Board index Flathead Power-Technical Questions, Answers, and Suggestions Shovels Clutch losing adjustment - STUMPED

Clutch losing adjustment - STUMPED

Post Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:44 pm

Posts: 74
Location: Wichita, KS
OK, this is weird. The shovel (77 FXE) has developed a REALLY frustrating and debilitating problem. Out of the blue, the clutch adjustment is going limp. I'm cruising along and the clutch lever gets more and more play until there is no disengagement (a visual "stretch" of about 1/4" inch play at the lever). First time, aggravating but I've had clutches go out of adjustment before, no biggie, right ? Remove the derby and tighten up the clutch rod nut cause it must have backed off for some reason. Works Great ! Lasts approximately 5 miles. Problem repeats, another 1/4" of play at the lever. Damn ! Has to be the cable adjuster, lock nut has to have backed off and let the cable housing move. Check it, it looks OK, breaks (too) easy with a wrench; Well, we'll just readjust the cable and lock her down with Red Locktite. Works Great ! Lasts about 15 miles. Problem repeats, another 1/4 of play ... S O B ! OK, gotta get it home, back under the derby, remove the slack, lock her down, head for home (return trip from previous 15 miles). Halfway home I've got play again and I "crashing" gears to shift (mostly trying to stay in third).

Here's the deal, I can only come up with so many explanations
1. the cable is stretching exponentially - highly unlikely
2. the clutch arm is slowly bending forward - highly unlikely
3. the clutch adjusting nut is backing off, repeatedly, highly unlikely but ... possible, however doesn't appear to be the case as its not loose when I check it.
4. clutch cable adjuster is backing off, repeatedly, highly unlikely but ... possible, however doesn't appear to be the case as its not loose when I check it.
5. clutch rod is disintegrating inside the trans, haven't checked this but .. COME ON ! The probability of this is too minuscule to contemplate, isn't it ?
6. Your guess goes here ............................

Thanks for any and all thoughts

37 UL
47 U
77 FXE

Post Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:13 am

Posts: 228
Location: Burlington Iowa USA
Throw out bearing is now gone and the rod is being chewed by the clutch fork. Better quit riding it and pull the kick cover and dig the pieces out.

Post Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:19 am
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 6143
Location: Ohio USA

Just fixed an 82 doing the same thing. The center pushrod was mushrooming. on one end. Pa

Post Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:54 pm

Posts: 74
Location: Wichita, KS
Thanks guys, 2 replies, basically the same thing. Guess I'm pulling the kicker cover. I'll post what I find.

Post Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:13 pm

Posts: 43
That dime sized throwout bearing has no tolerance for misadjustment. It has to have a little free play to avoid burning up.
Replace the 2 thrust washers and the clip. Make sure the rod end is still OK.

Post Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:57 am

Posts: 18
Location: Paris - France
Hello Flatheadrider.

Had exactly the same problemon my 1971 FLH1200 back a year ago.
The issue came from the Clutch nut that was way too old and the inner thread was worn out.
Just replacing the Clutch nut solved the problem.


Post Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:23 am

Posts: 123
Location: Mpls. area
Same thing happened on my 49 pan many years ago, bad throwout bearing caused the rod to get chewed up Mike

Post Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:19 pm

Posts: 74
Location: Wichita, KS
Thank you gentlemen, it was the Throw Out Bearing (smoked and disintegrated). the new one is installed and operating fine.

Return to Shovels