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#433162 - 05/03/12 9:26 pm 71-72 leaf spring gearbox  
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HawaiianTiger Online content
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Maui Hawaii
I've come to the forum today to ask those who have more experience than me about this gearbox I'm rebuilding. I've already come to the conclusion that the leaf spring detent is the likely culprit in shifting problems with this box. But, in order to be sure that I've done a good job and not left anything to chance I've inspected the engagement dogs for top gear and now I'm scratching my head.
This bike pops out of top gear, but these dogs don't look that bad to me. This is the sleeve gear (4th gear mainshaft) and third gear mainshaft. These dogs are engaged for top gear.


No problems were reported for third gear. These are pics of those dogs.


The third gear dogs look worse to me, but like I said, no problems were reported concerning any other gear.
Do you think I should replace the gears in the first two pics?
There's a fair amount of work in tearing apart a gearbox so I'd like to not go there if possible.
Thanks in advance for any input.
Bill

Last edited by HawaiianTiger; 05/03/12 9:27 pm.

Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
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#433166 - 05/03/12 10:00 pm Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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gREgg-K Online content
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Bill, last time I had a problem like that, it wasn't the gears at all. Turned out the shifter fork was slightly bent, and as a result was not allowing the gear dogs to engage fully.

.. >Gregg


Spyder Integrated Technologies
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#433167 - 05/03/12 10:00 pm Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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You've been around this stuff longer than I have, Bill. I'm sure you've checked shift forks, mainshaft nuts, thrust bearings, looked for wear in the cam. Speaking as the owner of a well used 71, those gears look pretty similar to what I have. I've replaced most everything in my gearbox except the gears and it works acceptably well for me. I did did put a plunger in it, tho.

Mike

#433225 - 05/04/12 7:15 am Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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Stein Roger Online content
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Skudeneshavn Norway
Tiger, as these boxes are designed to stay in gear by being held there by the camplate, and not by undercut gears, I agree with you on the leaf spring being the issue. The wear looks normal to me.

SR

#433241 - 05/04/12 10:58 am Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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I don't know anything, but two summers ago when I was putting mine back together I remember the guys telling me about the shifting forks being weak and prone to bending and also the leaf springs that held the cam plate should be changed to a plunger.

The question is, who's money are you spending?
If you replace the forks and the plunger and it still pops out of gear, are you going to lose a customer because you don't know what you are doing? or are you going to put in a set of gears for free?

I would tell the customer that the weak fork caused the gears to get rounded and while you are at it, they would be a fool not to upgrade to a plunger because the leaf spring is probably why the fork got bent in the first place.


Please do not believe anything I write. I am a hack but I like to guess the right answers.
#433273 - 05/04/12 1:21 pm Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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MikeG Online content
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As a 71 Bonnie owner who has had no trouble with his gearbox (yet?) What are the symptoms and when might I expect them? In the year I've had it I've never noticed any shifting troubles other than a false neutral between 3rd and 4th once. Bike has less than 8000 miles on it.
Thanks


1960 BSA A10
2007 Suzuki Bandit
1957 A10
(Used to be a Triumph here)
71 Norton Commando
#433286 - 05/04/12 3:00 pm Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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The symptoms are dropping out of gear, and/or over-selection due to the spring failing to arrest the camplate, so it continues to move past the indent. Usually selects neutral somewhere, often accompanied by grinding noises...

SR

#433301 - 05/04/12 3:52 pm Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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John Healy Online content
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It is simplistic to blame the leaf spring! There are thousands of these leaf spring transmissions still working and the owners totally unaware of "the problem" promoted by "experts." Yes, I like the plunger better, but know of quite a few people who have quite successfully raced in AHRMA using the leaf spring. IMHO it is not the Big Problem it is made out to be. Changing to a plunger will not fix a faulty gearbox!

When shifting from 3rd to 4th on a 4 speed utilizing the leaf spring (or the plunger detent for that matter) it is all, but impossible, for it to over shift. Under shift, now that is a possibility...

