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  1. #21
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    Holy cow! Just a short while searching I've seen that these gear are not cheap new ($90-$130 per) and are hard to find good used ones on ebay either. I did see a whole trans for $200 but....who knows what that thing will look like when it arrives. Do y'all think I need to replace both countershaft gears or just the one with the male dogs?

  2. #22

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    I would replace both the moving gear and the one it dogs into. Could you post pics of the gear dogs so the rest of us can see for ourselves what you are dealing with? (I'm channeling Tattooo asking for pics.)

    Also, is the shift fork worn on its faces?

    Jim

  3. #23
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    I will take and post pics by tomorrow morning. The shift forks looked like they had what I would call normal wear, but could definitely use a 2nd opinion. They have a gold color and just seem to have wear on there faces (front/side) but nothing gouged or burred up or anything.

  4. #24
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    Been looking around for technical info on the 5-speed trans; found what may be helpful, might be a factory manual, but with Classic Cycles name on it, in pdf; starting on page 4 of this is Chapter 9 of a manual for 1991-2003 Sportster 5-speed transmission:
    https://www.classiccycles.org/media/...b3ffffe415.pdf

  5. #25
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    That one's aftermarket but this 1998

    https://www.carlsalter.com/mcpdf/Har...e%20Manual.pdf

    is factory. Note the cover style, part number and click in a few pages to get a feel for the distinctive layout HD use.

    The site has a wide selection and no malware. Its revenue comes from Google captcha like many sites.

    I recommend downloading anything you might use because no website is permanent.

  6. #26
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    Thank you all for the links. I do have a factory manual but yes it doesn't go to deep into specs for wear on trans.

    So I took another look at the transmission this morning inside on the kitchen table under some light. I still don't have the shafts disassembled but I can show you a pretty good look from here.

    I have posted pics that show you the worn gear dogs on countershaft gear 3 and the mating area on countershaft gear 1 that 3 dogs into. I also Have shown a pic to show the extremes of the level of engagement between these two gears. One pic shows them fully mated and the other is while they are least engaged with me pushing the shift fork over side to side. Of course this is with the trans out and the shaft and drums only supported on the access door side.

    0219200921a
    0219200921
    0219200915
    0219200919a

    Another set of pics show the shift fork pin in the drum slot that guides the fork which positions countershaft gears 1 and 3. One pic shows the pin sitting in the pocket at the bottom as it would be while the trans is in first gear. Here you can see there is free play/slop side to side as opposed to the pic of the same pin in a different area of the slot where there it fits nicely without slop.

    0219200952
    0219200952a

    Finally pics to give an idea of what the wear on the shifter fork faces generally look like. When I looked yesterday I just thought they were milled like that to fit in the gear slot, now I see that this is probably worn down. You can see the line on the face, that is definitely a step you can catch your fingernail on. Also one fork (fork closest to the transmission access door) is rounded on the trailing edge of the face/sidewall.

    0219200949a
    0219200950b

  7. #27

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    With a micrometer or caliper you can measure that shift fork and compare to the others to determine how much wear.

    Does the extra width in the slot on the shift drum allow the gears to come out of engagement, or go deeper? It looks to me that the wear allows the gears to disengage. If so, you need a shift drum. You might get away with replacing only the gear with the male dogs from the looks of the pictures.

    Jim

  8. #28
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    The slop in the drum slot definitely allows for decrease in engagement of gears. Like the pic shows above I can be fully engaged or have a little less than 1/8" of engagement or anywhere in between. Base on the wear and slippage it seems as though there is a tendency for the gear/fork to float to the less engagement condition. Even with the dog rounded off a bit I'm convinced that if the male dog gear was held in full engagement position it would still have plenty of bite to not skip out. So looks like i definitely need a new drum. New gear and possibly forks although I don't think the wear there is the real culprit.

  9. #29
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    Well...considering you can't find a good used countershaft gear 1 or 3 on ebay and such ( guess they are commonly worn out) and single new gear is $90+ I was able to score what seems to be a solid entire used trans assembly for $150 on eBay. Claims to have had 9k on it. Looks real good. Great edges on the dogs. Turns nicely thru all gears on the bench and in the bike so far. Haven't fired it up yet. Still notice the level of engagement of those 2 gears can be somewhat variable on the bench. But....definitely better engagement on this assembly. Gonna make sure shifter and clutch are adjusted proper then give it a go. To be continued.

  10. #30

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    That dog has been beat! And so has the female portion. The flat surface on them is actually angled to pull the gears together tighter under load, and when you count both sides you are missing a lot of that surface. To me the drum groove looks fine, I believe there should be some slop there to allow the fork to float in the the gear groove and not drag when the gears are pulled together. The fork is toast in my opinion, it should be shiny where the gear rides, but shouldn't be cut into like yours is.
    I wonder if it ran low on oil. I bet that gear with the bad dogs wobbles on its shaft also, not good.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70fatster View Post
    That dog has been beat! And so has the female portion. The flat surface on them is actually angled to pull the gears together tighter under load, and when you count both sides you are missing a lot of that surface. To me the drum groove looks fine, I believe there should be some slop there to allow the fork to float in the the gear groove and not drag when the gears are pulled together. The fork is toast in my opinion, it should be shiny where the gear rides, but shouldn't be cut into like yours is.
    I wonder if it ran low on oil. I bet that gear with the bad dogs wobbles on its shaft also, not good.
    I was wondering if they pulled closer together while running. That makes sense. Thanks for that info. Hopefully this new setup should do it. Now I have an extra trans for parts or I really like the idea of using it as an educational model. I enjoyed learning a little about these transmissions.

  12. #32
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  13. #33

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    I'm not too quick to catch on, but always trying to learn more. I am assuming you are showing that the drum groove in question looks about the same as the ones you have and is not worn out of spec?
    Or I need some new glasses?
    I've rebuilt a few sportster four speeds that had problems holding in gear, it doesn't take much wear to have an effect. A couple times it was like " I don't really see any one particular problem, but these parts are worn so I'll try that" followed by the amazement that the problem was resolved.

  14. #34
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    96+ sporty transmissions (and beullís too) have problematic dog wear in 1st gear. I had an 01 that would slip out of 1st like someone pulled the clutch in and then would re engage. itís fairly well documented on forums. I never tore into mine, I sold it soon after. I also read that it would slowly progress into others if left unchecked. I had an 02 that was trashed from the get go and it would slip in 1st/3rd under full load and that was very disrupting, ended up replacing the entire trans.

    I now own a 95 for that very reason. Not that it canít happen on the earlier ones, but supposedly, they changed the design or material, to some extent and became a more common problem

  15. #35
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    Well, the new (used) transmission works great. No worn gears will do the trick. I'm actually kind of proud to have dug in and got to the root of the problem. I actually talked to the guy who built the bike (it's a rigid frame mild custom build, will post pics soon), and he said his wife road the bike like that for a year, then it went to another guy who dealt with it, and then one more who was saying it shifted weird and finally it ended up in the right hands of someone who wouldn't dare pass it on like that. Couple folks did some clutch swaps/adjustments etc but nobody braved to go into the cave. I'm glad I did. It's a cool bike, and now much cooler since it doesn't skip and lurch. Thank you all for your help.

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