pre -79 clutch adjustment

Discussion in 'Custom Models' started by Kiwi Patriot, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. Kiwi Patriot

    Kiwi Patriot New Member

    I've got an old 4 speed transmission with an open primary on an Evo trike.
    I was told that the correct clutch adjustment was to wind the adjuster in until the lever was 31/32 of an inch away from the topknot or cowpie. Then adjust the cable until it brought the lever back to the same spot.
    I've done this, but when I put the bike into gear, it really grabs and pulls the bike forward. This really isn't good at the lights when I can't get the bike into neutral,(which is impossible at a standstill).
    What am I doing wrong?
    I cannot find any information on the correct adjusting.
  2. STEVE07

    STEVE07 Well-Known Member Staff Member Super Moderators

  3. Kiwi Patriot

    Kiwi Patriot New Member

    Cheers, Am I wrong in thinking these are all for late model cluches.
    Also forgot to mention it is kickstart (only).
  4. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    Not sure how "pre" you meant in "pre-'79", but here is the section from the '66-'84 manual (Shovel).


    Attached Files:

  5. SledDog

    SledDog Senior Member Staff Member Moderator

    Just a couple of questions for ya...

    Is your pressure plate OEM stock? Or is it a aluminum "domed" style. The reason I ask is it makes a difference and how you set the measurement for the spring tension on the pressure plate.

    When you have it in gear and the clutch pulled in, does it "walk" or is it grabbing hard and dragging the engine idle speed down?

    Did you replace any clutch components? Or was this just routine manintenance?

    You say you can't get into neutral at a stand still, I'm assuming that with the engine running. Have you tried rev'ing the motor and then trying to get neutral? It could be a pressure plate adjustment, or warped steel plates.

    We need as much info as possible, pictures would be good also.

    There are a couple of ways to get most of the walk/grab out of a shovelhead's clutch system. But, unless you replace the clutch basket, you may not get it all out.

    First way is to make sure you have the correct clutch spring to pressure plate measurement. Shovelhead's tend to walk when the basket wobbles.

    You can use the baseline pressure plate to spring retainer measurement, then set the nuts to different measurements to adjust for the wobble or steel plate warp.

    The other way to adjust the clutch arm and cable. It may not match the spec. but that's ok. Many Shovels were "hand fitted" at the factory during the AMF era.

    If doing these adjustments doesn't fix it, you could have a problem with the fork that actuates the clutch pushrod. It's on page 45, picture #126, item B, in TQuentin1's .pdf file.

    I've seen these forks crack. And when you pull the clutch level the fork opens at the crack and does not fully release the clutch.

    The thing is to try the adjustments per the book, than you will have to fiddle with 'em a bit. The main goal is to set the adjustment so the clutch does not drag, and it is not slipping. Every Shovelhead is different. That's because Harley gave them a soul. They are individuals, no 2 are alike...

    Post what info you can. I'm sure we can get adjusted. I've spent many a night over many beers doing what you are attempting to do. It's just a learning curve, you'll get it. Call bonding it with your bike...
  6. kickon

    kickon New Member

    so, i've been kickin the (EDIT) outta myself for a few days now over trying to adjust my clutch after replacing it...either walking like a (EDIT) but not slipping when kicking it, or vice versa. anyway, it has one of those aftermarket domed aluminum pressure plate that you mentioned on it...if you would kindly enlighten me on the spring and clutch adjustment procedure i will be greatly obliged.

    74 fx rigid
    4 speed revtec kicker
    1 1/2" open belt primary, stock clutch

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2010