V twin rocker clutch

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PanPal
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V twin rocker clutch

#1

Post by PanPal » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:50 pm

I just bought and installed a V twin rocker clutch. There is not a lot of information on the rocker clutch in my 59 to 65 service manual. I think it is adjusted properly however I do not understand what the inner bracket arm that can be mounted in any of 4 positions is for. There is a friction disk and a spring star washer that also does not appear to serve any purpose. The clutch peddle is held in either engaged or disengaged position by the front spring passing the center line in either direction. So why is a friction setting needed on the peddle?It is installed on on a bike that is far from original, so the extra parts can be removed as long as I have a clutch that will stay engaged when I put my foot on the ground if needed.



Cotten
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#2

Post by Cotten » Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:33 pm

PanPal!

The friction spring is an evolutionary throw-back to the times when roads were little more than cow paths, and fording a stream may be a daily trial.

On modern roads, you can leave it un-dampened.

For your pedal to stay disengaged without it, I would fear a geometry problem with the reproduction (like the weld for the pedal axle to be too high), or the clutch spring pack is not adjusted for proper leverage to re-engage itself.

You do NOT want to "have a clutch that will stay engaged when I put my foot on the ground if needed" unless you intend to use the dampener for off-road fun.
Relying upon a a pedal to keep the clutch disengaged is what gives it the true meaning of "suicide".

Do not fall into this dangerous habit!
It makes a rider look like a green amateur as well as fatiguing the clutch springs over time.

....Cotten

Guest

#3

Post by Guest » Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:26 am

That is the statement on an obvious Non-Rider! I will get off of any of my Harleys, in gear, clutch dis-engaged, and air up my tires! Indian.....not so! But HD. Not a problem! That is what the system was designed for. PS...how could that POSSIBLY wear clutch springs any more than sitting at a light with the hand-clutch lever pulled in? Like Harley Riders do and have done since the early fifties? Answer.....it doesn't! A Suicide Clutch and a Factory Stock Rocker Clutch are two COMPLETELY different things.

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#4

Post by mbskeam » Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:43 am

you missed the point.......

Image


guest log in's to make straffing runs is getting kinda old.......(hint, hint)....

mbskeam

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#5

Post by FlatHeadSix » Sat Jul 19, 2008 6:15 am

You are exactly right MB, he missed Cotten's point entirely. I have never seen one of Taiwan Tedd's re-pop rocker clutch assemblies but I probably would not trust one either, the over-center geometry has to be right on the money before it will work reliably.

When the rocker is adjusted correctly you should notice that when it is engaged, rocked forward, the spring is stretched slightly, when it is disengaged, rocked back, the spring it has pulled all the way in; the coils are touching each other.

The friction disk tension is a matter of personal preference. As Cotten mentioned its a throw back to the old days when you needed to set the clutch exactly at its "grab" point and then use both feet to balance the bike when pulling out of a tough spot; mud or sand or whatever.

My definition of a true suicide clutch is what you see on some of the old choppers and bobbers, a spring loaded servi-car pedal, when you take your foot off of it it will engage just like a car clutch pedal.

Clutch evolution is kind of interesting, they didn't have the over-center helper springs until about midway through the VL production, all they had was the friction disks. My '31 VL has just the bare pedal and friction disk, the '34 has the same pedal but with an over-center helper spring. When adjusted properly you really can't tell the difference.

mike
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#6

Post by Cotten » Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:22 pm

A ('36 and later) factory rocker should pull itself into gear if the dampener tension iscompletely released.
For it to stay disengaged without the dampener, its travel would have to be further than the footboard will allow.
(Or the assist spring is hung up on the weld I mentioned, or the bushing is just so worn it hangs up!)

A tightened dampener will allow you to stick it in a 'feathered' position, allowing you to jump off the side and push through mud. (Best practiced with a sidecar first!)

A released dampener gives you full feel of the clutch.
It also allows for comfortable shifting when two-up riding on a Buddy seat: The heel of the rocker alone can be used. With no need to force the clutch into gear, the 'driver's' toe can be used to depress and release the heel of the pedal when sitting forward at an angle that is uncomfortable for many ankles.

(Ever wonder why it is a rocker in the first place?)

Spring packs fatique when tensioned rockers are left hanging up in the air while the machine is parked. This speaks volumes about the operator.
(When I saw a '36 EL in the Factory's traveling semi museum that had its pedal rocked and locked while it was behind glass, I knew I had to get into Indians.)

Anecdote:
When I set up my wife's 65 for her, I thought tightening the dampener a little might make sense. Her first test for feel made her look perplexed.
I released it, explaining how so many macho customers felt they needed it to learn. She looked at me incredulously and exclaimed, "That's stupid!".

