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adjustment, ball, clutch, primary, ramp

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  #11  
Old 30th September 2010
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Originally Posted by Pigthang View Post
I think this is my problem. All i did was put the clutch cable adjuster all the way into the primary and then tighten down the ball and ramp adjuster. It didnt even run across my mind that the ball and ramp set up doesnt have a spring.

When i pushed the cable adjuster all the way in i guess i accidentally unhooked the cable and possibly even the hook that holds it on.

also im not sure how far i screw the ball and ramp adjustment in. what exactly is going on when that happens? i screw it in till it gets pretty difficult to turn then turn 2 more times
Here is what the clutch cable connected to the release arm looks like inside the primary cover.......


Here is how you adjust the clutch:
1) Loosen the lock nut on the cable adjuster and turn in the cable adjuster on the primary cover until there is a lot of slack in the cable up at the clutch lever.
DO NOT allow the cable to drop down into the primary area. This is when the cable end will fall out of the release arm.
Keep all the slack positioned up at the clutch lever.
Use a rubber band if you must around the handlebar and clutch lever.

2) Remove the bung cap on the primary cover and loosen the 13/16" lock nut on the adjustment screw.
Turn in the screw until you feel it get tight, then turn in another 2 turns. (You have done this before)

3) Now unscrew the cable adjustment screw on the primary cover and watch the slack at the clutch lever start to disappear. When all slack is removed, stop turning out the adjuster. What you want is no slack and no tension either on the clutch cable. Just a nice neutral zero slack adjustment.
Now lock down the lock nut on the cable adjuster. You are done here, so do not touch this adjuster again.

4) Now go back to the bung hole. Turn the center adjustment screw outward until you feel it become loose. Stop.
Turn the screw back in until it touches the plate. Stop.
Now turn out the screw 1/4 to 1/2 turn. Stop.
Without allowing the screw to move, tighten down the lock nut. Replace the bung plug and you are done.
You will now have about 1/8 inch of slack up at the clutch lever, which is perfect.
pg
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  #12  
Old 30th September 2010
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I'm a big fan of those milk-handle level gauges, they're cool.

Also for the step where you're turning the screw:
"Turn in the screw until you feel it get tight, then turn in another 2 turns. (You have done this before)"

I think this line is misleading, and I remember a case of an embarassed friend misunderstanding this once. You're not looking to bottom out screw here. Initially as you're turning the screw in, you will not have made contact with the clutch yet. Once you make contact with the clutch plate you'll feel the force needed to turn the screw increase some. It will not be "difficult to turn", but it will be a noticeable change.
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  #13  
Old 1st October 2010
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Ok whenever I do exactly what you tell me to the clutch lever is tight and then when I turn the bike on in neutral and Pull the clutch lever in it doesn't spring back it stays slack. What could be happening here? I have a feeling I'm making this way harder than it should be.
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  #14  
Old 1st October 2010
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Originally Posted by Pigthang View Post
Ok whenever I do exactly what you tell me to the clutch lever is tight and then when I turn the bike on in neutral and Pull the clutch lever in it doesn't spring back it stays slack. What could be happening here? I have a feeling I'm making this way harder than it should be.
Weird. At this point, I'd pull the primary and take a look. You can work the clutch ramp by hand and see how it works. Make sure you understand everything and that everything is working the way you think it should be before putting it back together.

Take lots of pictures and post them all. It could be a number of things:
bald balls in the clutch ramp,
A missing ball in the clutch ramp,
clutch ramp in upside down
rusty standoffs making the clutch ramp stick.
warped clutch plates

Best case, nothing was wrong and you'll just learn a lot.
Worst case, something was wrong and you get to fix it.

While you're at it, pick up a clutch tamer and toss it in there while you've got the clutch apart.

You will need a special tool to take compress the clutch while you loosen the blots holding the clutch together. If you search the forum, there are a few sets of instructions on how to build one.
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  #15  
Old 1st October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigthang View Post
Ok whenever I do exactly what you tell me to the clutch lever is tight and then when I turn the bike on in neutral and Pull the clutch lever in it doesn't spring back it stays slack. What could be happening here? I have a feeling I'm making this way harder than it should be.
OK, all that has happened is you have one or more of the three balls out of socket in the release ramp assembly.
The balls fell out the last time you had all that slack in the cable and/or when you had the end of the cable slip out of the release arm.

You are going to have to remove the primary cover.
Position the 3 balls back in their sockets and then attach the clutch cable to the release arm.

Use the cable adjuster to maintain NO SLACK in the cable until you can install the cover back in place. It should look just like the pic I posted when you begin to put the cover back on.

