The Aermacchi Project, Part 7: Serendipity Strikes Again!

Reader Contribution by Margie Siegal
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Left side cover, in process of cleanup. The key that pushes the shaft-and-ball bearing linkage that operates the clutch is to the left. I was told that someone badly overtightened the clutch, resulting in the key being dimpled and possibly slightly bent.

This is the seventh installment of a series detailing Margie Siegal’s restoration of a 1973 Harley-Davidson 350 Sprint. Start at the beginning with Part 1.

The clutch rebuild is NOT going well. I have put the clutch together and taken it apart twice. Despite all efforts, the clutch arm that connects to the clutch cable just waves around without connecting to anything. Frustrated, I call a mechanic friend. He is leaving on a trip and can’t come over to look at it. He suggests to keep excavating until I find something.

The clutch arm is on the left side. I pull the cover off. This looks promising: the left side cover is full of black goo and metal chips, and the rubber stop for the kickstarter is destroyed. Also, the “D” shaped piece that pushes on the linkage that goes through to the clutch plates on the other side had an indentation in it. A new rubber kickstarter stop is on eBay! I Buy It Now.

The clutch is still inoperative. I send photos of the left side to Lancaster Sprint. Ron Lancaster builds Sprint racebikes and does Sprint restorations. Like everyone else involved with Aermacchis, he is amazingly helpful. He says he thinks he knows what is wrong with my bike, rounds up parts and sends them to me Priority Mail. I am assured that I will get the parts Thursday or Friday so I can work on bike over the weekend.

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