View Full Version : 74 clutch problems

17th May 2005, 18:39
:censor I have a `74 Ironhead sportster.I have finally gotten this thing running pretty good.Now that I have gotten some seat time on it the details and little adjustments are killing me.I have brand new springs,drive plates,and clutch pads that I put in during assembly.My problem is I can`t get the damn thing to quit pulling when I come to a stop,like the clutch isn`t engaging far enough.I have adjusted the clutch so it doesn`t do this when I first start riding,but as the motor warms up it gets progressively worse.These things have the wet clutches,if they aren`t getting sufficient oiling could that cause this?I am at a loss for this problem and need some veteran`s advise.I put 130 miles on it this weekend at Myrtle Beach Bike Week,and cussed the damn clutch the whole time.Give me any insight or advise that you might be able to share.Thanks a lot,,,,,,,,,,,,,Rayme

17th May 2005, 20:15
How much oil do you have in the trans/ chaincase? 1 1/2 PINTS ( 3/4 qt.) is all it holds. Make sure you are checking it at the proper hole in the lower front of the chaincase cover. Too much oil (or the wrong kind) will make yer clutch grabby!

17th May 2005, 20:40
What oil should I be running?I have 20w 50w in it now.

17th May 2005, 20:45
What oil should I be running?I have 20w 50w in it now.

I used to run ATF in mine,much less clutch drag.
Those old Iron head clutches were always touchy to keep adjustment.

17th May 2005, 21:15
THE OIL LEVEL NOT WITHSTANDING and if you installed a Wet/Dry clutch (Barnett)

There are (2) clutch adjustment screws on the 74 Sportster and a specific adjustment sequence in the manual.

1st is the screw that enters the upper portion of the front of the primary cover

2nd is the clutch cam lever/ball assembly that rides on the inside of the primary cover and has an adjusting screw which is accessible thru the large plug on the right center of the primary itself.

My feeling is its possible that the 2nd item isn't adjusted correct and/or the cam/balls are hanging up and is not allowing the cam mechanism to completely return to neutral (SCREW IS TURNED IN TOO FAR) and the clutch discs are slipping. Similiar to 'riding the clutch' on a car.

Also it is possible that the two large inner springs are worn (spring tension deminished) and are not able to push the outer releasing disc home and allowing the discs to slip.

I would go back to square one...and adjust the 2 screws according to the manual. It only requires a little time and no dissassmbly....If that doesn't work, I would then suspect the cam mechanism is worn or Springs tension weak.

This is of course if you assembled the clutch correctly when you put it back in.

I have the manuals and would be happy to e'mail you the related pages and parts breakdown if you need them. :smoke

17th May 2005, 21:56
I put new inner and outer springs in it.I used the Clymer manual`s directions to adjust the clutch as you prescribed.I also adjusted it in every other imaginable direction.On some of the adjustments I made the clutch would pop when you pulled the lever.Please help me.When I look the the hole in the front primary how far up should the oil go in there in reference to the chain or anything else I can reference off of.

17th May 2005, 22:07
I believe there's a small phillips screw below the clutch adjustment hole about 1 inch up from the bottom. Stand bike up level & fill 'till the oil (3/4 of a quart) just starts to come out. If you over fill, the clutch will drag.

17th May 2005, 22:24
The oil from the motor doesn`t fill this adequately?

17th May 2005, 22:36
If you have a 1974 motor. Do not run AFT in there... Stick with 20W50... Unless you have removed your transfer valve and pluged it, the oil in the prime/trans can go through the transfer valve and into the engine. so unless you want AFT in your engine, (a bad thing), stick with 20w50.... I think Harley removed the valve in 1977 and newer models.

Good luck,

1970 XLCH (dry clutch)

17th May 2005, 22:39
Also, if you do have a transfer valve, you don't have to worry about overfilling the prime/trans... just dump some oil in there... Any excess will just end up in your engine's oil tank. A benifit of having the transfer valve.

17th May 2005, 22:48
So how can I tell if I`m getting enough oil in there?

17th May 2005, 22:55
I am asking a lot of questions on this subject because I have an aftermarket oil cooler/filter kit that I don`t think is allowing my oil to circulate properly.It doesn`t heat up nearly as much as it should.You could fry eggs on the motor but the oil cooler is barely warm after a run.

17th May 2005, 23:38
It doesn't circulate like in the engine side. It has the transfer valve for maintaining a maximum level. BUT, you have to start with the minimum, I believe. The primary/trans side is isolated from the engine side to some extent. You are supposed to put oil in the primary side seperatly from the engine oil tank. The primary/trans oil isn't cooled. It also isn't circulated with the engine oil.

