When do M8s typically need clutch work?

Dec 14, 2010
142
1
18
25
I’m in the market for an 09-11 M8 and despite looks for months, majority of the sleds have approx 2k-2.5k miles. I know the motors will last a long time and the diamond drive is good if it’s serviced regularly and bearing replaced.

But how how long do the stock clutches usually last?

Other than looking at the clutch rollers and faces of the clutches, what else would tell me the condition of the clutch?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

jim

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2007
932
568
93
Boise
Yes, clutch rollers are the key failure on those. Check for any slack or squeaking when you roll them. Look at the weights also...those can indicate things going wrong. Checking main bushings helps, but you have to remove the cover and not sure if sellers will let you do that.

As for how long the stock clutches last? Loaded question. But, generally, they last between 1000 to 2000 miles depending on how hard the sled was driven. Deep powder riders with long pulls and hot clutches/belts will wear one out in 1000 miles. If lots of trail miles and easy riding, 2000. Also look at how stored and corrosion aspects. Ask if they cleaned clutches (blowing out the rollers regularly does extend the life of the rollers, the main failure point, significantly). And, some clutches last longer no matter what, all things being the same. The problem with the AC clutches of that era is that they had poor tolerance control...some went together well...some not so much.

That said, you can pretty much plan on a new primary clutch to be part of the price you put into the sled.
 
Dec 14, 2010
142
1
18
25
Yes, clutch rollers are the key failure on those. Check for any slack or squeaking when you roll them. Look at the weights also...those can indicate things going wrong. Checking main bushings helps, but you have to remove the cover and not sure if sellers will let you do that.

As for how long the stock clutches last? Loaded question. But, generally, they last between 1000 to 2000 miles depending on how hard the sled was driven. Deep powder riders with long pulls and hot clutches/belts will wear one out in 1000 miles. If lots of trail miles and easy riding, 2000. Also look at how stored and corrosion aspects. Ask if they cleaned clutches (blowing out the rollers regularly does extend the life of the rollers, the main failure point, significantly). And, some clutches last longer no matter what, all things being the same. The problem with the AC clutches of that era is that they had poor tolerance control...some went together well...some not so much.

That said, you can pretty much plan on a new primary clutch to be part of the price you put into the sled.
Thanks for the info! From my research it is better to buy a new or refurbished primary instead of trying to rebuild the stock one correct? I have basic mechanic skills and believe if it is just a plug and play kind of install, I should be able to easily do that.

What do new clutches typically cost?

And if an M8 has say 2500 miles(original clutch), would you replace the clutch first or wait till it started to fail?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Mar 18, 2011
331
43
28
43
Manitoba
Blow belt dust out of primary every ride, be sure your o rings are in place to center weights & that set screws haven't come loose. If your losing rpm & sleds sluggish your secondary hub & bushing are finished. So many dig into wrong clutch first. If secondary rollers are lunched so is hub & bushing. Best option is having Mel @Formula x-1 repair/rebuild it. Permanent repair
 

summ8rmk

Too handsome
Lifetime Membership
Premium Member
Feb 16, 2008
11,179
4,598
113
yakima, wa.
If the sled performs fine then the clutch is fine. 2,500mi is a lot for a cat clutch of that era. My 09 made it 2,600mi. My 14 made it 900mi. 16 and newer, i Haven't put more than 1,300 mi on a sled before getting rid of it so, not sure how long they last?

Expect $400-600 for a primary without weights. MDS weights perform very well in the Mseries. ~$260?



Sent it
 

Coldfinger

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Nov 26, 2007
2,096
391
83
Nebraska
My first clutch failed on my 2010 m8 at approx 800 miles. I ran the 2nd clutch until approx 3400 miles and it was working fine but since I had aready bought a 3rd clutch as a backup and it had been sitting in a box for 1-2 seasons, I figured I may as well install it and keep the clutch which still works as a backup. I am just over 4000 mtn miles now. Not a big hillclimber but will try to climb them as they come up during boondocking. Love the deep pow but only experience truly deep pow once every season or two because logistics dont make it easy when the mtns are 500 miles west and that is the direction storms come from. I use compressed air to blow them out after every trip, which is around 120 miles.
 
