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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, grabbing, ironhead, lurching

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  #1  
Old 13th January 2014
RobEvans RobEvans is offline
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Default Clutch lurch...

OK, I've looked through the clutch threads, found some good info but not finding what I'm looking for exactly. So let me give you some background...

I got my 77 a year ago. It had been sitting in a garage for 6 years. It supposedly had only around 5,000 miles on a new top and bottom end. The previous owner had purchased the bike in 79 and seemed to actually take care of it but newer bikes took its place. It has a belt primary, and things looked clean and decent when I took off the primary cover (months ago). I got the bike running and then tore it down... Rebuilt it... and the clutch hasn't been an issue since I started riding it in October (about 1,000 miles or so).

My initial problem could probably be considered grabbing but I was thinking of it as lurching. It started on slow left turns where I would stop and make a slow turn. I thought it was my clutch cable loosening up on the turn therefore letting the clutch out a bit so it would grab and lurch forward a bit. Once I got out of the turn it was fine.

So I adjusted it a bit (thinking my new cable had stretched / loosened a bit) but it didn't fix it. So I adjusted it a bit more... Less slack in the clutch and a bit tighter on the clutch adjustment screw. THEN it was slipping as the clutch would engage early and it kind of popped out of first pulling away from a stop. Once going it went fine up through the 4 gears.

So I let out the adjustment screw about 3/4 of a full turn. And it seemed fine but then started grabbing and lurching even more... Even when the clutch was fully released and I was going straight. Again... This is from stopped in first gear. It was so rough I heard some clunking metal. I'm not sure of the source but it sounded like the clutch trans area. So I pulled it back in the garage.

So my plan is to pull the primary cover off and check out the clutch. I want to fix it as soon as possible since this (despite the rain) is my prime riding season... Yeah... I'm in south florida.

What are your thoughts?
What should I look for?

I'd like to order parts ahead of time so I can get them ASAP. Should I get the Barnett Scorpion clutch and call it a day or try to save money and buy replacement discs and springs? Will the Barnett (or other "better" clutch) fit in my belt drive primary... I'm guessing the belt drive was designed to utilize stock clutch parts...?

I guess I should pull the trans out while I've got stuff open?

Also...move been using 50w in the primary but have a shipment of "sport trans" on the way.
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  #2  
Old 13th January 2014
Mosey Mosey is offline
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Default

Before you do anything, find Piniongear's clutch adjustment procedure and follow it to the letter. Do NOT vary from his written word and you will be golden.

After that if ya still have problems holler and we'll go from there. No sense spending money on parts ya may not need...
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  #3  
Old 13th January 2014
80_Ironhead 80_Ironhead is offline
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Default

I had the same problem. Just like what Mosey said. Follow the procedure to a Tee. From there I just did tiny adjustments.
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  #4  
Old 13th January 2014
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piniongear piniongear is offline
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Default

I am with Mosey as it sounds like you are just twisting cable adjustments and turning/unturning screws to try to fix the clutch adjustment.
All you have done is made sure the adjustment has been done incorrectly.

All Sportsters have a clutch that needs to be adjusted following certain steps, and these steps MUST be done in the proper order.

So look up the steps I have given and follow them making another adjustment.
Once that is done, return here if there is still a problem.
Question for you: That belt drive must run in an oil bath, correct?

pg

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  #5  
Old 13th January 2014
RobEvans RobEvans is offline
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Yeah... I did that procedure when I put it back together and when I adjusted it other day. I will say... the second adjustment I had more tension on both the lever and the adjustment screw. The last adjustment I made I loosened the adjustment screw only creating less initial plate pressure and a bit more slack in the lever... Not the whole procedure.

I'll run through the whole procedure again tomorrow morning. But what do you thing the heavy clunk could be...? Could I have done something to the trans?

