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Defender jerky at low speeds


Dragoon

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My Defender is pretty jerky at low speeds. I assume it's caused by the electronic throttle? Is there a tune or clutch modification that can help smooth it out that anyone has had success with?

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What year is your Defender?  Mine is a 2018 and I'm noticing a similar issue. 

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2019 Defender Max Lonestar.

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On my 2018 Jerky is an understatement.  When going about 5 mph and slightly downhill it acts more like a mechanical bull than an expensive UTV.  It's been doing this since it was new.  I took it back to the dealer for them to fix and they said it was normal.  I don't really believe that.  I tried cleaning the clutch out with compressed air to remove any dust that may be causing it to stick but that didn't fix it.  It's funny I don't really notice it when I'm my deer lease because I'm always going faster but at my house putting around the yard I really notice it.  My current thoughts are I need to change the belt.  Maybe it was made wrong and is acting like a flat spot got burned on it or maybe I did burn a flat spot on it but I can't recall when that could have happened or it could have happened at the dealer before I bought it, it had 10 hrs on it so it's possible.  If the belt doesn't fix it there are some after market springs that lower the engagement rpms of the clutch that could work but it seems when this happens I have enough rpms going that the clutch should be staying engaged.  I'm also thinking maybe the vehicle speed sensor could be causing it since it's so rhythmic.  If anyone comes up with a solution to this I'd sure like to know.

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It seems to be a pretty typical issue with the Can-Am vehicles. It almost seems to me like the weights are off in the clutch because it can't decide when to engage/disengage. The electronic throttle doesn't help either because it's so sensitive that I think it causes more sharp engagement/disengagement of the clutch when it's already fighting the weights.

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Does it make a difference what mode you are in?  (Econ/Work/Normal)

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The mode doesn't fell like it makes a difference.  In Low Range it's much more noticeable.

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Yeah, I pretty much run around the house in work mode because it takes the edge off the jerking IMO.

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Good to know.  I'll try that again and leave it in work mode and see if it helps.

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Well I changed the belt.  The belt is not the issue, in fact it may be a little worse.  

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6 minutes ago, Mark said:

Well I changed the belt.  The belt is not the issue, in fact it may be a little worse.  

Bummer! It's probably going to be real grabby until it breaks in a bit.

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I just put the old belt back on and I'll keep the new one until i need to change it.  I'm no clutch expert, but I have a feeling I'm going to be by the time I get this resolved.  One of the things I noticed was the belt looked a little loose before i removed it.  I was thinking it should be a somewhat tight so when the primary clutch engages it hits the same location on the belt.  I can't find any spec on deflection so maybe it's not an issue or maybe my secondary isn't holding the belt at the right location.  I also noticed a polished location on the primary that seems larger and better defined than the clutches I've seen in pictures.  Anybody know if this is normal?(See Photo).  I'm thinking the looseness of the belt is letting it flop around and cause this.  I guess I need to buy the tools to remove the clutches and see if anything is out of ordinary.  Another thing I noticed was that the new belt i put on and drove maybe a 1\4 mile had the cord wore down noticeably more in about 3 spots on each side but they weren't directly across from each other which makes me think there is something not functioning right with this clutch.

IMG_20190205_183116071_HDR.jpg

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wow, that's interesting. I'm really surprised that this issue has gone unnoticed and unfixed by Can-am.  I don't drive less then 10mph that often, but when I do it would be nice to have a smooth ride.     

Thanks for digging into this issue and keeping us updated Mark!

 

 

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If I remember correctly, the belt was always loose on the primary side of my RZRs. It was the secondary that gets squeezed tight all the time. There is a break-in period on new belts so that they wear in evenly. I'm almost to 40 hours on my Defender Max and the jerkiness has gotten much better. I'm thinking the belt is finally breaking in. Also, I noticed the jerkiness initially is tied to the machine being cold. It's like the v-twin is extra lumpy when the engine is cold and that combined with the electronic throttle seems to make the clutch real twitchy. Once everything warms up my Defender runs a lot smoother.

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I have the same jerky response to throttle input on my 2019 Lonestar. It seems that this is normal as I saw that mentioned in several ranger and defender comparison videos. Do agree the low speed roll should be a lot smoother though. 

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