View Full Version : Replacing clutch on the Sporty

11-02-2013, 03:44 PM
Late model Sportsters have developed a reputation for a clutch failure that is sudden and fairly catastrophic. In the center of the clutch pack is a double steel riveted together with flat springs between. It softens the clutch engagement I understand. Unfortunately it also fails, filling the basket with the brass rivets and springs, sometimes even the steel plates break. I am sure it is uncommon, but several posts about it on the XLForum convinced me to change mine as a preventative measure.

I am waiting for the brown truck to show up with my Energy One extra plate kit. All the clutch makers offer a kit to eliminate the spring plate by adding 2 steels and another friction. Maybe it is to add grip, as the stock clutch is only good to about 85 hp? Maybe it's because of the problems?

Up on the table

Off with the primary cover!

So that's what's in there!

My high tech clutch spring compressor. Saved me $45 to $100.....

Yeap, it worked!

The infamous spring plate...mine looks fine to me.

but, the frictions on either side of it were worn like they don't apply pressure evenly?

I suppose they would have lasted another few thousand miles, but this wear might be the cause of failures? There would be metal to metal contact here soon.

The primary chain tension adjuster was pretty worn, I replaced it. Less than $25, amazing! (Less than the gasket.)

More when the kit arrives!

11-02-2013, 07:27 PM
The preventative always gives a nice piece of mind especially the trips you've done on that sporty

11-02-2013, 08:28 PM
The preventative always gives a nice piece of mind especially the trips you've done on that sporty

Like cam chain tensioner on older big twins.......

Gas Man
11-02-2013, 10:50 PM
Like Medic said... PM gives piece of mind.

11-02-2013, 10:58 PM
PM for MoCo shortcomings is BS though.

11-05-2013, 02:18 AM
Nicely done, well documented, I envy your computer skills.

Gas Man
11-05-2013, 09:52 AM
That is true sprink.

11-05-2013, 10:37 AM
Sweet thanks for the play by play

11-05-2013, 03:51 PM
Nice, new parts:boobies:

11-05-2013, 04:39 PM
Two words for you sprinkster: MUFFIN PAN

Gasman can tell you the importance of magnetic muffin pans and how they work. And he uses one for self defense.

Bonus points for the high tech spring compressor.

Give me a call when you get that done I will drop off the R1 for full suspension, slipper clutch and valve rebuild. Thanks.

Gas Man
11-05-2013, 07:39 PM
Muffin pan FTW

11-06-2013, 04:03 PM
I like to lay parts out as they come off and often leave the socket or bit required for that part with it. If it was a bigger job, more loose parts...I bag the parts and their bolts together as I go. The magnetic muffin pan though......very interesting. I'll just hide it in the garage with the baster and all the other kitchen tools I have stolen, lol.

Got the clutch today.

So I soaked the frictions in trans oil for a bit and then put them in, friction steel friction....etc. If I hadn't got a new spring for the pressure plate it would have taken 15 minutes to get to here, but taking my high tech compressor off and putting it back on twice trying to get the little seat and spring in took a good half hour. Nothing was broken or thrown though. While I was in there I replaced the throw out bearing at the advise of a Harley mechanic whose failed. It is in the center of the clutch.

Then close her up and adjust the primary chain, the clutch and the clutch cable. Don't forget the oil!

Got it off the table without incident and tried it out. Seems to work fine, but I wasn't going out with the wet leaves covering my drive and street. Tomorrow!

11-06-2013, 08:06 PM
Nice work Greg!

11-06-2013, 08:17 PM
This '04 with Carb is so simple I feel comfortable doing anything short of splitting the cases. I am almost afraid to move up a decade. I suppose the electronics are just as easy, just more expensive.

Ultra AL
11-06-2013, 09:31 PM

Gas Man
11-06-2013, 11:16 PM
Great job man. Good pics too.