My Take on Shifter Brace


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My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by okie2ee » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:02 pm



After viewing all the great posts regarding the problems associated with the poorly designed shifter, I decided to tackle the problem and started looking for solutions. I was impressed with the CNC shifter brace, a piece of art from a machinist point of view; but I don't have copious dollars to spend which lead me to look for cheaper solutions. I found the plans in the forum for the cheaper brace made from flat bar stock; but I was looking for something more along the lines of the CNC brace. I found a used shifter shaft on eBay for $5 ($7 shipping) and I found a nice piece of aluminum in my scrap collection with a 1/2" hole in it to use as a bracket. Preparation for the shifter brace involved cutting the shaft on the shifter, drilling a 8mm hole in the aluminum bracket, shaping the aluminum bracket with a hacksaw and belt sander, drilling out the shifter arm hole to 1/2", modifying the inner and outer heat shield. The following pictures show the progression of the project to completion.


Shifter shaft purchased from eBay


Shifter shaft cutoff to match thickness of aluminum bracket


Aluminum bracket shaped to fit into the mounting space for the crash bar


The shifter arm and the bracket together


Modification to inner shield to clear the aluminum bracket


The pivot bracket installed on the crash bar mounting point. I used a counter sunk hole and flat screw
head allen bolt to clear the shifter arm as it moves up and down.


Shifter shaft supported by the support bracket and shifter arm


Final shield modifications to clear the shift arm support. This is more of a modification
than previous projects but I didn't feel it was all that extreme for the desired end result.


I discovered that when I tightened down the shifter arm support on the shifter shaft that the shifter would hang
up a little when down shifting. Apparently the alignment of the support hole and the shifter shaft were not
exactly in alignment. I loosened the clamp on the shifter arm support and everything worked great. I then needed
to add a bushing in between the shifter arm support and the shift lever in order to keep the shift arm support from
moving out of the support bracket.


The completed assembly and everything is nice and tight and works great



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Bluewaterhooker0
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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by Bluewaterhooker0 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:52 pm

Nice job. There was a time in my life when I would have been all over this project like white on rice. But, these days....I'm thrilled to pay someone else to make it for me.....and did.

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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by GlimWas » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:40 am

I'm glad that you are happy with your self made shifter help, but mine was cheaper in the end.( I know; it's not a contest) The flat bar aluminium i used was something like €5,- (1 meter(3 feet and some) ) and some nuts and bolts that were lying around over here...... I could make it to look more like the cnc one, but you will never see the thing again!!! The most costly thing would be the shipping from over here to over there :lol: But fun aside; good work!!
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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by okie2ee » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:15 am

I thank you, GlimWas, for your help, in that the dimensions that you provided were right on the mark, I'm not sure how you figured out the 16mm hole to hole dimension on the support bracket.

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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by okie2ee » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:26 am

Here are a couple more photos which I forgot to insert which show the final installation with the shield installed and another shot of the support arm and bracket.


Back view of the support arm and support bracket installed on the shifter shaft




This shows the completed installation with the shield in place and yes, you can't push those little rubber
tabs thru their holes from the front..........always learning

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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by GlimWas » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:53 am

okie2ee wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:15 am
I thank you, GlimWas, for your help, in that the dimensions that you provided were right on the mark, I'm not sure how you figured out the 16mm hole to hole dimension on the support bracket.
Trial and error............ Nothing more to it
(To be honest; someone mentioned it on the Dutch Goldwingforum ;) )
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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by Erdeniz Umman » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:22 pm

I liked your solution, it looks like an OEM part.
Could you add a video to show the movement of the pieces when shifting?

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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by okie2ee » Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:02 pm

There's not much to see regarding the movement of the parts, the bottom of the support arm moves along the same arc as the shifter shaft. I don't think I would be able to show any additional information with a video........sorry

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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by Erdeniz Umman » Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:11 pm

Ok, no problem.
I am thinking about another and easy solution for this issue.
Maybe an arc shaped piece can be made to house the shifter shaft and installed on the crash bar bolt. So there will be only one added piece and no need to cut the shield etc.