18th May 2005, 01:42
The front inspection hole, (as large as the adjustment plug) is where you put the oil in.
You won't be able to see the oil level thru this hole. The level is checked by removing the screw or bolt about two inches below and an inch forward of the footpeg mounting bolt. With the bike level for several minutes, (so the oil can even out between the chaincase and tranny), remove the screw. At the proper level, the oil should JUST run out. If you have the clymer #m419 manual like I do, it's shown on page 44. Figure 19. The trans/primary oil supply is separate from the motor oil supply. The transfer valve is to scavenge the excess oil from the crankcase back to the cam chest and therefore the oil pump for it's return trip to the oil tank via the filter/ cooler.
There is a notch in the trap-door, (what your transmission is mounted to, behind your clutch), which allows the oil to be shared by both your trans and primary. The level is high enough to make contact with the primary chain and also the trans counter shaft gears which sling it on everything else. It doesn't run in a full bath like Jap bikes or you car trans. If the oil is too high, the damn clutch just won't disengage due to too much fluid drag. It's not a true ''wet'' clutch, just one that will operate in an oily environment.

18th May 2005, 02:13
You just answered my question so completely.Thanks a lot.I didn`t put any oil in the primary.Thanks a lot.Do you think this would cause the problems that I`m having?

18th May 2005, 02:22
Might have warped yer brand new clutch. Unless you had the bike laying over on the right side and the original oil stayed in the trans side. Make sure your primary chain isn't too tight. They need some slack cuz the cases heat up more than the chain does and expand and the sprockets get farther apart and the chain gets tighter when the bike warms up. Could be binding the clutch, causing it to drag.

18th May 2005, 02:32
Thanx dabronco..you just answered a couple questions I have been curious about recently...actually the whole thread is full of good info...Mike

18th May 2005, 02:39
That`s why we ask these questions here.Thanks again,I hope I didn`t warp anything.I`m gonna go check it out tomorrow.

18th May 2005, 04:52
If you have a 1974 motor. Do not run AFT in there... Stick with 20W50... Unless you have removed your transfer valve and pluged it, the oil in the prime/trans can go through the transfer valve and into the engine. so unless you want AFT in your engine, (a bad thing), stick with 20w50.... I think Harley removed the valve in 1977 and newer models.

Good luck,

1970 XLCH (dry clutch)

Yup,I forgot it's been so long ago. :rolleyes:
Mine had the pass thru plugged off to avoid engine oil contamination from the clutch & primary chain.I ran a Barnett wet or dry clutch pac in ATF and it worked quite well.
Y2K :smoke

Max Throttle
18th May 2005, 10:31
i just did a clutch in my 1980 and took it for a spin, well it all went south from there

the clutch adjuster/ballramp had to be pre-adjusted before assembly (two line paragraph in the manual i missed) i took it back apart and adjusted it before re-assembling it like the manual said and then did the adjustments the way the manual said and all was fine after that

i know yours is a 74, but just wanted to let ya know what i faced and your not alone

i also run seperate primary lube and the filling process is just as described by debronco

after reading this thread......i may need to loosen the primary chain a bit :eek:

18th May 2005, 13:42
DO you have the Clymer manual?If so what page is this procedure on?

18th May 2005, 14:23
I do have the manual....at home. I'm at work now, and will look when I get home. The primary chain adjustment is in 'Periodic lubrication and maintenance'. Your bike requires the cover to be removed I believe. I can't remember when they changed to the external adjustment screw. As for the ball ramp adjustment, just read the entire clutch r&r section. I always read all the proceedures for all years so I understand the differences and highlight MY proceedures so I don't do the wrong thing.

19th May 2005, 02:52
I filled the primary to the specified level and took the thing down the road.Too much oil obviously,it slipped like hell.I took it back in the shop and adjusted the clutch the way the manual prescribes and the damn thing is pulling when I start it up and put it in gear.What do I do next?What does it sound like to you?

72 Ironhead XLH
19th May 2005, 03:03
Just installed the barnett in mine and like the previous you must follow the adjusment instructions exactly.Running 20-50 Penzoil .Did you "pre-soak" the clutches first?Did you install the spacer tubes correctly? Clutch hub bearing???
Fill level hole is a phillips screw ,level the bike, remove screw and let drain till it stops.
Ed 72XLH

19th May 2005, 03:08
I didn`t know you were supposed to presoak the clutches?Is this in the Clymer manual?

72 Ironhead XLH
19th May 2005, 03:13
No, it`s in the paperwork that comes with the barnett clutch

19th May 2005, 03:16
Oh.I didn`t use the Barnett clutch.How much did you pay for yours and who sells them?

72 Ironhead XLH
19th May 2005, 03:19
around $90. Only clutch i`ve ever used. needs 1 adjustment around 200-300 mile and then forget about it.

72 Ironhead XLH
19th May 2005, 03:20
can you drop me an "im"

72 Ironhead XLH
19th May 2005, 03:23
come to the chat room

19th May 2005, 05:55
No,it won't fill it from the engine. there is a 'wall' between the 2. The transfer valve is above the engine oil level. To demonstrate this, some people have closed the transfer valve off so they could run a different lubricant in the tranny/primary. This is a design change that H-D did a few years later.

Max Throttle
19th May 2005, 11:24
i have the harley manual but it doesnt go back to 74 :frownone

i did get the paper in th barnett clutch that said to pre-soak the clutches in the lube being used in the primary for 5 to 10 minutes, soaking longer doesnt make any difference (thats what it said anyway, something to that effect)

i got this info from a guy on "the horse board"named "ed", good clutch adjusting info i thought, just wanna pass it along to ya................................

