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  1. #1
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    Jan 2012
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    Default Running an S&S 5 into 4 Transmission

    I've just inherited an S&S 5 speed in 4 speed case. I'd like to pair that with my '97 evo motor. I'm just curious if anyone knows if there is a certain year inner primary that would match up for that. I'm thinking the evo's all had the same left side casting so I should be good up there, but there were maybe 2 years of 4 speed softails according to my manual, like '85 and '86? good luck finding one of those.

    Is the mounting different between 4 and 5 speed transmissions at the inner primary? Way more late model ones out there! Looking at pics on ebay, the hole pattern looks fairly similar but I cannot tell. A later shovelhead inner primary would match the transmission, but how about the motor end?

    I'm guessing this gets done from time to time so let me know how you would do it! I guess running an open primary would not be out of the question either, but I'd rather do closed.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default

    What frame are you using? We need details.

    What do you have and what is your goal?


    Why specifically do you imagine you want that box?
    It uses the inner primary cover specific to electric start cone Shovels which is not an advantage and many aftermarket primaries have fitment issues due to casual machining. It uses the annoying to work on tapered shaft five speed trans for compatibility with tapered Shovel style clutch hubs.

    They are intended for Shovel owners who are married to the rest of the stock setup and really want the same transmission case for compatibility with their other parts. Fine if kick only but Shovel e-starts are a famously terrible design (which is why they were promptly removed by many owners) and the motors underpowered.

    I'd lift the top cover to inspect it and take pics then Ebay it and get a later splined shaft Softail transmission, primary and electric starter if you're building a solid mount bike. Those were designed to fit your 1997 engine with no fuss and use the excellent Denso electric starter which are good enough to render a kicker pointless or you can fit one if you must.
    Last edited by farmall; 3 Weeks Ago at 6:17 PM.

  3. #3
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    So, I do not have a frame yet, but I'd like to go with an aftermarket hardtail. I do not have any other primary pieces yet. I just have a late 90's evo motor and this 5 in a 4 speed transmission. The transmission is in S&S part number 56-1051. Not too sure on the guts other than it's five speed, splined shaft, and read for a chain final drive.

  4. #4
    Senior Member

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    Got a viable plan to title your result? Know precisely what your state requires for you to make it happen, or buy a titled frame or a titled organ donor.

    Is the engine a known good runner as in you are personally familiar with it before you obtained it?

    What is your desired total budget? A motorcycle is money traded for metal.

    There is nothing desirable about that transmission except to a very specific and rather small group of people so I'd Ebay it for more working capital. If the engine is known good those still don't sell for much so I'd tend to keep that.

    Building totally from scratch is normally more expensive than buying a motorcycle but deals can be had. Know your input conditions. If your engine is KNOWN good then you can look for titled motorcycles or rollers or frames to get round the title hassle and get you more parts for less money than piecing them together.

    For example you can hardtail a Softail frame and the right donor (with a clean, NOT salvage) title gets you the transmission, primary drive, forks and wheels along with the gobs of nickle and dime parts you'd otherwise not only have to buy but spend considerable time figuring out. The result is titled as that year Harley because it still is.

    Lots of deals can be found via Facebook Marketplace. You may well find a complete bike with a better engine than you have. You aren't married to that motor (and a spare never hurts).

    There's a saying "train hard, fight easy". To get a good result study your ass off and accumulate a good library, much of which can be free downloads.

    Find specific pics of the look you want and of every part you're considering, then check if that's a wise choice. You'd do well (and they are reliable machines) to find an Evo Softail, the later the better, with a clear title and in the best condition you can manage. Get it running well then mod it to taste, ride to test your choices then pull it down for paint and cosmetics. Look for titled basket cases whose owners spent too much money because they never read how to do it right! Their loss is your gain.

    How much capital can you raise (don't even think about a loan for a toy) to go hunting with? Sellers hate turning away dead Presidents and winter is your friend.

    Build to ride, not to match some showbike build sheet. Stock is fine to begin with. The CV Keihin is an excellent carb. Know where to spend effectively for best results.

    Ask more questions as needed. We like saving noobs suffering and helping make happy bikers.

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