Shifter Cover Drum Shifter Early 1979 And Earlier


Remove transmission from chassis as described in "Stripping Motorcycle for Transmission Repair."

Remove the 12 screws securing shifter cover to transmission case. Shifter cover is registered on two dowel pins. Two of the screws are extra long. Notice that the screw in hole nearest the dowel pin on right side of transmission is vented to relieve gear box heat expansion pressure. This screw must be installed in the same hole when assembling shifter cover or transmission oil may be forced into clutch.


Remove three shift lever screws (1), and remove lever and bushing (2) and dust shield (3). Remove five long shifter cover screws (4) and one short screw (5) by removing nut (6) located on rear of adapter plate (16). The pawl carrier cover (7), gasket (8), and pawl carrier (9) are then free to be removed. The pawls (10 and 11), pawl springs (12), and pawl carrier springs (13) are under compression and will pop out when pawl carrier is removed. Remove adapter plate bracket screw (14) and washer (15) to free adapter plate (16) and gasket (17).

1. Shift lever screw (3)

2. Shift lever and bushing

3. Dust shield

4. Shifter cover screw (5)

5. Shifter cover screw (short)

6. Cover screw nut

7. Pawl carrier cover

8. Cover gasket

9. Pawl carrier

13. Pawl carrier spring (2)

14. Adapter plate screw

15. Adapter plate washer

16. Adapter plate

17. Adapter plate gasket

18. Neutral indicator switch

19. Washer

20. Cam follower retainer

21. Cam follower washer

22. Spring

23. Cam follower

24. Lock screw

25. Cam shaft

26. Oil seal

27. Shifter cam

28. Cotter pin

29. Shifter gear

30. Shifter gear spring

31. Shifter shaft

32. Shifter cover

33. Pawl carrier bushing

34. Shifter shaft bushing

Figure 4-12. Foot Shifter Cover — Exploded View

Remove neutral indicator switch (18) and washer (19) ■from cover. Bend back ear on cam follower retainer washer 121) and remove retainer (20), washer (21), spring (22) and cam follower (23).

Remove cam shaft lock screw (24) from left side of shifter cover joint face. Using a suitable drift, tap cam shaft (25) from cover. Tap O-ring end of shaft so O-ring is not damaged. Shifter cam (27) may be lifted out of cover.

Remove cotter pin (28) from end of shifter shaft. Remove shifter gear (29) and spring (30) from shaft and pull shaft (31) out of cover (32).


Clean all parts except gaskets (8 and 17), and neutral indicator switch (18) in grease solvent. Clean switch with "Gunk" or solvent.

Inspect fit of shaft (31) in bushings (33 and 34). If there is considerable side play, replace bushings. Pawl carrier bushing (33) may be pressed out of carrier on arbor press. Shifter shaft bushing (34) is removed as follows: Thread 5/8 in. tap into bushing about 1/2 in. deep. Remove tap and heat shifter cover around bushing to about 300 degrees. Quickly replace tap and clamp tap handle in vise. With rawhide mallet, tap cover near bushing until cover is driven off bushing. Insert new bushing with arbor press or soft metal hammer and wood block. Be sure bushing shoulder is seated against cover.

Inspect teeth on shifter gear and cam. Replace badly worn parts.

Inspect neutral indicator switch. Depress plunger in base of body. It should spring back without a bind. If panel light fails to light in neutral position, plunger is sticking. Switch cannot be repaired, it must be replaced. Do not test switch by passing current through it without having a neutral indicator panel light bulb in the circuit series.

Inspect all springs. Inspect tips of cam follower (23) and shift pawls (10 and 11). If tips are rounded and worn, replace parts. To function properly these parts must have reasonably sharp tips.

Inspect all parts generally for cracks, bent parts and any wear that would impair intended functions. If hole in pawl carrier bushing (33) is elongated, bushing must be replaced or mechanism will not shift properly.


It is necessary to time the shifter shaft (31) to the shifter gear (29), and the shifter gear to the cam gear on the shifter cam (27). If this is not done correctly, it will be impossible to shift into all gears.

Note position of the timing mark (Figure 4-13). This is the proper timing alignment.

