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Old 06-29-2012, 04:23 PM   #1
raynoslo
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Default panhead clutch problem!

Here's the deal. 62' pan/shovel, 4 speed kicker, 3" open belt, jockey shift with a stock style clutch. After my bike warms up my clutch goes from a smooth operating normal clutch to one that likes to grab hard just when I start to release to start off in first. Ive also noticed that it stays somewhat engaged when im trying to shift. Everything is adjusted correctly. Does this mean that its time to get new plates? I have the big bearing kit installed. I've had trouble with the grease seeping in to the clutch basket after assembly, and now put it together with minimal grease whenever it has to come apart. If this is what's still haunting me, is there a better way to contain it?
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Old 06-29-2012, 04:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: panhead clutch problem!

Here are the things I would check:

1) Belt tension. Too tight will make the clutch drag more when it gets hot.

2) Engine / Transmission alighment. If not aligned carefully, the clutch basket will want to walk out when you disengage the clutch. With the motor running, step on the clutch pedal and watch the clutch basket. Does it move outward? If so, you've got an alignment issue. There are a couple ways to fix this... 1) Align the engine and transmission, 2) Use something like a Ramjett Retainer or a Clutch Tamer to keep the clutch basket from walking.

3) Disassemble the clutch. Clean all the friction plates with brake clean. If they are glazed, use some emory paper to break the glaze. Go easy! Use some emory paper to remove all the shine from your steel plates. Give them a nice dull finish.

4) Adjust the nuts on your clutch spring retainer plate so that the pressure plate releases evenly all the way around.

-Craig
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: panhead clutch problem!

Don't forget the throwout bearing. If you run the stock early style, they hardly ever wear out, but if you are running the late style(wafer) bearing, they go bad, and then your clutch rod is in danger of being damaged.
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Old 06-29-2012, 06:05 PM   #4
bustedlifter
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Default Re: panhead clutch problem!

Pro clutch time.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: panhead clutch problem!

Aftermarket has it going on...

The stock do work well and with some up grades can handle a fair amount of abuse....
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: panhead clutch problem!

I wouldn't rush to buy an aftermarket clutch, just check the belt tension, make sure the plates aren't warped, and deglaze the discs while it's apart.
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: panhead clutch problem!

I recently had the back wheel off, and I think my chain is a little to tight. Gonna loosen it up a bit and go from there. I deglazed the plates the last time I had it apart. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction fellas.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:01 AM   #8
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Default Re: panhead clutch problem!

Quote:
Originally Posted by raynoslo View Post
I recently had the back wheel off, and I think my chain is a little to tight. Gonna loosen it up a bit and go from there. I deglazed the plates the last time I had it apart. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction fellas.
And don't forget, the belt and chain act as a team. If you losen one, you'll have to readjust the other. I've found on the wider belts that a little looser than you'd think is usually good as they tighten up when they get hot. If your alignment is good, best way to adjust it is get the chain perfect, then set the belt a little loose. Go for a nice long ride, at a couple hours at freeway speeds. Pull over and check the belt tension. If it's good, you're good. If it's at all tight, loosen it some. Once you've got it dialed in, wait 'till it's completely cold (like overnight) and measure the belt tension with a ruler, or at least just eyeball it well. That'll tell you what to set it at next time when you adjust it cold...

-Kuda
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:05 AM   #9
FearNoEvo
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Default Re: panhead clutch problem!

The symptom you describe is exactly that of a bike in need of a clutch tamer. I run an extra plate and a full set of atlas springs. Without the tamer, my clutch makes the most horrific sounds and lurches like hell. With the tamer, smooth as silk.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:24 AM   #10
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Default Re: panhead clutch problem!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FearNoEvo View Post
The symptom you describe is exactly that of a bike in need of a clutch tamer.
Without the tamer, my clutch makes the most horrific sounds and lurches like hell. With the tamer, smooth as silk.
If your primary (Belt, Chain) is bad on alinement...This is a really nice cure...
It will keep the side walk out of the clutch basket...Which does eat up free room for the clutch plates to work without drag...

