Like a shop manual in video form! Follow along and learn all of the skills you need to get miles and miles of trouble free shifting out of your Harley-Davidson Big Twin Four Speed transmission. In this installment of the Lowbrow Customs instructional video series (for chopper nerds and restoration enthusiasts alike), Harley guru Frank Kaisler uses his 40 years plus experience to guide the viewer through a complete teardown and rebuild of a typical Harley-Davidson 4 speed transmission.
Frank has rebuilt countless transmissions and the novice or experienced rebuilder can follow along with this video. Frank also shows the proper method to reinstall the transmission into the frame with proper shimming and alignment.
This Lowbrow Customs Video Covers:
- Shifter Fork Alignment
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00:11 - Intro
01:11 - Removing the transmission from Frame
05:48 - better view of what the mounts look like on the motorcycle.
06:41 - Transmission Top Disassembly.
06:50 - Remove Speedo drive cable.
07:28 - Remove the Clutch Arm.
08:05 - Remove the Transmission bottom plate.
09:27 - having a 4-speed Transmission work stand helps wonders -
10:40 - Taking the top off.
16:29 - How to check to see how close your shifter forks are to center while in neutral.
18:05 - How to check and measure the countershaft cluster's end play.
19:25 - Removal of the Shifter Shaft and Shifter forks prep.
22:12 - Kicker side Cover Removal.
24:06 - What your Throw out bearing looks like and how it works.
24:37 - How your kicker gear works.
25:34 - Mystery item, check bottom troth of the side cover for metal flakes.
26:29 - Back to removing the shifter shaft.
27:32 - Remove shifter forks, how to tell the differences between them.
29:32 - Countershaft Cluster and Bearing Removal
33:45 - Countershaft inspection and pulling the cluster out.
35:02 - Remove the Mainshaft.
37:28 - Remove 3rd gear snap ring.
39:44 - Main Shaft overview
40:37 - Pull out 3rd and 4th gear.
42:42 - Remove of the Mainshaft seal.
45:32 - Remove speedo drive from case.
46:35 - Remove drain bolt.
48:24 - Cleaning, Inspection, and preparation.
53:09 - Rebuild kit overview.
54:02 - Inspecting countershaft cluster.
54:44 - Disassembly of the Mainshaft Cluster.
01:01:10 - Inspect mainsheet and 4th gear.
01:02:16 - Remove mainshaft bearing from outer casing.
01:03:54 - Transmission Top Inspection
01:06:36 - Ratchet mechanism explanation and how it works and removal.
01:09:45 - Remove neutral indicator switch.
01:10:11 - Remove detent follower.
01:11:53 - Remove the shifter drum.
01:15:31 - Disassembly of the Outer Cover.
01:18:46 - Reassembling the Transmission Top.
01:19:32 - Installing the shifter drum aligning timing marks.
01:20:27 - Install shift drum shaft.
01:21:31 - Install ratchet mechanism.
01:22:24 - Align the correct notch in the shaft and plate.
01:25:22 - Install shifter paws and paw carrier.
01:28:11 - Install cover, cover plate and arm.
01:33:10 - Install neutral indicator switch
01:34:14 - Install detent follower.
01:38:48 - Reassembly of Side Kicker Cover
01:39:10 - Install kicker arm.
01:41:23 - Install clutch release arm.
01:46:00 - Install kick arm gear.
01:50:34 - Reassembly of the mainshaft.
01:56:00 - Installing 4th gear into the box.
02:02:45 - Install the main shaft, 3rd gear, and the shifter clutch into the box. *Snap ring tip*
02:10:10 - Install bearing plate and slinger.
02:13:32 - 4th Gear Seal Install.
02:19:27 - Install main shaft seal.
02:20:43 - Reassembling the Countershaft.
02:23:50 - Prep countershaft.
02:24:34 - Installing the counter shaft cluster and countershaft.
02:35:19 - Installing Mainshaft Starter Gears.
02:40:35 - Install your shifter forks and shifter shaft.
02:44:28 - How to figure out and make sure our shifter forks are centered and adjusting the shifter forks.
02:56:44 - Main Drive Sprocket Installation.
03:03:10 - Reinstalling Transmission Top Cover.
03:03:15 - Reinstall speedo gear.
03:04:20 - Lube Finger Rollers and shifter drum.
03:07:08 - Installing The Side Cover.
03:10:19 - Wooohooo! its back together! Frank's disclaimers.
03:11:43 - Reinstalling The Transmission and Plate Into The Frame.
03:13:35 - Installing the primary cover.
03:16:28 - Put clutch hub on to measure resistants on the main shaft.
03:20:50 - How to make your own shim.
03:25:25 - Explanation of Earlier Transmissions.
03:29:32 - Thats a wrap, finished!
You can read the full transcription here:
Good morning, we're here at Four Aces Cycle in beautiful Pacoima, California, to do a four-speed big twin transmission article. Basically, what we're going to do is take this transmission out, disassemble it, show you what to look for, and then show you how to reassemble it. Some of the procedures that we do are going to have to be done outside this building mainly because it takes a special home for certain aspects, which we'll show and point out to you as we go along. This is a 1965 Panhead that belongs to our friend, Al Keaton, who just got it. The thing had been sitting outside for like 20 years open to the elements. It's nasty, dirty.
He disassembled part of it so we could make easy access to the transmission. Follow along, it's nothing hard, nothing you can't do at the house as far as taking apart and put it back together. Just got to pay attention to the details, and you'll be fine. It'll be leak-free. That's the main thing that people complain about is being leak-free. We're going to get started now.
The first thing you got to do is get this transmission out. You'll notice that the inner primary is already on there but aL had taken it loose for us, so we're just going to pop it off by hand. There's four nuts and bolts that hold the transmission to the inner primary, and there's three bolts that hold the inner primary to the engine. Once they're removed, you can just pull this. It comes off. You notice now how nice and clean it is after sitting outside for 20 years. We're going to buff this up, clean all the gasket surfaces before we put it back.
The transmission is actually held in place to a plate, the plate bolted to the frame. We're going to take out four bolts that hold the plate to the frame, and then there's a fifth mount right underneath the kicker cover so when you would kick the motorcycle over, it would not put any strain on transmission to main shaft. All the bolts are 9/16 hex head. We're going to take the transmission out here. There's four bolts that hold it in like we said. There's two in the front.
The bolts come in from the bottom and thread into the plate. They're 3/8 fine thread. They're nasty because it's been sitting for so long, but the parts cleaner take care of that easy. My associate, Mr. White, has already loosened and removed the other side bolts. The reason we're taking a plate with the transmission is because on the bottom of the transmission as you'll see there's four studs that index it to the plate. There's not enough room here where the top clears the frame for the studs to clear the plate. It's always easier to take the plate with it, and then take the plate off once the transmission is free of the frame. All right, that one's ready to go.
Now, back here underneath the support, you'll see a big bunch of grunge. There's an actual bolt head underneath that. We're going to scrape away some of the grunge so we can get the socket or the wrench on. You can see this stuff just coming off. It's always nice if you've got to run a motorcycle to clean it real well before you attempt this. As you can see, this thing hasn't run for a number of years. We should be able to get in there now. I don't think that thing has ever been out since it was new. This back-left one is a little bit tougher because you can't get a socket right on it because of these reinforcing ribs that index the primary cover. That's out. Take the speedometer drive cable out of the engine.
We got all five bolts out that hold the transmission in the frame. We're going to slide it out this side as a unit. What the hell was that? Like that, you can set down. Now, we're going to transfer this to the bench. We got transmission out, now I can show you the front mount for the plate. Now, this is a through-hole for a 3/8 bolt, 3/8 fine thread that threads into the transmission mounting plate. The rear mounts are welded to the frame, and they're drilled 3/8 fine thread and welded right to the frame. That locates the transmission mounting plate. Over here is a fifth mount. You'll notice that it has a groove in there and that's also a 3/8 bolt that goes up into the transmission.
It's slotted like this so you could get some adjustment of the transmission on the plate back and forth till your primary cover fits on just the way it should, or if you're running a belt drive, you can just put the belt drive on and adjust the transmission back to get the proper belt tension for your application. You can notice it's nice and grungy that we'll have this all cleaned up before we put it back in. It's perfect time to clean it now when you can get to it. Let's move on to the transmission in the vise on the bench.
All right, we have the four-speed up here on the bench, it's going to be a lot easier to get apart. First thing we're going to do is take off the speedometer drive cable here that screws onto the drive. Of course, this is just as gummy as everything else. You'll notice it's got a little square drive in the end of the cable. The other end routes its way up to the dashboard and drives the speedometer. We'll set that aside for Wes to clean. Next thing we'll do is take off the clutch arm, just undo the washer and nut. It's got a square drive in here so this arm should just-- This is good. You notice the shaft comes with it. That's not good. The shaft has another square drive down here that has the actuating arm that pushes on the throw out bearing. I will show you when we get to side cover off. We'll have to fix that.
Next thing to do is get the plate off the bottom of the transmission. Boy, that looks good too. There's four 3/8 nuts and washers that hold this plate on. You'll notice over here is the fifth mount right here. The studs locate the transmission to the plate and this will allow this to slide back and forth on the frame to get your adjustment. It's been that way since 36 but since the 65 has the ears to mount the inner primary cover. 36 to 63 I believe or 64, they didn't have the inner primary cover that was solid that mounted the transmission solidly to the engine. You can see that hasn't been off there for a while, just full of junk. That's got to be a good quarter inch of solid mum. Another job for Wes.
To make it easier for us to disassemble it, we're going to take the transmission and put it on this plate. I better show you that plate first. This is a replica of a transmission mounting plate. It's made by Jim's Machine up in Camarillo, California. It comes with this little piece of angle iron on it that would clamp it in vise. I put this piece of metal I've had for years on it so I could grip it differently in the vise. I could rip it like this, I could turn it this way any which way I wanted to make it easier on me.
A plate like this can be made out of quarter-inch flat plate just take your transmission mounting plate, lay it on top trace it, drill some holes and you're good. The transmission goes on like that and we'll take a couple of nuts and just put them back on so it'll locate it and keep it from falling over. Since we got the transmission mounted in the plate on the bench that was pretty solid you can move it around, we're going to take the top off.
