Over the weekend I installed the kicker kit on my 1974 XLH. This kit was from J&P and was multiple individual parts in a big box. Most of the parts were V-Twin parts. Everything seemed to be of quality fit and finish, and I did not have any major issues to speak of. The kit does not come with any instructions so I relied on my FSM and my parts catalog for the install. The kit did come with a few things that were already installed from the factory on my particular bike; you may or may not have the same. This instruction is based on my install and how I did it, I am not saying it is 100% correct in steps taken, and I am sure not everyone will agree with it, but this is how I did the install with great results.
1. Remove the primary cover.
2. Install Clutch Spring Compressing Tool (OEM 97178-71) on crankcase by screwing into the crankcase cover screw holes. I didn’t have the Clutch Spring Compressing Tool, but made something that looks similar. Compress the releasing disc with the tool to take pressure off of the spring tension adjusting nuts and remove the nuts.
3. Remove tool, release disc, and inner and outer springs.
4. Remove retaining ring from groove in clutch shell. Pull on the studs that you removed the spring tension adjusting nuts from in step 2. Pressure plate, drive plates, and stud spacers will pull out as a whole.
5. Remove the chain adjuster brace and Install a Sprocket Locking Link (OEM 97200-55). I didn’t have the Sprocket Locking Link, but made something that looks similar.
6. Install a Clutch Lock Plate (OEM 97173-71) between the clutch hub and the clutch shell. I didn’t have the Clutch Lock Plate, but made 3 things similar to the Sprocket Locking Link used in step 5. Bend the tab over on the Hub Nut Lockwasher and remove the Hub Nut using a 1-1/2” socket.
7. Remove the Clutch Lock Plate (or whatever you used) then remove the clutch hub from the clutch shell.
8. Using the Compensating Sprocket Shaft Wrench (OEM 94557-55) remove the Compensating Sprocket Nut and spring. I didn’t have the Compensating Sprocket Shaft Wrench, but had something in the Ironhead Toolbox from when my dad used to wrench on this thing.
9. Holding the Clutch Shell with your right hand, and the Compensating Sprocket with your left hand, pull both toward you to remove chain and sprockets as a whole.
10. There will be a 5/16” bolt with a washer behind where the Clutch Shell was. It is to the right of the Clutch Gear Shaft. Remove this bolt and washer, and also the plug and oil seal on the back side.
This is with the bolt removed and the plug on the other side still in the case.
This is what the plug, the oil seal, the washer, and the bolt look like removed from the case.
11. When I removed the plug from the case, the kicker shaft bushing was already installed in the case; it is possible that yours will be existing already too. If it is already installed in the case, you do not need to remove and install the one that comes with the kit. You can see it in the first picture in step 10, it is bronze in color. Also already existing was the Crank Gear Stop Pin, and the Crank Gear Stop Pin Washer. The Crank Gear Stop Pin will be inside the case at about the 4 o’clock position to the Kicker shaft hole. Again, if this exists already you will not need the one provided in the kit.
12. Install the new Oil Seal on the back side of the case. This is a little tricky to get in, but I managed to get it installed using two long straight screw drivers and a little bit of patients. Just get one side in and work your way around.
13. Next I installed the seven thousandths (.007”) shim, and Shaft Thrust Plate. To do this I used a bit of primary oil to hold the shim to the Shaft Thrust Plate and inserted a long punch through the hole to help me guide the two pieces into position. The order of installation should be oil seal, shim, thrust plate, then kicker shaft. On the thrust plate, there are two flat sides, the longest flat side shall be to the top when positioned on the bike.
14. The next part, installing the kicker shaft, was pretty tricky and took some time. I found that a healthy coat of o-ring lube on the kicker shaft and the oil seal helped. Gently, but firmly install the kicker shaft into the case so not to destroy the oil seal. Also make sure the thrust plate is properly seated on the Crank Gear Stop Pin Washer on the exterior of the case. The notch at the end of the shaft where the kicker pedal arm gets installed should be in about the 11 o’clock position.
15. Place the crank gear on the squared end of the shaft inside the case. The recessed “half-moon” slot of the crank gear should fit over the crank gear stop pin, this is what limits the travel of the pedal.
16. Install the lock washer and the nut on the shaft. Install the smaller end of the clutch spring into the groove on the starter clutch gear. The spring will snap down into the recess on the clutch gear. Place the clutch gear with attached spring over the clutch sprocket spacer. Install the clutch gear, spring, and spacer over the clutch shaft. Rotate the kicker shaft gear clockwise from lock to be able to mesh the cogs of the kicker shaft gear and the clutch gear. Rotate the kicker shaft gear to counter-clockwise back to lock to retain the clutch gear behind the cam plate.
17. For the next part, installing the ratchet plate to the clutch shell, I made a little jig to keep everything centered. Rather than using the rivets which you have to peen or buck, or welding which I have heard of being done as well, I chose to drill and tap using 8-32 flathead machine screws. My jig bolts to the milling machine’s table fits through the bearing in the clutch shell. I then have a ring with the I.D. of the O.D. bolted to the table, and the O.D. of the I.D. of the ratchet plate (That’s a mouth full, make sense?). At this point the ratchet plate is centered with the bearing which is centered with the clutch shell. I then center drilled a pilot hole, drilled a through hole for the tap, re-countersunk the ratchet plate using an 82 degree countersink, tapped the hole 8-32, and installed a 8-32 x 3/8” flathead machine screw. I did all of this one at a time for each hole, alternating approximately 180 degrees each time. Once all the holes were complete, I removed all of the screws and reinstalled with LocTite Red permanent. This may have taken a little longer than installing the rivets, but I think in the long run it was probably better. The rivets can be quite tricky to install and easy to mess up, or think they are tight when they aren’t. The whole process of drilling, tapping, and screwing took approximately 1 hour. I would be happy to offer this service to anyone interested in installing their ratchet gear to the clutch shell.
Bottom half of the jig.
Clutch Shell on bottom half of the jig.
Ratchet Plate setting on top of the Clutch Shell.
Top half of the jig centering the Ratchet Plate to the Clutch Shell.
Everything secured, and ready for machining.
Hole after being center drilled, through drilled, countersunk, and tapped.
All screws installed.
Left to Right: Center Drill, through hole Drill Bit, Counter Sink, 8-32 Tap, 8-32 flat head machine screw, Allen Wrench.
The rest of the installation should be reverse of the tear down, except for the kicker pedal arm and return spring, which should be pretty self explanatory. As always, have the FSM on hand. I have not completed the install past the point above, so if something odd comes up, I will add to this thread.
I still need to make a “sprocket cover” as I am not going to use the polished one that was provided with the kit. I am going to be making something more of an open design to compliment the chopped cam cover. I am also going to run a tube back to the rear motor mount for added rigidity to the kicker shaft.
Again if anyone is interested in having their ratchet plate attached to their clutch shell as I have done above, let me know, and we can work something out.
Hopefully this will help at least one person at some point.