Clutch adjustment 53 Panhead hand clutch

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gilb
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Clutch adjustment 53 Panhead hand clutch

#1

Post by gilb » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:01 pm

53 Pan with hand clutch, five finger, belt drive, dry clutch. It is a relatively new clutch. I just want to make sure I am getting full engagement and full disengagement. When disengaged, I believe I should be able to turn the clutch by hand or with a little persuasion and the only way I know to tell if it is fully engaged is to do a compression check and make sure I have full compression, over 100 lbs. Is the correct way to achieve this by tightening or loosening the five nuts? I believe the distance should be 31/32, however I am about 1 1/64th. Is this the correct and best way to make sure I have it properly setup? Also I do have 5 fiber an 4 steel plates and have a Ram Jet. I seem to be real close, however I can't quite get full compression, more like 85 or 90 psi, but I can turn the clutch by hand(kind of hard though), Thanks!



Bigincher
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Re: Clutch adjustment 53 Panhead hand clutch

#2

Post by Bigincher » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:19 am

With a magic marker put an indicator mark on the pressure plate near the outer edge. Then put another correspondening mark on the clutch hub, in line with the first mark.
Kick the motor over a bunch of times. The marks should always be aligned with each other; if they're not, it means the clutch is slipping. Tighten the pressure plate adjuster nuts a little and try again. When the marks always stay in line with each other, the clutch is not slipping. At 1-1/16", I'd suspect the clutch is slipping a little, also based on your compression readings.
Also assuming you've adjusted the clutch arm and free play per the manual first.

RUBONE
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Re: Clutch adjustment 53 Panhead hand clutch

#3

Post by RUBONE » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:08 am

Normal adjustment on a 5 plate clutch is 1-1/32. I doubt the clutch is slipping unless it is binding on the studs or otherwise defective. The important factors are even pressure plate engagement and adequate freeplay in the pushrod. Don't get caught up in compression numbers, 85-90 is fine. Is the engine new or have miles on it? Some camshafts have really low compression numbers at cranking speed due to overlap.

Edaddy
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Re: Clutch adjustment 53 Panhead hand clutch

#4

Post by Edaddy » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:55 am

I learned to do it this way, but starting with exactly 1 11/32. Works every time to get full engagement and disengagement.

Here is an almost fool proof method for clutch adjustment. It takes the guesswork out of the "feel" for the adjuster.
Once you have opened up the derby cover and are ready to proceed...

1)Collapse the adjuster on the cable sleeve all the way.

2)Pull the lever against the bar and hold it there with slight force.

3)Turn the pushrod adjuster bolt in while holding the lever against the bar lightly until it starts to force the lever away for some distance. (Do this more than once to get the feel). While keeping light pressure on the lever back the adjuster bolt out just until the lever touches the bar again and then another little bit, about 1/2 turn , then lock it.

4)Adjust the cable freeplay at the lever for 1/16" free play.

You should be good to go .

Always adjust the clutch on a cold bike for best results.

**It's better to adjust the clutch so that it starts to grab at least an inch or more from the bar for complete disc separation, which translates into better/quieter shifting.Using this method, you can "feel" where the lever is going to grab with a little practice.

Buy yourself a cheap 11/16 deep well socket and weld a nut on top of it. This makes the perfect tool for the adjuster lock nut. You can then use an Allen wrench inside the socket and a wrench on the nut you have just welded on. Makes it a lot simpler.

gilb
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Re: Clutch adjustment 53 Panhead hand clutch

#5

Post by gilb » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:03 pm

Thanks for all the input. First I have put 5K miles on this motor. I now have changed the adjusting nuts a little and have a 1" measurement. I marked the plate and drum, suggested by Bigincher and kicked it several times and it was exactly the same, however now my compression is only 65-70 psi. Yes I have made all of the other adjustments for the mouse trap, etc. I can move the clutch with my hand when clutch is disengaged. The pressure plate is equally adjusted and have the free play adjusted as per manual. Not sure why the cylinder pressure dropped, but apparently is not slipping.

Edaddy, I tried your method but I could not feel the lever to move off the bar after several tries. I had the cable adjuster completely backed off and turned the push rod in, which turned quite hard but never felt it push the lever outward.

Andygears
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Re: Clutch adjustment 53 Panhead hand clutch

#6

Post by Andygears » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:49 pm

Just wondering what your hand clutch setup is? Is it a mousetrap? Or a mousetrap eliminator with the big thick cable like '68 and up? Or some other aftermarket bracket or homemade which works off the long foot clutch arm? Generally homemade or aftermarket that use the long clutch arm don't work well. The travel needed at the end of the clutch arm is too long for the limited travel of a handlebar lever. Which is why the factory used a mousetrap to increase travel, or the '68 up arm which is shorter.

