Question about 2000 Harley Davidson FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic

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Harley davidson 2003 heritage

When putting into first gear it grinds the gears, i checked the fluid was good, is there any adjustment , didnt see any,or is the clutch just going bad, it only has 8000 miles

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There is a clutch adjustment. You can adjust it on the cable under the black boot is an adjster. You can also adjust it at ball and ramp. Unless you've been slipping the clutch a lot, I don't believe you need to redo the basket.

Posted on Apr 18, 2009

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Cannot get it in gear with out jamming it in and it grinds going in.


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Hi there, if you say hard to change, does the gears grind if you change or does the shifter just feel stiff on changing???if the gears grind the clutch need checking, check the fluid level as well as it could be low, could only need to be adjusted if a cable model, most are hydraulic clutches so need to check the fluid.

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TRANSMISSION FLUIDS CAN BE CAUSED BY ONLY A COUPLE OF THINGS. MOST COMMON BEING A WORN OR BROKEN SEAL. THE TRANSMISSION SEALS ON MOST CARS ARE MADE FROM RUBBER OR METAL. BEING IN ALL KIND OF EXTREME TEMPS FOR YEARS ON END NOT TO MENTION THE PARTS MOVING AROUND THEM WILL EVENTUALLY CAUSE LEAKS. ALSO FAULTY INSTALLATION (OF A SEAL) CAN ALSO CAUSE A LEAK TO HAPPEN. THE ONLY OTHER THING THAT CAN CAUSE A LEAK TO MY KNOWLEGE WOULD BE IF YOU BOTTOMED OUT A CAR LOW ENOUGH THAT IT CAUSES DAMAGE TO THE TRANS CASE OR PAN. One cause of grinding when shifting into reverse is improper adjustment of the clutch linkage. If the adjustment is correct when the clutch is depressed the gears should stop turning and eliminate the grinding. Make sure there is some free play in the linkage when the clutch is not depressed. Most manual transmissions do not have a sychronized reverse gear. When you try to go into reverse from neutral, the transmission countershaft (which is linked to the pilot shaft) is still turning. The main shaft (which is linked to the tailshaft) is not turning. Therefore, since there is no sychronizer (or clutch brake like on a heavy truck tranny) the sliding cluctch gear (splined to the main shaft) grinds against the main shaft gear (floating over the main shaft but meshing its respecive countershaft gear through the reverse idler). The slider's function is to lock the main shaft gear to the main shaft thereby transmitting power to the rear wheels in the desired gear ratio (depending on which main shaft gear is locked to the main shaft). The way to cure this is to select a forward gear to stop the transmission and then go to reverse, all the while holding the clutch down. If it still won't go into gear you can either slip the clutch ever so slightly to "bump" the gears while gently pushing the stick into reverse (not too hard!! you can bend or break forks!! OUCH!!) or go into neutral, let the clutch all the way out, go into a forward gear and then reverse.

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1 Answer

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What you describe sounds very much like the clutch is failing to disengage.
Fluid level being fine and no leaks under the car is good, but doesnt mean there isnt something wrong with either the master cylinder, slave cylinder, or the associated parts.

Highly unlikely there is a fault with the flywheel or clutch as failures with these would normally give no drive in any gear.

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Grinding gears


Have the clutch checked first by a mechanic you trust-perhaps a small shop with a good reputation. The clutch could just be worn out. If the clutch checks out okay, then he will want to check the tranny itself next.

Good luck to you and Thank you for using Fix ya!

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