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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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Tags
clutch adjustment, clutch disengagement, clutch dragging, ironhead clutch

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  #1  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
vtwinlynne's Avatar
vtwinlynne vtwinlynne is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 6
Sportster/Buell Model: Ironhead XLH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1978
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Default '78 clutch disengagement problem.

I've searched the threads of this forum and most of the others out there and I can't find a solution to my exact problem.

First off, about my bike - it's a pretty much stock 1978 XLH 1000.
These parts are new:
Barnett Kevlar friction plates & top drive plate
Barnett spacers to original spec
Alto steel plates
Backing plate
Single heavy-duty centre spring (2 1/2" tall = to spec)
Clutch basket and releasing disc bearings
Tsubaki primary chain
Hayden primary chain tensioner
Billet Proof Hydro Clutch with 11/16" rebuilt V-Rod master cylinder

Basically, everything's been replaced apart from the basket itself (the slots are fine and aren't grabbing), the hub (also fine) and the front sprocket.

So... with the clutch bled and a tiny amount of play at the lever I can put the bike in gear but with the clutch lever pulled right in the clutch isn't disengaging and I can't push it across the garage floor. (This is with just a residual amount of oil in the case as I don't want to drain it every time I check things!) I've adjusted the length of the screw what seems like hundreds of times but still no luck at all. I've been emailing Damien at Billet Proof about it but I really don't think it's a problem with the Hydro unit.

When actuated, the Hydro Clutch mechanism extends by around 1/4" which is actually slightly more than my old ball and ramp. I'm sure I'm well in tolerance for free play and probably have slightly less than the 1/4 turn the stock set-up calls for.

There's no spec for stack height for this year and no measurement specified for the releasing plate gap because that's taken care of by the spacers.

Any ideas? It's such a simple setup that I can't believe I'm having this problem especially as everything is new and the Hydro Clutch isn't particularly adjustment critical.
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  #2  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
1Scooter 1Scooter is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: XLH1000
Sportster/Buell Year: 1977
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 2004 XLH1200Custom
Other Motorcycle Model: 2007 FXDB
Other Motorcycle Year: 2004
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Default

Check the 1/8" clearance measurement between the outer clutch plate and the pressure plate. On the clutch adjusting procedure, ya gotta turn the adjuster screw in 2 full turns and adjust the cable free play. I'm thinking the adjustment is off on the hydraulic activator causing it not to disengage the clutch. So that slight difference in the length between the original ramp & the hydro unit is very critical.
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  #3  
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I'm just about to go into the garage and do battle again so thanks for the tip.
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  #4  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
kmul kmul is offline
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Default

i ran a hayden on a big twin and would never use one again. you could have a bad master cyl that will activate slave until you install slave and then it wont hold pressure. if you have old parts, put the cable mech back in to see if clutch pack disengages. just becos the master is new doesn't mean it is good. I assume you soaked the friction plates with oil on assembly but would suggest a light oil like atf for this. even though plates new, were they flat. you can check them on a 1/4 piece of plate glass.
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Default

Thanks for your help folks.

The pressure plate to drive plate is 1/8" and this time I used the clutch compressor tool to mimic the pressure screw. I touched it to the release collar then backed it off a hair and marked 1/4" on the shaft with tape. I then screwed the compressor down to the tape mark and attempted to move the bike in gear.
Yay! The clutch dragged by a hair, but it worked!

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1s2...W12E_qj1QunQ4f

So... I put the primary cover back on and gave it a try with the Hydro Clutch. Much better, but still dragging slightly (more than with the clutch compressor). I'm thinking that although the clutch seems to be bled fully, it might not be holding pressure 100% yet even though it doesn't feel spongey.

I'll continue tomorrow...

kmul, why didn't you like the Hayden? It does seem to be on the tight side.
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  #6  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
1Scooter 1Scooter is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: XLH1000
Sportster/Buell Year: 1977
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 2004 XLH1200Custom
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Other Motorcycle Year: 2004
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Here's a little more info on the adjuster length.
5) In this step you will measure to determine how much you must cut off of the adjusting screw. Take a measurement from the raised 1/16” boss on primary cover to the bottom of the hole in the thrust collar and note this measurement. This is often easiest to do with a pencil or pc of welding wire as a gauge. Place pencil through the primary cover access hole into the tamer. Place a mark on the pencil at the boss on primary cover. The difference in length between the measurement you took and the length of the adjusting screw is the amount that must be removed. Measure twice and cut once!

6) Install adjusting screw and jam nut on Hydro Clutch. NOTE: Use thread lock on adjusting screw nut.
Looks like it just fine tuning it now.
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  #7  
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Default

Thanks IScooter.
I had the Hydro Clutch instructions and that was the easy part! The tough part was as you say, the fine tuning of the adjustment. With a sharpie mark on the end of the screw, you literally move it half that width at a time, about 1/16" - 1/32". It's really tedious unscrewing the unit every time to make the changes!
But.. I'm now at the point where I'm waiting for my new primary oil to arrive and I'll give it a try with the engine running!
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