I didn't tell her the Factory put the handbrake on the wrong handlebar too.

No matter what an AMCA judge decrees, nor what your Uncle Crash told you, nor even what you read on the Internet (much less what you hear at the bar!),.....
Safety must come first.

....Cotten

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#7

Post by 51Hog » Sat Jul 19, 2008 5:51 pm

Can you tell me if the below pictured rocker is original?
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FlatHeadSix
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#8

Post by FlatHeadSix » Sun Jul 20, 2008 1:28 am

Dale,
Not sure about the jiffy stand but the rest of looks OEM to me.

Cotten, I was trying to say the same thing in my last post about the over-center spring tension. When you have it adjusted correctly the spring tension that rocks it forward, engaging the clutch, is slightly stronger than the force pulling it to the rear. With zero friction from the dampener the clutch will engage by itself.

And, I have always done exactly as you suggested, with the buddy seat mounted, I back the nut way off the tension spring on the dampener. It makes starting out and shifting much easier.

mike

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#9

Post by 51Hog » Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:02 pm

Dont know if this is right wrong or indiferent, It works well.
Spring tension holds the clutch pedal engaged And disengaged.
With or without the dampner tightened.
Without the dampner tightened, it is more likely that the clutch will disengage.
Clutch is adjusted such that when pedal is level, it starts to engage.
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#10

Post by FlatHeadSix » Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:23 am

Good pictures Dale, they illustrate exactly what I said above.

When the pedal is forward the spring is still slightly stretched and under tension, you could slip a piece of thick paper between the coils. When you rock it all the way back the spring is almost relaxed, coils touching. Its designed this way so that it exactly counterbalances the force of the springs in the clutch pack which would naturally push the pedal forward if everything was adjusted correctly and there were no other frictional forces binding it. Pretty neat design, after all they only used it for a little over 50 years, and the first twenty years didn't have the over-center helper spring!

Rock on!

mike

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#11

Post by George Greer » Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:31 am

Does this statement apply to All bikes with rocker clutchs??

Clutch is adjusted such that when pedal is level, it starts to engage.

My WLA's adjusted to where it is almost level when engaging the clutch, but she seems like the clutch is always dragging and not completely releasing when disengaged, and at times is hard to find second.....and when downshifting ..... difficult to find netural...

George

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#12

Post by 51Hog » Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:07 am

If your clutch is adjusted properly, this could solve your problem.
It worked great for me. Ram Jett Retainer I also put the nylatron floating liner in place of the riveted liner on the drum assy. It stopped the chatter.

http://www.harley-davidsonparts.com/cus ... _7_034.htm

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#13

Post by FlatHeadSix » Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:22 am

George,

Same principles apply to all the rocker clutch mechanisms. The WLs and FLs are nearly identical and, in fact, share some of the same components. The pans and knucks and the WLs all have the operating stud located below the pivot shaft, the only difference is that the big twins use a rod and the 45s use a cable.

It sounds like you have an adjustment problem. I would disconnect the cable clevis from the pedal arm and go through the adjustment process outlined in the old TM to make sure that you have the proper adjustment at both ends of the rod going through the transmission. Make sure that lever arm contacting the throw-out bearing is greased up and not binding, same goes for the cable going through the tube. You should be able to pull (or push) on the lever on the kicker cover and observe free movement of the cable coming out of the tube on the pedal side. Make sure that the lock nut on the adjuster screw which contacts the operating rod inside the clutch pack is TIGHT when you get done with the adjustment, these tend to loosen up which will cause the clutch to slip over time.

The other common problems usually involve either bent brackets or worn bushings in the pedal pivot. Make sure that the clevis and cable are not dragging on the inside rear of the pedal plate through the whole range of motion. Tendency is for them to drag at the extreme limit of disengagement, clutch pedal rocked all the way back. Everything should line up and any flex in the mounting plate and side strap will cause problems.

My wife said that she wouldn't mind if we made a trip to Germany so that I could stop by and help you adjust it.

mike

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#14

Post by FlatHeadSix » Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:27 am

Dale,

good stuff for an FL but I think (I hope) George was talking about his WLA, otherwise I just wasted a lot of time answering his question.

mike

1950Bobber

I like that........

#15

Post by 1950Bobber » Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:26 am

"guest log in's to make straffing runs is getting kinda old.......(hint, hint)...."


I don't have anything better to add, not sure I could anyway...BUT...Mike,

I LIKE THAT!!!!!!!!

Jim in Seattle "1950 Bobber"

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