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1984 Low Rider Mainshaft Seal Service

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  • 1984 Low Rider Mainshaft Seal Service

    Finally got around to addressing the mainshaft seal leak on my 1984 FXSB Low Rider. Scored a Harbor Freight lift for $175. Couldn't do a job like this without one!

    52,000 miles. Not sure if transmission has ever been overhauled. Engine has.

    Inner primary looked great. Clutch looks nice other then some minor wear grooves in some of the fingers. Found a missing inner primary to engine bolt. Hopefully some of these pics uploaded.











    Waiting on a mainshaft nut sprocket. What concerns me is the amount of play in the pulley. What ya'll think? See youtube link here:

    https://youtu.be/S7Yf_Oi3BUc
    Last edited by garyshovel84; 01-25-2020, 07:03 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by garyshovel84 View Post
    Waiting on a mainshaft nut sprocket. What concerns me is the amount of play in the pulley. What ya'll think? See youtube link here:

    https://youtu.be/S7Yf_Oi3BUc
    I don't like it. Gonna cause seal leaks. Could use a MDG bushing/bearing.

    "LAME DOUCHE CANOE"
    "VAGINA"

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by garyshovel84 View Post
      Finally got around to addressing the mainshaft seal leak on my 1984 FXSB Low Rider. Scored a Harbor Freight lift for $175. Couldn't do a job like this without one!

      52,000 miles. Not sure if transmission has ever been overhauled. Engine has.

      Inner primary looked great. Clutch looks nice other then some minor wear grooves in some of the fingers. Found a missing inner primary to engine bolt. Hopefully some of these pics uploaded.






      Waiting on a mainshaft nut sprocket. What concerns me is the amount of play in the pulley. What ya'll think? See youtube link here:

      https://youtu.be/S7Yf_Oi3BUc
      Are threads good in that hole in the case for the inner primary.. Pic looks like they may need some attention.. If there's a Heli-Coil in there I would remove it and tap the hole deeper with the correct Tap for the Coil and set a longer Heli-Coil in there for more thread engagement.
      If no Heli-Coil clean out the hole and see if there's room to run a tap in there deeper.
      I've also replaced those 2 front bolts, on other bikes, with bolts drilled for lockwire before. Got the bolts from HD. after torquing the new bolts down then I lockwired the 2 together.
      No lost bolts anymore.

      To properly fix the mainshaft leak you need to remove the trans and remove the final drive gear so you can remove the bushing from inside the gear. Measure the O.D of the mainshaft and have bushing made that gives you .001" between bushing and shaft. You can also install one of Rays spacers with the o-ring installed to further help keep the oil in the box.
      If you don't eliminate the play between the shaft and the MDG bushing it will wipe out your new seal in no time.
      My guess is with 52K miles you have a worn bushing and maybe the mainshaft diameter, where the bushing rides on the shaft, is slightly less than the 1.00" diameter it was when new.
      As long as the shaft isn't scored or bent you can reuse it and have a custom bushing made to take up the slop.
      Have had to do this on almost every 4 spd trans that I've worked, especially with that amount of miles.
      There used to be a complete write up with good pics that Saddlebagrail (Ray) posted a long time ago. Don't know if it's still on here or not since the system meltdown several years ago.

      As far as the clutch studs I would try cleaning them up by using a red scotchbright pad with a bit of lube and try cleaning them up to see if you have any notches in the studs. If you do, then use some fine sandpaper to smooth them down the best you can to help eliminate the clutch disks from catching on the grooves when engaging and releasing the clutch. Or you can replace the clutch hub with a new one. The 5 styd hub you have is not stock so there is no telling what kind of heat treating was done on the aftermarket studs compared to the hardness of an OEM one. But finding a NOS hub assembly may be difficult and expensive compared to buying another aftermarket one. It's up to you.

      Will look at your You Tube link to see the play your dealing with.

      Rick

      p.s. Just looked at the video. That movement of the pully on the shaft is excessive and will only cause you more heartburn later if you don't address it.
      All of the things you are facing are what happens to these 4 speeds over time and mileage. So it's not just your bike.
      I pulled my trans apart with less than 30K miles and had all the same problems except for the missing bolt.
      I had to have a custom bushing pressed in the gear and then turned down on a lathe to final diameter for .001" clearance to tighten it up before putting a new seal on.
      My pulley was a the stock one and it had the same play as yours and needed replacing. I think I got a replacement from BDL at the time. But that was over 10 years ago. There are probably other sources for them now to choose from. Yours is probably all aluminum. I would look for a replacement that has a steel center with the outer portion being aluminum.

      If you do this all correctly now you will get more miles out of it than the OEM parts gave you. Also if your not up to doing all the trans dissasembly and finding a machine shop that can make the inner MDG bushing to a custom fit then you can always try contacting Ray or chopprs to see if they can help you. I know their capable it's just a matter of how busy they may be. This time of year should be good for them. IDK.

