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Ace of Spades 04-10-2008 05:07 PM

The Transmission Rebuild

I recently purchased a '96 Road King transmission for an FXR I am building. Since the trans was an Ebay purchase, and going into basically a new build...I want to go thru it with a total rebuild. New gaskets, seals, and bearings. I am getting the cases powdercoated also so that it looks new again. I need to bore the swingarm pivot shaft hole larger to accept the updated '07 larger diameter pivot shaft and spherical bearings now used in Harley's FL series rubbermount bikes, instead of the old 5/8 shaft and swingarm cleveblocks....a much better system.

Hopefully this will explain a few procedures, and show just how simple the transmissions are. Basically all this would apply to 5 or 6 speeds, and right side drive or left. They are all assembled in the same manner with basically the same components. Normally this would be done in the bike, with the trans case still bolted in...but because I want this to look new, and bore the shaft out...I will be doing this on a bench. None of the basic rebuild actually requires pulling the transmission. This should also serve as a guide to anyone wanting to pull their 5 speed, and install a 6, as the techniques/tools will always be the same.

#1 shows the basic Harley FLT transmission.

#2 shows the JIMS tool for pulling the inner primary race used with wet primaries.

#3 here the tool is slipped over the race, and the race is pulled from the mainshaft.

#4 here I am simply removing the transmission top, leaving the neutral indicator sensor installed.

#5 shows the trans top opened up, and I am removing the electronic speedo sensor.

#6 shows the view from the topside, most transmission problems can be diagnosed thru the top.

#7 shows removal of the oil filler snout.

#8 remove the screws holding the clutch release cover.

#9 shows a few parts accessible thru the clutch release cover. Also the ends of the main and countershafts and trap door bearings.

#10 here we remove the bolts holding the shifter drum's pillar block bearings.

#11 shows the trans after drum removal, and the three shifter forks. 2 mainshaft forks (pointing rearward) and 1 countershaft fork.

#12 shows that the drum's pillar block bearings simply slide off the drums ends.

#13 the shift fork shaft simply slides out. The shaft is also accessible from the other side of the trans, thru the allen plug.

#14 shows the transmission's 3 sliding gears, and the red lines point to the grooves in the same gears, where the forks ride on the edge of the gears, you can see the engagement dogs.

#15 removing the lock tabs for the main sprocket nut, threaded on the end of the shaft is the guide for the deep JIMS machine tool. Both the shaft's end and the main sprocket nut are LEFT HAND THREADS.

#16 removal of the nut, I can usually hold the pulley by hand.

#17 remove the trap door's 5/16 and 1/4 inch bolts.

#18 shows the spacer behind the shafts retaining nuts. Removal of these two nuts with a 1-1/16 socket. This step isn't usually done, but since I am replacing these bearings OUTSIDE of the transmission, I would just rather have them loose now. Many of these steps can be done in no particular order...and to pull the gear-set to install a 6 can just leave nuts alone, unless you are reusing your trap door.. right hand threads.

#19 shows me using that same JIMS machine guide as a thread protector, to knock out the gear-set. The clutch hub nut works fine for this also...just don't wanna bang up your shaft.

#20 one or two smacks with a dead blow hammer and the trap door and gear-set slides off it's alignment roll pins.

#21 the gear-set can now be pulled out by hand.

#22 using the dead blow, and a block of wood, with the pulley nut as a thread protector on the 5th gear, I knock 5th out of the main bearing.

#23 using a seal puller.

#24 shows 3 things, removing the snap ring to pull the main drive bearing, loosening the jam nut on the shifter pawl adjusting screw, and removing the bolt holding the shifter arm on.

#25 after the arm is removed, the snap ring is pulled, and then the pawl assembly can be slid out of the case.

#26 removing the pawl adjuster screw.

#27 knocking out the main bearing. Pretty much just a slip fit in to the or two taps and its out.

#28 removing the oil pan bolts.

#29 oil pan removed.

#30 pulling the shifter shaft seal.

#31 knocking out the countershaft bearing.

#32 the two halves draining. There are still a few oil fittings and drain plugs to remove, but basically we are there now. I need to set the top half in the mill to bore the pivot hole for the late model shaft...then off to the powdercoaters.

#33 clamping the trans case in the Bridgeport to locate the center of my shaft's bore.

#34 shows reaming the trans case after locating the hole, to accept the larger 3/4" pivot shaft.

#35 in this picture, you can see the removed gear-set. Two sets of c-ring pliers (same tool used for evo exhaust retainers) and a simple rig to keep track of the transmissions disassembly order.

#36 is simply a close up of the 5-speed gear-set.

#37 shows the main drive gear slipped off the mainshaft, and flipped over onto the stand. This should keep each piece removed in order, so its basically just a matter of stacking the gears off, and back on when its time to reassemble. The photo also shows removal of the first retainer. Under each retainer will be a thrust washer.

#38 further removal of gears.

#39 shows the first split bearing, just open it up and slide it off. These have a plastic cage and are fairly delicate.

#40 removal of that same bearing.

#41 a close up.

#42 just continue stacking them off.....and putting the gears on the stand.

#43 finally down to the trap door, and removal of the main and countershafts.

#44 shows the tool attached to press out the two shafts. This could also be done in a vertical press.

#45 shafts removed, the snap rings then come out....

#46 with the trap door flipped over, just tap the bearings out.

#47 packing it all up, off to the powdercoaters.

#48 this is the kit I purchased for the rebuild. it will cover more years and models than just this trans, but hey gotta keep the gasket boards stocked, right?

#49 contents of the JIMS kit.

#50 shows the powdercoated trap door, ready for assembly.

#51 pressing in the new bearings, numbers pointing out if there are any, and only applying pressure to the outer race to not damage the bearing.

#52 new snap rings installed...

#53 here I am laying out most of the pieces I will need to stack this transmission back together. If its visible in the photo, the spacer slipped over the trap door end of the mainshaft has a small shoulder on it, up against the first spline. The countershaft spacer doesn't. It is flat...

#54 on this particular gear it's easiest to install the snap ring first, then slide on the thrust washer and bearing, before installing into the trap door. The dogs on the side of the mainshaft 4th gear make removal/installation of that one retaining ring difficult. It can be done out of order...but its a bit of a pain. So then the inner races of the bearings are supported, and the shafts pressed into the trap door bearings....with that one gear installed.

#55 basically just continue to install your gears, pulling them off the stand, flipping them over and sliding them on. Bearings are lubricated with vaseline or assembly lube and carefully opened and slid over the shafts as you come to them. They tend to break if opened too far, so a bit of finesse is needed.

##56 continue to install gears/rings/thrust washers.

#57 now we are down to the main drive gear which is a bit different from the other gears as the bearings are steel caged and pressed into the gear itself. So I have the gear supported in a small stand (piece of pipe) and am using a shaft to tap out the bearing on the far side.

#58 5th gear flipped over to remove the opposite bearing.

#59 back under the press, to install the new bearings.

#60 the seal is then installed...

#61 and a completed gearset...ready to install into the case.

#62 here the coutershaft bearing is installed/pressed into the case.

#63 after pressing the main drive gear bearing in, I am going around the outer race to make sure it's fully seated.

#64 a new snap ring....beveled side out....

#65 and a new shifter shaft seal installed flush with the case.

#66 shows the case then flipped over...and supported. 5th gear can then be reinstalled into the bearing.

#67 flipped back over...this pic shows the Quad seal, drive spacer, and main seal.

#68 tapping the main seal in, I use a little clear silicone around the outer edge. seems a bit easier to install with the spacer still on the shaft.

#69 shifter shaft and pawl lubed and slipped into the case from the inside. A washer and retaining snap ring is then installed.

#70 new gasket and the two roll pins installed into the case's trap door face. The case is then ready to have the gear-set reinstalled.

#71 the gear-set should slide right into your new counter shaft bearing and main drive gear.

#72 ready to tap onto the roll pins with a rubber mallet. You can see that I still haven't tightened the shaft keeper nuts, although they are loosely on the shafts with each having a spacer behind the nut. To me its easier to tighten these nuts once the trans is somewhat back together. again...alot of this can be done out of order...or in smaller groups for repair.

#73 shows the proper arrangement of the three shifter forks.

#74 with the forks in the grooves of the sliding gears...the shaft is installed thru the trap door. This could also be slid in thru the other side of the case depending on the job.

#75 installing the set screw at the other end of the shaft with a bit of teflon sealant. This should be installed until the shaft's end is flush with the face of the trap door.

#76 shifter pawl raised and the drum slipped into place. blue loctite for the retaining bolts.

#77 shows installation of the pawl adjustment screw and jamb nut.

#78 is a close up attempting to show adjustment of the pawl with the trans in 3rd gear. Adjust the screw till the gap between the pawls and dowel pins on the drum have the same gap..

#79 the oil pan gets a new gasket and is then bolted back on.

#80 speedo sensor.

#81 a new top.

#82 a new gasket and the oil filler is reinstalled.

#83 a new throwout bearing and the oil slinger is installed.

#84 S&S high torque, no slip inner primary race is pressed onto the mainshaft. This race has a taper that lands on the shaft and is a pretty trick piece for any hi torque application as the stock races have a tendency to walk into 5th gear under loads.

#85 shows a newly rechromed late model clutch release cover bolted on, and the transmission basically cleaned up, sprayed with powdercoat protectant, and waiting to be put to use.

#86 the trans fully installed and road tested, mated to a 124" motor, looks and shifts like new....and with a few new chrome bolts, not bad for a greasy $350.00 dollar Ebay purchase.

  • 5/16: TRAP DOOR BOLTS 13-16 FT LBS


Markee 05-05-2008 08:53 PM

Awesome job Brad! Read the entire thing and only fell asleep once.

I'm curious about the powder process, they looked to have bead blasted everything?

Clean work bro!

gypsy chopper 05-08-2008 06:03 AM

yes Markee, i use Powder and Performance Coatings out of Richmond, Va. everything is media blasted.

lzvagias 05-13-2008 09:44 PM

Great thread, very informative! Thanks for sharing.

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