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I have never ridden my 98 ZL500, I bought it about 2 months ago an Ive been going over it finding things to fix since then. The last repair I did was to the drive clutch, I put in new O.E. 46.5 gram weights with bushings and a new pin kit. Immediately after the clutch repair I started it up for a test and it would engage at 5000 RPM which seemed a little high??
What should the approximate engine RPM be when the clutch engages? Also, given that the weights and bushings are new, is there a break-in period after which the engagement RPMs will be lower?
 

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I have never ridden my 98 ZL500, I bought it about 2 months ago an Ive been going over it finding things to fix since then. The last repair I did was to the drive clutch, I put in new O.E. 46.5 gram weights with bushings and a new pin kit. Immediately after the clutch repair I started it up for a test and it would engage at 5000 RPM which seemed a little high??
What should the approximate engine RPM be when the clutch engages? Also, given that the weights and bushings are new, is there a break-in period after which the engagement RPMs will be lower?
I too just rebuilt my clutch with 48.5 gram weights on my zr600. Mine enguages at 5,000 rpms. I called the dealership and he said the grams of the weight for stock depends on the altitude. stock should be between 3,500 to around or just below 4,000. I have since begun to love the clutching on my zr600 the way it is now. The guy at the dealership I spoke with said 5,000 won't hurt anything and that he has his zr600 enguage at 6,000 rpm's!! Try it out. The holeshots (off the line launch) is a lot of fun when the rpms get a little higher before enguagement!! Hope this helps.
 

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Thanks Music.
That sounds reassuring.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The engage ment is done by the spring! Perhaps the spring is in a bind?
Thanks for the reply. Can you clarify what you mean by "In a bind"?
 

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My dad and bro in law both have zl 500 and they both engage at 5K, it must be stock because neither of those sleds have had any clutch work to them.
 

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1998 Arctic Cat ZL500
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Service manual states 4800 RPM for stock setup.
 

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Engagement depends on the spring. Clutch weight determines to max engine speed at wide open throttle. So take it for a good run the engine speed should be around 8000 RPM when opened up. Light wieghts let the engine over rev, heavy weights bog the engine down.
 

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I brought my ZL440 engagement down to 4000 by changing the spring from yellow/green to red in the primary, won't launch quite so radically as it did at 5000 but that's ok, it's much more trail friendly now.
 

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ditchpickel
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clutch engagement

the clutch engagement ont he 98 zl 500 is stock at 4200 to 4800 rpms and that straight from the cat service manual, when i bought mine i too thought that was wrong until i did some asking around but they did that because its a new sled design and when they designed the sled they couldnt get any low end power (acceleration) so they kicked the engagement rpms up so the sled had some wicked take off, those motors also have more power than any other 500 out there except the 03 f5 which has the same amount, theses are fast sleds and will beat most 600s from that era
 

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I brought my ZL440 engagement down to 4000 by changing the spring from yellow/green to red in the primary, won't launch quite so radically as it did at 5000 but that's ok, it's much more trail friendly now.
If I remember correctly - red spring was stock for both my '00 440 Panther and '00 ZL550 ESR. Both engaged just over 4000 RPM. Helps keep the trails nice when you're not leaving a big pile of snow in the trail every time you start up...
 

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I have never ridden my 98 ZL500, I bought it about 2 months ago an Ive been going over it finding things to fix since then. The last repair I did was to the drive clutch, I put in new O.E. 46.5 gram weights with bushings and a new pin kit. Immediately after the clutch repair I started it up for a test and it would engage at 5000 RPM which seemed a little high??
What should the approximate engine RPM be when the clutch engages? Also, given that the weights and bushings are new, is there a break-in period after which the engagement RPMs will be lower?
I have a 96 powder special 580 and it also takes off at 5000 rpm, so I called the local dealership and gave me 54 gram weights they said it should help. 5000 rpm at engagement seems very high compared to my nytro that takes off at 3200-3500
 

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5000 would definitely be a bit on the high side. If the weights dont' fix it, check to make sure it has the correct spring and that the moveable sheave bushing is not binding. I had two ZR580s and they engaged about 4500, which was stock for the ZR engine. The Powder Special should be a bit lower, I would think...
 

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Spring plays a lot into clutch engagement as do weights. I would have pulled the clutch spring first before swapping out weights. Especially if it already had stock weights in it as weights cost a lot more then springs do!

People always forget about springs being a major wear item.
 

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Yeah usually, could also have the wrong spring in there or too many engagement shims/washers. I know Polaris sells those and for each one they raise the engagement +200 rpms
 
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