Harley-Davidson Clutch Repair

Though a Harley-Davidson diaphragm spring-type clutch looks a little different, it works the same way.

typical metric clutchspring compressor toolretaining ringdiaphragm springadjuster screw assemblyPressure plateReplacing a set of clutch discs is a common motorcycle service. A metric bike technician may be a bit confused when looking at a Harley-Davidson diaphragm spring-type clutch for the first time. Have no worries, it looks a little different, but it works the same way.

Most metric bikes use four to six coil springs to apply pressure to the clutch discs. The pressure applied to the clutch discs allows them to engage and transfer power from the primary drive to the transmission. Pulling in the clutch lever forces the springs to compress and release the pressure on the clutch discs. With the pressure released, the drive and driven clutch discs can turn independently of each other, resulting in a disconnect between the primary drive and transmission.

The diaphragm spring serves the same purpose as the coil springs, but it is a single component. A special tool is usually required to compress the spring for removal and installation. Check the service manual for the specific tools the model may require.

On the Sportster clutch shown in the photos, a Jim’s Tools clutch spring compressor is used. Install the clutch spring compressor to the clutch adjuster screw. Take proper safety precautions as when working with any compressed spring.
Compress the diaphragm spring only enough to remove the spring retaining ring.

Gradually release the spring compressor tool and remove it. Remove the diaphragm spring seat and spring. Check the diaphragm spring for damage and distortion. Replace the spring as needed.

Remove the adjuster screw, retaining ring and adjuster screw assembly.

Lift off the pressure plate to access the clutch discs.

Inspect the condition and thickness of the friction discs. Check the steel plates for warp and discoloration. Replace the clutch discs as a set if the measurements are out of specification or if obvious damage is apparent.

Also, check over the clutch basket fingers and the splines of the clutch hub for damage and wear. If the wear is too great, the clutch discs will not be able to slide and the clutch will not function correctly.

Reassemble the clutch. Make sure to install the diaphragm spring so that the concave side faces the pressure plate. Use new retaining rings and make sure the rings are fully seated in their grooves. The spring compressor will be needed again for installing the diaphragm spring retaining ring.

Brought to you by the people at WWW.CYCLEPEDIA.COM, Cyclepedia Press LLC painstakingly publishes online service manuals for many popular ATVs, motorcycles and scooters. Our full-color, online product is the first of its kind in the powersports industry. We provide our customers with service information now, not in 3-5 days shipping time. Our time and money saving, online manuals are a great compliment to an Authorized Factory Service Manual.

You May Also Like

Proper Exhaust System Care

Keeping it clean is simple, but when is it time to repack?

mechanic, muffler, engine, exhaust system, maintenance

It’s a point of pride to keep a motorcycle tuned and gleaming. While there isn’t a ton of work that goes into keeping the exhaust system maintained, it’s important to know how best to clean it and when to repack the muffler.

Clean, Dry and Shiny

Safety Systems in Modern Motorcycles

Racing has paved the way for new rider aids in consumer bikes.

motorcycle, concept, sports bike, safety systems
Proper Motorcycle Tire Maintenance and Care

Maintaining proper tire pressure is a common maintenance issue.

motorcycle tires, maintenance, tire pressure, tire pressure monitor
Pre-Season Motorcycle Maintenance Checklist

After sitting all winter, bikes need an inspection before hitting the road.

motorcycle maintenance
Two-Stroke Engine Tech Has a Future

As hybrid vehicles continue to be on the rise, the two-stroke engine might have a comeback.

two-stroke engine

Other Posts

Common Axle Installation Issues

Trail riding wears on CV axles, so at some point, you’ll need to replace them.

CV Axle
Common CV Axle Failures

It’s inevitable that your axles will become worn, damaged or broken.

Maintenance Tips for SxS Vehicles

ATVs, UTVs and SxSs get used and abused regularly, so they need so tender love and care.

How Modifications Affect Stock Parts

As more people opt to modify ATVs and UTVs, that has implications for stock parts.