General => Douglas Motorcycles - General Discussion => Topic started by: Jeffbo1 on 04 Mar 2013 at 03:44

Title: Stiff shift
Post by: Jeffbo1 on 04 Mar 2013 at 03:44
My Mk5 is doing something I find strange. When I start out for a ride the shift mechanism works very smoothly and easily, but after a short ride I notice the shifting is getting stiffer and harder to never fails to shift, but does seem to take a slight bit more effort from my foot to make it move the way I desire....I tried changing the gearbox oil and went with a semi synthetic oil to see if this alleviates this phenomenon but alas it still performs the same way.....any thoughts? Many thanks......Jeff
Title: Re: Stiff shift
Post by: Vermont-Ian on 06 Mar 2013 at 21:34
I too had this exact problem some years ago on my MkIII.  Since no on else has replied I'll give my maybe useless response - I fixed it but I can't remember exactly how!
Seems likely the problem is in the selector mechanism - the unit that comes off with the foot-change when you undo those 6 screws.  The shaft leaks oil, but also  lets water in and can corrode the shaft that is fixed to the selector plate (see Plate 17 in the parts book).  In any case, there are several concentric parts - steel and bronze bushes all of which can be cleaned up if you take the unit apart.  But start with the long shaft on the selector plate, and the two steel  parts it rotates in.  The fun bit is putting the selector plate back again against that sprung ball at the front - it can be done by one person (2 hands).  Let me know if you need to take a look at Plate 17.
Title: Re: Stiff shift
Post by: Jeffbo1 on 07 Mar 2013 at 03:02
Thanks Ian, I was hoping to hear something on this....I am afraid I am pretty much a novice when it comes to taking things apart on my Douglas....little Hondas, no problem, but with this bike I'm afraid I'd get her apart and be at my wits end getting it together you think that actual riding and operation of the unit will clean it up and smooth things out? Im afraid that when the bike was in Australia it didn't get a lot of TLC....many thanks for your input and yes, plate 17 would be something I would like to see....I may just give it a go...have nothing to lose really and may learn a lot....many thanks pal

Title: Re: Stiff shift
Post by: Jeffbo1 on 07 Mar 2013 at 03:04
Hey Ian, I do have Plate 17 and am studying it now as I type....thanks again!  Jeff
Title: Re: Stiff shift
Post by: eddie on 07 Mar 2013 at 08:43
       It may be as Ian says, just something tightening up on the gearchange mechanism. Douglas did produce a modified design for the Mark 3 Sports that did away with the key and a spring - evidently, this did aid much slicker gearchanges.
       If it is a matter of the gearchange quadrant hanging up in the gearchange shaft, you may be able to improve matters without doing too much dismantling. If you look at the pivot for the gearchange lever, you will see it is fitted on a splined shaft which has a smaller inner shaft to carry the gearchange indicator. If you undo the centre bolt and remove the indicator, with a longer bolt, a washer and a spacer you can rig up a makeshift puller to draw out that inner shaft - it should move about 3/32" against the action of an inner spring without too much resistance (but don't force it!), and should drop back under the pressure of the spring. If the shaft doesn't drop back, apply some penetrating fluid to the end of it and repeat the exercise several more times. If that doesn't work, you will need to remove the side cover from the gearbox - don't panic, there is nothing inside that will suddenly fall out! With the six screws removed, the cover should come away complete with the selector quadrant. With the gear indicator removed, you should be able to slide the quadrant out of the cover assembly - you will see it is prevented from turning by a long square key, and also has a small spring to keep it biased against the back bearing bush. Make sure the quadrant shaft moves freely in the gearchange shaft and then reassemble. You will probably find it easier to refit the quadrant first - you have to fit it into the back bearing whilst depressing the quadrant plunger - then refit the cover assembly (you will find that the cover is rotated slightly out of position when located on the key - this is normal, you just need to twist the cover to get the 6 screws to line up).


P.S. After being rebuilt, my Dragonfly did exactly the same on a 250 mile trip to Wales in the snow - just disturbing the gearchange seemed to cure it, as it never happened again - and that was 35,000 miles ago!!
Title: Re: Stiff shift
Post by: Jeffbo1 on 08 Mar 2013 at 16:05
Many thanks again Eddie, I will print out your reply and have it at the ready.....I will try the pulling of the shaft as you suggest and see if this improves the's really not that bad, just more annoying than anything...ha....but certainly worth addressing...many thanks pal!  Jeff