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Discussion Starter #1
I'm pulling the gearbox on my '72 Daytona. The mainshaft key is stuck.

I tried:
1. pulling with pliers
2. gently tapping with hammer & screwdriver
3. pulling with really tightened vicegrips (slipped off several times)
4. swearing
5. hitting down on one end with hammer (since its a half moon key)
6. swearing
7. hard whacking with hammer & screwdriver
8. swearing

The key's getting damaged but it's not budging. Ideas?
 

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Is it possible to apply some heat to the shaft, without doing any damage to anything in there? Just a bit with a propane torch might be enough to do the trick...….just clean out as much lube as possible.
Just a thought: Jim
 

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Hi Eric, Get a set of end cutter pliers. Grab it very tightly right at the shaft, squeeze as hard as you can. Then rock handles to outside (left) of bike. This gives best grip & great force to rock it out. Don't rock front/back as you don't want to widen groove in shaft.

On a stuck key side cutters may nip key off at this point. That's why I recommend end cutters. Don't round the key any further.

Regarding new key, I've recently found them .005-.0015" too wide compared to originals. I sanded them down to original thickness, but don't go too loose.
Don
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Eric, Get a set of end cutter pliers. Grab it very tightly right at the shaft, squeeze as hard as you can. Then rock handles to outside (left) of bike. This gives best grip & great force to rock it out. Don't rock front/back as you don't want to widen groove in shaft.
That did the trick! I've never owned end cutter pliers before, but now I know one thing they're good for. Thanks!

I appreciate all the ideas, guys.
 

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Hi Don - this is a great tip! I experienced the same frustration as Eric a couple of years ago - don't remember exactly how the key came out eventually, but I think I might have repeated steps 4, 6, and 8 many times.

Just would like a clarification on rocking the key with the end cutters - you're saying rock it parallel to the shaft and not perpendicular, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just would like a clarification on rocking the key with the end cutters - you're saying rock it parallel to the shaft and not perpendicular, right?
That's what worked for me. I was rocking it in the long direction of the groove.

...I think I might have repeated steps 4, 6, and 8 many times.
I just hate how such a simple little thing can stop all progress! I was already envisioning popping that gearbox out in 10 seconds and NOPE! says a little piece of metal. The next thing that has stopped me is the mainshaft nut. After going to the store twice to get the right socket (I was sure it was 1") I found out I need a breaker bar, too. That'll be today's challenge: foot on the brake, leaning over the seat putting a bunch of torque on that nut and praying the socket doesn't slip off.
 

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Eric - these bikes have more 'gotchas' than you can shake a BSF wrench at!

What works for me on the clutch nut and the sprocket nut is an air wrench. Not sure about your Daytona, but the sprocket nut on my '69 T120R is 1-11/16" and I adapted a 3/4" socket for a 1/2" drive.

It's amazing how confused I can get over words, so in the photo of a mainshaft with a simulated key slot, do you move the pliers back and forth in the A direction, or in B direction?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Direction B, Bruce.

I wish I had an air wrench! My tool set is pretty humble.

My mainshaft nut turned out to be 15/16".
 

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Harbor freight electric impact wrenches have plenty of torque to undo any nut on a bike. I've used one for years. Maybe not commercial quality but good enough. Here's a tip: get a cheap pair of sidecutters and grind the backside flat. This will give more leverage to remove keys.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, I got a breaker bar from Harbor Freight, and that did the trick! I'll probably get an electric impact wrench down the road. Thanks, guys!
 

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They (impacts) are amazing
Mine is an air tool but the classic triumph fixed axle with a nut on each side can always be a pain

A windy gun/ impact can spin a nut off before the shaft spins, so the other side is easy
 

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For some of these large nuts, you might try a King Dick girder spanner. An adjustable wrench with very wide jaws and does adjust up quite tight. Its strong enough to be smacked with a large hammer if all else fails. Good old vintage tool.
 
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