Clutch throw-out bearing -5 Nov 2018.

Over the last few days I have turned my attention to the dripping gearbox oil under The Racing Rhino. The leak started following the run down to Devon and back to the Guzzi Festival in August. It wasn’t a desperate problem so I left it. As it was a frosty morning I put the heaters and the lights on in the garage before I had my breakfast. That usually does the trick and makes the garage cosy enough.

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The bucket is jammed on the front of the bench so I don’t keep catching myself on the protruding metalwork of the wheel clamp.

Here you can see the gear oil hanging under the back of the gearbox. There is an O-ring inside which is supposed to stop this happening.

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To get it out you need to remove the clutch operating arm from the back of the box but, before I can remove the split pin and push the pivot out I need to disconnect the clutch cable.

I begin by slackening off the cable both at the gearbox end and the hand lever. Then the easiest thing to do it to disconnect the cable from the lever.

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Then there’s enough free play to get the cable off the clutch pull arm.

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I can then go back to the clutch arm pivot, take out that split pin and push it out releasing the arm. There’s a spring behind it. In my case it stayed put and I just left it where it was. This is what it all looks like then. The piece sticking out of the gearbox cover is what Guzzi call the “outer clutch body”. This is what has the O-ring around it. It just pulls out.

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However, when I pulled mine there were four small rollers stuck to it with oil.

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I recognised what these were. There is also an “inner clutch body” and between the two, inner and outer, is a thrust bearing arrangement and those little rollers have come from that. I fished around for the rest of the bearing with a magnetic tool.

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Luckily, when I counted them, all the rollers were accounted for.

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Here are the clutch throwout components from the back of the ‘box. The throwout bearing is made up of the bearing itself and two hardened washers. You can also see the O-ring I had come looking for in the first place.

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Work had to stop at this point while a replacement bearing was ordered. After a couple of days the new one arrived. It’s a different design to the original in that a dished washer is now firmly attached to the bearing and there is just one free washer. The photo makes the new one look slightly smaller than the original but it’s not. I checked.

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It’s a bit of a fiddle getting the new parts back in but oiling the new O-ring helps. The most difficult part for me was opening the new split pin under the clutch arm. When everything was back together I decided to top up the gearbox oil. It didn’t take much.

I sat back with a coffee and noticed a tell-tale puddle under Seb’s LeMans. Yep, gear oil. That’ll need the O-ring doing as well. Never mind. I’ve still got eight left from the pack of O-rings I bought for £2 a year or so back. You don’t need to buy special Guzzi parts. The size is 17mm ID × 22mm OD × 2.5mm thick.

Before taking the bike off the lifting bench I wiped ACF50 over all the bare metal areas and waxed the paintwork. The Racing Rhino will spend the winter away from the salty roads under dust sheets to appear next spring. The Fire Bike is much more suited to use during the winter although I don’t know how much I’ll use it.


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