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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 2nd July 2020
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BigLerowski BigLerowski is offline
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Default Sticky Ironhead trans

How much force do you usually have to use when shifting on an Iron? My new '76 is quite sticky and neutral is hardish to find.

Any potential reasons? Haven't checked clutch adjustments yet.

Cheers,
Larry

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  #2  
Old 3rd July 2020
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Default

Clutch adjustment is a big one. Most people don't do it right and the FSM explains it badly. Follow the instructions in this post to get it right:
http://xlforum.net/forums/showpost.p...7&postcount=73

I'd adjust the clutch before you go looking for other problems since any investigation will mean disassembly.
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  #3  
Old 3rd July 2020
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Default

Sorry but the link didn't work. Guess I'll try to find it with search.

Thanks anyway!
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  #4  
Old 4th July 2020
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Default

His link worked for me.

Quote:
The clutch slips in 4th gear is because in fourth gear the engine has less advantage in turning the rear wheel. The clutch has to be fully engaged in 4th or the clutch will slip.
That is the reason you have gears 1, 2 and 3.

So, why does it slip? It is one of two things.
Either you have the clutch adjustment done incorrectly (I bet on this) or the clutch plates are worn and slipping.
There is no other reason for a clutch to slip, so you have only two things to check.

Following is my personal sticky I wrote up to help members with adjusting their clutch. There seems to be a great call for this lately. Maybe it is the phase of the moon.

Anyway, print this out and then take it out to the bike and do the adjustment.
Do the steps in order and please do not take short cuts or skip a step.
To do so will result in an incorrect adjustment..............

[ Follow each step in order, please..........

1) Loosen the lock nut on the cable adjuster and run the adjuster into the primary cover until you have lots of free play up at the clutch lever.

2) Remove the plug on the center of the primary cover.
With a 13/16 socket loosen the lock nut on the clutch adjustment screw.

3) Turn the adjuster screw inward until it gets harder to turn. (It is now touching the pressure plate)
Turn the screw in an additional 2 full turns.

4) Now go back to the cable adjuster and screw it out of the primary cover. Watch the slack begin to disappear at the clutch lever.
Continue to turn the adjuster out until the slack is gone. Stop.
You want zero slack and zero load at the lever. Just a neutral no slack/no load adjustment.

5) Tighten the cable adjuster lock nut down. THIS IS THE LAST TIME YOU WILL TOUCH THIS ADJUSTER! So move on to the following steps........

6) Now go back to the clutch adjusting screw and turn it outward until it gets easier to turn. Stop.
Turn the adjuster back in until you feel it touch the pressure plate. Stop.
Now turn the adjuster screw out 1/8 to 1/4 turn. Notice this last step is what gives you the desired amount of slack up at the lever.

7) Carefully tighten down the lock nut on the adjuster screw without allowing the screw to move.
Replace the center plug in the primary cover and you are now done.

If it slips at all after this adjustment then you have worn clutch plates. And slippage means you need to look at replacing the plates. No other course of action is possible.
Let us know the results please. ]
pg
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  #5  
Old 14th August 2020
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Default Forgot a step on clutch adjustment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rokytnji View Post
His link worked for me.
After you adjust the adjuster screw back in to touch the pressure plate or push against it. You come back (lossen) a 1/8, 1/4 turn, I have heard a 1/2 turn also. Lock the locking nut. Look at the clutch lever for free play at the clutch lever. On my 1979/80 it should be set at 1/16 inch free play. You adjust that with the adjuster that screws into the primary case,by going out. But be careful. going too far you could drop the balls on the throw out assembly. then you tighten the lock nut. You will not take up the slack on the Clutch Cable if freeplay is not set correctly. The cable will pull on the throw out assembly only untill the freepllay/slack is taken up. Your lever travel may not be enough to totally disengage the clutch plates and friction plates. So the clutch can drag. I have been riding Ironheads since 1980 and do all my own maintenance. Hap
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  #6  
Old 15th August 2020
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Default

Another big part of the adjustment procedure is making sure all the parts are working as they should. I recently discovered having a properly lubricated clutch lever makes a HUGE difference in both clutch feel and how easy it is to get the adjustment right. I used Rustoleum PTFE spray since it's a dry lubricant.
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