The secret to a smooth operating clutch
is to have absolutely 100% dead-ass flat clutch
plates. In a properly operating clutch, there is only
about 1/8" of play between all those plates when the
clutch is pulled.

So, what you do is this, gather up
all the plates for your clutch and get yourself a
piece of glass about a square foot in size and a couple
o'beers. Check each plate, on both sides, for bluing or any evidence that the plates have been overheated. No bluing? Good. No deep gouges? Good. They can be used again.

Take one of the plates and put it on the piece of glass. Bend the plate where necessary so that it does not rock on the glass. Now turn it over and do the other side of the plate the same way. At this step you're trying to remove any dishing that the plate may have. You now have one plate that's smooth as glass. Drink a little beer and then do the next plate.

When you have all the plates perfectly flat and all the beer is perfectly gone (urrrpp) fit a plate into the clutch basket to check for any areas where the plates might bind.

Slide a plate all the way in and out of the clutch
basket. A little smoothing with a file might be
necessary, on the clutch basket, not the plate.

When all the plates have been flattened in this manner, put the clutch back together and have a beer.

Put the primary cover back on. Don’t use any sealer on the gasket, just a touch of grease to hold it
in place. Adjust the clutch and the lever and free play then go to bed.

Don't try to ride it till tomorrow. After all, you did drink all those beers.

Loosen the cable adjuster where it enters the front of the primary cover till you have about a half-inch of slop at the clutch lever. Open the large plug in the primary cover that's over the center of the clutch. In there you'll find a nut with a slotted screw in the center. Loosen the locknut and turn the screw until you feel it contact the pressure plate. Then back the screw off about a quarter-turn. Tighten the locknut. You'll feel the release assembly pivot when you do this. It's normal...in fact it's good. Make sure the nut is tight.
Now that your clutch is adjusted you can go back to the clutch cable. Turn the cable adjuster, at the front of the primary cover until you have about 1/8" slop in the clutch lever. Tighten the locknut, screw the access plug into the primary cover and go for a ride.

20th May 2005, 16:49
I`m gonna tear this thing down this weekend and check out a few things.I think I remember seeing the bearing in the back of the clutch sprocket welded up for some reason.There was something in there welded on I`m not quite clear on what it was but I don`t think it was supposed to be.I`m gonna take pictures of all the components that are in there and try to post them.Any of you that can help please do so as I`m at a loss on this part of my project.

22nd May 2005, 18:23
Here are a few pics of the tear down so far let me know what you see.

22nd May 2005, 19:32
your fiber plates look good , but I can't see the steel plates (no prob) take some fine grit (1000 or finer) and lightly sand the steel plates where the fiber runs , this will deglaze them and give you better grip when its back together

its a touchie thing to adjust , mine is set were it just slips in high gear and just grabs with the clutch pulled , thats the happy medium I had to set it at

72 Ironhead XLH
22nd May 2005, 21:41
? On the middle pic why are the steel plates "slotted" .mine are perfectly round to fit the studs.

22nd May 2005, 23:24
I posted a comment & then deleted it 'cause I was thinking about unequal load on the studs. BUT, now that I think about it, the only load on these studs isn't side load. All these do is to provide spring tension against the sandwiched plates. So, I guess, as long as they are balanced, It doesn't matter, I think. Perhaps they're a 'for multiple year' sort of thing... You know the aftermarket parts market. Make one thing kind of fit as many models as possible... Hmmmmm.

23rd May 2005, 00:20
I thought they were all slotted,the ones I took out were slotted.I ordered these brand new from Jireh cycles for my model year which is `74.

23rd May 2005, 00:22
I the hub that these all go inside of supposed to have any "play" in it?Mine seems kinda wobbily on the shaft.Also,do you think I should soak these clutch discs in oil before I reinstall them?I didn`t do that on the previous install.

72 Ironhead XLH
23rd May 2005, 01:17
I have an XLH model and wondering if the reason is that there is no "compensating sprocket" on the engine.the pic indicates a sprocket only.maybe the slots make up for that?

23rd May 2005, 01:20
do you have a pic of one or a link to find one to see what they look like?

72 Ironhead XLH
23rd May 2005, 01:43
I`ll check to see if i have an old plate but yours are the same except for the slot.mine are clearanced to just accept the spacer sleeve.

23rd May 2005, 01:50
Oh! You`re talking about the holes in the drive plates that the spacers go in.I haven`t read anything about a compensating sprocket in my manual yet.If you have the Clymer manual could you please look and tell me what page it might be on? Thanks

23rd May 2005, 02:11
Check you clearances and spacer lengths per this diagram from the H-D Workshop manual. I can scan and email you the Chapter on the clutch from the Factory manual if you think it will help

See Attached photo.

23rd May 2005, 02:48
I don`t know if you got my PM,but please send me that chapter.That would help the most.I can study up before I start at it.Clymer is a decent manual but confusing as hell a lot of times.Thanks again.

