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2004 FLHTI
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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm into replacing my drive belt on my 2004 FLHTI because it broke a couple of days ago.

I have it stripped down, outer primary, clutch, compensator, inner primary off. Two things that immediately jumped out at me.

1. there are a couple of adjacent cogs on the front belt sprocket that have small gouges. So something got in there and caused the belt to come apart and actually did a little damage to the sprocket. I'd say one is almost 1/8" deep and the other less. Should I replace that sprocket? If I make sure the edges of the gouge are not sharp will it be OK to reuse.

2. More concerning, if I turn the main shaft by hand it feels sloppy. Not like it's wobbly but it rotates 1/4" or so before it engages with what I assume is a spline in the tranny? This seems bad...

Any advice appreciated.
 

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Super Moderator
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There is a lot of free rotation between the input and output shafts. Just the gear lash and free run on the dog teeth. It adds up to quite a lot of free rotation and increases with miles.

On the sprocket, if in doubt, replace it. Or at lease buff the sharp edges off of the damage.
 

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2004 FLHTI
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Therm. Yea I did a little more research after posting and sounds like the rotational play I have is nothing excessive. I found a sprocket down at Bayside HD in Portsmouth, VA and they're shipping it to me.
 

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Premium Member
1986 FXRSC #3/1250 Original Owner
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126 Posts
Here is my experience with not changing pulleys. I broke a belt with 40,000 or so miles on mr FXR back around 1991. Changed belt only. Belt lasted about 10 thousand miles. Next one I changed both front and rear pulleys. I have 60,000 on it now. I spoke to an old HD Mechanic, Joe Williams of Bound Brook Harley In Bound Brook, NJ, who owned the dealer were I bought 5 new bikes, he said always change the pulleys. They do wear.
Joe and His brother Otto owned that dealer and it was the best dealer in the Country. I have never met anyone that would not agree with me that has been there. As long as you had a stock or nearly stock bike. He didn't work on molested junk.
Another thing is if you buy a belt mail order and it comes twisted up inside itself in a small package, send it back. I have install several of them on peoples bikes and none of them lasted very long. If you buy a Harley belt it is in a big box and is not twisted inside itself. Harley specifically tells you not to twist the belt.
 

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There is a lot of free rotation between the input and output shafts. Just the gear lash and free run on the dog teeth. It adds up to quite a lot of free rotation and increases with miles.

On the sprocket, if in doubt, replace it. Or at lease buff the sharp edges off of the damage.

100% agreed.
 

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Registered
2004 FLHTI
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670 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Here is my experience with not changing pulleys. I broke a belt with 40,000 or so miles on mr FXR back around 1991. Changed belt only. Belt lasted about 10 thousand miles. Next one I changed both front and rear pulleys. I have 60,000 on it now. I spoke to an old HD Mechanic, Joe Williams of Bound Brook Harley In Bound Brook, NJ, who owned the dealer were I bought 5 new bikes, he said always change the pulleys. They do wear.
Joe and His brother Otto owned that dealer and it was the best dealer in the Country. I have never met anyone that would not agree with me that has been there. As long as you had a stock or nearly stock bike. He didn't work on molested junk.
Another thing is if you buy a belt mail order and it comes twisted up inside itself in a small package, send it back. I have install several of them on peoples bikes and none of them lasted very long. If you buy a Harley belt it is in a big box and is not twisted inside itself. Harley specifically tells you not to twist the belt.
Yea I got the Harley belt. Kept hearing bad things about aftermarket belts and the only brands I'd consider didn't save much $$ anyway. Rear pulley looks perfect to me but will consider your input. Thanks.
 

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Thanks Therm. Yea I did a little more research after posting and sounds like the rotational play I have is nothing excessive. I found a sprocket down at Bayside HD in Portsmouth, VA and they're shipping it to me.
I bought a scooter from them last winter. Bought it on a Saturday and they delivered it to PA the next day.

But then it was a scooter they had been sitting on for over a year, and had forgotten about. So they prolly wanted to be sure it got gone.
 

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Premium Member
1986 FXRSC #3/1250 Original Owner
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126 Posts
Surdyke harley has them list at a big discount rear $223 Front $168 I know its not cheap but considering the primary cover gasket is $30 , which was funny the other day I had someone who never bought a primary gasket shell shocked at the price, you send $75 in gaskets, seals, and oil, plus the time to take it apart. I guess it depends on how many miles your planning on putting on it.
 

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2004 FLHTI
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Discussion Starter #9
Surdyke harley has them list at a big discount rear $223 Front $168 I know its not cheap but considering the primary cover gasket is $30 , which was funny the other day I had someone who never bought a primary gasket shell shocked at the price, you send $75 in gaskets, seals, and oil, plus the time to take it apart. I guess it depends on how many miles your planning on putting on it.
I hear you. i almost bought the front sprocket from surdyke but could get it a lot quicker from Bayside. I do my own maintenance and check the belt every time. If I start to see unusual wear the rear sprocket is easy enough to replace without a tear down. There's no ramping or rough edges on it that I can see.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK that was big fun. besides having to take the whole ass end apart to put on a belt that main drive sprocket nut was a lovely experience to get loose. When I pulled the swingarm shaft and the tranny dropped a little a bolt fell out that looked like it had been through the mill. Im guessing that was the culprit that destroyed my belt. Looked like a harley fastener but no clue where it came from.
 
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