The 101 Association, Inc.
For the preservation and enjoyment of 1928 to 1931 Indian Scout Motocycles
"You can't wear out an Indian Scout"

1929 scout - 3rd gear

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  • 07 Jan 2019 12:48 AM
    Message # 6986615

    Hi again,

    I managed to start my fully restored 101 over Christmas with many frustrations.It is now running smoothly but I have an issue in 3rd gear - it changes 1st and 2nd no worries on a road test but in 3rd under load there is no drive at all. I have put it on the back stand with engine running and put through the gears and it runs in 3rd. I even breaked while on the stand and it stalled out the motor. So it is engaging but not running under load.

    Any suggestions before I pull the gear box or clutch or both apart again would be really appreciated. 


  • 07 Jan 2019 9:46 PM
    Reply # 6988363 on 6986615

    Hi Michael, have you checked to see if your clutch is slipping?

  • 07 Jan 2019 10:17 PM
    Reply # 6988386 on 6988363
    Harry Roberts wrote:

    Hi Michael, have you checked to see if your clutch is slipping?

    Hi Harry,

    on my first road test it was slipping at every change. I have now adjusted the clutch by swapping some plates around and it doesnt appear to be doing it anymore. On second road test no slipping at all and as i mentioned in my first post i was able to stall the motor in 3 rd gear while on the stand and still no slipping. 

  • 08 Jan 2019 4:41 AM
    Reply # 6988734 on 6986615

    Hello Micheal ,

      You say it doesn't pull UNDER LOAD ? what does it do with little throttle in third ? will it drive but lose drive when you open the throttle ? what does it do when you ease the throttle off ?  if so then as Harry says sounds like clutch slip . Does the clutch slip in the first two gears when throttle snapped open or pull all the time ?

      I had similar problem on '17 Powerplus , seemed to slip in third but pulled well in second back up to speed then third ok till I hit a hill then it would slip but pull ok in second . Fixed by tightening the plates and adding springs as pulling a chair at the mo .

      Hope you can fix ok , keep us informed , best wishes , Ken
  • 08 Jan 2019 5:46 AM
    Reply # 6988760 on 6986615

    If the 3rd gear was jumping out of gear you should feel that clearly and the shiftstick would jank into a false neutral between 3rd and 2nd, so I assume that is not the case here. There is nothing different happening in the gearbox in 2nd compared to what is happening in 3rd, I mean the mechanic works is the same so there can't be something wrong with the gears or mechanics inside the gearbox if the 3rd is staying in gear. The 3rd is coupled via the slider gear dogs and splines, to the mainshaft that goes directly to the clutch, doesn't engage any intermediate gear as in 1st or 2nd. If the mainshaft would slip on the clutch hub because of a broken key, that would rapidly get worse.  If there should be anything wrong with the chain or sprocket or splines that hold the sprockets on the shaft or hub, that should be felt in 2nd or 1st as well. So there must be something else wrong.

    The only logic fault that I can think of is the clutch if there is no apparent difference at the start in 1st, 2nd or 3rd gear. Maybe you haven't charged the engine enough in 2nd to feel the clutch slipping, the strain usually is larger in 2nd, up a hill when the engine is revving on it's torque curve peak.

    Do you use original plates, original style aftermarket plates or composite new material aftermarket plates? Do you use original or new springs, 16 or less? What kind of oil, brand, weight and what specification does the oil have? 

    On the rear stand when the engine is idling, engage the clutch with you hand. Can you feel a small slack at the pedal or lever just before the clutch is engaged? The free play should be small, about 1/2" at the tip of the clutch lever. Too big and it is a risk that the bearing ball ring in the clutch release bearing starts to rattle and can break apart with that. Too small and the bearing can gall and jam. Release bearing breakdown is very VERY dangerous.

    When you progressively engage the clutch with your hand, do you feel any undulating or vibration that shouldn't be there? Is the engagement smooth? Is the de-engagement, the returning smooth? The worm needs to be packed with grease in many cases to work properly.

