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Try'n to behave
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Discussion Starter #1
Ran into another problem. Bike is an '81 FXWG with a rotary top (cow pie?) transmission.

I rode the bike up to the dealership today just to have a look around. As I was getting ready to leave, the bike wouldn't go into first gear. It acted like it was in neutral but didn't have the indicator (thought it was a bulb or bad connection). It would shift into what I initially thought was 2nd.

Stupid decision I know, but I thought I could make it home (about 5 miles) as long as I didn't have to stop. It took a lot of throttle and feathering of the clutch to get going, and the bike stumbled a lot, but I did get moving. I got up to 50 without having to shift (what would be 4th), so I'm guessing that's what gear it was in. :whoa I got stopped by a light, and didn't like having to work the engine/trans like that so I pulled over.

The shifter moves to what feels like neutral (in between gears?) and what I assume is 4th, but other than that I don't feel anything. It won't down shift at all.

There is (month old) fresh trans fluid (HD brand) in the tranny. The shift linkage moves free. I don't know if it has anything to do with this, but I did put a new clutch cable on yesterday because the old one broke, but it is disengaging the clutch and the lever arm is moving properly.

I am guessing something on the inside isn't right (duh? huh?), but don't know where to start. Any help or idea's, or pointers would be greatly appreciated!
 

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VA Fender Bender
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5,549 Posts
oh man that sucks. hope there is a simple solution but somehow I dont think so
 

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Try'n to behave
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Discussion Starter #3
Simple = New Trans. :laugh






oh wait, I mean :bluduh
 

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Just Ride
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3,035 Posts
Check your linkage, that weird set up Harley used on that trans sux. Pull the top, click it around and make sure shifter pawl is moving.

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Retired citizen
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22,061 Posts
Changed the clutch cable and now problems !!!
Triple check your cable installation and adjustment. There's a measurement parameter for the release arm on the top of the trans that has to be correct.
 

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Try'n to behave
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Discussion Starter #6
Changed the clutch cable and now problems !!!
Triple check your cable installation and adjustment. There's a measurement parameter for the release arm on the top of the trans that has to be correct.
Will that parameter be listed in the Clymer manual?, because that's the only one I've been able to find for this bike. If I can find it, I'll try it today. Thanks!

Check your linkage, that weird set up Harley used on that trans sux. Pull the top, click it around and make sure shifter pawl is moving.

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This one may take a little longer, but I have a feeling I'm not going to be able to get away from pulling it apart.
 

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Registered
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Try'n to behave
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5,523 Posts
Discussion Starter #8

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Retired citizen
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In the Clymer look for a pic of the cowpie in the trans section, it should show a measurement of the release arm to the trans case. I'm thinking 5/8ths inch but I'm not certain.
 

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Try'n to behave
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5,523 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
In the Clymer look for a pic of the cowpie in the trans section, it should show a measurement of the release arm to the trans case. I'm thinking 5/8ths inch but I'm not certain.
I found it. Took me a little bit to find, but it says 13/16". I'm sitting at 1" exactly, so I'm going to readjust and see if that helps.

If you pulled that off the top of your head.....all I can say is WOW! Your way better than I'll ever be!
 

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Addicted Since 2010
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7,845 Posts
I found it. Took me a little bit to find, but it says 13/16". I'm sitting at 1" exactly, so I'm going to readjust and see if that helps.

If you pulled that off the top of your head.....all I can say is WOW! Your way better than I'll ever be!
I'm sure he did. Its friggin schmidtys him and Dave are the Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee of Harley Davidson's!!

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Try'n to behave
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5,523 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Figured out what happened. Shifter arm inside the tranny top was twisted and wouldn't allow the shifter plate to move properly which is why it would go to a false neutral between 4th and 3rd. $89 and a few hours work and I'm pretty sure the problem is fixed.

Maybe this will help someone else in the future!
 

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Wayward Son
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23,048 Posts
make yourself a go-no-go guage for this. i used a small piece of sheet metal
Not a bad idea. But thread is over a year old.
 
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