Tag Archives: Oil change

Clutch servicing.

I know what you’re thinking; why doesn’t this clown finish the timing chain replacement tutorial? I would if I could, but I have run out of good photos so I can’t finish it. I am in a life-limbo situation at the moment, to the point that I don’t own any bikes!(*gasp*) Yep, no AG200s – therefore no pics! Before I had a clean-up though, I did take some snaps of some other projects so I will move on to what I can until I get my AG mojo back! Yes, it will be back…

If you follow the comments closely, you will know that I think the AG200’s clutch is a weak point of the bike. I suspect Yamaha knew it too, that’s why they upgraded it on the TW, TTR & XT. Luckily the AGs gearing is pretty low so there isn’t much strain on it, but if you up the gearing or strap on a load you may feel the clutch struggle, especially if its already had its share of usage. It’s not hard to service or repair so lets take a look…

We probably should look at symptoms first. They’re pretty obvious; if you give your AG the berries and the revs rise and you don’t accelerate at the neck-snapping pace you are used too, then there’s a good chance your clutch needs looking at! Is the clutch cable and lever adjusted properly as per the manual? Look at that first. They are prone to shudder too, and gearing them up for a better road speed will amplify it if you didn’t notice beforehand.

What you have to remember with the AG is that there are five friction plates, four steel plates and four miserable springs holding the whole show together. Not a lot of surface area or spring tension when things get tough. So if it gets abused, heat builds up quickly and your steel plates warp. This is especially true if you have been riding it around for a while with the clutch slipping.

This tutorial is about servicing the standard clutch with factory Yamaha parts. They are relatively cheap, easy to get and will last OK in standard form if the bike is not flogged or ridden by a teenager (same thing really!) who thinks they’re Jeffrey Herlings! If you want to upgrade it then that’s a bit more difficult. Yes you can put better plates and springs in it from another model but you still have the limited amount of plates. I will cover a more serious upgrade in a future post.

So, what do we need for the job? That depends. If your clutch is slipping then you will at least need the five friction plates and springs. If you noticed shudder before slippage then replace the four metal plates as well. You can of course measure the warp of the four metal plates like they say in the manual but a bit of advice? Do the lot or you will have unsatisfactory results. Yes, it might not slip any more but shudder sucks…four metal plates dude…like I said it depends…on how tight you are!

Clutch exploded viewTake a good look at the parts breakdown posted here. There is a bit of a trap here for the unwary. The unwary parts guy I should add! Four of the friction plates are the same but you will notice that the third or “middle” friction plate is different. Make sure you get this plate, you will notice it has a different part number. I have seen casual parts guys just order five of the first friction plate labelled “8” which wont work. This middle friction plate is modified to accommodate the Boss Spring (19).

If you’re doing a budget repair then the friction plates and the four compression springs will get the whole thing working again. I strongly recommend you do the whole thing or you will be disappointed. Four of number 8, one of number 18, one of 19 and four of 9. Four pressure springs (11) will also be needed as well as a case gasket. I know it sounds like a lot but it responds well to all these parts and they are not that expensive from Yamaha. Get a price on a WR or YZ clutch rebuild while you are at the dealer if you want to make yourself feel better about it!

When you know the new parts are going in, it pays to let the new friction plates soak in the same oil as you use in the engine. Overnight is good. As always with engine related work, its a good excuse to do an oil change, especially if the clutch has been slipping as it would of been dumping the fibrous friction material into the oil. Remove the filter and the cover from the cases.

footpegWhen you have the oil out, there are a few bits we need to sort out before we can get the clutch cover off. Undo the two bolts holding the foot peg bracket. You can remove the top one and let the whole assembly swing down if you want. Once we have this bracket out of the way you can slide the rear brake lever off its shaft and out of the way. You will have to remove the return spring first to achieve this. If the rear brake light switch is still around you will need to disconnect this as well.

Once all this stuff is out of the way we can remove the kick starter.kick starter Add a kick starter shaft seal to your list of parts if it looks like it’s been weeping oil. Once the bolt has been removed from the kick starter, you can slide it off. If it’s a bit tight you can lightly tap a screwdriver into the split section of the spline to separate it and help it move.

case removeNow that everything is out of the way, we can remove the ten screws holding the case on to the engine proper. Take note of the different lengths and you may need a few gentle taps from a soft faced hammer to break an old gasket. Take note in the photo at left that the o’ring from the filter housing is still in place, it would be a good idea to remove this and keep it with the filter and cover to save it getting misplaced.

