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  #1  
Old 18th June 2021
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Default Transmission mainshaft end play Q

What are the possible consequences if the transmission mainshaft end play is less than .004"? The range stated in the manual is .004--.009".

Here's what happened. The bike is a'69 XLH. I had the tranny sprocket off and noticed that there was no thrust washer behind the retainer ring--I could see the ends of the roller bearings through the gap in the ring. I was able to easily remove the bearings--several of which were shot. I cleaned the area out, replaced all of the bearings, installed the thrust washer and retaining ring. With everything back together, the play is very small--like .001--.002". The shaft spins very smoothly now and previously noted side to side play in the shaft is now absent. Aside from the decreased end play, it all feels perfect.However... is this amount of play critical enough to pull the tranny out?
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Old 18th June 2021
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If the shaft spins freely, with no binding or tight spots, you probably are in the correct range. Even with dial indicator and doing it right - its still crude and hard to correctly measure.

If it shifts nice- run it.
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If the main shaft was run with a few damaged bearings, you’re going to want to make sure the bearing surface of the main shaft is not damaged before you run and ruin the next batch of roller bearings. Best be sure…
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Old 19th June 2021
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Heat here is not your friend.

We give clearances to parts like this so they don't have to contend with friction.

If you rub two bits of metal together you will produce friction. The friction is kinetic energy turned into heat. heat expands things. The friction will increase as the heat increases.
As the heat increases the parts will expand more.
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Oh. If the shaft expands to the point that it completely reduces the available space the rate of heat increase rises dramatically. It will try to create space for itself by shedding metal.
The thrust washers will take the brunt first discoloring and then "thinning".

If you have ever seen thrust washers that have turned a nice purple/blue/yellow color you know what I mean.
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seen this mistake before. if the roller hooks the end gap of the retainer, the bearings will stop and skate damaging the shaft and race. do not run with either damaged!
run the factory clearance, to the tighter end is better as it makes the tranny less noisy, matter of fact, blue print the entire tranny and it will shift like butter.
measuring end play is not rocket science and the only tough dog is the counter shaft. do it without the oiler plug and a good stiff wire to move the shaft.
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Thanks for the input, as always. Much appreciated!
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On a street bike ridden gently you would go for the close end of the tolerance range.

On my race engines I like to run closer to 9 thou.

as he shims are only made in 10 thou increments you can't always get it right where you want it (4 thou).
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