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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just changed the primary/trans oil in my '01 Sportster 883, and adding the 32oz of Sport Trans oil it calls for, it brings the level up to 1/8" or so above the recommended level. I adjusted the clutch and cable per the service manual and now it seems to drag. While trying to start it in gear, the bike wants to move forward. Can the slightly overfill condition cause this? Thanks
 

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was the fluid viscosity rated the same as stock? sounds too thick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Harley dealer is the one who gave it to me and it's called for in the service manual (2001). It seemed a little thick but I don't know what the viscosity is, Harley doesn't say. I drained out a very small amount probably an ounce or ounce or two max to bring it down to the very bottom of the clutch spring. I then tightened up the clutch adjustment some but haven't had a chance to try it. The manual says to have 1/16"-1/8" cable play up at the clutch lever. That's the part I have a little difficulty with. How much tug do you put on the cable to get the play? I think you can move the clutch lever in the primary tugging on the cable jacket at the clutch hand lever, but maybe not. Down in the clutch area, there is a hexagon nut with a threaded screw in the middle. They say to back it out until you feel resistance. Then back it off 1/4 turn. Do you go so you can't move it anymore or where it just contacts whatever it is? The book is a little gray. Sorry for such a long post, I am unsure about this.

Would a synthetic be better?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I adjusted the clutch cable as it seemed to tight before. I just got this bike and I don't know what the other owner did, if anything. Would a synthetic oil be better?

How does everyone else adjust the clutch? When I turn the adjuster screw out (CCW) you feel a slight contact then you can turn it a little more before it meets significant resistance. That's where I took it this time, then backed it off 1/4turn. Does this sound about right? Then at the clutch lever I pulled the sheath back (effort required) to get the 1/16"-1/8" play. It is closer to 1/16".
 

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Take all slack out of cable at cable adjuster nut (under rubber cover by front downtube). Loosen clutch lock nut and turn screw until just touches and the slack is removed from screw. (clutch hub) Back screw out 1/4 turn tighten lock nut while making sure to hold center screw from turning. (Clutch hub) Button up primary. If you are tightening the screw further putting tension on it after it makes contact then backing it off a 1/4 it's too much and won't release fully. Then go to the clutch cable adjustment and adjust till you get around 1/16 to 1/8 lever free play. you can use a dime as a gauge. I still use good old Harley primary lube in my primary and tranny oil in my tranny. I only use SYN in my engine, but to each his own. It is not the Syn in the primary giving you clutch trouble. It's a worn out clutch or more then likely just the clutch adjustment. Try again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
If I'm reading the procedure right, I take all the slack out of the cable BEFORE I adjust the clutch adjusting screw? Then at the clutch hand lever I adjust until I get the 1/16"-18" play. The clutch lever is a tough one to guage, as it feels tight, but then if you give it a good tug, you can move it the recommended amount. I'll have to go back in the primary and see if I have it right there. I have the std. Harley oil in there now, I was curious as to whether the synthetic would be a better choice.

Thanks for the help, as the manual leaves some gray.

This is an additional followup. I went out and tried it for the third time. I screwed the adjustment screw out until I felt resistance and it just started to move the outer ramp. Do you have to hold the outer ramp inward to insure good engagement? I then backed the screw down 1/4 turn. Then I tightened up the cable adjuster while moving the cable up at the lever so when the play hit about dime size, I called it a day. I had the bike on its jiffy stand so discovered right away why I had it propped up before, oil started to run out the clutch opening. The oil level is just ticking or a hair below the clutch spring, so close hard to call. I did notice the oil seemed thick, almost gummy, so maybe this is the problem. It's HD Sport Trans oil as recommended so maybe the cooler weather has something to do with it. Hopefully it'll be o.k. now.
 

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ctd said:
If I'm reading the procedure right, I take all the slack out of the cable BEFORE I adjust the clutch adjusting screw? Then at the clutch hand lever I adjust until I get the 1/16"-18" play. The clutch lever is a tough one to guage, as it feels tight, but then if you give it a good tug, you can move it the recommended amount. I'll have to go back in the primary and see if I have it right there. I have the std. Harley oil in there now, I was curious as to whether the synthetic would be a better choice.

Thanks for the help, as the manual leaves some gray.

This is an additional followup. I went out and tried it for the third time. I screwed the adjustment screw out until I felt resistance and it just started to move the outer ramp. Do you have to hold the outer ramp inward to insure good engagement? I then backed the screw down 1/4 turn. Then I tightened up the cable adjuster while moving the cable up at the lever so when the play hit about dime size, I called it a day. I had the bike on its jiffy stand so discovered right away why I had it propped up before, oil started to run out the clutch opening. The oil level is just ticking or a hair below the clutch spring, so close hard to call. I did notice the oil seemed thick, almost gummy, so maybe this is the problem. It's HD Sport Trans oil as recommended so maybe the cooler weather has something to do with it. Hopefully it'll be o.k. now.


Yep, take all the slack out of the cable before you adjust the screw on the clutch hub. Don't make it so complicated and try and measure that dime to a hair of nowhere! Simply:
1.) take the slack out of cable
2.) loosen lock nut and turn center clutch stud in till it just make contact no more no less.
3.) Back it out 1/4 turn.
4.) Button up primary and adjust cable for 1/16 to 1/8 play. Yes you will have to give a tug on the cable to properly measure the clearance. Give it a tug till it's taught and check clearance. You cant pull it too tight. Pull it tight enough till you can't pull it more. There should be 1/16 to 1/8. Roughly. Don't beat youself trying to put it so a dime slides in like a feeler gauge tight. You basically just want some cable slack so when you turn the forks, pull on the cable etc, you have enough slack to keep the clutch disengaged when moving down the road. There is some room for error. If the cable has too much slack, it will catch in an uncomfortable position when letting it out, and it will not disengage the clutch fully leading to a grinding when going into a gear. Too tight and the clutch will not full disengage leading to slipping. You'll know if either condition exists.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the clarification, I wasn't sure how hard to tug on the cable. I was afraid it would pull the cable enough it would start to move the clutch lever in the primary. It sounds like that isn't the case. I may have to take a little more slack out, as I didn't pull that hard, so I'll recheck that. It was grinding going into gear (1st).

I appreciate the technique as this simple thing has gotten overly confused. Thanks for the help,

Steve
 

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Steve, if you are strong enough to pull that cable and engauge that clutch even a little, I wouldn't want to meet you in a dark alley! :xhere: Since you are not familiar with what the tension should feel like, the tendency is to make it more complicated then it really is. Don't worry, soon enough you will be twisting belts and eyeballing clearances with confidence. Hope I have helped!
Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Rick, thanks for the help, I am treading new territory so need to get familiar with what things feel like. I just took the bike for a ride and it shifts fine, no crawling sitting still and the clutch starts to move the bike about 1" off the grip. It "clunks" going into 1st from neutral, but I suppose that's from the inertia of the clutch being stopped when it freewheels in neutral. Seems to be fine, so I appreciate the patience.

Steve
 

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ctd said:
Rick, thanks for the help, I am treading new territory so need to get familiar with what things feel like. I just took the bike for a ride and it shifts fine, no crawling sitting still and the clutch starts to move the bike about 1" off the grip. It "clunks" going into 1st from neutral, but I suppose that's from the inertia of the clutch being stopped when it freewheels in neutral. Seems to be fine, so I appreciate the patience.

Steve

Good Steve, It sounds like she is adjusted to perfection!
 

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I'm in Steve's boat. I just adjusted the clutch cable for the first time. When I was done I would hold the cable and gently pull on the clutch lever and let it out and take the slack out of the cable. Then see how much play was at the cable end in the lever assembly of the hand control. It was about 1/16 - <1/4". It seemes right to me. I see the clutch lever, now, when pulled in does not move but about 3/4ths of the way to the grip. I didnt notice before if it bottomed to the grip. I do know it is a whole lot easier to make a quicker in-out clutch operation making for a better shift. Im guessing it fine. I dont know if the dealer adjusted it at the 1000 mile service.
 

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although this is slightly off topis, why would you have it in gear when starting. in nuetral and clutch pulled in is how I always start my bike.
 

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brownjams said:
although this is slightly off topis, why would you have it in gear when starting. in nuetral and clutch pulled in is how I always start my bike.
I always start mine in gear. I park it in 1st and when I start it up Im gonna be moving with in 15 or 20 seconds. Im all ready to move when I hit the start button.
 

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I was told by a HD mechanic that when the bike is cold to let it warm up and let the oil get throughout the engine, not to fire it up and ride. I'm just going by what he said. real cold about a 2 minute warm up.
 

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brownjams said:
I was told by a HD mechanic that when the bike is cold to let it warm up and let the oil get throughout the engine, not to fire it up and ride. I'm just going by what he said. real cold about a 2 minute warm up.

I agree with that. I try to hear when oil has heached into the heads and is moving down. I think to keep the RPMs as low as you can until oil has reached everywhere its suosed to reach is the wise thing to do. It doesnt take very long. I can hear it much more easily in my car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I wouldn't think low RPM (slow idle) would be good as I thought the oil pressure was minimal or almost non-existant at a slow idle. I've read where the slow idle sounds cool, but is determental due to the oil system. Any ideas?
 

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ctd said:
I wouldn't think low RPM (slow idle) would be good as I thought the oil pressure was minimal or almost non-existant at a slow idle. I've read where the slow idle sounds cool, but is determental due to the oil system. Any ideas?
My thoughts are that all engine systems are operating at idle. On a Sportster that is 1000 RPMs I believe. Mine idles at 1050 or about. It stands to reason that if a motor cools by way of the oil that oil should be circulating at idle, as well as the battery charging. When I start up from a dead cold I need to enrich it and that brings the idle up to 1200 or so. I never worry that oil isnt pumping and I dont sit around too long at idle. It all comes out in the wash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The RPM you are posting sounds fine, I was referring to lower idle speeds. I don't have a tach on my sporty so I go by ear. I had seen that around 750 rpm was to slow as the oil just didn't make the circuit that well, but I have no first hand knowledge of that. Sounds like you are doing o.k. however.
 
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