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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys, just installed the Carbonite extra plate kit along with the Alto HD diaphragm spring in my '04 Heritage. I've adjusted this thing 4 different times everywhere from 1/4-3/4 turn out and can't stop the creep in 1st gear. Also can't find neutral unless I'm rolling to the stop and get lucky going into it from 2nd. Seems to be downshifting hard too unless I'm rev matching even at low speeds. I called Alto and spoke to their Senior Technical Director and I guess I blew his mind with my question about ATF fill info and the fact that ATF expands bigtime when hot. I wanted to know if I filled it to the bottom of the spring plate and it expanded a lot if it would be a problem. He said nobody's ever asked him that question before. In questioning using ATF and telling him I've seen threads where someone's said "Alto recommends Primary + or other synthetics he said "That's correct". When I told him one of Alto's CS Reps e-mailed me their recommendations to use ATF type F as well as it's on their installation instructions he told me that's not correct and he was going to talk to "his team" and get that removed from the website and the instructions! Then he said I could use a synthetic fluid if I wanted, but I'd be fine with ATF. Am I confused? YES! Am I frustrated? YES! Can anybody give me some advice? Should I just put some miles on it and try to "Bed" the friction plates in? Should I remove the Heavy Duty (20lb+?) spring? Should I go back to something like Redline? The bike is pretty much stock as far as the engine so horsepower isn't an issue. I'd appreciate the help.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thermodyne, I was thinking that spring is the problem. Since I have to drain the fluid, do you think I should stick with the ATF?
 

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For now, I would catch it in a clean container and put it right back in.

After you get the spring changed, take it out an burnish the plates. Basically get it on a pull at about 2500, and then slip the clutch for a couple of seconds. Let it cool and repeat 4 or 5 times. It buffs the rough gritty feeling plate surface down a little.
 

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I've been running the same clutch in my 07 Dyna for about 50,000 miles. ATF is a BAD IDEA! Never used their heavy duty spring because I thought it was overkill. Mind you, my 07 105" cammed and carbed TC will spin the tire and never have the clutch slip. To stock spring and regular primary oil will work out much better for ya.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks. I'll give that a shot then. I kinda had the same idea but I was doing stop and go's on a slight incline slipping the clutch. But it was low rpms.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Still confused over the fluid though. Especially since Alto said either would work but he was going to remove ATF from the instructions! Refer to original post.
 

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ATF will work fine with that early compensator. Fact is almost anything will work. ATF, synthetic motor oil, dedicated primary oil, synthetic gear oil. Formula+ is the go to oil. but seeing as you might be going back in again, you might as well use the oil you have in it. All of the different oils have some different issues. But ATF is not going to cause the clutch to drag more than with the other oils.

A little different story with the later style spoke'd comps. They will show additional wear with ATF.

When You get it open, pull the lever and measure the amount of lift on the pressure plate. Then without altering the adjustments, change the spring and measure it again, see if the lift is increased.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I like that idea of measuring the difference but don't I have to loosen the cable and the pushrod before changing the spring. So then would the re adjustment make that much of a difference? I also thought about maybe pulling the clutch pack and measuring OA height compared to the stock pack I removed. Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You know it seems to me it just won't disconnect enough no matter what adjustment I make and the clutch lever seems kinda spongy. So maybe the friction disc are just to fat with fuzz and the heavy duty spring is just too much for it until they get "smoother" and thinner. What about the push rod? Is there a measurement I can verify on that?
 

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With a basically stock engine, I don't see the need for a heavy spring. I installed a heavy spring with the stock clutch after doing a 88 to 95" upgrade. Tendonitis in my left arm made me get rid of it. A Rivera Pro clutch gave me plenty of clutch friction and was easy on my arm. Been using ATF in the primary as recommended by Rivera. I'd try what Therm said and see how it goes. Probably just need to break in the discs.
 

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I like that idea of measuring the difference but don't I have to loosen the cable and the pushrod before changing the spring. So then would the re adjustment make that much of a difference? I also thought about maybe pulling the clutch pack and measuring OA height compared to the stock pack I removed. Thoughts?

There is no need to back the adjustment off before changing the spring.

As for measuring the stack, check to see if there is a published speck on it before you make the effort. When I was having an issue related to a short stack on my 11, I found that the only publish spec was friction disk thickness.