The tops held on by 10 countersunk flathead Allen bolts, of which accumulate dirt and grease. Sometimes it'll keep your allen wrench from seeing all the way in the socket. I'd like to go through and clean them with a pointed tip to get any kind of dirt out of it; like that. You'll notice this one screw here is a little bit taller and it's got a straight screwdriver slot in it. That is the breather bolt. There's a hole that comes up to the bottom which we'll show you and that's how the transmission breathes because as the transmission gears spin in the oil, it'll create a little bit of froth and during the wintertime when it's cold your condensate will accumulate in the transmission but as you ride it down a freeway at a 60 miles an hour, that condensation will actually turn to steam and leave the transmission via that vent hole.
I'm going to protect the cameras here. I just take a little bit of break clean with a straw and go in. [sprays] These are two, they're working. Every one of these screws is the same length except for these. These are longer because it has to go down through this part of the ratchet top. Damn. May have to resort to the other one. I don't think this thing's ever been apart to be truthful. These are quarter 24 threads.
While we were away for that commercial break I went through and loosened all the bolts to make it a little bit easier and we don't have to take forever take them out. [loosening bolts] One of the things when we get around to inspecting this we're going to look for stripped thread holes. Since these are quarter-24 it would require a different set of helicoils, but this being what it is, I don't think it's ever been a part. I don't think there's going to be any strip bolt threads but we'll find out.
We've removed all the screws except for these two on the top, but here's the advanced screw I wanted to show you. You can see the air would escape up through here and then through this side, little side port here. That always goes closest to this dowel pin. There's two dowel pins locate the top to the case. It always goes to the closest one on the kicker side. Now, I will loosen these long screws up.
You can see how they're different and you can see how the dirt and stuff just tacks them. Actually if you don't scrape it out you can strip the Allens off before you can get a good bite on them. That's all 10 screws. Now we're going to take the top off, we're going to have to use the persuader. The persuader would be used over here. I'm going to need a piece of wood. Well, I could-- a brass drift here. I don't know if you can see it, I'll swing it around. What I'm doing is I'm putting the brass drift here and right here on these shoulders to tap it loose. You can see we've already broken loose a little bit there.
One thing you don't want to do is you don't want to pry on this top. Maybe not. Right at this dowel pin. That's what it looks like inside, only messy. What I like to do is-- it's in neutral. This is your neutral indicator-- not indicator. This is a detent that allows the drum the index in each gear and this neutral indicator light but when the trends of shifter forks are between gears you know it in neutral. What I'll do is I'll put this back on just lightly and what that does in a position the shifter forks where it should be with the top in neutral. Then you take this and roll it off, nice and easy. That'll let you know what it looks like inside.
I can see here with the help of my flashlight, this is your 3/4 shifter fork, third gear here, fourth gear here. This shifter fork should be centered between the two gears and the shifter fork looks perfect here. This is your first second shifter fork, that's your first gear, this is your second gear and you look down here and there's a dog gauge it. Since we rolled that transmission top off it gives you the position of this shifter clutch between first and second.
It should be centered. If we look down in here, that's really close to first gear. See how it just moves back and forth, but it was almost touching first gear. When we reassemble, we're going to move this shifter fork over to the second gear side maybe 10,000, 15,000 to make sure it's centered. Another thing we got to pay attention to is the countershaft cluster back and forth. Can you hear that noise? What we're going to do, that's dictated that end play by a thrust washer that's on the end of the countershaft cluster between first gear in the case. I always like to measure that before I take anything apart to see what kind of play came with it.
Even though there's oil in there and you always set your end plays up dry, that end play should be between 7,000 and 12,000. I'll take a 12,000 fuel gauge and it goes right in. I'd have to adjust that, not much just a few thousands. Let's go back to 7,000, like that. That goes in nice. We're ready to take the rest of the-- the shifter fork come out next and then we'll take the side cover off. To take the shifter forks out, we have to take this sprocket off because the shifter fork shaft comes out to the left side of the transmission and the sprocket is usually in a way. To take the shifter shaft out, there's a little set screw that we have to uncover, right there.
While we were away, we had to give it a little heat around this set screw to get it loose without messing everything up. We almost set ourselves on fire; you missed that part. Try not to do that set screw comes out you can see that has a little dowel on it and I'll show you where that fits in the shifter fork. Like I said, we only put this on before by hand to show you. There's a hole in this side of the case that you would take a probe and push the shifter fork shaft out of the side. It's been in there enough that I don't think that wants to move readily.
Like I said before, we're going to have to remove the transmission sprocket so the shifter fork shaft will come out the left side of the case. What I have here is a sprocket shaft socket. This one was made by JIMS Machine, Camarillo. It's the correct size for your lock nut and it's left-hand thread. You would turn it clockwise to remove it. One of the features of this socket is it has a half inch drive so you can use an impact gun if you have to but just a regular ratchet would do fine. Then to make it easier you would lock since both your shifter forks move back and forth you could lock it in two gears. Here, it's in neutral.
You put it first and fourth, and all of a sudden it locks up. That would give you the attention you need to remove it with a ratchet. We're going to take the sprocket off the fourth gear and set that aside. There's a lot of recent stuff over here where your shifter fork shaft would be coming out. Since the shifter fork shaft is so tough to get out in this configuration because of all the grease and stuff, we're going to take the kicker cover off and there's a little hole in the case that we can put a dowel pin in and push the shifter fork shaft out the side. Now we're going to turn our attention to the kicker cover.
We got most of the hardware removed to take the kicker cover off. You notice that, Al, the owner already remove the kicker spring. It's usually a good idea to disengage the kicker spring before you take the cover off because it's spring loaded. As you pull it off, it'll rotate it around probably catch you on the hand and make it hurt, which we don't like. Like I said, you'll notice this when the stud came out with it. When we go back to put it back together, we'll put green lock tight on the stud and put it in before we put the kicker cover on.
One more. One of the problems usually running two on a kicker cover if it's hard to get off is if the bike ever went down any time in the past, it may have bent one of these studs, and that way you just have to walk yourself around without damaging the gasket surface, which we'll address anyhow, and then a kick recover it should pull right off like this. Here's your throwout bearing. See it has a notch. The notch is actually weighted by this little arm. This is what the shaft of clutch alarm came out of. It would come down in fitting that square and as you work the clutch back and forth, it would press on this rail bearing to disengage or engage the clutch.
That looks good, except it's got a little bit of rust on it. This is your kicker gear. As the kick starter pedal is depressed, it would turn around like this and you can see that the teeth and these teeth would mesh and allow this to come out and turn the main shaft turning the clutch, turn the primary, starting the engine. When you release the kicker pedal and it comes back around to this stop, this stop in here, there's a plate back here. That plate will push in your floating ratchet gear.
Let's stick my fingers in here. Pressing it back like that so it doesn't engage the main shaft, when the pedal comes around and that plate disappears the ratchet gear comes out engages the main shaft and the pedal swings down. It'll turn the transmission main shaft turning the primary starting. This looks good. It's some kind of dowel pin that on were working from, we'll have to investigate that. It was laying right here in the trough. When I get to this point, I always like to take my finger, drag it through here and see if it's got any metal debris. This has got a little. A little silver is not bad.
If you cut your finger on a flake, a metal flake, then you have a problem. This isn't bad at all. It's pretty normal for about 25 years of wear. You can see if you get in close, now that silver colors there. At least it's not milky like a milk shake, if that was the case you would have water in here which would break down the oil and start to rust the hell out of everything.
Now here is that hole I was talking about previously that goes right across to the shifter fork shaft. We're going to take a little pushpin put it in there and we can tap the shifter fork shaft out. We'll take one of my little Allen drivers. Somebody's going to have a fit about that, but you can see the shifter fork shaft coming out. A little more persuading with a swing press. Shifter fork shaft is out. What will be a second? Pull that out you can see that the shifter forks dropped down. This is your 1-2 shifter fork. Look at this, it will be where it moves the dog back and forth. That's in engagement area which is in damn good condition. It's got a little bit of wear here but not bad, but you notice how this one looks; it's got like a shoulder that comes back here. It's different from this one. You'll be able to see the difference.
We set that down and pull this one and usually what you have to do to get this one out because the speedometer drive gear is right across from where the shifter fork lives. Usually got to engage the shifter fork clutch into a gear to pull this straight out. You'll notice this one has the same wear patterns which is good condition, but you notice the shifter fork is not as thick up here. Let me get the other one. You can see the difference. You also see the difference here. The 1-2 has got a bigger shift area on the clutch, the shifter clutch, than the 3-4 one. Got them there, take that the rest of the way out, look at it.
Checking for shafts, I take my fingernail and just drag it along and if it catches on anything, you may be able to emery paper it out or you may have to replace it. You can also see here this little notch, that notch is indexed into this hole where the set screw is. That little dowel pin on the set screw will go fit into that notch to keep the shifter fork shaft from walking itself out. Later models used like Eve ring here, but basically the transmission is the same throughout his life until they went to a different top which is only for a few years.
Okay. we've got all the covers off now it's time to take gears out. First thing we'll do is we're going to remove the countershaft gear cluster. That's held in place by a lock nut or a nut and a locking plate on the right side under the kicker cover. It has a little tab you bend over once you get a torque to spec. Just take a little chisel, bend that locking tab up out of the way, and check to see if-- the locking tab has three little tabs so you can always get a flat, but to lock it in. Sometimes people like to bend up more than one flat, but it's not necessary. The nut is a 7/8 of which we have a socket right here. I think these only things good like 30 or 40 foot pounds, and of course I'm wrong. I need a little bit longer. There we go.
There's our nut and here's a little locking plate here which will just-- now you notice the locking plate has a flat; that flat indexes on the countershaft. It also has a flat on this locking plate here. See how it's flat and it rubs against the main bearing plate. That keeps that from turning so you don't have to worry about your shaft turning inside the case. Now just give it a little love tap. Here's that plate that I was talking about. It's got the same type of flat in there. Now the countershaft itself and the gear cluster right on needle bearings, there's a set of needle bearings, roller bearings in each end of the countershaft. When I take them apart and they come apart, I'd like to keep each set of bearings on the respective end. Another thing people are going to give me hell about. Why is this thing so tough?