Now we can remove the cover, slowly pull it away from the engine remove coverkeeping an eye out for anything that drops out. What can drop out? Hopefully only the locating dowels! You are in trouble if anything else falls on the floor! front dowelIt’s probably a good a time as any to take a look at both gasket surfaces and clean them up with a gasket scraper. Note the locations of the dowels at the front and rear of the engine. Remove them if they will come out and stick them in the recesses in the cover once you have cleaned it up and put it aside.rear dowel

OK, now it’s time to have a look at the clutch. Undo the four 8mm bolts holding the compression springs in. Move across diagonally and remove spring removethem a bit at a time to spread the load across the pressure plate. Not really a critical process on the AG but it makes good practice if you ever work on more exotic stuff in the future.

Now that the compression springs are removed, it’s time toouter clutch2 release the pressure plate. Take a look at my pic at the right and keep an eye on two things; make sure the o’ring on the push-rod is OK, and watch the push-rod ball does not come out and get lost. If you’re paranoid clutch pushrod balllike me (watch for my upcoming blogs on bug-out preparation 🙂 ), use a magnetic screwdriver or other device to remove it and put it aside so it doesn’t get lost.

Now we can remove the plates. One should probably be careful here and keep the plates in order but what the hay, you’re replacing all of them right? Right?! If not, feel free to go and check the clutch section in the service manual. Three things are critical for normal operation; compression spring free length, friction plate thickness and steel plate warp limit. It’s all there in the manual which you can download here or you can buy your very own exclusive copy from eBay here! All that info in one place for 10 bucks, how did this Polish guy pull that off? What a legend! 🙂

Just out of interest, I thought I’d post up a photo of the springs out of the clutch springsbike I was working on at the time. This AG’s clutch was slipping in all gears and was useless. Check the difference between new and old springs. Not much difference eh? But it was a enough, together with under-spec friction plates to make the bike unusable. The AG200 clutch is a bit like my advice on the carburetor series I did a while back; cut corners in maintaining it at your own risk. Same with the clutch, if you cut corners by replacing one thing like the springs and you will soon have more issues and you will be pulling it apart again. But anyway, you get it…that’s enough on that issue.

install platesRight, back to the grind; the reassembly. Only a few things to watch out for here. Check out the manual or the exploded diagram above, it’s pretty straightforward. Friction plate in first, then a steel plate, another friction plate and another steel plate. The middle, friction plate install ballgoes in next, then the boss spring and another steel plate and so on until you have run out of plates to install and there is a friction plate looking at you ready to put the pressure plate back on.

install pressure plateBefore we can do that though, don’t forget about the push-rod ball. Once that’s located we can slide the push-rod on the pressure plate into place and line the plate with the spring posts and we are ready to install the new springs. I like to bring the tension up on the springs as evenly as I can in a cross pattern. A few turns on each spring and then move across to an apposing spring. The torque on the compression spring bolts is low at 6Nm, so don’t get heavy handed with them or you will break a post or strip out a thread – scrap one clutch!

arm adjustThe last thing we need to do before taking sunshine away from the clutch assembly is adjust it. The service manual explains it well but the rough and ready version is to take the slack up on the push-rod adjust pushrod(move the tip of the arm towards the front of the bike) and make sure the sharp end of the push arm assembly aligns with the post/mark cast into the engine case. If it doesn’t, loosen the 10mm nut in the middle of the clutch pressure plate and adjust the screw in the middle until it aligns. Nip up the lock nut when you’re done.

reasemblyNot far to go now folks! Grab the front and rear dowel pins and install them in the engine side of the cases. Install your gasket in the same place so it hangs on the dowels and you are ready to place the clutch cover case back on the engine. Keep an eye out for the earth wire and the starter motor cable locating tabs shown at left. The rest is pretty much the reverse of the disasembly. 8Nm on the engine case bolts, make sure your rear brake is adjusted when you put it back together and don’t forget to put some nice, fresh oil back in the cases!

That’s it, we are done. Now you can go out and at least be confidant that under standard conditions, your clutch will do the job. Keep Jeffrey Herlings off the thing though!



Oil change tips #2 Changing the oil.

OK…we haven’t got our hands dirty for a while so lets get something techy done –  the humble yet often overlooked oil change. Pretty simple really but there are a few little tips here that might work good for you and your AG. As Jamie Oliver says; lets tuck in!

First things first, take your bike out for a good thrash! That’s right, give it the berries! The oil is (or should be!) thick in the AG200 so make sure the oil is nice and hot. I use a procedure here that leans the bike over on both stands for a period of time so the hotter the oil is the longer it will flow well and therefore drain well.

Remve drain capAfter you have set a new land speed record, get the AG into your shed and get it over on the right hand stand. This gives you easy access to the drain plug. Get yourself a 19mm single hex (go and see my discussion on the drain cap here) socket to release the drain cap and place something under the AG to catch the oil. You might have to juggle the gear lever to remove the cap and actually, you can remove the lever if you want because it does make things a lot easier and it’s only one 10mm bolt. If the cap feels like its going to give you pain removing it, give the end of your 19mm socket a firm tap with a hammer while on the cap to help loosen it.

