Sticking stock clutch remidies for Peugeot 103

The following stock clutch modification was arrived at as the best way to eliminate the annoying habit the stock clutch on the 103 Peugeot failing to release when coming to a stop, thus killing the motor and leaving the rider with two choices. One, they can start franticly pedaling the bike into the intersection when the light turns green and ride away with a red face. Two, they can act as if they suddenly decided to do a little light shopping, push the bike down the crosswalk to the sidewalk, while feigning interest in the window display of the adjacent sex shop.

I, as many others have tried countless combinations of star spring washers, greasy balls and adjusting washer thickness, only to have the clutch seize up 5 miles from home. The clutch sickness seem to come on when the bike is hot leading me to suspect heat expansion binding the parts. True also is that only happens to modded bikes with performance parts that as a rule run hotter and half again faster.

Starting out, I wanted to set up the clutch tolerance according to the Peugeot shop build manual. The tolerance given in the book for space between the clutch disc and pressure plate is 0.5-0.7mm. In order for me to find out exactly what my measurements are it was necessary for me to cut up a "doner" clutch bell to substitute for the rare tools used by our forefathers who wrote this Peugeot manual.

cut bell for tool

This bell was hard as hell to cut. It took a whole wheel on my die grinder. But it will serve well as a stand in
for the factory tool

double "D" washer

Now I begin to stack all my components in the regular order starting with the double "D" washer on the

fake tool

Next comes the fake homemade factory tool. Really all this plate does is support the clutch pack so you can
then slide a feeler gauge between the disc and pressure plate to obtain a reading. But its shape is unique.

clutch disc thickness

All these clutch discs measure 4.00mm. Don't really know why it matters because they never get to wear
out, they just shatter on kitted bikes.

0.8mm adjuster

I chose the size 0.8 of the adjusting washers for this build and they come in 3 stock thickness, 1.0 , 0.8 and

star spring

star spring washer Note: I used two spring washers and three balls on my build to match the tension
on the motor variator spring and the size of the weighs I have installed.

pressure plate

Next the pressure plate. Sharp eyed people will notice that the clutch disc has mysteriously vanished. I was
trying different setups and the pictures or components got mixed up.

thrust plate

Toss in the thrust plate and then however many balls you plan to run.

tuck your balls

I like to run three balls, no less, because I weigh over 200 pounds and two balls engage the clutch stupidly
slow. This picture looks like I am easily stuffing the balls into their nooks, In reality this motor is laying flat
on a wooden jig with the crank pointing up.

beveled washer

Beveled washer faces the case.

bearing races

Next slide the inner and outer bearing races out of the variator and slide them down. You can leave the plastic
washers on but you cant use the whole variator as then you cant get a reading with the feeler gauge.

variator top nut

Finish it all with a top nut moderately tight.

feeler gauge

The 0.63 leaf of my feeler gauge is a snug fit and so this configuration of three balls, two star springs and the
0.8mm adjusting washer is well within the factory tolerance. This setup should not have any trouble for a stock
I can now transfer this setup over to a full clutch bell and variator and not have to think about if I'm tight or loose.
But what about a kitted bike?

I had sent some pics to another MA poster and bike builder "Crazy Wayne" and explained what I was trying to
uncover as to the sticking clutch syndrome.

The following is Crazy Waynes fix and some theory as to the sticking 101/102/103 clutch assembly's.

"Now that you have your drive clutch engaging at higher RPM's from a stop. You have a new
problem. The starter clutch is hooking up before the drive clutch as you start picking up speed,
and the starter clutch is not disengaging as you slow to a stop and or a slow turn. Some times it
just wont disengage at all even when you come to a full stop. This seems to happen the most
when things are hot and after longs runs of WOT at high RPM's.
"This can drive you crazy when the clutch kills/stalls the engine at stops. What is happening?
Well it's like having a fat ski in wet snow you try to get it on edge so you can turn but can't
brake the seal to get air under the ski to get on edge so you can turn or it grabs and you face
"If you have a skinny ski the grab is less or you have to keep the skis on edge with lot's of
turning to reduce the grabbing effect. Well the same thing is happening with the starter clutch.
Over time it wears and becomes a perfect mach to the bell and no air can get in so it sticks like
a ski in wet snow.

starter shoes

"See above how long the stock starter shoe is? It's like having a fat ski, and you cant use stronger
springs to brake them loose cause they wont let the starter shoes engage at pedaling speeds.
The 101/102/103 clutch assembly's have a very long shoe. Much longer clutch pads than is
needed to start even the big kit's.

cut away 2/3

trimmed shoes

"All your starter clutch needs to start your 101/102/103 is the 35% to 40% of the starter shoes
tip at the end of the clutch arms. All you need to do is remove 60% to 65% of the shoes from
the clutch arms.
Cheetahchrome has done my Crazy Wayne starter clutch mod and has posted a pic of it fore all
to see and do. Thank you Cheetahchrome.
Good luck and ride safe, Crazy Wayne out.

A very easy mod to perform on the starter shoes. As you can see in the above pic I removed about 2/3
of the pads by scribing through the material with a hacksaw, then chipping out the unwanted portion.
This Mod also gives you a double pleasure in that the shorter shoes don't allow the starters to drag down
the motor during takeoff. You can maintain the high RPMS all the way through the intersection and don't
have that depressing "Haarrrummph when leaving the line.
I have been pounding the shit out of this setup for about two weeks now and have never once stalled at
a light.


A week after doing these clutch mods I had attended the annual Landsquids Sacramento rally. I pounded
and slipped this setup for two days trying to keep up with the fast riders. After the second day I could only
roll the bike backwards as the starter clutch would engage with any forward movement at all. Inconvienant
at times but the bike still performed well.
Weeks after the rally I couldn't stand the "no roll" issue and decided to give the clutch a full inspect since I
had not opened the clutch after doing the above mods to the starter clutch.

remove bell

Start out with the normal clutch removal and lift off the bell. I noticed right away a lot of black clutch dust.

measure disc

Measuring the disc I see a whopping .17mm burnt off the disc since I last measured a month ago. It's important
to position your calipers on the inside of the disc when measuring a worn disc as the outside edge rides outside
the pressure plate and does not wear down. Measuring from the outside could give you a false reading.

remove plate and balls

Next scoop out the star and adjusting washers as well as the pressure plate stuff.

open shoes

Now you can disassemble the locking ring from the pivot posts, exposing the starter shoes

broken spring

As I had suspected my "no roll forward" issue was caused by this broken starter shoe return spring, which would
allow the shoe to fall down and grip the bell with even the slightest forward motion of the bike.

modded starters

I was happy to see under close inspection of the modded starter clutch pads that they didn't seem to be stressed
at all. I half expected them to be worn close to metal after all the abuse I gave them in the last month.

failing disc

The clutch disc on the other hand was close to self destruct. The right light reveals this disc already has a gun to its
head. If it had shattered though, I always carry spares would have quickly swapped in a new one. This is just the
the price you need to be able to pay if you want to be on the porch with the dogs.

I am now done with this page. You can contact me with Questions as "Cheetahchrome",26847