    I have found that on my bike, the smoothest get-away position of the clutch lever is when at rest, the lever is keyed the farthest back that it can be put. That is because the slipping point, when the bike wants to depart, both the pedal and the lever at the same time is collaborating in the most favourable position for the touch and feel in the foot and I can portion the slip very precisely.

    Last modified: 08 Jan 2019 7:46 AM | Carl-Erik Renquist
  • 08 Jan 2019 2:43 PM
    Reply # 6989541 on 6986615
    Tim Raindle (Administrator)

    Free play set up is often the most overlooked adjustment on new builds, I find. If you have your clutch pedal friction plate tight, it may be easier to gauge the free play with the rod removed, then it is a lot easier to feel by hand when the pressure is about to come on the springs. A lot of old guys used to remove half the springs on scouts to lighten the shift, so a well set good up condition clutch for a solo bike should not have any spring issues. Be sure that the free play is then apparent with the pedal fully depressed against the foot board, no point in having a little free play and then have the heel of the pedal needing to go lower than the footboard to take the pressure off. 

     If you have a new clutch with bonded plates, ie Greers or King clutch, bear in mind that you usually need to leave out the second of the two top plates ( the general pattern calls for two bonded at the top of the stack. As the plates are bonded, the thickness of outer plate riding on the hub is only the thickness of the parent metal, whereas with original raybestos plates, the full thickness of the plate extends the full width. A full chief stack in a scout can lead to the outer plate dropping off the edge of the hub and hanging up slightly. I have only ever seen two Indian clutches burn out, and both were newly fitted repro stacks that had this issue, and appeared to work ok under light load. Takes quite a lot to burn them out,generally they are bullet proof, but I have come across the problem a few times on low mileage rebuilds. Sometimes takes a few miles for it to be an issue, as the plates bed in and become fractionally thinner, or you become more confident with the footchanges and disengage the clutch more fully.

     Love to hear what you find, Michael. 

  • 08 Jan 2019 3:02 PM
    Reply # 6989568 on 6986615
    Tim Raindle (Administrator)

    Kind of think, for personal settings, Carl-Eriks correct position is a little far towards three o'clock for my usual set up, but feel is very personal. I have had an achilles repair, and find full heel difficult, and want my pressure point thru slipping to be higher than many people, so tend to adjust the whole set up accordingly, also with a very light pressure on the friction disc on the pedal.  I have a friend who rides a lot of foot shift Harleys set up toe to go, and we fussed about endlessly trying to get a good action that suited his foot feel on his 101, his emphasis needed to be in a completely different place to mine. 

    The process is one of the few things well described in the Riders Handbooks from the factory, but it does give the impression that the position is mandatory. The free play is necessary, the actual position may vary a little. 

  • 09 Jan 2019 10:19 PM
    Reply # 6992593 on 6986615

    Many thanks everyone for all your information. To answer some questions the clutch is new from Walkers. I did leave out one plate as suggested but my clutch was slipping. I then put that plate back in but the springs were so compressed that there was no more room to compress any more - so I removed one of the metal disks and now it seems to be driving ok. That is in 1st and 2nd as I still havent figured out why it wont drive in 3rd. 

    It looks like I have some work to do this weekend coming so will let you know what I find.

  • 10 Jan 2019 6:03 AM
    Reply # 6992987 on 6986615

    It is an interesting problem so please take a lot of photos and put them here or on the facebook site Indian Scout 101 Platform.

  • 16 Jan 2019 3:05 AM
    Reply # 7003993 on 6986615

    Well I look like I have fixed the problem. I pulled out the selector spring and gave it a small stretch. I then fired up the motor and did as Eric suggested & worked the clutch by hand and no viabrations were detected. I did notice though that when I went through the gears they felt to be going into position better than before & 3rd gear dropped a little lower than before. I did a road test over about 2 mile & it didn’t miss a beat. I just need to push the lever firmly into 3rd gear & not let it drop into place as I was doing before.

    All the joys of learning to ride a 90 year old motorcycle.

    Thanks everyone again for your help.

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