Transmission won't shift (5 speed-twin cam)

Discussion in 'Transmission' started by MR_GDR, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. MR_GDR

    MR_GDR Member

    I recently purchased a a motorcycle that was a basket case. :devil I have had nothing but problems with a so called a good parts. Now that I have the motorcycle together, I find that the transmission will not shift properly.

    It feels as if the racket part of the shifter is not working. My first thought is that there is a spring off or something like that. I can get it to go into different gears but I must shift it back and forth many times to get it from one gear to another. There is no noise coming from the transmission so I am rather convinced that the gears are OK.

    The neutral light switch does not seem to be working either. I have never even looked inside of the transmission before. So I am at a loss of what to do. Or what to even look for.

    If anyone out there can give me some ideas what it may be I would appreciate it.:cheers
  2. Chopper

    Chopper Senior Member

    Could be a broken return spring? if you move the shift lever up or down and it does not return to center then that is likely the problem, or could be the centering pin, it can be fixed while the trans. is still in the bike but everything must come out to get to the shifter pawl. A HD manual would be a good investment and might help you find or repair the problem.
    good luck
  3. Bud White

    Bud White Well-Known Member Retired Moderators

    try disconnection the shift lever at the front shift arm that runs to shifters see if you can shift it easy . if all is good pull the shifters off and grease the shaft that runs through the case if it hasnt been greased it can bind and wont let the shifter return and wont shift right
  4. MR_GDR

    MR_GDR Member

    I appreciate your help, and that's kind of what I was thinking was going on. I don't know if this would have anything to do with anything but, I put look Lucus oil gear transmission treatment fluid in the transmission not knowing what I had to star with I thought that maybe a good way to run it down the road for little while. I drained the fluid out of it yesterday. This morning while it is setting up on the left table it seems to be shifting not normally, but good enough that I think I will refill the case with Harley Oil and run it down the road again.
    One thing I don't understand is why the neutral light does not come on. I have tested the wireing on this and by running a dead short across the two plug in wires and the light does work. But like I said earlier, I bought this motorcycle as a basket case and it may be as simple as the switch is no good. it doesn't look like I can replace it t without removing a lot of the bike to get to the switch. I can live without that for a while. I just built this motorcycle for my son to ride, it is not going to be my main motorcycle.
    Thank you very much for your reply, Gary:small3d018:

    Bud White,
    Everything is free traveling because of the fact that I just assembled it. But thank you for your assistance.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2009

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

  6. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    With respect to your neutral switch, it is threaded in the top cover of the tranny. I cut off a 7/8" combination wrench so I could get the box end on the switch. What would be even better is an offset wrench like this: Craftsman Professional 3/8 x 7/16 in. Full Polish Deep Offset Wrench, 12 pt. Box End The switch is just a bit tighter than handy anyway. Should be easy enough to get to. See here:


    As for the finicky shifting. As Chopper said above, check to make sure that the return spring is not broken or hanging up. I also agree that getting a HD Factory Service manual covering your year and model is a great investment. See here in the mean time:

    GEAR SHIFTER - 1999 Harley Davidson FLHR

    The year of the info above is a '99, but it should be the same for the '00.

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2009
  7. MR_GDR

    MR_GDR Member

    I did find out what was wrong with the neutral light, so far it is the easiest fix I have had on this bike. The guy that put the transmission together for got to tighten it. So I am guessing it was just far enough away from the ball on the bottom of this switch that kept it from engaging. It is now working
    I was able to remove the chrome cover on top of the transmission. And slide it to one side to look down into the transmission. The top spring holding the finger is in good shape. The bottom spring that puts the shifter back into its neutral position, does not look like the one in the book. The ones I have seen in the work Manual shows the ends of the spring close together the one in this bike it is more of V the shape. Which makes the shifter move a considerable distance before touching it. It does not seem to be broken. there is spring tension on it either way. It just has to travel allowed distance to tuch either side of the spring. There is also a piece of metal that appears that it should be there between the two spring ends holding them at the distance they are. If anyone knows if there more than one spring type I would appreciate the information.
    I have only been a member of this site for less than 24 hours and have had good responses. Thank you all for your help.

    Transmission oil. From Harley Davidson.

    I now know what is wrong, the spring is placed on the shaft wrong.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2009
  8. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    5 speeds had problems with a spring breaking if I remember right
  9. MR_GDR

    MR_GDR Member

    I have found the problem, I was able to pull off the top of the transmission and look inside. The person that built this transmission was a Harley Davidson technician. I assumed he knew what he was doing. The transmission has never been run since he rebuilt it. But it appears that the centering spring is put in wrong, how he did this I don't know. It appears that the spring has been spread apart so that the shifting lever cog between the spring has the ends on the wrong sides. If this sounds confusing, imagine what it is to me. Pitcher in your mind that the spring is supposed to look like a fork. This one now is shaped like a V because the spring has been stretched out so that the left side of the spring is on the right and the right side of the spring is on the left. I have no idea how it got that way. I have checked with a Harley Davidson dealer in my town, and they said they have never had to order this spring. So I do not have one on stock for me to look at. They said the one that usually breaks it is the shifter lever spring.
    I can't believe he would put in A broken spring in it ,I can't believe it would break just sitting there.

    Thank you for your help, Gary
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
  10. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    Pretty neat fix.:D

    Pics are limited to 800 X 600 MAXIMUM size

    Yours is 1023px × 682px.

    Reduce the size and repost and I will remove the oversize one above.