No 1st gear and slipping clutch

Discussion in 'Transmission' started by IronKen, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. IronKen

    IronKen Member

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    Hi Y'all,
    Just joined today as i just bought my first Harley. YeeHaw!! :D Great club!
    It's a '79 Sportster with a '78 eng/ 4sp trans. 1st gear is pouched, Seems to try and go in gear, then grinds alot and mostly doesn't do jack. 2,3,4 are fine. Once I'm rolling and shift down to try first, it seems to be there. Strange. Clutch slips too. Have little history of bike other than 500 miles on fresh 883-1200 conversion done five years ago. Anything sound normal here or is it tranny time? If so, what's involved in replacing 1st gear and clutch too? Adjusting clutch did sweet FA. Also, shifter shaft has alot of end play(1/4-3/8" floating in and out)??
    Any help would be great. A shop manual is on its way....
    Thanks and Cheers, ..and to think the guy i bought it from said the tranny is great and all...nice!!
    Ken
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    It sounds more like a clutch problem than a trans problem. If the clutch isn't adjusted right, you will get the grinding that you hear when you try to put it in first from a stop as evidenced that you can down shift it into first while rolling.

    Try a good clutch adjustment.
     
  3. IronKen

    IronKen Member

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    Clutch adjustment:'79 sportster

    Glider, i got your reply on the ctutch first gear problems I'm having..thank you kindly. I've tried things and don't seem to get any results. Firstly, being new in this club, i can't seem to navigate thru the forum and can't find my post and your post to reply back to like normal people do. ??? I'm reading other clutch posts that talk about avoiding taking the exhaust off and stuff to save time but that's all on the right hand side of the bike. Big twins? My clutch cable adjust is at the eng/trans side cover, just as it goes into the cover. I backed it off like described, backed off large 13/16 locking nut for clutch under derby cover, turned flat head screw, not allen head in to take up mystery slack, and have no change. Tried "fool proof" method and don't get any resistance at cl. lever. I'm assuming i don't need to take off side cover to do all this. I'm a Brit. MG Triumph mechanic and jack of everything, but never worked on a Harley. Bike in air, in 1st gear i can spin back tire and hear ticking as gear is barely meshing it seems and shifter moves slightly too.
    I also turned screw in alot, and then adjusted free play (just to see) and clutch lever would then only go down half way. That makes sense i think. ..Ideas? Clutch pooched. Was slipping in all gears too when testing yesterday. Thanks again.. you seem to be the shining star here,. :)
     
  4. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Ken

    I moved your latest post into the original slot for you. I'll send you a PM with the location to click on and how to find it.

    Adjusting the clutch can be puzzling for some. You seem to be using the cable slack adjuster here and not the clutch adjustment itself. I would suggest getting a manual for this bike before you ruin the clutch.

    The adjustment is under the cover on the left of the bike as you sit on it.
     
  5. IronKen

    IronKen Member

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    Glider,

    Yes, thanks for your great help. Manual is on it's way as I am in the boonies so they are shipping it. Only drove it 1/2 a mile so far and i'll wait. Doing cars all my life, i never imagined you can loose a gear on a bike tranny and bring it back with a clutch adjustment..
    Let you know how it goes.

    Cheers,

    IronKen