How to Clean Snowmobile Clutch to Maintaining the Quality

How to Clean Snowmobile Clutch

To clean a snowmobile clutch, remove it from the machine and disassemble it. Clean the parts with brake cleaner and a brush before reassembling and reinstalling the clutch.

One of the essential aspects of snowmobiling is keeping the machine in top working condition. Proper snowmobile maintenance is key to ensuring optimal performance and extended life for your machine. One significant component of maintenance is cleaning the snowmobile clutch.

The clutch is an essential part of the snowmobile’s engine and requires careful attention during cleaning to ensure proper function. A dirty clutch can lead to poor performance, decreased fuel economy, and even engine damage. In this article, we will cover how to clean a snowmobile clutch step-by-step, so you can keep your machine running smoothly all winter long.

Preparing To Clean The Snowmobile Clutch

Preparing To Clean The Snowmobile Clutch
Snowmobile Clutch

How to clean snowmobile clutch: preparing to clean the snowmobile clutch

Snowmobiling can be a thrilling and enjoyable winter activity. However, over time, the clutch of your snowmobile can accumulate dirt and dust, which can hamper its performance. If you’ve noticed a decrease in your snowmobile’s acceleration or engine power, it’s time to clean the clutch system.

Cleaning the clutch of your snowmobile can be a daunting task, especially if you’re new to snowmobiling. In this section, we’ve listed the essential safety guidelines you must follow before cleaning the clutch system, along with the tools you’ll need for the task.

Additionally, we’ll discuss the different components of snowmobile clutches.

Safety Guidelines

Before you begin cleaning the snowmobile clutch, be sure to follow these critical safety guidelines to avoid any accidents or injuries:

  • Always wear protective clothing, including safety goggles, work gloves, and a respirator mask to prevent dust or dirt inhalation.
  • Park your snowmobile in a well-ventilated area to prevent the buildup of harmful fumes.
  • Never smoke or use open flames while cleaning the clutch to avoid the risk of an explosion.
  • Keep fire extinguishers or a bucket of water nearby in case of any emergencies.

Gathering Necessary Equipment

To clean the clutch of your snowmobile, you’ll need several essential tools, including:

  • A socket wrench kit: To remove the bolts holding the clutch cover in place.
  • A clutch puller: It’s a specialized tool used to remove the clutch.
  • A cleaning solution: Specifically designed for snowmobile clutches.
  • A soft-bristled brush: To remove the dirt and dust.
  • A clean cloth: To dry the clutch parts after cleaning.
  • A torque wrench: To reassemble the clutch correctly.

Understanding The Clutch Components

Although snowmobile clutches vary in design, most of them comprise two halves, the drive clutch, and the driven clutch. The drive clutch transmits engine power to the track, while the driven clutch regulates the speed of the track. Before cleaning the clutch, you must know about the different clutch components and their functions.

The significant clutch components are:

  • Clutch cover: It’s a protective cover that encloses the clutch assembly and helps prevent dirt and dust from getting inside.
  • Drive clutch: It’s connected to the engine crankshaft and is responsible for transmitting engine power to the track.
  • Driven clutch: Regulates the speed of the snowmobile by controlling the belt’s tension that connects the drive and driven clutch.
  • Belt: Transmits the engine power from the drive clutch to the driven clutch.
  • Clutch spring: Modulates the pressure between the drive and driven clutch to prevent belt slippage.

Cleaning the clutch system of your snowmobile may seem daunting. However, by following the safety guidelines, gathering the necessary equipment, and understanding the different clutch components, you can easily perform the task and keep your snowmobile in proper working order.

Disassembling The Clutch

Cleaning the clutch of your snowmobile is a crucial part of maintenance that ensures your machine functions correctly. Disassembling the clutch is the first step in the cleaning process. Here’s how to go about it:

Removing The Belt

Removing the belts is the first step in disassembling the clutch of your snowmobile. Here are the key points to remember:

  • Make sure the engine and the clutch are completely cooled down.
  • Locate the clutch cover and remove any fasteners that hold it in place.
  • Slide the cover off the clutch housing and remove any attached bolts.
  • Take the belt off the clutch and put it aside for cleaning.

