT engines, double check a few things like the amount of oil that should be added to transmission!

The trick setup for "trials" was to use about exactly 50cc's less than what the book calls for, and to use ATF, not 10w40. Excessive amounts of oil tends to make the clutch become more like the torque converter in a car, if you know what I mean, you put car in drive the car will creep anything but uphill, more reves harder it will pull... that is with clutch 'pulled in' analogy.

now if your using the bike as a woods bike, higher engine speeds means more heat, so you might not want to use less OIL. So, try thinner oil, I use 0w/30 yamalube, which is synthetic, and I like it in my pro.

Whatever oil you have in the cases, if water is getting in, it makes the color milky white. Remember your pre-school days and mixing paint? adding white to red makes a pink! I use GOLD colored oil, adding water makes it a unique white milky color. When I used a blue, it was then LIGHT blue milky color.

EDIT: +++ Waterpump seal kit is probably needed if it wasn't changed before you got it. The pump SHAFT on these wear a tiny groove right at where seal rubs it, which means the seal no longer tight as it was.
DOESNT APPLY to this engine+++ I had a brain fade moment when I posted this, But I decided to look at parts diagram again, Turns out waterpump is totally different, and I never ever had water pumps apart until "pro models" although I thought I did a TXT one once..+++

(pro models only) if shaft doesn't get a groove, then I cannot recall, and then seal/shaft just MIGHT NOT the reason for water into trans/clutch area. But you know, rubber is never constant, shrinking every since MFG creates it, SO, it might be worth a change now depending on how many hours use the bike has had????

Other water in oil causes, easier fix to harder:

1 Radiator cap, has vent tube, if this tube gets kinked or blocked, then pressure in water system gets too high, relieves presssure by pushing water through pump seal. water seal can only handle something like 5-10 lbs pressure when hot, I think it was.

2 Cap itself bad, hard to prove, doubtful.

3 Bad orings on head to cylinder (head gasket type area, there is NOT a gasket, used orings). compression is like 170+ lbs, if pushing compression into water, cap can't vent fast enough, so WP-Seal pushes water into tranny.

++edit 4 waterpump seal already covered ++ Doesnt apply to this engine.

5 fan not comming on, Jetting too lean (sometimes you observe a BLUE coloring of head pipe, if so your overheated water in head BOILS causes excessive water system pressure, relieves out seal per discussion above.

+++edit, not sure this can apply to TXT old engines #6(pro engines only) Waterpump seal installed backwards. if installed backwards, almost the pressure of pump pushing water just pumps water through seal into transmission.

7. Surely there is more but I lost track and I dont think I have had any other issues myself to write up here, other people might.

We loved our 99 & 00 321's. Almost wish I still had one, just for "trail" riding if you know what I mean. I do have a 93 we saved from disovling into the earth...

good luck on finding the problem

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Old 02-28-2013, 08:36 AM   #11
Sting32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wb22rules View Post
When I bought this bike last Feb from another inmate the clutch seemed to work just fine. I test drove two tanks of fuel through it, a 50/50 mix of putting around the lot and cruising in 5th or 6th gear a couple miles around the corner to my buddies houses. I live 5 miles off the state road on a private gravel road so we can drive anything back and forth between our houses. Anyway the clutch seemed to work just fine, I could use two fingers to depress it in until the lever touched my other two fingers and the bike had no desire to continue forward, and it would not slip in 6th gear when on the gravel road. The oil that was in it was grey so after two test tanks of fuel I decided I would start my catching up on some TLC with the bike by changing the bottom end oil figuring it was contaminated with water. All my life grey oil has meant water contamination, on the farm, or crew chiefing Amphibious vehicles in the USMC, so I changed it to 10w-40 which I think I read on the Jim Snells Gas Gas website. Clutch started to drag, if I adjusted it so it would not drag it would slip in 5th or 6th. Kept reading up here and saw others liked to use ATF, changed to that, same bat channel, dragging or slipping depending on the adjustment. During this time I also had an issue with the lever not extending fully after a few depressions. Was able to sort that out with a dissasembly and cleaning of the master cylinder, flushing the oil and bleeding the hydraulics. I did see that some recommend to only use 350 or 400cc of fluid and to not fill it halway up the the sight glass. I had been filling the sight glass half full on level ground which I think was about 600-650cc of fluid. Today when I put the BelRay 75W two stroke clutch oil in I used only 400 cc, but I still have dragging when using two fingers. It did not slip in 6th, but the bike still wants to creep enough to be annoying with the clutch depressed with two fingers, so much you cannot shift into nuetral from first if you have stopped rolling. So I guess I have couple questions you guys might be able to help me with.

