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Aspiring Perfectionist
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Discussion Starter #1
This is sort of a vague post i suppose, but maybe its not... i don't feel this should be an opinionated answer, this really seems like there should be a definite answer to this question... the specific answer may vary by machine, tune, tires, etc etc.... but there should be definite answer that applies to all scenarios I feel... so lets hear it.... newbies, veterans, weekend warriors, those with clutch problems, those without, clutch gurus ( calling out @Hunterworks @AIRDAM @AftermarketAs @Joey Strub Bmp and any other vendor who markets clutch kits or tuning on this forum ), anyone and everyone.

I've spent the better part of the last year tuning and chasing problems with my clutching... some of you may have seen it on my build thread, some of you have helped (thank you for your time), I've learned a ton about the ins and outs of clutches and they're functionality, but I still by no means consider myself an expert, and all along the way, I don't think I've ever discovered the answer... we see/hear a lot about tuning for a specific RPM, we hear/see about guys "dialing in their clutches", we see problems arise, problems get solved, problems get ignored. We've seen "this cured that" a hundred times... we've heard "Airdam in the solution" countless times, we've seen "Ask Todd" or "Ask Mike"... but the bulk of all the questions come from the search for "Proper Clutching"...because as we've all heard more than anything "You have to have your clutches tuned properly" or "Proper clutching will fix that" or "Proper clutching reduces belt heat,extends belt life, and increases performance".. There's dozens of "clutch kits" out there, all share similarities, some are exactly the same as another, some are unique to themselves, all have ways to "tune" them in the search for proper performance... but there's a different approach from every angle.... so lets try and make some headway with this post.

Is proper clutching purely based on the WOT shift RPM? why do some say it's x RPM and some say its y RPM?

Is a showroom floor machine "properly clutched?

Are upshift, backshift, engagement rpm, helix angle part of "proper clutching" or are those just the tune able aspects for the users specific application?

If my clutch kit says "make a WOT run from a roll at 15-20 mph to 55-60 mph and get you RPM at 8300-8500 RPM" and i do that, is that the only defining factor if my machine is "properly clutched"?

I feel my machine has been "properly clutched" according to instructions 3 times now.... but all 3 times it's had different weights / springs / helixes.... and behaved differently all 3 times....were/are all 3 correct? Or is one correct? Or are none of them actually correct?

There you have it... that's my rant and plea for the answer...

WHAT IS PROPER CLUTCHING?
 

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You beat me to it. I was going to post that book and another, it was either a book or DVD from Glen Erlandson.
Both CVT guru's.

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Aspiring Perfectionist
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Glen Erlandson is EPI, I've read many tech articles from them, good info, but it's all the same conclusion:

"This does this and that does that, and you want this to happen, but not that"

also translated:

"adjust your setup to achieve peak power rpm at WOT, without any belt slippage"

OK, check, got that part figured out.....

So is there 12 (random number) different ways to "properly" tune a clutch?

There's just so many different ways to achieve this... which way is "proper"?

Proper... to me at least, (and that's the big variable in it all... is the opinion of "proper"... but is it open to opinion? shouldn't it be definite? ) would be the setup that generates the most acceptable amount of belt heat (lower is better), while achieving a peak power shiftout rpm, also while having as close to zero belt slippage as possible (less heat, best acceleration, best response, best performance)... so in theory, I've achieved that 3 ways... which one is correct? or are they all? or none? (because i still have a WOT belt heat issue)

Stiffer drive spring, more drive weight, stiffer secondary spring, shallower helix

Middle drive spring, Middle drive weight, middle secondary spring, middle angle helix

Softer drive spring, less drive weight, softer secondary spring, steeper helix

There's an independent reverse relationship between all 4 tune able items that crosses in the middle... are they all correct?

I appreciate the references, but i really want to spark a conversation about it all, it's been talked about from every angle since the first CVT snowmobile ( or before even... but sleds was the first thing I saw a belt driven CVT on ), you'd think, by now, there would be a definite answer to it, i find it so hard to believe that 12 different "clutch kits" with 12 different approaches are all "proper"
 

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Re: "Proper Clutching" - What is it?

Here is the thing. There are so many variables it makes it tough.
Some like more primary weight and stiffer secondary springs, others vice versa. Then you have helix angles, which i'm not sure is as important on a SxS as a sled.

I've owned drag sleds, trail sleds, and a couple of SxS's but to be honest, was never a good clutching guy. I could relay what the clutches are doing, what i think they should be doing, then some one that knows what they are doing can pick weights, spring pressures etc.

The one thing i noticed on these SxS's is know one clutches them like a sled. Once i got my stuff clutched like that, all my issues went away. There was a lot wrong on the OEM set up. Misalignment, overshifting, not enough spring pressure for a good backshift etc.

