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My first ride on any bike in ten years! 69flh with sidecar

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  • My first ride on any bike in ten years! 69flh with sidecar

    I took my 1st ride on a bike, my 69flh with sidecar, in ten years yesterday and it was great! I cannot even begin to tell you guys how good it made me feel, even though the 69 flh had a couple of problems. It seems that my clutch did not have enough through, even with the free play taken out, to allow the bike to go into 1st. 1st gear was wanting to grind going into gear, not just a little either, like I needed more lever. Fixing the clutch issue may fix the issue of not going into the other gears as well.
    Now about the gearing, 1st gear did not seem that bad, but 2nd gear is very tall and I killed the bike shifting into into it and did not make it into 3rd. I mean you really have to have 1st gear wound out to shift into 2nd. I did not even make it out of town to shift into 3rd.

    Even with my short little ride, the ride made me feel so great in many ways! One is that I can still ride even though I am an above knee amputee, I was able to adapt my bike for me, that can be changed back over to stock in an afternoon.
    is the 3r transmission a hard transmission to find the gears in. I am running a hand clutch, mousetrap eliminator and a short arm on the trans mission. I do not see why the clutch does not have enough through.
    Oh wait, I just remembered that I am running a Sifton kit that uses the same beveled spring as the Evolution bikes. Maybe that is my whole clutch issue. Not really sure

    Here is the kit I am running that may be my clutch issue, any thoughts?

    https://americanclassicmotors.com/pr...nhead-big-twin
    Last edited by ryan; 08-11-2020, 08:21 AM.

  • #2
    ryan; First thing is make sure that you have the correct clutch release lever. When Harley went to the hard primary, they changed the release lever. I believe the top one on the attached pics is the 37052-65 hand shift only lever that is for the hard primary.CIMG1834.JPGCIMG1835.JPGCIMG1836.JPGCIMG1837.JPG

    Craig

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    • #3
      My 69 did not run a mousetrap, it had the mousetrap illuminator with short release arm, which is the 2nd one in the first picture. I am however running a 3R transmission and a police shifter with the correct shifter gate.
      Now I tore the clutch a part today and did not see anything standing out, the pressure plate only moved .100" not sure if that is correct or not. I did however notice that the clutch arm did move up and down a little bit, the shaft in the kicker cover, that is attached to the clutch arm is moving up a little while pulling in the hande bar clutch handle.
      I did not measure the clutch travel at the handlebar handle. The clutch seemed to engage enough while pushing the bike in gear???

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      • #4
        ryan; Then the clutch is probably the problem. Remember that V-Twin bought the Sifton brand name. It's not the old Tom Sifton Co. Not the same quality.
        Craig



        Sorry Ryan. I walked right by the eliminator and short arm.
        Last edited by 41craig; 08-11-2020, 05:09 PM.

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        • #5
          Ryan,
          A 3&R should shift as easily as a 4 speed, the only exception being putting it in 1st gear which is a sliding gear with tapered teeth to engage. They work best if the throttle is blipped slightly to help get the gear speeds to make engagement easier. It sounds like you are not getting enough clutch release. What clutch lever are you using?
          Robbie Knight Amca #2736

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Rubone View Post
            Ryan,
            What clutch lever are you using?
            If you mean the clutch arm on the transmission, mouse trap eliminator and short arm. On the handlebar, it is the straight lever with the ball casted on it.
            I did try to idle it down to help with engagement, but when idled low enough to do so, the bike would die when put into first.
            I am running Red Eagle clutches in stock primary oiling in the primary case.
            What distance is the push rod suppose to move or the total clutch clearance? Should I put the stock steel pressure plate with stock springs or should I put an aluminum pressure plate with the stock springs?
            I also can turn off a little on the sifton pressure plate on the clutch side, but not sure how much to take off, but do not think this would be a good option.
            I was pretty disheartened when my bike did not work properly, I put so much work into the bike and it is absolutely beautiful.
            Last edited by ryan; 08-12-2020, 10:02 AM.

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            • #7
              Should I put the stock steel pressure plate with stock springs or should I put an aluminum pressure plate with the stock springs? I have ran the aluminium for a lot of years in my 77flh with no issues, just saying is all.

              https://store.road6customs.com/High-...6cds243375.htm
              Last edited by ryan; 08-12-2020, 10:46 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 41craig View Post
                ryan; Then the clutch is probably the problem. Remember that V-Twin bought the Sifton brand name. It's not the old Tom Sifton Co. Not the same quality.
                Craig



                Sorry Ryan. I walked right by the eliminator and short arm.
                I bet and hope you are correct and I am looking into the clutch for the problem. I am going back to the stock coil spring setup.

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                • #9
                  I updated this post and added a couple changes.
                  I tore into my clutch today and found a couple of things wrong so far. I could pull the clutch basket in and out with total movement of .090" Although I did not see the clutch hub move while pulling on the basket, I put the hub on, without the basket, and ran the nut down and the torque wrenched clicked without the hub being tight so I inspected the nut and the nut had two pushrod seals in it, I knocked them both out and the nut ran down all the way tightening the hub, the pushrod slid out of the throw out bearing while doing this. I pushed the pushrod back in, but could not tell if it slid back in all the way, I sure hope it did.

                  i cleaned up the 3 finger hub that came out of the bike and all clutches fall right on and off. I am putting it all back to stock with the exception of a ramjet retainer so the basket does not move. Oh, my sprockets are lined up as well. I sure hope it fixes it.
                  Thank you!
                  Ryan
                  Last edited by ryan; 08-13-2020, 08:05 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Ryan, make sure that your clutch arm has a nice press fit onto the transmission. Any slop greatly steals your throw distance for your clutch.

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                    • #11
                      I finally got my clutch straightened out. I put a cut primary on to watch my clutch while it was running and it did not stop at all when the clutch was pulled. I took out the new clutches and steels and noticed that the clutch basket was worn .050" deep where the clutch rides.
                      i replaced my new Alto clutches and steels with original harley clutches from the late 60s and an older set of alto steels just like I took out. I did the stack up in basket starting with a steel then clutch etc., so now I have 5 steels and 5 clutches. I put on the pressure plate, did all adjustments, started the bike, pulled the clutch lever and the clutch hub stopped spinning. Put the bike together and went for a ride, the bike went into gear and shifted great and it even stays in reverse. I am so relieved!
                      I still do not know what really fixed it, but I think it was the basket. All my new clutches and steels were flat????
                      Thank you guys for all the replies!!!
                      PS I even got it charging today, silly me had the F wire and idiot light wire switched as they were both green, I should not have made that mistake because they were coming from different parts of the harness.

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