Let's go back to the beginning. Did this come to you as a new problem or did it start to do this after other work had been done to the gearbox. For example has there been work done on the shifting pawls/springs in the outer cover? Could someone have installed 5 spring shift pawls? Was this bike a 5 speed and recently converted back to a 4 speed when the early 5 speed gears fail? If so, did they replace the 5 speed shift quadrant and shift pawls?


#433310 - 05/04/12 4:30 pm Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: John Healy]  
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[quote=John Healy]It is simplistic to blame the leaf spring! There are thousands of these leaf spring transmissions still working and the owners totally unaware of "the problem" promoted by "experts." Yes, I like the plunger better, but know of quite a few people who have quite successfully raced in AHRMA using the leaf spring. IMHO it is not the Big Problem it is made out to be. Changing to a plunger will not fix a faulty gearbox!

Thanks John-I hate to look for trouble where there is none, but I've not heard much good about this transmission. Guess I'll just run it and not fix it till it breaks bigt


1960 BSA A10
2007 Suzuki Bandit
1957 A10
(Used to be a Triumph here)
71 Norton Commando
#433329 - 05/04/12 6:39 pm Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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I understand there is a service note specifying an upgrade to the leaf spring. Does anyone have a copy of that I could look at? I'm not getting a response from Buckshot 1 regarding renting his tools to perform the plunger mod. I'd like to avoid buying a drill and tap I'll only use once.
I have inspected all the relevant parts but nothing jumps out at me as being sub-standard. (Except the leaf spring seems to sag) There is a small amount of wear on one of the shift forks, but not enough, I don't think. I think this happened because the driver of this bike had to hold the shift lever to keep it from popping out of gear.
Thanks to everyone who has responded.
From the standpoint of a pre-unit enthusiast, I'd like to point out that this gearbox has some very nice improvements over the old crashbox. In particular, this shifting of this box is much sweeter than earlier versions and the gears seem much more robust that the earlier ones. This is down to a little thing really that causes all the trouble, I'm convinced.
Bill

Last edited by HawaiianTiger; 05/04/12 6:44 pm.

Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
#433338 - 05/04/12 7:58 pm Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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John Healy Online content
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Bill:(
Twin) 10/72 'B' Range 6/15/72
The bulletin illustrates lengthening the holes in both springs 3/32" so they will apply more pressure to the camplate.

This in response to:
"The problem seems to occur mainly on units used in drag racing, or other competitive events, in which the gearbox is subjected to full-power speed shifts."
-----------------------
Failing getting the tool to install the plunger, and then modifying (or replacing) the cam plate to the old pattern, new leaf springs are available.

If the lever must be held down to keep the bike in gear there is something that should be obvious, that is wrong!
John


#433376 - 05/04/12 11:10 pm Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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Are the dogs fully engaging in top gear?The only easy way that I can see to increase engagement would be to put a shim between the bearing and the output sleeve.
Provided the dogs fully disengage at other times,it shouldn't cause a problem.

You can also fit a shim between the timing-side mainshaft bearing and the gear,to increase 3rd gear dog engagement.If the dogs aren't bottomed out,and disengage when they should,it should be OK.

#433378 - 05/04/12 11:17 pm Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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I'll stop by Sears and pick up a dentist's mirror. Looks like I need one. I'll dry assemble the box here soon and try to observe the engagement of the gears. New leaf springs will be ordered.
Thanks all.
Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
#433464 - 05/05/12 2:03 pm Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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High gear engagement would also be hurt my too much axial in high gear ball bearing. This since this bearing locates the high gear relative to 2nd main.

Jumping out of gear may start with one worn part, but by the time most riders get annoyed enough to fix it, the issue has destroyed all 3 parts of the shift train: camplate (a divot in the raceway), fork (look for wear and discoloration), and the mating gears themselves. That's because the "jump" has a HIGHLY explosive lateral force. It's very rare that one part fixes these issues. With a "1-part fix", most of the time the issues returns again in 6 months.

bigt


Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!

