Author Topic: Dragging/Slipping Clutch  (Read 822 times)

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Online JW113

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Dragging/Slipping Clutch
« on: December 18, 2016, 10:59:00 AM »
So my '78's clutch has been less than useful since I got the machine on the road. Impossible to find neutral at a stop (symptom of dragging), and running through the gears can definitely feel it slip at each up-shift, esp 3rd to 4th. I had recently installed a Tamer II, but did not help the dragging at all. And tried both motor oil (per the manual) and Harley trans/primary oil. Neither made any difference.

So next, I ordered a set of new clutch friction disks and steel plates. I pulled it apart on Friday, and in fact the disks did not look bad at all. However, what I did find, is only one clutch spring, and the 6 clutch pack spacers were all the .080" undersize. I don't know if that one spring is maybe a Trock heavy duty or what, but seems like it would tend cock the clutch pack to one side causing drag, without the inner spring in there.

Called around the local HD shops, NOBODY has ironhead clutch parts OF COURSE. Good old eBay to the rescue, will have new two clutch spring kit and standard spacer set by next Friday. And will go back to good old Type F ATF in the pri/trans.

I also totally stripped out the clutch cable hole where it threads into outer primary cover, so had to order a 5/16-24 Timesert kit to fix that.

-JW
2004 FLHRS   1977 FLH Shovelhead  1992 FLSTC
1945 Indian Chief   1978 XL Bobber

Offline turboprop

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Re: Dragging/Slipping Clutch
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2016, 11:32:21 AM »
Was the spring that was in it a heavy duty red spring? If so, throw it in the trash.
'Never try to teach a pig to sing, it only wastes your time and annoys the pig'.

Online JW113

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Re: Dragging/Slipping Clutch
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2016, 12:27:37 PM »
Yeah, it does have kind of a maroon-ish red tinge to it. So what's the deal with that?

-JW
2004 FLHRS   1977 FLH Shovelhead  1992 FLSTC
1945 Indian Chief   1978 XL Bobber

Offline tmwmoose

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Re: Dragging/Slipping Clutch
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2016, 12:48:09 PM »
Boy I remember those days with my XLs . Jack up the power a tad on them and it was slip city. I'm probably not gona tell you any thing you don't know but with the heavy spring you have to pretty much eliminate any free play in the cable period. I don't know how to find them but the cables that were stiff and had the sheath wires wrapping length wise instead of like a spring worked best with the heavy springs that I remember. Clutch Tamer II best thing since slice bread for the wet clutch .AS I remember it was a delicate act to get a non slipper and one you could stop at a light with. I modified my outer basket to move oil thru it per instructions from someone at the factorys race dept  back in the 80s when I was working at the dealers. I did it don't know if helped, then the there was a tech tip on it later have you seen it? If not I'll dig it up for ya

Offline turboprop

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Re: Dragging/Slipping Clutch
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2016, 01:49:55 PM »
Yeah, it does have kind of a maroon-ish red tinge to it. So what's the deal with that?

-JW

I didn't believe it either, but saw it myself. Paid good money for that spring. Something about the system, from the lever at the bar, the cable, the internal mechanism, everything. The added strength of that spring causes the system to 'crunch', effectively reducing the amount of travel for the clutch hat. Put a weaker spring in and those new plates and it will work just fine.
'Never try to teach a pig to sing, it only wastes your time and annoys the pig'.

Online JW113

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Re: Dragging/Slipping Clutch
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2016, 05:54:30 PM »
Yep that's the plan, use two STOCK springs, a new clutch pack, and ATF for oil. And carefully adjust the release disk to clutch hub height to 1/8".

-JW
2004 FLHRS   1977 FLH Shovelhead  1992 FLSTC
1945 Indian Chief   1978 XL Bobber

Online Burnout

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Re: Dragging/Slipping Clutch
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2016, 06:17:32 PM »
Isn't that set by the spacers?
They don't call me Ironhead Rick just because I'm "hard headed"

Online JW113

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Re: Dragging/Slipping Clutch
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2016, 07:17:44 AM »
Exact-a-mundo. Three lengths to choose from...

-JW
2004 FLHRS   1977 FLH Shovelhead  1992 FLSTC
1945 Indian Chief   1978 XL Bobber

Offline garyajaz

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Re: Dragging/Slipping Clutch
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2016, 09:29:03 AM »
somewhere in storage trailer I have a few clutch packs.  stock stuff.
I usually  just pulled all when I built them. put in Barnett. also built lots of belt drive stuff with alum baskets.
so have a few stock baskets also.
spacers? why yes. just saw some in my  specialty junk box while I was digging around for some specialty junk..

hows that gearing working out?
tall gear will make slippage more noticeable.
\
let me know if you need anything.
( I bet its that damn carb I sent causing it all)  ((LOL))
I use 40 wt non detergent oil in clutch/ tranny..
have to, detergent eats belt drives.
but the tranny lived these many years so it must be ok...lol

Offline tmwmoose

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Re: Dragging/Slipping Clutch
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2016, 03:50:32 AM »
"I use 40 wt non detergent oil in clutch/ tranny..
have to, detergent eats belt drives.
but the tranny lived these many years so it must be ok...lol"

I always wondered ..why a belt system in a Sportster  and a wet environment as well ?