72 Ironhead XLH
24th May 2005, 02:04
just a harley manual. could digital pic a few pages.

24th May 2005, 03:13
I sent the Chapter out to you last night...14 pages, (7each) on two separate e'mails...did you get them?? :smoke

24th May 2005, 03:16
Yea got em,,,,,sent you a PM,and an E-Mail,,,,check your E-mail,I think I might have figured out what is going on check it out and let me know.

24th May 2005, 03:45
Look at my pics,my front motor sprocket doesn`t have the spring component on it.I attached a pic of one with the spring on it.I`m confused as to whether mine is supposed to have one or not.Does the XLCH model have this spring?Looking in my V-Twin Catalog,the XL and XLCH models have a different set up.

24th May 2005, 04:09
Ray, I'm going to e'mail you that last page in a few minutes. I hope it goes thru.

The compensating sprocket assembly that you are wondering about was dropped by H-D I believe after the 75-76 model year. You really don't need it per say. As I understand it, what it does is to dampen the vibration of the motor and smooth out the vibration from the primary chain.

My 74 XLCH does not have one either and I have no clutch problems. :smoke Hrdly

24th May 2005, 04:16
Ok,I just didn`t see one on mine.I`m experiencing a learning curve with this old bike.Your patience and knowledge of them is greatly appreciated.I believe the bearing on the back of the clutch drum was welded up by a previous owner.The drum spins fine but seems a little "wobbily".Your thoughts?

24th May 2005, 04:19
I just got your last page thanks.

24th May 2005, 04:43
that's a press fit bearing with a special snap ring. Shouldn't have any weld that I know of.

Your outer clutch hub is probably wobbling and causing the plates to distort /flex making them grab and unable to fully release when you pull the clutch cable in, so when your sitting at a light, th plates are touching each other and causeing the bike to jerk forward.

You'll notice you have an outer clutch hub and a smaller separate inner hub.
Your metal plates are set inside the grooves of the inner hub and your clutch fiber discs are set inside the outer larger clutch hub notches, so that when you pull in the clutch lever, the metal plates and small inner hub stop with the trans and the fiber discs continue to spin with the outer larger hub along with the motor and primary chain.

Releasing the clutch handle allows the plates to come together and turn the tranny and subsequently your rear chain and wheel by the Friction cause by the faces of the metal plates and fiber discs being forced together under the spring pressure.

If the previous owner effected a botched repair or half-ass weld to the large hub and or bearing area, I believe the outer hub is not running true with the inner hub and is wobbling excessive and forcing the plates and disc to warpe and touch any time you pull in the clutch lever when your stopped or sitting in nueural.

You may have to replace the large c;utch hub and bearing. I would like to see a close-up of the hub where its welded. Hrdly

24th May 2005, 04:49
Damn you`re smart.Ijust got the socket today to fit the big nut in there to remove it.I`ll take it off tomorrow and post the pic for you.So my clutch hub shouldn`t wobble at all?Are we gonna set a record fo the longest thread?LOL

24th May 2005, 05:00
This is the kind of stuff that makes you want to get in there and get your hands dirty!! Its hard when you can't see it up close or hold it in your hand to inspect for flaws and wear.

But when you take it apart...check the bearing on the large outer hub. If its not a worn out Original American Made bearing, I'll bet they put in the cheap ass chinese bearings that H-D sells for a replacement....it'll likely have a cheap brassy finish to it and if you look real close it'll say made in taiwan. They're shit!!

Take it apart and lets get a look at that hub and bearing and this welded area. Hrdly

Talk to you tomorrow.... :smoke

24th May 2005, 05:01
Will do.Talk to ya tomorrow.

24th May 2005, 07:10
If you can't get good bearings from H-D, where can you get them & be confident they're top quality?

24th May 2005, 22:20
You can get pretty much any bearing from an American manufactuer. What you need to do is write down the numbers that are stamped on the side of most bearing produced.

Take that number along with the old bearing down to any local Bearing supply house. Look in your local phone business directory under 'bearing' and/or check the yellow pages.

The numbers stamped on the sides of bearing identify the bearings dimensions/specs. But I would also bring the old bearing(s) with me as some bearings are shielded or sealed. The ID numbers may not show that the bearing is indeed sealed or Shielded in which case it's good to have the old one for the counter guy to check out.

Of course you can do like me and buy original NOS parts..(if you can find them) for you bike.

H-D does sells whatever they sell...which usually ain't American made any more...The Made In Japan bearings are ok, but I personally would steer away fron Made in China...but of course its up to you...and of course to part supply. Sometimes you have to make-do with whats available....especially in a pinch or bind :smoke Hrdly

25th May 2005, 16:36
What is the best method to take the big nut off the clutch hub?Other than using the special tool?

25th May 2005, 19:33
I use a hardwood dowl (broom handle) between the primary chain & clutch hub sprocket, breaker bar & a 4 foot long piece of pipe called a 'cheater'.

25th May 2005, 23:09
that outer hub is supposed to wobble a bit. don't take it apart just because of that. the inner one shouldn't. unless it's really bad don't bother. mine has some play in it and works fine. i was told it was ok by many people.
also, no compensating sprocket on mine.