After using the wrong tools to push the countershaft out, we got it. You'll probably be able to see here where it rusted inside the countershaft cluster, but where the bearings ride on this end here and this on here, looks pretty good. We'll know better once we put a 3M paddle in and clean it up, but now we can pull the countershaft cluster out. Usually, it come straight out like that. You'll see here are the needle bearings that support the first gear end. There's also needle bearings to support the other end. The speedometer drive in, you see there's a little bit of rust on this washer that captures so the needle bearing won't come out past the case.
What we'll do is we're going to carefully set this over here because I like to keep the bearings on the respective ends until I get a chance to inspect them. All right. The countershaft is out. Look inside here to see if there's anything strange floating around. There's nothing. Now we're going to take the main shaft out to do that first, we're going to remove the four screws that hold the main shaft ball bearing in place.
Since we went away, we saw that one of the screws has been mashed over and slightly bent and that's where that dowel pin came from where actually that's what did the damage was the dowel pin. The dowel pin came out of the backside of the kick starter gear that fits into the cover. This is an oil slinger and this is held on to the plate with one of the screws. Oil as it spins would hit this little trough and feed down on top of the throwout bearing to keep the throwout bearing lubricated.
Going for that fourth screw that was damaged by the dowel pin coming out of the back of the kick starter gear; let me get this thing out of here and you'll be able to see more better. That's good English. We actually had to take a chisel and open up the screwdriver slot, but if you look at it this way, you can see how it's bent over and it was actually mashed a couple of times by that dowel pin coming out. We'll replace that. All right, theoretically now, this is all loose; we can move the main shaft cluster over so we get to the third gear snap ring which is located inside here. What we're going to do is we're going to tap this. There we go. Do you see how the plates moved out?
Inside here, let me turn this around real quick for you guys to see better. We turn transmission case around, move the main shaft out. Now we're going to take this third gear snap ring off though allows that remove the main shaft and third gear and the shifter clutch. The third gear is held on by a snap ring to fits in a groove on the main shaft which you pry out with screwdrivers as best you can. We got ours started as you can see here I'm moving it with the screwdriver blade and you're going to rotate it, make sure it's completely out of the groove and slide it all the way as far as you can towards fourth gear.
Then you can pull the main shaft out, finish taking the snap ring off as you can see. Then third gear slides over and off the main shaft. Now if you can see down inside, here's that casting I was talking about earlier. If this was a three-speed and reverse third or the reverse gear would go in here, but that cast piece prevents us from taking the main shaft with their gear out of it completely but we can now pull, and put this down. Sometimes this countershaft gets a little stuck, the cluster gear. What was holding us up was the first gear thrust washer had fallen down into a little trough where the drain bolt is. We take that out.
Now this thing's going to come right out like it was made to. You're going to leave-- of course, I didn't mean to. Better get the get third gear off. Here we are, like that. The main shaft will come out as a unit and look like that. This is where your third gear rides, then there's a washer and here's a groove for a snap ring that holds third gear on the main shaft. This is your cluster gear, first, second. Your main shaft ball bearing support plate, floating kicker gear. This is your fixed kicker gear that actually will engage when the main shaft turns. This surface here, from here to here, goes through fourth gear. There's a bushing inside that. You only want a thou in a half and a half clearance here. You look for any kind of ridges. Drag your fingernail across it and check it. We'll go farther once we get everything cleaned up.
You can take this, set it aside, and we pull out third gear. The third gear washer that indexes on the main shaft. Here's the snap ring. We're going to throw the snap ring away. You always replace the snap ring. There's no reason to take a chance on a dollar part.
All right now we're looking inside, there's nothing left except for fourth gear right here. That simply slides in and out of the race. It has 44 roller needle bearings that roll around on this. You want to make sure you get every one of them out. We're going to take this and set it aside and keep those bearings separate from the countershaft bearings. What makes this easy, you can actually see, I don't know if you can get in there and see the roller bearings are still inside the race there. We'll just take them out and put them over here. Now the rest fell down inside here, so we'll just take a little magnetic screwdriver or we take this magnet that Wes has thoughtfully provided for us and just drag it around inside here.
We're going to remove the main seal that seals fourth gear to the case. This seal is the greatest source of leakage on a big twin 4-speed transmission. You can see here how the metal is shiny at the bottom. More oil has been coming out and just taking the grease off, we're keeping the grease away. This is your seal race. This piece of metal here. There's a notch in that race. That little L-key would index this race to the fourth gear so the race would turn inside the seal. A lot of people don't pay attention to that L-key. This one was missing. What happens is fourth gear will spin inside the race and just not seal anything. The seal lip is on the inside. This would turn with the fourth gear and contain the oil into the box.
Let's pop that seal out by just pushing on this. You see the seal starting to pull out or push out. There it comes. Here you can see the inner seal race. You see these line, that's where your roller bearings contain inside the race itself here. There's a little piece of cork gasket that helps seal the oil coming out so it won't go around the outside of the seal itself. Now we want to wipe- we'll give it a closer inspection. The one thing you want to look for is any kind of pitting on your race where the bearings ride. You also notice on fourth gear, the bearing is right here. A lot of times this will pit and you want to make sure there's no pitting, no scarring. Like I said, anything you feel with your fingernail is bad. This looks like in great condition.
Once we get this all cleaned up, we'll fit fourth gear on the main shaft and feel what the bushing's like. The last thing we got to get off the case-- well, two things. I'm sorry. Is the speedometer drive which is held on by one screw and mucho dirt. Wow, ok we'll try this. This drives off the speedometer drive gear on the countershaft cluster.
All right. That's about it, except for, we're going to turn it over and take the drain bolt out of the little trough ender. What we need is our little drain pan. I'm going to step out here for a second. Here's your drain bolt, hidden behind. There we go. Which you want to inspect is this boss here to make sure it was nice and flat and no ridges. Let's just dry. The bolt itself or drain bolt has a little shoulder on it which will show better when we go to put it in. It would have a little copper washer with a shoulder that indexes in it. The shoulder would seal against the bolt surface and this drain surface. Well, it's easier to show once we get everything cleaned up. Now let's do the parts cleaning. We'll clean everything up then we'll inspect everything. Look at the bearing surfaces, look at fits and all that stuff and get our gaskets and new seals ready to go, put it back together. Easy.
We had our wash boy wash all the mung off our case. Now we're going to prep it to make sure that it doesn't leak when we put it back together. The first thing I'd like to do I'd like to take a stone like this, put a little 3-in-1 oil in it and rub it along the gasket surface. This will remove any burrs that will hold the gasket off the gasket surface allowing the leak. After that, I take a handheld drill with a little countersink and just chamfer the top of the bolt holes so there's no little risers holding the gasket surface up. Just like that. I also go inside here where the bearing plate is held in and do the same thing.
Ok, Get that far down and then take the stone again and start working on the side cover gasket surface. All I'm doing is just rubbing it lightly keeping in contact with both gas size of gasket surface so there's no burrs. Turn the case over. Look at all the mounting studs. These are interference fit stud to keep the oil on the inside. When I mean interference fit they drill and tap the case 3-8/16. The studs have a 3-8/16 thread on it, but it's a little bit off so as you screw the stud in it actually seals itself into the case. They make studs in different sizes, 7/16s, we have to drill one out or half-inch.
Another thing to look at is your fifth bolt boss. A lot of times if a transmission was loose in the frame, the vibration would cause this to have a little raised edge. You would take the stone and just rub that until you get a nice finish crosshair. Same thing with your oil drain bolt. Now, here's where we have a problem. Part of the problem getting the oil drain bubbled out was the threads are stripped. It's got a little bit of material knocked out so you'll never get a good seal. You'll never get the bolt tight. We're going to have to helicoil that which we'll do at home and bring it back tomorrow. That's a half 13 thread.
Then we go here. Look at the studs. This mounts the inner primary and this boss here fits inside so it locates everything nice and tight. Well, there's always burrs here. We took a little flat file, took all the burrs off, make sure everything's nice. You look up here you can see a ridge or a groove actually that was ground into the case. That is from the rear-drive chain, as it got loose the chain would flop up and down and come down and rub the top of the case.
Also when we put the primary cover, I'll show you the bottom where that thing flopped around right in here. This is not bad. I wouldn't even bother welding that up unless you're building a show bike. You come over here, take the stone and rub your surface right there for your speedometer drive. Again, while you're in the bottom, would look for any kind of burrs along here because this is where the transmission plate sets.
We also inspect every single hole to make sure it's got threads. If not, you have to helicoil. This one's great. There's not a missed thread in there. You also want to look inside at our countershaft bushings. The countershaft comes through here and indexes off this side. See if it's scarred or worn down excessively. You look at your main case race. You look for pitting or scoring or anything like this. This is in great condition.
As far as I'm concerned, another cleaning and fixing that drain bolt hole and we're ready to go. We have to clean, we'll show you tomorrow or show you if we put the helicoilin what it looks like. The drain bolt itself is in good shape it was missing the little washer that we have in our kit, and while we're at it, we might as well show the kit we have. We got it from Jim's Machine up in Camarillo, California and it's a really deluxe kit. It comes in a box with damn near every kind of lock tab, bushing, seal that you need to rebuild your transmission all the way up to like 84, I think.
It has bushings, first gear, third gear, kick starter gear, fourth gear, all the little lock rings and stuff that we should use as we go along. Complete set of gaskets and seals for both the kick starter gear, the top cover, the ratchet top, this main seal, the seal for a clutch hub nut. Even includes a new countershaft. We're good to go. We've already cleaned, actually our wash boy did. Our countershaft cluster. We inspected the inner race of this and it's fine, nice and clean of those pits or anything else. Everything looks good. This is well within tolerance. That's ready to go back in.
Next thing we got to do is take apart the cluster gear on the main shaft because we're going to replace the ball bearing that rides inside the case. To do that, we clamped it in a vise and we have to pull the ratchet gear off. That takes a special puller that I have a Harley-Davidson puller for years, but you can use a snap one bearing separator puller to do the same job. You don't have to run out and get the factory tool. We'll show you that in a second.
Okay, we got the main shaft clamped in a set of aluminum vise jaws to prevent it from being marred. What we're going to do is take off the main shaft nut. It has a little locking tab. What you do is you put it on then you fold the tab up to hold the nut in place. A little chisel action like that. A 7/8 socket. The nut comes off, little locking tab comes off. Now the fixed ratchet gear is keyed to the main shaft. Usually, you got to have a special puller to do that of which I have, but you can get away with using a bearing separator like a snap-on or something where you would press this down put the bearing separator in here like a clamshell. pull it up together and off.
