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I look forward to winter repairs. While nothing replaces actually riding my bike, there is something zen about time in the garage with good music and spinning wrenches to insure my bike will keep motoring for thousands of miles more. This month we will continue the primary and drive line service by replacing the belt and pulley on a 05 FXD. Last month we opened up the primary to replace the stator, and then I pulled the inner primary off too.

The first step is going to be to remove the lock plate that holds the nut in place on the transmission pulley. Hang onto this plate and hardware because sometimes replacement pulleys do not come with new ones. Now to remove the nut you will need a specialty 1 7/8” socket. I try to find a way around specialty tools whenever I reasonably can, but due to the length of the input shaft on the trans, you will need to buy one. I ordered one from our friends at Lowbrow Customs and it was at my house two days later.

In order to get the nut off you will need to lock the belt drive in place. I have someone hold the rear brake or put a pipe in the rear wheel. From here take your impact or breaker bar, turn to the RIGHT, with luck and a little sweet talk, it should break free. Now we move to the rear axle, and remove the clip that holds the axle nut in place. Loosen and remove the axle nut, then back the axle adjusters off a few turns. That extra space should allow you to remove the belt from the pulley. From here you will want to lift the back of the bike in the best way you have. Once the rear wheel is up in the air and stable you will want to slide the rear axle out, but be mindful of the spacers and their orientation. Finally, remove the rear wheel. Now that the belt is slack and off to the side you can remove the pulley from the transmission spline. To get the belt off the swing arm you are going to have to undo the lower shock bolt and swing the shock to the side.

For removal of the wheel pulley, you will need to either use the impact or a breaker bar. If you use a breaker bar, it may be a challenge to get the pulley bolts free with the wheel off the bike.   The key to this is to rotate the wheel until a bolt is at the 3 o’clock location. You will be able to put a breaker bar on it, then position the bar cross the axle hole. This way when you lean on the breaker bar your weight will push down on the wheel and hold the tire in place, then break the bolt free. Go through all the bolts this way and then remove the old pulley. Once you have the pulley off, you will need to clean the face of the wheel where the pulley bolts on. Use some scotch-brite or fine grit sandpaper to take the corrosion off. This is of the utmost importance because you need a clean flat surface for the new pulley to bolt to. Without it, the pulley will not sit flat, possibly rock, the bolts will not stay torqued and they will then back out and cause a catastrophic failure.

Before you install the pulley, it is good to run a tap through the threads to clean them out. This will remove the old thread locker and any corrosion inside the bolt hole. On my 05 FXD it is a 7/16 – 14 thread and this tap can be found at most hardware stores. Once you clean the threads, put the new pulley in place then add a drop of medium strength thread locker to your bolts, tighten them in a criss cross pattern followed by torqueing them to spec. You will want to torque all the bolts a few times and in a repetitive pattern. This is because as you tighten the bolts the pulley may seat flatter and tighter by compressing high spots on the aluminum of the pulley and wheel. Repeatedly torqueing will insure the pulley is truly seated, all the bolts are truly tight and they will not be likely to back out. Once they are torqued, you can use a marker to put a dot on the head of each bolt that points toward the axle. This way you will be able to do a walk around and see if the bolts are backing out. *I do this on my pulley and brake caliper bolts.

Next, put the belt around the swingarm, and bolt the shock back on, then reinstall the rear wheel.  Next clean the spline that the transmission pulley rides on, and slide the new pulley on there.  Thread the retaining nut on to hold the pulley in place, but wait to torque it. Install the belt over the pulleys and snug up the axle tensioners to put some tension on the belt.  From here you can torque the transmission pulley to spec, then reinstall the retaining plate. 

Next month we will cover aligning & tensioning the belt and then reassembly of the primary. If you would like to know more or take a class, look me up at www.knoblemoto.com or check out skidmarkgarge.com

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