Hoot clutch bell broke, how the **** can it be removed????


New Member
Local time
4:52 PM
Apr 23, 2008

The clutch bell of my hoot gearbox has been split in 2 parts.
There is a "bolt" that holds the clutch bell into the thing that has the springs and expands.

I have bought a pressure screwdriver, but hey, this bolt is IMPOSSIBLE to be unscrewed....

Anyone has done it, anyone can help me? I hold the opposite part of the engine (where the dynamo is) while unscrewing, but it does not move at all...The engine is useless without this...

Many thanks in advance!
JL "Hoot" Gearbox

Hi, well I've just removed 4 new boxes, and I had previously taken off my failed unit.

I stuck a screwdriver in the holes in the bell, and unscrewed the little bolt. It turns out counterclockwise. Once you remove that bolt, the remainder of the clutch bell comes off, a spring washer, and then the clutch. If you wish to remove the clutch, merely remove the spring if facing forward, by prying it out of the groove, if backwards, then push the spring out with a screwdriver thru the 3 openings.

The clutch shoes are pivioting in a slot, and will come out easily, now a 3-jaw puller will pull the hub with no damage. Do not worry about the peened over key, it will slide right out with the puller.

I still have one new takeoff second gen JL gearbox for sale if you need one.

thanks for the help mate...

this bolt doesn't move at all, and I am wearing its shape on every try...
I locked a screw into the spring hole of the clutch and try to unscrew that one with two hands and all my wheight,....

was it so difficult for you??

Are you using an impact screwdriver with a screwdriver that fits the bolt head really tightly? I had to smack the 2 bolts holding the gearbox to the engine maybe 60 times to get both bolts to do about 3 revolutions each before I could get them to unscrew normally. It's infuriating I know!
dead hoot clutch wasn't hard to remove

When my Hoot clutch died it wasn't hard to pull out. Mine was help in with an allen-head bolt, which I unscrewed doing something like what Mike recommends. The remnants of the clutch bell slid right off, and I pried the clutch out with two screwdrivers and just a bit of wiggling.

As an old bicycle shoppie, I'd try heat like Houghmade recommends (but keep the flame away from your gas line) and then probably some good penetrating oil and a lot of light tapping, like you're laying down a latin backbeat. If this doesn;t work (and it sounds like it might not) and you wipe the bolt head out enough, you might need to drill the bolt out. You could try to save the existing threads by drilling a small hole in the the center of the bolt and then very gently mushing the remnants into the cavity. Another way that's probably just as fast if you already own a thread tap set is to just drill the sucker out without worrying about keeping the old bolt size and then tap new larger-diameter threads in the motor shaft. Given that the shaft is 5/8 inch (or turned down to about 0.550 like mine) and the bolt is much smaller, there's more than enough metal left in the shaft.

One thing I caution against is getting fancy with a bolt extractor, which is a cone-shaped tool made of very hard metal, probably about as hard as a file and about a brittle. You drill into the bolt, then screw the extractor in, which in theory at some point binds into the offending bolt and removes it. In practice, in small bolts the tip breaks off in the bolt, in which case you have a piece of metal harder than a drill bit stuck right where you want to drill further... Then you have to go to the step of drilling an even larger hole than you'd have if you just decided to drill and tap in the first place. I'd skip this step and go bowling instead.

Then, after all this is done, make a nice piece of wall art of out those quaint Hoot gears, and buy a Grubee, or build yourself a belt / pulley drive. Simpson is working on one, which is undoubtedly a more professional version of what we used on our go-kart built from a riding lawnmower back in 1976.
The centrifugal clutch appears to be the exact same in both makes of GB so it's the bell housing that is as fault. I would have thought it would be cheaper to launch a class action case against Hoot in the courts because it is fairly easy to work out where the problem is - the metallurgy of the bell join to the shaft is where the faulty workmanship lies. This is a dangerous piece of shonky cheapskate engineering and I would prefer to see the blame sheeted home to the Hoot manufacturer who for an extra $2 of materials is willing to put our lives at risk. Enough of this sinoapologist claptrap - the manufacturer is guilty of supplying a potentially life threatening product no different to the company putting melamine in milk products currently on the news.
That's my take on the Hoot. My supplier has decided to stop selling them simply because of the bell housing problem. He doesn't ride these bikes but he's not blind either! I want to see a total product recall and compensation for all victims of Hoot Trauma!