Accessing And Removing The Clutch Cover

Once you’ve removed the belt, accessing and removing the clutch cover is the next step. Here’s what you need to know:

  • With the clutch cover removed, you’ll be able to see the clutch working mechanisms more clearly.
  • While the clutch cover is off, check the condition of the belt and the sheaves and replace them if necessary.
  • Check the clutch cover for any visible damage, such as cracks or dents. Replace it if needed.
  • To remove the clutch cover, use a strap wrench or clutch holder tool to secure the clutch, and then loosen and remove the fasteners.

Removing The Clutch Assembly

The final step in disassembling the clutch is removing the clutch assembly. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Remove the clutch spider by carefully sliding it off the clutch shaft.
  • Next, remove the spring, weights, and any bushings. Be sure to keep them in order, so it’s easier to reassemble them later.
  • Inspect the clutch components for wear and damage while you have them taken apart. Replace any damaged or worn parts as necessary.

With these steps, you can safely disassemble the clutch of your snowmobile and start cleaning each piece thoroughly. Proper cleaning and maintenance of your snowmobile’s clutch will ensure the performance and longevity of the machine.

Cleaning The Clutch Components

Inspecting Clutch Components For Wear And Tear

Before cleaning your snowmobile clutch, you must inspect it carefully for any signs of wear and tear. This will help you identify any issues and prevent any damage during cleaning. Here are some key points to keep in mind while inspecting the clutch components:

  • Check the clutch discs for cracks or chips. If they’re damaged, replace them before cleaning.
  • Inspect the clutch basket for any uneven wear or damage. Replace it if necessary.
  • Look for any signs of corrosion on the clutch components.
  • Inspect the springs for damage or wear. If they’re worn out, replace them before cleaning the clutch.

Removing Dirt And Debris

The next step is to remove the dirt and debris from the clutch components. Here’s how to do it:

  • Start by removing the clutch cover and taking out the clutch assembly.
  • Use a clean rag or a soft-bristled brush to remove any loose dirt and debris from the clutch components.
  • Use compressed air to blow out any dirt or debris that’s stuck in the clutch components.
  • Be sure to clean the clutch release mechanism as well.

Soaking The Clutch Assembly In A Cleaning Solution

Once you’ve removed all the dirt and debris, it’s time to soak the clutch assembly in a cleaning solution. Here’s how to do it:

  • Use a bucket or a cleaning tray to hold the cleaning solution.
  • Add the cleaning solution to the bucket or tray according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Place the clutch assembly in the cleaning solution and let it soak for the recommended amount of time.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the clutch components gently.

Cleaning The Clutch Cover

The final step is to clean the clutch cover. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Use a clean rag or a soft-bristled brush to remove any dirt and debris from the clutch cover.
  • Use a cleaning solution to clean the clutch cover thoroughly.
  • Be sure to clean both the inside and outside of the clutch cover.
  • Once you’re done cleaning, let the clutch cover dry completely before reassembling your snowmobile.

Remember, cleaning your snowmobile clutch is an essential maintenance task that will help keep your machine running smoothly and prevent any costly repairs. So, take the time to clean your clutch regularly, following the steps we’ve outlined above, and you’ll enjoy many happy hours of snowmobiling.

Reassembling The Clutch

Snowmobiles are a great way to explore winter landscapes, but the key to keeping them running smoothly is proper maintenance. One essential component to maintain is the clutch, which connects the engine to the track and allows riders to adjust their speeds.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean and reassemble your snowmobile clutch.

Applying Lubricant To The Clutch Components

Before reassembling your clutch, it’s important to apply lubricant to the components. Here’s how:

  • Apply a generous amount of specialized clutch grease to the inner clutch hub and the clutch spider.
  • Add a light coat of grease to the clutch stop pins and the clutch alignment key.
  • Finally, coat the splines of the jackshaft with molybdenum disulfide grease to prevent rust and wear.

Reinstalling The Clutch Assembly

Putting the clutch back together can be tricky, but with a little patience and care, it’s doable. Here are the basic steps:

  • Place the clutch assembly on the jackshaft, with the clutch stop pins positioned correctly.
  • Rotate the driven clutch counterclockwise as you install it, guiding the belt on with one hand and seating it with the other.
  • Make sure the clutch halves are aligned correctly before torquing the retaining bolt to factory specifications.

Reinstalling The Clutch Cover

The clutch cover is crucial to protecting the clutch from debris, so install it carefully. Here are the steps:

  • Clean any gasket material or residue off of the transmission case and clutch cover.
  • Apply a thin layer of gasket sealer to the clutch cover gasket, making sure to cover the bolt holes.
  • Carefully align the clutch cover with the transmission case and torque the bolts to factory specifications.