Andygears

gilb
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Re: Clutch adjustment 53 Panhead hand clutch

#7

Post by gilb » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:12 am

Andygears, I have the mousetrap, but here are some photos showing the cable along with the clutch arm. The clutch arm is the same length as my 42 U, which has the foot clutch, so I assume that is the long arm, did not know there were different arms used.
DSCN0253.JPG
DSCN0253.JPG (290.19 KiB) Viewed 258 times
DSCN0252.JPG
DSCN0252.JPG (305.27 KiB) Viewed 258 times

Bigincher
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Re: Clutch adjustment 53 Panhead hand clutch

#8

Post by Bigincher » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:57 am

I put a "mousetrap eliminator" on my old chopper in 1975. The instructions said to cut a couple inches off the clutch arm and drill a new stepped hole for the cable. (I still have the instructions.)
Back then it was no big deal, but the thought of chopping off an original arm like that nowadays makes me cringe. I looked high and low for a nice one for my '52, they're not just laying around everywhere.

Back on topic, did you ever say what cam you're running? Rubbone already mentioned that some cams have enough overlap that you never will get a high compression reading.
And as for lever settings and all that, just make sure there's a bit of free play to prevent the pushrod adjusting screw from being in constant contact with the pushrod. Otherwise the adjuster screw will weld itself to the end of the pushrod and you will be unhappy about that.
Are you having problems with shifting or some other issue, or are you just being a worry wart? ;)

Buddhahoodvatoloco
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Re: Clutch adjustment 53 Panhead hand clutch

#9

Post by Buddhahoodvatoloco » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:08 am

Love it, love it. Can you say "Empirical""
Bigincher wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:19 am
With a magic marker put an indicator mark on the pressure plate near the outer edge. Then put another correspondening mark on the clutch hub, in line with the first mark.
Kick the motor over a bunch of times. The marks should always be aligned with each other; if they're not, it means the clutch is slipping. Tighten the pressure plate adjuster nuts a little and try again. When the marks always stay in line with each other, the clutch is not slipping. At 1-1/16", I'd suspect the clutch is slipping a little, also based on your compression readings.
Also assuming you've adjusted the clutch arm and free play per the manual first.

Bigincher
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Re: Clutch adjustment 53 Panhead hand clutch

#10

Post by Bigincher » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:41 am

Buddhahoodvatoloco wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:08 am
Love it, love it. Can you say "Empirical""
I can say it, but I'm just a simple farm boy, and have no idea what it means. ;)

gilb
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Re: Clutch adjustment 53 Panhead hand clutch

#11

Post by gilb » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:58 pm

The cam is a Sifton 412,I have no idea if that would cause the low compression or not. The reason I have taken the clutch apart, after about a 50 mile ride the clutch was fading, virtually went away. I found that there was too much grease on the hub, kind of spread out everywhere and also I needed another friction plate. I have had issues before where it started hard because the clutch was slipping, that is why I was concerned if I had enough compression. I think I am probably OK, was just checking to see if the compression issue could be a problem. Also was not aware about the two sizes of clutch arms, depending on hand or foot clutch, as stated mine is definitely the same size as my foot clutch bike.

Bigincher
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Re: Clutch adjustment 53 Panhead hand clutch

#12

Post by Bigincher » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:22 pm

The different length clutch arms is not depending on whether hand or foot clutch, the arm is the same length for either until later years. The arm is shortened when an aftermarket 'mousetrap eliminator' kit is used. As stated, Harley then adopted this style in '68 and changed the clutch arm accordingly.

Doc37W
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Re: Clutch adjustment 53 Panhead hand clutch

#13

Post by Doc37W » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:59 pm

As I understand what you have described, some of your problem is you have later hand clutch parts in a mousetrap setup. The hand clutch booster (aka mousetrap) was designed to work with foot clutch parts. Only later when H-D went to the mousetrap eliminator, did they put in lighter springs, & more plates. Plus, the 5 finger clutch hub doesn't allow for smooth application of the clutch, causing shuttering of the plate when the lever is let out. (Place your two palms an inch apart and slam them together). Where as the 3 finger hub allows for a smooth transition (place your hands an inch apart with your two longest middle fingers on each hand touching, then bring your palms together). (That's how the instructers at H-D Service School described it). 5 finger hubs are great for drag racing, but will get annoying trying to take off smoothly on the street. Get rid of the 5 finger, put the 3 & 1/2 thick plates or 4 thinner plates back in, with the heavier foot clutch springs. Making sure the adjustment screw is backed out, set the spacing between the spring coller and pressure plate at 31/32" (a quarter is the correct distance, will just touch the edge of the coller & flat surface of the plate). Turn the finger nuts one click at a time (take out the quarter before you tighten the nut!), until you get it. With the mousetrap rod very loose, adjust the clutch screw in until the clutch arm goes towards the back of the bike as far as it will go, back it out a 1/4 turn. (so it won't weld itself to the pushrod). Then, adjust the mousetrap rod. If you have the spring on the mousetrap adjusted properly, you should be able the pull in the hand lever with 2 or3 fingers easily. Doc

gilb
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Re: Clutch adjustment 53 Panhead hand clutch

#14

Post by gilb » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:12 pm

Bigincher, I understand now on the clutch arm length.

Doc, thanks for that info. Any idea on where to get the thinner plates. Also can you clarify on what you mean on the 3 & 1/2 thick plates or 4 thinner plates.

Edaddy
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Re: Clutch adjustment 53 Panhead hand clutch

#15

Post by Edaddy » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:16 am

Thanks for trying, did not realize at that point in the thread that it was a mousetrap. That procedure is kind of general for hand clutches.

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