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Old 10-26-2020, 05:33 PM   #1
snatchleeka
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Default Help!!!! panhead clutch help

hey gentlemen, i need some help with the clutch on my 58 pan. its a ratbike as we called them back in the day. my clutch is grabby and noisy when starting off, its impossible to start off without looking like pee wee herman leaving the biker bar (google it). ive cleaned the clutch discs and plates, then replaced them, no change. tried hd and aftermarket pressure plates, it has a 5 finger clutch hub and the plastic retainer is designed for 3 finger hubs, and i can only get 2 snap rings on there. the basket has a little wobble in it, is this because theres only 2 snap rings holding it on? does anyone make a retainer for a 5 finger hub? is that small wobble the only reason for grabbiness or is there more to it? the clutch wasnt always grabby it worked fine for a while . should i go to a 3 finger hub?? any help is greatly appreciated . also, im pretty far from being a mechanic so im struggling here.
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Old 10-26-2020, 07:01 PM   #2
johnjzjz
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Default Re: Help!!!! panhead clutch help

a grabby clutch - its sticking
noisy clutch - the discs are very old oem of run of the mill china junk

a 3 ram jet on a 5 stud hub - cant be a good idea even if your not a repair friendly guy

alto red discs are the go to clutch discs

the steels do they have the ball and spring in the cut outs - if so they are dragging on the clutch hub - cut them off but using a straight edge check them for flatness - warped discs make a squawk sound

picture up the parts your using for more help
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Old 10-27-2020, 07:26 AM   #3
govmule84
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Default Re: Help!!!! panhead clutch help

If the basket has wobble, try the next set of holes. Two holes is fine and expected with the earlier Ram Jets.

How's your clutch hub lining look?
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Old 10-27-2020, 07:27 AM   #4
rhysmort
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Default Re: Help!!!! panhead clutch help

A wobble of the basket says to me it's not sitting or running true on the taper of the 5 finger.

I had to replace mine recently. After about 20K miles of my own and god knows how many previously the fingers weren't running true etc. The new basket which I got from W&W wasn't great, the key didn't fit, the taper etc was off.. mine did similar. Might be worth checking, if you're in there strip it back to the mainshaft. The metal plates with balls on are great, but I know when they age they can be problematic, people don't use them as much I don't think any more, the new replacements don' thave the ball. I have them, but I also have old school asbestos clutch plates.. so much better.. won't find them v often these days.

The ramjet or retainer is a real help, may also be worth looking at the bearing upgrade kit. I run one and it's superb. Start with what John has mentioned.. but also check the woodruff and the everything is sitting true.
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Old 10-27-2020, 10:10 AM   #5
joe49
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Default Re: Help!!!! panhead clutch help

With clutch disengaged and in gear; wobble at basket. loose bearing fit. Dry chain with tight links.
With clutch engaged and not in gear; wobble at basket. bent trans mainshaft or cheap China 5 finger or like rhysmort key problem.
Any of these can make the clutch unpredictable, along with the worn grooved fingers and grooved basket blocks.
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Old 10-27-2020, 10:49 AM   #6
snatchleeka
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Default Re: Help!!!! panhead clutch help

thanks for all the info, some of it is flying over my head. i have a much more knowledgable friend i'll be calling for assistance
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Old 10-28-2020, 09:24 PM   #7
hammerweight
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Default Re: Help!!!! panhead clutch help

If I remember correctly, not a big deal converting a ramjet 3 finger to five...just counterboring a couple of holes further down...�� ?
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Old 10-29-2020, 12:06 PM   #8
JasonMcElroy
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Default Re: Help!!!! panhead clutch help

You remember correctly.

I'll offer that even that doesn't need to be done.

You can get a three-finger retainer oriented on a five-finger hub with two fingers in the desired position and clipped. Works fine. Have been doing it for 20 years ;-0

When I had more time in the past, I did c-bore one or two of them.

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