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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just turned over 25,300 miles. Clutch plates are useable, but the clutch isn't engaging completely. The release adjustment and handlebar adjustment aren't sufficient- because although the threading on the release end of the clutch cable is almost all the way down, with the upper adjustment nut near the top of the threading; the clutch still isn't engaging as well as it was before. From pictures I noticed the clutch pressure plate has four springs behind it; I assume the springs are adjustable by tightening or loosening the pressure plate screws.

It's unclear whether there is a center adjustment screw/nut as there are on other Harley clutches. The clutch isn't easily accessible for inspection/adjustment without removing the exhaust and pulling the right side engine case.

I've had this happen on other Harleys, and the repair was to always adjust the clutch center adjustment screw/nut and pressure plate springs first, then at the clutch release, with the final adjustment at the handlebar.

Some people have mentioned on this forum that the clutch isn't designed to be adjustable at all at the clutch itself. Has anyone successfully adjusted their clutch(properly) at the clutch itself, or has everyone only adjusted it at the release and handlebar? If not, why not? Does the clutch not have a center adjustment screw/nut, or are the pressure plate springs non- adjustable? Otherwise it should be adjustable, even though accessing the clutch itself is not as user friendly as it is with most other Harleys. Otherwise, I assume I have to replace the clutch, instead of simply adjusting it.
 

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Get a manual. It will have the service specs of the free standing clutch springs. Even if they are in spec, I would toss them.
Same goes for the bonded clutch plates. They have a spec for thickness. Another thing is they can become glazed from heat. They just lose grip.
 

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From pictures I noticed the clutch pressure plate has four springs behind it; I assume the springs are adjustable by tightening or loosening the pressure plate screws.
That's a negative on that. It's a preset spring that is just tightened to spec and never touched until the plates are changed. Springs grow out to static and begins to slip as the plates wear.

It's unclear whether there is a center adjustment screw/nut as there are on other Harley clutches.
There is none. This is more a total loss clutch like any other round of clutch packs. This says you change every last plate so it goes back to spec height. Can't use new with old. Old is heat cycled and soon a used steel is going to wrap and your angle is going to say to the wallet, I told you so, you, you, cheap so and so. Not saying you, just saying to do it right the first time.

The clutch isn't easily accessible for inspection/adjustment without removing the exhaust and pulling the right side engine case.
Correct. Full service on the removal is a one time deal. so new exhaust gaskets, engine side case gasket... add those to the list of 10-11-12-13... See Ronnie's HD site to see the parts pages of your model.

... repair was to always adjust the clutch center adjustment screw/nut and pressure plate springs first, then at the clutch release, with the final adjustment at the handlebar.
This is all new steels and frictions so the pack height is back to a designed formula. Judder friction plate is thinner so as to have the judders under that one plate pt.#11. See parts blowout.

Some people have mentioned on this forum that the clutch isn't designed to be adjustable at all at the clutch itself.
When you order parts and see the clutch drawing, notice the only part at the end is a roller bearing. When you order the clutch cover gasket, notice the arm that goes into the cover. It's some sort of J hook that when you pull the lever, that L arm is going to push straight at the bearing via the J ramping up on something head on at that center bearing where a set screw is suppose to be, but this is a reverse approach at it. Note pressure plate first into the clutch outer.

Has anyone successfully adjusted their clutch(properly) at the clutch itself, or has everyone only adjusted it at the release and handlebar?
Cable has threads on one end. Perch has the thumbwheel deal, right, or something like that. So it's arm first, perch to lever gap is the final 1/16" gap, right? No need to move the lower cable if you just run out the perch threads and then start all over again at the lower cable. I mean, that is it for this style clutch assembly. You run that lower cable up and that's all she wrote, and your center screw at the perch is hanging on two threads before it falls out of the perch... JUNK Plates.

Does the clutch not have a center adjustment screw/nut, or are the pressure plate springs non- adjustable?
This is old style CBX with pressure plate in the clutch outer first. That's steels with the flat or cut side facing the pressure plate. When you remove these parts, remember the sequence or the judder is backwards, the steels are flipped either way. Think about cutch steels. They have memory. So imagine you press palm to palm and notice how your fingers fight each direction. Fold one hand over the other. See how the fingers move together in one direction. Find the frictions stampings and see if you can find a cut side so they all face the pressure plate.

