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Old 12-29-2006, 08:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Rear wheel removal question 04 Fatboy

I have an 04 Fatboy with stock exhaust. I need to remove the rear wheel to replace and upgrade the rear drive sprocket with a nice shiny one.
Will I need to remove the exhaust to get the wheel off and can anyone give me some tips on getting the wheel aligned and proper tension on the belt when I reinstall it? I have about 5000 miles on the bike and I would assume that the belt is still ok but I will take a look when I get it off. The tire still looks like it has a lot of life left in it as well. Thanks in advance for any advice.
Rob
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Old 12-29-2006, 10:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There was a wheel removal topic by 8-ball that had everything you'd need to know. If I have time I'll look for it. His is a touring bike, not a softail, but I think the steps are basically the same.

Edit. It starts at page 5 of this thread. http://www.v-twinforum.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=91260
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Old 12-29-2006, 10:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Ok I'll say it - the manual is a great help, if you are starting out unsure.

Other than that, yes the pipes will need to come off in order to slide the axle out. To align the wheel you can measure from the swingarm pivot bolt to the axle center on both sides, making sure both sides are equal. And if you've never hand checked the belt tension (get a feel for it before you pull the wheel), the little belt adjuster tool is a big help. Alternately, you can grab the belt by hand and twist it clockwise. If you can twist it to about 11 o'clock (not quite 90 degrees), it's about right. It should twist almost vertical, but not quite. Aside from a good torque wrench, you'll want to put some anti-seize on the axle while you have it out.
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Old 12-29-2006, 02:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GPO03FatBoy
Ok I'll say it - the manual is a great help.
Great help is an understatement. I would say it is a necessity. Oh, and NEVER ever twist a belt. Twisting motions can damage the belt fibers and weaken the structure leading to premature failure.
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Last edited by MilesToGo; 12-29-2006 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 12-29-2006, 02:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Leave the axle adjusters alone. You can get the axle out, change the pulley, and put it back together without moving the alignment or belt tension. It's easy.
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I do have the manual and plan to use it. I took a brief look in there the other day but there wasn't all that much information about the rear tire removal, unless I missed something. I will take another look but I like to get tips from the guys here who have been down the road already and maybe have some good advice that would otherwise not be printed in the manual. I do like the idea of pulling the axle without loosening the adjusters. I would never think that would work and I'm sure that it's not in the manual.
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's not that bad a job. With a lift you can do it solo by raising the bike off the wheel and lowering it back on during install. Just take care when installing the brake mount as you put the wheel back in. You'll want to make sure you get it set back on the locator tab on the frame. I prefer to back off the adjusters. It takes the tension off the belt and makes it easier for me to locate the wheel to align the axle. If you are certain the axle is aligned now, you could count threads and simply dial the adjusters back to the same point. Personally I have a belt tension tool, but a number of good mechanics just give the belt the hand twist to check tension. Between giving it a twist once a year to check tension, and running it excessively tight or loose, you'll end up with far more belt stress by running it out of adjustment. FWIW.
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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you could mark the top of the adjuster bolts with a Sharpie
then back off both sides the equal amount of full revolutions
Once you reinstall , tighten both sides the same amount of revolutions back to where the Sharpie mark started
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Old 12-29-2006, 10:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The alignment procedure is so simple, why worry about counting threads or making marks? All the manual says to do is measure from the center of each swingarm bolt to the centers of the axle. The measurements need to be within 1/32" of each other with proper tension on the belt.
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Old 12-29-2006, 11:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for a lot of good ideas. I will be getting the the belt tension tool. <p>
What's the deal with 43?
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Old 12-29-2006, 11:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kb2kuu
What's the deal with 43?
Long story; start here.
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