Ratchet top tranny with tank shifter

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Sidecar
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Ratchet top tranny with tank shifter

#1

Post by Sidecar » Thu Sep 19, 2002 4:43 pm

Description: Ratchet Top tranny with tank shifter??

I have no idea what is going on here, but I was just told by a harley shop that you can`t use a ratchet top with a tank shifter.
I was told that I have the wrong transmission.
I`m getting real disgusted.
I guess it`s time to make more phone calls.

Randy



dirtpandan58
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Re: Ratchet top tranny with tank shifter

#2

Post by dirtpandan58 » Thu Sep 19, 2002 11:22 pm

I guess I'm not running the same set up as you. I didn't know you were trying to run a tank shifter with a ratchet top. My shifter is mounted on my ratchet top. Seems the guy that put it together for you should have known the difference. I still think you can put a jockey shift drum in your ratchet lid,but don't quote me on that. How long have you had this bike?

dirtpandan58
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Re: Ratchet top tranny with tank shifter

#3

Post by dirtpandan58 » Thu Sep 19, 2002 11:23 pm

I guess I'm not running the same set up as you. I didn't know you were trying to run a tank shifter with a ratchet top. My shifter is mounted on my ratchet top. Seems the guy that put it together for you should have known the difference. I still think you can put a jockey shift drum in your ratchet lid,but don't quote me on that. How long have you had this bike?

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Re: Ratchet top tranny with tank shifter

#4

Post by Cotten » Fri Sep 20, 2002 1:40 am

Yes, you can put a handle on anything.
The problem is one of safety: imagine trying to find neutral in an emergency situation with a ratchet top.
Frame-mounted shift gates for ratchet lids are available, if you feel lucky.

Meanwhile, The differences in trannys is mostly just the lid. Books spec the earlier mainshaft cluster and bushed 3rd gear for handshift,... but I really have never figured out why they would be necessary. Before I knew any better, I put them together with the footshift internals and they worked fine. Just luck??

Sidecar
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Re: Ratchet top tranny with tank shifter

#5

Post by Sidecar » Fri Sep 20, 2002 2:07 pm

Stange stuff going on here.
I`m not a H-D expert so you have to bear with me. I now know what and how about the ratchet top tranny. If I am told correctly, this is used for the foot shift. The only difference betwwen the foot or tank shifter is where the shifter rod is connected. On a foot shifter it`s connected to the heel toe shifter ?? On my bike the rod is connected to the bottom of the tank shifter shaft which is about 14 inches long. Half way up the shaft it is bolted to a tab on the bottom of the tank, which is the pivot point. The rest of the shaft sticks up thru the SMOOTH gate. There are no numbers on this gate at all. It is just a slot about 6 inches long and 3/8 inch wide. So basically what you I just described is the heel toe shift bolted on the side of your tank. If you could lay flat on your back on this bike and put your left foot down the left side of the gas tank you could shift it just like a heel toe mechanism. You put your arch right over the pivot point. If you push down with you heel it goes into 1st. You push with your toe it upshifts. This tank shifter works exactly the same as my 91 dresser except that it is mounted in a different location. Instead of the shifter being mounted horizontal, it is mounted vertically and without the heel part.
Man, I`m starting to confuse myself !!!!!????
I hope this makes some sense.

BTW. There is no problem finding neutral as long as you know how a heel toe shifter works. I`m not sure about your concern ?? I also don`t know why you would want to use a frame mounted gate when it`s right on the tank ??
I think the problem is that the tranny is brand new is basically junk and needs rebuilt.
Oh yeah, you can see all of this stuff in the V-twin cat if you have one.

Dan,
Can you tell me the difference between a jockey drum and a regular one ??
Is your shifter handle bolted directly to the lid ??
No linkages or anything else involved ??
How long is the pattern when moving it from back to front ?? I`ll disconnect my stuff and see how long the pattern is.

Thanx
Randy

dirtpandan58
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Re: Ratchet top tranny with tank shifter

#6

Post by dirtpandan58 » Sat Sep 21, 2002 12:15 am

Randy,
The set up I have,you can buy in a kit. It's just a clutch pedal,clutch rod,clutch pedal backing plate and shifter lever.
I couldn't tell the difference between the shift drums, but i can tell the difference in the lids.
Mine was a foot shift,and i changed it to a hand shift a long time ago. I think it's a little classier and more fun to ride.
Foot shift pattern was 1 down 3 up. The way the linkage was set up was a lever from the foot shifter sticking up,shifter rod back to a lever on the ratchet top sticking down. That's why when you put a lever on the ratchet top sticking up you have to push it back for first, forward for second and so on.
I think I said that right.
My shifter is 7" long.
From "N" to first is 3" same from"N"to 2,3 & 4.
Did you figure out your popping in and out of gear problem?

