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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 14th November 2018
CDeckner CDeckner is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: XLH883
Sportster/Buell Year: 1989
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Default Not shifting out of 1st gear or Neutral

Hey all! I'm new here. I've got an '89 883 that's having some transmission issues. Story on the bike is I bought it as a project. Needed a new ignition module to get it back up and running. I got it started and then started to fix missing/broken shit from the PO. I was also told that it was bumped up to 1200. I found edelbrock cams in it when I replaced the cam cover gasket but I haven't removed the heads yet to verify.

I have a manual for the bike.

It had some JB weld on the primary cover and the clutch cable was sheared at the cover. When I pulled the cover I had to rebuild the clutch and hub. Those darn magnets. Went with a barnett extra plate and the sealed magnet hub from vtwin and a new stator.

During that project I discovered that the shift shaft was bent and buggered up. I think that it had gone down on that side at one point and the PO failed to tell me about it when I asked him if it had gone down at all.

I replaced the shift shaft and after putting the trans back in and trying to shift through the gears before buttoning everything back up. I found that I couldn't get it to shift up from 1st or neutral.

I pulled the trans back out and found the brass shift forks were chewed up. I replaced those with new ones and replaced all the springs in the shifter mechanism and the cam follower. They were all out of spec and the follower looked to be the original pot metal one. Everything lines up and shifts okay on the bench, going from neutral to 2 takes a little bit more effort though, and as best I can tell the shaft aren't bent. All the bearings seem fine. I've even put the trans back in 4th and shifted up and down through 2-3-4 and that shifts fine. I'm running out of ideas.

Any help is appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 15th November 2018
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harley506d harley506d is offline
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A warm welcome from France!
Hang in there for some help, loads of good folk on here will be along shortly.
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  #3  
Old 30th April 2019
CDeckner CDeckner is offline
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So I got everything spaced and shimmed properly end play is good. turns out the mainshaft shim was too large. that was my binding problem. Trans shifts through all gears find on the bench. I still can't shift into second from neutral or first in the bike. I took it for a rip this morning to see if I could get it to go under load but still same issue. Although it was my first time riding the bike and even in 1st gear the bike is a little ripper.

I'm wondering at this point if it's the replacement shifter shaft that I got from JPcycles not being in spec.
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  #4  
Old 4th May 2019
Andyxlh Andyxlh is offline
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I had a similar problem with my 89 many years ago, if I remember correctly it was an issue with the springs under the cam rocker (the thing you replaced which. Was originally made from tim pot alloy and is now steel). The springs were slightly bent, and they jammed under load and didn't compress enough to allow shifting into second. They looked ok on the bench but didn't work on the bike.
But it looks like you might have already tried this?
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  #5  
Old 4th May 2019
Andyxlh Andyxlh is offline
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Oh, is the cam itself nice and smooth with rounded edges, not chewed up, so the cam follower can slide over it easily?
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  #6  
Old 4th May 2019
Glamazon Glamazon is offline
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Is the shaft binding on the exit from the primary cover? I had a spill on mine last year and it bent the shaft
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  #7  
Old 4th May 2019
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Could just be the shifter pawl. I replaced the bearing on one of mine and that solved it for me.
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  #8  
Old 4th May 2019
CDeckner CDeckner is offline
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Cam and follower are both polished smooth and shifts fine on the bench. I’ve replace both main and counter shafts as they were both bent from the spill the po had taken. All springs have been replaced and the pawls show zero wear or damage. The fork rollers look to be fine but I’m going to replace them when I get back from Hawai’i and see if that helps the issue. I’ll probably take some 600 and polish up where the rollers run to make sure there isn’t anything causing it to hang up.
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  #9  
Old 5th May 2019
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You might find something here helpful:
http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=2070591

Or here:
http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1971026

http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/t...:ref:svcproc10

http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/t...arrier_support



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