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Yamaha Big Bear 350 wont shift


Dave Ayoub

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Ok i am not quick to jump on a forum and post a question without doing my own part and trying to research and solve the problem myself but I cannot find any definitive information anywhere about my problem. I have a Big Bear 350 that I picked up very cheap which had been sitting in a field for years. I am not new to building wheelers but this one has me beat. After rebuilding top end and replacing the carb it fires right up. The vin has some number worn off from being next to the shifter but from the parts in the clutch i assume it is early since 87 parts seem to be the only ones that match. Thats when the plot thickened. 

Reverse works fine but when in the forward gears it would not go past 1st and was hard to get into neutral. ie. a it took a million clicks up to thump into 1 and as many down to find neutral. still never getting past 1st. within minutes i could hear metal screeching and whirling around in the clutch side of the motor. I took the cover off to find that 3 out of the 4 springs on the centrifugal clutch had broken and were shredded. Also the black mechanism that the pawl on shift shaft grabs moves was loose so it wasnt always grab to change the gear on the transmission. I tightened that mech, and replaced the springs assuming it would solve the problem since the gears were not actually changing from the lever and the carrier should obviously not only have 1 spring left. 

After putting everything back together it did go into 1st fairly easy but then i again couldnt get it back to N without a million clicks down and couldnt get it to go past 1st. I did one time get it into a higher gear who knows what one but i gained some speed and dropped rpm.

If i jack both the front and the back wheels off the ground and run the motor it becomes much easier to shift and i can get it to run through the gears pretty well. Usually going into N without a huge fight. not perfect but it does hit neutral and roar while spinning the wheels instead of gain rpm and with the power. 

I have tried every possible position on the clutch adjustment screw without any noticeable result. I think this could potentially be where my problem lies at this point.

does anyone know if the case is supposed to be threaded? because mine is not. obviously it seems as though it should be since every other bike ive touched has been. i even took the cover off my quadrunner to make sure it wasnt crazy.

when the screw is adjusted and the jam nut tightened the screw will just slide back out since there is no threading in the case. accomplishing nothing. 

 

Does anyone have any insight on any of this? Are my plates stuck, Centrif clutch worn out, case stripped or something else crazy im over looking? 

 

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  • Admin changed the title to Yamaha Big Bear 350 wont shift

Hey Dave, have you checked that all four tires are the same size or some are more worn then others? 

I'm assuming it’s 4x4? If any of the four tires are not the same you will have this problem.  Especially since your explaining that with the  wheels off the ground it’s easier to shift. 

Edited by Frank Angerano
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ya it came to be a combination of problems. I ended up inspecting the clutch plates. they were toast and while the basket was off i was spinning the crank as i was shifting through gears i found it to be either missing a gear or 2 without fail on the way up and then once at the top it would just miss every gear on the way back down. so i split the case and it looked like a war zone. the gears looked like one of those hydraulic shredders you see on the youtube and the forks were trashed. JUNK. not even worth its weight in parts cuz theres a guy in town selling 3 of them 2 complete non running and ones missing the motor all in halfway decent shape all for 450 no ones willing to buy

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