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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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Old 17th May 2005
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Unhappy 74 clutch problems

I have a `74 Ironhead sportster.I have finally gotten this thing running pretty good.Now that I have gotten some seat time on it the details and little adjustments are killing me.I have brand new springs,drive plates,and clutch pads that I put in during assembly.My problem is I can`t get the damn thing to quit pulling when I come to a stop,like the clutch isn`t engaging far enough.I have adjusted the clutch so it doesn`t do this when I first start riding,but as the motor warms up it gets progressively worse.These things have the wet clutches,if they aren`t getting sufficient oiling could that cause this?I am at a loss for this problem and need some veteran`s advise.I put 130 miles on it this weekend at Myrtle Beach Bike Week,and cussed the damn clutch the whole time.Give me any insight or advise that you might be able to share.Thanks a lot,,,,,,,,,,,,,Rayme
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Old 17th May 2005
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How much oil do you have in the trans/ chaincase? 1 1/2 PINTS ( 3/4 qt.) is all it holds. Make sure you are checking it at the proper hole in the lower front of the chaincase cover. Too much oil (or the wrong kind) will make yer clutch grabby!
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Old 17th May 2005
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What oil should I be running?I have 20w 50w in it now.
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Old 17th May 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raymeg
What oil should I be running?I have 20w 50w in it now.
I used to run ATF in mine,much less clutch drag.
Those old Iron head clutches were always touchy to keep adjustment.
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Old 17th May 2005
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THE OIL LEVEL NOT WITHSTANDING and if you installed a Wet/Dry clutch (Barnett)

There are (2) clutch adjustment screws on the 74 Sportster and a specific adjustment sequence in the manual.

1st is the screw that enters the upper portion of the front of the primary cover

2nd is the clutch cam lever/ball assembly that rides on the inside of the primary cover and has an adjusting screw which is accessible thru the large plug on the right center of the primary itself.

My feeling is its possible that the 2nd item isn't adjusted correct and/or the cam/balls are hanging up and is not allowing the cam mechanism to completely return to neutral (SCREW IS TURNED IN TOO FAR) and the clutch discs are slipping. Similiar to 'riding the clutch' on a car.

Also it is possible that the two large inner springs are worn (spring tension deminished) and are not able to push the outer releasing disc home and allowing the discs to slip.

I would go back to square one...and adjust the 2 screws according to the manual. It only requires a little time and no dissassmbly....If that doesn't work, I would then suspect the cam mechanism is worn or Springs tension weak.

This is of course if you assembled the clutch correctly when you put it back in.

I have the manuals and would be happy to e'mail you the related pages and parts breakdown if you need them.

Last edited by HrdlyDangrs; 17th May 2005 at 21:28..
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Old 17th May 2005
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I put new inner and outer springs in it.I used the Clymer manual`s directions to adjust the clutch as you prescribed.I also adjusted it in every other imaginable direction.On some of the adjustments I made the clutch would pop when you pulled the lever.Please help me.When I look the the hole in the front primary how far up should the oil go in there in reference to the chain or anything else I can reference off of.
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Old 17th May 2005
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I believe there's a small phillips screw below the clutch adjustment hole about 1 inch up from the bottom. Stand bike up level & fill 'till the oil (3/4 of a quart) just starts to come out. If you over fill, the clutch will drag.

Last edited by Fisherman; 17th May 2005 at 22:23..
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Old 17th May 2005
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The oil from the motor doesn`t fill this adequately?
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Old 17th May 2005
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If you have a 1974 motor. Do not run AFT in there... Stick with 20W50... Unless you have removed your transfer valve and pluged it, the oil in the prime/trans can go through the transfer valve and into the engine. so unless you want AFT in your engine, (a bad thing), stick with 20w50.... I think Harley removed the valve in 1977 and newer models.

Good luck,

Tom
1970 XLCH (dry clutch)
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Old 17th May 2005
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Also, if you do have a transfer valve, you don't have to worry about overfilling the prime/trans... just dump some oil in there... Any excess will just end up in your engine's oil tank. A benifit of having the transfer valve.
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