26th May 2005, 01:49
There are several possibilities why raymeg cannot get the clutch to actuate correctly. IF this problem did not exist prior to installing just a set of plates and fiber discs..I would say that his problem is likely to due with adjustment or the smaller moving components.

raymeg's earlier posts stating that there is a unusual weld on the hub bearing area that is suspect, indicates to me there's a problem with the hub and or bearing. IF the hub and bearing are suspect, I would take it off and check it out....and if I wasn't sure what I was looking at was Factory correct, I would take it to a local H-D indi shop or H-D Dealer and let them look at it.

Also, I was under the impression that raymeg had the tools to enable him to remove the clutch basket, which in itself is a fairly easy procedure if you have the tools. In my case, I have the correct tools and also tools that I have made myself to perform this job.

For me, removal of the clutch basket is a given when rebuilding a Harley clutch assembly, B/T or Sporty...doesn't matter. This allows me to inspect ALL the components. Also, it is the only way to replace the bearing....which I would do along with the replacing snap ring that holds the bearing in the hub.

Wobble...HOW MUCH is the clutch basket WOBBLING?? What do you consider WOBBLING?? How old is the hub bearing?? Was the bearing damaged from the last guys half ass installation procedure...BIG HAMMER SYNDROME?? Why Guess...why not know!!?

I'm not there looking over raymeg's shoulder, so I can't see anything...I can only state what I would do. Hrdly

72 Ironhead XLH
26th May 2005, 02:13
besides taking the nut of ,you need a puller for the inner hub and the primary chain gets removed at the same time the clutch outer hub gets removed.

26th May 2005, 02:14
I`m following your instructions Hrdly.I`m sorry I don`t have the specific tools I need for this procedure as this is my first Ironhead.I know there is a way to do this without it.I`m just looking for advise on how to do so.I`m down to this one nut to get the thing off.Please bare with me as this is all new to me.

72 Ironhead XLH
26th May 2005, 02:15
come to the chat room

27th May 2005, 03:09
I took the thing off tonight ,,,,,here`s the pics.Looks like someone welded on the starter ring gear,Check em out antway.The bearing doesn`t look too bad,,,and it`s american made.

27th May 2005, 03:12
Check out this picture and see if my clutch adjuster is in the right position.

Max Throttle
27th May 2005, 10:20
in the pic called "cov.jpg" thats the ball ramp i had trouble with, my old one was worn so i ordered a whole new assembly from J&P cycles part number 630-059 $39.99

when the ramps that the balls ride on gets worn theres less disengagement of the clutch and adjusting it cant get any more out of it due to the wear

i believe i have the fork prongs that the cable hooks to facing the other way (forks toward cover) but according to the exploded view in the manual you have it right, i had mine wrong and corrected it and cant remember now which way the darn thing is hehehehe which reminds me....when ya do the clutch work dont be drinking beer and doing rum shots, i did and had to pull it back apart and do it again sober ;)

i replaced the inner and outer springs (they were just at the limits of replacement) should be 2-25/64ths free length if they are below the limit of 2-11/32nds replace them

i replaced the pressure plate $17.99 from J&P part number 630040

i put in new spacers on the pressure plate $14.99 part number 620-572 (pack of 6) i got these in the clutch kit but thats the info to get them seperately

and clutches i got were the barnett heavy duty 620-421 $99.99 (8 clutches and the spacers)

one part i should have gotten and may still do, it is the "tamer II" part number 620-686 $44.99 from J&P cycles which it says this thing "eliminates all jerking and lunging while in gear and stopped", i may still get this and go back in to install it

how do the stainless drive plates look? no pits, no warpage, no grooves, no blueing? i probably should have replaced mine but they cleaned up, seems like the big issue with these is warpage/groove wear (should be smooth and flat with no clutch wear)

dont mean to jump in on the help your getting, damn fine help!!!!!!! and one great thread ya have going here!!
it will help alot of guys in the same boat :smoke

i just went through mine with no help but the manual and it is straight to the point but very vague on the deep questions


27th May 2005, 14:12
Thanks Max,,,,I`m gonna look into that "tamer II" part,and prolly a new ball ramp kit.Everything else is new already.

72 Ironhead XLH
28th May 2005, 00:42
the welding of the ring gear is normal,the adjuster pic appears correct just make sure the plate is flat and not resting on any of the balls.

28th May 2005, 01:53
I've been looking over your pics, and except for a lot of weld spots and possible starter ring having been replaced at one time...I don't see any damage or any hint of repair/welding to the bearing boss area on the front or back.

Do a quick check of the bearing by sticking a couple or three fingers into the bearing opening and give the clutch hub a few quick turns. The hub should spin smoothly and without any signs of jerking when spinning. Also listen for any noises emitting from the bearing as you spin the hub. Check the bearing for excessive play in its race.

**If the bearing seems to hang up or does not spin smoothly and sounds noisy....Replace the bearing. **If replacing bearing also replace the Retaining ring....DO NOT RE-USE THE RETAINING RING. Old Bearing needs to be pressed out and the new one pressed in. If you do this yourself, be sure to press in the bearing by its outer ring (race) and not the smaller inner bearing ring (race).

