1987 sportster clutch question

Discussion in 'Transmission' started by 89stroker, May 24, 2011.

  1. 89stroker

    89stroker Active Member

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    Good day,
    I bought an 87 sportster 883 with a 1200 kit for a song. Did a few things, repaired all the wiring, put some 14" apes on it, installed floorboards and numerous other things.
    I am having an issue with setting up the clutch. What happens is if I set it up according to the service manual, when I pop it in to first with the clutch in, the bike wants to go forward and I can hardly hold it back. The bike was like this when I bought it. I have had the primary apart to inspect, clutch ramp assembly looks ok as well.
    The bike did have an extra long clutch cable so when I installed the apes the cable was plenty long enough. Only thing is that when the cable adjuster is fully collapsed there is no play in the cable. It is like it is the wrong cable for that bike and the cable is too short for the sheath. Do you guys think this is my problem?
     

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  2. ckhismine

    ckhismine Active Member

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    Sounds like the cable is the wrong length for the application. You should have some slack when the adjuster is collapsed all the way. Setting it with out that is just plain wrong. Good luck.
     
  3. 89stroker

    89stroker Active Member

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    I agree, just thought I would see what other people had to say, all my other bikes have lots of slack when I collapse the adjuster, this one there is none. Thanks.
     
  4. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

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    No play in the cable with adjuster collapsed = clutch lever still tight, no free play? . A too short cable will be holding the plates disengaged, or apart and slipping, won't it? I had a problem with the ball ramp assembly on my '87 XL, but can't remember the details. Be careful with your clutch hub, it's part of the alternator assembly and VERY expensive.
     
  5. BUBBIE

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

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    Breeze is right on in my book...

    The clutch is probably SET too tight... Touching the center bolt in, then back out a full 1/2 turn,,, Lock.. this should give the clutch plates enough room to OPEN when the cable is pulled........

    The Cable should have More adjustment(loose) but this should work as Breeze said.... OPENING MORE if short an tight...

    LOOSE cable will cause the problem BUT the adjustment I suggested(clutch at 1/2 turn out) IS PROBABLY at fault..

    A lot of times You Need to squeeze the clutch handle several times to ALIGN up the Balls in the clutch throw-part....

    IF the cable is too tight ,,, these balls could be UN-Aligned and causing the tight-ness of the cable..

    Made sense to me Hope it does to you..

    signed....BUBBIE
     
  6. 89stroker

    89stroker Active Member

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    I agree with a too tight cable causing plates to be open. Bubbie, I see what you are saying, I will take another look tonight and will post back any findings. Thanks to you guys that responded!

    I have corrected this problem and thought I would post the results of my findings. The problem was the cable, the cable was too short for the sheath. Where the last guy that owned this bike found this cable, who knows.
    XL set ups are different than the Big Twins in that the cam ramp asssembly "pulls" the clutch plates apart whereas the big twins cam ramp "pushes" a rod to open the clutch plates. To set the XL clutch, you back the adjuster scew out counter clockwise until lightly seated, then turn clockwise 1/4 turn and install the retainer. What was happening with the too short cable is that I could'nt turn it out far enough, then I wouldnt have enough stroke to open the plates fully. I had numerous clutch cables laying around from past bikes I have worked on so I found one that the cable was an inch longer, got it all back together, set clutch and voila, it works like a champ!
    Just thought I would post results.:newsmile108:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2011
  7. BUBBIE

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting the answer::: My thinking on the clutch was just Backwards (newer style) as the older bikes like you said are Backward of the newer style..

    Keeping me straight for next time.. Thanks

    signed....BUBBIE