I am considering changing the final drive on my '95 Fatboy from Belt Drive to Chain and Sprocket after having to replace the belt AGAIN after snapping it twice in 20,000km. What are the Pro's & Con's of Belt vs Chain? I'd be grateful for some knowledgeable advice
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To change the final drive belt on your Fatboy, first disconnect the battery. You have to drain the primary and remove the cover. Take the engine sprocket nut loose and remove the plate in the center of the clutch assembly. Remove the mainshaft nut that holds the clutch assembly on. This nut has LEFT HANDED THREADS. Then, remove the starter jackshaft. Go the right side of the bike and remove the exhaust system so that you can remove the starter. Then take the inner primary cover off. You may have to remove the front belt drive pulley. Since you're in this far, you may as well remove the pulley if you have the proper tools and replace all the transmission seals behind it. Then, remove the rear wheel and the swingarm. Do not bend the new final drive belt into a radius any tighter than about four inches or you may damage the cords inside the belt. You will need a torque wrench that is capable of applying at least 150 foot pounds of torque to the engine sprocket nut and torqe 60-80 pounds in the LEFT HANDED DIRECTION for the clutch assembly. The front belt drive pulley torques to 150-165 foot pounds as is also LEFT HANDED THREADS and you'll need a "belt pulley locking device" to hold it while you take the large nut off and put it back on. If you plan on doing this job, I would advise the purchase of a service manual as sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.
No, you must remove the outer primary, the clutch assembly, primary chain and adjuster, the compensator sprocket, the starter, the inner primary, the rear wheel and the swing arm to change the final drive belt. It's a major job.
To change the final drive belt on your Softail, you must drain the primary and pull the outer primary cover off. Then, you must take the engine sprocket, primary chain, and clutch assembly off. Then you must remove the starter and the inner primary. Then, raise the bike and remove the rear wheel and the swingarm. It's quite a job.
to change the final drive belt on your Road King, you must pull the entire primary off. The outer primary cover, the clutch and primary chain, the inner primary, and the starter must come off. Then, you have to remove the rear wheel, remove the shocks, and pull the swing arm out as well. It's a major job.
Check your final drive belt. I've seen the break and just sit there on the bike looking like nothing is wrong. With the engine off and the transmission in neutral, reach under the swingarm and grab the belt. Pull it hard.
You may also have a stripped out front final drive belt pulley. The splines have been known to wear out and then the pulley simply spins on the final drive gear.
To replace the final drive belt on your RK is not a small job. You must first take off the foot board on the left side of the bike. drain and remove the outer primary cover, take loose and remove the engine sprocket, primary chain, and clutch assembly, remove the exhaust system, remove the starter, remove the inner primary cover, take the rear wheel out from under the bike, and take the swing arm off.
So, as you can see, it's not a small job by any means. That's why it cost so much to have the dealer do this.
Have you checked the front final drive chain sprocket. These sprockets are quite often neglected since they are so difficult to get to. You must pull the inner prirmary to get to it. The old four speed transmission is a tough ****** and I don't recall ever seeing one fail unless it was run with no oil. Check your final drive chain. Shine a flashlight behind the inner primary and check the teeth on front sprocket.
There are several things behind the inner primary case that could be leaking. There is a seal behind the inner primary where the transmission mainshaft goes into the primary. This seal sometimes starts to leak. Also, there are seals in the transmission in that area. The final drive gear seal is the big seal right behind the front final drive belt pulley. Somethimes this pulley wears on the splines of the final drive gear and it loses tension on the "quad seal" on the final drive gearshaft.
You'll nee some special tools to get to this area. You'll need sockets to fit the compensator sprocket nut and the clucth nut. You'll need an airwrench, a primary locking bar, and a torque wrench that will pull 150-165 ft. lbs. torque in forward direction, 68-80 ft. lbs. LEFT-HANDED on the clutch nut, a primary locking bar, a final drive sprocket locking device, a mainshaft nut removal tool, and some seal pullers and installers. Good Luck.