View Full Version : 73 sporty primary/clutch question.

07-01-2017, 4:35 PM
Hey gents and lady's.. So first off I'm new to the forums and have just picked up my first Harley. I've built a couple 70's Honda's, worked on a couple British bikes but this is def a whole new world for me.

I picked the bike up last weekend (June 24) took it for a little tool around the block before buying, and once again when I dropped the bike off at a buddy's for the night. Despite some obvious things that needed attention. It rode, stopped and felt pretty good. The next day I rode the bike from his house to my shop and about 3/4 of the way there ( maybe 3 miles) I started to here some noise. It was hard to tell were it was coming from weather it be the engine, trans or primary. The noise came on very suddenly and seemed to be most noticeable in 4th gear.. it got to the point where I pulled the clutch and the bike just shut off almost as it if had seized up.. I coasted into a side street and the bike started right back up. Rode for another quarter mile and it did it again.. This time I was coming to a busy intersection so I tried to use the starter to start the bike as I was rolling and it seemed as though again it was seizing up.. Starter didn't want to turn the bike over. So once again I rolled to a stop and into a driveway. Within a couple minutes it started right back up and I rode it across the street into a parking lot where I then let it sit for about 20 mins. I checked the oil and all was good, Could kick the bike over, could put the bike in all gears by hand.. So I was and still am stumped as to what actually happened. I got back on and rode the bike about another mile and made it to my shop without issue.

Over the last week I have been addressing some other issues and tinkering a bit trying to pinpoint were to start looking for the issue first.. I checked rocker tolerance all was good there, did a compression test and got 124psi on the front cylinder and 125psi on the back which I was very happy about. I then opened up the primary side and checked the tensioner and chain tension.. Has about 3/4 inch of travel. I then notice that the whole clutch basket has a bit of play in it. Mind you I had started the bike a couple times during the week and noticed some noise coming from the primary area.. Kinda sounded like a bad bearing. When I drained the oil from the primary it def had some metallic in it which I kinda thought may be normal due to the metal on metal contact of the chain.. There was also a lot of clutch material in the fluid. Anyway I could go on describing other things I have noticed but for my first post I think this is long enough.. I guess my question is should the clutch basket have any movement in it? Is there a busing or bearing that can go bad causing this movment? I have a video showing the movment and what looks to be a point of contract but I can't seem to post it.. Sorry for the long winded post but I'm trying to be a discriptive as possible.. Thanks in advance for any help

07-01-2017, 5:36 PM
What did he call me ....???

Why I haven't heard that word for years ....

.../// https://youtu.be/MYP1OBZfFK0 \\\...
......................... :p .........................

On your problems ..... A Sportie that old it would be very wise to give the tranny a tune up....

You will be seeing some parts that will need to be replace, shift forks, top hats, bearings maybe some shims ...
It's down this far already. what's a little more digging, right...???

07-01-2017, 8:38 PM
I'm actually going through a Similar problem now. Going to pull the basket and replace the bearing and hope the main shaft dosnt have any play.

I know the clutch assembly on these bikes are known to be kinda ass backwards as far as adjustment etc.. What at people doing for upgrades? Are newer Ironhead clutch components swapable/better designed?

07-01-2017, 9:36 PM
What at people doing for upgrades? Are newer Ironhead clutch components swapable/better designed?




07-03-2017, 10:24 PM
Well I dove into mine today.. Pulled the clutch basket and not surprised to find the main shaft has a bit play in it as well. I've got a shop manual but I'd love to hear some tricks/tips for doing the repair.. Once the trap door is opened up is it a must that the timing side be opened up as well or can it be retained just to the primary side? Are there better quilty bearings available for the clutch bearing and main shaft? Any info is much appreciated as always!

07-05-2017, 6:41 AM
Ready to get your transmission learn on? Check this out. Good stuff- http://www.jockeyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=52573&highlight=crebo