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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by okie2ee » Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:14 pm

The reason for the two pieces is to allow the support arm which is mounted on the shifter shaft to be in alignment with the shaft coming out of the crankcase. The bracket provides a pivot point for the support arm on the shifter shaft that can be moved to the correct position to allow this alignment. The center to center distance for the holes in the support arm is 29 mm. The distance between centers on the support bracket holes is around 10 - 16 mm. I used 16 mm but I believe I could have used a smaller distance. The support arm on the shifter shaft has to be pivoting about the same point as the arm which is tied to the shifter shaft.

However, I believe that you can fabricate a more complex shaped support arm which would not require as much removal of metal from the shield. I have seen a number of posts showing different style brackets and some are very simple and compact. I chose this design for the large bearing surfaces both on the pivot support bracket and the support arm on the shifter shaft. Hope that helps..........

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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by CrystalPistol » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:27 pm

Oh yes, it works!

Back in 2014, I gave it a lot of thought, spent some time on the floor one week in evenings looking at my FBs and shifter setup .... broke out my welder and some odd bits of steel and .... and I forgot to take pics.

⦁ Using bronze 1/4x15/32x3/8 flange bushings decided on pivot size.
⦁ Then with a 7/16" Chevy wheel nut drilled to 15/32 then using small drum sander of Dremel I soon had a smooth nut that slid snuggly on the bare clean polished shifter extension shaft.
⦁ I drilled a hole in the side of this big nut, tapped it to 1/4-20, and inserted a 1/4-20 bolt with nut, gently just turned nut to kiss flat on big nut, then welded it, backed bolt out, threaded for a medium length 1/4-20 set screw.
⦁ Welded a piece of 1/4x3/8 steel about 5/8" long to far side of big nut.
⦁ Welded a 1/4-20 long smooth shank bolt at 90 degrees to a second piece of 1/4x3/8 steel and cut threaded portion off leaving a long smooth 1/4" shaft.
⦁ Clamped two together and gently nudged the 1/4" shaft back and forth until the C-C distance was 1.14". (I had miced the shift shaft at 0.486 and my 1/4" pivot at 0.248, added up = 0.734 thus 0.734/2= 0.367 thus 1.140-0.367= 0.773 .... that was my target between the two but my result wound up at 0.771" ..... so I'm within a hair.)
⦁ Checked for parallelism, it was close enough.
⦁ I welded the two parts together forming a near 90" dog leg for clearance.
⦁ Polished up sharp corners and welds and rounded corners of what was a Chevy's lug nut.
⦁ Test fitting and shifting while laying on the floor showed me I just needed to shave about 1/8" off one side of the spacer for my FB front to enable me to use a pair of 3/8" nuts with 9/16" flats welded together and drilled to 3/8" and fitted with a bronze bushing and it'ld be near perfect pivot welded to the FB spacer 20mm from the end to bushing face.
⦁ Found in subsequent fitting that the pivot was so dead on that even with no tightening of set screw, it still worked.
⦁ Then I tightened the set screw well.
⦁ Welded a piece of steel over open end of my new pivot (removed bushing), drilled small hole, filled with moly and test fitted (replaced bushing), excess molly squished out small hole, no excess slop at all now, and smooth through all gears and no binding.
⦁ Trim outer lower shield some, nothing hits.
⦁ Pulled spacer back off, clean, clear coated it (I had already clear coated part that clamps to shifter shaft) .... re-lubed with a dab of grease, reassymbled ..... I can even use a needle adapter to shoot grease in from outside at service times.
I must say, mine had almost no slop in it as it was before I did this, which is why I could not make the "tightwad self" in me spring for the shift brace kit described earlier in that thread, as well made as it appears.
Had mine had a bit of slop, I would probably have bought it two weeks prior(I almost did anyway) .... but then the "tinkerer self" in me took over and I ended up with probably "6-7 evening after supper hours" in it as well as some small odd parts steel, a few $ for bushings (spares too for future service as might wear with just 1/4" shaft?) and a blade and some bit of E7014.

