Converting handshift to footshift

Transmission, clutch, chains and belts
Forum rules
Please do not start new topics here, but here: New Panhead and Flathead topics
Post Reply
LittleAl
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:52 pm
Bikes: 1954 FL Panhead
1976 Sporty
1983 FXRT Shovelhead
2000 FLHT TC
2008 Anniversary Ultra
Location: New York City

Converting handshift to footshift

#1

Post by LittleAl » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:39 pm

OK so I am going to switch from tankshift to footshift. I really just can't make change safely from my standard bikes to the tankshift and I want to be able to ride the Pan a lot more often & safely.

I have the mousetrap, lever, cable and ratchet top for the tranny. When I got her she was setup for footshift. I did have to buy (from Tom over at NOS parts) a few items like the rod that goes from the mousetrap to the clutch lever and the foot shift rod & bracket. I was originally thinking of using the foot clutch pedals as a heel/toe shifter and I still might once the parts get here and I look it all over.

so of course I have a few questions since I've never set this up before and I vaguely remember seeing some threads about it being challenging to set up the mousetrap properly, like where on the downtube to place it, setting up the spring & cable right, etc. I've only taken the setup off this bike when I first got it a few years ago and CRS about how it was.

The ratchet top is the one that came off this tranny & it was shifting fine when I bought it set-up this way so I'm thinking I don't need to setup the shift forks.

1) sitting here at work I can't visualize enough, can I swap tranny tops in the frame or does the tranny need to come out?
2) can I use the same clutch lever? I seem to remember not using the one installed on the bike & using a different one when I switched over to handshift
3) are there any changes in the way the clutch gets adjusted at the plates or is it all at the mousetrap & cable adjustments?

any & all advice, cautions, warnings, etc welcomed! I really wanna make this conversion go as smooth as possible and get her out in the wind...

Thanks!



Ohio-Rider
Posts: 361
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 3:04 pm
Location: North-East Ohio

Re: Converting handshift to footshift

#2

Post by Ohio-Rider » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:59 pm

Hi Al,
1)-Yes, the tranny will need to come out to change the tops.
2)-Yes, I don't see why you couldn'tâ„¢t use the same clutch lever.
3)-No, The clutch basket and pressureplate adjustments remain the same.

Someone I'm sure will be able to give you a more indepth explanation, but its a pretty straight forward swap.
-Steve

1450
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:47 pm
Bikes: 57 flh 2008 ultra
Location: gilbert az

Re: Converting handshift to footshift

#3

Post by 1450 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:04 am

LittleAl wrote:OK so I am going to switch from tankshift to footshift. I really just can't make change safely from my standard bikes to the tankshift and I want to be able to ride the Pan a lot more often & safely.

I have the mousetrap, lever, cable and ratchet top for the tranny. When I got her she was setup for footshift. I did have to buy (from Tom over at NOS parts) a few items like the rod that goes from the mousetrap to the clutch lever and the foot shift rod & bracket. I was originally thinking of using the foot clutch pedals as a heel/toe shifter and I still might once the parts get here and I look it all over.

so of course I have a few questions since I've never set this up before and I vaguely remember seeing some threads about it being challenging to set up the mousetrap properly, like where on the downtube to place it, setting up the spring & cable right, etc. I've only taken the setup off this bike when I first got it a few years ago and CRS about how it was.

The ratchet top is the one that came off this tranny & it was shifting fine when I bought it set-up this way so I'm thinking I don't need to setup the shift forks.

1) sitting here at work I can't visualize enough, can I swap tranny tops in the frame or does the tranny need to come out?
2) can I use the same clutch lever? I seem to remember not using the one installed on the bike & using a different one when I switched over to handshift
3) are there any changes in the way the clutch gets adjusted at the plates or is it all at the mousetrap & cable adjustments?

any & all advice, cautions, warnings, etc welcomed! I really wanna make this conversion go as smooth as possible and get her out in the wind...

Thanks!
can you show us some pictures after conversion :)

FlatHeadSix
Moderator
Posts: 2682
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 5:14 pm
Bikes: '31 VL, '34 VD, '45 WLA, '47 WL, '49 FL, '51 WL, '58 ST (Hummer), '71 GE (Servi)
Location: Lonoke, Arkansas

Re: Converting handshift to footshift

#4

Post by FlatHeadSix » Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:01 am

LittleAl wrote:2) can I use the same clutch lever? I seem to remember not using the one installed on the bike & using a different one when I switched over to handshift?
Al,
The clutch and brake levers are identical, when they went to foot shift in '52 they flipped the lever upside down and mounted it on the right side as a front brake lever.
mike

panhead1953ohv
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:49 am
Bikes: 1953 FL
1972 XLCH
Location: twinsburg

Re: Converting handshift to footshift

#5

Post by panhead1953ohv » Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:42 am

just did a hand shift to foot shift on my 53, did not have to pull the trans to switch lids,if you know what your doing and take your time any one can do it but you need the right tools to set up the new lid.the mouse trap is the hardest part for me.just make sure you have new bearings for the trap and new cable.switch your clutch springs to std style shovelhead the are a light pull for the trap.foot clutch uses heavy duty springs that hold better under a load but are easy to compress with rocker pedal.

LittleAl
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:52 pm
Bikes: 1954 FL Panhead
1976 Sporty
1983 FXRT Shovelhead
2000 FLHT TC
2008 Anniversary Ultra
Location: New York City

Re: Converting handshift to footshift

#6

Post by LittleAl » Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:55 pm

when I said lever I actually meant the clutch arm at the tranny

I will take & post pictures before, during & after the conversion

My shovel has a clutch force only a mother could love, lol so I doubt I'll need to change the springs

the top I'm putting back on came off this tranny a few years ago, I think I'll be ok with the shifter fork adjustment

King
Posts: 373
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 5:05 pm

Re: Converting handshift to footshift

#7

Post by King » Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:37 am

Hi Al

I just did the conversion on my 51 and It all went pretty smoothly. I used all aftermarket stuff (with great trepidation but no problems) for the trap, the foot shifter and brackets, and a stock ratchet top. I removed the tranny and had the shifter set with the spacing tool. I mounted the trap as high as it would go on the down tube as that is where it appears in most illustrations. Getting the trap just right was a bit of a chore as my clutch lever arm would not go back the 41/4” from the ratchet lid as the book specifies and the rod from the trap is set for. But I used a spacer at the end of the rod and it works fine.

Getting it set right is just a lot of dinking around with the trap “overcenter” adjuster screw, clutch spring tension, the clutch lever rod, and the rod from the trap. With the lever out the proper distance from the ratchet housing you should just have about 1/16” of play on the trap rod and thus no “preload” on the throw out bearing.

As I said all is working well but the pull on the clutch handle is pretty heavy cause I have the old springs. My question here is will the later (believe post 68) softer springs work with the 3 and a half plate clutch pack. From what panhead 53 said I believe they will be OK but I’m not certain.

Good luck
King

RUBONE
Moderator
Posts: 4680
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:09 am
Bikes: Multiple H-D, Ducati, BMW, Triumph, BSA,...

Re: Converting handshift to footshift

#8

Post by RUBONE » Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:18 am

King,
If your clutch pull is heavy with a mousetrap it is not from the clutch springs, but from the mousetrap adjustment. When all is right the lever is very easy. Keep working at that adjustment and you will eventually find the sweet spot.
Robbie

Post Reply

Return to “Transmission, Clutch, Belt & Chains”