When you get the cap loose and you feel it’s about to pop off, Drain oillean the bike over to the left side stand. Make sure you move the oil drop container to suit. Now you can totally remove the cap, spring and filter gauze and drain out that old Middle Eastern Gold. As the oil is draining on the left hand side, take the opportunity to remove the oil filter cover and the oil filter on the opposite side of the bike.

Filter housing screwsOn later bikes (’98 onwards) you will need to remove theFilter housing2 two top 8mm hex bolts and the lower 5mm Allen bolt. Older bikes use Philips (see at left) on the top two bolts. Remove the cover carefully and pay careful attention to the rubber o’rings under the cap. If they look daggy, replace them. Pull out the filter and have a good look at it, I have discussed in other posts about the filter specifics so if you think it looks dodgy, replace it. If it looks OK give it a wash, remove the metal from it and it’s ready for another service interval.

While the oil is draining and the bike is on the left side stand you might asFilter cove2 well have a good look in the filter housing and give it a bit of a clean out with a rag. Oil would of dribbled down the casing after removing the filter cover anyway so while you have the rag handy you might as well clean out the cavity or filter housing.

Drain capWhen the old oil slows to a drip out of the left side oil drain, lean the bike over to the right hand stand. Make sure you shift the drain container to suit the oil drain. A bit of oil drain might pick up but probably not. The oil is draining internally as you will see later. Take this opportunity to have a good look at the drain cap. Is the o’ring OK? If not replace it. Now give the cap a good clean, remove the o’ring and have a really good look at it. Most people do it up too tight, even Yamaha do it up too tight! It can easily crack around the edges near the o’ring grove. Yamaha specifies 43Nm for it and that, in my humble opinion, is crazy talk! It’s at least 10Nm too tight.

OK, the bike has been over on the right side stand for ten minute or so right? Time to lean it over on the opposite stand. Get ready to move the catch tray, more oil will start to drain. I like to combine the oil drain with a few other maintenance jobs (valve clearances?) so you have the time to go left and right on the two stands for an extended period. If you don’t have the time then fine, a couple of times back and forward will do the trick.

We have all the oil out, now it’s time to reassemble. Your oil filter is new or freshly cleaned so its time to get it back into the filter housing. It can only go in one way so don’t stress. Install the filter cover and tighten up the bolts. Make sure that bottom Allen bolt does not hang up on that small o’ring and damage it. Put a bit of fresh oil on the bolt and the o’ring. The two top bolts are set to 7Nm while the lower Allen bolt is set to 10Nm. Not very tight so those used to hanging off a wrench with a piece of gal. pipe will learn all about Easy Outs and HeliCoils pretty quick!

Drain filter+springLets turn our attention back to the drain cap and its’ related parts. Is the spring and wire filter OK? Not much to go wrong with the spring but make sure there is no rubbish in the filter. Lean the bike back over to the right side and slap them back in the way they came out. I like to put a bit of grease on the alloy mating surfaces of the cap – i.e. the lip outside of the o’ring. You can now screw the drain cap back in and as stated, it doesn’t have to be too tight.

So here comes the biggy – what sort of oil? I have two modes of thought on this issue. If it’s an old bike that’s a bit of a basher and a bit worn and daggy – mineral oil and change often. Newer bike that you want to keep for a long time, do trips on and want it to last and give years of reliable service? Full synthetic. The common ground between them is go heavy. 10W40 minimum, preferably 10W50. You will find the gearbox works much better with a heavier oil. Remember, the AG200 was designed back when consumer synthetic oil was expensive and/or hard to get and the clearances and design has not changed since that time. Also remember, bike oils only, wet clutches dislike car oils and their friction reducing additives.

Oil fillerThe spec from Yamaha is 1.1 Litres with a filter clean/change. Oil fill3Remove the filler plug and use a funnel or a pourer with a tube that fits into the filler hole. Pour your oil in and use the sight glass to get the level right if needed. Screw your filler cap back (clean around the cases and check the o’ring on the cap) and you’re good to go. The paranoid among us can undo the 10mm oil pressure check bolt (circled at right) in the head to make sure there is pressure up there. You don’t have to totally remove it – just loosen it to the last few threads and if there is pressure it will find its way out. Be real gentle doing this check bolt up…5Nm and no more or it will snap off.

So there you go, wasn’t too hard was it? Now get back out there and improve on that land speed record.



