The transmission on the bike was rebuilt at the 50,000 mile mark and the bike has 97,500 on it now. It was very grimy so perhaps I have a seal leak somewhere, but I’m betting on the grime coming from the drive shaft boot and rear main seal on the engine that I will replace. Here’s what I started with.
The kick start and gear shift levers are secured with a threaded bolt that is tapered and has a notch cut into the side to slide into a notch in the shaft. The nut draws the bolt down securing it into the notch in the shaft.
The bolts are notorious for being hard to withdraw. The Haynes manual mentions using a soft mallet to knock the bolt out of the hole. After removing the nuts from the kick starter and shifter and rapping on the bottom of the bolts, the expected happened–nothing. I used my trusty can of Kroil and let it seep into the holes overnight to take care of any rust that maybe binding the bolts in the holes.
I had no luck getting either bolt to budge with a soft mallet. So, I took a piece of steel bar stock and placed it carefully on the bottom of the shifter bolt and hit it with a steel hammer. I didn’t what to damage the threads and the flat stock should keep an off center blow from doing that. This worked and I was able to get the shifter bolt to move. I used a drift to tap the bolt out of the hole.
The problem with the kick start lever is it is not easy to get to the bottom of the bolt and the lever rotates. I found putting the transmission on the floor let me put my left foot on the kick start lever rotating it to the floor. This put the bottom of the bolt where I could get the bar on it and I could hit it hard with the steel hammer. Nothing. Next I heated the kick start lever in hopes the aluminum would expand a bit more than the steel shaft. Nothing.
Time for bigger weapons and potentially more risk of destruction. I found a drift that matched the bolt diameter closely and my hand sledge. I carefully placed the drift on the end of the bolt and took a hard whack with the sledge. I was very careful to keep the drift squarely on the bottom of the bolt and to strike it squarely with the sledge. I started with light hits, increasing them a bit as I went. In the end, it took a hit from about 9 inches from the end of the drift to get the bolt to move. I hate using that much force to get the bolt to move, but that bolt was jammed in there tight.
Here are the levers removed. The two large washers or behind the shift lever next to the transmission. The washers on the end of the tapered bolts aren’t shown in this picture.
Polishing and Refinishing
Now I cleaned up the levers and hardware. I cleaned the parts in the carburetor parts soaking can and then used AutoSol Aluminum Cleaner and “00” steel wool on the kick starter, shift and air cleaner retaining strap. I followed that with “000” steel wool and then AutoSol Aluminum polish to put a nice luster on them. Their are two flat washers shown on the transmission breather bolt and a wave washer is shown on the kick starter bolt, which is incorrect. A flat washer goes on the kick starter and shift bolts under the nuts. A flat washer and wave washer go on the transmission breather bolt and the larger wave washer goes on the bolt holding the air box strap. Sorry about the confusion in the picture.
To clean the rough casting of the transmission, I plugged the speedometer shaft opening with a spare silicone seal nozzel and the hole for the clutch push rod with shop towels. I used a fair amount of Gunk engine degreaser, stiff bristle nylon brush and a tooth brush to get the baked on grime off. Next, I used the parts washer to finish up removing the top layer of grunge.
Removing Burs on Tapered Bolts and Holes
I cleaned up the tapered bolts. The kick starter bolt had a bur on the tapered edge that I filed smooth.
I also used 320 and then 1500 grit to polish the tapered part of the bolts so they were smooth to the touch. I used a drill bit and wrapped the wet/dry sand paper on it and burnished the holes and then test fit the bolts until I could easily slide them in and out of the holes. This took awhile to get everything smooth again, but the scratches and burs were why it was so hard to remove the kick starter bolt.
Then I worked on polishing the transmission. I used some brake cleaner to soften up the hard material in the webbing area on the front side. I used AutoSol Aluminum Cleaner and Scotch Brite pads on the rough castings, then more Aluminum Cleaner with “00” steel wool and lots of blue paper shop towels to remove the cleaner. Under the speedometer housing, there was corrosion and some copper from the battery ground cable that a leak from the battery caused. I used some 600 grit sand paper and also a wire disk in the Dremel tool to get the copper and corrosion out and then worked that area with “00 steel wool to get a similar luster to the rest of the casting. I finished up the transmission with AutoSol Aluminum polish.
Putting it Back Together
The parts fiche shows a “0.5 mm” washer between the transmission and the shift lever, but I had two washers, not one. When I put them together and used my micrometer, they added up to 0.5 mm.
The tapered bolts when into the holes easily with just a bit of jiggling of the kick start and shift levers to help them slide down into the cutouts on the shafts. I put the washers and nuts on and then tightened the nuts to draw the tapered bolts down until they were seated. Then I put a new shift rubber on the shift lever to replace the cracked one.
Here is the refinished transmission.