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Discussion Starter #1
I've heard reports on the forum of the shift linkages being junk, and failing after not too many miles.

Do all models have this problem? I've got an '07 Softail Night Train, and I would like to replace my shift linkage BEFORE it leaves me stranded, but I wasn't sure if my bike is one of the ones that has the bad linkage or not? I know some bikes have different length linkages, but wasn't sure if the internal parts are all the same.

Thanks
 

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I think the heim joint is junk on all of them!!! 25000 miles if you are lucky. A couple of plastic zip ties will keep you from being stranded. Like duct tape, "never go anywhere without it".

Bwana01
 

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IronButt
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386 Posts
The stock ball joint set up that Harley uses is junk. I had two sets go on me. The heim joints I carry are nice and make for better shifting (takes out play in the linakge). The stock shift linkage are fine but in my opinion Harley should go with chrome. Check out my sponsor thread if in the market for heim joints, shift linkage or complete set up.

http://http://www.v-twinforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=105812
 

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FOG
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bwana01 said:
I think the heim joint is junk on all of them!!!
Bwana01
The problem is the stock joints aren't heim joints. They're kind of a ball joint setup. Mickey's Customs (site sponsor) sells gorgeous replacement shifter rods with heim joints at a great price. I'm extremely satisfied with the shifter rod/heim joints I received from Mickey.
 

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My buddy's ball joint broke at about 25,000 while we were in Sturgis. Took me 2 minutes to fix it with a ziptie. Temp fix stayed together through Sturgis and the ride back home without any problems. I have about 34,000 on my Softail and still using the original shift rod. I just recently checked the ball joints and they looked to be in good shape. No excess wear or corrosion. Maybe i'm just lucky.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK guys, thanks for all your help. Sounds like I'll buy one of the Mickey Custom ones.

You know, besides leaving a person stranded, a broken shift linkage could kill a rider if it went at just the WRONG time.
 

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2005 Road King Classic
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Mickeys-Customs said:
The stock ball joint set up that Harley uses is junk. I had two sets go on me. The heim joints I carry are nice and make for better shifting (takes out play in the linakge). The stock shift linkage are fine but in my opinion Harley should go with chrome. Check out my sponsor thread if in the market for heim joints, shift linkage or complete set up.

http://http://www.v-twinforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=105812
I would have to agree. Also I have Mickey's system on my bike in stainless. Good stuff.
 

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bwana01 said:
I think the heim joint is junk on all of them!!! 25000 miles if you are lucky. 1
BS, BS, BS. I got 54k on mine. To say if your lucky is BS. Maybe some fail, but its not that high. I have never met anyone in the real world who had one fail.

I am the first one to complain about HD, maybe they could put something better on. But I don't think its as bad as forums make it sound. If you let everything on here worry you, you will never leave the house.

25k:spank:
 

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MisterbYou know said:
So could a brake line, belt, clutch cable, clutch, kickstand spring, tire, shifter lever, brake lever, brake pedal, shift shaft spline, 12pack
 

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Discussion Starter #12
berserker said:
So could a brake line, belt, clutch cable, clutch, kickstand spring, tire, shifter lever, brake lever, brake pedal, shift shaft spline, 12pack
Yeah, so why add one more to the list?

You sound like the type that thinks "I'll die when it's my time to die". Yeah, well- you might not die from your shift linkage going out at the wrong time, but you could be injured to the point where you're sipping your dinner through a straw the rest of your life and looking forward to your next sponge bath from home health...and when the 300lb dude with greasy hair shows up, you'll wish you HAD died.
 

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Misterb said:
You sound like the type that thinks "I'll die when it's my time to die". Yeah, well- you might not die from your shift linkage going out at the wrong time, but you could be injured to the point where you're sipping your dinner through a straw the rest of your life and looking forward to your next sponge bath from home health...and when the 300lb dude with greasy hair shows up, you'll wish you HAD died.
Ahhh, no I am the dude has 54k on mine. If you worry abiut every thing brought up on forums, you will never ride. I bet less the 1% have a problem.

I think you are overeacting on this too. Your probably more likely to have a clutch cable break. Which I do plan on changing out this winter as part of maintenace.

Its on my list to do sometime.

As for me getting molested, ah you need to see a therapist and get past it. Don't let it become a viscous circle.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
berserker said:
Ahhh, no I am the dude has 54k on mine. If you worry abiut every thing brought up on forums, you will never ride. I bet less the 1% have a problem.

I think you are overeacting on this too. Your probably more likely to have a clutch cable break. Which I do plan on changing out this winter as part of maintenace.

Its on my list to do sometime.

As for me getting molested, ah you need to see a therapist and get past it. Don't let it become a viscous circle.
It's called being smart and attempting to prevent problems before they happen.

Molested? Nobody said anything about being molested, except for you. Must be something on YOUR mind, huh?
 

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IronButt
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You may never have to replace the Harley stock ball joint but all I am saying is they do brake just like anything else. The heim joint is just a better and stronger set up.

True story
a few weeks ago while out at a bar with a good friend of mine. My friend ran into a guy he works with who also rides. He was digging my shift linkage on my ride and I told him he should consider replacing his ball joints out with heim joints and gave him a brochure of my parts.

3 days later he called me and told me the next day after he and I talked his rear ball joint went (he used electrical tape fot a temp fix).

S__t happens
 

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0043--Licensed to Doof!
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I have about 50,000 miles on the HD aftermarket chrome shift linkage. No problems with any part of my shift linkage, 2003 Electra Glide Classic.

I have two friends that have roadkings, both 2005's who have had nothing but problems with the shifter linkage. BUT.... not the joint. The splined area where it enters the inner primary has stripped on two bikes I know of and keeps coming loose on another. Replaced, repaired, re-broke!! And no, they're not heavy footed shifters either. They don't stomp or beat their scooters.

Just my observations, that's all.
 

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I've got an '04 EG and I had the ball joint break two years ago ..tie wraps saved the day got me the rest of the way home...about 1200 miles, no problems with the replacement yet. A friend of mine with a 2000 E G has had the splined shaft strip out two times. My shaft and shifter has some slop in it, just the toe piece, I don't use the heel. I see on the new shaft, there is more machining where the toe shifter base sits up against, hopefully this will allow for a better fit so the side of the shifter base isn't jammed up on the shoulder of the shaft. I'll know when I put the new piece on.
 

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The linkage on my 47 flathead is rather primitive. :whisper:

Never had any issues my later models though.
 

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berserker said:
BS, BS, BS. I got 54k on mine. To say if your lucky is BS. Maybe some fail, but its not that high. I have never met anyone in the real world who had one fail.

I am the first one to complain about HD, maybe they could put something better on. But I don't think its as bad as forums make it sound. If you let everything on here worry you, you will never leave the house.

25k:spank:
@gree: Well said ... I have 100K on mine and it's never given me a problem ... but I always carry a few zip ties with me anyway.

On the other hand, I had a look at Mickey's site and he really does have some good stuff there. Just my -2$en#e-
 

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Misterb said:
I've heard reports on the forum of the shift linkages being junk, and failing after not too many miles.

Do all models have this problem? I've got an '07 Softail Night Train, and I would like to replace my shift linkage BEFORE it leaves me stranded, but I wasn't sure if my bike is one of the ones that has the bad linkage or not? I know some bikes have different length linkages, but wasn't sure if the internal parts are all the same.

Thanks

I've never had a problem with my shift linkage yet. Maybe try some red Loc-tite?
 
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