Check and Adjust the Softail M8 Clutch

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Although the Softail M8 clutch components may now look drastically different, the adjustment procedure is still very similar to the way it has been for the last 35 years. Slacken the clutch cable – Make adjustment at the clutch pack – Final adjust cable.

One part that has most noticeably changed on the Softail M8 clutch, however, is the clutch cable. Not only does the two piece cable look different, but it’s adjusting mechanism has been completely redesigned. The spring loaded adjusting mechanism in the new M8 clutch cable is designed to automatically set the correct cable adjustment.

M8 clutch adjustment, as always, begins with slackening the clutch cable. Remove any clamps or ty-wraps that may be securing the cable to the motorcycle’s frame. Slide the protective sleeve up off of the cable adjuster. Then, you will need to push outward on the adjuster’s red clip. It is of utmost importance that care is taken not to break any area of the plastic adjuster. If the adjuster is compromised, the entire cable will likely need replacement. Slide the red clip outward by pushing in on its two small plastic tabs. Once the clip is partially pushed out of the adjuster, the cable will slacken and adjustment can now be made at the M8 clutch pack.

Remove the derby cover and use a 11/16″ socket to loosen the adjuster’s locking jam nut. Now, turn the adjuster in (clockwise) until resistance is felt. Then, turn the adjuster back out one half to one full turn and lock the jam nut. Final torque for the nut should be 72 to 120 inch pounds. Check your manual year and model.

Now, move back to the M8 clutch cable and push the red clip back into the yellow cable adjuster. The cable adjustment will set on its own. Slide the protective sleeve back over the adjuster and secure the cable back onto the frame with the original clips or with new ty-wraps. Replace the derby cover o-ring. Reinstall the derby cover and tighten fasteners in a star pattern. Final torque will be 84 to 108 inch pounds. Refer to your manual for year and model specs. Some models have low spec of 25-35 in lbs. and if you crank to 84 it will snap.

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