Clutch Basket and Alternator Shaft Bearing Replacement

The bike was running lovely. I'd just fitted some new Pirelli Dragon Evo Corsa tyres (136 a pair from BFM Motorcycles) and even though I'd only ridden in the rain they seemed great. To be fair, the tyres I removed were shagged. Anyway, when I got home from work and got off the bike it sounded even more like a tractor than usual. It was a clattering metal-on-metal type sound, almost sounds as if a nut is in a metal bowl and the bowl is being shaken about. Rev it above 2500 revs and it seemed to disappear. It didn't seem to affect engine performance but I decided not to ride it until I'd checked it out.

First thing I did was post a message on the T595 Message Board. The helpful bods suggested it might be:

- a loose front sprocket
- springs in the clutch basket shattering apart
- alternator shaft bearings collapsing

So I checked......and it was all 3!

The first thing I checked was the front sprocket, so I ordered a new locking washer and it is different to the tab jobby currently fitted, possibly a Triumph update. Next was the clutch, so I dropped the oil, removed the battery and fairings and removed the clutch cover. Undo the 5 spring bolts and remove all the plates - putting them down in the order they came out so you know which way you have to refit them. Now, to get the clutch basket out you'll need a special tool to hold the inner and outer baskets in place while you undo the nut. I have a Yamaha clutch tool that worked fine. To get the basket out you'll need to undo the pick-up as well (black thing, right side, held on with two bolts).

Two years ago I had a polo mint shaped bit of metal come out with an oil change and I didn't know where it came from. I do now, its the little springs inside the big springs in the clutch basket shattering apart. A new basket would be 400 odd, so a second hand one was in order. I got one from Lynx Motorcycles for 115 and its off a newer bike (2000 model I think he said) so it only has the single springs (another Triumph update). So whilst I had this apart I tried pushing and prodding the cogs I could get to and the one top right clutch side had a load of movement in it. The roller bearing had collapsed and the ball bearing on the alternator side was knackered. I dropped the sump and found the remains of the roller bearing. When I say I dropped the sump, I had to remove the exhaust first and 5 exhaust studs came out and the sixth snapped off in the head. I sprayed penetrating oil at it for days and then Ade Ridewood came round, hit the stud towards the head with a hammer (pretty hard) 5 times and then undid it with mole grips.

I ordered the parts from Fowlers, including two bearings, a bearing inner for the clutch side and the clutch and sump gaskets. The bearing inner for the clutch side was 16 and is a standard round shape in and out. The inner I removed was toothed to fit the spline, so this is another Triumph update. Fair enough that parts should evolve over time and maybe recalls weren't necessary but do they have to make the replacements so expensive? So now all I had to do was get the old bearings out and fit the new ones without dropping anything into the cases. Before starting this, as you are messing with electrical connected parts it makes sense to either disconnect or completely remove the battery. Alternatively, check the main 40amp fuse after you're done. I mean, you wouldn't want the bike to die on you in the outside lane of the M5 on your way to work on a very wet morning would you?

First you remove the alternator and to get at all the bolts I removed a coolant hose as well (as part of removing the downpipes I had removed the oil and coolant radiators). Then we undid the bolt that holds the alternator cush drive basket in place. The Triumph manual says not to remove the spline but to push a new one through whilst pushing the old one out. This is so you don't drop the inner cogs. Ade put a screwdriver though and removed the spline. We undid the washers that hold the bearings in, two on the alternator side and one on the clutch side, and then I held the cogs up with one srewdriver while Ade drifted the bearings out with another screwdriver and a hammer.

Once both bearings were out we also removed a spacer washer from the alternator side. Then we put some string through to hold everything in place as the parts hadn't arrived and I didn't want to accidently knock the screwdriver out and have to break the cases.

When the parts turned up it was time to have a go at repairing it. Will Pugh came over and helped, so while I held the cogs up with a screwdriver from one side, he lined up and pushed through the spline from the other. It was a bit fiddly (Will tells me!) but we (he) soon had it done. Then I held my finger against the spline one side while he tapped (quite hard) the new alternator side bearing into place. Then we swapped sides and did the other bearing. Then we re-torqued the alternator cush drive rubber basket nut and bolt.

The paint on the sump had chipped off so I sent it off to get it powder-coated, along with the headlight/mirror bracket.

And then it was just a case of putting it all back together. Having done this job, I recommend a few things:
- buy 2 or 3 alternator 'o' rings as they are easy to trap and break when re-fitting
- it might be worth buying a new spline, just to save you jiggling screw-drivers about to get cogs to line up
- when refitting the clutch, fit the big sprocket so it touches the upper cog and engages fully, then fit the inner cog (see pics)
- have a mate watch you re-fit the sump, as there's some bolts on one side that will catch the gasket and you'll end up with an oil leak

The bike runs great now. I re-mixed the coolant and made sure I bled the system well - just buy tipping the bike right over to the left and then the right to get the air out. The bike doesn't get anywhere near as hot as it used to now, so thats an improvement. In fact, the bikes been back together about 8 months now and has been totally trouble free. Various pics below, each a link to a larger version.