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65 FLH Second Gear - No Go After Rebuild

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  • 65 FLH Second Gear - No Go After Rebuild

    Just finished complete rebuild of the trans for my 65 FLH. I bought the bike a couple of years ago and had no idea about how it was treated prior to my purchase. The reason for the rebuild was that about 10% of the time it would not shift into 4th gear. Had to downshift back to 3rd then into 4th usually a few times to get it into gear. All else functioned fine. When I drained the oil, it was milky indicating the presence of water – ugh. Fortunately the only damage seemed to be that the main drive gear bearing and main shaft showed some rust and pitting from the water. Both were replaced with new parts. Everything was inspected and found to be in serviceable condition. Shift forks showed only nominal wear and were not bent. Shift dogs again, only slight wear. Bushings were replaced as necessary and also new shifter pawls and springs. Shift fork clearances measured and shims installed where needed. Alignment tool was used to set shift drum to shift forks. Everything worked smoothly on the bench both upshifting and downshifting. Slipped into neutral easily.

    Once installed in bike I raised the rear wheel and again tested through all gears and worked like a champ! I was very pleased. However . . . when I got it on the road I cannot seem to shift from 1st to 2nd . It goes from 1st to neutral and that’s it unless I really smack the shift lever hard. Then it will slip in to 2nd without any clashing noise. 3rd and 4th are smooth as a baby’s arse. Downshifting back to 1st is no issue.

    OEM mousetrap adjusted according to the manual. I have done this many times without issue.

    Any thoughts before I pull the gearbox again? Maybe it will be obvious once I pull the trans cover and peer inside.


  • #2
    Who knows, Gitguy!

    Until you open it up and let the gremlin out.
    (Beware sometimes they get away without being seen. That's the worst possible scenario for a pro.)

    Once my shop tried to put out a Sportster tranny, but we just couldn't get it off the bench; It turned out to be a common paper staple from the parts packaging.

    Anybody into de-magnetizers?

    ,,,,Cotten
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

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    • #3
      If it worked fine on the bench but now wont go to second, that sounds like a clutch issue. Everyone has their own way of dealing with clutches. I prefer only original plates. I pull the clutch inspection plate off, start the motor, pull in the clutch and watch to see if your pressure spring plate is wobbling, due to unequal spring pressure. It can get your plates into a wobble as well. I find the weak side and adjust the springs for the smoothest most even rotation while the clutch is engaged. This will give you more room for the plates to spread. That might help you.

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      • #4
        Shift clutch or shift fork or both.
        Carl
        http://www.carlscyclesupply.com

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        • #5
          I know it's hard to troubleshoot some else's issue in a forum but though I'd see if anyone had run into something like this. My original plan was to pull the primary and check the clutch for anything obvious but I really believe the problem lies within. Thanks for the input.

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          • #6
            Top hats (shifter finger roller 34168-39) are on the fork fingers?
            Bob Rice #6738
            End of the Line TW'88

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BigLakeBob View Post
              Top hats (shifter finger roller 34168-39) are on the fork fingers?
              Absolutely.

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              • #8
                Speaking of top hats, there are two distinctly different lengths of them. The longer (taller) version can bind in a cast drum as they protrude too deep into it.
                Robbie Knight Amca #2736

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rubone View Post
                  Speaking of top hats, there are two distinctly different lengths of them. The longer (taller) version can bind in a cast drum as they protrude too deep into it.
                  I re-installed the ones that already there. They appeared to be in good shape. I must have installed something incorrectly but I am baffled as to why it shifted fine while on the lift with the rear wheel raised and on the bench. Hmmm . . .

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                  • #10
                    Trace the linkage and make sure there isn't any binding or other interference.
                    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rubone View Post
                      Trace the linkage and make sure there isn't any binding or other interference.
                      Everything is free and moves smoothly. Gonna be a while before I get to this again. Other projects have moved to the front of the line.

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                      • #12
                        UPDATE. Pulled the trans and all looked good . . . except that the spacing for the countershaft shift fork was not quite centered between 1st/2nd with the gauge tool installed. Re-shimmed shift fork and voila, shifts properly now! Not quite sure how I missed this the first time. I'm still relatively new to transmission rebuilding but learning all the time.

                        Thanks to all for your input.

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                        • #13
                          Glad you got it figured out and nothing got damaged.
                          Bob Rice #6738
                          End of the Line TW'88

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