Offline garyajaz

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Re: Dragging/Slipping Clutch
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2016, 09:05:35 AM »
first off, on alky, drag racing, I snapped a primary chain, it took out adjuster boss in case.
then got belt drive cause no adjustment necessary.
then found no compensator, less weight. just a wide alum pulley.
the belt is lighter than chain, the clutch basket is alum.
much lighter than stock.
it shifts much better cause of lots less rotating weight in primary.
it shifts smother cause no jerking about. no clunk.
 they last 15 years or so. just great all around.
I was gonna fill in trans door holes and run primary dry.
Barnett clutch pack did not care.
never did that though. once the non detergent fact came up.
I was breaking belts every 2-4 years with reg tranny oil.  the detergent just delaminated them. factory gave me a few, then figured out problem.
after  oil change they last for many years taking much abuse.

since my new "garage" is done and I have room in my shop. it is coming out of storage for winter riding.  just have to try out that new E-series JW donated..

but in real life, at this time, if chain did not break boss I would put stock basket and stuff back on.
well, a basket with a starter ring.  buy a elect starter kit and just push the  comp   releases in and push the start button.
kicking this thing over at my age and physical brokenness takes the fun out of it.
and with a 1.8 gallon fuel cell, well, I have to refill and start it a lot if riding around.



Online JW113

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Re: Dragging/Slipping Clutch
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2016, 05:06:16 PM »
No progress with the 23T sprocket yet, need to get the clutch functional first. Next will be the sprocket though. Will be pissed if I have to buy a longer chain to go with it though.

-JW
2004 FLHRS   1977 FLH Shovelhead  1992 FLSTC
1945 Indian Chief   1978 XL Bobber

Online JW113

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Re: Dragging/Slipping Clutch
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2016, 06:25:55 PM »
My new spring set and spacer set showed up this week, and put the clutch back together today. Pretty clear why I was having the clutch both drag and slip. Check out the old spring to the new springs:

[ Guests cannot view attachments ]

The old single spring has HALF the windings at the two stock springs. And check out how "flat" (or in this case NOT) the top of the spring is. So when the lever is pulled, it puts a crooked load on the clutch pack. Hope the weather warms up a little this weekend, will give it a go and hopefully cured of the symptoms.

Does that one on the left look like the "red" heavy duty spring that you guys are talking about?

-JW
2004 FLHRS   1977 FLH Shovelhead  1992 FLSTC
1945 Indian Chief   1978 XL Bobber

Offline turboprop

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Re: Dragging/Slipping Clutch
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2016, 06:33:54 PM »
My new spring set and spacer set showed up this week, and put the clutch back together today. Pretty clear why I was having the clutch both drag and slip. Check out the old spring to the new springs:

(Attachment Link)

The old single spring has HALF the windings at the two stock springs. And check out how "flat" (or in this case NOT) the top of the spring is. So when the lever is pulled, it puts a crooked load on the clutch pack. Hope the weather warms up a little this weekend, will give it a go and hopefully cured of the symptoms.

Does that one on the left look like the "red" heavy duty spring that you guys are talking about?

-JW

Yes.
'Never try to teach a pig to sing, it only wastes your time and annoys the pig'.

Online JW113

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Re: Dragging/Slipping Clutch
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2016, 01:45:12 PM »
Well alright-y then. Weather made it up to 50F today, so took a nice ride just out cruising around on the freeways. Clutch is now working beautifully! Shifts like butter, and will drop right in to neutral at a dead stop from either 1st or 2nd. No slip at all on hard full throttle romp through the gears. Rode around long enough to get the oil fairly hot, so decided to drop it and switch out the 50Wt for 20w-50. Winter.... yuk.

-JW
2004 FLHRS   1977 FLH Shovelhead  1992 FLSTC
1945 Indian Chief   1978 XL Bobber

Offline rider7816

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Re: Dragging/Slipping Clutch
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2017, 06:37:22 AM »
So my '78's clutch has been less than useful since I got the machine on the road. Impossible to find neutral at a stop (symptom of dragging), and running through the gears can definitely feel it slip at each up-shift, esp 3rd to 4th. I had recently installed a Tamer II, but did not help the dragging at all. And tried both motor oil (per the manual) and Harley trans/primary oil. Neither made any difference.

So next, I ordered a set of new clutch friction disks and steel plates. I pulled it apart on Friday, and in fact the disks did not look bad at all. However, what I did find, is only one clutch spring, and the 6 clutch pack spacers were all the .080" undersize. I don't know if that one spring is maybe a Trock heavy duty or what, but seems like it would tend cock the clutch pack to one side causing drag, without the inner spring in there.

Called around the local HD shops, NOBODY has ironhead clutch parts OF COURSE. Good old eBay to the rescue, will have new two clutch spring kit and standard spacer set by next Friday. And will go back to good old Type F ATF in the pri/trans.

I also totally stripped out the clutch cable hole where it threads into outer primary cover, so had to order a 5/16-24 Timesert kit to fix that.

-JW

Just to make sure I cover all the bases,  Im gonna do the same thing.  Out of curiosity, did you go with the standard clutch material or upgrade to the Kevlar?  When it goes back together this time EVERYTHING is gonna be new. 

Im tempted to pull the transmission to make sure the pawl springs are ok as well.

Ive been using SAE60 throughout the motor, should I change to type F or the Harley gear oil??

Frank