Installing The Belt

The final step is to install the belt, which connects the engine to the clutch and track. Here’s how:

  • Push the belt onto the primary clutch sheave and then onto the secondary clutch sheave.
  • Make sure the belt is properly seated on both clutches, with no twisting or slack.
  • Finally, adjust the belt’s tension according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

By following these steps, you can ensure your snowmobile clutch is properly cleaned, lubricated, and reassembled. This will help your machine run smoothly and ensure you can enjoy a safe and fun winter riding experience.

Testing And Finalizing

How To Clean Snowmobile Clutch: Testing And Finalizing

After thoroughly cleaning the clutch components and putting them back together, the next step is to test the clutch’s functionality. Here’s what to do:

Running The Snowmobile To Check For Proper Clutch Engagement

  • Turn on the snowmobile and let it idle for a few minutes. This gives the belt and clutch a chance to warm up before you take it for a spin.
  • Gradually increase the throttle and begin to move forward. The clutch should engage smoothly and without slipping. If you feel any slipping or hesitation, you may need to adjust the tension on the clutch or the belt.
  • Test the clutch engagement at various speeds and inclines. The clutch should disengage quickly when you release the throttle.
  • Keep an eye out for any unusual noises or vibrations. If you hear any unusual sounds, stop the snowmobile and check the clutch components again.

Fine-Tuning The Clutch System

  • If the clutch engagement is not smooth, you may need to adjust the tension on the clutch or the belt. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific details on how to do this.
  • If the clutch is still slipping or hesitating, you may need to replace some of the clutch components, such as the spring or the weights. Consult with a mechanic or expert before attempting to replace any parts yourself.

Maintenance Tips To Keep The Clutch Clean And Working Efficiently

  • Regularly clean the clutch components to prevent the buildup of dirt and debris. Use a soft brush or cloth to remove any debris and then wipe down the components with a dry cloth.
  • Use high-quality lubricants and fluids designed for snowmobile clutches. The right lubricant can help reduce wear and tear and keep the clutch working smoothly.
  • Avoid using high-pressure water or harsh chemicals to clean the clutch. These can damage the components and cause corrosion.
  • Periodically inspect the clutch components for signs of wear and tear. If you notice any damage or excessive wear, replace the damaged parts immediately.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your snowmobile clutch is working efficiently and keeping you safe on the trails. Remember to always take safety precautions when working on your snowmobile and consult with an expert if you are unsure about any aspect of the maintenance process.


How Often Should I Clean My Snowmobile Clutch?

Cleaning your snowmobile clutch is necessary after every 500 miles of snowmobiling.

What Are The Signs That My Clutch Needs Cleaning?

Loud noises, unusual vibrations, and a decrease in performance are all indications that your snowmobile clutch needs cleaning.

What Tools Do I Need to Clean My Snowmobile Clutch?

A torque wrench, a clutch puller, a clean rag, a spray cleaner, and a brush are the required tools to clean your snowmobile clutch.

Can I Clean The Clutch Without Removing It?

No, you cannot clean your snowmobile clutch without removing it. Removing the clutch gives access to the clutch’s internal components.

How Do I Clean My Snowmobile Clutch?

First, remove the clutch and disassemble it. Clean each part with a spray cleaner and a brush, then reassemble the clutch and torque the bolts to specifications.

Can I Reuse The Old Gaskets And Seals After Cleaning My Clutch?

No, you cannot reuse old gaskets and seals after cleaning your snowmobile clutch. Replace all gaskets and seals with new ones to prevent leaks.


Maintaining and cleaning your snowmobile clutch is an important part of ensuring your vehicle is running at its best. With the right tools, a little knowledge, and patience, you can easily clean your snowmobile clutch. Start by removing the clutch cover and inspecting the clutch components.

Clean any dirt or debris, paying special attention to the belt, rollers, and clutch shoes. Lubricating the clutch will help reduce wear and tear, prolonging the life of your snowmobile’s engine and allowing you to enjoy the great outdoors for longer.

Remember to read and follow your snowmobile’s maintenance schedule for the best results. Now that you know how to clean your snowmobile clutch, you can confidently hit the trails, knowing your vehicle is ready to perform at its best. Happy snowmobiling!

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