Otherwise, I assume I have to replace the clutch, instead of simply adjusting it.
That is correct. The cable threads calls the ball, if not hard to find N with a warped plate, or it slips like right now under hard throttle. This is no different than any other cutch pack. Same wear, so all new from front to back, sans the judder, and if springs are in spec, and you want to spend over what looks like over 30 bucks for one spring?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay, Bott and Guaire thanks for the info and advice, I'll plan on replacing the clutch pack then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
The bike sat outside in the cold last night. Today I adjusted the handlebar screw, and the clutch feels like it's pulling again. I didn't allow the engine to warm up for more than a minute or so and when it does, that may cause the clutch to slip again. The adjustment nut on the lower part of the cable is positioned all the way at the top of the threading, and the adjustment screw at the handlebar is threaded about halfway out also.

So the cable is adjusted almost as far as it can be, with the clutch still being useable while the engine is cold. I ordered a set of clutch plates, springs, and a James gasket. Bott also mentioned exhaust gaskets. Any reason the exhaust gaskets wouldn't be reuseable? They look like cylindrical gaskets, not sure if they warp and leak like the flat ones do( I've reused those also, even though they always say you shouldn't ).

Being a newer model bike I understand tinkering is discouraged and I try to make the final repair with the new stuff when it's available. Seems unnecessary to throw out the old gaskets, because they look like they wouldn't warp anyway.
 

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You can hear the exhaust leak if you reuse them. Crush is more like once. Maybe twice you can get away with it. Your call.

Edit:
As you might guess, a lot of clutch material is going to be settled on the bottom. Looks like this engine case splits down the center, so there is no oil pan pre say. That means a lot of brake clean and the bike tilted to drain what you can and the spray cuts right down to the aluminum so short of a case split, might not want to burn-charcoal and flake off the plate. Bad enough the gray powder from it.
 

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I ran the 750 list from top to bottom. Where I came up with a 30 dollar spring,.. eyes paned on the wrong line. $16.99 all day long. Senior moment is the guess where I came up with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
The new clutch pack went in fine. On examination, only one of the old plates was significantly worn. I believe I probably could have retorqued the spring tension and gone with only replacing one of the friction plates. That said, I'd like to take this opportunity to mention that the stock screws that hold the lifter plate tension are made of complete crap. I didn't check them closely before reinstalling them and two of them snapped right off at about 20lbs of torque.
Removing a third screw, it was stretched out and ready to tear off also.

I believe this was a Kansas City model, so I assume they're all like that, and will replace them with automotive screws instead of installing more junk OEM parts. A few people mentioned replacing clutches often on these bikes. This might be something to look at if you think your clutch is going out early, because looking at these stretched out piece - of- junk screws, it probably isn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I went to NAPA and bought a set of four flange screws(Dorman Products, PA), but they also stretched when torqued at 20 lbs. A member posted in a previous post that the lifter plate screws should be torqued to 71-88 ft lbs. There is no way that the stock screws could be torqued that heavy without breaking, and obviously there is also no way that the Dorman - brand zinc coated screws can handle that much pressure either. They say 10.9 and dont have the obvious made in taiwan 'JH' markings on them that autozone had on theirs, but appear to be only case hardened and are also made of cast junk inside.

Looking at the box which says Colmar, PA on the back, it also says 'MADE IN CHINA' near the barcode. If you can't get good screws at NAPA what can you do? None of the "hardened" flange bolts seem to work without tearing in half and I'm confused as to how the screws were installed in the factory or how the harley dealers replace them. I found some steel 10.9 hex screws which look stronger than the case hardened flange screws, on the fastenall website. Probably too late to try riding a bus and not worth a taxi so I'll wait till tomorrow to look for them in person.
 

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Are they 1/4-20 size and thread pitch or finer threads like 24 threads an inch. 1/4 is no more than 9 pounds on aluminum threads. If say 3/8" that's an 8mm bolt and those are no more than say 18ft.

The 78 might read the torque at the clutch center nut. No way for clutch basket bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
The clutch locknut torque is 130 to 136 foot lbs. The torque of the clutch lifter plate screws is 71-88 ft lbs. This is according to a member who posted on "Clutch replacement HD special tool" , from 2019. I found an ARP kit online for these size screws, and the full thread is 25 mm instead of 30mm. The 30mm one from them has a longer than stock 'shoulder' at the end of it, which could interfere with the female threads of the clutch hub assembly. So I'll probably order the arp screws since they've had good reviews by most people on this site, especially. The clutch lifter plate bolt threads are 24 /inch, and they're on 6mm bolts/screws.
 

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Let's backup here. You are now saying that these are the size of a 6mm bolt. In all the clutch books I've come across, it's 9ft or less. It's still aluminum on the female side. Unless it's tempered, I would have to right now, take a new bolt and hand thread it in all the way, and that is each hole.

