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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The clutch on my 75 sporty wasn't engaging completely so I tightened the adjustment nut on the cable. This didn't seem to have much affect and the cable didn't have any play in it, so I loosened it up, apparently looser than it originally was.

When I squeezed the lever I heard a few clicks and a voice in my head say "nice job sh1t head". I tightened the cable a bit more but now I can't move the lever at all, it's hard as a rock. If I loosen it, I just get play in the cable, the clutch itself isn't budging.

What the heck did I do and how do I fix it? I'm not 100% sure on the proper way to remove the cover to see what's going on inside and I don't want to do any more damage. So I'm looking for some tips on getting to the clutch so I can try to fix it, or at least figure out what's going on. Pardon my ignorance, but I'm not sure what the two large "bolts" on the cover are and don't want to mess with it until I have a better idea of what I'm doing.

Can someone please identify these with out making me feel totally clueless:


This is my first bike and I haven't gotten a manual for it yet (is this something the dealer would have for such an old bike?). BTW, this is how I figure things out, I'm not one to run to a mechanic until I'm sure I can't fix it myself.
 

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Not sure I can be of any help as I am not real familiar with the older sporties, but here is what I could find... I have a Clymer Vintage Motorcycle manual and they include the 60-70's Sportsters. The pictures are courtesy of AMF Harley Davidson. Page 1 last entry begins to describe clutch adjustment and page 2 continues it. The picture of the Primary Cover in the book only shows one plug as opposed to the two you have on your bike. My GUESS would be your upper plug to the front of the bike correlates with the Primary Fill plug. Your second plug may be like modern day derby covers that allow for external access and adjustment of the clutch??? Not sure because the book doesnt show that one. Either way, if you didnt somehow get your clutch lever pivot pin wedged somehow, thus preventing movement, you will have to pull the Primary Cover to see if the problem is with the clutch release worm and lever or spring. Your local dealer will probably not have a manual for sale but they can certainly order it from the MOCO. Definitely a good thing to have if you will be keeping the bike. If you are lucky, they may have one in the service department you can take a look at and maybe even borrow their copier to take some pictures. Most dealerships don't touch anything older than EVO so chances are they aren't using the manual. If the Parts Department is worth its weight, they should have the parts book for that model you could look at as well. Who knows, you might just get the info you need. My parts guy is a Sportster fanatic and knows all about the older bikes, hell he rides a pan. Maybe you'll get lucky and find someone there who can guide you trough a little better than I have. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Darknight,
Thanks for taking the time to reseach this! The info is very helpful and has me on the right direction (I hope). Have a great holiday!!!
 

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Like darknight said, plug 1 is the primary fill and it is also the primarly chain inspaction hole. PLug 2 is, like darknight said, equivalant to modern derby covers. Take plug 2 off and you will see the clutch adjusting screw. I have a '77 Sporty that's pretty much the same as your '75 and I have the service manual so if you need to know something just let me know and I'll look it up.

I did something like you described on my Road King once. The clutches and adjusting methods haven't changed too much on HDs in a lot of years. I was adjusting it and heard a click then the lever wouldn't move at all. I don't know what happened but I just kept screwing around with it and now it works fine.

Good luck and let me know if you need any info from the manual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Right on. I pulled the clutch adjustment plug and messed around with the adjustment. The sucker clicked back into place and I'm back to where I was before. I found some good posts about adjusting it the PROPER way, I should be back on the road soon.
Thanks for the help!
 
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