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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I've been researching the internet trying to find out if/how I can use a dry clutch (stock? Aftermarket?) on a 1990 to 1999 5-speed (soft tail) transmission.

I will not be using this on a HD bike. I'm designing and building a Hybrid (Electric and Internal Combustion Engine), reverse trike. The drive chain is complicated (See attached drawings).

I will be using a motorcycle engine to drive a jack-shaft. The jack-shaft will drive the rear wheel. A "dog Clutch" will connect and disconnect the motorcycle engine from the jack shaft so that I can isolate the spinning jack-shaft from the EV motor.

The EV (Electric Vehicle), motor will be connected to the HD clutch and run through the HD 5-speed. The HD output shaft will be connected to the jack shaft and by disconnecting the dog clutch from the motorcycle engine, I'll be able to drive while under electric power. By placing the HD 5-speed in neutral, I'll be able to power the trike via the motorcycle engine.

I've had lots of input from many sources suggesting using the HD transmission and it looks like it will solve my drive train challenge.

I spent some time with our local HD service manager and he also said it could be done by machining the dry clutch to adapt it to a secondary type chain drive to my electric motor. He also suggested using a 1990 - 1999 5-speed from a soft tail. (I'm a bit confused by all the "different" soft tails: Custom? Heritage? Fat Boy? Do all of these "models" use the same transmission?)

Here are my Questions:

Do these transmission normally use a dry clutch (Belt drive) for both "Primary" (?) input (clutch) and output at transmission?

If not? Are dry clutches available for this transmission? (I'm hoping for something in the "OEM" price range (Inexpensive!), as I do not need (and can't afford") a HP racing clutch.

I am prepared to machine the clutch to connect the EV motor output to match the drive at the clutch (I design and develop prototypes for a living and have a fairly complete machine shop). So modifying is not an issue for me.

(I'm guessing that a dry clutch would be used for a stock belt drive? I plan to machine the belt pulley attachment point to accept a motorcycle chain sprocket for an EV motor to dry clutch chain drive. Harley service manager shared that it could be done.)

Thank you for any and all suggestions and input. I do not know a lot about these transmissions, years or models... :smile

Richard
 

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EVO Softail 5 speeds are the same.

Stock they were wet clutch systems with a chain drive primary and a belt drive secondary.
Barnett makes a clutch for these that can be run wet or dry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you!

Thank you!

Especially sharing that all EVO softtail 5-speeds were the same... I've been overwhelmed with all the different "letters" (FX, ST etc... Don't even know if I got those right... Except I'm pretty sure that when the letters include "ST" that means "Soft Tail"?)

I figured that I would have to machine the clutch to accept an adapter that I could mount a regular chain sprocket to so I could connect the clutch to me EV motor. (As you can see from my drawing, I HAVE to have a dry clutch.)

I didn't know if dry clutches came stock or not. I'll start researching aftermarket dry clutches.

Can I assume that a clutch made to fit a 1990 -1999 fits all soft tail 5 speed transmissions? Would it matter if the transmission was still a 5-speed, but came from a different style (Example: Sportster), bike but within the same year?

I'll be buying them "kind of blind" (Looking mostly on Craigslist and E bay), and I have no way of knowing if they're the same as the soft tail 5-speed that was suggested to me. (I've been into bikes for years, but have zero knowledge about HD bikes.)

From what I've learned looking at photos on the internet, the shaft style on these years of 5-speed transmissions are "splined" (both clutch and output)? Did HD make "different sized" splines?

I just don't want to buy the wrong transmission and the buy the wrong clutch. :frown

Thank you again!

Richard
 

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Sportster trans wouldn't work as 1) they are a 4 speed, and more importantly 2) they share the same case with the engine.

FXR and FLH/FLT transmissions have different mounting points due to the rubber mounting system of the engine/transmission.


Softail transmissions are the only ones designed as a solid mount system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thank you again!

Thanks for explaining the sportster issue (I told you I know Nothing about Harley! LOL!:laughing...

Mounting issues are not an issue here. I'll be modifying the transmission case to fit my needs and hopefully cut down a little on the weight.

Just got back from internet research and found clutch plates that were labeled as "wet" or "dry"... Could I just use the stock "wet" clutch used in these transmissions and just replace the plates and steels for dry?

Thanks again!

