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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure there are threads about this somewhere else, but to be perfectly honest, the search function is frustrating, and i don't have an hour to spend looking for a specific answer... so please forgive me in advance.

i'm working on a 78 FXS. my first compete big twin. i bought it as a runner. when i brought it home, it was moving through the gears just fine. it sat for a few months. i was looking through the maintenance section of my manual and i noticed that the clutch adjustment looked off, so i adjusted it according to the manual. it was definitely not right. so i adjusted it back to roughly where it was. so now i can start it without it taking off on me. however...

now, with the engine running, i cannot shift outta first, and with the engine off, i cant find neutral and the shifter feels a little tight.

so can you tell me what the possible cause/remedy is.

i'm pretty much just ready to pull the clutch out and learn about it, but i'd like to get the thing to a show i'm putting on tomorrow. any help would be greatly appreciated.

thanks guys.
 

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I'm sure there are threads about this somewhere else, but to be perfectly honest, the search function is frustrating, and i don't have an hour to spend looking for a specific answer... so please forgive me in advance.

i'm working on a 78 FXS. my first compete big twin. i bought it as a runner. when i brought it home, it was moving through the gears just fine. it sat for a few months. i was looking through the maintenance section of my manual and i noticed that the clutch adjustment looked off, so i adjusted it according to the manual. it was definitely not right. so i adjusted it back to roughly where it was. so now i can start it without it taking off on me. however...

now, with the engine running, i cannot shift outta first, and with the engine off, i cant find neutral and the shifter feels a little tight.

so can you tell me what the possible cause/remedy is.

i'm pretty much just ready to pull the clutch out and learn about it, but i'd like to get the thing to a show i'm putting on tomorrow. any help would be greatly appreciated.

thanks guys.
Probably not what you want to hear, but that's pretty common on the older four speeds. I guess the clutch drags just enough to keep everything in the transmission in a bind. Can it be fixed? Yea, with a different clutch set up........ or clutch hub retainer (tamer)............or ??????????

But if the clutch isn't dragging enough to creep at a stop, lots of folks deal with the problem by finding neutral while they're still rolling or killing the bike before you take it out of gear.

But adjusting it by the book should put you pretty close, so maybe you have a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
you're right. not what i wanted to hear.

i was talking to a shop owner buddy of mine and his recommendation was to just put a rivera clutch in it...

so the thing is that it was fine when i parked it and now that i messed with it its acting up.

any possibility on a simple adjustment issue? (please say yes...)

i haven had it back out on the road yet, but sitting in the garage, it does not creep and when i let the clutch out it seems to act normal.

i think i'll try a little more adjustment and i'll keep checking back here for suggestions and recommendations.

thanks.
 

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Go here and search.

http://shovelhead.us/forum/

Get through the misspellings, bad grammar and macho bullshit, and you'll find some good tech and adjustments to try.

Anything written by Hawg Ryder over there can be considered gospel.

True, the Rivera Pro clutch is the shit and eliminates all creep and wobble issues, but I can understand not wanting to drop $400 on a clutch.
 

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The clutch adjustment that you did should not have any affect on not being able to get neutral and harder shifting when the engine isn't running. If the shifter feels tight, I would start there. Take all the linkage off, take the shifter off. Clean and lubricate everything. Especially where the shifter arm shaft goes through the mounting plate. Make sure everything moves freely. No binding or sticking anywhere. Check the bolts that hold the shifter arms to the trans top lid. Check the bushings. They usually are not greased like they should be and turn to shit. If the bushings are bad, they need to be changed. Time consuming job.
If the clutch plates are dirty and grimy, they need to be cleaned. The guide bars in the clutch shell need to be checked for tightness. If they are loose, the plates will rock and stick. Check the hub studs for grooves. If they are grooved,the plates will not ride smoothly on the hub studs. Grime will not let them slide very good either. Take the clutch right out of it. Then you know what you have and are working with. Clean the entire clutch assembly, clean the studs, clean the shell. Cleanliness is your friend. When you put it back together, put a small amount of oil on the hub studs. Adjust it to factory specs to start with. You can check to see if it is releasing before you put the outer primary cover back on. After final adjustments have been made, pull the clutch lever in and hold it. Grab the pressure plate and make sure it will spin freely. Good luck with it.
 

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Clutch cable. Make sure it is not fraying, then oil the cable until it runs out above the trans, and make sure that it is anchored about halfway between the clutch handle and the mousetrap eliminator. Also, the dreaded throwout bearing. If the clutch pushrod is sticky, it can make the throwout bearing spin all the time, or if the clutch rod is adjusted to tight, it will do the same thing. The bearing will come apart, and start wearing your clutch pushrod, causing the adjustment to be off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks guys...
i'm thinking i'm just gonna take it apart and see what it looks like inside. once i get a visual it will all make sense. thanks guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I hope you read what I typed. Took me an hour to type that shit!
dont worry, you didn't type in vain.

does anyone have a nice clear exploded view of the clutch assembly? i have a PDF copy of an HD manual but its a scan of photocopy so the diagrams and pictures are pretty worthless.
 

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Also, the dreaded throwout bearing. If the clutch pushrod is sticky, it can make the throwout bearing spin all the time, or if the clutch rod is adjusted to tight, it will do the same thing. The bearing will come apart, and start wearing your clutch pushrod, causing the adjustment to be off.
This just may be a problem....if not the problem..??
In 1975 Harley did away with the Old Witch Hat Heavy-Duty bearing and went a weaker design....There is a up-grade bearing kit for the weaker bearing, it being made larger (24mm) then the OEM.

Could even revert back to the Witch Hat bearing....(Some kick covers will not support the Older Bearing...

Not saying that this is your problem at hand....But very well could be..:confused:

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