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-   -   Ironhead Trans/Year Interchangeability Question (http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=2075399)

ferretface 14th December 2019 22:12

Trans/Year Interchangeability Question
 
I'm a natural pessimist and reading of the many transmission gear failures (2nd gear countershaft and 3rd gear mainshaft) I decided it would be a good idea to know which of the different year transmission assemblies would fit in my '83 XLH.

I have the Sportsterpedia articles and know that there are different gear ratios for different years, but then checking eBay for prices, I noticed a seller advertising a complete transmission that he says "fits 77-81" Sportsters.

My manual is the FSM and is for 79-85 models Sportsters, and groups the trans for my year as "1979-Early 1984".

Will any '79-early '84 complete trans fit my 1983, regardless of ratios???

My idea would be to buy a complete usable (or rebuilt) trans and upgrade it with the two Andrews gears and put it in...next winter. :rolleyes:

doodah man 14th December 2019 22:37

Basically, ‘74 and up gears and shafts will work in your ‘83. A full ‘74-‘76 will need the trap door and pawl carrier modded for left side shift and ‘77 and up are already set up for left side shift.

ferretface 15th December 2019 02:49

Quote:

Originally Posted by doodah man (Post 5794300)
...and ‘77 and up are already set up for left side shift.

So, say, a complete '81 or '82 will slide right in like a VHS cassette cartridge??? :p

doodah man 15th December 2019 03:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by ferretface (Post 5794367)
So, say, a complete '81 or '82 will slide right in like a VHS cassette cartridge??? :p

so precisely, you'll want a new drug!!!

ferretface 15th December 2019 20:04

Quote:

Originally Posted by doodah man (Post 5794373)
so precisely, you'll want a new drug!!!

I need a new drug. I can't remember crap. :(

I was downloading transmission threads and Sportsterpedia transmission articles yesterday and noticed a graphical representation of a gearset with blanks for filling in your own measured gear clearances. It also mentioned the allowable clearances published by H-D. Now I can't find it.

Edit: I found them. -

https://i.ibb.co/N1nZNW0/Gear-Spacing-Check2.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/K92gnnR/clearances.jpg

Can this be used as a guide to determine if a swap meet trans is in spec???

ferretface 17th December 2019 00:27

Got another question...I see some of the transmission covers here, on eBay, even in the FSM have a cutout on the forward edge of the trapdoor. What is that for??? Is it essential???

doodah man 17th December 2019 01:31

that cut out in the trap door is for the gear shifter shaft. not present on '76 and earlier because those years used right side shifting components. '75 and '76 used linkage to make them left side shift with mainly right side shifting components so no notch in trap door for them. '77 started true left side shift and was the first official year with the modded trap door.

mct496 17th December 2019 21:37

Trannys
 
Used or ebay trannys are such a crap shoot whats wrong with your tranny. They seem intimidating. I was scared my first time in a tranny. Theres alot of good tranny threads on here even if u get a good tranny your gonna have to set main and counter shaft end play once in your cases

ferretface 17th December 2019 21:51

Quote:

Originally Posted by mct496 (Post 5794823)
Used or ebay trannys are such a crap shoot whats wrong with your tranny.

Many here in those threads you mention have stated unequivocally that the ironhead transmission gears will explode. My idea is to be proactive and replace the gears that are the problem before the big boom. It's a radical idea, I know. Having a spare trans ready to go in may be unnecessary or impossible. I may just buy the Andrews gears and wait for the explosion. :D (If I can figure out what gears are in my '83). :rolleyes:

If the engine case explodes as well, like that thread with the gear actually sticking out of the hole in the case, then I'll part the '83 Sportster out and buy a newer model. Assuming I can still walk after tumbling down the expressway. ;)

ezmerf 17th December 2019 21:58

I think if you replace the problem gears with like Andrews I don't think your have a problem with it exploding.


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