The Harley part comes with this little center that fits here in your main shaft so you don't mess up your main shaft when you use the puller. The puller looks like this. It has two sides, one with a little flat groove than the other with these two little pins together like that. The flat groove is for pulling off the ratchet gear. The pins are pulling off believe it or not generator drive gears. What you do is you get them together like this. You take the sleeve. Tap the sleeve down past your groove here. Take the T-handle, slip it inside to engages the grooves, and make sure it centers on your main shaft, like that. Of course I just missed it. That means it's loose. The ratchet gear is inside here and what we'll do is just tap this like that. Take the sleeve off. Two key ways, two keys. You'll notice this has a little ball bearing in the circumference. That's where your throuwout bearing will index on that and lock in so it spins the same as the main shaft.
To get the keys out you just pry them out like that. They're square keys, not woodruff. Then your floating ratchet gear comes right off. What we're going to do is wipe the oil out of here. Take your tension spring off, wipe this down, put this back on and feel it. See how much it wobbles. If it wobbles excessively you can replace the bushing in here. This thing is in great shape.
Your bearing retainer plate comes off and here's your ball bearing. It actually make a little bit of noise. I always like to replace these, it's cheap. They're only like 20 bucks for that bearing. To get that off we have to undo this nut, undo the lock tab. This is a 1-3/8 deep socket. It fits well over the main shaft. Actually 1-3/8 is the same as top fork tube nuts, but we won't delve into that. Nice and tight. That's like 40-foot pounds. What we're going to do is get another bite. No problem. That comes off. Locking tab comes off and the locking tabs got three little pieces of bent steel that actually index into the splines of the main shaft. When you get it on there, where the flat of the nut lines up, you just bend it up. Now, to get the bearing off and the cluster gear. Okay, the bearing comes off. You reuse the housing but not the bearing. The cluster gear will come off here, like that. Now, you can inspect the main shaft for any wear. Since we have fourth gear out, and fourth gear bushing, it would slide on here like that and you would take it and see how much it wiggles. This one's got maybe a couple of thousands. We have looked at a bug.
I think the specs is thousand a half. We can always push the new one in we get it, but this one looks very nice. There's no grooves, no scarring, no rust. Here where third gear rod, there's no galling or pitting of any kind. Same way here with where the floating kickstarter gear goes, so it looks good. The only thing else I'd like to do with this is I like to put it in a lathe between centers and spin in to make sure it's not bent at all, but looking at the condition of the bike, I don't think so. I don't think look it's been down but what we'll do is we'll probably put it in a drill motor before we put it back together and just spin it slow and look at it.
Any kind of bent action will show up very quickly. That's it. We got everything apart. The bearing comes out of this. Since we're not using, we beat right on it. Just like that. We'll reuse this. This goes away you can hear how dry it is in there. Which means it'll probably this a while longer but why you got it apart, it never hurts to put one in. That bearing doesn't come in your rebuild kit. You would have to go take it to a bearing shop and have it just cross-reference. I just bought a new one for this job. It was I think $16 for that bearing at a bearing place. With the main shaft on, we're going to move on to the top and take that apart and clean it, inspect it and look at it.
We got the top. I'd like to do this in a vise with the safety jaws. Just because it's easy and when you start trying to break hardware loose, it's nice and stable. First thing is take the cover off. Boy, he's too tight. Then the shift arm. Shift arm's got the three screws at two dowel pins that locate it. The cover is the same way. Inside here is a loom housing. It actually houses the ratchet mechanism with six screws. Five of the screws, thread right into the top itself. This six screw has a nut on the end to hold it tight. You'll notice that the sixth screw is a little shorter because it doesn't thread into the case. It just goes past the plate and then nut retains it. All right, the aluminum housing should pop right off, with a little persuasion, like that. It has a gasket. Set that aside.
Here's your ratchet mechanism. In here is two springs. In here is your pause that actually catch the shaft to turn your drum and see how it all comes back. All right, that's first gear. Halfway through is neutral, second, third, fourth. You want to take the ratchet part off and there's two springs there, so you have to be careful. You just go in here and kind of worry it up with this screwdriver. Here's your pause that catch the grooves in the shaft that rotate the drum. Here is your springs for the return action that push on this little square peg. As you turn it one way, this spring will compress. This will come up and catch it with its little edges right there and rotate the drum. Then we turn it back to a neutral position, so you can go either up or down in a gear train.
There's one screw that locates the plate to the top, but you notice right here where these grooves are, there's a little groove in the plate that you line up with one of the grooves in the shaft to make sure everything is centered. You can be in any gear except for neutral to do that. The one screw is right here. It holds this plate to the top. Plate comes right off. Our gasket back here. A lot of times I've seen these springs-- well, this one looks like it's broken here. See how the coils real tight together? Let's pop it out and look. Yes, see that? It's always cheap insurance to put these springs in when you rebuild one of these. The plate comes off, you just peel the gasket right off, and that's your ratchet mechanism.
Now, since we've got that all apart, I always like to take this and fit this back on here and make sure the bushing is nice and tight which it is on this. Next thing we do is take out our looseness is you're a neutral indicator switch. When there's a little nub on the gear, then when it pushes on the ball, makes contact with the two electrodes indicating the neutral light on. This is your cam follower that actually puts tension on your drum to hold it in gear. That has a little lock ring. Inside here is a little barrel with a V follower. Given the condition of this follower and these ramps in here will help make a bug transmission shift good or shift bad if it's not moving easily. I'm going to put this back together, we'll take a little 3M pad and polish this off and polish the end of this follower to make it smoother.
There's the follower, which is spring-loaded. I like to polish this end off here. You see where shiny where it was rubbing. You polish this off, it'll follow in those ramps real nice. My thing comes off. If we have to, we'll take the drum out. The drum has got a shaft, and it's held in place with this set screw. Just like the shifter fork shaft. Here's the pin. Same as shifter fork shaft pin. There is no through-hole to push the shaft out. On the other end of this, it's got a little groove you can catch and pry it loose. I've seen guys who had these apart. What they'll do is, once the shaft is out, they'll drill a hole through there so they can pop them out easier.
Fork shaft comes out. I mean, shifter drum shaft. It has a little O-ring that would go in here to prevent oil from seeping out of that. Then you just wiggle this out. It's a nice tight fit. There's hardly any end play. Like that. What you want to look at is any kind of galling on the grooves. These grooves are where the shifter fork hats fit in, and they'll move the shifter forks back and forth as this rotates. This was at a great condition. You'll notice that this one tooth when the drum has a little notch in it, that's your alignment mark with the gear it's on the end of the shift, which we'll take out next.
The last piece to come out of the top is the shaft. Held in place by this cotter pin. We use our handy dandy cotter pin puller. Set that aside. Like that. Now you've just got to get the shaft out, which is just like a little press fit. A lot press fit. That is one is on awful crusting there. What we'll do is, we're going to let that soak, and pop it out tomorrow when we go to reassemble. You can see how we're going to have to go through and dress all this with the stone and countersink, clean all this. We'll stone this and check all the threaded holes when we can put it back together.
The last thing we're going to do is take the starter gear out of the starter end cover. We already took the clutch with these rod out. Came out with a clutch rod. Now we're just going to clamp the square of the kicker shaft in the vise. This has another lock tab. Right here. Here's the tab we're bending down, the other one's okay. We're just going to tap on this. This is the same type of lock in the counter shaft. It's got the circle with a little flat in it. Here comes right off. The shaft is there. Remember we had that dowel pin that was broken off when we took it apart? It should have been right there. I'll have to replace that.
The shaft just pulls right out. Like that. We're going to clean that. Then there's two bushings in that kicker cover. They look pretty good with little rust in there. In-between the bushings is a O-ring. That's to help the oil stay inside, keep from leaking out. These things wear out usually really quick, so when we get it all cleaned up, we'll put it back in without the O-ring, and check the fit. Right now, I can-- man, it goes in nice and smooth with little or no wear. That's it. Everything else now is just cleaning, and we put it back together.
Today, we're going to start off a reassembling the ratchet top. We've already taken the stone to all the gasket surfaces, checked all the threads, and marked the time and mark when this shifter shaft gear. First thing we do is put the drum back in the top after we've marked the alignment gear on the top. We just worry this inside. Remember how much fun it was to take it out. It's not that tricky to align these marks. Just got to do it a couple times to make sure. You notice that we've made a mark on the drum that comes out to here. Then the marks on the shifter camera marked in yellow here.
As we rotate the drum, we want to make sure that that tooth on the drum falls in between the two teeth on the shifter gear. We got the timing marks lined up between the shifter gear and the shifter drum. We put a new O-Ring on the drum shaft and just got it started, so we're going to finish tapping that in, a little grease on the O-Ring so it doesn't tear. We'll do is we'll look down in here, that's where our set screw goes to keep it from the shaft from wandering out. Move your thumb over that, make sure it's not sticking up, make sure the drum rotates nice and evenly, which this one does.
We're going to go back to a bench vise and put the plate on, but first a gasket, then the pawl spring plate that goes on, and our screw and washer. I'll get this started and take it off and show you. The notches, we want to line up. See the notch in the plate? We're going to line with the notch in a shaft, that guarantees that the pawls will catch these grooves where they should be, to shift gears. Remember just double-check that that's tight. From yesterday, we had a broken pawl spring so we're going to replace both of those. That's the broken one there and that's a new one there. What I usually do is will take this and just stick it in the groove here. Don't be surprised if we were doing this that sometimes will pop out and hit you in the head. They don't hurt that bad. That's what they look like, this one. I like to take some white lifting grease, which usually I like to assemble stuff with and I'll just smear some in here like that, that helps lubricate the spring as it goes back and forth from the pawl carrier.
Next is our pawl carrier and the shifter pawls, and these two little springs. Shifter pawls fit inside in the one in here and goes up and down with the spring. Of course, I stuck that in there. You'll notice that on the pawls themselves, there's a groove here, and there's a pin that comes in the backside of the pawl carrier that aligns the pawl so it only moves up in one direction, it doesn't twist. We'll do is take a pawl spring, a little grease on that, little grease on the carrier. See I got them aligned? They're nice and squishy.