1. Is there a grey oil that works great in these bikes that must have been in it when I bought it? if so what is it called and where can I get it :) btw the other oils have never turned grey after use and my radiator stays full so I am pretty sure I do not have water contamination.

2. Is 350-400cc ok to use if there is some trail riding expected with the bike on occasion?

3. Is the clutch basket fairly easy to inspect/service if I have the gasket for the side case on this bike?

4. anybody have a rough idea what plates and springs will run me?


Thanks in advance

wb

I believe the TXT's state something like 500 (edit, ++++ looks like it was 750cc of 10w/30?) oil in manuals. I used 50cc's less than that at the time++++.

gasgas's newer design (pro) uses 400cc I thought, via manuals I just use 370cc.

100% of changes to how clutch "works" is oil - viscosity/type, dino or synthetic, ATF or engine oil, then some slight tweak via volume or how many cc's

MY "HOW MUCH" numbers are without me looking them up, the only one I am POSITIVE about right now is the amount I use in the "pro" engine, in this post and the one above it. Please double check recommendations, then take off 50cc for your older TXT engine, IF you use the bike as a trials bike. Riding it like people ride enduro bikes, you better use everything Gasgas recommends, because heat and rpms for trail riding is extremely different than how I use my trials bikes.

Gasgas just seems to always drag ever so slightly, finding NEUTRAL in a trials section is the last damn thing you want to have happen... So, I dont mind it. I shut bike off to find neutral or, find neutral before you completely stop, when possible (which is possible 99 of 100 times, you just have to think ahead).

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Old 02-28-2013, 11:43 AM   #12
mjskier
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Originally Posted by wb22rules View Post
so I changed it to 10w-40 which I think I read on the Jim Snells Gas Gas website.
You sure about that? I have an '03 TXT 300 and the only gear oil they tell you to use is Dexron ATF oil. Anything else can cause one of the gasket to swell and cause problem. (or course, it might be model year specific)
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:54 PM   #13
wb22rules OP
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Thanks all for the replies and the good info.
As I stated in the first post I initially suspected I had a water contamination issue due to the color of the oil when I purchased it last Feb 2012, but since none of the oil I have put in it has turned color to indicate water contamination nor has the level of coolant gone down I am not concerned with that issue at the moment. Maybe the bike had hit some streams trail riding before I got it and the oil had gotten a little water in it through the breather or something.

I swear I remember the clutch working flawlessly ie. no drag, no slip and shifting into nuetral while stopped effortlessly and reliably, when I purchased the bike. Maybe my memory is incorrect or maybe if I cross some deep streams and contaminate the oil with a little water then the clutch will work better in that regard LOL. I am pretty sure I have some slightly warped clutch plates and new friction plates and steel plates will be needed to make the clutch happy at this point.

Sting, I will be happy to try the 0w/30 Yamalube after I have gone through this Bel Ray to see if it reduces the dragging a bit, I just tried the BelRay because I found some other thread/post up here or at Trials central from someone who was having success with it. I am trying to make the bike run correctly for trials use here around my lot, if that means I can't do 5th gear wheelies when I putt around to my buddies house thats no big deal to me.

One question I still have is whether there are any special tools required to replace the clutch plates, I have replaced the clutches in quite a few bikes in my youth but none in the last 20 years and none on bikes made outside of Japan. I have the gaskets I need to do a few things I have not had time to do like remove the head to decarbon the top end and take off the side cases for inspection, replace the exhaust gaskets that are leaking. I am wondering if I can get the clutch parts and replace them myself with having to buy a special tool or take to a shop, money is real tight right now as I lost my job in Jan and have yet to get working again. The clutch and the fork seals are the only things the bike is crying for at the moment and am hoping I can avoid paying any shop fees to get these done this spring sometime.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:17 AM   #14
dbeck
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replacing clutch plates

You should have no trouble at all. 4 screws to remove the cover and I think 6 screws to remove the springs maybe 8, cant remember. Just pay attention to the order in which the plates come out. The first couple are very specific. All the fasteners are small so dont over-tighten anything. I used some blue lock tight on the clutch spring bolts just to be sure. Good luck.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:22 PM   #15
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Thanks dbeck, that was what I was hoping to hear. I have a parts manual for it but no service manual.
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