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Re: Ratchet top tranny with tank shifter

#7

Post by Cotten » Sat Sep 21, 2002 1:36 pm

Sidecar!
Just for clarity, a handshift lid has no ratchet:
No vertical screwed-together hockey-puck-shaped thingy at all. No internal springs, no pawls, no nothing there but a lever sticking out.
Then you have direct feel to the drum that stirs the forks, and the ability to find a "neutral" between each gear in an emergency.
This is what gives you 4 or 5 different positions for the handshift lever. Bumped out of gear is a false neutral, giving you yet another position between gears.
With a shift lever for a ratchet top, you have really only one position, and you bump it forward or back to shift up or down. In an emergency you have to pump it frantically to find neutral, and hope you find it.

dirtpandan58
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Re: Ratchet top tranny with tank shifter

#8

Post by dirtpandan58 » Sat Sep 21, 2002 8:12 pm

yup!

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Re: Ratchet top tranny with tank shifter

#9

Post by VintageTwin » Sun Sep 22, 2002 4:42 am

Look on pg.276 of Palmer's book. There are two shifter cams for Big Twins 1940 to early 1976, four speed transmissions. The early one looks like a drum. If you use this drum with a jockey shift lever connected to the lid on the transmission (jockey or rachet lid), your shift pattern will be : back for first, up for neutral, up for second, third, fourth. There is a rounded notch in the drum ground-out for each gear positon. In 1959 they added a notch to operate the neutral switch in a rachet lid. This is the same drum from used 1940-up, in both the jockey lid and rachet top. There is a false neutral between each of those gear "notches", if you use the jockey lid. No false neutral if you use the rachet top.
For the footshift FX (1973-early 79) they used a different cam. You see this cast shifter cam in the Tedd catalog, because no one makes the drum anymore, that I know of. I think this cast cam may only fit in the rachet top and not into the jockey lid. If you use this FX shifter cam in a rachet top (and the reason you would use one is to change the shift pattern) with a jockey lever attached to the transmission (not the tank)...your shift pattern with a jocky lever is going to be: Up for first, back for neutral, back for second, third, fourth. One neutral...and you will need a three light dash. Neutral lamp is in the middle.
There were other drums made, one for 1939 only, and a different shifter cam for late FX, and another drum for 3-speed with reverse.

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Re: Ratchet top tranny with tank shifter

#10

Post by Sidecar » Mon Sep 23, 2002 4:27 pm

>>>>>With a shift lever for a ratchet top, you have really only one position, and you bump it forward or back to shift up or down. In an emergency you have to pump it frantically to find neutral, and hope you find it.<<<<<

Okay, we`re on the same page.
I`m using the ratchet top with a smooth gate tank shifter. If/when I get tired of the foot clutch, I can take the tank shifter off and turn it into a foot shift and put the clutch onto the handlebars and use the same transmission.

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Re: Ratchet top tranny with tank shifter

#11

Post by Sidecar » Mon Sep 23, 2002 4:56 pm

Dan, my foot clutch pivot point weld broke sat while testing the shifter rod adjustment. It was working better. I need to tighten the chains and change the oil so I parked it for awhile. It was either that or get out the B.F.H.
The weld point is now drilled and tapped so it won`t come apart again.
I need to make some other adjustments too, so I`ll be farting around with that stuff also.

dirtpandan58
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Re: Ratchet top tranny with tank shifter

#12

Post by dirtpandan58 » Mon Sep 23, 2002 11:46 pm

Well good luck to ya. Let us know how you make out.

kell
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Re: Ratchet top tranny with tank shifter

#13

Post by kell » Fri Sep 27, 2002 6:34 pm

I would like to change my pan to hand shift. No gate, just a short lever to reach down and grab. Can I just take the ratchet off and attach a lever?

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Re: Ratchet top tranny with tank shifter

#14

Post by Sidecar » Fri Sep 27, 2002 8:45 pm

Hi Kell !!!!

I think that`s what DPDan did, but he`ll have to clarify that for you though. You have to leave the ratchet on it though.

Hey DPDan, I`m gonna try to break something again this weekend [ if it ever stops raining ] !!!!!
I`ll let you know how the shifter works out.
Keep your fingers crossed for me. I wanna take the thing to Michigan next weekend [ on a trailer that is ] and tool around for awhile. It`s not ready for the open road yet.
I couldn`t get it together fast enough to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway this year. I`ll do`er next year though !!!!!!!!

Ride safe
Randy

dirtpandan58
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Re: Ratchet top tranny with tank shifter

#15

Post by dirtpandan58 » Sat Sep 28, 2002 12:39 am

Hey Keil,
I'm running the set up you're talkin' about.
You can buy it all in a kit. It's cheaper that way.
It comes with a clutch pedal,clutch rod ,pedal backing plate and shift lever.
You don't have to take the ratchet top off. You just take the shift arm off the ratchet and replace it with the shift lever.

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