I must say, if it had not been for another thread, I would not have made mine as it just didn't occur to me to do so. I knew how the 1500 differed from earlier Wings in this reguard, just hadn't given serious thought to fixing it .... just living with it. Mine does show seepage at the seal so I'll replace that soon as well (haven't yet, but have had limited riding since too). But if I weren't able to weld and if I didn't have time to have put into this, to have gotten up and down a hundred times checking and looking and measuring .... and seeing the improvement it made by providing that extra pivot point (it does eliminate excess play and since I have a longer shift lever I made to work in a normal matter with my floorboards, eliminating excess travel is good) ....
then ....
.... then I'ld jump on Peppi-Le-Pew's Shifter Brace.


His version does look much nicer than mine.

I may yet photo the deal.
Image

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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by okie2ee » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:26 am

Thanks for your description of your support bracket fabrication............nice use for lug nuts which provides nice big bearing surface. I got to thinking again about how to find the exact point on the support bracket that aligns with the output shaft on the transmission. I'm going to try this today..........I'm going to use my electronic level and find out what angle the shifting shaft is with respect to the output shaft on the transmission. After finding this angle, I can then move to the front of the shifter shaft where the shift lever is mounted and place the level on the shaft and move it until I'm at the same angle as previously measured, this should precisely define the point of intersection of the output shaft on the transmission and the circle defined by the shifter support arm. Using this information I should be able to define the center line of the output shaft. I'm curious to see how close I am using this method. I'm assuming the shifter shaft is parallel to the output shaft from the transmission or pretty close to parallel, the part is pretty beefy so I don't expect it to be bent and I will check to make sure it is clamped tight to the output shaft.

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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by minimac » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:43 am

Thanks to all of you "tinkerers" for finding more than one way to a solution. Myself, I'm a function over form kind of guy(frugal), and appreciated the different ways of addressing this issue.

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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by Erdeniz Umman » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:15 am

Here is a simple drawing of my idea.
There will be only one piece with a groove on it housing the shifter shaft.
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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by GlimWas » Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:00 am

That solution is missing the pivot point you need. You really have to make a stiff construction or else you keep movement in your shifter shaft. It has to revolve around a fixed point in line of the shift axle , like on my bike
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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by Erdeniz Umman » Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:21 pm

GlimWas wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:00 am
That solution is missing the pivot point you need. You really have to make a stiff construction or else you keep movement in your shifter shaft. It has to revolve around a fixed point in line of the shift axle , like on my bike
No, it is not missing the pivot point. I tried to draw the groove aiming the same pivot point as on yours. For the strength, we can use a thick aluminum piece as in yours.

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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by GlimWas » Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:53 pm

I understand, but you have to fixate the shifter shaft, the groove wil give it room to move around and that is precisely what you do not want, you want to eliminate freeplay.
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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by CrystalPistol » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:07 pm

Erdeniz Umman wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:15 am
Here is a simple drawing of my idea.
There will be only one piece with a groove on it housing the shifter shaft.
Are you thinking one part, as in red, with a slot?

That's NOT going to solve anything.

What you want is a way to keep the splined part of the bike's original shift shaft in the same arc from same imaginary center out at the splined end as it travels at the other end hidden behind exhaust header tubes and frame, etc. A slot might keep the shaft stable in one axis only. The pivot point is key to this. The reason so many use cut down used shafts is doing so keeps the distance from your bike's shaft to that pivot point the same, next hurdle is "find it". We have several who have found it to be a certain & consistant distance from that bolt.

Place the parts in place on the bike, loosely, cycle shifter while looking straight in along shaft towards engine, it becomes rapidly evident. Then the fab to place a "pivot" point there begins.

I welded nuts to side of a spacer for my floor boards, others need a bracket.
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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by CrystalPistol » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:19 pm

okie2ee wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:26 am
Thanks for your description of your support bracket fabrication............nice use for lug nuts which provides nice big bearing surface. …..
What I had on hand that had meat for threaded grubb screw and welding. Thanks.
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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by Erdeniz Umman » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:41 pm

CrystalPistol wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:07 pm
Erdeniz Umman wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:15 am
Here is a simple drawing of my idea.
There will be only one piece with a groove on it housing the shifter shaft.
Are you thinking one part, as in red, with a slot?

That's NOT going to solve anything.