Now to install this, I'd like to take it like this between your fingers. Let me wipe my fingers off first. Turn it over, a finger on each pawl, compress it, stick it on like this. Be cautious. You get these started like this and just kind of walk it up. Sometimes it's not that easy. Oh, this one moved that's why. Okay, we got it this time, just hold it in place and you have to get that little-- A-ha. Want to double-check it that it moves. Good. Okay.
Now, we'll put the cover on this. Our wash boy, Mr. Wes, cleaned the surface with a wire wheel, and a gasket. You'll notice the gasket has a little cutout here to match the cutout in the plate, like so, making sure all the holes align. We're going to do a, oh here it is. We stone the surface here so we get a nice tight seal. Put a little grease where it's going to rub a little bit like that.
Now we'll get our little screws, and we had one short one, remember from the bottom hole? This also has a cutout here that matched a cutout in the backing plate, like so. Run them down to until these just kind of touch and just snug them down in a cross pattern. Right there to five screws that screw on to the top. We just got to find our little nut that goes on the bottom here. The ratchet mechanism is done. Our cover with the two gulping holes and the four screws- I mean, three screw holes. The arm. Check it every step of the way. Make sure it's nice and free. This one is. We must have done something right. You get everything nice and centered then you come back and snug them down good. You don't have to lean on these little screws, they're only like a 10, 24-thread and if you lean them too hard you can strip them out and create more fun for yourself. Still works. We have the whole top mechanism pretty much ready to go. Now we're going to put a neutral indicator switch in a little bit of Teflon sealant on the threads like that. Of course, I've lost my adjustable wrench again.
I'll probably have needed this again. Just a little bit snug is good. The other piece we have to put on here is our detent that would hold it in gear, the drumming gear and we have, this is what it looks like. A little end on it. I like to polish this end 3m pad and I like to polish the boar so it doesn't stick. It just so happens then our portable drill we have a 3m drum. We're just going to go over the face of this like that to polish any residue off of it. Take the drum out and we put the follow inside like that. You have a little bit protruding. Take a 3m pad and polish it. You see there's a little bit of rust pitting there. Smoothes it out. Take it and reverse it. You can see the difference between the polished and as is. We can fix that right up. Just like new. Here's our spring, give it a light coating of grease into the fowler. Make sure it nice work some nice and smooth and we have a new lock ring.
Let me pull this out. You can see how the detent is down in here and it rides on these grooves. We polish the grooves a little bit with 3m pad also. Can't get enough leverage on it. The fourth, third, second, neutral, first. Everything works good. Now the tab here lines up. We'll bend that tab up to engage that flat like that and the tops done where you go back on the box.
Tops done. We're going to dress the side cover or kicker cover, it's known. When we took it apart, we measured the bushings inside for the kicker arm and this thing is tight. Only thing we did is we place the O-ring inside that seals the oil from coming out. We're just going to reinstall this in the same bushings, although we did get new bushings in Jim's kit. There's just no reason to use them if there's not a need. What we'll do is we'll clamp this in the vise. A little more grease.
Now you notice this big thick washer that rides on the outside like this and prevents the arm from chewing up the aluminum. This washer has a pretty heavy bevel on the inside. The bevel goes outwards against the kicker arm and that's what we have here. Now we'll just take this. All right. We stuck the arm shaft, the kicker start shaft, in a side cover. The gear goes on next but you'll notice this gets clocked. There's a flat one kicker arm shaft that would go that direction and then your stop, it stops on the inside of the transmission case would go at seven o'clock. That's about seven o'clock there. Before we put the gear on for good, we want to put the clutch release arm in. Of course, this one's be a pain, but it's nice when they fit nice and tight like that. Here's our clutch release arm that goes down through the tower and spins like that. There's a couple of components we have to stick in here first.
A little grease. We have to have our clutch release arm. There's two washers that go on the shaft. One has a larger diameter than the other. What that does, it will send our arm in the middle where it'll fit perfectly with the throwout bearing. We get that in there and get it started. Then we take the washer with a larger diameter and that goes under the release arm. All right. Now it's in there but when I have to wiggle everything around to get the square started, there we are, in the clutch release arm. Now the arm is perfectly centered. When it engages the throwout bearing, it'll push perfectly parallel on your transmission push rod, the clutch push rod.
If you forget that washer, a lot of times this will sag down and put pressure on your throwout bearing. It caused them throwout bearing to wobble and fail prematurely. Also sometimes, they'll let the push rod develop a little divot on the end. They'll keep the clutch push rod from acting like it's supposed to. Next is this washer that goes on the bottom, which acts like a deterrent for the cotter pin that holds everything in place. You may remember when we took this apart, the cotter pin had been missing in action. Now, we straighten that washer out, it doesn't want to fit.
We had to file the internal diameter, the bottom washer, to fit over the shaft. Then we slipped a new cotter pin in. Let me show you this before, you can bend everything over. Here is your clutch arm, clutch actuator, then there's that one flat washer here between the casting and the arm itself that helps keep this maintained right on the main shaft diameter, the centerline. Then there's a small washer that goes here and then a new cotter pin. That washer keeps the cotter pin from rubbing up here and allows it a little bit of movement but not much. Now we just fold that cotter pin over and put the gear back on and this will be done.
Here you can see we folded the cotter pin over, we're going to trim that a little bit. It works nice and free, it's not coming out. Now we're ready for the gear. Like I said, this is the stop, that go stops on the transmission case. Inside the case, there is a little metal plate that is held on by two screws and that's a positive stop so the kick arm will remain in the vertical position when not in use. You notice that there is a cutout here. That cutout is when you put the kick arm on the bolt that holds a kick arm to the shaft that goes through this way, so that has to be vertical. Now the gear, that's at seven o'clock position. A new lock ring from the Jim's kit, and the nut.
You don't see these too many too often. It's a specification manual for a 70-82 Shovelhead. Mainly all it does is list capacities, spec finishes, and torques. It covers all the XL models, FL models, FLT models and it's ranging in chassis engine transmission and electrical. We're going to run back here to the FL transmission. Ok, it tells you all the specs of what it should be, type drive and the torques, the clutch have a 30 to 40. We'll get our torque wrench. I just walk by it of course.
Now we just have to bend and tab over to lock this in place. This looks like a good candidate. Over here, we're going to see and here comes a little tough part. When you get this lock ring down there tight, it presses the tabs against the gear. You got to get something to start to tab up like a sharp screwdriver and I don't want to mess things up. Yes, I do, okay. It started there and move on to our little chisel. Make sure we get good contact. Rotates nice. We're done. The side cover. See how that rotates nice. This is still nice and smooth. Ready to go. Next sub-assembly we're going to do is the main shaft. We'll clean that all up with some 3M, check that it turns nice and straight. What we're going to do is clamp it in the soft jaws like so. The first thing on is our cluster gear that we've inspected and cleaned or actually our cleaning boy did, Wes. It looks really good. Hardly any marks on the gear teeth at all. That goes on first like that and we'll just have to tap that on like that.
Next, that goes on is our ball bearing in it's race. We'd like to replace these things no matter what, like I said before, they're only 15, 20 bucks. Already pre-lubricated nice and sealed both sides. Sometimes they're a nice little tight fit in the race as well. Almost there. You can hear the sound change when we get it seated, more of a ringing noise. Just like that. It goes right on the main shaft. It should go in just like that. We're going to need to have a little socket protection here. Since we're centering the bearing on the shaft, we only want to press on the center of the bearing. Okay, there we are. Next is our lock ring. It has three little tabs to fit down into the splines.
Before I put them on since we're going to have to torque the nut to about 90-foot pounds, I'd like to take and bend these tabs up just a little bit to get started because I've seen many a bearing where the shield has been damaged while somebody tried to stick a screwdriver in it or get the Tang started. I just start them all a little bit like five or six degrees, like that. Now it fits on the main shaft and your main shaft bearing nut, like so. Then this gets torqued down to 110-foot pounds. You really got to lean on this one. One more time just to double-check that. I always want to bend the tab up to catch a flat. It looks like this one's our candidate right here. You're going to be careful just get in there like this. Don't go down, just go up like that. Finish it off with a pair of channel locks. Nice and quiet, just the way we like them. That's done until we put it in the box. We'll put the starter gears on here once the box is together. Next, we're going to put the main shaft fourth gear everything in the box and then prep the countershaft cluster to go in. Give us a couple of minutes, we'll get our stuff together and we'll be right back.
Now we're ready to assemble the main key box. First thing we're going to do is I like to seal the studs, the mounting studs. There's four on the bottom. You can see where they come through the case. Sometimes people get overzealous when they tighten these things up and they'll loosen the studs in the case and that's a source of an oil leak. Early model cases like in the '30s, and '40s, and sometimes into the '50s, the cases are cast with such porous aluminum that we've actually seen oil seep through the aluminum itself, in which case we use Glyptal, which is an armature paint, to seal the hole inside of the case.
On these late models, '60s and stuff, '70s, they use the better compound of alum so you really don't have to. As a precaution, I just like to seal those up. What I use is former gasket from AV Loctite. It's called Aviation tech. It comes with a little brush. I just dab it. Let me get this up there so you can see what's going on. We'll just dab it all around. By the time this thing goes back into service, this will be plenty dry. I'm going to turn this way so I can get the other ones. Again, these are interference-fit threads these studs. The interference fit of the thread is supposed to keep oil from passing through. Not knowing the history of your transmission, you can't really count on that.
Now we're going to install the fourth gear and the bearings. There's 44 roller bearings. We'll stick this over here for now. Pull up my little chair. We've counted out the bearings three times just to make sure we got all 44 here. What goes on first is this thrust washer that the bearings actually ride on. Then we'll slip it into the case. Everybody's got a way to do these bearings that they say is the best. The way it's always worked for me is you smear on some nice, semi-thick, white lithium grease then you stack the bearings on it. It's going to be very frustrating as you're going to see here in a second.
While I'm doing this, I can tell you that the bushing is out here rides on the main shaft and we mark that out and it's well worth inspect like a thousands and a half. If you need to replace that bushing, you just push the bushing out of fourth gear, push a new bushing and it comes in the kit. You have to have it honed to fit that get the proper clearance. One of our friends who does transmissions also-- anybody with a son at home can do that. They usually charge you $15 to $20. Most automotive engine shops have a son and home for when they do wrist pin bushings for car engines.
