Author Topic: Transmission shifting issues  (Read 882 times)

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Offline rider7816

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Transmission shifting issues
« on: January 28, 2017, 11:21:27 AM »
Looking for a little help here on my 1977 xlh.  I finally got it back on the road. Im having trouble with the clutch dragging, having a hard time finding gears and neutral.  I adjusted many times but it still isnt right.
Now Ive just noticed that Im having a really hard time finding 1st gear.  Even if I manage to get into first, it has been slipping right out and going to neutral, even under load.  Ive also noticed it will slip out of first, go to neutral and then drop into 2nd by itself.
Anyone else run into this???
 :wtf:

Offline JW113

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Re: Transmission shifting issues
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2017, 01:51:57 PM »
2004 FLHRS   1977 FLH Shovelhead  1992 FLSTC
1945 Indian Chief   1978 XL Bobber

Offline Burnout

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Re: Transmission shifting issues
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2017, 05:37:32 PM »
If the clutch is not happy you are going to have all kinds of shifting problems.

Address the clutch issues first.
They don't call me Ironhead Rick just because I'm "hard headed"

Offline rider7816

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Re: Transmission shifting issues
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2017, 06:38:15 AM »

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
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Offline Burnout

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Re: Transmission shifting issues
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2017, 07:17:48 AM »
Does a 77 still have a transfer valve? If so the trans oil will get mixed with motor oil, so the same oil should be used in both. If not I prefer gear oil (not heavy) in the trans. I think the gears are too coarse for atf to work well.
There are a few aftermarket oils offered or you can use HD Formula Plus.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 07:21:13 AM by Burnout »
They don't call me Ironhead Rick just because I'm "hard headed"

Offline rider7816

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Re: Transmission shifting issues
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2017, 08:01:21 AM »
Does a 77 still have a transfer valve? If so the trans oil will get mixed with motor oil, so the same oil should be used in both. If not I prefer gear oil (not heavy) in the trans. I think the gears are too coarse for atf to work well.
There are a few aftermarket oils offered or you can use HD Formula Plus.

No, I as far as I know it doesn't have a transfer valve.  I guess I could use HD Formula Plus since I have it on hand for my twin cams anyway.

Thanks!

Offline JW113

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Re: Transmission shifting issues
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2017, 08:28:29 AM »
As Burnout said, DON'T pull the trans apart until you've confirmed the clutch is not the issue. And from the symptoms you describe, it sure sounds like clutch to me.

I'm using Alto "red eagle" friction disks with their steel plates. In my opinion, more than adequate for street performance. There's nothing wrong with Kevlar, but for day to day use it doesn't really work any better.

I like to use Type F ATF in my primary/trans. My opinion is that what's inside a HD primary and trans is not a whole not different than what's in an automatic transmission. i.e., spur gears and friction disks/bands. It makes the shifting and clutch feathering very nice.

I found the major culprit on my problems was that "red" spring that turboprop pointed out. Make sure your two springs are good, and LEVEL.

I also am using a "Tamer II", which I've found helps with finding neutral and no creep at a stop when in gear.

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

Offline Burnout

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Re: Transmission shifting issues
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2017, 01:21:07 PM »
A big single spring does not work well for the street. If you get the pair of OEM springs you will notice that they are wound opposite directions. This helps stabilize the assembly while released.

I will also second the Alto discs. Kevlar is only needed if you are abusing the clutch (drag racing) (second gear starts)
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 01:24:32 PM by Burnout »
They don't call me Ironhead Rick just because I'm "hard headed"

Offline thumper 823

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Re: Transmission shifting issues
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2017, 11:16:23 AM »
Most people will put them in neutral B4 coming to a stop.
With everything adjusted purrfect you learn to deal with it.
The clutches are known for dragging, kind of an inherent quality..
D Troop 3/5, - C/16 ,162AHC, Mekong delta.
Amateur engineering with bad math.

Offline rider7816

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Re: Transmission shifting issues
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2017, 07:17:06 AM »
Thanks for the replies guys.  Unfortunately, I have been so busy that I haven't even been able to look at it to diagnose it correctly.  I did have to move it this past weekend and I can tell you that while running, the shifter doesn't want to move at all, up or down.  Meaning it moves, but will not shift up or down.  If the motor is off the shifter moves but I noticed that it doesn't shift gears either.  As soon as I can I will pull the primary cover off and disengage the clutch to see if that makes a difference.  If not, looks like Im putting my miners cap back on and going into the transmission. 

It sucks though.   I just had the motor done from top to bottom and had the builder do a full inspection of the transmission while it was out.  When I picked the motor up, he showed me how smooth the gears shifted and remarked how smooth and nice the bearings, shift forks etc looked.

I know,,,, Its and ironhead.     :doh:

I was trying to get it ready for Bike week in Daytona since there is an antique bike show, with sportsters being the theme.  Not gonna happen this time.  Oh well

Frank

Offline thumper 823

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Re: Transmission shifting issues
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2017, 07:25:56 AM »
Is removing the hats the new latest fad?
Idk.
But I do now we replaced them as they broke as a matter of maintenance back in the day.
I dont think omitting them will help in any way.
For one it would create lots of slop, more resistance.
D Troop 3/5, - C/16 ,162AHC, Mekong delta.
Amateur engineering with bad math.

Offline rider7816

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Re: Transmission shifting issues
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2017, 09:54:41 AM »
Ok,  here is the latest.  I ended up bringing the bike back to the shop that did my engine rebuild since at this point I felt like I was over my head.  Long story short, even since the beginning when I bought this bike, I never liked the shifting, never sharp or precise.  It was always hard to find neutral, and sometimes the shifter lever would not move.  Sometimes worse than others.   

For some reason after the rebuild it was totally un-drivable.  End result, somewhere along the way of this 1977 xlh miserable existence, some shade tree mechanic installed the wrong shift forks.  Someone installed +.20 shift forks, which caused the shift dogs to bind and chip the teeth off of.  Needless to say I wasn't happy but the shop owner stepped up and took care of the problem for a VERY reasonable price.

I took the old girl out for a putt yesterday and Im extremely happy with the shifting now.

Frank

Online Hossamania

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Re: Transmission shifting issues
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2017, 02:37:53 PM »
Congrats on finally getting it dialed in. Buying someone else's poor work is very frustrating. Glad you're back on the road.
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Offline rider7816

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Re: Transmission shifting issues
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2017, 07:39:03 AM »
Congrats on finally getting it dialed in. Buying someone else's poor work is very frustrating. Glad you're back on the road.

That's for damn sure!  This is my first Ironhead and so far it has been a monster battle trying to get it dialed in.   :emoGroan:  Im not a Harley tech, nor did I go to school for this but I learned mechanics from my dad and it has definitely paid off holding the flashlight for all those years! 

I own two twin cams can honestly say I HAVE NEVER don't anything to them aside from normal wear and tear maintenance.  I can tell you that owning a factory shop manual became my best friend though.

Frank

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Re: Transmission shifting issues
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2017, 09:16:20 AM »
I have witnessed second hand jumping into the word of Shovelhead ownership. I have a few friends that own them, and are very good at working on them, including doing all their own complete motor and transmission work, even some light machining. Knowing them, and being able to have them work on mine were I to own one, is the only reason I would consider getting one. (I haven't yet.)
From everything I've heard about Ironheads, they require even a little more attention.
Enjoy the hell out of yours, I love seeing the old iron on the road.
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.