The dealer or local independent shop can do this for you if you don't have a press. **IF YOU THINK THE BEARING IS IN DOUBT...NOW IS THE TIME TO REPLACE IT...

Put the hub back on the trans shaft and replace the nut and hand tighten it only. Spin the hub and watch to see if the hub has any noticeable wobble.

If ok remove the hub and give the clutch basket a good cleaning of the grooves. If you use a solvent cleaner avoid soaking the bearing with solvent.
Be sure you clean out all the crud in the grooves (see my pic). Check that there are no burrs anywhere inside the grooves or edges that could hang up a disc/plate. Check all the grooves on the smaller inner hub also. Clean out any crud and check for any burrs.

Reassemble the Hub according to the manual. Check all your spring heights and you spring spacers for correct lengths. Take your time and follow the Shop Manual. Check your final spacing between the outer Releasing Disc and the Outer Drive Plate. Minimum 1/8" is needed for later 74 and 11/32" need for early 74. Refer to the drawing 4-6B that I attached and e'mailed to you.

Put your cover back on with a new gasket and adajust your clutch. All things being equal, it should operate smoothly. Your clutch release lever assembly looks correct in your pic.

Well, that's all I have for you except you could try replacing some of the small parts as described by Max Throttle.

As for the Tamer...You can read about that by going to the J&P website. Its been around for awhile but I have never had the need to buy it.

Keep us informed....Hrdly

31st May 2005, 21:18
DO NOT RUN ATF IN ANY IRONHEAD TRANSMISSION/CHAIN CASE. You will F@#k up the gears. ATF does not handle heat...(thats why automatic trannys have oil coolers) It will break down, Gears get hot, Screws with the molecules, Metal crystallizes, Tranny leaves thru back of case. Use The H-D Sport Shift, or some synthetic 20/50 oil (Reduces creep)... If you have Barrnet Kevlar cluthes, you can use 80/90 gear oil... (which is what I've got in mine) Gear oil works great... No Clutch Creep, Neutral whenever you want it...but only works with the Barrnets....

Max Throttle
6th June 2005, 11:34
what ever happened? did ya get it fixed?

7th June 2005, 04:15
Sorry guys.I just ordered the parts this weekend from JP and they should be here on thursday.I ordered a whole new ramp adjuster kit;part #630-059,tamer kit;part # 620-686.I also went ahead and ordered the 23 tooth sprocket for a little less RPM at high speeds.I found out at about 65MPH that I needed that.I also went ahead and ordered an adjustable main jet for my S&S super B.After all this she should be ready to go.I`ll post again as soon as I get somewhere with this thing.Thanks for all the help and insight.I live by this website now.It`s the first place I visit when I turn on my CPU..Til` next time.................Later Rayme.

Max Throttle
7th June 2005, 11:56
cool, i will keep an eye for the results :smoke

Chris B.
8th June 2005, 20:06
Great info guys, I have a 73' Ironhead. Same issues, I am watching this closely as to get ideas for ripping into it. Mine is just the oposite though, I have to roll it, then pop into gear to take off without her dying when I hit the shifter. After about 1-2 miles, the clutch works fine. Is this different? I plan to ensure my oil level is correct and adjustments first, then if it is still pulling I will rip into it and check out the plates for warping. If anyone has a page from the manual outling the clutch adjustments, please forward to me at chris@svnsvs.com

Thanks again! Much appreciated.

Max Throttle
9th June 2005, 11:17

my manual only covers 79-85

i believe you have a different ramp system on that year than i have

i can still scan the manual for ya if you want me to but it's not gonna be exactly the same as your bike


10th June 2005, 03:16
I got all the parts in today.I`m gonna start on her tomorrow.J&P is awesome as far as customer service and always has what I need in stock.They also ship this stuff out quick too.Just thought I`d reccomend them to all.Others I order from never have what I need in stock and I don`t find that part out til my order arrives and parts are missing.I`ll update soon guys.

Max Throttle
10th June 2005, 11:24
yep J&P has been great on my end to :D

take your time assembling and inspecting and cleaning

make sure the stainless drive plates are straight and in good condition, and that they slide in and out of the basket easily without binding....well you know....what hardly said and stuff

after i did mine it was about 100 miles and she needed an adjustment again, no biggie just a fine tune after it was run for awhile :smoke

11th June 2005, 06:12
I have another question that may sound dumb,but here goes.Which way do the spacers go in?Big end out or big end in?

Max Throttle
11th June 2005, 10:21
i see ya posted at 1 in the morning, working late huh, sorry i missed the post at that time

big end in, flange against pressure plate, thin end toward nut

i hope that makes sense

is the bike in your avatar the one your working on?....that baby is bad ass!!! i love it :smoke

11th June 2005, 12:42
I don't recall my spacers having one side larger then the other...but thats because I last had mine apart 2 years ago.

Check for the studs coming out of the clutch pressure plate. If they are 'stepped' at the point the stud comes thru the plate...then I would say the large end goes against the plate to clear the stepped studs so that the spacer butts up against the plate surface.