Also while we were away from camera, we cleaned and inspected every one of these roller bearings, looking for signs of sliding, skidding, marks on them and they're all nice and clean. We must say this is one of the nicest transmissions we've ever had a part. We did have to helecoil the hole for the drain plug. Somebody had stripped that out and then held the drain plug with some JB weld which it's just not the way to go.
If they're much fiddling around with fat fingers we got all 44 bearings lined up on the fourth gear. We put a little bit of grease on the brace inside the case. The way I like to do it is I like to stick fourth gear inside, reach through and center it, like this and watch it as it comes up. You see I missed one. You see where I touched and the bearings fell. We just have to redo that and it be truthful, I'm right-handed. I'm going to swing this around. Let's see here. There we go. You see in there.
Take your fingernail, wipe it around. Wipe any excess grease off to allow you to see if there's a gap in the bearings, which there is not which means we're successful. All right, now we have to be careful with this when we set it down like this, rotate it make sure everything spins nice and nice, see. Now it's time to put the main shaft in. We're not going to put the seal on or seal on the case until we get the main shaft on because I got this super-duper tool from Jim's Machine that allows you to press it in nice and even so you don't waste one. Now we'll get the main shaft and what we're going to need is to start this in like this but inside we're going to have to put third gear and the shifter clutch. We have third gear, a little bit of white grease. We go in first. Let's get this around.
Then we're going to put the thrust washer in, a little grease. Step inside from the camera for a second. Then the snap ring new from the Jim's kit and then the three, four shifter clutch. Now this one goes in one way, you can see here how its marked high gear, that goes against forth. I'm going to step in front of camera again get all this stuff started in there, like that. Now reach around like this. Okay, you can start. Third gear slides on. Thrust washer and thrust washer has two little tangs want to fit on the splines. Sometimes you just got to worry that on, like that.
Now, I got room to move around in here. You want to get your snap ring started. You want to find out where the break is in it and start it easy you don't want to deform it too much that'll reduce its holding capacity in the groove. There we are. We're actually worried the snap ring up onto the main shaft which I'm pointing to right here. That's going to fit in a groove once they get the main shaft in farther, so we go that way like that an easy way to seat that snap ring is to take and get your shifter clutch started.
Now wants it'll be a pain on that because the shifter clutch is blind also. There we go. You see how we started and we have the snap ring right here. All I could is tap the main shaft assembly in, center the ball bearing carrier in the hole and we'll just gently tap it in place. We use the shifter clutch to seat the snap ring. Can you see down in here? You can see the snap ring has seated into the main shaft but you want to double-check it; turn it all the way around make sure the whole snap ring is seated in that groove.
Once that's done, then you want to tap the main shaft all the way in, but first, come over here and look at your fourth gear bearings make sure with the tapping sensation, nothing has walked out. We'll finish seating the main shaft. There we are. Looks good. Now, a little bit more. Now it looks good, the ball bearing raises seated against the case. We'll put the plate in to retain that. We're also coming in here to make sure never our fourth gear bearings came out. They look good too.
Now, what we want to do is retain that bearing plate. Get the screws for that. We got one new screw because the other one was bent when we took it apart. Two, three, four. We'll pull up the chair and do this sitting. Remember too we have to orient this plate so the countershaft lock ring will fit on there against the flat. Right there. We have to make sure we use the slinger. Okay, they're all hand tight but I like to go through and give them a little extra oomph. There's one thing nice about these snap-On screwdrivers, they have a hex right under the handle. I'm going to need some assistance from Mr. Wes to hold the case because usually, I do this in a vise. We are done with that operation. Next operation is we're going to put the main seal on the fourth gear side so give us a couple seconds, we'll get that ready and continue on.
The fourth gear seal has always been a pain to put in but we got a really nice tool from Jim's machine. I've had it for years that makes simple installation of it. First off though, you're going to put a cork gasket in here. That limits how far the seal will go in. It'll force your seal fits inside this recess but here is a seal ring. Actually, this will fit inside here. You always pre-lube any seal you use so it doesn't tear. Since this is the surface hold these ball bearings in place, we will put a little grease on that. We're going to insert this where the notch is. It usually got little corners or sharp so we stick that through the bearing first so it doesn't cut the rubber and looks like that.
As we said earlier, this seal is one of the greatest sources of leaking on these transmissions. Before we put a new seal in, I like to take a little bit of aviation tack and just smudge it around the seal. That'll fill any irregularities in the case itself like that. Stick that on there we're trying to get that on our fingers. That slid right up the fourth gear like that. For years, you would just start tapping that in with a wrench and hopefully, you got it in straight without ruining. These days we have this tool from Jim's that would thread on the main shaft like this. Then we have this, this is actually a seal installer and remover. To remove it without actually taking the transmission out of the frame we're taking apart, you would put this on over here like this and put three self-tapping screws into the seal. Then you would pull this out and it would pull the seal out with it. Then you would reverse it and put it back in like we're going to do right now.
A couple of thrust washers and a nut. What this is going to do is push that seal nice and straight. That'll automatic stop on it so you know you are in at the proper depth. I know not everybody is going to run right out and buy one of these things because it's maybe $150, or it was when I bought it. If you've got a bunch of friends who ride big twins and you want to share tools, this would be one of the first tools I'd want.
Again, Wes, I'm going to need you to steady this because we don't have it in a mount. Ready? Here's where we are going in. We're already started. okay, my lovely assistant, Mr. White. There we are. Now we're going to put this sprocket that will align one of these splines on fourth gear up with the groove on the seal ring so the seal ring turns inside the seal not just on fourth gear. We have one more seal to put in on late model transmission's there to seal the main shaft to fourth gear. We have another special tool for that. Those are the most notorious messing up.
This is the main shaft seal that seals the main shaft of the fourth gear. These are notorious for not working correctly. What we have is a Jim's tool, two pieces, a sleeve that fits over the main shaft like so. Then the seal slides on that like that then the driver with a little lip to set it in to correct depth slides over like that and if Mr. Wes will hold the case for us, we'll just tap that right in. Easy as pie. The most well-spent money for a tool ever is this tool. I like to buy seals for 4th gear. Okay, that's the main shaft group done. We'll get to the kicker gears when we go to put the kicker cover together. Next, we're going to go after the countershaft group, which is easy as pie.
Now we have the main shaft in the box assembly. We can turn our attention to the countershaft. Countershaft goes together in once piece. Countershaft has needle bearings roller bearings on each end. This end is the first gear side, and we almost finished the other end. You put the roller bearings in the same way we put them on 4th gear. Inside the countershaft cluster, is a snap ring and then a washer that the bearings ride against. What we'll do is when we put in this washer on the primary side will hold those bearings in place. On the opposite end, the 1st gear side, the 1st gear thrust washer will hold them in place and set the in float for the countershaft. The first thing we do is we finish putting the roller bearings in here.
The same way a little bit of grease, hold them in place. There's 22 bearings on each end of the countershaft. This would be 4th gear, 3rd gear, 2nd gear which is held on by a snap ring. These are your first and second shifter clutch. You can reverse this to get better if your edge is round over, you just reverse it and you have nice sharp edges to engage the dogs on the gear. When this is engaged, it will go like this and be driving that way. We got the spacer ring here. This is the bushing for first gear which is just a slip fit into first gear, like that. Then a little bit grease right on the end. Such a nice fit like that.
We have a new countershaft that came with our Jim's kit. The one we had before where the bearings ride looked okay but it had some rust in the middle. We have a new shaft, might as well put it in. O-ring on the left-hand side of the shaft. We'll seal it so no oil would escape past the bushing. Just roll that on. A nice little coating of grease, so it slips and slides. Now, we want to go ahead and turn the transmission vertical again, like this. I may need Mr. White to assist me.
The countershaft cluster will go in as an assembly and you can see one bushing, another bushing. This will fit right in there like that. Now, I just look downside here. You want to twist it. No, just hold it, there. Okay, and a 1st gear thrust washer which goes between first gear and the case bushing. Then we'll look down here and align that up. Do you see it down there?
Frank: That washer, you want to get it as close as possible so you can slide the countershaft up through the cluster and the index into this hole without knocking any rollers off, which is not as bad as you might think. We're going to rotate it around like this and slide it up from the left-hand side through the case bushing. Take a little look down here, and here we go. You see we started through the first set of bearings, go up through the rest. How lucky can you get? We countershaft it right there. I'm going to turn this. Remember we have this lock plate that has a flat on it. It's got a lock against your main bearing plate. Before we get the countershaft all the way in, we got everything aligned now. Can you see the flat here on the countershaft?
All right and you see how these plates going to line in there, so we want the flat facing three o'clock so this will line up perfectly. What we do is just turn the countershaft a little bit. You need some plier here, Mr. Wes. We're going to go this way. A little more, right there, okay. Push it in. All the way baby, all the way baby.
Wes: Hang on.
Frank: Once you hear that ring is here is going to be a little bit. It would be the washer, 1st gear washer. Okay, back it up.
Wes: I need to tap it in there just a little bit.
Frank: Yes. All right, let's stand it up before we do that. I don't think the 1st gear washer. Let's drag it over here so we can see. Hold it like that. There we go, good. See how it comes out? That's what we want. Now you can set it down. Just like that. Now, we can tap it in all the way like that. Put our new lock room from the Jim's kit, like that.
Where's our nut? All right that's seven, eight also. Next thing is the torque 55 foot-pounds, the countershaft assembly I will need Mr. Wes to hold this for us. All this I usually do in this stand in the vise, that way I can do it all by myself and I have to worry about having Wes over, somebody may see him. For this program and the camera angle, we're going this way. I always like to torque the counter shift to the proper specs before I check the thrust washer and float. Ready, Wes? I did 55-foot panels. What we do is measure that distance. It should be between seven and 12,000. First, here we are. We'll look for seven and you want to go down between the thrust washer and the case bushing. Go seven. Go to the other end of the spectrum 12,000 and see it stops. I'm going off the side of the bushing. Right there. We know it's not 12. Let's go backwards so we can at least know what exactly what we have, 11. That stops. We go for 10. There we are, 10,000 inside the specs. Some people may want to custom grind their own first gear thrust washers but 10,000 plus by the time you get oil and air it'll take up all these clearances.
If it's radically off, you try the next size you have. I have a collection of first gear thrust washers. You can buy them in kits of five from like custom chrome, Drag Specialties, V-twin, I personally like the v-twin package.
