clutch plate help

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LittleAl
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clutch plate help

#1

Post by LittleAl » Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:33 am

So I took my trans out to rebuild it and it's back in now but I have some questions on the clutch plates I should have asked first time around, but before I put it back together now's my second chance. This is on my '54 FL

when I put it together last time I bought 3 new steels (OEM) because the antirattles were broken on the old one but scuffed up the frictions because they looked fairly new. I have the original 3 finger hub. when I put it together, although the parts book shows 3 steels and 3 frictions plus the 1/2 friction the stack seemed way too small and I wound up putting in one extra steel and friction. I had extra of both in a milk crate I got with the bike. It all seemed to go together right but the clutch never actually worked well, ok, but not as it should. It definitely dragged a bit even with the pushrod adjusted pretty tight (snugged up and not backed off at all, usually I would back off 1/2 to a full turn). Now that I have it all off again I want to get it back together so it works well.

so, is the 3 steels & 3 1/2 frictions gonna work? I noticed that of the frictions I have (all have plenty of meat left) a few are bonded and a few are rivited, the riveted are substantially thicker then the bonded ones. I know the OEM's were riveted. when I took this all apart originally (3 years ago) I don't remember what was in there. Playing around with all the plates on the hub with it out I noticed that the plates fit pretty snug when they first go on the hub, I can't remember if it was like that when I assembled it a few months ago. once their on, stacked properly with the steels, they slide nice, but when I add the 4th steel & 4th friction they bind. and the release disc binds also.

so where do I go from here? 3 1/2 or 4 1/2? I don't think I need new frictions, when I dress them on sandpaper laid flat they scuff evenly so I don't think their warped, same with the steels on emery cloth and their new (a few hundered miles anyway). I'm using a new "good" type throwout bearing.

I'd really like to get it right this time, the foot clutch/handshift is hard enough getting used to, I don't need the clutch acting up on me too!



lockdoc
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Re: clutch plate help

#2

Post by lockdoc » Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:11 am

One of the best investments I have made so far was a diaphram type clutch for my bike. No slipping, pulling, jerking, etc.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/KEVLAR-C ... ccessories

For your question though, I believe you would have 3 steels and 3 frictions plus a spring disc. Later models would have 4 steels and 5 frictions and would not have the spring plate. You could prolly do away with the spring disc and do the 4 steel, 5 friction.

Kuda
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Re: clutch plate help

#3

Post by Kuda » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:26 pm

Couple things to watch out for: 1) original frictions where MUCH thicker than later models. So 3 1/2 stacked up to the same as 5 of the newer ones. You could probably mix and match, but it might be easier to run all of one or the other style. Also, early springs are longer than later springs, so bare that in mind as well.

2) Adjustment on foot clutches is CRITICAL. I've "fixed" many over the years just by performing the proper adjustment per the book. One thing that catches a lot of folks out is the "swing" of the clutch arm. For the clutch to work properly, the arm MUST hit or nearly hit the trans cover when the clutch is all the way released. Keep adjusting the rod until you get there or you won't have enough travel to fully release the clutch...

-Kuda
'49 panchop

LittleAl
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Re: clutch plate help

#4

Post by LittleAl » Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:36 pm

good possible catch there Kuda. My spring height is 1 7/16 is that the stock or the shorter size?

Bosheff
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Re: clutch plate help

#5

Post by Bosheff » Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:44 am

If your clutch plates bind when installing on the inner hub, it would lead me to believe one or more of the fingers are bent. Also on shovels starting around 1981, the anti-rattle balls (bearings, b b's whatever you want to call them) were eliminated. I believe the reason was cause this is what usually caused the steels to hang-up when a little sledge built up on them. I've been running without the anti-rattlers for over thirty years. The only adverse reaction is the clutches rattle like crazy (loudly) when the clutch lever is pulled in. This is good, cause you know the steels and fibers are actually seperating. It has been my experience that stock H-D fiber plates tend to swell when hot. This in my opinion is why after cruizin' on the highway for maybe an hour or better, when you pull up to stop at the end of the offramp, the motorcycle sometimes has a tendency to want to creep, because the clutch plates have swollen and the adjustment made when the fibers were cool doesn't work anymore. A quality clutch calble makes a world of difference. Maybe not so much on a mousetrap setup, but definately on anything that doesn't use a mousetrap.

Larry
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Re: clutch plate help

#6

Post by Larry » Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:39 pm

Riveted (asbestos) discs engage more smoothly when using a foot clutch. In addition, riveted discs use different springs, fewer coils and heavier wire.

LittleAl
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Re: clutch plate help

#7

Post by LittleAl » Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:22 am

thanks for the suggestions. I think I get her fixed.

the fingers on the hub had slight grooves, I've run clutches with much worse, but I cleaned them up with emery cloth anyway. I fit the frictions carefully and the fingers are definitely bent a tiny bit, but enough to make the plates bind. rather then try & get them perfect again, I was afraid I'd loosen them in the hub, I simple drilled all the holes in all the frictions 1/64th larger. all the frictions and the pressure plate now slide up and down the full length of the fingers with absolutely no binding.

In the next few days I'll put it back on the bike, at that point I'll try and determine what number of plates I'll use. I'll be either reporting back or asking more questions.

Bosheff
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Re: clutch plate help

#8

Post by Bosheff » Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:37 am

The old style stock H-D clutch disks have a steel center, and it is not unusual for them to wear grooves in the studs. I don't know about the newer Barnetts, but the old ones have aluminum centers which cause less wear on the studs. Also, make sure the the steel part of the plates are true and flat, and not sprung.

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