      If you plan on keeping the bike and riding it some more then you need to bite the bullet and have it done correctly. I know I did and am glad I spent the money to the whole job the correct way. Fresh engine and trans rebuild wil give you many many more miles of trouble free riding. It has for me.
      Last edited by 85FLH; 01-26-2020, 02:35 AM.
      1985 FLHP

      Lancaster, MA

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks 85FLH... I came into this hoping I was just doing that outer seal behind the pulley and I'd be done with it.... kinda like in this nice video here: https://youtu.be/OKLJq0FbkRw

        Obviously not the case!

        I had a chat with my local Indy this past summer about what to expect. He explained all the same exact things you explained and that he himself machines up his own bushings to fix the issue. In fact, at the time he had an 81 Sturgis he was overhauling the transmission on for the same reason.

        While in there of course other things may need addressing, hopefully not, this transmission shifts butter smooth and operates quiet. Gonna have to remove the transmission and give to him. At least I saved him some labor!
        Last edited by garyshovel84; 01-26-2020, 07:30 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Don't forget to check the end play of the MDG.
          https://f88773fdccdd-004278.vbulleti...-gear-end-play

          San Angelo, Texas

          Comment


          • #6
            http://shovelhead.us/pics/sheets/leakingtranny.pdf

            cheaper direct


            https://www.ebay.ca/itm/174158661799

            https://www.ebay.ca/itm/174170124814
            If a work deserves to be made it deserves to be well made and even if that work is well made there is always a way to improve it

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks Don and saddlebagrail for those links. It's nice to now know what the inner workings of the mainshaft drive in question are and how to address.

              However, I am not comfortable diving into this. Going to have a talk with my indy and see if he can do the job.

              btw, that linkage set looks real nice. My current one is sloppy.... bad.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by garyshovel84 View Post
                Thanks Don and saddlebagrail for those links. It's nice to now know what the inner workings of the mainshaft drive in question are and how to address.

                However, I am not comfortable diving into this. Going to have a talk with my indy and see if he can do the job.

                btw, that linkage set looks real nice. My current one is sloppy.... bad.
                if he is not comfortable with fitting a new bushing to shaft I could do it with 2 small seals update and my spacer with o-ring
                If a work deserves to be made it deserves to be well made and even if that work is well made there is always a way to improve it

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by saddlebagrail View Post

                  if he is not comfortable with fitting a new bushing to shaft I could do it with 2 small seals update and my spacer with o-ring
                  The two seal and spacer is the final and best fix.
                  "LAME DOUCHE CANOE"
                  "VAGINA"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by saddlebagrail View Post

                    if he is not comfortable with fitting a new bushing to shaft I could do it with 2 small seals update and my spacer with o-ring
                    Thanks saddle,

                    will get back to ya on that. Gonna see what input the local shop has first.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by garyshovel84 View Post
                      Finally got around to addressing the mainshaft seal leak on my 1984 FXSB Low Rider. Scored a Harbor Freight lift for $175. Couldn't do a job like this without one!

                      52,000 miles. Not sure if transmission has ever been overhauled. Engine has.

                      Waiting on a mainshaft nut sprocket. What concerns me is the amount of play in the pulley. What ya'll think? See youtube link here:

                      https://youtu.be/S7Yf_Oi3BUc
                      The bushing and also the back of your spacer will be worn out ,creating that excessive play like you have ,when you see pulley moving ,it is not only the play in the bushing that give you that,but the back of the spacer also
                      If a work deserves to be made it deserves to be well made and even if that work is well made there is always a way to improve it

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by saddlebagrail View Post

                        The bushing and also the back of your spacer will be worn out ,creating that excessive play like you have ,when you see pulley moving ,it is not only the play in the bushing that give you that,but the back of the spacer also
                        Yup. With the condition of all that who knows how the shift dogs, gears etc are in. I'm gonna consider the fact it all *may* need an overhaul. Kicker slips every now/then. Transmission operates great and quietly otherwise...
                        Last edited by garyshovel84; 01-26-2020, 11:36 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Has anyone done the Softail 5 speed swap? Any thoughts on this? Just trying to compare with some other alternatives.

                          In the long run I think it would be a very beneficial upgrade.... better starter setup, better clutch setup, better transmission all together.

                          http://irishrichcustomcycles.blogspo...-in-4.html?m=1

                          Or.... the S&S 5 in 4 transmission which from my understanding would still use taper shaft and Shovel style starter but obviously has the newer better internals of Evo era which if I am correct doesn't need shimming like a 4 speed gearset?
                          Last edited by garyshovel84; 01-30-2020, 10:15 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Transmission removed. One of the kicker side cover bolt holes is stripped out. Always wondered why there was a different looking bolt there from the rest. Shouldn't be too hard to re-tap it.





                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Look here...
                              https://f88773fdccdd-004278.vbulleti...ovel-swing-arm
                              Not what you expect from this forum
                              Forum fucktard
                              Winner of the Asshole thread...

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