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Sportster Motorcycle Transmission, Clutch, Primary & Secondary Drive Transmission, Clutch and primary or secondary drive problems, advice, and/or how tos.

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  #1  
Old 11th August 2019
armaundk armaundk is offline
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Default Shifter pawl springs problem

Hey, all,

So, I've got a friend whose bike I've worked on before. His shifter got stuck in gear once and I replaced both shifter pawl springs and put in new clutch plates at the same time, reassembled, all was fine for a while. One of the pawl springs had come off, so I replaced both springs while I had the clutch out.

So, last week, he said his shifter would get fail to shift down from time to time and I immediately thought back to those pawl springs and we opened it up. Sure enough, the bottom spring had not only come off the pawl, but completely off the assembly and was nowhere to be found, likely chewed into oblivion by the primary chain. So, I've got another pawl spring to put in (dealer only had ONE spring on hand). But my question is why did this happen again and how can we stop it from happening again? Having to tear his primary open once a year isn't an efficient prospect.

I appreciate any pointers. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 12th August 2019
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IXL2Relax IXL2Relax is offline
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Which model year bike??? Rubbermount??
Was it the same spring that came off both times??

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  #3  
Old 12th August 2019
armaundk armaundk is offline
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2005 883 Custom. Yes, it was the same spring (bottom, the one that resets from shifting downward through gears) that came off both times.

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Old 12th August 2019
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This image is from the Sportsterpedia: (Link to larger pic)


Since these springs are not calibrated for tension, it should be fine to alter the loop ends to be tighter on the arms to prevent them from popping off...

Or, did the spring loop itself fatigue and break?

Did you have the springs mounted as in the picture above?

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  #5  
Old 12th August 2019
armaundk armaundk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IXL2Relax View Post
This image is from the Sportsterpedia: (Link to larger pic)


Since these springs are not calibrated for tension, it should be fine to alter the loop ends to be tighter on the arms to prevent them from popping off...

Or, did the spring loop itself fatigue and break?

Did you have the springs mounted as in the picture above?

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Well, last time this happened, the bottom spring just came off the pawl arm. It could be put back into place, but I replaced them both, anyway. I believe I had them mounted correctly, I do have the FSM to go by.

This time, the bottom spring came completely off the pawl entirely and was nowhere to be found, which is why I guessed it got destroyed in the primary chain.

Do I need to pull the clutch basket and shifter arm in order to line up the pawl with the shifter drum or can it be done with both still in place?


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EDIT: The old spring was in the primary oil and when I emptied it from the drain pan I found it, not chewed up at all, so I bent the ends to be a little tighter around the holes in the pawl. But the question of how to get it back into position without removing the clutch basket remains...

Last edited by armaundk; 12th August 2019 at 13:30.. Reason: New information
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Old 12th August 2019
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Ok, I got the spring back on and the pawl operating as it should, for now. I just hope it stays that way...
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Old 12th August 2019
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Glad you got it reconnected...

Quote:
Originally Posted by armaundk View Post
so I bent the ends to be a little tighter around the holes in the pawl.
I would have thought they would make the ends a bit more oblong (like a paper clip) rather than simply round...

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Old 16th September 2021
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Mine is apart right now with similar issue. Wish I had that picture a week ago.
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Old 16th September 2021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IXL2Relax View Post
Glad you got it reconnected...



I would have thought they would make the ends a bit more oblong (like a paper clip) rather than simply round...

Good Luck ---

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I agree with your earlier comment about re-bending the spring loops so that they stay put better. That said, this is strange. I have never seen this happen on any sporty I have worked on.

Is the primary chain adjusted properly? Is the adjusting shoe in good shape? I'm thinking too much vibration in there?
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