With the cover on, start over again with the clutch adjustment. Be careful to not let the cable 'go into the primary' because this may cause the cable to come loose or the balls to fall out. Just keep the slack up at the clutch lever and all will be fine.
Let us know how this works after you finish.
pg
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  #16  
Old 2nd October 2010
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Pulled the primary off and put a little bit of grease on the ramp to keep the balls in while i position everything just to prevent further frustration. The clutch lever works now and when i adjust it the lever works and i can see the ramp moving from the view plug but the clutch wont disengage. I did the the adjustment about 10 times before i asked my big brother that went to AMI to try it himself figuring he would understand the process better than me. Still no go. Well in this case all go lol. The primary was almost empty when i took it apart so maybe the problem in in the actual clutch system? I didnt have any problem until i took my back tire off to get it replaced when i put the new one on the clutch was having disengaging difficulties. Im thinking its just coincidence but you never know.
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  #17  
Old 2nd October 2010
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this was taken before i reset the bearings
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  #18  
Old 2nd October 2010
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Well, first of all let me say I do not know how much (or little) experience you have with a Sportster, but they are not like other brands of bikes (Metric types).

A Sportster clutch is never going to 'disengage' like a Honda does. There is no free spinning-no drag feel when you pull in the clutch lever, similar to what your buddies Honda has.

So, with that comment out of the way let's see what we can do to help you.
If the clutch is not disengaging it means that the release ramp is not compressing the two coil springs sitting behind the outer pressure plate.
I will attach two pics here so that I can describe what you need to check and also help me to explain how the clutch works.
A Sportster clutch is a very simple mechanism with very few problem areas, so don't try to make it more complex than it is.
An exploded view of the clutch release mechanism.......



Here is a pic of the entire clutch exploded view.........



The clutch releasing disc (4) sits on the outside of the clutch assembly.
The innermost steel plate is called the pressure plate (13) and this has 6 studs.
There is a clutch hub (16) that guides the movement of the steel plates.
The movement of the fiber plates is guided by the grooves in the clutch shell (17).
The clutch has two coil springs (7 & 8) that exert pressure on the clutch assembly when the clutch lever IS NOT pulled in. This is what makes the clutch engage.

So what happens when we pull in on the clutch lever?
Go to the first pic.
Pulling in the lever rotates the release lever (6).
The balls come out of their socket (cams out) which causes the clutch release
adjusting screw (4) to press against the releasing disc (4).
This action moves the plate (4) inward and the 6 studs move inward also.
The 2 coil springs (7 & 8) compress against their base position which is in the clutch hub (16)
The pressure plate (13) with the attached studs has now moved inward as well and the end result is the clutch is now disengaged .
That is how the clutch works.

So now back to your problem........
The only thing I know of that can cause a clutch to not disengage when the lever is pulled in fully is this....
Either the release lever, ramp, and balls (6, 7, & 8 respectively) are not working properly or the other single reason is the end of the clutch release adjusting screw (4) is worn down ......And worn A LOT!
I have seen a single case of this happening, but only one.
The sign is the screw has to be turned in so far to make the adjustment that there is no room left for the lock nut (2) to fit on the screw.
My suggestion is this:
If you are certain you have the 3 balls in place, then remove the adjusting screw and look at the end. There should be nub sticking out having no threads on it. This fits into the releasing disc collar (5).
Here is another pic of the cross section of the clutch showing how all the parts fit together. These pics are in the Factory Service Manual.



Let me know if this helps.
pg
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  #19  
Old 2nd October 2010
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im pigthangs brother and we have checked everything that you have recommended but are still having problems adjusting the clutch. Would a worn pressure plate and fiber plates cause this adjustment problem?
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  #20  
Old 2nd October 2010
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piniongear piniongear is offline
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The pressure plate is made of solid steel. There is no way it is going to wear.
The fiber plates do wear and when that happens the clutch will start to slip, not fail to disengage as is described.

Just to mention this again..... You are aware that a Sportster clutch does not disengaged like that of another brand of bike?
A Sportster goes CLUNK! when you put it in first gear and perhaps even jumps forward. This is normal and some people think the clutch is failing to disengage or drag.

I ask this because I am completely out of ideas of why you are
still having problems. There is nothing else that could be wrong or else I would have mentioned it.

With the correct adjustment as I have described before you should have:
The clutch lever pulling in smoothly and releasing back.
1/8 inch cable slack at the clutch lever.

So please describe what you mean when you say the clutch does not disengage. I feel that something is being lost between our replies.
pg
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