Noise from primary

Discussion in 'Transmission' started by rgoot01, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. rgoot01

    rgoot01 Member

    Today I was out riding around and as I was cruising along at 55 and began to hear a grinding/growling sound. I babied it home which was only about two miles from where I started to hear that noise. When I got it home I let it idle and made my way around the bike to hear where the sound was coming from. When I put my ear to the primary it sounded like it was coming from directly behind the clutch cover. I pulled the clutch cover off as well as the inspection cover to see what could be going on. I couldn't see anything in the oil that would lead me to believe something was wrong in the primary. Nothing appeared loose with the clutch assembly. I decided to put everything back together to ride it again to see if it would make that sound again. Initially everything seemed good to go however I stopped and spoke with a friend and when I left as I was shifting into fourth it at first grabbed and than slipped into neutral. I popped it back in and the sound started again.

    Does anybody have any suggestions or ideas as to what I should first look at to hopefully narrow it down to find the potential problem? I know the obvious would be to take it to the dealer but thats a two hour trip one way.

  2. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    Did you check the primary chain tensioner shoe when you had the oval inspection cover off? Since your bike is older, it is quite possible that the shoe is worn thru, or has not been adjusted in a long time. This will not account for grabbing then going into neutral instead of 4th gear though.
    Is your primary oil level just to the bottom of the clutch basket?
  3. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Seems to me the 89 models had a problem with the tranny main shaft, A closer look by pulling the outer primary cover off would verify what Breeze was talking about. If the chain tensioner is ok and the primary chain is oK, I would grab hold of the clutch hub and try and rock it JMO
  4. rgoot01

    rgoot01 Member

    So I removed the outer primary cover and than I started to remove the four bolts that hold the adjuster plate in place. Upon removing the four bolts in a criss cross pattern as stated in the repair manual I noticed what looked like spacers on the four bolts. Unfortunately the "spacers" were the four stand offs that are cast as part of the inner clutch hub which had literally busted free from the hub. Now I need to start searching for a new inner hub.

    Does anyone know how these stand offs could shear from the casting?
    Do the improved style I see on e-bay and JP Cycle prevent this from happening?

  5. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    I would advise NOT to run the bike until you find out what the noise was. I would drain the fluid out of the Primary and do a sniff test on what comes out. If it smells burnt, that is a red flag about the stator, and you will have to dig in deeper to see that.

    Open up the Primary and make sure the compensator nut has NOT backed off. If it has, it can allow the rotor to wallow around enough to make contact with the Stator and then the drive shaft will shear out the dogs in the hole through the rotor. If the compensator nut is tight, and the clutch basket nut is tight (lefty), then look for what else could have been making the noise (like the points made in the posts above). Eyeball the friction plates to make sure they still have some beef.

    If everything checks out inside the Primary, button it back up and refill it with some new fit-for-purpose fluid (like HD Formula +, Spectro Heavy Duty Primary Chaincase Oil, Red Line V-Twin Primary Case Oil, etc.). Run the bike and see if you still have a noise. If so, I would suggest opening up the nose cone and checking the cam chain tensioners!!

  6. Slo-Ryd

    Slo-Ryd Junior Member Contributor

    23 lost me. Are the sheared parts on the primary chain adjuster or part of the clutch hub pressure plate? The chain adjuster should only be two bolts on the bottom (for the shoe) and a single bolt/nut up top to adjust the chain tension.

    Nevermind........i re-read your post and now see what you mean. Here's a link to what you need, may find cheaper if you search further but for $100 new, it doesn't sound too bad. Part # btw is 37550-84A

    89 Harley Big Twin EVO Inner Clutch Hub | eBay

    Sorry.........i'm an ebay junkie :p
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2013
  7. Lowrider85

    Lowrider85 Member

    The posts of the clutch hub have been know to break off on the hubs that are made of cast aluminum, especially on the older bikes. It happened to me on my '85 FXRS. The replacement hub should have steel posts that are threaded into the clutch hub. To replace the hub should be fairly easy. You need to remove the clutch basket and press the old hub out then press the new hub in. I'm sure if you look up "Clutch Hub Replacement" in "Self Help" you will find the help you need....

    Good Luck!!!!

  8. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2013
  9. rgoot01

    rgoot01 Member

    I will definately look at the main shaft and replace shifter shaft seals. Thank you Jack for the heads up on that. Thank you everyone for the advice and link. Once I get a puller I'll get everything in my hands and order some parts.