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

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  #21  
Old 6th October 2021
ryder rick's Avatar
ryder rick ryder rick is offline
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The only trick to that is backing out the lock nut far enough to get the spread on the grip tips wide enough to contact the cover good.
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  #22  
Old 8th October 2021
Tyler45 Tyler45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodah man View Post
“…clutch drags bad, when adjusted by the book…”
Changing the primary oil from 70wt is a good start, but before you do anything else, try piniongear’s clutch adjustment:

1) Loosen the lock nut on the cable adjuster.

2) Turn the cable adjuster inward (towards the primary) until there is a lot of slack in the cable at the clutch lever.

3) Now remove the center plug in the primary cover.

4) Loosen the lock nut on the center adjusting screw.

5) Turn in the adjusting screw until you feel it get harder to turn the screw. (The screw is now touching the outer plate)

6) Continue to turn in the screw a full 2 turns. Stop.

7) Go back to the cable adjuster and unscrew the adjuster while watching the slack disappear at the lever.
When you have removed all slack at the lever stop turning the adjuster. You want to have neither play or load in the cable at the clutch lever at this stage. Just a nice neutral no play/no tightness at the lever.

8) Now tighten the lock nut on the adjuster. DO NOT TOUCH this again. You are through with the cable adjuster.

9) Going back to the center screw......... Turn the screw out until you feel it turn easier. Stop.
Turn the screw back in until you feel it touch the outer plate. Stop.
Now turn the screw back out 1/8 to 1/4 turn. Stop.

10) Without allowing the screw to move, tighten down the lock nut. Replace the primary plug and you are done.

You will notice that you now have about 1/8 inch cable play at the lever. This is a result of you doing the adjustment correctly this time.
Many people fail to understand how to adjust a Sportster clutch and most fiddle with the cable adjuster to obtain cable slack at the lever. This is the wrong thing to do.

If you do this adjustment following what I have said your clutch will be as perfectly adjusted as is possible.
If you think it still drags after this then all I can say to you is that is the way it is.
We are talking about a Harley Davidson here, not a Honda.
So do not expect your Sportster to go into first gear with a light 'snick' like your friend's Gold Wing does. It is going to be a loud 'CLUNK' because it is a Harley, not a Honda.
pg
"

Post your results!
Alright, we will follow that procedure when start working on the Ironhead next week. Got to finish installing the bumper winch from 4Wheelonline onto the Wrangler before we can clear the garage and address the dragging clutch.
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  #23  
Old 25th October 2021
Ark OB Ark OB is offline
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I got my new clutch cable and revtech. When replacing the cable I found that the kink was almost gone the pulling straightened it mostly out, and replaced the full syn 20/50 with the revtech. I gave her a quick run around the block, and the clutch felt a little worse. first chance I get I'll readjust the clutch, recheck the oil level, and try to do a longer road test.
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  #24  
Old 25th October 2021
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Note that nobody is saying to readjust because even though it has not been stated yet, drag on the clutch is always due to failed parts. Wear always results in slip, and never in drag.

You need to pull all the plates, and do a thorough examination of everything in there. Does the hub and basket have any scaring that can hang up the plates? Does that bike have a spring plate? Those fail a lot in the newer bikes, and I don't hear of any failures in earlier bikes but it's still something that has to be ruled out.

A frayed clutch cable or a grungy one can do it, debris from bad plates inside the basket can do it, a throwout bearing that is getting sloppy will definitely do it, and yes, that is wear, (but not normal wear) so again, if it is the bearing it is a part failure.

In old Fords using standard trans with clutch had the throw out arm pivot bend flat from it's L shape and that always caused exactly this. So, all the info I see in here is good advice, I'm just warning against wasting energy looking at readjusting after it is adjusted correctly. If it goes out of adjustment causing drag, then adjusting more is a waste of time.
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  #25  
Old 25th October 2021
andy2175m4 andy2175m4 is offline
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two bikes I worked on recently both had warped steel clutch plates, both were 40 year old bikes, so age must be the problem. Yes 70 wt is the wrong oil, I use HD primary oil, it's a 50 wt singe grade gear oil, but many use 20W50 too, so you do have the right oil, if you are not sure you got all the old 70 wt oil out, take off the clutch cover and lean the bike over so the transmission can drain too. there is an opening between the clutch and the trans, the old oil will drain if you let it.

Re. the clutch plates, if you can take the steel clutch plates out, check each one for flatness. they should be dead flat on a surface plate or really good table top. replace warped steel clutch plates, otherwise the clutch will never fully disengage and you will never find neutral.

The friction plates dont seem to have this warping problem but sometimes the non metallic surface on the friction plates can delaminate and fall off.

Also I find the Ironhead throwout mechanism with it's 3 large ball bearings in a ramp configuration a bit finicky,

be sure to check assembly as well to ensure its working.

replacing warped clutch plates makes it work perfect, but you have to buy or make a clutch pack compressor, you can get that on line from various vendors or make one from 2 pieces of 1/4 thd rod, 2 nuts and 2 washers, and 12" of sturdy angle iron.
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  #26  
Old 26th October 2021
Ark OB Ark OB is offline
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I re-adjusted it, and it feels better, shifts great, sometimes feel her wanting to creep when rev at a light, and still trouble to get neutral from a stop, but can when rolling. Just put in a new motion pro cable I got on ebay, and feels like it might be stretching/seating in only had a chance to run her 20 miles on the new cable. I was told it might take a while to un-gum up from that 70wt I didn't tip it, but changed twice, once to 20/50 then to the revtech. My road is too bad to ride any 2 wheeler on so have to keep her at my daughters in town, she has a basic set of tools, and I have my m/c jack over there. She wants to learn and helps me, today she was gone so had the place to myself. I will eventually need the clutch compressor, where can I find the spects, and measurements so I can make one at home and take over there?
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  #27  
Old 26th October 2021
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The very first post in this thread, by Hopper...

Special Tools - Homemade Tool Thread
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