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Harley 45 Gearbox noise

(December 09, 2012)

I recently had a Harley 45 gearbox repair in, the gearbox was supplied by one of the big 45 parts suppliers in Holland and the job came to me from War Department in Kent. The supplier was adamant that there could not be anything wrong with the gearboxes he supplied and they refused to help them. At first glance the gearbox looked perfect, with a nice slick shift and lots of new parts fitted and properly assembled. The problem with it was that there was a dreadful din coming from it, so I put it in the lathe which is a really good way of simulating the running of a gearbox when you haven't got the bike attached to it! I ran the gearbox carefully at it's normal running speed and I couldn't really see anything wrong with it, but I had to concur that it did make a dreadful noise. It was only when I slowed the speed down to about 50 RPM that it became apparent that there was quite a run out on the layshaft cluster, so I stripped it and measured the cluster from the hole in the layshaft to the edges of the gears and it became obvious that the gear was machined eccentrically to the hole in the shaft on the 1st gear. A few days later a new cluster arrived which was fitted to the box and the problem was instantly cured.

It just goes to prove that there can be problems with pattern parts this particular part is quite an expensive piece as all the gears are machined on the same cluster. I see problems with pattern parts all too frequently and when it is a job I undertake for myself I always ask for a refund and try to charge them for my wasted labour time, a lot of other people  I know just have the attitude that it dosen't matter, one in particular I remember is a case of a "cast iron" kickstart that snapped resulting in it's owner receiving stitches to his shin, when he took it back to his supplier he was reluctant to even give him a refund, let alone apologise for selling a defective part. The more people that ask for refunds on poor quality pattern parts , the less likely the supplier will want to sell them. I had to fit one of these kickstarts to a bike myself and the first time I kicked it over the splines stripped off, as did the second one my customer got, then we fitted a second hand original one which worked perfectly. my customer never bothered getting his money back which amounted to over £60. So please make sure you send back your dodgy parts!


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