Also, they make oversize. The biggest the factory would sell you first gear thrust washer was a hundred thousands thickness. V-twins come out with a hundred and five thousands thickness of 110 to compensate for bushing wear when each enter at the countershaft if somebody set up too tight, it burned the bushing, gall the bushing and you had to resurface it. We also make new bushings in different oversizes too so you can pretty much get the combo you want. You just may have to send a few more dollars to get a selection of first gear thrust washers. We got lucky I had one in the box.
Now, we can go ahead and bend those tabs over. Looking for a nice flat. This seems to be the best one right there. See this one's here on the corner and that one's right on the corner. Can you see that? We're going to bend that one up. I'm going to try bend that one up. Here we are. That hurt. What you get for not using the right tool. There we go. The main box is pretty much altogether. We'll turn attention back to the kicker gears.
Last thing to address on the kicker side of the transmission is the kicker gears to go on the main shaft. We have the compression spring goes on first. We're going to put on our floating gear. You look at the teeth are not rounded over. It's a nice fit. We already checked that on the main shaft. A little dab of grease that pushes back. This too can be a little bit difficult in that you have to put the keys in the tapered side of the shaft. They're not square. They're rectangular so they only go on one way like that. I'll start that one. Got both of them in. Push that in. New lock ring. Little tab fits into one of the slots of your choice.
Now we're going to torque that. I think that gets 40 foot-pounds also. 45. Now to keep everything from turning inside here, we can lock the transmission in two gears since we have the top off. This is first, second, and here's a shifter clutch, so we move it over. That now first gear is engaged. Up here is the three-four shifter clutch. If we engage that in the third gear like that, we now have engaged two gears one on each shaft that locks the transmission up from turning. That way, we can go ahead and tighten the nut on the main shaft. What I happen to worry about the main shaft turn. It's locked itself in together. We'll do the same thing when we get to the sprocket shaft. It doesn't matter if you use first and third, first and fourth, second and third, it doesn't matter as long as one gear on each shaft is engaged.
We'll just fold this little lock tab up wherever it suits us as long as it hits a flat. Right here looks good. Okay. The main box is now complete. Now we're going to put the shifter forks in and check them for alignment. Remember back to when we began as we took the shifter forks out; the shifter fork, one, two was closer to one than two, we're going to rectify that, but we'll check both three, four also. Everything turns nice and smooth. Okay, next on agenda is our shifter forks. There's a one-two shifter fork I've showed you, hardly any wear on it. We'll stick that on the shifter clutch. These nuts for the shifter fork adjustments always go to the outside of the case. Like that, we'll just slide the- give it a little tap into, okay, now what we want to do here, I missed that. I missed it, give me a second.
What I did is I missed put the shifter fork in the three-four clutch. Now moving is a tough one because it's right across from the speedometer drive gear. What I'm going to do is come by here partially engaged into fourth gear, so I can slip this shifter fork down in the groove. I still haven't gotten over far enough. I'll pick that out, make it easy on myself. Here we are, get into third, thirds not going to work out so let's go to fourth.
There is in fourth and see, I have a nice gap next to the speedometer drive gear, just slide this in place, move this back. First and second. We also have in the Jim's kit, new shifter fork rollers that follow along in the grooves of the ratchet top drum. We'll stick those on there like that. We're going to set this to neutral which is between three and four. We're going to pick up our top gasket and the top. Okay, this goes on, one way only, that like that. We'll shift the top into neutral.
Now usually you'll take a, what they call ratchet top aligning tool that'll fit on here. You set pins in the grooves, then transfer the tool to the top, and it'll move the shifter forks where you want but if you only do one or two of these a year, if that you can get by just using the top itself. See we're down on the dowel pins that locate everything. It's the transmissions in neutral, the tops in neutral. If you carefully row it off like that, it'll tell you where your shifter forks are.
Now, can you see down here, see this? See how the shifter fork dog or the clutch dog is close to first gear and the distance between second gear, we want to move this shifter fork over. If you can see down here three and four is perf-- well, a little closer to four, don't we like. We'll move that over the three. The way you do as you take the shifter fork shaft out, and there's shims in between the driver and the fork itself that allow you to make that adjustment. We'll double-check, we'll do one at a time. In this case, we'll do one-two. You'd like to do these in a vise you can get a good grab on. These have locked tabs on them.
That's a three quarter inch nut. Geez, you guys knew somebody, bring this over so we can show it a little clearer. All right, out comes the nut and your locking tab. You want to rub your fingers on here, see if there's any shims behind it, and they're not. Here's your shims and a fix baser, see the shim there? That was driving over towards first gear. We want to at least move that over to the side bringing the shifter fork closer to second gear. Let's see what else we got in here for shims, none. The shifter fork here has got a little groove and a little tab on the inside the shifter fork that lines it, like that. Move the ship over to this side, locking tab. Locking tab has a little tab I want it to fit on shift fork carrier. The nut has got a recess on the backside, see the recess inside here? That'll fit down over the threads and if it gets really close will fit down over the carrier itself. Put it back in the vise and snug it, okay. Come on. There we go. Back in neutral. Looks better, do you see down there? See how that gap is increased and a gap here on second pretty much equal now.
I'd say that's done. A lot of guys-- not a lot, some people who like to race, a lot of times like the cheat the shifter fork towards second gear thinking that if you're going to start a race, you're already in first gear so that doesn't have to move that far and you want the shifter dog a little closer to second gear so when you make that one, two shift at a high RPM, you want to positively engage. Same way with third and fourth, a lot of guys will lean towards third gear figured that's where all the acceleration is going to come and when you're ready to shift into fourth, you can back off the throttle a little bit.
I'd say one, two is done. Let's check three, four again. To be truthful, that looks perfect like it did when we took it apart. I don't know if you can see all the way down there, can you see the gap between three and four? I like that. Once again, we pull the shifter fork shaft out. Then the locking tab. Here we go. Now, I'm going to put it in, just need a little lube. I forgot to mention earlier, we put a new O-ring from the Jim's gasket kit here that seals the shaft to the case. The end of the shift has got that little notch in it that has a set screw that holds the shifter fork shaft in a case. Here's the notch, here's the threaded hole. We're turning it till it's 90 degrees. Tap it in. Check if it's lined up. Looks good. Here it is. Use your nail like that. Put the gasket back on like this. Now we're ready to move over here to the sprocket. We want to put the sprocket on while the top is still off because again, we can lock the transmission in two gears and get a good grip on the torque and the sprocket nut down.
All right. The next item is sprocket that drives the rear wheel. This transmission came with a worn-out 22 tooth. You can see how the teeth are starting to wear on this side. It's good to move heavy motorcycles around but what we want to put on is 24 that'll give you a better engine speed at freeway cruising. Before we do that, we want to put this little L-key, which wouldn't be hard to show, that locks the seal ring to fourth gear. That goes in like that. What I like to do is not sit in any manual or anything. I'll take a little permatex silicon, just a little dab and I'll push it just enough to seal the end of that up, prevent any oil from wanting to come that way. You won't push too much, just a little dab like that.
Next is the sprocket recess goes inside, like that. Tilt this down. Use this to pull fourth gear out a little bit. What I'm doing is I'm using the sprocket nut to pull the sprocket on the fourth gear. You have to put that little dab of silicone in or sometimes it resists coming out all the way. You want to get it out almost flush. We got the transmission locked in both gears. In this case, it's fourth and first then the lock ring from the kit. Wes, I'm going to need your assistance again to hold the transmission. It's work for big nut. A hundred pounds. It may be a little tough to hold.
Now, one other component to this sprocket socket is a little ring which I'm going to step out of camera and see. It looks like this. What this does actually does, it actually held the sprocket centered on the nut. You would put it on like this and the socket is counter board so it helps center. He's going to hold it. That was a tough hundred. You see that the nut likes to be flushed with the end of fourth gear. Take it out of gear, rotate it around until you see a nice flat. This one looks the best. Let's start that. Nice and tight. Next is the cover. The top cover.
Okay, we're ready to put the top on but first, since we have a top still open, we're going to stick the speedometer drive gear back in. A little grease on the drive gear. This way, if it sticks, we can align it with the drive on this countershaft. Goes right in, line of gasket. Here we are. One screw holds it in. It's got a gasket on it. Okay, now we're ready for the top. A little bit more grease smearing on the finger rollers.
The little grease between the gears here. Until the oil starts to splash up there. Okay, we're a neutral here. We're a neutral here. Just fall right on. Just like that. A little nudging. Just like in the movies. Okay. We have the screws for the top. Two long ones. Remember to put the breather on closest to the dowel pin and the rest around the perimeter. That's our bench screw from the main bearing retaining plate.
Since the top is indexed to the case with dowel pins, it's not going to move around. Other applications where they're just a part is held on with the taper in the screws. You want to get all these screw tapers touching first to center it or align it and then tighten them. Like I said, it's got dowel pins. That's how you can get your alignment to your shifter forks to your top. I always like to start. Just like automobiles, when you do head bolts, torque head bolts down, you're supposed to start in the middle and work your way to each end equally. Even a factory on later model bikes, they tell you when you do your primary cover screws, you start in the middle and work your way out.
The last piece is a kicker cover. We've got that preassembled. We have the throwout bearing that would go into the side cover like this. I want to make sure that engages the lever like that. Now, remember we talked about the little ball bearing right there that the gasket starter will set that on. That ball bearing will index in this little cutout right there. That keeps the inner part spinning same speed as the main shaft. You'll notice I'm not using a gasket sealer on the side cover at the top cover. If you prepped your gasket surfaces correctly, you should need it.
You'll notice too that the kicker gear I've rotated around so there's no plate showing so these gears will mesh with that gear easily. If you try and force the plate on, you're trying to do is force this spring back at the same time as you're trying to get over your stud and this on the main shaft aligned. What we'll do is just turn around like this. Sometimes you get lucky on the first try. Okay. Flat washer on every stud followed by a nut. You'll notice that some of these studs are longer than others. Like these two would have a little support bracket for your electric starter motor. Over here, it may have a support bracket for an oil tank battery box combination mounting bracket.
