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03 Heritage
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can’t find this answered when I search. Mine is a 2003 Heritage Classic. I’ve borrowed a buddy’s rear belt tension tool (HD # 40006-85) in the past. Today I got my own and was surprised to find the instructions with it show checking the tension on the lower strand of the belt. My service manual says to use the top strand. I’m guessing that either way is fine so long as the bike is in neutral with equal tension of the top and bottom strands. I’ll follow my service manual instead of the instructions that came with the tool. Just curious…any reason top or bottom strand is better to use?
 

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Banned
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Maybe this belongs in Twin Cam section. Though it does seem to become pretty lawless around here these days.

I am not much help. I just push on belt. So far after almost 30k miles it may be ready fro adjustment. I hear they stretch at first and then keep there shape. Don't know but mine used.

Some people claim that manual specs it to tight.
 

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rtb said:
I can’t find this answered when I search. Mine is a 2003 Heritage Classic. I’ve borrowed a buddy’s rear belt tension tool (HD # 40006-85) in the past. Today I got my own and was surprised to find the instructions with it show checking the tension on the lower strand of the belt. My service manual says to use the top strand. I’m guessing that either way is fine so long as the bike is in neutral with equal tension of the top and bottom strands. I’ll follow my service manual instead of the instructions that came with the tool. Just curious…any reason top or bottom strand is better to use?
I would follow the instructions that came with the tool. BTW on all my belt driven Harleys the gauge used to measure defection has always been in the window on the lower belt guard.
 

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Lazy 98
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Ditto. I have noticed that many of the "special tools" asked for can be replaced by common sense. However, as one gets older, I "have heard" that the pokers can start to lose pressure. Sometimes a beer and a lap dance helps. just my opinion.


FXDeanX said:
You were probably born with 10 belt tension tools - 5 on each hand. Extend one of them and poke the belt with it. If it feels loose, draw back the wheel. It ain't rocket science
 

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Mike H. said:
Ditto. I have noticed that many of the "special tools" asked for can be replaced by common sense. However, as one gets older, I "have heard" that the pokers can start to lose pressure. Sometimes a beer and a lap dance helps. just my opinion.
that would cause you to overtighten. your tool would be too stiff to get an accurate reading.
 

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FXDeanX said:
You were probably born with 10 belt tension tools - 5 on each hand. Extend one of them and poke the belt with it. If it feels loose, draw back the wheel. It ain't rocket science
There's a helmet on the end to keep you from poking your eye out with the thumb! :Dennis
 

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Mike H. said:
I "have heard" that the pokers can start to lose pressure.
I'm almost afraid to post this, but: they're spring-loaded, not pneumatic.
 

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rtb said:
I can’t find this answered when I search. Mine is a 2003 Heritage Classic. I’ve borrowed a buddy’s rear belt tension tool (HD # 40006-85) in the past. Today I got my own and was surprised to find the instructions with it show checking the tension on the lower strand of the belt. My service manual says to use the top strand. I’m guessing that either way is fine so long as the bike is in neutral with equal tension of the top and bottom strands. I’ll follow my service manual instead of the instructions that came with the tool. Just curious…any reason top or bottom strand is better to use?
Your manual is correct. Softail's should be checked on the top belt strand and other bikes on the lower belt strand. (because of the swingarm/shock setup) It's been this way since 1st softail hit the street in '84. I haven't messed with a newer softail (last 3-4 years) but I'm assuming they are still the same. As Dean says, it ain't rocket science, just make sure you check at the proper place.
 

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Lazy 98
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clarification

gdkenoyer said:
I'm almost afraid to post this, but: they're spring-loaded, not pneumatic.
Sorry, I was referring to the hydraulic type:boobies:
 

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bonnie john said:
ummmmm, the first softails had a chain drive secondary ...
Yep, you're right. I was trying to say "ever since softails started with rear belt drives".
 

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rtb,

Check your tension at the top of the belt on a Softail.

There should be two O rings on the barrel of your tension gauge. Adjust the top one on the gauge to correspond with a reference point on the bike when the gauge is in position on the belt. Now set the bottom one the amount of deflection you want away from the top one. 3/8" should be about right. Push on the gauge on the belt so that the gauge moves from the top O ring to the bottom O ring in relation to the the reference point. When you have the belt tension to the point that the gauge moves from the top O ring to the bottom O ring with 10 lbs of pressure you are where you want to be.

If this doesn't make sense, I will post a picture of what I am talking about. Let me know if you need it.

Regards,

Bill
 

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The Anti-RUB
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billnourse said:
If this doesn't make sense, I will post a picture of what I am talking about. Let me know if you need it.
Pics are always good...
 

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03 Heritage
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the help. No need for pics...I understand how to do it. I was just kinda curious why the service manual says top stand and tools instructions says bottom. I'll buy the explanation about suspension differences with softail.
Peace
 
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