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How to determine if the woodruff key has sheared on pinion gear 92 EVO without pulling the pinion gear

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It will not run correctly if at all if pinion gear isn't where it belongs on shaft

Posted on Jan 21, 2014


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: bike won't start

With a puller, but look at it first. There should be no need to remove anything to get to the starter.

Posted on Nov 12, 2009

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SOURCE: I have changed 3 pinion

I'm assuming the gear you are talking about is the starter gear on the Jackshaft.

If your bike is kicking back on the starter, it's because of a problem in either the ignition or something. What causes this is the engine fires on "the first upstroke" before the flywheels get to moving good. Some aftermarket ignitions such as the Crane HI-4 has a setting for either electric start or kick start. When the electric start position is selected, this delays the spark plugs from firing until the engine rotates over three times. Once those flywheels are rotating like that, the engine will not kick back. But, the stock ignition unit is not set up to do this and in most bikes, it's not a problem. My '94 Wide Glide has only done it once in the ten years that I've owned it and then it do any damage.

So, one question, are you running high octane fuel? If not, your engine could be detonating, or pre-igniting the fuel. If you're running high test fuel, it could be that the ignition timing is set too high. The timing will not change and will remain at the factory setting until someone changes it. But, sometimes those factory guys have bad nights before and one may have gotten your timing set wrong. Also, check for damage to the ring gear. If the ring gear is damaged, this could be damaging the smaller jackshaft gear. The ring gear is replacable as well.

Good Luck

Posted on Aug 09, 2010

Testimonial: "thanx for the infos. it will help take a decision for what to do and what to check... DAN"

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SOURCE: kawaskia atv. 400.bayou engine woodruff

I don't know the year of your ATV but you probably have electronic ignition. I assume the cam chain has not been disturbed. Based on that, just install a new woodruff key and go riding. The timing is pre set. Please rate my answer. Thanks.

Posted on Apr 06, 2011

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How do I replace Woodruff key in engine

Take the cover off the housing that covers the flywheel. The crank shaft comes up the middle of the flywheel and has a slot in the end. The slot has the woodruff key in it. The key fits in the slot on the flywheel. When you hit something with the blades the crankshaft stops and the flywheel keeps turning. This shears off the woodruff key or makes it move out of position and then the timing becomes out of spec. The motor wont start. You need to pull the flywheel off and replace the woodruff key. They key looks like a half moon piece of metal.

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I have a Yard Machines/ Briggs & Stratton 675 series 190cc lawn mower. It started this morning then stopped. I replaced the spark plug now the pull/start cord won't pull, what could be the problem.

CHECK THE OIL. If oil level gets too low, the engine may seize due to excessive friction. Check the safety interlock cable for proper operation. Check under the mower for anything that may prevent the blade from turning. If the mower hit something hard like a stump, tree root, or a large stone then check the woodruff key where the flywheel slides onto the crankshaft (there is a notch in both the flywheel and the crankshaft where this key fits). If the notches are misaligned, then the key is sheared. If the key is sheared, remove the flywheel, replace the key, reinstall the flywheel.

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Refer to this diagram:
You need to determine which part is slipping. Does the chain spin? Does the sprocket spin. When you determine which part is slipping, usually a pinion gear, this will tell you where the problem is. If it is a pinion slipping, there is a roll pin that will commonly shear between the shaft and the gear. All that would need to be done, is to use a punch, knock out the old pin, align and install a new shear or roll pin.

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The engine timing is set by a flywheel key. Remove cover and flywheel and check the key and keyway for damage. If damaged replace

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Are you sure you didn't bend valves when the keyway sheared off ? Do a compression test and get back to me with the results.

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Kawaskia atv. 400.bayou engine woodruff key sheared engine timing info.

I don't know the year of your ATV but you probably have electronic ignition. I assume the cam chain has not been disturbed. Based on that, just install a new woodruff key and go riding. The timing is pre set. Please rate my answer. Thanks.

Apr 06, 2011 | kawasaki KLX 400 R Motorcycles

1 Answer

94 evo motot suddenly spewing oil into air filter form breather

Check you oil tank and see if it's nearly empty. If so, you have sheared the key in your oil pump and it's not pumping the oil out of the engine. Your '94 model is what we call a "head breather" in that your crankcase vents are up in the top of the head. If you've got enough oil to "spew" into the air filter, you've got a major problem with the top of the heads filling up with oil. The only way that can happen is they are allowing the oil to drain back down. Unless someone has been working on the engine and done something wrong, it would be because the bottom end is full of oil. For this to happen, a small key that drives the scavenger gears in your oil pump has sheared and it's not pumping the oil out of the engine or you've got an oil filter designed for a Twin Cam on your Evo engine.

Your '94 also has a plastic timing gear in it. I've seen too many of them break a tooth off the gear, the tooth gets caught in the scavenger gears and shears the key. If it's the wrong filter, the mess in the filter is too fine for the Evo style oil pump to push the oil through and it backs up in the engine. Check your oil in the tank to see if it's all in the crankcase.

Good Luck

Feb 28, 2011 | Harley Davidson FXR Super Glide...

2 Answers


Using all caps makes it sound like you"re shouting...

It sounds like you have either lost your camshaft drive (broken timing chain, or belt, or broken gear(s)), or your camshaft has broken right where the driven end is. In any event, your cam is not turning.

I worked on a Ford van once with gear to gear drive for the cam, but the cam gear was a fiber/resin gear (for quiet running). There was a crank-shaft-gear shaped scoop carved out of the cam gear. Had I not seen that, I would have thought gear-to-gear drives can never fail. Apparently not.

Jun 15, 2010 | 2004 Harley Davidson FXSTS - FXSTSI...

1 Answer

Crankshaft Woodruff Key Removal

You are correct, this key does drive both. While I have never tried to remove the keway with out both pulley and lower sprocket you may be able to (my gut says no but anything is worth trying once) I'd position the keyway at the 12 o'clock postion and with a good pair of needle nose pliers see if the key will roll out as you pull up and away with it. If it will not you'll of course have to remove the front of the engine and pull the timing belt, if over 60K miles on belt go ahead and replace with new.

I hope this may have assited and good luck!


Apr 06, 2010 | 1990 Mitsubishi Montero

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