What you want is a way to keep the splined part of the bike's original shift shaft in the same arc from same imaginary center out at the splined end as it travels at the other end hidden behind exhaust header tubes and frame, etc. A slot might keep the shaft stable in one axis only. The pivot point is key to this. The reason so many use cut down used shafts is doing so keeps the distance from your bike's shaft to that pivot point the same, next hurdle is "find it". We have several who have found it to be a certain & consistant distance from that bolt.

Place the parts in place on the bike, loosely, cycle shifter while looking straight in along shaft towards engine, it becomes rapidly evident. Then the fab to place a "pivot" point there begins.

I welded nuts to side of a spacer for my floor boards, others need a bracket.
Cristal
That is exactly what I am trying to say. The shaft will move on the same arc as on the braces made so far, aiming the same pivot point, but it will be an imaginery one this time.

If you reexamine the picture in my previous post, you will see the shifter brace installed behind the red piece. I have used its pivot point to draw the groove or slot. It will be a thick aluminum piece to support the shaft of course.

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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by CrystalPistol » Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:33 pm

Erdeniz Umman wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:41 pm


Cristal
That is exactly what I am ……………. etc ………….. support the shaft of course.
OK, keep us posted. Good luck, I just think it won't work so well bring just a slot.
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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by okie2ee » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:53 am

I see Erdeniz's point on the support provided by the plate; however, the support is only provided along the radius line of the arc and does not provide any support that is along the arc. The force applied by the foot to the shift lever is not along the radius of the arc...........it is primarily a downward force at an angle to the radius of the arc and the path of the arc. Therefore, there is always a component of the force that is not supported by the slotted bracket. So as I see it, there is some support offered by the slot but not total support as provided by the pivoting support arm tied to the shifter shaft. I much prefer the pivot point method of support for the shifter shaft.

I tore mine apart again today to try and check the location of my pivot point with respect to the output shaft on the transmission. My level idea did not work, forgot how cramped and confined that space is around the output shaft. I used a straight length of wire placed in the bottom of the support bracket pivot hole to locate where the bottom of the pivot hole fell on the output shaft shifter arm. I discovered that I was approximately 3 mm lower than the output shaft. Next I placed the support arm on the shifter shaft and sighted along the bottom of the support arm until it appeared to be in alignment with the output shaft shifter arm. I then marked the location of the support arm pivot shaft on the support bracket. This showed me that my current center to center dimension on the support bracket was too long by about 4 mm. I fabricated another bracket with the new information and tried it out and found that it worked very well. I was also able to tighten down the support arm bolt and lock it firmly to the shifter shaft. No sticking when downshifting. I will take pictures of the new support bracket and include the final dimensions later.

I also discovered that my seal was weeping which now explains the oily side of the engine crankcase and dirty conditions behind the seal. Hustled into town to pick up a seal at the local Honda dealer. One of the few parts that you can buy without being taken to the cleaners. I have viewed the posts regarding how to replace the seal; however, I don't have a flex socket to facilitate the bolt removal. Got everything else but a 10 mm flex socket; ended up buying a complete 12 piece set, since the cost of single unit was outlandish compared with the set price. I can't wait to work on that little bolt, good thing all the kids are grown up and gone.

I also have my recommendation for degreasing; someone put me onto a cleaner from Dollar General called LA's Totally Awesome cleaner. $3 for a half gallon and this stuff really works at full strength. I use a spray bottle to apply it and the grease breaks down quickly, thick layers require a little mechanical agitation with brush or rag. Follow up with Brake Cleaner and everything is spotless. This stuff saves money on the use of the expensive stuff.

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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by CrystalPistol » Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:02 pm

Was talking to a buddy, telling him we needed to fix his 1500's shifter and seal, showed him this, he said made no sense. So I explained the part he didn't catch onto, then though maybe I would add here.
CrystalPistol wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:27 pm
Oh yes, it works!

Back in 2014, I gave it a lot of thought, spent some time on the floor one week in evenings looking at my FBs and shifter setup .... broke out my welder and some odd bits of steel and .... and I forgot to take pics.

