How do I Replace an Ironhead Kicker Gear?


Starting your Harley-Davidson Ironhead motorcycle is often taken for granted. You get on the bike, turn on the fuel and ignition and give it a kick to bring the motor to life. All goes well until the day when you go to kick start the bike and the kicker gear fails, leaving you stranded with no way to start the engine. Replacing a broken or worn out gear is time consuming, but well within the abilities of the average home mechanic. You can save hundreds of dollars of expensive shop time by doing the job yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Combination wrench set
  • Socket wrench set
  • Drain Pan
  • Harley-Davidson spring tool #H-D 97178-71
  • Hammer
  • Torque wrench
  • Disconnect the battery negative (-) cable. Remove the kick starter pedal and both foot pegs. Remove the gearshift lever and remove the rear brake master cylinder from the frame, but do not disconnect the hydraulic hose.

  • Place a drain pan underneath the primary chain cover. Remove the chain case drain plug to drain the chain case oil. Remove the chain case cover and the gasket.

  • Install the spring compression tool H-D 97178-71 onto the crankcase and compress the releasing disc. Remove the retaining nuts, disc and inner and outer clutch springs. Remove the spring compression tool from the crankcase.

  • Remove the outer drive plate and all the friction and inner driven plates. Store the plates in the order they were removed. Remove the pressure plate and chain adjuster. Remove the clutch hub nut and lock-washer and remove the clutch hub.

  • Loosen the exhaust pipe and muffler. Remove the sprocket cover and rotate the crank gear until the starter clutch gear falls free. Remove the shaft nut and lock-washer. Tap the end of the kick starter shaft to loosen the crank gear. Remove the crank gear, kick-starter shaft, oil seal, thrust plate and shims.

  • Inspect the kick starter gears and shafts for wear and damage. Replace as required. Install the kick starter in the reverse order of disassembly. Torque the kicker gear nut to 55 to 65 ft-lbs. and use a new lock-washer.

Related Searches


  • "Harley-Davidson Sportsters 1959-1985"; Clymer; 1986
  • Photo Credit John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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