Trans split in half....Updated W/Pics

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61DuoGlide
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Trans split in half....Updated W/Pics

#1

Post by 61DuoGlide » Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:14 am

Hello all, been enjoying your forum for a while now, and I believe it is time for me to finally post.

I brought home a 61 Duo last week after looking for a relatively clean, somewhat original Pan for the last 6 months. Looked at probably 15 bikes before I pulled the trigger on this one. I am very excited to have found it, and while there are some issues with the bike, and some (quite a few) original parts missing, I am a proud owner.

However, Hit a little snag :shock: last night. Went to the gas station to fill up, and for a little ride. Get up to cruising speed (60mph), and I'm lovin life for about 10 miles. Then POP!! No more power to the wheel. I wasn't too concerned as I clutched it and coasted to the side of the road, I thought, what ever it is, I can fix it. Until I stepped off and saw the trail of oil leading to my current location. :oops: So, evidently, my rear chain broke, came off the sprocket, whatever, and balled up on my trans sprocket, subsequently cracking the transmission case right at the output shaft. Never found my chain. Looked for 20 min.

So, to the point, I have not got the trans out of the frame yet to survey the damage to the internals, but the case is dead. No welding this one up. I know an easy option would be to just throw an aftermarket trans in there, possibly gain a gear or two in the process, and go on, but I was planning on returning the bike to its former original glory. So that leaves me with finding an used, or repro case and stuffing whats good out of mine in it, and buying the rest, or trying to find a good used trans that someone is willing to let go of.

What would YOU do? :)

Also I understand that 61 was a one year speedo drive mechanism. Will that pose its own set of issues?

Thanks a bunch!
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Last edited by 61DuoGlide on Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Hog54
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Re: Trans split in half....

#2

Post by Hog54 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:48 am

I would bring it back to whoever I bought it from and shove it up his you know what.

61DuoGlide
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Re: Trans split in half....

#3

Post by 61DuoGlide » Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:58 am

I really don't blame the previous owner. There was no way he could have known that the chain was gonna break. I looked the chain over twice before I rode it, it looked like it was in good shape. Who knew? :roll:

The previous owner was a 78 year old who had owned the bike for 35 years. I didn't take him to be the dishonest type, but, then again who knows.

The main issue now is that I have trans problem (As in I don't have a trans), and will try to focus on getting that resolved. Suggestions most certainly welcome!

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Re: Trans split in half....

#4

Post by Bigincher » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:11 am

Well, which is it, "trans split in half", or a cracked case?

I think you'd be amazed at the repairs some people can do. Don't give up on the gearbox just yet, no matter how bad it might look. You say the case is 'cracked', and 'no welding up'? Don't give up the ship yet--- cracks can most certainly be welded up, bearing race bores re-machined to proper spec, if needed, and the case cosmetically 'tooled' to look as though nothing has ever happened. Many a transmission has suffered the same damage as yours-- and some much worse-- and have been repaired to like-new.
The trick is to find the right repairman, and here's a couple to start with--- Don at 'Headhog', and Tom at 'Creekside Machine'.
It's not the end of the world, but you've got some work in front of you. If you don't have an HD service manual, GET ONE NOW. You'll need to remove the tranny and completely gut it. If you're not comforable with that, find someone who is.
You'll probably find several parts inside the gearbox that need replacing anyway. If the gears show any pitting or loss of the hardsurfacing, you'll need new gears. Certainly new bushings and seals. So you're really looking at a transmission overhaul, and case repair.
Used transmissions are out there, but start at around a grand with possibly worn out internals. Cases can also be found, but usually have something wrong with them. If your transmission is original to the motorcycle, it would be worth the effort to repair and rebuild it.

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Re: Trans split in half....

#5

Post by 61DuoGlide » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:46 am

Thanks for the reply BI. You could be right. I won't know the total extent of the damage until I get it out and torn down. I'm pretty sure the lid is toast, as I couldn't find all the pieces that broke off when it went. So if all I have to replace is a lid, seals, bearings, and maybe a hard part or two, I'd be real happy! If the case is weld repairable, I might try to find somebody fairly local that is very familiar with aluminum castings to tig it up, and do the machine work myself (If needed).

I do have a Clymers, the 58-68 parts book, and "How to restore you harley", but I do need a manual that goes a little more in-depth on the tranny. I don't feel too intimidated by anything mechanical, as long as prints/drawings/schematics to go off of. (Was a machinist for 10 years, with a 3 year term in engineering.)

Thanks again BI for the input, as well as the contacts! I'll let everybody know what I find when I get the tranny apart.

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Re: Trans split in half....

#6

Post by Bigincher » Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:01 am

You'd be wise to go with a reputable repairman with a good reputation, with the knowledge and experience in making this specific repair, rather than just some guy that's good with a Tig-- that's why I mentioned those two shops. My thoughts, anyway. Do some research, or ask these guys here.
If you ship the part out, use FedEx or the good ol' USPS, they have always been the most reliable for me.
Rebuilding a transmission is not as hard as it sounds, but there are a few tricks. Get yourself an official HD manual; Lonnie at Antique Cycle sells reproductions--- would be the best 70 bucks you'll spend. http://www.antiquecyclesupply.com/serviceManuals.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Or if you want, I've got the '59-'69 HD Service Manual on a CD, I can mail you a copy. PM me if you want, no sweat...