RF Whatley
Cornelia, GA

"Shop Boy" at Rodi British Bikes
#436972 - 05/27/12 8:01 pm Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: RF Whatley]  
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Looking further into this gearbox, I may have found the culprit with this 'box jumping out of 4th gear.
This first picture is how I initially indexed the shifting. In this position I can shift through all the gears. HOWEVER, it feels like a "half" engagement, for lack of a better description, in 4th gear.

Then I experimented with this indexing. I indexed the 'box in 4th gear because of the nature of the leaf spring means that it makes contact with the camplate as the inner cover is pushed home.

In this position, I can also shift through all the gears, but 4th gear feels completely different. It seems to go all the way into gear and by pushing on the shift lever, (ie. trying to access a 5th gear that ain't there)I feel a a resistance as if pushing on a spring. Hope that is a good description. With the other indexing, the feeling is like pushing against a dead stop.
I've put a fair number of gearboxes together over the years, including five speeds, but I never had one that would shift through all the gears while indexed in two different positions. When you get it wrong with a plunger type 'box, once you get to 1st or 4th, there's a no-man's land waiting for you where you go past all the shift detents and get stuck permanently. The 'box has to come apart.
Well, I found this also.

It looks worn out to me, so this and the support spring got replaced. I also replaced all the springs in the outer cover, replaced the rusty and banged up guide plate, installed a new bushing to replace the worn out one, and installed new seal. I also did half the service bulletin. I elongated the mounting holes of the support spring so that it "supports" the main spring a little more. It feels pretty good shifting up and down, just like you would expect.
Has anyone had a similar experience with this particular gearbox?
It's got me scratchin' my head....again.
Cheers,
Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
#437038 - 05/28/12 11:18 am Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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I want to send you a PM but your mail box is full.
Mike


Please do not believe anything I write. I am a hack but I like to guess the right answers.
#437158 - 05/28/12 11:50 pm Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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Maui Hawaii
Mike,
Cleared some room.
Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
#437169 - 05/29/12 12:48 am Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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Tiger Dale Offline
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Waldorf, Maryland
HT,

Be patient and get in touch with Micheal. The new leaf spring is a bandaid on a bad design. True Mr. Healey there are thousands of bikes running around with this set up, but you can't argue that the plunger set up is far superior.

Patience HT will be rewarded.

dale

#437185 - 05/29/12 4:07 am Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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I will be patient...
What I would like to hear from someone is if they have experienced a gearbox that would select all four gears with two different positions of the quadrant, something I've never experienced before, and if that could have caused short shifting into 4th gear and the subsequent problem of popping out of gear.
In retrospect, it would have been helpful to mark the position of the quadrant before dis-assembly, but I never suspected that this could have been the problem all along.
Right now, I don't have any reason to suspect anything else is responsible for this problem. I've corrected what is simple, cheap and easy to do, and the 'box works as expected on the bench. I'm about to button it up and see how it goes.
I haven't presented myself as an expert in the repair of these motors, just conscientious and hard working. My friend will understand if it doesn't function as intended, even if it has to come apart again.
Any and all comments are welcome.
Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
#437234 - 05/29/12 1:10 pm Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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Tennessee
I had this problem with my 72 TR6R as the leaf spring was completely worn through. From your photo your is definetly warn and, if you do not have the cases split or the resources to change to a plunger, simply replace the spring. I converted to the plunger and it is well worth the effort IMHO. If you keep the leaf spring you will probably need to replace it at some point (5k-10k miles?). Good luck.

Last edited by triumphmike; 05/29/12 1:15 pm.
#437293 - 05/29/12 8:54 pm Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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John Healy Online content
John Healy  Online Content



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Boston, Massachusetts
The leaf spring transmission is best assembled in first gear, not fourth.

Rotate the camplate so that the spring engages the first gear camplate indent as you slide the inner cover toward the crankcase.