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Aspiring Perfectionist
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Discussion Starter #6
Re: "Proper Clutching" - What is it?

Here is the thing. There are so many variables it makes it tough.
Some like more primary weight and stiffer secondary springs, others vice versa. Then you have helix angles, which i'm not sure is as important on a SxS as a sled.

I've owned drag sleds, trail sleds, and a couple of SxS's but to be honest, was never a good clutching guy. I could relay what the clutches are doing, what i think they should be doing, then some one that knows what they are doing can pick weights, spring pressures etc.

The one thing i noticed on these SxS's is know one clutches them like a sled. Once i got my stuff clutched like that, all my issues went away. There was a lot wrong on the OEM set up. Misalignment, overshifting, not enough spring pressure for a good backshift etc.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
So how are we not clutching them like a sled? Provided misalignment and overshifting are eliminated as mechanical issues, and what is a "good" backshift?
 

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Re: "Proper Clutching" - What is it?

Here is the thing. There are so many variables it makes it tough.

Some like more primary weight and stiffer secondary springs, others vice versa. Then you have helix angles, which i'm not sure is as important on a SxS as a sled.



I've owned drag sleds, trail sleds, and a couple of SxS's but to be honest, was never a good clutching guy. I could relay what the clutches are doing, what i think they should be doing, then some one that knows what they are doing can pick weights, spring pressures etc.



The one thing i noticed on these SxS's is know one clutches them like a sled. Once i got my stuff clutched like that, all my issues went away. There was a lot wrong on the OEM set up. Misalignment, overshifting, not enough spring pressure for a good backshift etc.



Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk


So how are we not clutching them like a sled? Provided misalignment and overshifting are eliminated as mechanical issues, and what is a "good" backshift?
On a sled, you stab the throttle from any speed and the rpm's go right to 8700-8800 ( my sled) and would sit there while the sled accelerates. If you've got everything just perfect, and the sled is making enough power you will see the rpms drop some as the clutches are shifted out and then the rpms and speed will climb. Only had one sled do that. The quarter mile drag sled was clutched differently.

My '16 XP1K was not like that, from the factory.

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This might be the most interesting post I have seen in a long time. Perfect kick off Richard
I have a lot of thoughts and comments I would like to post but I will try to engage the brain before the keyboard!
All I can say at this point is I agree with the OP that the standard settings listed from many vendors and even the testing done by experienced forum members varies greatly
We should see some consistency ...IF IT IS A VERY SIMILAR SET UP
I know the set up weight and all changes everything ...but when you find experienced people that have the same set up and it is ...Far different ...It makes you chase your tail
I look forward to some good input and a long running quality thread
 

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I don’t know if you’ll get the companies that you named is your first post to weigh in, because they’re may be differing opinions between them and maybe it’s a debate they don’t want to have. I’ll be watching though and I swear by Airdam.
 

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I've clutched everything from stock snowmobiles to 400hp sleds stock utv's to 250hp ones and I've always ran a shallow helix with a lot of spring pressure. The turbos really need a ton of side pressure in the secondary for good belt life. In mine I run the stiffest secondary spring I can find than pick a adjustable weight to adjust your rpm. The primary is the governor of the rpm. My 2017 makes 180rwhp on pump and I have 3000 miles on stock belt.
 

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Asking someone about proper clutching can be like asking someone what their favorite color is. You can have proper clutching for racing, dunes, trail riding, towing and all with varying machines with different HP ratings and modifications where the power band is etc. The answer then is to say it shifts where and how any given person prefers it to shift. You figure out what you want and tune for that.

The different vendors on here may give different recommendations varying the components to achieve the same result. i.e. changing the primary spring can raise or lower engagement rpm but so will changing the fly weights weight.

I liked Alba's descriptions of clutch tuning on page 3. The visual is nice to see what shift pattern I personally prefer. See: https://teamalbaracing.com/files/pdf-installation/UTV/Polaris/clutchweight_4_albaracing.pdf
 

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Aspiring Perfectionist
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Asking someone about proper clutching can be like asking someone what their favorite color is. You can have proper clutching for racing, dunes, trail riding, towing and all with varying machines with different HP ratings and modifications where the power band is etc.
The thing about this is.... it's not that you have different "proper clutching" for each specific scenario.... its that you change the components according to the application to achieve the same desired result. Duning Loads the engine more, so you need less weight to achieve the same shift RPM as a desert racer needs to achieve, he just doesn't tune for being on paddles in deep sand all the time, but then, a fully built race rzr weighs more than the average weekend duner too, so he needs less weight to overcome the added load of a heavier car... but they both want that shift RPM to be at peak power RPM to get the most acceleration and performance form the machine

