Shifter Linkage Repair

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by kdaddy, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. kdaddy

    kdaddy Active Member

    Last weekend while on a 600 mile road trip, I did a u-turn to hit a place to eat, and when I shifted up to 2nd my linkage rod popped off at the ball. It was Saturday night so I limped back about a block to my hotel. The ball had worn out the socket on the joint and came apart. I tried to swage it back with pliers with no success. I ended up pushing the ball into the socket and held it in place while I put 2 heavy duty Zip-ties on. Worked like a champ and made it the next 150 miles home no problem. After taking a look when I got home I realized what a chintzy piece of crap it was to begin with.
    I hopped on the net and ordered 2 new heim/ball joints from Mcmaster Carr. 5/16-24 thread with a 5/16" hole. Shipping and parts to my house for a tad over 20 bucks the the day after.
    A perfect replacement. I reused my stock rod and I put the front joint behind the lever instead of the front and the rear one to the outside as stock. This straightened up the shift angle. Used stainless hardware and a stainless nylock nut on the front with a lockwasher.
    What I did not anticipate was that the rear bolt for the tranny lever was 5/16-24 instead of 18. Ran to Lowes and got a stainless bolt.
    Blue loctite on all the threads, Job is all done, better than new.
  2. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor

    Good job, I can relate went to shift and all it did was drop to the floorboard, thought at first the shaft snapped. Kind of a empty feeling when your out in traffic and your locked in 1st gear. I did pretty much the same thing you did but got all the hardware I needed at my local Ace hardware store.:s
  3. wazzle

    wazzle Member

    Same thing happened to me too. Fortunately it was just as we were pulling up to refuel. Two nylon ties from their store and back on the road.
  4. gotnitro

    gotnitro Banned

    Funny how a stinkin' .03c piece of plastic could be the difference of being stranded or not. I've added a few to my tool kit after reading this thread...
  5. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor

    Gotta have zip ties and duct tape, a rides best friend.:p
  6. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    Happened to me too while going over 70mph on the highway!! It is a stupid design on HD's part to put a steel ball in a soft metal socket!! What is going to wear out I wonder?!!

    I was coming up on an exit, so pulled off and into a CVS. Bought a picture hanging kit that contained some fine wire rope that I used in figure eight fashion to lash the ball back in the socket. Made it to work and back to the house. Stole the Heim joint off my Dyna and replaced the silly OEM end on the pushrod. Going to do this as a matter of course on all my bikes from now on.


  7. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

  8. DC Chad

    DC Chad Member

    Duck tape its like the force has a light side , a dark side and holds everything together:D

    after years of riding BMWs Zip ties are a standard part of my tool kit :p
  9. atm33

    atm33 Active Member

    Zip ties are a great idea for the tool kit. Never thought of that one. Off to the shop to throw some in the bag. Duct tape already in there..
  10. btsom

    btsom Active Member

    Harley sells very nice Heim joints and the correct bolts for each end's arms also for about $20. Tok the parts guy a while to find them, I guess they come from the factory on some other models or he had to look for Harley shift rod upgrades. I also used my old rod between the joints. I changed mine at about 30,000 miles as preventive maintenance after reading other threads like this one. Much better than the ball joints.