Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: Trouble finding neutral

  1. #1

    Trouble finding neutral

    After a lengthy battle with a poor running engine, Iím now on to a smaller issue. I cant get the bike to shift into neutral once itís warm.
    It shifts into neutral while cold until it warms up, and once itís warm I canít get it into neutral unless I shut the bike down.

    Iíve adjusted the primary chain, verified correct fluid type and amount, and adjusted the clutch per the manual. It still wouldnít find neutral..

    So assuming I didnít do the adjustments correctly I took it to a buell knowledgeable mechanic and he verified it was done correctly, but he started from scratch and did a text book adjustment on the primary chain, cable and the ramp.He had me switch to a different primary oil, but alas, no change.

    Heís now suggesting a new clutch pack? I have no clutch slipping symptoms. Should we be checking something else before a new clutch pack?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Have you tried adjusting the primary chain when the bike is warm/hot? Or warm the bike up, and when you realize its not shifting to neutral, shut the bike down, and loosen the primary chain adjuster a little and see if that helps. Chain drive mechanisms often have a tight and a loose point, so it helps to make sure you check the tension at a few spots, and the assembly tends to expand and tighten up a little when it warms up.

  3. #3
    I did the first primary chain adjustment when it was hot, and the second time when it was cold. There was no noticeable difference.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by patrickXB View Post
    I did the first primary chain adjustment when it was hot, and the second time when it was cold. There was no noticeable difference.
    Did you try to loosen the primary adjustment after the bike became difficult to find neutral? A couple of turns will suffice and will indicate whether the issue is due to the chain being too tight.


    Quote Originally Posted by casual_observer View Post
    Or warm the bike up, and when you realize its not shifting to neutral, shut the bike down, and loosen the primary chain adjuster a little and see if that helps.
    Last edited by casual_observer; 07-12-2021 at 09:20 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Barrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    AmishLand, PA
    Posts
    318
    That Canuck, as usual, provided great info and insight. Having said that....there are 3 critical adjustments that combined, directly affect clutch actuation...clutch engagement and disengagement....and shifting characteristics. They are simple and straight-forward as spelled out in the service manual. Those adjustments are of the clutch cable...clutch pack...primary drive chain. If all 3 are done correctly and you're confident that they have been, then the obvious problem barring a complete or partial failure of the clutch actuator ball ramp assembly and/or the face that it presses against on the inside of the primary cover....is a failed clutch pack consisting of warped friction and metal drive plates. They are preventing complete disengagement of the clutch assembly resulting in your precise problem.

  6. #6
    thanks guys, i am confident that it is adjusted properly. He also mentioned it could be a bent shift fork, or "something not properly aligned in the trans". If it was a bent shift fork or something not being aligned correctly wouldn't that present a shifting problem all the time as opposed to only when its warm?

    I'm going to try a new clutch pack before I tear the trans apart...
    I've seen some good talk about the energy one clutch packs, any other recommendations?
    Last edited by patrickXB; 07-13-2021 at 06:43 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Crawling up your skirt
    Posts
    9,354
    I'll tell you the same thing these fine gentlemen did.
    Get the bike warm, take off the small inspection cover (the 2 bolt cover, NOT the 3 bolt cover) put a ruler against the case and push up and down on the chain with a screwdriver. Got enough play? too loose is MUCH better than even a smidge too tight. Check several spots by moving the bike in gear (high gear works easier to rotate the engine).

    Personally I adjust the primary chain while the bike is running/warm. Loosen until it gets noisy, tighten slowly until it gets quiet... then starts to get loud, and back it off to the middle of the quiet section. You can hear it fine, even with aftermarket mufflers.

    If it passes that test^^^ try this:

    Bike warm and idling in gear on level ground, clutch pulled in, no brakes. Does it want to creep forward? Can you push it back and forth with the same effort with your feet easily? Failing this test will tell you the clutch is dragging and will make it VERY hard to get to neutral. Proceed accordingly. And your mechanic... isn't "Could be", and "something isn't" aren't things a professional is supposed to say. A professional is supposed to test until they KNOW.

    You're correct that bent stuff should pose a problem all the time but...

    Bubbles put an Energy One clutch in her Scg and it's great. FYI they recommend ATF for primary, so follow directions. It would be weird to have clutch plates to warped they drag (no neutral) and you don't have an surging or wobbly engagement issue. I'd recommend finding the problem before throwing parts at it.
    Last edited by Cooter; 07-14-2021 at 12:40 AM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by patrickXB View Post
    thanks guys, i am confident that it is adjusted properly. He also mentioned it could be a bent shift fork, or "something not properly aligned in the trans". If it was a bent shift fork or something not being aligned correctly wouldn't that present a shifting problem all the time as opposed to only when its warm?

    I'm going to try a new clutch pack before I tear the trans apart...
    I've seen some good talk about the energy one clutch packs, any other recommendations?
    Energy One is a solid choice. You will need a tool to remove the clutch pack or you can try to mickey mouse something with some hardware store bits. Be sure to follow the instructions on fluid recommendations given from Energy One. Youre going to be about $200+ into this, so youre going to want to make sure this is the culprit. "Cooter" as well as the fine gentleman "Barrett" gave excellent rec's on things to look at before diving into the clutch. If this doesnt work, transmission work will require nearly COMPLETELY disassembling the bike and motor. XB's do not have the trapdoor style transmission the earlier models did.

  9. #9
    I tried all of the above recommendations and there is no noticeable change in finding neutral.

    It shifts through the gears well so I doubt that its a bent shift fork or a shift drum issue. I would expect that if it was an internal transmission issue that it wouldn't go into neutral at all, or would present itself in another way through the gear shifts? I only have an issue finding neutral when the bike is warmed up and running. If its cold and running, it shifts to neutral. If its warm and I shut it off, it shifts into neutral easily.

    The bike doesn't creep, and it moves freely backwards while in gear with the clutch pulled.

    200-ish for a clutch pack isn't as bad as I expected. Energy one has options for an extra plate and a 15% stronger spring diaphragm. Are these worth the extra cash?
    Last edited by patrickXB; 07-14-2021 at 08:22 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by patrickXB View Post
    I tried all of the above recommendations and there is no noticeable change in finding neutral.

    It shifts through the gears well so I doubt that its a bent shift fork or a shift drum issue. I would expect that if it was an internal transmission issue that it wouldn't go into neutral at all, or would present itself in another way through the gear shifts? I only have an issue finding neutral when the bike is warmed up and running. If its cold and running, it shifts to neutral. If its warm and I shut it off, it shifts into neutral easily.

    The bike doesn't creep, and it moves freely backwards while in gear with the clutch pulled.

    200-ish for a clutch pack isn't as bad as I expected. Energy one has options for an extra plate and a 15% stronger spring diaphragm. Are these worth the extra cash?
    Have you tried variations of the clutch adjustment?

    You may have a tolerence stacking issue that requires a *slightly* different adjustment than what the book calls out. The book does call out a range... did you go for the middle or one side of the range?

    Did you actually check the fluid level of the primary correctly? Its a slightly smaller cavity, so the old adage of "a quart in, a quart out" for Sportster engines tends to be a bit too much on an XB.

    CAUTION
    Do not overfill the primary chaincase/transmission with
    lubricant. Overfilling can cause rough clutch engagement, incomplete disengagement, clutch drag and/or difficulty in finding neutral at engine idle. (00199b)



Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •