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

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  #1  
Old 25th October 2010
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Default Kickstart problem #2 - starter gear/ratchet plate - what do I have here?

If you've have followed my other thread (kickstart issues #1 involving my kicker gear setup), I've been trying to get my '61 rolling - had been told that the kick would skip erratically and that it was probably the kicker gear, so I replaced it and after installation, it initially seemed much better with positive engagement. So, after getting the primary reassembled, I tried to fire the beast for the first time after rebuild and ended up getting a nice case of "Sportster knee".

After trying to heal, I decided to pull the primary down (again). When I pulled the guts from the primary, I find that the starter gear and the ratchet plate currently in the bike are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT for everything I've seen so far!

For comparison purposes, here is a ratchet plate on an early clutch basket:



Here is what is currently installed on the bike:



As for the starter gear, this is what I can find looking in catalogs and on Fleabay:



This is what is currently on the bike:



I guess my question is - what part numbers do I have here??? Everything I have seen so far is a 9 tooth ratchet plate and 9 tooth starter - looks like both of mine are 18 teeth!

IF anyone has seen this before and knows what part numbers I am dealing with I would appreciate knowing! It would seem to me that I might be better off with a 9-tooth setup than this - also, the starter gear seems to be awful loose on that spacer; you can definitely see it when the gear is restrained by the cam plate on the kicker gear with the kick lever in the upright position.

Does anyone know what the clearance between starter gear and spacer is supposed to be?

Any comments or info is appreciated - I'll get this thing ironed out yet!
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  #2  
Old 26th October 2010
Rogotek Rogotek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HOMER308 View Post
If you've have followed my other thread (kickstart issues #1 involving my kicker gear setup), I've been trying to get my '61 rolling - had been told that the kick would skip erratically and that it was probably the kicker gear, so I replaced it and after installation, it initially seemed much better with positive engagement. So, after getting the primary reassembled, I tried to fire the beast for the first time after rebuild and ended up getting a nice case of "Sportster knee".

After trying to heal, I decided to pull the primary down (again). When I pulled the guts from the primary, I find that the starter gear and the ratchet plate currently in the bike are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT for everything I've seen so far!

For comparison purposes, here is a ratchet plate on an early clutch basket:



Here is what is currently installed on the bike:



As for the starter gear, this is what I can find looking in catalogs and on Fleabay:



This is what is currently on the bike:



I guess my question is - what part numbers do I have here??? Everything I have seen so far is a 9 tooth ratchet plate and 9 tooth starter - looks like both of mine are 18 teeth!

IF anyone has seen this before and knows what part numbers I am dealing with I would appreciate knowing! It would seem to me that I might be better off with a 9-tooth setup than this - also, the starter gear seems to be awful loose on that spacer; you can definitely see it when the gear is restrained by the cam plate on the kicker gear with the kick lever in the upright position.

Does anyone know what the clearance between starter gear and spacer is supposed to be?

Any comments or info is appreciated - I'll get this thing ironed out yet!
18 teeth should be better than 9, but tolerance / clearance and positive teeth contact have to be spot on - Iam with the forum can solve this Mystery !!!
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  #3  
Old 26th October 2010
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more teeth more engagement i'd like to know who makes your setup. if ya find out please let us know.
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Old 26th October 2010
tom gordon tom gordon is offline
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to many teeth,the 9tooth works much better,been there and done that,i though the same thing,more teeth would catch better,wrong, then on mine,i cut the mating on both gearings so they wern't flat,i cut them with a die grinder to CUP them, no more sportster knee.IHTOM
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Old 26th October 2010
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to many teeth,the 9tooth works much better,been there and done that,i though the same thing,more teeth would catch better,wrong, then on mine,i cut the mating on both gearings so they wern't flat,i cut them with a die grinder to CUP them, no more sportster knee.IHTOM
we need pictures of this
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  #6  
Old 26th October 2010
BuckIRyder BuckIRyder is offline
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If you look at the "What Fits What" book they write about an early fine tooth kicker ratchet and a later coarse tooth kicker. The book says the fine tooth ratchet is a knee buster as you have found out. I would put in the the coarse set, the rivet pattern should be the same
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Old 26th October 2010
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HOMER308 HOMER308 is offline
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Many thanks guys for the input! I've inspected the bearing surfaces of these parts and they are all in good shape. I measured the internal diameter of the starter gear bushing - it came in at 1.365" I.D. - the spacer that the bushing is installed over (a 1.025" length short-style), measures 1.356" O.D., so we're looking at 0.009" clearance.

I don't have access to factory specs for these items, but it seems that there is too much slop so the gear can get cocked when operated.

With the cam plate holding the starter gear in its rest position, I measured the distance from the end of the spacer back to the top surface of the ratchet teeth - where it is held by the cam plate I measured 0.214" - on the side opposite it's only 0.187" - appears that it's cocked about 0.027" across the face of the gear.

I'm thinking the bushing is too loose and/or the spring is not strong enough to force good engagement, so I'm thinking of replacing both. FWIW, the spring has a free length of 1.593" (again, I don't know what it should be).

If anyone can tell me what kind of clearance the new bushing needs, I'd appreciate it! Seems most of the ones available come tight and have to be reamed out to proper dimension.

Thanks again everyone!
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Old 26th October 2010
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The spring is the first thing I'd replace. I did on my 73 and that was the problem.
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Old 26th October 2010
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HOMER308 HOMER308 is offline
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About the cheapest part too, eh?
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Old 26th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HOMER308 View Post
Many thanks guys for the input! I've inspected the bearing surfaces of these parts and they are all in good shape. I measured the internal diameter of the starter gear bushing - it came in at 1.365" I.D. - the spacer that the bushing is installed over (a 1.025" length short-style), measures 1.356" O.D., so we're looking at 0.009" clearance.

I don't have access to factory specs for these items, but it seems that there is too much slop so the gear can get cocked when operated.

With the cam plate holding the starter gear in its rest position, I measured the distance from the end of the spacer back to the top surface of the ratchet teeth - where it is held by the cam plate I measured 0.214" - on the side opposite it's only 0.187" - appears that it's cocked about 0.027" across the face of the gear.

I'm thinking the bushing is too loose and/or the spring is not strong enough to force good engagement, so I'm thinking of replacing both. FWIW, the spring has a free length of 1.593" (again, I don't know what it should be).

If anyone can tell me what kind of clearance the new bushing needs, I'd appreciate it! Seems most of the ones available come tight and have to be reamed out to proper dimension.

Thanks again everyone!
From what I remember, the new ratchet gear I installed had about .001" clearance or so - just by feel. Certainly not enough to feel any rocking movement. Just enough to let it slide freely and that is all.
I would say my old worn out one had like .010" clearance, so it slipped.

Dunno the spring length but it is a common problem so worth getting a better one if you can.
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