You do this by rotating the camplate counter clockwise (as you face it from the rear of the motorcycle) just a bit to locate the first gear camplate indent so it is level with the tip of relaxed spring detent. This way the tip of the spring will hit the first gear indent and rotate the camplate clockwise into its proper position for first gear.

This means you know the gearbox is in first gear!

Push down with your thumb on the shifting quadrant, whose lower edge should now be resting on the bottom of the gearbox, this will raise the inner part of the quadrant. Lift it one tooth (inner teeth) and finish sliding the inner gearbox into place. The gearbox is timed and will shift properly.

You get the feel of raising the quadrant one tooth by sliding the inner cover in with the quadrant dragging along bottom of the gearbox. You do this until when you push down with your thumb the inner part of the quadrant lifts and hits the first tooth on the camplate.

Again, with your thumb on the quadrant, nudge the inner cover out a tad until you feel the quadrant tooth come free of the camplate tooth, and then lightly pushing down with your thumb to raise the inner part of the quadrant one tooth. Slide the inner cover home.

Job done. It is actually easier than timing a plunger detent...

Really Bill, this is the way to do it!



#437525 - 05/31/12 4:49 am Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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Originally Posted By: HawaiianTiger

What I would like to hear from someone is if they have experienced a gearbox that would select all four gears with two different positions of the quadrant, something I've never experienced before, and if that could have caused short shifting into 4th gear and the subsequent problem of popping out of gear.

I've never experienced one which would still select all gears when mis-indexed, but I have little experience with 4-speed boxes.
I do remember the first time I had a five speed apart. I followed the instructions when indexing, unfortunately the instructions were for a four speed. Sure enough, it turned into a four speed. laughing
You don't want to know how much trouble I had with a T160 box and the crossover to shift on the wrong side.
Through my experience with the BSA unit gearbox I can see how being off a bit would make it jump out of fourth. The BSA box requires the correct thickness of thrust washer behind the layshaft. Without the correct end float the dogs don't fully engage and the thing pops out of gear. I'm guessing you were off just enough to cause this.
FWIW: I've only had one bike with the leaf spring. It took a bit more delicate change to not miss second gear, but I didn't have that bike for long enough to know if something besides the leaf spring caused this.
So, naturally, I blamed the spring. laugh


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
#438470 - 06/05/12 6:57 am Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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HawaiianTiger Online content
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Maui Hawaii
I finally got in contact with Buckshot 1 and rented the kit for the plunger mod. It got here today and I got right on it. First, I'd like commend Mike for a hugely professional job on the kit. It comes in a purpose made wooden box and the jig itself is a work of art. Well, see for yourself.

He emails you a six page set of instructions, which covers everything. If you have very little experience with this type of thing, not to worry. He walks you through every step.
You first drill a pilot hole, then the exact diameter hole for the tap. Then you ream a relief for the non-threaded part of the plunger body, then tap the hole. All done with bushings that insert into the jig. Very precise. I'm also very impressed with the shifting now. It feels much more positive, I think, than even the new leaf spring which I installed after thinking I would never find Mike.
Anyway I'm glad I did it because, well, the factory did it, didn't they? I think it is likely a workable thing, that leaf spring, but it sags before long and changing it out is a much more involved project that changing a plunger spring, isn't it?
Here's pix of the process.
Cheers,
Bill






Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
#438485 - 06/05/12 9:48 am Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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MikeinBiddeford Offline
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I used that very same jig from buckshot. I wonder if it has made it to every state in the union yet?


Please do not believe anything I write. I am a hack but I like to guess the right answers.
#438492 - 06/05/12 11:12 am Re: 71-72 leaf spring gearbox [Re: HawaiianTiger]  
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scott67TT Online content
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nc usa
don hutchinson calls the leaf spring a "fag spring". quite the character. love to meet him. my '70 TR6C apparently was late enough in the production run to receive this style tranny. of course it was something i learned later as is most of what i know. i have had some issues but i'm not so sure it's not me.

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