Yeah... It runs in 50w soon to be "sport trans."
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  #6  
Old 13th January 2014
Mosey Mosey is offline
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Awww crap, I must be sick or sumpin'. Prolly runnin' a fever cuz here i am doin' sumpin' nice. Don't tell anyone. You'll ruin my mean and miserly reputation.

Here ya go...

http://xlforum.net/forums/s...90&postcount=2

I did the searchin' for ya.

And the clunk was the sound of a badly adjusted clutch.
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  #7  
Old 13th January 2014
RobEvans RobEvans is offline
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Default

Ha! Thanks for the search. I actually had it book marked. I'm new to ironheads (not wrenching) and usually spend hours reading about this stuff before I pick up a tool to get started. So I'm pretty sure I did it right... Or with little variance. I used your procedure from day one and it's been great... Until a couple weeks ago when I first noticed the grabbing.
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  #8  
Old 13th January 2014
RobEvans RobEvans is offline
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Default

OK... just did Piniongear's adjustment to a "T."
The bike starts off great... but once I get a block or two it starts to grab / slip. It only does it when I come to a complete stop and start off... and now it kicks out of first gear. So I have to pop it back in. Once I do that it'll go and go into all the other gears just fine.

At first I thought it was only left turns that set it off but maybe that's just because of my test riding route. It did do it stopped and then going straight as well.

When I first noticed the problem it prompted me to change my fluids. I was wondering if that might be it but it started before the fluid change. So that probably rules that out. As mentioned I'm waiting on a shipment of Bel Ray "sport trans" but I have a feeling that's not going to "cure" the problem.

What now...?
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  #9  
Old 13th January 2014
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Pan55 Pan55 is offline
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Default

there is a tell tale *


you mentioned that it was fine (at one point).

then the lurching started along with a clunk*

now, your having an issue as well with.."popping out of first gear"

metal noise/popping out of 1st gear/lurching...time to pull the primary back off...

intial step...look for ANY type of metal shavings, pieces,,metalflake* in the tran cover and fluids..

now..you also mentioned that you ( after getting it running initially) "tore it down, and rebuilt"

please explain further...tore down and rebuilt what??

I'm thinking there is an issue with the trans..and not so much as the clutch itself... ( though obviously, there is also an issue with the clutch...I think we need to investigate further the problems with the trans)
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  #10  
Old 13th January 2014
RobEvans RobEvans is offline
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Default

Pan55... thanks and yeah... I should maybe set up a better time line / picture for you. I just didn't want to make you all read too much

- Purchased bike in Feb. of last year.
- Fixed carb... added battery... gas... got it running. Ran well.
- Put bike on jack stand and stripped it down to the frame and put the motor on the table.
- Rebuilt the bike as a rigid.
- As for the motor... the only stuff I've done is... replace plugs, remove cam cover and replace gasket, adjust push rods, remove primary cover, replace clutch cable and gasket(s), remove starter motor, replace hoses, replace manifold gasket/seals... button it up.
- got the bike back together.
- Adjusted clutch per manual
- Ran it around the block.
- Stripped it down, powder coated and painted.
- Reassembled everything.
- Rode it for 800 miles or so and couldn't believe it all worked... well
- Swapped from 22 tooth sprocket to 23 tooth
- Rode another 200 miles or so.
- Two weeks ago I felt the grab coming out of a dead stop sharp left turn. Felt it a few more times (randomly) but what always seemed to be left turns.
- Replaced fluids all around and adjusted clutch per pinongear's specs (1 week ago)
- Test rode around and still grabbing / slipping
- Adjusted clutch with less slack (engaged clutch sooner) which produced a lot of slip
- Readjusted clutch with more play in the lever (like it was in the beginning) still grabbing and slipping with the added clunk.
- (This morning) readjusted to Piniongear's specs again... seemed better at first but still grabbing / slipping (see above).

I did replace other things like ignition, wires etc.

Said bike...


2013-10-08 13.45.37 by 10watt, on Flickr

Before...


2013-02-16 15.57.50 by 10watt, on Flickr
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