Richard
 

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Just got back from internet research and found clutch plates that were labeled as "wet" or "dry"... Could I just use the stock "wet" clutch used in these transmissions and just replace the plates and steels for dry?
Yes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you again! =D

Kainam:
Thank you! I was pricing complete, "dry" aftermarket clutches and they're expensive! Since I'll be buying a used transmission, I was hoping that who ever I bought the transmission from would also have the stock clutch for it and I could buy that, modify it for my use and then just buy new "dry" clutch plates and steels for it...

Phyhowe:

I'd be honored to share! Now that I have answers for "this part" of this project, I'll be spending more time building my full size wood mock-up (before proceeding with welding up the final steel, tubular frame and calculating gear ratios (matching sprocket sizes), to accommodate both the 500cc motorcycle engine and the EV motor in the same drive system so they're both "happy"... Planning for EV speeds between 0mph and 45mph while reserving the motorcycle engine for speeds over 45mph up to about 65mph...

If you're interested in visiting my two "main" build threads, (There have been many, starting with researching the Ninja 500, then the Vulcan 500, then two VW sites researching my plans to cut and widen the front VW axle beam), here they are:


regerative trike questions - DIY Electric Car Forums

This is the DIY electric car website: After reading for months, I finally began posting questions about "regenerative braking/charging" As you read, you'll discover just how much I DIDN'T know! LOL! It covers changing batteries from lead to Lithium, voltage, motors, changing again from a DC motor to an AC motor, increasing motor size and finally getting to where I am now! (There are other threads I started on this site regarding specific questions about controllers, Battery Management Systems, chargers and more.)

LocostUSA.com ? View topic - Reverse Trike, Original Design, a 47yr old dream come true!

While posting on the DIY electric car site, one of the members suggested checking out the LocostUSA website (Their focus is on building cars from scratch (Tubular frames with donor parts like axle spindles, engines, transmissions, etc...) There are also a lot of other threads there where I investigated specific information on suspension, steering geometry, brakes etc...

On both of these sites (especially the Locost site), I had to learn specific vocabulary just to understand what the members were trying to share... What made this site all the more interesting, is that there are a fair number of members who are from the UK... They have their own set of terms for different items: ("Bonnet" = Hood, "Boot" = Trunk ... and what the hell is a "scuttle"??? I couldn't find that word anywhere!!! What is it? Do I need it (them)? Ha! (Only if I want a place to mount my dashboard and windshield! LOL!

There were many times where a member would suggest a (Insert "term"), and I thought they were talking about a "brand" rather than a specific type of component! LOL!

Thank you so much for your help on this project. Unlike those who give up and never complete their projects, I'm in this for the long haul and determined to build this thing...

It started from a concept sketch I drew when I was 14 years old...(Yellow side view: front end from a Schwinn "Stingray" mounted to the rear end of an old "grandma style" tricycle, and using a 12 volt starter motor and an old car battery.. I never did figure out how to control the motor and moved on with the rest of my life.

I'm now 61! My wife and I were searching through an old box of photos and found this "first" 47 year old sketch (She had seen others I had drawn, including a red reverse trike drawn in the '80s and asked: "What's this? I explained and she noted that she saw a "dream pattern" that kept surfacing over the years. She asked why I had never built one... "Didn't know enough, no tools, not enough experience... you know, all the "usual" excuses.) Her reply: "If not now, then when?" (I couldn't ask for better support than that!

So from that point I've collected so many "donor parts", that my prototype "studio", now looks like an automotive "shop"! There are parts stacked up and hanging from walls everywhere you look and the beginnings of a full size wood mock-up is being built on my main work table! LOL! (I'm also smelling more like grease and oil that brings me back to when I worked on cars (repairing my $500 "specials" LOL!)

It's been quite an adventure!

Best,

Richard
 

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Thanks for explaining the sportster issue (I told you I know Nothing about Harley! LOL!:laughing...

Mounting issues are not an issue here. I'll be modifying the transmission case to fit my needs and hopefully cut down a little on the weight.

Just got back from internet research and found clutch plates that were labeled as "wet" or "dry"... Could I just use the stock "wet" clutch used in these transmissions and just replace the plates and steels for dry?

Thanks again!

Richard
By the way. The clutch isn't in the transmission, it's in the primary.
You need to see diagrams of the H-D drive line so you can get a handle on how all this works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
bobf:
Thanks! Yes, I got that. Having the clutch outside of the transmission is what got me interested in the Harley transmission/clutch. (I just didn't know anything about the HD line of bikes and wanted to expand the potential donors to shop from and wondered about the Sportster. (I'm now focused on '90 '99 Soft tails.) My concern was about stock "wet" clutches being used in the primary housing and if and how, I could run the transmission (using the "external" stock "wet" clutch), as a dry clutch so I could easily connect it to the EV motor without a "wet" primary housing...