And stack height is a spring pressure issue, not a release issue. The threaded adjuster in the pressure plate zeros out stack height issues. It really onlu becomes an issue if the pressure plate bottoms out on the hub, or the last disc in is not fully on the splines.
 

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The issue with the heavy springs is deformation. The lever flexes a little more than normal. The right trans cover flexes a little more, the pressure plate flexes a lot more than normal. Even the basket flexes. Add all this wasted motion up, and the clutch never fully releases. All of these parts are die cast aluminum with zinc added to make them cast better. And also pretty weak. That's why people sell billet copies for most of the parts.
 

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I know several riders , me included, that do competition cone riding. Alto makes a very good product and the warranty is great. They know how we abuse our clutches and never fail to replace free of charge with no questions asked. They even shipped me 2 free when I sent 1 in for warranty replacement. I have found that almost any 20-50 oil works well for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Okay guys, first of all I thank you all for your input and I value it greatly. So here's what I've done and found. I measured both springs at the tip of the fingers as they lay on a flat steel surface using a depth gauge. They were not all the same height on either spring. I also measured the clutch stack of both for comparison. I can't find a published stack height anywhere with the exception of one forum on this website that mentions 1.86" in reference to someone's Dyna. FSM just shows a "service replacement" dimension of the friction plates at 0.143". My stock set I pulled out measure 0.149". So that being said, the Alto HD Spring measures .395-.400 with their clutch stack measuring 1.79-1.80". The Harley spring measures .401-.420" and the stock clutch pack comes in with 1.86-1.87". Sooo... combining both and using an avg measurement from the variances I came up with:
Alto at 2.185" Harley at 2.27" which is a difference of 0.085". I don't know if any other OCD knucklehead has ever gone to these lengths but hey at least it was a learning experience. At this point I'm going to reinstall the Alto clutch pack with the stock spring and put back the ATF, adjust everything and see what happens. Also plan on doing a little bedding in or burnishing as Thermodyne suggeted. Here goes everything!
 

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You are wasting your time measuring belleview spring dimensions. The only way to measure them is with a spring pressure tester.

On my 11 the used but functional oem stack measured 1.873. And the AC stack measured 1.812. My issue was that the Barnett plate could only clamp 1.814. So it was basically only pulling with the damper spring. The fix was to pull the thin AC steels and use a set of oem steels which are thicker.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well now I wish I had measured the Alto steel plates before I put it back together. How do I correctly measure the pull of the setup I have now? Depth gauge and pull the clutch in? What will that tell me? Do I need to? It now rides a bit better, only very slight movement when I start it in gear, no problems under throttle upshifting and doesn't seem to slip pulling hard up a grade in 5th. I can hit neutral coming to a stop from second only. Never after a stop in 1st. You think I should just keep trying to burnish the plates in? My problem is I've had this bike a long time and I was used to the way it was with the clutch engaging further out on the lever and an easy neutral. Now it starts to engage about 1/2" from the grip. I only changed the clutch because I felt I couldn't any longer get any better adjustment out of the stock one and the Alto was a gift.
 

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Just stick the outer back on with a couple of bolts, then use a straight edge across the opening. Measure to the pressure plate released, and again with the lever pulled. A spare set of hands is usually needed. I just use the depth rod on my vernier caliper for the measurement. But no reason you couldn't use a little ruler.

First thing, take that nasty spring out. Those heavy springs are nothing but trouble. If it wont hold with the oem spring, think about a clutch with more plate area or a VPC.

On the adjustment. The less you back the center stud out, the more release you will get. On a cold clutch, 1/2 a turn is about the least you can get away with. On a hot one you can just turn it as little as a third or sometimes a quarter turn.

When you back the cable off to adjust the stud, just back it off 2 or 3 threads. Then juggle the lever as you bottom out the stud. Ass long as you don't run out of free play at the lever its fine. If you run out before the stud seats, back the cable off another turn or two, and repeat the stud adjustment. That makes sure the balls are seated at full release and not stuck half way up the ramps.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That Alto spring is on the bench now. LOL! As far as measuring, are you saying place a straight edge across the opening of the primary case? Never adjusted a clutch without backing the cable adjuster all the way in but anything's worth a try. I've always gone 1/2 turn out but now it's a whole new ballgame. I'm going to continue to try to burn the "fuzzies" off those friction plates. Maybe put some miles on it other up and down the road a couple miles at a time.
 
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