see what I'm getting at? It's all to achieve the same desired result, I'd even go out on a limb to say the ONLY application specific aspect is engagement RPM, and that definitely has different benefits for each specific application, And that is specifically changed with the installed preload of the primary springs, it is affected slightly by weights, but you don't tune the weights for engagement RPM, you tune the weights for the shift rpm, and the curve to achieve that RPM, the change to engagement is simply a byproduct at that point. Even then, there's only one "desired" shift curve, look at the Alba instructions ( @AlbaNateis someone i forgot to tag, though i know he's not very active these days ) ... "This does this and that does that, and you want this to happen, but not that"... moving and / or adding/subtracting weights is simply a tool to achieve the same shift curve.... which is essentially as steep of a line as possible to peak power RPM, Alba does show a subtle difference in the "ideal shift pattern" between the two applications they show a graph for, but i'd still be curious as to their reasoning for wanting RPM to taper off slightly for a drag racing application, which in itself is a very specific niche.

Now a guy that absolutely never uses WOT.... does it even matter to him if his shift rpm is correct? In practicality, no, because he never uses peak power. However in theory, it does matter, and it's the same guidelines he'd be given for tuning his clutch.
 

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Aspiring Perfectionist
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Discussion Starter #14
I've clutched everything from stock snowmobiles to 400hp sleds stock utv's to 250hp ones and I've always ran a shallow helix with a lot of spring pressure. The turbos really need a ton of side pressure in the secondary for good belt life. In mine I run the stiffest secondary spring I can find than pick a adjustable weight to adjust your rpm. The primary is the governor of the rpm. My 2017 makes 180rwhp on pump and I have 3000 miles on stock belt.
Does a ton of side pressure purely translate to less belt slippage and less heat produced? Because that's in itself is still the same ideal situation as all models... the Turbo just has more HP to harness, so a stiffer driven spring is required per the application, but the principal remains the same as all CVTs

"adjust your setup to achieve peak power rpm at WOT, without any belt slippage"
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I don’t know if you’ll get the companies that you named is your first post to weigh in, because they’re may be differing opinions between them and maybe it’s a debate they don’t want to have. I’ll be watching though and I swear by Airdam.
But wouldn't it be great to see all of their "opinions" head to head? I feel any vendor who claims they have it figured out should have the willingness, knowledge, and vocabulary to put their methods head to head with anyone else's.. the only (acceptable) aspect holding them back would be proprietary trade secrets, and i can understand that... but I feel the general ideas of it all could be discussed without having to fully reveal any trade secret they may think they have
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Re: "Proper Clutching" - What is it?

On a sled, you stab the throttle from any speed and the rpm's go right to 8700-8800 ( my sled) and would sit there while the sled accelerates. If you've got everything just perfect, and the sled is making enough power you will see the rpms drop some as the clutches are shifted out and then the rpms and speed will climb. Only had one sled do that. The quarter mile drag sled was clutched differently.

My '16 XP1K was not like that, from the factory.

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What would be the purpose in an RPM drop during acceleration? Over rev initially when the engine load is low, and then drop to peak power RPM as vehicle speed, and thus engine load, increases, then once full shift out is achieved, your pulling all you can until limited by the engines max RPM capability? (top speed)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Someone mind explaining what a good and bad backshift would be?
Right? are good and bad relative terms in the matter? or is it more "incorrect" and "correct"...and how does that vary per specific application?

And when you get into backshift you've (finally) moved out of the basic "adjust your setup to achieve peak power rpm at WOT, without any belt slippage" instruction (or have you?)

Backshift is still one aspect I'm trying to fully grasp...

(I apologize for not multi-quoting these posts guys, my replies are coming as different comments spark different thoughts in my head)
 

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Re: "Proper Clutching" - What is it?

On a sled, you stab the throttle from any speed and the rpm's go right to 8700-8800 ( my sled) and would sit there while the sled accelerates. If you've got everything just perfect, and the sled is making enough power you will see the rpms drop some as the clutches are shifted out and then the rpms and speed will climb. Only had one sled do that. The quarter mile drag sled was clutched differently.

My '16 XP1K was not like that, from the factory.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
What would be the purpose in an RPM drop during acceleration? Over rev initially when the engine load is low, and then drop to peak power RPM as vehicle speed, and thus engine load, increases, then once full shift out is achieved, your pulling all you can until limited by the engines max RPM capability? (top speed)
The rpm drop isn't during the actual acceleration / shifting phase. And, I forgot to mention that those particular clutches had some machine work and a wider belt, so , in effect an "overdrive". So the rpm drop after everything was fully shifted out was the engine pulling the "overdrive" and it was only a couple hundred rpm. Then the rpm started increasing as the sled continued to accelerate. This is going back to the 90's so I'm going off of memory.
 
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