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Discussion Starter #1
Like a lot of guys I'm having a hard time getting my Shovelhead clutch to work right. I can adjust it to release fully but then it will slip under a hard pull, if I adjust it so it won't slip, it won't release all the way.
I have installed a clutch "retainer" and that helped some but it should be better. This bike is a 1976 FXE that has been made into a FLH with '70's and '80's parts so it is a mix of parts. I was thinking my clutch release lever (on top of the transmission) could be the wrong length, in the shop manual it shows the round rod type of lever and I have the flat forged looking lever, could this be wrong? The way I look at it, if my lever was a little shorter, the same amount of cable travel would move the release shaft more. The best I can measure, the lever I have is 6.5" from "hole" to "hole" is there a shorter one?
 

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Either lever arm will work. Do you still have a electric starter to set the end of the lever 1/2'' forward of the starter(3/8'' to 5/8'' is the range)? This is important. You don't have a electric starter? Slack cable, adjust clutch center screw in till just bottomed (do not reef on it), then back it out 1 1/2 turns (could be 1 to 2 turns out). (object is throw out bearing lever in kicker cover isn't bottoming on kicker cover) Adjust cable free play to 1/8'' to 1/4'' at end of lever. The 10 clutch springs get adjusted to 1 1/32'' (with a max tight of 7/8'') I go to 1'' to start. After adjusting spring height pull clutch and watch that the pressure plate comes out straight and doesn't cock. If it does adjust nut closest to were it comes out first one click tighter and try again. Coming out crooked means dragging.
 

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The clutch hub studs if ditches in the shafts exist the works will stick in place and not release the steels and discs from each other - causing a fair amount of drag - no neutral
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Joe, yes i still have the starter but my lever it well above it so I can't really measure that 1/2" from the starter thing. I'll try your other way of setting it and see how that goes. I had the clutch apart when I installed the "retainer" and adjusted the spring nuts as the book calls but will not hurt for me to recheck.... thanks



John, I had the clutch apart and as I was looking to get a better release, I paid close attention to the clutch basket and the studs for smooth sides. it does have some wear it is by no means bad but thanks for the thoughts.



What I'll do is recheck the spring nuts adjustment and adjust the lever position as joe said and see how that goes.
 

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Like joe said not enough swing will cut the set up short and not allow enough separation

Plus today we wont fix a clutch with out using alto red clutch discs and steels with out the ball and spring as they stick and help in the problem

You can if your steel plates after cutting the ball and springs off are flat on a glass sheet you can re use them
 

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To add, slightly off topic,

but the police edition clutch pack for the 4 speeds in my opinion are a must. The best thing I ever did was get some!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
John, I have the Alto red clutches but I also have the anti-rattler things on the steels. are you saying that it would be best to remove them?
 

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whats different in the cop pack Rhys?
 

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hahahah 'police pack' is just a bullshit trade name by v-twin mfg, just a name Taiwan Ted came up with to sell his shit.. ALTO are about the best clutch plates out there, & are at a good price.......
 

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We grind off the rivets and snap the work off to a flat steel plate - then we lay it on a flat piece of glass to confirm they are actually flat something you cant do with the ball and spring in place
 

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Shit that makes for a good clutch

  • Deburred plate holes on the friction plates
  • Smooth fingers on the hub
  • Appropriate lining on the hub
  • Ditch the stupid anti-rattlers
  • Flat pressure plate (actually flat)
  • Long rollers
  • Clutch tamer

As far as the adjuster, I respectfully disagree with Joe. If shit's all square and true and not whupped, a quarter or a half turn out from lightly seated is all I ever need on 'em.

New parts go a long way here. This is truly one of the areas where you need to read the manual to understand how it all works, then close it the fuck up and ignore all the numbers and work from theory.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
great, thanks for the help. I'll try to adjust as in this thread and if still dragging I will remove the anti-rattlers.

should get it done this weekend
 

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As far as the adjuster, I respectfully disagree with Joe. If shit's all square and true and not whupped, a quarter or a half turn out from lightly seated is all I ever need on 'em.

If you are talking about the adjustment of the clutch after cable adjustment you are correct. I was explaining how to alternately adjust the lever position to arrive at the 1/2'' from the starter when you have no starter to measure from.
 

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If you are talking about the adjustment of the clutch after cable adjustment you are correct. I was explaining how to alternately adjust the lever position to arrive at the 1/2'' from the starter when you have no starter to measure from.
Hmm.

I get the plate moving off the stack nice and square first-crank it down tight, let off till it slips during kick, then come back just enough to make sure it doesn't slip. After that I adjust the clutch at the adjuster, then I adjust the cable.

Lotta ways to skin the cat.
 

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Yea i do it that way.
I did the measurement thing as per manual but that doesn't always pan out.
 

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whats different in the cop pack Rhys?
I disagree with Pete, I've had the alto and the 'police' prefer them over alto.

Personal preference of course, ran them in my 1940 tranny for a good few years..

Again, just my opinion. I've never owned a harley newer than 1954, this tranny has been used in all of mine.
 

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Police discs from tedd are plastic type material the ones we have installed worked well

But as a shop with collectors as a customer base they want smooth and easy
 

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Police discs from tedd are plastic type material the ones we have installed worked well

But as a shop with collectors as a customer base they want smooth and easy
I had bent fingers on my hub, the police ones worked so well they masked it. I changed to them alto and had no end of trouble with is grabbing and just being horrible.

To add, the anti rattle steels are a joke too. The newer ones are much better.
 

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You may have been had - the alto ones have it dyed into the red clutch its self

And like all things today china fake copy’s are being sold as this is it the red stuff
 

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I don't know about measurements... Never use them.
Not even with a mousetrap.

I just push the lever, using the adjuster screw in te middle, as far out as it goes, then back it out 1 turn or a bit, enough so the release finger is not putting pressure on the bearing.

Then adjust the clutch cable so there's a bit of movement on the clutch lever.. Again so the bearing is not under pressure.

Nuts on the pressure plate... I tighten them up till kicking doesn't make it spin.
Go for a ride and adjust till operates nicely.
 
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