Oh, you should be able to find a new top easy enough--- swap meets are a great place for that kind of thing.


Back to the original issue, slinging a chain. Only one way that could happen, the master link came apart. Always install it with the open end of the lock clip trailing the direction of travel--- and they say to never re-use it; I'm guilty of re-using it, but maybe only a couple times....

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Re: Trans split in half....

#7

Post by Bosheff » Sat Oct 02, 2010 7:51 am

Just because the chain is M.I.A. does not mean it was the culprit that is responsible for yer predicament. A broken internal part can cause the chain to break which could lead one to believe the chain started it all. I'm bettin there will be some internal damage that was not caused by the broken chain, but that may be hard to determine by someone not well versed in H-D transmissions. If you are going to put the case back together, have an experienced pro like one of the two recommended in the above post do it. There are still a bunch of pre 65 cases available out there. That may be a better choice dollars and cents/sense wise....bosheff

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Re: Trans split in half....

#8

Post by 61DuoGlide » Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:15 am

Bosheff wrote:There are still a bunch of pre 65 cases available out there. That may be a better choice dollars and cents/sense wise....bosheff
Thats was another consideration, that somthing else locked up and broke the chain. But thinking of how it happened, there was no jerk or tire lock, or realy anything out of the norm going on except I heard the snap, and loss of power/shift linkage got tight. Engine stayed lit, no drag, ect. So that leads me to belive that the chain was just slung off as BI had mentioned. But I could be wrong, something might have locked up and broke the chain.

As BI mentioned, it would be nice to keep the original case, but I really want whatever I put back in the frame to be 100% sound. Its not right to be paranoid about your case cracking everytime you light the bike.

I have talked to an guy that is fairly local to me that has a complete motor/trans (58 I want to say) with no title that he will part with. The motor is in pieces, but the trans is together. Of course, it would have to be gone through before running. He's looking for all the parts to the motor now(We know how that goes...) If we can strike a deal, that may be the route I go.

Saw a "New" (Repro I'm guesing) case on epay for a few hundred. But shoot, my trashed case may be more serviceable than that one...

Thanks for all the input!

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Re: Trans split in half....

#9

Post by Cotten » Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:54 pm

It was a decade ago,

But I assembled a transmission using a reproduction case from V-TWIN,
and it was an excellent casting, and well-machined!

....Cotten
PS: Your speedo drive can be easily swapped into another case.
If you must replace the countershaft cluster gear, then the original drive worm can be easily pressed off, and then on to your replacement. It should then be trued between centers for run-out upon the cluster: Take great care not to tap upon it close to the end of one of the teeth, as they are quite brittle.

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Re: Trans split in half....

#10

Post by panz4ever » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:47 pm

I have a pdf copy from Supercycle, 1980 that has pics and discusses tranny rebuilds, Decent step-by-step procedure. If ya want email me your address and I will send you a copy on a cd.

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Re: Trans split in half....

#11

Post by JR JOHNSON » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:59 pm

HI, I WOULD REPLACE IT WITH A OEM OLD STUFF, SWAP MEET,I'M SURE SOMEBODY ON THIS SITE COULD HELP YOU FIND A GOOD ONE. I WOULD NOT PUT TIAWNIEEEE STUFF, CHINNNEZZZ CRAP ON YOUR PAN .IT MIGHT BE OK,OR GET YA IN TROBLE PUT IT TOGETHER.DO'NT SUPPORT THEM BASTERDS OVER SEAS. JUST MY OPINNION WITH RESPECT JR BUY U.S.A. !

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Re: Trans split in half....

#12

Post by RUBONE » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:33 pm

That is a straightforward repair on a vintage trans. Cases are not that difficult to find(unless you are anal about date codes!)
Bummer on a new ride but old iron is unpredictable. You'll be fine soon. i say stay away from aftermarket!
Robbie

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Re: Trans split in half....

#13

Post by 61DuoGlide » Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:58 am

JR JOHNSON wrote:DO'NT SUPPORT THEM BASTERDS OVER SEAS. BUY U.S.A. !

I will definatly exhaust all options before I go with a knock off. In fact, I'd like to keep my original case. When I get a little time during the first part of the week I'm going to pull the trans and ascess the extent of the damage. I've got a lead on a another OEM trans, (although not certain if I can get it or not) that I'm thinking of using if mine is too damaged.

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Re: Trans split in half....

#14

Post by Bigincher » Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:05 am

Like I said earlier and Robbie reiterated, that type of damage is pretty common, and not a difficult repair.
Let's see some pics when you get the tranny out, please...!

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Re: Trans split in half....

#15

Post by 61DuoGlide » Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:16 am

Ok BI, I'm surely going to post up some carnage pics when I get the case out!

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