Oil change tips #1.5, aaahh, spare parts guys…

This entry is a bit of an addition to my old Oil Change Tips post I did quite a while ago. Just a bit of updated filter info that I thought I would drop in here to give you guys and girls a heads up. After all these years, I thought mechanics and spare parts guys would have sorted this out but we still have an issue of imparting info from one person to another so we still make catastrophic mistakes like the one I’m about to show you.

TTR250 filterI also own a TTR250, a great bike which has a a long model run with few alterations, like the AG200. Another thing it shares with the AG200 is a nearly identical oil filter, the only difference is four little holes in the relief valve end of the housing. Take a look at the photo at left. Have a reeeeeal good look! You will see what the AG200 would see as our equivalent to methamphetamine; something that will trash your head (see what I did there?). If you put this filter in your AG, you will starve the head of oil and the first thing to grenade is usually the cam will seize in the cam gear side bearing. Not good.

Now, have a look at right. This is what the proper AG200 filter looks like.AG K&N These four little holes are the life-line for oil passing through the filter to get up to the head. If someone has given you a filter that looks like the one above for your AG, TW, XT, TTR230 or old ATV, then slap them! The AG has been around for 30+ years and the TTR250 for 20+ but I still hear stories and read on forums that parts guys and mechanics still mess it up and trash perfectly good engines.

K&N AG Vs TTR250Here is a pic of the other side of the filters and I guess you can understand how people could make the mistake, but I reckon the rubber is blue on the TTR filter for a reason! Yamaha had heaps of issues with this a few years ago, probably when the TTR250 first came out I’d say. So stay vigilant people, especially if you are buying cheap filters off Ebay from people who couldn’t really give a hoot about your bike. But also if you are buying genuine parts from a Yamaha dealer because, to be honest, that where I have heard of most of the stuff-ups happening.



Oil change tips #1

So many people get hung up on oil changes. Not the oil change in itself, but more the oil grade and type. But before we talk about oil, lets look at some of the consumables/serviceables involved. Here are a few things that you need to watch on the AG200…it’s not rocket science, the AG is a simple and basic design so there are only a few simple things to look for.

New style
New design

First lets look at the oil filter. There have been a few different types released over the years with Yamaha upgrading the gauze to increase the surface area. I don’t think the style really matters that much but just be aware that the newer type will take longer to block up. If you are working on your own bike and you follow a regular maintenance regime, then the old filter design wont be a problem. On the other hand, if you’re a bit slack with your servicing or you service farmers bikes, I’d suggest installing the newer ones. Cockies have been known to skip the odd oil change (see my earlier post)!

Older design
Older design

Inspect the filter very closely after washing it out with solvent. No, it doesn’t need replacing at every change, and if you keep the oil changes up to this engine then it may never need replacing. Once you have washed it out and blown it dry with compressed air, carefully inspect the glue holding the edge of the gauze to the filter body. With age, heat and chemicals that build up in the old oil, this glue can become suspect. This is the time to change the filter.

Filter cover
Filter cover

I have found this only on severely neglected bikes where regular oil changes have been constantly skipped. The nature of the AG200’s use means they don’t get thrashed while going about their daily work so I’m more of the opinion that its the chemical build-up in the oil that is the culprit rather than heat. The more the filter is allowed to clog the more strain it puts on the gauze/glue interface as well so if a filter is deformed in any way, swap it out.

While we are on the issue of filters, the genuine one from Yamaha can be used for around the twenty dollar mark, while after-market K&N units can be had for under ten. Other no-name after market units can be had for even less. Choose your poison. I will look into filter specifics in an up coming post.

So that’s the oil filter, the next “Oil Change Tips” will cover all the other consumables/serviceable hardware.



Drain cap destruction

Oil drain cap

The AG200 has a slightly unusual method for draining the engine oil. Instead of a generic old drain plug, it has a drain cap which is also used to hold a spring loaded oil strainer. The AG200 engine has a cool design where it has a big strainer at the bottom of the engine to hold back the big chunks, while the finer oil filter (on the other side of the engine) keeps the rest of the damaging material out of circulation. Now all we need to do is get people to clean them and replace the oil! …but I digress!

The real aim of this post is to guide people on how to not chew up the drain cap. Here is the crux of it; the hex head on the cap is 19mm, if you use a shifter you will wreck it. If you use an open end spanner you will wreck it. If you use a double hex ring spanner you will wreck it. If you use a double hex socket you will wreck it. If you use a cold chisel you will…you get the idea!

AG200 oil drain capThere is one effective way to get it off without damaging the cap – a single hex, 19mm socket. Where do I get one of those I hear you ask, drop into your local tool shop and ask for a 1/2 inch drive, 19mm impact socket. It will be black (black oxide), and have a hex interface to match the drain cap. They are cheap and make your life a lot easier as far as oil changes go.

19mm single hex