Change A Clutch Cable On A 1971 Harleydavidson Flh

As with any motorcyle that uses a clutch, the clutch cable on a 1971 Harley Davidson FLH can stretch and wear out. A worn clutch will affect your bike’s performance and a broken cable can ruin a great weekend ride. You should always keep the clutch in good working order and make sure to change the cable before it breaks. With a few tools and a new cable, you can replace your own Harley clutch cable.


1. Tighten the cable adjustment nut in the middle of the cable all the way. This will loosen the cable adjustment. The lock nut located on the clutch lever cable is loosened next. This is done by squeezing the cable adjuster until it is flush with the clutch lever. The grooves along the clutch lever and adjuster should line up.

2. Take the end cap off of the clutch lever. Draw the cable out of the grooves.

3. Take the clutch lever cover off if the cable is behind it. Loosen the lock nut. Turn the adjuster to the left until it comes off the clutch release. Take the inner cable out through the groove on the clutch release.

4. Take the end of the cable off the clutch release catch. Pay attention to the path of the cable along the handlebars. Remove the cable and any mounting bolts or brackets that may be present.

5. Grease up the cable and tighten the middle adjuster. Place the end in the catch on the clutch release and fit it loosely.

6. Guide the cable to the lever. Be sure to follow the exact path the old cable traveled.

7. Glide the cable into the groove for the clutch lever. Secure until it is seated, but leave it a bit loose. Slide the knobby end into the space on the lever.

8. Use the adjuster closest to the engine to remove any slack from the cable. Once you have used the adjuster to the correct amount of play, tighten the lock nut while holding the adjuster in place. Follow the same steps with the center adjuster.

9. Complete the adjustment at the lever. Turn the adjuster to the right. Leave about 1/8-inch of slack at the lever. Check the adjustment and continue until the cable is set correctly.

10. Replace the clutch cover.