Add a Big Fix bearing kit and perhaps a Alum pressure plate and spring collar and you should have a smooth release with the stock clutch.

..........
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:37 AM   #11
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Default Re: panhead clutch problem!

It's a pretty sizable outlay of cash but I've been running Pro Clutches on my scooters for about 14 years without incident. Other than cable adjustment /replacement when worn , they've performed flawlessly. Running on that sealed bearing without all the play of the stock clutch basket, makes all the difference.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:46 AM   #12
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Default Re: panhead clutch problem!

Aftermarket has it going on.....

They are today's R&D that has evolved from the 1936 design of yesteryear...
Harley did a up-grade (I think it was in 68) by adding one more plate to the old design, being more power and weight of their Bikes it was a needed up-grade.

Be very nice to have a clutch that works as well as what can be had in the way of A/M from the stock set-up...
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:57 AM   #13
Larry T
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Default Re: panhead clutch problem!

I know you said stock style clutch, but what kind of clutch plates are in it now? It's already been talked about but I had a Panhead come in last month with clutch problems (chatter). I cleaned/degreased the aftermarket plates and it worked for a couple of weeks. Got the bike back in here, dug up some stock plates from the stash, cleaned them up and put them in------no more problems.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:53 AM   #14
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Default Re: panhead clutch problem!

Larry, I heard the new aftermarket plates are notorious for that. Get a couple weeks out of them then back to the same old crap.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:08 AM   #15
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Default Re: panhead clutch problem!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bustedlifter View Post
Larry, I heard the new aftermarket plates are notorious for that. Get a couple weeks out of them then back to the same old crap.
It's not really a new problem. We had the same problem with Barnett clutch plates back in the 70's, but they were the "hot set up" (the magazines all said so) so everyone had to run them. That's where my stash of stock plates got started.

Don't get me wrong, the Barnetts would (will) hold better than stock plates on a hotrod bike. We just got used to going into the primary and cleaning clutch plates. Part of the routine maintanance. That's part of the reason my tin primary cover was held on with two screws in the front and two in the back. The belt drive was also partly responsible for the "quick disconnect" cover.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:21 AM   #16
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Default Re: panhead clutch problem!

Even the Pro clutch can have problems..

Somewhere down it's life....it got smoked.
High heat did what you see in the old clutch pack with the steel plates getting dished, in turn causing mega clutch drag...



Going with a complete clutch pack replacement with the drive and driven (Kevlar this time around) plates ..

Dang...There's a Herd of them Critters in that clutch pack....



Talk about increased sweep area over OEM... ....

Last edited by Dragstews; 07-02-2012 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:21 AM   #17
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Default Re: panhead clutch problem!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragstews View Post
Even the Pro clutch can have problems..
.
Anything mechanical can have problems. It's been my experience that they're FAR superior to the stock setup.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:28 AM   #18
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Default Re: panhead clutch problem!

.....Right-On.....

.......I'm saving up for this T-shirt ....

http://www.foulmouthshirts.com/funny...-T-shirt-F.htm
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:55 PM   #19
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Default Re: panhead clutch problem!

No doubt that the Primo/Rivera ProClutch solves all kinds of challenges. The biggest seems to be the problem with the clutch basket walking out and making the stock clutch drag.

I've used the ProClutch on other bikes in the past and just recently installed on in my panhead. It's so nice to have a really solid clutch that is easier to pull (old age and arthritis is catching up to me).

This one has the plates designed to work with an OEM type clutch basket.





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Old 07-02-2012, 01:04 PM   #20
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Default Re: panhead clutch problem!

...^^^^ That's Sweet as they come^^^^...

Bet the lever pull is a two finger deal....

Really hadn't seen the need for their Heavy-Duty Belleville diaphragm clutch spring...Unless High HP or Heavy Weight (Side-car, Trailers) is involved.

What you show in the above photos is the silver spring...
They rate it as fast action, fairly easy on the hand... For Street Perfomance
The black spring plate is easier on the hand then the silver...Made for stock motors.
Gold is "Lets Go Racing"

Last edited by Dragstews; 07-02-2012 at 01:18 PM.
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