If stretch is at the neck under the head, that's one move. But thread stretch and that too has to walk the female end too; I would suspect. Thus the hand spin not bind. And if I could clear each area is now a hexagonal kind of... I set the mm at 9ft, have each head drilled, then I safety wire from one to the next so they fight each other trying to back out and remain in place... they are not about to move till you snip the wires off... racing style.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Okay so if I'm using a replacement screw, without a shoulder of equal length as the stock screw, then the torque applied occurs at the base of the head of the screw and also at the threads; whereas with the stock screw the base of the unthreaded 'shoulder' where the threads begin, takes a large degree of the brunt of the torque applied. So without an identical screw as the stock screw, including an equal length shoulder, the torque would be applied incorrectly - against the threads and against the base of the head of the screw. There is the one problem of the screws unthreading from the hub, which Bott described a remedy by using wire,

However the stock screws on my bike did in fact stretch - causing the clutch to fail, without ruining the plates, indicating that the clutch on these bikes is designed to be inferior, primarily at the screws.

My options are then,
1) to replace with OEM parts knowing that this clutch cannot handle repetitively pumping on it/ releasing it- like a Big Twin or a sportster, without destroying the screws- and also torquing the screws to 40 or 50 ft lbs at most, expecting the stock specs to destroy them completely.

2) replace the screws with ARP screws but do not torque them to specs recognizing that the torque values are inaccurate without an equal length shoulder to the one on the stock screw

3) replace the screws with ARP or other fully hardened steel screws and include a brass or steel sleeve(JB welded in place) to make up for the lack of the shoulder on the replacement bolt, torque them to spec and ride in a way that doesn't tear the female threads out of the aluminum clutch hub neck
update on Dec 9, 2021

I realized that these clutch screws (like other parts on this bike, and every other modern Harley such as Milwaulkee Eight and Twin Cam powered motorcycles) are intentionally and fully engineered to fail if the bike is operated in any way other than the intended riding style(casual riding in normal operating conditions in the case of the street). This is also reflected in Harley Davidson's advertising of their current products by intended use instead of by engine type or frame configuration. This is something to think about, since the Harley Streets are designed to only be distributed for use as part of motorcycle operator training programs now; according to some informed members on this site.

Also they will fail if either reused or if over torqued. There appears to be no available means of checking for an over torqued bolt by removing and physically examining it - because an already fully torqued bolt will stretch and be damaged immediately upon removal. So the answer to recognizing that dealers do not stock many new parts for these bikes is to purchase new OEM parts from the dealer if available -while knowing that these bikes were designed to be discarded by new riders who would soon purchase bigger more expensive bikes from the same company in the future, and also not be sentimental about keeping the bike that they learned to ride on. Which is also probably why most dealers no longer have new parts available for them.

Basically Harley has engineered it so that in the next 10-15 years most of these will be worth basically nothing to most people and will be thrown in the scrap pile with the buell blast and most of the aermacchi bikes.
 

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:unsure: That is wild. This is something that does not sound normal?

I mean, why not just hand tightened? Once it sits there stopped, its job is done, correct? Why so tight?
And two, why change what the factory used? My deal would be more like back to the OE, hand tight, wire up, let the OE stretch again... But...

... I'd have to rewire the bolts again. I'd monitor say a 6 point bolt pattern? I'd pull 3 on the triangle, leave the other 3 in, measure stretch of those 3 from stock? Replace when stretch occurs. High maintenance I know. You called the engineering.

All because I think as long as that bolt is home and no longer moves the plate, that's all she wrote and can't go any farther than a bump on the archimedes screw, and it's not going anywhere like an engine bolt being hand tight ... lots of experience on the R&R of parts is how hand tight matches a given pound in other words.

That's my field fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well my current plan is to first make all the repairs to factory specs, and probably just trade it for an ironhead sportster or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I found something very similar to exhaust studs at the hardware store which along with flange nuts, would work; if they can be found in metric thread. I couldn't find any bolts in 6 X1.0 X 30 mm that also have a reasonably short non threaded portion equal to the stock bolts.

I decided against using the stock bolts because I don't want to rely on engineering that is designed to fail, in a way that convinces the customer to return to the dealer to have it repaired and trade it in on a new bike.

I'd rather have an identifiable system that I can count on being reliable in the event that anything else goes wrong- as it always does; recognizing that the entire bike is probably designed this way, however. My tags are still good. In the meantime, if anyone has interest in a street 500 for cheap I have one that I'm trying to get rid of.
 
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