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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 29th October 2017
trafetto trafetto is offline
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Default Sportster Clutch intermittent Rubbing Sound, Please Help!

The throwout bearing of my 1992 Sportster shredded, so I tore into the primary, cleaned out the remnants of the bearing and put everything back together.

Ever since, I’ve had an intermittent noise that sounds like a rubbing sound. It’s not a high pitched whining sound or a grinding sound, and it doesn’t sound like the normal clutch engagement sound (which I actually quite like). It seems to come especially when releasing the clutch lever for engine braking, and when 2 up. I flushed the fluid after a few rides and readjusted the clutch to check the new throwout bearing was still in place and spinning freely. It was, though it seemed like there may have been some free play in the adjustment screw (not sure if that’s normal). There were no large or excessive metal particles in the oil. I’m currently using Mobil 1 20w50 since I had some lying around.

Few rides later, checked the oil again and tightened the primary slightly. It seems to have lessened, but not disappeared yet. There are no other symptoms: the clutch cable isn’t needing to be readjusted, and neutral is easy to find and gears shift well.

Any suggestions or tips for what to try next? Should I just get back in and replace the bearing again? Or is it not something to worry about, since there are no problems?
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  #2  
Old 29th October 2017
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My first thought was the primary chain adjuster - Did you replace the shoe while you were there? Was it significantly worn? Is it the upgraded style (thicker than original)?

If it's well worn, you might want to replace it...

Rather than running the primary chain at the specified tightness, you might want to loosen it just a bit - by sound...

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Old 29th October 2017
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That’s actually a good thought, I hadnt considered that. The bike has under 15,000 miles, and while I didn’t examine closely, I didn’t notice any issues with the shoe when I took the primary cover off. Adjustment works as expected so I can’t see it being too worn anyway. Tightening the chain seems to have helped, which is what I tested since it only happens cold (and the chain tightens when it gets hot), but it’s as tight as it’s supposed to get (at the point on the chain where I measured it). I’ll try going the other way.

I didn’t take a specific photo of the shoe, but you can see it in this picture. It looks stock, and virtually undamaged:

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You can check out his search for primary chain sound:
https://www.google.com/search?q=site...ry+chain+sound

Or this one for clutch release sound:
https://www.google.com/search?q=site...+release+sound

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Old 30th October 2017
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Thanks! I went through several of the searches and it seems the most common similar problem is the chain being too tight or the bearing... is there an easy way to check the bearing for issues without removing? When I loosened the clutch adjustment the adjustment screw spins freely but with a bit of side to side play. Not sure if that’s the bearing or the lock plate itself when it’s loose, but is there an expected amount?
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Old 30th October 2017
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One other thought that had crossed my mind... I had taken the primary cover off on Sunday and didn’t complete the job and add oil back in until Monday evening. According to the manual leaving the clutch dry for an extended period is not good, and it should be soaked in oil. Is there any chance this noise could be coming from the clutch getting dried out and not properly relubricated? Or would it be expected to go away after a few rides?
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A couple days apart won’t be enough to dry out your plates.
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