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Old 10-15-2016, 07:40 PM
tweeleft's Avatar
tweeleft tweeleft is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bend Oregon
Posts: 110
Originally Posted by JRealHEMC View Post
I've been reading up on the 1st gear issue (which I have) and the procedures that fix the problem. I have a couple of questions:
1. Is the "dremmel fix" and the changing the position of the gear washer fix two separate (and effective) fixes, or is the washer repositioning just an added security added on to the dremmel fix? What I'm asking is can the washer thing be performed alone to get the right result without grinding anything?
2. I've seen whole gear sets new for sale for about $70... Would just replacing with a new set fix this issue, replacing the worn out dogs & slots with new unworn ones? (Instead of grinding old ones that you could possibly get wrong). If that WILL work, I'm sure someone will argue that the new ones will just do the same thing eventually, but they should at least last some years like the original ones, right??

Please advise.
Is the first gear problem like the second gear where its pops out of gear? I have a 81 special the will lurch while kind of getting on it in First. Second thru fifth seem fine. is there anything I should look at to avoid a wheel lock up?
Keep the shiny side up
1979 XS1100SF
Mac 4-1
Drilled airbox Uni filter
Vmax bars
Virago 1" shorter shocks
30K miles
'80 G Forks and Triple Tree
'80 G tank
Mac Turnouts
Virago 1" shorter rear shocks
SH Headlight
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Old 10-16-2016, 06:10 PM
TopCatGr58's Avatar
TopCatGr58 TopCatGr58 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Portsmouth, Va.
Posts: 12,621
Hey there Tweeleft,

Your symptoms are the classic gear skipping, and it won't lock up on you, but the skipping will eventually get worse, more often, and under less throttle load, and may also eventually occur to 2nd gear as well, that's what happened to my 81SH. Recently in another thread Scott/3Phase postulated that the early models 78-80 that had the kick starter gears/equipment helped to stabilize the 1st gear wheel, and so that's why 2nd seemed to fail first, whereas in the 81-82 models where the kick starter gears were eliminated, this allowed the 1st gear wheel to wobble a bit more, and so allows it to wear a little earlier than the 2nd gear, and so starts skipping first. I've seen it on mine, and a few XJ11's as well, and so it makes sense to me.

Bottom line, take it easy in 1st, shift to 2nd and above, and plan to perform the dremmel fix during the winter. My repair I did in 2000 has lasted for 16 years and some 25K miles, but just this summer started to exhibit the skip again in 1st, so I'll be going back into the transmission again to repair it again.

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1st gear, dogs, transmission

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