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  1. #1

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    Default Shovelhead Creep

    Anyone know of a video or how deal with shovelhead creep when bike is sitting still?? Looking for step by step guide I know clean clutch plates may fix it but like a how to??

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    I'm glad you found the correct place to ask your question.....

    I don't care for watching videos on how to do things so I will let someone else do that for you......

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    Step by step guide is your factory service manual for plate R&I augmented by you factory parts catalog for all the exploded views and part #s. Carl Salters site has em for free download w. no malware. You REALLY want those books!

    I use kerosene or gasoline (outdoors!) but others have more refined methods.

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    Lol, shovelhead creep. You're talking about that sort of 'grabbing' effect when you are in gear at a stop, right? That is the clutch design and not exclusive to shovels... earlier bikes have this as well. The best thing I found to eliminate it is the "big fix" clutch bearing replacement. Put that in and you will not have any clutch hub wobble, and no more "creep".

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    I've fixed this problem MANY times and the big fix only works from time to time..... Most of the times it just makes it a little better and that's what many people are looking for...... What I've come up with over the years is a 100% fix but it takes a lot of parts that you can swap back and forth that the average person doesn't have laying around...... When I'm done you can put a Shovel/Pan in and out of gear while it's running sitting still and the bike won't move any...... Not even a little.... Now that's a fix........
    Last edited by Tattooo; 08-08-2019 at 7:59 PM.

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    What's yer secret sauce?

    I just do the long bearing kit and retainer when replacing worn parts but decided not to care about clutch drag since it's not a safety hazard and doesn't hurt anything. Never heard of it being called creep. I thought OP was dealing with a typical sticking clutch on a bike not ridden often.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    I've fixed this problem MANY times and the big fix only works from time to time...
    I've only done the big fix to my own shovelhead, and it worked 100%. Zero grabbing. However... the hub had to be honed on a Sunnen to give a correct bearing roller clearance. For whatever reason, the 'fix' rollers and/or clutch hub were too tight to allow all the rollers to fit in. So it was a custom fit.
    You say you have to swap a lot of parts around to make a 'fix'... thats probably the reason mine works. You are swapping pieces to find the right tolerance, I had mine honed in to tolerance.

  8. #8

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    The stock shovelhead clutch is a great piece, praised universally in contemporary road tests of all HDs that ran it. Capable of handling 80ft.lb. of torque easily. Pretty good for a design that predates (barely) WWII.

    The biggest problem with it is that we cannot get the very good asbestos clutch plates that it was designed for, and no modern substitute is quite as good.

    This clutch is very forgiving of steels that are in rough shape, but if you need new ones, the -81 style by Barnett are the best out there.

    For linings in a stock clutch with circulating oil, like HD designed it, the cheap, Taiwanese green clutch plates, as sold by Drag, Bikers Choice, etc. are about the most forgiving. For sealed primaries, or even a dry open belt, the Alto red plates are good, and actually cheaper than the Taiwanese ones.

    I personally have only seen one bike in all my experience where the "big fix" long roller kit did not make the clutch drag worse than the stock bearing. Therefore I remove them rather than install them. I do have a set in one of my shovels, and the clutch does drag slightly, but shifting is OK nevertheless. (I'm always experimenting. )

    I do like the RamJett retainer (or clone). And I do think the aluminum pressure plate helps a little.

    The foot clutch springs from Barnett (the orange ones) are a good addition to any stock clutch and will increase lever effort, but increase load capacity of the clutch a good bit. The Barnett gray springs are overkill, and will cause flexing of the release parts. But you can use five of them and five of a lighter spring to increase capacity more than the orange springs do.

    The release bearing must be included in any clutch service. The stock wafer style is good. The aftermarket versions are BAD. OEM only for this piece. The old big release bearing is a MUST for any mousetrap or foot clutch set-up.

    Clutch when set up right should release cleanly, so much so that you sometimes cannot engage first gear at a dead stop without slipping the clutch a little to get the gear dogs to line up. If your clutch ain't that free, work on the set-up some more. (Some bikes just will never get quite that good, but most will.)

    A belt drive with a tight belt, or a new transmission with a main drive gear bushing fit too tight will drag no matter what you do to the clutch.

    Last but not least, a clutch that feels stiff or just doesn't respond well indicates the cable may be worn out on the inside. You might be surprised what a new, modern (teflon lined) cable will do for your bike.

    My 2c
    Jim
    Last edited by JBinNC; 08-09-2019 at 7:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman96 View Post
    So it was a custom fit.
    You say you have to swap a lot of parts around to make a 'fix'... thats probably the reason mine works. You are swapping pieces to find the right tolerance, I had mine honed in to tolerance.
    Yes you are correct..... But I am cheap I only use old OEM Harley parts that I have laying around......

    One thing that I do as I'm swapping parts.... I take out the clutch plates and steels..... I grab a clutch hub stud with the trans in neutral and turn it in the direction that it goes with the clutch basket stationary...... If the basket walks outwards I start swapping parts...... When the basket walks inwards then I start working on other things....

    Ok that's some of my big fix........ That is a total fix......

    Hope this helps others...... Believe me it works...... And they can be made to ride in not out.....

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    I find the plates are generally serviceable. Grooves on the fingers or dogs in the basket and the plates will hang, and on an old ass clutch they are sure to be worn.

    If you have to throw money at parts a diaphragm clutch is one of my go to upgrades.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamHain View Post
    If you have to throw money at parts a diaphragm clutch is one of my go to upgrades.

    It could be but I'll never know...... LOL I'm to cheap and stock works just fine......

    Glad they work for you......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    It could be but I'll never know...... LOL I'm to cheap and stock works just fine......

    Glad they work for you......
    Yeah, stock can work with some patience and they’ll hold all the power stock cases can handle. But if I have to start replacing parts I just swap it. Assemble, adjust pushrod, go, every time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamHain View Post
    But if I have to start replacing parts I just swap it. Assemble, adjust pushrod, go, every time.
    Yes sir and they give very little problems.....

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    Step by step guide is your factory service manual for plate R&I augmented by you factory parts catalog for all the exploded views and part #s. Carl Salters site has em for free download w. no malware. You REALLY want those books!

    I use kerosene or gasoline (outdoors!) but others have more refined methods.
    I didn't know about Salter's site until now. Nice tip. That site is tits.

  15. #15

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    Thank everyone for the wealth of knowledge really know were to go with this fix!

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