There you have it, it's together. We checked it even though we don't have the kick arm or the kick arm spring. Everything turns over. We ran through all four gears. It's done. I do this in my garage all the time, helping friends out with their four-speed transmissions. The way I just showed you that is how I learned is how I practiced it. There's going to be different ways that do different things, and there's going to be people out there saying, "He did that wrong." I do it the way it works for me. That's what we just tried to show you in this program. That's it. It's nothing, no rocket science. There's just got to be attention to the details when you do everything.
You think it's bad or you think it's going to break on you? Replace it now while you got it apart. It's cheap. You don't want to take this thing in and out of your motorcycle numerous times all because I forgot to do this or forgot to do that. Do you have a manual for your motorcycle your year? It helps a lot. That gives you all the torque specs. Don't rely on me or this program to give you the torque specs for your particular application. The early model, one transmissions that don't have these ears on here to support the primary are just the same thing but without the ears. Looks just the same. No big thing. You can yourself. If I can do it, you can do it. That's for damn sure.
Now that we have the transmission overhauled, we figured we'd show you the proper method of putting it back in the frame and shimming it, so it has the least amount of resistance and doesn't wear out that fourth gear bushing in the main shift. What we've done is, we loosely installed the plate on the bobbin transmission, so it still slides. This is not the original hardware. That's still soaking to get the grime and stuff off. First thing we do is, we're going to place it back on the mounts.
There's four mounts on the frame. One, two, three, four, and then a fifth mount under the kicker cover. Before we put the plate in, we'll just take a real fine file, and just make sure there's no burrs. They'd give us false reading. Now we're going to throw a transmission in there. I need some assistance from wash boy, Wes. Thank you. I'm just going to slip it in like that. It's not down in the front. There we are. Looks a lot different when we took it out. Now what we're going to do is take some bolts and washers, and loosely a fix the frame to the plate.
Let me go play it around. I don't know if you remember from when we took this apart, the front plate manning holes are drilled in half 3/8 fine thread. You notice how everything's nice and loose. This moves back and forth. The plate will give a little bit. It comes up and down. The next thing we want to do is take the primary cover like this. Nice and clean now. There's three bolts here that hold the primary cover to the engine. These four studs locate here through the bearing, and that supports the transmission case. Next thing you want to do is just slip this over like this. You see everything nice and loose if it's on there nice. What we're going to do is just-- this usually has a lock ring that you would bend the ears over, one of these bolt heads once they were in there tight. Since we're just showing you how to do this now, there's no reason to go through all that trouble because it's all going to come back apart anyhow for cleaning, painting, and repairing the engine.
I should explain too, we didn't move the engine. The first thing you would do is have the engine and then bolt it down solid. Everything is based off the engine mounts. The engine's in nice and tight and squared at the frame. This primary cover, inner primary cover to be specific, is now right angles to the sprocket shaft and locates the main shift. What you want, the reason for this exercise is to make sure the sprocket shaft's coming out of the engine, and the main shaft on the transmission stay in perfect parallel in both planes. Like this and like this. That way, you're not using up any horsepower to turn your main shaft or your bearing, and you want to keep the bearing nice and tight to the shaft. Now what we're going to do is, there should be washers in here, but just for the sake of this demonstration. We'll just use those two for now.
Now what we have is we've guaranteed that the sprocket shaft and the main shaft are perfectly parallel in all planes. To keep this in plane-- didn't clean up a bearing out, but we're going to stick the clutch hub on just to get a feel for how much resistance is in the main shaft. Once we get this started here, we're going to go underneath the transmission and tighten the nuts that hold the transmission mounting plate to the bottom of the transmission. Mr. Wes, you can do that from your side, please. The nuts underneath, can you see them easily?
Wes: The plate to the transmission nuts?
Frank: The plate to the transmission.
Wes: Okay. Not the plate to the frame.
Wes: Tie them all down?
Frank: Snug them up.
Wes: I'm going to snug them in.
Frank: Not the plate to the frame, just to the transmission bottom.
Wes: Right on.
This don't have to be an inter primary to do this. A lot of guys who are running belt drives, like a BDL, has a nice heavy plate that would act in the place in a primary. I think Revere has a two-piece plate. One that would both to the engine and one would bolt to the transmission. Then you get your adjustment of your belt tension, but you still want to make sure this is in the same plane. If you don't have an inner primary or a motor plate, what you can do is, take a piece of glass like quarter-inch thick glass, about 18 inches long. Lay it on the bearing surface. You can take this extension off and lay it on the clutch hub without the bearings on it, and you can see if it tweaks a little bit.
Now we have a plate tight to the transmission case. What we want to do is take some feeler gauges now and check between the plate and the frame. That's where the distances will be made up. Since we're almost at a time here, we're only going to shim one of these to show you how it's done, but you want do it for all five bolt holes. We can see light between a frame and a plate, so what we want to do is measure how much of that distance is, and make a shim that fit in there.
Let's see, we'll start with a 6,000. What you want is what they call a plug fit or slip fit. 6,000 won't go all the way. There it is. 6,000 is too big, so we run up on seven. There we are. Seven feels nice, so we'll try eight. I tried eight. Come on. Here we are. I tried eight, and it's too tight, so we'll go back to seven. Seven is nice. Okay. We need a 7,000 shim.
Now there's an easy way to do this and a little bit tougher way. The easy way would be if you had shims for your disc brake rotors. They usually have a 3/8 through hole, and they come in various thicknesses. A lot of times I'll keep a bag of them around and if it comes to a size I have, I'll just take a caliper shim, stick it in there, and call it good. I don't have any 7,000s with me, so we're going to make one.
Okay, what I have here is brass shim stock. That I bought a hundred years ago and I'm still using. It has different leaves with different thicknesses. We'll go through and find our seven. Right here. All we really need is a little circle, but we need 3/8 hole in the middle. You can use a pair of scissors to do that, or what I like is this gasket or shim punch set. It has a block with precision holes in it. You have precision punches. We'll just pick the 3/8 hole. It fits in there nice and snug. What we'll do is slide our piece of shim stock in here till it's nice and centered. Let me hold this up for you. See we have 3/8 hole centered on our piece of shim stock. We're just going to whack it with a hammer and make a hole in it. Let me step out for a second.
Okay. We have our favorite hammer here. You ready? Punches a hole right through it. Now since this is precision, it's tougher than hell to get these things out. Again, I'm going to have to step out and go to the vise. Okay, I'm back. There we are. Now to get that shim ready to put in a frame. Take a pair of ordinary scissors, and we're going to trim a little bit. Like that. Here we are. I'd make it a lot prettier if this was going to get there for the final time. Take a hammer and just rub the cut edges. Like that. We'll go and stick that between the frame and the plate.
Now we're showing you just doing one; you have to do all five. You've already been on here you felt what kind of resistance is on your main shaft. It turns nice and free.
All right. He's going to snug it up. Get it tight. See the resistance hasn't changed at all. That means they're not putting any binding on the main shaft because we mounted that plate, and shimmed it till it's perfectly parallel here. Now what we'll do is we'll do the other back shim between a plate and a frame. We'll go to the front and do the left-- I mean, the right front frame, the plate mount because it's easy to get to, and we'll do the fifth mount.
Once that is done, you know that plate is not going to move. Your resistance is not going to change. What we'll do is we'll take this clutch hub off, we'll take the inner primary off and then you do your left front mount to the plate to the frame because now it will be easy to get to and it won't change because you've already done everything else. It only takes an hour or so to do. Even if you have to go cut shims out with your scissors or a gasket punch or something like that. This add so much life to your transmission, to your bushings in your fourth gear, you can't believe it. Then once you get on here and you adjust your primary chain, you make sure you leave five-eighths of an inch up and down play then you're not stressing out either shaft or either bearing. Once you're there, you're good to go. Oh, don't forget to put oil in the transmission. That's it.
I think we'd be remiss if we didn't show the earlier versions of the transmission top. These ratchet tops were introduced in '52 and were available all way up until they changed the case in the top in '77, '78. Before the ratchet top, we had what they called the manual top or was called a fumble fingered top. When you shift this it would return to a specific setting. When you shifted a manual top, it would stay in position. This arm was hooked to a lever that hooked to a tank shaft. What you do is you move this tank shaft lever back into different gears.
Over the years when the chopper craze hit and everybody wanted what they call a suicide clutch, you would just put a handle on here, turn your foot shifter or the piece up here for your clutch into a clutch pedal that had no spring. It would just go back and forth. It had no friction, I'm sorry. You would just be able to sidestep the clutch and do better burnouts. This top has the same type of drum shifter gear, everything. It would go right on this transmission if we decided to take the ratchet top off. We would just have to check the shifter fork alignment to make sure it works the way it should.
Before '65, this was the first year for electric start. That's why these ears and studs-- the electric starter would be here and that would locate everything nice and tight. Then we back up here. We have borrowed an early model four-speed transmission case. It looks like this. Basically, it's the exact same as this case without the ears. We used these from '36 up to '64, '65. Inside looks all the same. It would take the same top. Would go on and just like. The main shaft would stick out the same place everything. Your sprocket would work on this.
On this transmission, you got a one tooth larger sprocket because there's no interference here from the chain. 24 is about the biggest you can go on these things. You can get up to like a 25, and they actually made 26s. The only other difference we want to make note of is a transmission length, the main shaft length. You notice how far this sticks out of here? This is a second length. The early models were I think 12 and three quarters. Then he added a quarter inch to the main shaft length when he went electric start because the electric start gear on the clutch basket is a quarter inch.
In 1970 when they went to an alternator lower end, this is a generator model. There will be an alternator in the engine case is right here. Well, since he added the alternator, that moved everything out a quarter inch. Consequently, they went to another quarter inch length on the main shaft. If you're buying a transmission, you have to know what engine sprocket shaft you have.
The early ones 36 up to 52, I think, or what they call a tapered sprocket shaft. After that, they went to a spline. This one is stuck on there for good. After that, just make sure you know what parts are going to fit. If you've got a 52 lower end you want a main shaft that's going to fit a 52 motorcycle. Consequently, if it's a 36 knucklehead bottom end, it's rare money but I would have a tapered sprocket shaft and you'd have a different length of transmission main shaft. They're about all the same amount of money, you just got to know what you're picking. It's hard if you just pick one up put it in there get there and all of a sudden your primary drive won't align, then you're in big trouble, or you're in expensive trouble I should say. That about wraps it up. We'll get into more stuff as we go along but that's it for this video or DVD or whatever medium you choose to use here. Till next time. See you.