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

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  #1  
Old 7th June 2019
hell hound hell hound is offline
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Default transmission rebuild

first post here, looking forward to lots of ironhead talk.

Anyway a few months ago I took my transmission apart on my 80 ironhead because it was grinding and not shifting correctly. I put it out of my mind for a while but now am ready to get it back together.

I have a parts list, the only thing Im not sure of ordering is the shift forks, Seems like there are so many it would cost a fortune to buy all of them. So not sure what to do there. the ones I had are brass, they are bent and damaged pretty bad. I was planning on using steel forks. Are there a couple I can buy then use those to measure and order the real ones.

same question with the thrust washer mainshaft right. In the book there are many sizes. Can I just buy a few of them?

This is my first 4 speed sportster transmission I am working on. I will also post up some pics once I start putting it back together (with lots of questions too)

thanks
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  #2  
Old 7th June 2019
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I contacted the eBay seller on my shift forks. He said he would swap me for what I ended needing after taking measurements. As for the thrust washers, can you not use what you have now to take measurements with? Then order what you need of those as well. To me, that sounds like the simplest solution. How do your main shaft race and rollers look? Are you reusing any gears, or replacing all of them? What about the finger rollers, are they beat?
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Old 7th June 2019
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I cannot answer those questions reliably as I have only one trans rebuild which was a few years ago. But my recollection is that you can determine the sizes you need during reassembly while measuring end plays [for the washer] and gear spacing [for the forks].

In the Stickys there are a number of trans threads...

Transmission Assembly, Tutorial w/Pics
about the trans...
end plays & gear spacing
Problems with recently rebuilt transmission
Mick's Transmission/Shifter Refurb
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  #4  
Old 8th June 2019
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When I rebuilt my transmission, there was A LOT of measuring, remeasuring, obnoxious math, measuring again, stuffing the thing in the hole, measuring end play, taking it back out, doing more math. . . You get the idea.

Unfortunately you have to even out a bunch of measurements that mess with each other. Make one gear spacing tighter and the counterpart gets looser. Change the 1st gear spacing and it messes up your countershaft end play. Etc. Take your time, measure carefully, and TAKE NOTES. And get a Factory Service Manual if you don't have one, the transmission section is actually really good. You'll need a dial indicator to measure the shaft end play and a good set of feeler gauges for the gear spacing.
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Old 8th June 2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmek View Post
when i rebuilt my transmission, there was a lot of measuring, remeasuring, obnoxious math, measuring again, stuffing the thing in the hole, measuring end play, taking it back out, doing more math. . . You get the idea.

Unfortunately you have to even out a bunch of measurements that mess with each other. Make one gear spacing tighter and the counterpart gets looser. Change the 1st gear spacing and it messes up your countershaft end play. Etc. Take your time, measure carefully, and take notes. And get a factory service manual if you don't have one, the transmission section is actually really good. You'll need a dial indicator to measure the shaft end play and a good set of feeler gauges for the gear spacing.
+1
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Old 8th June 2019
Nitro57xl Nitro57xl is offline
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The biggest cause of shift fork wear is sharp edges where the fork fits into the gear. I always put a nice radius on the edges. Bronze shift forks are bad for this if that sharp edge is on the gear. Thats not in the service manual, you learn that from experience.
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  #7  
Old 9th June 2019
hell hound hell hound is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by doodah man View Post
I contacted the eBay seller on my shift forks. He said he would swap me for what I ended needing after taking measurements. As for the thrust washers, can you not use what you have now to take measurements with? Then order what you need of those as well. To me, that sounds like the simplest solution. How do your main shaft race and rollers look? Are you reusing any gears, or replacing all of them? What about the finger rollers, are they beat?
this is kind of what I was thinking with the measurements

the large race and rollers seem fine to me, I am going to replace the bearing in the trap door and the 2 countershaft bearings

the clutch gear and second gear main are badly damaged where they come together, so my thought was just to replace those 2 gears


lots of little parts in the shifter need replaced, so I was thinking of doing new shift pawls and all the springs and rings
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  #8  
Old 9th June 2019
hell hound hell hound is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitro57xl View Post
The biggest cause of shift fork wear is sharp edges where the fork fits into the gear. I always put a nice radius on the edges. Bronze shift forks are bad for this if that sharp edge is on the gear. Thats not in the service manual, you learn that from experience.
ok great
I was thinking of using the steel forks, but not 100% sure
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  #9  
Old 9th June 2019
hell hound hell hound is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMek View Post
When I rebuilt my transmission, there was A LOT of measuring, remeasuring, obnoxious math, measuring again, stuffing the thing in the hole, measuring end play, taking it back out, doing more math. . . You get the idea.

Unfortunately you have to even out a bunch of measurements that mess with each other. Make one gear spacing tighter and the counterpart gets looser. Change the 1st gear spacing and it messes up your countershaft end play. Etc. Take your time, measure carefully, and TAKE NOTES. And get a Factory Service Manual if you don't have one, the transmission section is actually really good. You'll need a dial indicator to measure the shaft end play and a good set of feeler gauges for the gear spacing.

thanks
I will need to get a dial indicator
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  #10  
Old 9th June 2019
hell hound hell hound is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMick View Post
I cannot answer those questions reliably as I have only one trans rebuild which was a few years ago. But my recollection is that you can determine the sizes you need during reassembly while measuring end plays [for the washer] and gear spacing [for the forks].

In the Stickys there are a number of trans threads...

Transmission Assembly, Tutorial w/Pics
about the trans...
end plays & gear spacing
Problems with recently rebuilt transmission
Mick's Transmission/Shifter Refurb
great thanks for notes on the stickies
and thanks for recommending this site!
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