⦁ Using bronze 1/4x15/32x3/8 flange bushings decided on pivot size.
⦁ Then with a 7/16" Chevy wheel nut drilled to 15/32 then using small drum sander of Dremel I soon had a smooth nut that slid snuggly on the bare clean polished shifter extension shaft.
⦁ I drilled a hole in the side of this big nut, tapped it to 1/4-20, and inserted a 1/4-20 bolt with nut, gently just turned nut to kiss flat on big nut, then welded it, backed bolt out, threaded for a medium length 1/4-20 set screw.
⦁ Welded a piece of 1/4x3/8 steel about 5/8" long to far side of big nut.
⦁ Welded a 1/4-20 long smooth shank bolt at 90 degrees to a second piece of 1/4x3/8 steel and cut threaded portion off leaving a long smooth 1/4" shaft.
⦁ Clamped two together and gently nudged the 1/4" shaft back and forth until the C-C distance was 1.14". (I had miced the shift shaft at 0.486 and my 1/4" pivot at 0.248, added up = 0.734 thus 0.734/2= 0.367 thus 1.140-0.367= 0.773 .... that was my target between the two but my result wound up at 0.771" ..... so I'm within a hair.)
⦁ Checked for parallelism, it was close enough.
⦁ I welded the two parts together forming a near 90" dog leg for clearance.
⦁ Polished up sharp corners and welds and rounded corners of what was a Chevy's lug nut.
⦁ Test fitting and shifting while laying on the floor showed me I just needed to shave about 1/8" off one side of the spacer for my FB front to enable me to use a pair of 3/8" nuts with 9/16" flats welded together and drilled to 3/8" and fitted with a bronze bushing and it'ld be near perfect pivot welded to the FB spacer 20mm from the end to bushing face. …. and etc … etc … etc as above.
Just as explanation …..

The one dimension was fixed by Mother Honda. Once fabricated, this piece was simply moved about a little at a time,and foot shift moved up and down. There is only one place that the 1/4" shaft appeared stationary as it was rotated, telling me where I needed my bushing holder made from two 3/8 nuts bored to fit OD of selected bushing, test fitting, removal of some metal from floor board mount spacer tube, marking, removal, tac welding of paired nuts to tube, test fitting, final fitting with bushing.
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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by okie2ee » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:30 am

This is the final installment on the installation of my shifter shaft support. I discovered that my level idea was not going to work because of the limited space in the area of the shifter arm mounted to the output shaft. I removed my existing support arm from the shifter shaft and used a straight length of brazing rod to locate where the bottom of my current support bracket pivot point hole fell on the shifter arm on the output shaft. I could see that I was about 3 mm to low as compared to the output shaft. I then reinstalled the shifter arm support on the shifter shaft and rotated it around to see where it would fall on the support bracket when it's pivot shaft was 3 mm higher than the current pivot hole. This gave me the new location for the pivot hole in relation to the 8 mm support mounting hole. I then fabricated a new support bracket with this information.


The new dimensions for the center to center distance on the support bracket is 13.6 mm. I believe that I could have gone as low as 12 mm and still been good. The shifter arm support center to center distance is 29 mm, this is fixed by Honda. The problem that I was running into at this dimension was the shifter support arm was interfering with the head on the support bolt. I had to grind off a lot of material in order to get clearance between the support arm and the bolt head. Another option would have been to go with a recessed bolt head or a counter sunk type bolt head. The grinding option was easiest for me.




I used a 1/2" drill for the pivot hole which is slightly larger than the shaft on the shift arm support; however, I used a full circular shim from an A&W Root Beer aluminum can to fill the gap and ended up with a nice tight fit. After the installation of the shifter support arm, I was able to tighten the bolt on the support arm and did not have any binding when down shifting like I had before when the bolt was tightened. The shifter shaft is rock solid and works freely.

Hope this helps anyone else who is looking to fabricate their own support for the shifter shaft. It really isn't all that hard and I would probably use flat stock that is 3/8" - 1/2" thick if I were to make another support.

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Re: My Take on Shifter Brace

Post by GlimWas » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:59 am

I posted this before on another thread. I've made several pieces of my shifter help according the dimensions in the following drawing. It's easy to do at home with 8mm thick and 20mm wide aluminium, but you can use steel too for smaller dimensions. Aluminium is easier to work with at home imho. Use as you see fit at home!!
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