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  1. #1
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    Newbie alert..... New to here......new to owning a harley

    Sup,

    Just thought I'd show due respect and say hi.

    I'm Stitch, after waiting 43 years I finally own a Harley.

    It's a 77 ironhead (XLCH 1000), but has the uggly long gear change arm from the 75/76 engine. Is this common??

    Cheers,
    Stitch

    image.jpgimage.jpg
    image.jpg

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    reindeer (06-20-2018)

  3. #2
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    PS that's not my car in the background I ain't that rich.lol

  4. #3
    Senior Member bluenose-1956's Avatar
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    Hello Stitch,

    Welcome to the forum from Calderdale in West Yorkshire.

    The ugly gear lever that you refer to was a stop gap measure by H-D to comply with the new American law that required all new motorcycles sold in the USA from 1975 onward must have a left hand gear change lever. This law only affected H-D's Sportster range as the Big Twins have always had a left hand gear shifter, Sportster's had a right hand gear lever like the earlier British machines. The huge ugly shift lever was only used in 1975 & 1976, by 1977 there was a new smaller lever design.

    A 1977 "Confederate Edition" Sportster with smaller left hand gear shift lever.

    pa0714-194942_2.jpg


    Many European manufacturers had to change from right to left hand shift in order to sell their bikes in the USA, Triumph, Laverda, Moto Morini and MV Agusta are some examples.

  5. #4
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    Hi and welcome from S. Lincs.
    Can't add any more than what Bluenose has said, it seems you have a 75 or 76 engine.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Whistler's Avatar
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    Hi, welcome the the forum fae Fife. Can't add to what Bluenose said.
    FTW )

  7. #6
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    That's the thing. I've read about the American DOT forcing a change of sides.
    75 &76 engines where only effected as you say.
    Yet the engine number and chassis numbers match. All the documentation matches.
    But the engine number ends in H7 meaning it's a 77 bike with an earlier engine pit in in the factory.
    Which makes me think, they must have had a few 76 engines left and stuck them in a few 77 to get rid.
    If this is correct, it may be worth more as it will make it rarer.

    Out of curiosity can you put a 77 gearbox and changer in a 76 engine dose anyone know??

    Thank you for all your replies.

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  9. #7
    Senior Member bluenose-1956's Avatar
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    Hi Stitch,

    If your engine VIN ends in H7 it's definitely a 1977 model.

    Does the VIN number begin with 3A or 4A?
    3A is an XLH model. 4A is an XLCH model.

    A typical 1977 VIN number would be something like 3A 11790 H 7

    3A = model XLH.
    11790 = production number.
    H = manufacturer Harley-Davidson.
    7 = year 1977.

    Here's a 1976 Sportster motor showing it's VIN number.

    1976_engine_numbers_by_4th_of_july (1).jpg

    Why not have a look at the Sportsterpedia.com web site, it's the most comprehensive source of Sportster information that I've found on the internet.

    sp-welcome-logo.jpg


    Regarding the gearboxes,

    1975 and 1976 part number is 34844-57A.
    1977 until early 1979 part number is 34844-57B.

    With regard to converting a 1976 gear shift to the later 1977 design, I can't see why it can't be done. You'll need the 1977 Primary drive cover, it has a hole in it for the gear shift shaft to exit the motor, you'll also need the later longer shaft and the later shift lever. If you look on the Carl Salter free Harley manuals website there is a parts manual which covers models from 1954 until 1978. The manual is full of exploded diagrams and has all the H-D part numbers. You can download it for free.

    Here are some example pages to show you what to expect.

    Harley-Davidson-1954-1978-Sportster-Parts-Manual-800x800.jpgHarley-Davidson-1954-1978-Sportster-Parts-Manual-2-800x800.jpgUntitledCP_zpsyau8x8wr.jpg UntitledCR1_zpskgiymbsb.jpg


    Hope that's helped you.

  10. #8
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    Hi
    Vin number is *4A1----2H7*,
    But it's a long gear change arm/pedal.
    So it would seem it's a 1977 bike with a 75/76 engine style in it.

  11. #9
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    Is it possible a previous owner swapped the arm in for some reason of preference or disability?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  12. #10
    Senior Member bluenose-1956's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamreading View Post
    Is it possible a previous owner swapped the arm in for some reason of preference or disability?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    That's not very likely, they'd have had to change the gear shift shaft and primary drive cover too.

    It's more likely to be an early 1977 machine that was fitted with a late 1976 engine to use up old stock, the factory would have stamped the engines VIN number as a 1977 model.

    You might be best consulting the USA H-D forum, they're more likely to know than we are.

    My mate used to have a right hand shift Triumph T140V Bonneville on a 1976 'P' registration plate. Triumph went to left hand shift in 1975. His bike was held up in the Meriden factory during the workers 18 month sit-in blockade (1973-74) to stop the closure of the Meriden factory and Bonneville production being transferred to BSA's Small Heath factory. So his Bonneville must have been at least 3 years old before it was sold and first registered for the road.

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