If the outer releasing disc has a bump or raised stepped area around the holes that the studs come thru, then I would say the large end faces against the release disc to clear that.

If you purchased new spacers its possible that they the spacers were just manufactured that way and it doesn't matter.

The Late 74 'spacers' themselves acts to give you the correct amount of space between the clutch plate and the releasing disc to ensure that there is space enough for the clutch plates and friction disc to open up when you pull in the clutch and also help guide the plates/discs evenly. I believe the 71 -early 74 clutches did not use 'spacers' at all.

I will go outside and see if I still have my old clutch components and get right back to you. :smoke

11th June 2005, 12:44
whoops..looks like Max Throttle answered you before I could Post...There you go!! :smoke

11th June 2005, 12:49
Maybe if I'd have gone to page 9 of the posts I would have seen Max Throttles post before I sat here picking my ass while I typed in my long drawn out answer.... :smackh :smoke

11th June 2005, 15:26
Yea that`s my bike in the avatar,,,,thanks.I`m asking this question cause the spacers seem to go through the holes in the pressure plate when they are put in this way.I tighten them down as the book says and I don`t have anything near the required 1/8" gap.

12th June 2005, 03:31
How come the spacers seem to go through the holes in the pressure plate?Hear me out on this;every diagram I have been able to find shows the ferruled end facing out.If this is the case then that would explain the problem.I took them out they were facing in.Check out any diagrams you have of this assembly and tell me what you think.By the way,the V-twin catalog has a good diagram of this assembly showing it the way I`m talking about.Let me know.

12th June 2005, 04:14
I am really tempted to rip open my primary and pull my clutch apart!!

Its been two seasons since I had it apart and with each new problem you are encountering I am looking thru my manuals and trying to recall my exact assembly of my 74 clutch....which is the later 74 style as depicted exactly in the diagrams that I e'mailed you awhile back. I do not recall any of the spacers going thru the holes in the releasing disc.

Can you put up a pic the V-twin diagram? I for one would like to see their Version in comparison to the Factory Manual.

12th June 2005, 05:22
Here`s the diagram

12th June 2005, 05:35
OK...these are V-Twin parts you ordered?? If so and they match the V-twin diagram, then install as per their diagram.

Tighten down the nuts and check for the proper clearance. Hrdly

12th June 2005, 05:38
I ordered mine from J&P.You see what I`m saying though?

Max Throttle
12th June 2005, 14:10
you know what....you got me thinking on this one!!!

i put mine back together the way it came apart, wonder if someone before me did it wrong :eek:

i'm gonna go down in the basement and get a pic of my old stuff........

12th June 2005, 14:20
Still recovering from yesterdays allergy attack...but I'm going to get out to the garage in a little while and find the box of original clutch parts that came from my 74 XLCH when I rebuilt it with Barnett parts.

Might have the old spacers too. V-Twin parts are sold by most Supply houses like J&P. Wish I could get to your garage and get my hands on your clutch parts and install them to see for myself the problems your having!!

You know there's a simple answer to your problem...but which answer will solve it?! :smoke

Max Throttle
12th June 2005, 14:39
ok i took a pic

my manual does NOT show "how" these are to be installed

i did it the way it came apart (still have old spacers and pressure plate so i took one and flipped it (see pic)

i think raymeg is right, the large end is to the outside

i didnt have any trouble with them coming through the holes on mine, his may be "wallowed" out a bit but i have to say the one i flipped (circled in green) looks correct to me!!!

ya gotta have that 1/8th inch of space!!!!

i see what your saying in that diagram, the diagram in my harley manual pic doesnt even show the spacer having a farrelled end :rolleyes:

after taking my old parts and flipping the one circled in green.....it makes 100% logical sense for it to be that way, dog gone it whoever did mine was wrong and i followed how they did it :censor

damn, mine is back together the way it came apart, i may have to go back in :yikes so far it shifts and drives great though :tour

72 Ironhead XLH
12th June 2005, 19:43
The wider section of the spacer should face outward toward the primary.If a spacer has been damaged a piece of steel fuel line works nicely. spacers are used to properly set the tension and spacing. It prevents you from over-tightening the outer plate.And again, the steel plates must freely slide on the clutch inner hub and the clutches should also be free to move in the clutch basket.A "fine" file will clean up and shart edges.

13th June 2005, 02:04
I`m gonna put mine together tomorrow trying this method,I`ll keep you guys informed.If this is the case and this is right then that would explain all my problems.If these spacers go through the hole even the slightest little bit it will throw the whole adjustment off;I presume.Later.

Max Throttle
13th June 2005, 10:35
i think that will do it for ya and be the correct way :smoke

26th June 2005, 18:18
I got the thing back together.Now the when I squeeze the clutch cable something is popping and hanging the thing up.I have adjusted it 100 times and it still does it.Any insight on this?I hate to ask so many questions but I know I`ll get the answers I need here.

