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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The bike is a 1976 sportster ch. I just noticed thAt the in-out end play on my main shaft is 1/16! I know it's a loose sloppy beast, but that's just not right! So I guess the question is where do I start? First gear washers? Pull the whole tranny? Any ideas out there? The engine is out of the frame sitting on a bench. Originally this post was supposed to be about sprocket combos and gear ratios. Any thoughts on that are welcome too. Thanks.
 

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Pull the trans, but before you do, put a dial indicator on the mainshaft, and get a precise measurment on the endplay. Use a measuring caliper, the opposite end with the slide. At the bottom of the trap door, is a cutout, and you can look in and see the countershaft. Use a curved pick, to push the countershaft gears all the way in, get that measurment. Now, pull the gears back to the trap door, and get that measurement. The difference is what you shim. Don't have the book in front of me, but that is where you get the tolerance. Now, do the same to the mainshaft, and reinstall and check for correct measurments. If to tight, reshim, if to loose, reshim. You should be able to get shims from any aftermarket company. Most of this, is covered in the factory book.
 

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Before you just throw shim at it.....
First before you remove trans you need to get good measurements w/ a dial indicator.
Pull oiled plug on trap door with a vice grip and slap hammer, be sure it comes out strait.
Get a coat hanger or weld wire, put a slight bend in the end and you can shift counter shaft in and out to check clearance ( if there is clearance any way)
Once you get your clearances you can pull the trans.
Carefully pinch edge of trapdoor in vice, check overall condition.
Remove mainshaft and check clutch gear thrust washer face and mating mainshaft spines for wear. This could be you excess play area.
Check trapdoor face at countershaft area, that gear has a nasty habit of wearing into the door creating too much clearance.
Check dog clearances in neutral, I believe they are .038-.058". Adjust if necessary w/ forks.
First gear on countershaft dog engagement can be adjusted w/ shim on shaft under gear.
This will change your endplay shim of course.
Do this 1st gear dog check last as adjusting the other gear set using the fork on the countershaft will throw this off.k
Once all is ok, then you adjust your end play of both shafts, .004-.009".

Be sure to install roller bearing thrust washer against the snapring!
Also be sure your mainshaft shim has the tab facing down 6 o'clock so it won't interfere with the antirotation roll pin.
 

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That says it all...be sure to adjust all your gear clearences first..endplay shimming is last.chances are youll find all sorts of not right stuff so dont just shim up your play and think its good.
 

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AND if it's been run alot out of spec badly, you might have some pretty mashed up dogs and slots or maybe some bent forks. Check everything, sportster transmissions can wreak havoc if they get far enough out of spec for long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all. I know I'm going to have to spend a while with the tranny out again. The last time I did it (my first time) I did check everything out with dial gauges etc., but WTF? I guess I must have done something incorrectly. The engine only has a few hundred miles on it since then. The bike has been sitting in my shed waiting for attention while I've been busy with other life stuff. When I put it back together last, I used a bunch of shims from my buddy's big ironhead stash, so nothing was really new. I'll post again when I finally get it out to examine. I'll take some pictures too.
 
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