Bad bad noise from trans

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Posts: 63
Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 3:40 pm
Bikes: 61FL in a late 49 frame.
59FLH almost stock
Location: Wa state

Bad bad noise from trans


Post by panwars » Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:40 pm

Description: There was a loud vibration noise that sounded like gears grinding but not quite

Post by panwars on Jul 15, 2004, 2:21am

Well.........I thought I had this thing wipped. I have finished installing the Chromehorse close ratio 4spd, straightening my frame, getting the proper freeplay in the primary etc. etc. etc......I have been riding YES!!!! and boy is the trans nice.....I think. I got about 75 miles on it no problem at all, then....while downshifting to third at slow speed it happened. I pulled in the clutch, hit third and instantly there was a loud vibration noise that sounded like gears grinding but not quite. it quit almost instantly and second was fine, as was first. I rode for another 10 miles with 6 or 8 times up and down through the gears no problem. The next day I got about 12 miles, 6or 8 times through the gears and was down shifting again at about 35 to third (just to get to second) and it did it again for a second then quit. Pulled in the clutch again and hit second, and the instant it shifted there is the horrible noise again. It vibrates the bike also. I rode back home 15 miles, and at the last stop it did it as I hit first. This time I felt it was cluthch or my needle bearing setup between the hub and basket. It seems like it wanted to drag forward with the clutch in and the noise happening, but I am not positive. It all happens so fast I can hardly think, plus it scares the shit out of me every time it does it!
I pulled the whole thing down, checked needle bearings, OK. Checked cluthc discs, Ok. I run four Kevlar plates and Three steels. This same clutch was in before for 2500 miles with no problem. This noise sounds like a big truck brake drum noise kind of, with the same kind of vibration. Also when I down shift I blip the throttle so I know the discs are loose. I can feel the clutch disengage when pulled in, but as soon as I push down the shifter, WHAM big noise. I haven't been able to let it right back out, that is my next step, and see if that stops it. I am sure it will.
Could this some how be trans? I can't figure out how it could be. I suspect some kind of freak clutch chatter, but why now and not before? It is DAMN loud and really vibrates, like a gauled bushing or something. Only at slow speed down shifts, no other time. Any and all thoughts are welcome and appreciated. I am so close, the bike handles so well now, and the ratios are great, I gotta find this freaken noise!!!!! Thanks, Scott

Post by Jack Hester on Jul 15, 2004, 2:43am

Scott -

To save reading all the posts to find out the history of the tranny, refresh my memory on it. Is it a fresh rebuild? Is the lid the original? Is the shifting drum the original? It sounds almost like the shifting clutches inside the transmission are not in alignment.


Post by panwars on Jul 15, 2004, 4:35am

Hi Jack,

It is a new chrome horse 4spd w/andrews gears, new ratchet top and everything else. I am pretty sure at this point that my problem is in my clutch. I have been racking my brain ( which seems to be getting pretty feeble with age) and I can remember my clutch making this noise momentarely when taking off in first at the moment of engagement while using the old trans. It is like a squealing howl, with vibration. It only did it a couple of times so I didn't worry about it. I have re-adjusted the clutch tonight and increased the release. I also re adjusted the pressure plate to insure it is running true when released. I'll ride it tomorrow if not raining (this is Washington after all) and see if it acts up. It is hard to diagnose as it is so rare that it does it.
Let me know what you think, thanks, scott

Post by 52EL on Jul 17, 2004, 7:05pm

Had the very same problem turned out to be the set screw on the shift fork loosend up and it moved out of alignment. only happened between 3rd and 2nd on the downshift. sounds like the same problem the good news is it is an easy fix. Good luck Jim

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Re: Bad bad noise from trans


Post by 58flh » Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:20 pm

Go through your clutch again--check for any unwanted burrs-plates sticking or gunk built-up from the primary dirt that eventually gets there!; If all is cool, I would check the shift-forks!(1)-for proper alignment,(2)-make sure all screws are tight & phisically spin-it and run through the gears & watch whats happening. If tranny can be clamped or bolted to a bench, & a drill motor hooked-up(variable-speed is ideal) Let it run at a higher RPM & watch ,make sure everything is working properly---With the variable-speed drill you can upshift & downshift with no clutch, I made a set-up & can check trannys with no gear-grind at all! Take your time & find your RPM,& shift-it! If I remember your problem was on the downshift-go from 4th & back-down, easyier to do then upshifting. Also check-out your drum ,for slop if its new look for burrs & other casting debris that do not belong. Check the dogs on the gears-from what you described,make sure there all there & not worn or 1 half gone etc. If trans checks-out, then check-clutch basket ,springs all guides,and hub bearing,compensating sprocket. Something is def. amiss, you will definitly find the problem with this process of elimination! Good-Luck---And the men on this site have dealt with this all thier life, You cant get a better bunch of knowledge on the bikes we ride then this site!!!. 58flh :!:

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Re: Bad bad noise from trans


Post by panheadron » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:10 pm

Let you my story. I was getting the same noise/problem. Took out the tranny twice! All apart. New this,new that. After a couple of weeks...Same noise.
2nd time..... Rebuilt the rachet top. New bushings... even the cam was replaced! Yup. After a couple of weeks~~~Same noise.
The primary chain was worn. As it wears, it also gets sideways slop. Every time I put the tranny back, you have to re-adjust the primary. Right!! A new chain would definetly help. The main help... The only cure-all is a "Tamer". That little black plastic disc with the clips.
The "Tamer" keeps the clutch basket from walking. No jerky feel. No "Grinding" noise during engagement!
Problem solved.
Just take off the outer primary cover. Start up the bike. Pull in the clutch & just watch it. There you go.

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Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:54 pm
Bikes: 1958flh 1969sporty,had a knuckle but sold back to original owner
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Re: Bad bad noise from trans


Post by 58flh » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:17 pm

Panheadron---The basket should NOT WALK!--now I know what the tamer is :roll: ,A BANDAID!--I do primarys for guys & thro that disc AWAY!--ITS PLASTIC!.NEVER HAVE I HAD the now I know TAMER under me!--Everything CLEANNNN!--PERFECT SMOOTH chinwheels ALIGHNED,PROPER TENSION--I PACK ON MILES--ITS what we do!--IM in that bike every jan. to end of march for weather resons!--When IM in it IT NEEDS NOTHING!--Preventive maintenance!is $$$-for free & your own pleasure!--IM not saying throw out everytamer-no!--I feel $$constrictions ALOT!,& whatever keeps the wheels turning!-----(look at that tamer theres a metal disc in the center thats carrying the load each-pull!Thats it!)That thing would fly off under my ass in a weekend!wrap itself under the primary & IM looking at chainwheels!--------Start from tranny CORECT the mixer-(& be sure of it!),-REBUILD the hub NO WALKING!--PERFECT!,CLEAN ALL till you can eat off it,& in the back of your mind when out of town,your having fun not wondering about if this could happen or that!--Your machine is a decompression tool for everyday misery PLEASE dont play with your fun!& I mean this so all can have fun I want old bikes RIDDEN not sittin!--respectfully,RICHIE

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