Position shifter gear (29) and spring (30) in case, so side of gear with timing mark is toward case. Insert shifter shaft (31) so parts are timed as shown in Figure 4-13 and tap parts together. Insert cotter pin (28).

Install shifter cam (27) in cover so timing mark or short tooth registers with timing mark on shifter gear. Slip oil seal (26) on inner groove on end of cam shaft (25) and insert in cover, passing it through shifter cam. Secure shaft with lock screw (24).

Install cam follower (23), spring (22), retaining washer (21! and retainer (20). Install neutral indicator switch (18)

Figure 4-13. Timing Shifter Gear Figure 4-14. Timing Shifter Notches

3. Shift cover

4. Gasket

5. Neutral Indicator switch

6. Washer

8. Lockwasher (2)

9. Bolt

11. Shifter shaft cover

12. Gasket

15. Nut

16. Washer

17. Plug

18. Lock plate

20. Plunger body

21. Plunger

22. Spring

23. Retaining ring

24. Thrust washer

25. Shifter cam

26. Pawl carrier

27. Shifter pawl spring

28. Retaining ring (2)

31. Pawl carrier spring (2)

32. Shifter pawl stop, rear

33. Shifter pawl stop, front

34. Socket head screw (4)

35. Bushing

36. Shift lever arm (FX)

37. Shift lever (FX)

38. Shift linkage arm (FX)

41. Grease fitting

42. Shift lever arm (FL)

43. Shift lever (FL)

Figure 4-15. Shifter Cover — Late 1979 and Later washer (19) and check to make sure button on shifter gear contacts plunger in base of switch.

Position cover (32) in vise with shifter mechanism end upward. Place gasket (17) and adapter plate (16) over cover. Apply Harley-Davidson "Lock N' Seal," Part No. 99625-77 and insert adapter plate bracket screw (14) and washer (15) in hole directly above end of shifter gear but do not tighten. Move gear shift cam to any position but neutral. Rock cam back and forth to make sure spring loaded cam follower is seating exactly in one of the indexing notches, or "V's," that determine cam position for one of the four gears.

Rotate adapter plate until timing notch (Figure 4-14) in adapter plate, locked at bottom of shifter gear hole, lines up with notch between two bottom shifter gear teeth. Make alignment exact, then tighten adapter plate bracket screw (14).

Rotate shifter drum making sure that at each index point timing notch on adapter plate aligns exactly between two shifter teeth. If alignment is correct, tighten screw (14) to 6 to 9 ft-lbs torque. If alignment is not correct, drum is not properly timed to shifter gear. Disassemble and align marks as explained above.

Apply "Grease-All" grease to curved springs (13) and insert them in slots on adapter plate. Grease ratchet end of shifter shaft. Lubricate pawls (10 and 11) with light oil after checking to see if they are free in holes in pawl carrier (9). Install pawl springs (12) and pawls in pawl carrier so notches in end of pawls face inward or toward each other.

Install pawl carrier with pawls over end of shifter shaft with lug on pawl carrier inserted between ends of pawl carrier springs.

Lubricate back of pawl carrier with "Grease-All" grease and install cover gasket (8) and cover (7) so notches at top line up with corresponding notch on adapter plate. Apply Harley-Davidson "Stud N' Bearing Mount," Part No. 99626-77 to threads of shorter screw (5) and insert through bottom hole. Secure with nut (6) on back of adapter plate. Apply Lock N' Seal and tighten all screws to 20 to 24 in-lbs torque.

Position dust shield (3) over dowel pins on pawl carrier. Position shift shaft lever (2) over dowel pins and secure with three shift shaft lever screws (1). Also treat the threads of these screws with Loctite sealant before inserting.


Before replacing shifter cover, check shifter fork spacing as described under "Assembling Shifter Forks."

Coat shifter cover gasket with gasket sealer and position on gear box. Install assembled shifter cover over gear box opening and secure with twelve screws. Note that two screws are longer. They are inserted in holes adjacent to bulge in cover over shifter gear. The short cover screw with vent hole is inserted in hole nearest locating dowel pin on right side of transmission case.

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