Shifting problems, a different solution.

Discussion in 'Transmission' started by lionscar, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. lionscar

    lionscar Member

    Hi all.
    This is my 1st post so my apologies if Ive put it in the wrong section.
    I have a 2000 FXDX with 25K on the clocks and have been having progressively worse problems changing gears and finding neutral, in a nutshell if I pushed the toe shifter down it wasnt quite engaging 1st and needed an extra tap to engage gear and likewise on upshifts, it wouldnt quite fully engage and needed an extra pull to fully engage.
    1st check of course is clutch adjustment, a few measurements later its obvious the steel plates are warped and clutch was really dragging so replaced clutch with a BDL extra plate kit, all set up correctly and shift problem is still exactly the same. Next step is check all the external linkages for rust, wear, binding etc. All done and still have same problem. Time to dig deeper, shifter cam ? Shift forks ? Shift fork shaft ?
    Checked endplay on shifter cam thrust washer, it should be 0.0025-0.10mm. I had 0.25, clearly too much endplay so fitted new thrust washer and circlip, put bike back together and still had same problem.
    Open up trans again, Clymer manual says to check shift pawl to shifter cam pin gap in 3rd gear with shifter pawl centered, gap should be 0.25mm but try getting a feeler gauge in there with the cam in situ. I couldnt get an accurate measurement but it was clearly centered and more importantly the big spring on the shift shaft was returning the toe peg to its correct position so I assumed that part was hunkydory. Big mistake.
    I then removed the shift cam and shift forks and fork shaft hoping to find an obviously bent fork or bent shaft, all was as it should be, all measurements well within limits. By now my wife was getting ready to call the men in white coats. It had taken 3 weeks of ordering parts, waiting for them, fitting them and getting no results to get to this stage. I was at my wits end.
    I reassembled the shift cam, forks etc and watched the cam as I operated the toe shifter, it was obvious the cam was only turning about 98% of its revolution and therefore not fully engaging gears, this points to the shifter pawl not being adjusted correctly which is done on pre 01 models with an eccentric adjuster behind the primary case but obviously it can only adjust the pawl either backwards or forwards(up or down) and my problem was both directions, so in a flash of inspiration I removed the shift cam again and shifter pawl,(just the top bit that engages the cam pins) I measured across the 2 pins on the cam that are uppermost in third gear and had 18.05mm. I then measured the gap between the 'jaws' of the shiter pawl and had a gap of 20.60mm, thats a difference of 2.55mm which equates to a gap each side of 1.275mm not 0.25mm as stated in the manual.
    This meant the toe lever was wasting most of its travel in just taking up the slack between the shifter pawl and the shift cam pins and there wasnt enough lever travel left to fully turn the shift cam. Fit new shifter pawl. Shift problem solved !
    Sorry if this post is long and rambling but looking through all the posts on this site I cant find anyone else that mentions this excessive gap as a shifting problem solution, in fact the very knowledgable Lyndon Fraser at Grizzlies has never heard of this particular problem before either.
    I hope this may therefore help anyone like myself who has got to the 'banging skull against walls' stage in trying to isolate shift problems.
    Dont faff about with feeler gauges getting inaccurate measurements as the manual suggests, just remove the shift cam and shifter pawl, measure them individually(use a digital vernier caliper) and subtract the 2 figures to find your actual gap.
    ps if like me you end up removing the exhausts repeatedly ALWAYS fit new exhaust gaskets at the end.
    Ride safe.
    1 person likes this.
  2. R_W_B

    R_W_B Senior Member

    Welcome lionscar, that was an excellent write up. Very informative but I could not make out exactly what you replaced to fix the problem.

    Was it both the shift cam and shifter prawl or just a new prawl ?

    Would love it if you could post up a few pics, but you prolly have it all buttoned back up by now.

    I'm gonna remember this one though. Your post was very thorough and proceeded thru each logical step.
  3. lionscar

    lionscar Member

    Hi bud, it was just the shifter pawl (HD part no.34086-79) thats the small spring operated arm that lies horizontally across the shift cam and engages the cam pins to turn the cam.
    Small, cheap and easily overlooked but also fairly unusual, my parts supplier has never even sold a shifter pawl in nearly 40 years of business.
    It seems odd for a part thats only done 25K to be so badly worn so if youve got a 99 or 01 Dyna with these shift problems its definitely worth close inspection.
    Live & Learn. On the bright side, it couldve been a lot worse, it couldve been Japanese !

    I meant 99 or 00 Dyna, sorry, the 01 up shifter pawl is a different design.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2011
  4. R_W_B

    R_W_B Senior Member

    Mine is 07, but thanks for this excellent info. I have experienced electrical issues that skirt around all the 'normal' trouble shooting areas and it's nice to have detailed write ups like yours here to read in case it happens to us.

    As far as Japanese LOL, I'll be honest I love them all, HD, Kawas, Hondas etc. My stepson has a 2004 Kawa Nomad that is a fantastic water cooled touring bike. Any country that can recover from two atom bomb attacks has something on the ball.

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    I had this problem with My 2000 FXDS and went to the 6 speed offered by rev-tech.... Not thinking I could of fixed it easy and always wanted a 6 speed.. Changed out the full gears and shafts and top shifter for that different set-up.

    I just gave the 5 speed Gear set away to a fellow for free and will tell him of the part needed to improve EXACTLY my problem as was YOURS on that 5 speed....:D

    thanks for your problem shared and SOLVED..

    Hopefully glider can also put that Bit of information about the "FIX" where it can be found easily by some one with a 99 or 2000 dyna..... This problem existed on dynas for years in the 99/00 's and I Only found out today the fix..