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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys.
I have an 82 Shovel FL with Delkron cases/S&S uppers in a 89" stroker and need to make a decision regarding the 4 speed tranny. Its exhibiting what I like to call "over-shifting into a false nuetral". Most often it happens when downshifting from 3rd to 2nd. I just had the engine completely rebuilt due to a crank bearing exploding all over the bottom end(and a good amount of the top). I'm about 1,000 miles into the break-in and starting to open up the throttle a bit, which causes the tranny problem to show up more and miss more and more shifts.

So I can have the 4 speed rebuilt, but just getting the sucker out of there and torn apart is a good amount of time let alone actually fixing the problem, (I'm leaning towards a bent shift fork and maybe some worn splines) getting new parts, bolting it back together and getting all the alignments and specs is gonna cost me a good amount of cash.

So I am wondering whether just buying a new 5 speed is a better idea. I mean if I gotta drop all the cash into this, I may as well get a whole NEW tranny and an extra gear to boot.

However I ride pretty hard (hence everything needing to be rebuilt!) and am worried about the stroker eating up one of these 5-in-a-4-speed trannys. I already had to take out the Primo primary belt drive that a previous owner installed as the stroker just kept shredding belts like noones business. I could barely get 300 miles out of one! So its back to the leaky chain primary. Joy.

My choices of the 5-in-a-4 tranny seem limited as I really want to keep a kicker on it and I cannot go to a dry clutch as some of the trannys I have seen require. So I have been leaning towards a 5-speed kicker tranny that Sputhe makes. (Sputhe Web site) A wrench friend thought very highly of Sputhe but had only used their 6 speed trannys in late-model bikes.

Anyone have any experience with Sputhe 5-in-a-4 trannys?
Anyone have any suggestions on other 5-in-a-4 trannys from other manufacturers?
Anyone think I should not tempt fate and just rebuild the 4 speed? ;-)

I really appreciate any info.

PS. Please help -- she's sick.


Premium Member
852 Posts
well first off TC is right that is a fine looking shovel. but back to the problem, as far as the 5 speeds reliability i can't help ya but , stand back and really look at your choices. if you rebuild the 4speed i have found for smoother shifts it is nice to change to the close ratio 3rd gear just to space all the gears evenly but you are still stuck with only four gears which has got to be even harder on the rest of the drive line as compared to a 5 speed which of course would keep your gears much closer together and with the same final drive ratio. so if you do decide to rebuild it seems to me from past experience that when fitting the bushing on the shafts its better to be a little loose as compared to a little tight.
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