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  #11  
Old 7th October 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roane View Post
Ok,
Last question before I yank it. Apologies if this is a dumb one but you are really turning that screw in so it will eventually bottom out in the plate and not move? Was just wondering if maybe I could be going the wrong direction somehow. And, should I grab new parts before opening it so I can put in a new ramp etc just in case? And run 20w50 since I’m in New York now and winter comes?
for the adjustment, you don't have to turn the screw in until it stops moving. once the screw makes contact, two full turns in is all you need. the ideal adjustment will have that screw almost or barely touching the thrust bearing collar. then when you pull the lever the ramp mechanism must force the screw against the spring pressure enough so that the frictions and steels can fully separate - no creep while stopped. what follows is a copy/paste of piniongear's clutch adjustment procedure...
"So here is what you do to adjust a Sportster clutch. You do it in this order, so don't try to take short cuts or scramble the steps...........

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."
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  #12  
Old 8th October 2018
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Sorry to keep pounding on this thread. I’m putting together what I need in case the ramp assembly is bad but, in the meantime, I tried to adjust the clutch again. I did it three times and i can basically get it to pop into first gear and creep forward (not lunge). I’m wondering if this signals an issue with my cable adjustment or my clutch adjustment. I’ll still take it apart but want to make sure I’m not just adjusting things wrong before I pull it. At least that way I’ll adjust it right when I get the cover back on. I’ve been assuming that the instructions to turn the screw in mean righty tighty, But it’s been 20 years since I did this on my old bike so I figure I could easily be wrong.
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  #13  
Old 8th October 2018
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Originally Posted by runingmouse View Post
One of the first things I had to change was my clutch. When I first got my bike. I installed my disks and adjusted per the FM. I had very little pull at the lever, and it would not fully release. After opening the primary up 2 more times and trying to figure what I had done wrong. I understood I had to first make sure the ball and ramp was fully released. (to do this while the cable is slack, you push the cable into the primary a little.) And nowhere in the FM is this part listed.

So If the FM way don't work for you, like me. There's somthing to think about. The ball and ramp mech. don't have a return spring.
I found this in an older 2010 thread. May make a difference. The thread is in Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles another clutch adjustment problem

Last edited by Folkie; 8th October 2018 at 15:36.. Reason: Fixed quote
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  #14  
Old 8th October 2018
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another possibility, if you have adjusted the clutch as perfect as can be and eliminated the possibility of a defective ramp, then (to me) the next logical cause of creep is either the frictions and steels are sticking together from not being ridden for a long time or the steels are warped.
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Old 8th October 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toejam503 View Post
The ball and ramp mech. don't have a return spring.]
Quote:
Originally Posted by doodah man View Post

"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."
this is why step #9 is very important. it's true that the ramp doesn't have it's own return spring, but the two counter wound clutch springs act as the return spring for the ramp mechanism by pushing back on the adjuster screw. anytime i have to do a clutch adjustment, i always have to repeat this step a few times. it's very finicky - either it’s set up just right, or it either slips or drags. with pinion gears instructions i have my clutch set up with no drag it hooks up just right too. you have adjusted your clutch several times now with no result, i think it's time to dig deeper.
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Old 8th October 2018
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Thank you all for the help. One issue may be that the adjusting but itself is catching before it gets truly engaged, like there’s thick crud on the screw. I worked it a bit but maybe I need to spray a little oil on it.

If it all looks right, should I replace the clutch while I’m in there? And would it be worthwhile to use the scorpion, maybe with lighter springs? The clutch was always difficult on this bike but I’d hoped the guy I’d paid to get the transmission in woulda replaced what was in bad shape. Never know though as lots has been wrong or falling off.

I’ve been slowly fixing a lot of previous work... not with a great deal of skill or knowledge but slowly plowing through and figuring it out.
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Old 8th October 2018
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The Barnett scorpion clutch would be a bit over kill on a stock bike. That assumes your bike is stock? Regarding replacing the frictions, for me I would want to have a good look at them before I decided to replace them. They need to have plenty of friction material left and well defined grooves still visible. The steels need to be perfectly flat and not burned/discolored. Crud stuck in the center of the thrust collar i feel is possible, but not likely. Doesn’t hurt to check or spray it out with something.
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  #18  
Old 8th October 2018
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Pretty stock. Was overbored a little bf I bought her in the late 1980s. I’ll do as you suggest.
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Old 8th October 2018
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Another thing to look at is the clutch cable and routing.

You do not want any more bends than necessary and none of them sharp.
Also only one tie down (loose) in the middle of the cable on the frame up towards the neck.
If you have narrow bars run the clutch cable around the right side of the neck.
Note extra thick grips and lever covers can limit lever pull and cause clutch drag.

Lastly make the clutch cable adjustment with the bars straight ahead. Turning the bars will often change the adjustment.
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