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Thread: Transmission gurus! I have a story for ya!

  1. #1
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    Transmission gurus! I have a story for ya!

    Okay so this is kind of a long story, so bare with me. The transmission on my 2009 xb12r had problems with 3rd gear. When I first started having problems with it, I'd be in third and when I would give it more than half throttle in low rpms (2000-3000) it would buck like crazy. Felt like really back fuel cut or something. Then it started getting to the point where third gear was useless. It felt like it was spinning freely and made bad grinding noises. So I bring it to the shop I bought it from, and they were going to fix it under warranty. A month goes by and they declare the transmission "unfixable", and wrote me a check to get a new bike, which was extremely awesome. But I looked at the tranny, and nothing seemed broken at all, minus a very small chip in one of the teeth in first gear, which is odd because first gear felt great. The slipping/bucking problem was ONLY in third at low rpms, and heavy throttle. The shift fork for third was bent slightly, and had some wear on it, which makes sense why it didn't act right in third. So these guys basically lie to me and say that my tranny is blown up and in a 100 pieces and isn't worth fixing. What I think is that they didn't want to try and fix it because they didn't have the knowledge to do it, or the special tools to press the main and countershaft back into the case. So anyway, from the looks of it, all I think I need is some new bearings, first gear, and a shift fork to rebuild this transmission. The mechanic told me there's all these special shims that you need to assemble the tranny correctly but I didn't see anything in the manual about that. I think he just didn't want to rebuild it. So my question for you guys is, how hard is it to rebuild these transmissions, and is it possible without any special tooling? I really think I can get this thing out back together. Maybe have a shop just press in the transmission assembly using the special tools and I can assemble the rest of the engine. Anywho, your thoughts or guidance would be greatly appreciated!! BTW I'm using that check to buy an extremely clean Ulysses with low miles. Same year as my firebolt. I get my entire xb12r back so that means I'll at the very least have an entire parts bike for the Ulysses if I can't fix the tranny!
    Last edited by 303frost; 10-21-2016 at 05:37 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Chicknstripn's Avatar
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    Look at the service manual. Tranny isn't rocket science but it's not super simple. Replace anything and everything in the transmission that looks even remotely worn. It doesn't take much to get a gear skipping. Replace all three shift forks. They are a wear item that wear specifically to the gears they actuate. Look in the service manual and you'll see how several gears in the tranny work together to actuate another.
    I rebuilt my transmission and all it requires was time, a quality set of snap ring pliers and my local HD. My local HD has been super cool with me whenever I need parts or asssistance. They pressed the tranny out of the case for me and pressed it back in after the rebuild FOR FREE! All I had to do was take the left(I think it's the left case the trans is pressed into, can't quite remember) to them.
    There are spacers between gears and shift dogs. They are more like washers. They have specific placements so follow the manual and you should have no issues. No shims in there.
    Whatever shop you took your bike to don't take anything there again!
    However. In their defense they might not value the bike as high as you do and therefore feel it's less expensive to cut you a check and wash their hands of it. If you had any HD dealer rebuild it you're looking at an easy $2500
    Good luck with the rebuild!

    Oh, keep in mind that you're going to be splitting the cases to rebuild the transmission, so now is a good time to perform any and all engine mods. Last thing you want to do is have to split those cases again!
    Also, take into consideration the cost of gears, shift forks, roller bearings, circle clips, bearings, oil seals, gaskets, sealants, and whatever else could go wrong.
    So, don't cash that check in on a uly just yet!

  3. #3
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    The tranny is already out and cases split. My fear is that they don't box up everything a lose important parts or hardware. I'll look through the diagrams and verify everything is there though. I'm definitely going to replace all the bearings and circlips. Having the HD dealership go over the tranny with me is a good idea. There's plenty left on that check to do a rebuild and get the uly

  4. #4
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    Is there an online store where I can get everything I need for the transmission?

  5. #5
    Senior Member squidbuellie's Avatar
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    I have a good transmission for sale for $125-$150 shipped

  6. #6
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    For a 2009 xb12?

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    If you need a shop. I know a shop that does mostly all Buell work send me a PM and I will get you their information.

  8. #8
    Senior Member squidbuellie's Avatar
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    06-10 is the same spiral gear transmission....

  9. #9
    Senior Member squidbuellie's Avatar
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    One thing I would check before you do any work to your bike... look at the cases and see if the casting is oval or egg shape... I have heard of later bikes 08-10 had sloppy cast work. I have personally come across 5 where the trans failed because or it.. i.e. Main trans bearing in the left side under the clutch basket. Some shops did repairs but they didn't work that goodIMG_0461.JPG

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    That's one for the Buell file^^^^ dang Squid, did it again.

    Trans are very simple, but exact. If you can follow directions, you can build it yourself.

    FYI. Motorcycle transmissions like our Buells are 'constant mesh' which means the gears are always meshing. Typically the gears that transmit the power through the trans are fine. What you need to do is look at the dogs. When the edges wear off the pins, they will slip out of the receiving holes and make that horrible grinding sound (it's not the gears). When the dogs get worn they also put pressure on the shift forks under power as if you were putting pressure on the shifter all the time. That will wear the shirt forks and even overheat them. Look for bluing.

    Replace anything remotely questionable. Get a whole low mileage trans from one of our esteemed members here or R&D Motorsport in Clearwater, Fl is an amazing place that will make or modify any peice you want. A 7* undercut is the best thing ever



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