HELP!! Newbie question........'80 Shovelhead kicker problems - The Jockey Journal Board

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Old 11-08-2013, 08:23 PM   #1
Rock 'N Rolla
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Default HELP!! Newbie question........'80 Shovelhead kicker problems

Alright everyone, total newbie here when it comes to older HD's although I've wrenched on other more modern Jap bikes so I'm somewhat mechanically savy.

Anyway, I recently picked up a '80 FXWG. Engine and tranny seem stock from the research I've done. Ever since I bought it I've had to use the electric start because the kicker isn't working. The bike seems to shift fine so I think the problem is isolated to the kicker alone and not a bigger problem with the rest of the tranny. It feels like the kicker is totally disconnected from the rest of the tranny assembly. When I rotate the kicker arm, there is no resistance except for the return spring (external). It's not turning the engine over at all.

So this weekend I'm going to drain the tranny fluid and take the kicker cover off to see if I can get to the bottom of this. But can anyone provide me with some ideas on what they think the likely culprit is or what I should be looking for once I get the cover off? If anyone's got any photos of what it looks like in there that'd be useful.

Again, sorry for the newbie questions. We all gotta start somewhere.
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: HELP!! Newbie question........'80 Shovelhead kicker problems

Welcome...real quick go do a short intro to keep everyone happy, ok?

https://www.jockeyjournal.com/forum/f...splay.php?f=12
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: HELP!! Newbie question........'80 Shovelhead kicker problems

Will do.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: HELP!! Newbie question........'80 Shovelhead kicker problems

I'm not sure of the difference between the later trans and this, but might be an interesting read: http://shovelhead.us/forum/showthread.php?t=26085
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: HELP!! Newbie question........'80 Shovelhead kicker problems

I may be waaaaaay off. My vote is no gear on the shaft.

I dont remember when they went electric start only...

Is it a cowpie trans? I think it was that year.

Dont pay attention to me. There are others here who will know for sure.

Pictures always help.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: HELP!! Newbie question........'80 Shovelhead kicker problems

My '79 FX is cowpie, so that could very well be the case.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: HELP!! Newbie question........'80 Shovelhead kicker problems

One of the best investments you can make at this time is to buy a service manual for your bike. The genuine HD book is the best, better than Clymer or Haynes. You can get them at the dealership, but they're probably up around $75 by now. Often, you can find a gently used one on eBay for a lot less. Sometimes you can find the PDF online somewhere, but there's nothing like a paper copy you can hold in your hand.
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Old 11-09-2013, 12:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: HELP!! Newbie question........'80 Shovelhead kicker problems

Your kicker gear might be shot!
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Old 11-09-2013, 01:02 AM   #9
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Default Re: HELP!! Newbie question........'80 Shovelhead kicker problems

Bet the kicker side case bushing is very worn and this has caused the kicker gear nut to loosen or come off. Time to pull the side case off and give it a look see. No big deal its a simple inspection. If case bushing is worn excessivily you,ll need to replace the side case or as i did gut it,remove whats left of bushings, measure i.d. Of case (bet it will be out of round) then take it to machine shop and have it bored out true, make new 1 piece oil impregnated bronze bushing, press it into case then hone it to fit the kicker shaft. If kicker shaft is worn or where gear goes on is worn you,ll need a new kicker arm/shaft assy & possibly a gear.
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Old 11-09-2013, 04:44 AM   #10
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Default Re: HELP!! Newbie question........'80 Shovelhead kicker problems

May be the kick gear key on the ratchet gears. You will need a puller to get it off. Specialty pullers are available, but you can use a bearing seperator and a "T" puller. Also, check the ramped gear teeth on the ratchet. If they are not pristine, it is time for new kick gear set.
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:09 AM   #11
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Default Re: HELP!! Newbie question........'80 Shovelhead kicker problems

I only say this because you said you are a newbie. Please don't take offense.

Your not pulling the clutch in when you are trying to kickstart by chance???
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: HELP!! Newbie question........'80 Shovelhead kicker problems

Lol!!!

I am laughing cause I have done that very thing. In fact my buddy who is a newby just did it.
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:29 AM   #13
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Default Re: HELP!! Newbie question........'80 Shovelhead kicker problems

Thanks for all the good info guys. And no I wasn't pulling in the clutch but good question. hahahaha. Getting ready to start tearing into it. I'll let everyone know what I find out.
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:05 AM   #14
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Default Re: HELP!! Newbie question........'80 Shovelhead kicker problems

Ok, so a little update..........after pulling the kicker cover off today I think the problem is obvious. Although the bike only had 18k miles on it when I picked it up the other day, it appears as though the previous owner tinkered around with the bike at some point and really hated the idea of a kicker. Seems that I'm missing parts 4-8 in the diagram; the starter clutch, key, starter clutch gear and bushing, and the spring that goes with it. I do have the pushrod assembly though, I just removed it before taking the picture for clarity.

Sound like a plan to everyone else? Is there anything else I'm missing or should do while I'm at this stage before I start putting it back together?

Time to order some parts.............
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:36 AM   #15
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Default Re: HELP!! Newbie question........'80 Shovelhead kicker problems

Welcome. Those FXWGs are my all time fav HDs. Sounds like you are onto the issue. Post a pic of the bike. Great name and avatar, love that movie.
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:32 AM   #16
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Default Re: HELP!! Newbie question........'80 Shovelhead kicker problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAWS View Post
Lol!!!

I am laughing cause I have done that very thing. In fact my buddy who is a newby just did it.

Watched a guy scream, curse and throw shit one time. Asked him if I could try it. 2 kicks later and one very red face he rode off.
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