9/2/2009 Off with it already

I managed to get to the tool store tonight and picked up a “T” bar styled 3/4 inch breaker bar and inch and a half socket.  Pulled my baby out of the garage and pushed her front wheel up against the garage wall.  Got out a torch and heated the compensating sprocket nut for several minutes (until I started to smell something “h0t”.)  Slid my 3 foot cheater pipe over the breaker bar and heaved on it.  Mother of all nuts – the damned thing broke loose!  There is a God!

After completely removing the compensator hardware there I was with a piece of steel jammed between the front and clutch basket sprockets.  Solid as hell.  I seem to remember that the original Harley tool was two bars that fit above and below the center line of the shafts and had a couple of long bolts between them to lock them into place.  Guess I’ll have to fabricate one for future use.  For now, there’s that tool wedged in the primary chain.

I was contemplating a torch to cut the damned thing out but decided to see if I could pry the thing loose wth a crowbar.  Placed the crowbar tip into the clutch basket area and gently pried on the very end of the gear jam tool.  Pop.  Got one tooth.  Pop again.  Got another.   One more tooth and the tool was out also.

Off comes the clutch basket, front sprocket and primary chain (without any damage I might add.)  Only thing left is the clutch hub.  Memory told me that the hub usually isn’t on too tight since it fits on a tapered shaft.  Wrong again.  This baby was on there solid.  It is a stock three adjuster clutch hub and uses Harley Davidson special tool number blah blah blah to remove it from the shaft.  Since I am replacing the hub and fiber plates I wasn’t too worried about what ever it took to get it off.  After some thought I decided I could use a standard gear puller using a couple of the fiber plates for leverage.

I slid two plates over the hub studs and installed the three clutch adjusting nuts to hold them to the hub.  Slid a deep well inch and an eight socket over the loosely installed hub nut so the gear puller wasn’t grinding against anything that could be damaged and cranked down on the gear puller.  After applying considerable pressure the hub loudly “popped” off the shaft.

Finally the primary is clear to come off.  However, its late and I decide to wait till the weekend to go any further.  I want to examine the inner primary very carefully for cracks etc.  The inner primary for the 82-83 FXR is not an easy item to find so if this one needs any repairs I want to get them done and done right.  So, Labor Day weekend looks like the target for completing the front drive sprocket inspection project.  I kind of hope that it is loose.  If so, I think I’ll just replace/tighten it and put things back together.  If not then likely it is time to dig deeper into the engine in search of the vibration source.

Good night!

9/1/2009 – Order some stuff

Haven’t made it to the tool store to get a new breaker bar yet.  Kind of want to have some help available when I try to break the damn compensator lose.  So, I spent some time pondering what I might need once I get the inner primary off.

  1. Let’s see.  Going to heat the compensator nut.  Could be getting pretty hot too (I understand red locktite doesn’t melt until 271 degrees F.)  Main shaft seal is made of rubber.  Rubber melts.  Wow, Zen in action.  Better get a replacement mainshaft seal just in case….  Order one.
  2. Clutch hub in my bike had a lot of groves in the fingers and is original three adjustor hub.  Bike has been tugging a little bit in gear at stop lights.  Groves could cause such a thing.  Better replace it while the thing’s apart…. Order one.
  3. Fiber plates in the bike are THIN!  Better replace them too (Damn, my clutch wasn’t even slipping – could it have been from the grime between those plates?)  One set of Barnett Kevlar plates….
  4. Always a good idea to check the transmission mainshaft seal…. Order one.
  5. As beat up as the compensator bolt  is I feel better with a new one….  Order one.
    The adjusting nut on the throw out assembly was kinda rusty?  Gotta wonder how that happened.  Order one….
  6. Plus, gonna needs some gaskets (sooner or later.)  I’ll just get a complete engine set.  I’ll get the one with oil seals and then I don’t have to order a replacement.  Order one.  Cancel item 1.

That’s a start.  Now to get another breaker bar.

8/30/2009 – Check tansmission sprocket

What Have I Got?

850 miles on the speedo now and I admit to myself that there is a vibration that comes and goes on the road.  Also feel some sort of “hammering” when just sitting astride the bike with it idling at a low pace.  I posted a query on a few other blogs and somebody suggested that the front drive sprocket on the tranny is known to work loose on this model bike and it could be causing the vibration.  Sounds reasonable to me.  That is just the kind of vibration it felt like – gear wobbling on its shaft.  Into the garage to pull the inner and outer primary so I can have a look.

The fun begins

Get the bike on a bike jack so I can lift her a bit off the floor for a better working angle.  Outer primary comes off  easy enough.  Gasket still good too.  Locate my trusty pressure plate washer.  Lock down the pressure plate springs and remove the pressure plate, 5 fiber and 4 steel plates of the clutch assembly.  Clutch hub nut (left handed threads) comes off just fine.  Now for the compensating sprocket.  Wow – what a surprise.  I have had many compensating sprockets off of Harleys in the past.  Some of them pretty damned tight too.  Nothing even compares to this one.

Wedge a gear jam between the bottom of the front primary sprocket and the top of the clutch basket sprocket to lock them gainst each other.  Get out the inch and a half socket and breaker bar.  Give it ALL I have and cannot budge the nut.  No problem I says.  Need a cheater pipe.  After acquiring a 3 foot piece of galvanized pipe we are back at it.  One guys holding the bike steady on the jack and two of us pulling on the cheater.  Nothing breaks loose.  Wow.  This SOB is TIGHT.

Take a break and then give another try.  Just me this time.  I put almost all I have into the counter-clockwise (right hand thread) bolt head.  Nothing.  A little more.  Nothing.  Screw this!  All I have got.  SNAP.  Half inch drive breaker bar twists off at the socket head.  Gear jamming tool is completely jammed between the sprockets.  Not coming out unless the compensator comes loose or I get a torch on it and cut it out!  The 2 hour project just got a lot more complicated.

We have decided that whomever put the bike together last must have filled the compensator bolt with red locktite and then put the damned thing back together.  A normal application of locktite would never have been able to withstand the torque I was applying to this thing.  So, I guess I am going to get a torch and heat the damned thing up to where the locktite melts and give it another try (after replacing my twisted off breaker bar of course.)  For today – done.