Now, my focus is: Can I run aftermarket dry plates and steels (Any source suggestions?), in the original clutch to convert and run it as a dry clutch. ;)

Sargent:
Thanks for the kind words... My "fun" level has been going up and down like a roller coaster.. Fun, when I have the "current challenge" solved, down, when I seem to be pounding my head against a brick wall LOL! I've been designing, developing and building prototypes for over 25 years (Deep sea diving equipment, world land speed record hand powered trikes, Ultralight aircraft, tons of toys for companies like Mattel and Hasbro), a well as quite a few years as a motion picture special effects artist... ( - Jarel Design - & Jarel Aircraft Design | RC Airplanes Kits, UAV, gliders and electric sailplanes )

I LOVE what I do for a living! =D I just can't imagine ever "retiring"! This hybrid vehicle project is the biggest, most complicated project I've ever attempted and has really given me a great "kick in the pants" to my fun level and excitement about what I "do"... And what's totally cool, is that "this time", it's for me, not a client and I get to KEEP IT! =D

Richard
 

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This great country used to be full of people like you. Now we are all just running around selling insurance and services to each other. I tell my 11 year old son to "strive for excellence" everyday at school. You sir, seem to be doing just that. Congrats on your awesome adventure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Kainam:

THANK YOU for looking up the links for me! I've bookmarked both of the links you posted (You saved me a LOT of research!) ;)


Sargent:

Thank you for the kind words! I'm just living my life the way I do... (I can't help living like this! It's just who I am... LOL!)

I agree with your perspective on our country! If it makes you feel any better, when I have time off between projects, I visit schools (mostly high schools), and put on a motivational presentations... I don't "sell them" on what I do, but rather that I reached for the stars and made my dream come true and they can too! I bring in and set up about 4 tables worth of movie props, toy prototypes etc... When they walk into the classroom, their jaws drop! They ask if they're all real. When I reply "yes". They ask me for my autograph. I sternly tell them "No!", Go sit down!

When they're all seated, I ask those who asked for my autograph to raise their hands (of course, none do! LOL!), I then point my finger at those I know did and eventually the rest do as well...

"Pretty arrogant guy up here, huh?"

They all look around at each other... "Who IS this guy?!?!?

I ask if they want to know why I told them no.

I said No, because you all think I'm "special"... Come on, who ever gets to work on the set of the bridge of the Star Ship Enterprise? You have to be related top a director or actor or raised in a test tube! (They laugh, but their jaws are still dropped.)

I'm one of "you guys"!!! ... "I failed Algebra in high school, I failed English AND, I failed art!!!! Yet I have one of my creations on permanent display at the New York Museum of Modern Art!!!!"

"The only thing holding you back from your real dreams (the ones you never share with anyone...), is YOU!"

From that point, I have them hooked and have their full attention... I share my story about how I got into film... and yes, I give them my autograph and let them take pictures of each other wearing helmets and holding ray guns! LOL!

My story of how I started off as a "normal guy" and got into film work, is one of my favorites... Worth sharing with your 11 yr old! On my jarelaircraftdesign website. go to "About" on the menu bar. when history drops below, press "about" again. at the top of the page is a 2-part video interview produced by Local's Guide magazine, where I share this story (G-rated, so it's fine for kids). Then share my jareldesign website with him... All sorts of movie props, models and toy prototypes... (To your son: Yeah! This guy plays for a living!! And oh yeah, tell him I'm so sorry I didn't pay better attention in math class... They never told me I'd need it to "play"! LOL!

Thanks again! Your comments touched my heart and reminded me of just how "lucky" I am! =D

Richard
 

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Richard, I would have expected nothing less!!! After my son "Auston" helps me install the primary clutch/compensator set back in my bike tonight he is going to first read this thread, then your story, and finally we will visit your website. You are an inspiration and thanks so much for sharing with those kids. They should always be everybody's most cherished and certainly are our future. Below is picture of us rebuilding a Jeep rear end several years back. He has about 5 years of wrenching under his belt at 11. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
WONDERFUL "father-son" photo!

There's a LOT of love showing there!

You're BOTH very lucky! (That moment alone will last a lifetime!)

Great to see good/loving parenting!

How cool! Thanks for sharing!

Richard
 

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We enjoyed visiting your website. My son and I watched nearly all the videos. My son really liked the sailplanes. Great stuff. Thanks again for sharing.
 
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