26th June 2005, 21:36
Also, if you do have a transfer valve, you don't have to worry about overfilling the prime/trans... just dump some oil in there... Any excess will just end up in your engine's oil tank. A benifit of having the transfer valve.

I was just going to post that also..

I had a problem with my clutch that just ended up to be the clutch release Mechanism, The release ramp was shot, so the ball bearings were flat.. the whole assy...and everything was fine...

27th June 2005, 15:04
What oil should I be running?I have 20w 50w in it now.
There is sportster trans oil specific for our wet clutches,this is what you should be using.Any decent parts place should have it or any dealer fer sure should have it.You may also want to look into some longer spacers in the basket,when I spaced mine out it solved that same problem that you have..Good Luck :smoke

Max Throttle
28th June 2005, 11:12
when i re-assembled mine i had a problem where i pulled the clutch and it made a sound when it came to the end of the travel and then the cable went loose and no adjustment would work so i went back into the manual to see if i missed something and install procedure and found this little tidbit that i had missed......

before installing cover on engine clutch, release lever must be correctly adjusted so that 3 balls are centered at bottom of each ramp with no play in clutch cable

i went back in and did the 3 balls the way it said and it worked


24th July 2005, 22:02
Ok,,,I`m almost there.I have most of the kinks worked out,,,The clutch still pulls a little when engaged,,,not major .I think it may be the adjustment.Which way do I turn the adjustment to take this away?

Max Throttle
26th July 2005, 11:31
man i had computer failure, back online now with an old spare till i get the other one fixed :rolleyes:

mine had the slight drag so i slowly turned the set screw in with small movements and tried it out each time "fine tuning it at this point" and also made sure all the slack was out of the clutch cable within reason of being to tight

then around 100 miles of running the new clutch i had to do one more fine tune and all has been good :smoke

26th July 2005, 14:25
Ok,,,I`m almost there.I have most of the kinks worked out,,,The clutch still pulls a little when engaged,,,not major .I think it may be the adjustment.Which way do I turn the adjustment to take this away?

Get used to some drag...it's the nature of the beast.
Find netural before you stop and figure on cleaning and adjusting the clutch as a regular maintainence item.

27th July 2005, 03:29
That`s kinda what i figured....I`ve got it pretty good now.It`s the best it`s been.I drove it last night and the staking of the ramp assembly to the primary cover obviously didn`t haold well enough for it came out while riding.I`m running out of room to stake the dang thing.I took it apart on the side of the road and fixed it well enough to get me home.I`m open for suggestions on this problem now.Thanks

Max Throttle
27th July 2005, 10:49
even if ya stake the washer in place theres a clip that goes on thats supposed to hold the assembly in the primary cover

pre-adjust the clutch cable before installing the cover to takes the slack out of the ramp assembly (says to do this in the manual).....

before installing cover on engine clutch, release lever must be correctly adjusted so that 3 balls are centered at bottom of each ramp with no play in clutch cable

man i wish you were close by here in tennessee, like to get my hands on that so you can ride

27th July 2005, 16:58
where are you at in tennessee?

Max Throttle
28th July 2005, 11:13
smoky mountains, pigeon forge/sevieville area

where are you?

a few of us took a ride saturday around douglas lake

my 80 ironhead
a 72 right shift sporty
a 79 shovelhead
a 99 night train TC88
80 honda CB750
2004 honda shadow V-twin 1100

had a pretty good ride, hot as hell but a good ride, then 2 of us came back to my basement bar to kill a few beers...


28th July 2005, 17:35
I live in Greenville SC,,,about3Hrs away.If I can`t get this dang thing fixed I might have to take a ride up there one weekend and see if you can help me straighten her out.I can put her on the trailer and have her up there one saturday morning.No problem .You just let me know.

Max Throttle
29th July 2005, 00:38
dude seriously..... if ya cant get it squared away i will be more than happy to help a bro out!! no money no nothing just 2 dudes getting sheot figured out, have a few cold ones and deal with it, ya know what i mean!!

we gotta stick together and help each other the best we can

hopefully we get her squared away while your here in one weekend, if now we can decide from where we are at the time as to where to go next, but i bet things will be fine

do what ya can, and PM me if ya need help and we can exchange addresses and go from there

ya got a killer bike and i hate ta see ya not riding!!! :frownone

31st July 2005, 04:24
Ok!Finally!I got it right this time.With all the help from you guys she`s on the road again.I took her out today after all the repairs and everything worked fine.It felt great to finally put it in the wind.It`s gonna take a little to get used to this rigid frame but I like it.Thanks again for all your help brothers.Now I have to get everything tuned in and I`ll be done.Whewwwww!

31st July 2005, 05:38
Raymeg, ya got an awesome lookin scoot there...glad to see ya got it worked out and back in the wind....also thanks for posting all ya went through on the clutch, good info here (got it bookmarked), I'll prolly need it in the future....I've put two clutch cables in mine so far, and that can be frustrating with the ramp assy and all....I appreciate all the info here, between that and the F'ing Manual (FM) I trust I'll be fine as frog's hair when I gotta do mine...thanks guys

Max Throttle
1st August 2005, 11:28
glad to hear ya got her going :smoke