Dec 14, 2010
142
1
18
25
Sounds like when buying used I need to plan on replacing the primary clutch

Thanks for the info guys. Is it a plug and play kind of setup where I just remove the factory and replace it with a new one or do I need to install springs, rollers, weights, etc?

And how long is the secondary good for usually?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Coldfinger

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Nov 26, 2007
2,096
391
83
Nebraska
Primaries come uncalibrated so you will need spring, weights and I believe pins that the weights rotate on.

Not sure on secondary life. Mine seems fine at just over 4,000 miles but I did replace spring last year just in case it was a little weak.
 
Dec 14, 2010
142
1
18
25
So I’ve been looking at a lot of M8s online and majority are 2500 miles to 3500 miles with some even higher. When asked, 99% of the time the owner says none of the clutches have been replaced.

So if clutches in these sleds usually only make it to about 2k miles, how come next to zero of the owners have had to replace the clutches or do any clutch work?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Coldfinger

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Nov 26, 2007
2,096
391
83
Nebraska
Maybe they are not the first owner or maybe the primary is near the end of its life?

On the other hand, maybe you have a point. Though my first clutch actually failed at low miles, the second seemed fine but I replaced it because I beleived the internet stories about clutch life.
 
Dec 14, 2010
142
1
18
25
Maybe they are not the first owner or maybe the primary is near the end of its life?

On the other hand, maybe you have a point. Though my first clutch actually failed at low miles, the second seemed fine but I replaced it because I beleived the internet stories about clutch life.
I’ve seen this one other time in regards to Polaris pros motors. While there is certainly a known issues, I’ve seen many pro owners with sleds for sale with 2000+ miles that have haven’t done a top end or one of those durability kits.

I would say 60% of the pros for sale with that many miles still had original top end.

I’m beginning to think that while the internet can be an extremely helpful, informational place, it can at times make a Mountian out of a grain of salt...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

jim

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2007
932
568
93
Boise
So I’ve been looking at a lot of M8s online and majority are 2500 miles to 3500 miles with some even higher. When asked, 99% of the time the owner says none of the clutches have been replaced.

So if clutches in these sleds usually only make it to about 2k miles, how come next to zero of the owners have had to replace the clutches or do any clutch work?
I think what I said originally still stands. Depends how you ride and clutch tolerances (luck). Trail riding, with nice, cool clutches/belts and limited shifting or wide open situations will have a clutch last longer. It is also a fact that most riders do NOT ride a sled very hard. Sustained, long, hot pulls with hood covered in powder will get you 1000 to 1500 miles (seen this many times). This means wide open pulls over a minute, regularly. Trail riding...many more miles.

New clutch, on ebay, is about $400. It is clutch and cover only...no weights, no pins, no orings.

You can certainly keep riding with the original and keep an eye on things. Rollers get sloppy first...then it goes quickly. That's what I do. 1 roller was squeaky...rode it a few more times and it got sloppy. Then replaced. Checking the rollers on my primary is a normal pre-ride inspection for me. You can usually get a few rides on rollers that are getting some slop...not like everything is just fine and they the clutch lets go.
 

MI1M600EFI

Well-known member
Premium Member
Nov 15, 2008
263
90
28
46
Mancos, CO
Yup, how you ride must be a big part. I bought my '09 SP with about 2000 miles on it. Replaced a weight that got chewed up about 1000 miles later, then rebuilt the primary with new rollers within a few rides, since the roller was what destroyed the first (and second) weight. My rebuilt clutch lasted a couple of years, to about 4000 miles perhaps, then I blew the spider right off it. Stripped the threads. Should have used locktite on them, I guess. I tossed on a new uncalibrated clutch, which at the time (2 years ago) was ~$330. New weights and pins too. Got ~5000 on the sled now and the clutch still looks fine. Have to blip the throttle a little to start it when it's warm though. I bought it some reeds that I'll get to in a week or so, but it could probably use a top end...

I think a lot of the internet "issues" with anything are basically a few people making mountains out of grains of sand...
YMMV
 
Premium Features