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Discussion Starter #1
Hey gents, This is High Center (aka Chuck Gruby) from Laporte, Texas, here.

Mine is not a new problem, but I have not heard of any fixes. It has to do with the shifter arm on the transmission loosening up after a short period of time. I've had to address his problem three different times at a price from $350 to $430 a try. As you know, it order to get the arm off the shifter shaft, it requires that the entire primary be disassembled. If you replace the shaft, the transmission must be disassemble to boot. At $55 to $65 per hour, you can see it can get expensive.

I have not undertook to disassemble down to that level yet, but I'm about there. Has anyone any advise as to what not, or what to do for this project?

Has anyone found a way to tighten the shifter arm on the shaft without dissasembling the whole bike? (I don't mean just tightening it with an allen wrench, but installing a shim between the arm and shaft etc.)

Has anyone tried drilling the arm and shaft and installing a "roll pin"? (.... while still on the bike?)

Oh BTW, the bike is a 1987 Electra Glide Classic.

Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Boy it gets pretty bad when you have to reply to your own post in order to get just one.

I can't believe that no-one has had this problem with the shifter arm and has not come up with an alternative solution.

I am going to write Harley and suggest that this ratty design has been perpetuated long enough and it's time to mill the end of that shaft square and the hole in the arm to correspond, and stop this nonscense.

No self respecting tractor would have a design like that.

P. O'ed,
 

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Loose Shift Lever

Is this problem similar to the "stripping" that can occur when you use your heel shifter with a heavy foot? That problem seems to have been around for quite a while with no real solution. Although I enjoy the heel shifter, I've taken to using the toe shift exclusively to avoid further future stipping. Haven't heard any suggestions for correcting the loosening problem inexpensively. I suspect this is the reason no one responded earlier--no one had an answer. But I will say if your bike's been around for nearly 15 years, then she's served you well.
 

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Well, you described it about right.
Knowing this to be a problem, similar if much more expensive then the shift levers coming loose on the shaft, every time I get a new bike I remove the Allen screw, move the lever as much as possible and give the whole enchilada a good bath of red loctite before reinstalling the Allen screw. Much like using the red loctite on the threads and splines of the toe and heel shift levers.
Have yet to have a problem.
What comes to mind is the common vibration of the shift linkage and levers is what eventually wears things and causes them to loosen in this area. On all but the latest bikes it helps also to install a wave washer on the shift lever shaft to stabilize it and prevent excessive vibration.
Personally have never gotten used to the rear (heel) shift lever anyway, so I remove them too. You would think that lightening the assembly also help.
If it is apart anyway, a roll pin can certainly not hurt, but if you consider how soft the lever behind the primary is, it will probably wear in time too unless you control the source of the problem which in my opinion is the vibration.
 

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Just saw the date on your post. The reason I did not see it earlier is that I have the browser set to display just the new posts over the last two days. The enormous number of topics makes the otherwise very good board labor intensive to navigate, and I tend to like the simpler things in life.
 

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'87 FLHTC Shift Linkage

Howdy High Center! Your's is a tough one. My 86's front shifter shaft's knurls got rounded off where the heel and toe shifter clamp on, and have replaced that shaft once along with a couple of heel shift levers (guess I stomp on it too hard?).

Beer can shims and a nylon wire tie wrap figure 8'd around the arms & shaft bandaided it for a few years until replacing the shaft & bushings. Saw an aftermarket "anti vibration/ anti rattle" wave washer kit a couple years ago, but nothing for the tranny shift arm.

Also remember a sheet metal screw repair in an old easyrider's Fix It booklet, to retain the FX style 4 speed toe shifter from flying off. It was similar to the roll pin idea you mentioned. Did you have any spring breakage inside your tranny were it rubs on the shifter shaft lever & pawl? A riding buddy's '91 bagger's spring is broken. He pulls the shift lever up with his toe to engage the next gear.
 

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Leaving that broken spring in the gearbox is pretty risky. The broken off pieces have been known to lunch gears now and then.
Better to bite the bullet and fix it as soon as it happens, while looking just at labor. The gears are not cheap, and as soon as one goes it usually takes others with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everybody for you responces. They help quite a lot. I think I'll go ahead and remove the heel shift lever as I do tend to stomp it on occasion.

I like the idea of locktightening every thing down, but if I get that dude out of there again, I'm going to mill the end of the shifter shaft square and make a new shift lever.

I did have a shift return spring break. That was a $430 job to fix. I was not lucky enough to be able to shift up into a higher gear. And I agree about runing the bike with that spring down in the bottom of the tranny ......... It's pretty hard and won't do the gears any good if it gets picked up by them.

Again, thanks for the inputs guys,

Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Viola....Viola .... Viola....!!!!

Hippo and PasadenaJim -

I took both of your advise. I removed the heel shift lever and slipped a compression spring over the foot shifter shaft to eliminate the rattle. i then loosened the shifter shaft on the transmission and slide it back and dowsed it good with red Locktight. You know it tightened everything up pretty good, and I even am beginning to like toe shifting again.

Thanks again for the technical assistance.
 

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Hope it works as well for you as it does for me. I could never get used to the heel shifter anyway and find that I can shift much quicker just with the toe shifter.
 

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My damn lever seemed to come off everytime I got on the thing. About 6 to eight monts ago a friend welded the damn thing to the spline shaft. Don't use the rear shifter and have it in my saddlebag just in case.

One thing that really helps with the vibration is often overlooked. Make sure that you pack grease tightly around that shaft. Lot's of folks tend to get everthing tightend down and overlook busting out the grease gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks JimmyK for the input. You know, I was thinking about welding the shifter arm to the shaft, just as your friend did yours. When it comes time to have to get int the transmission, you can just grind off the weld and replace the shaft.

Thanks again guys. I knew that in the collective minds off the Harley community there had to be some people out there with simular problems to mine, and had come up with some good fixes.

Cheers,
 
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High Center
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