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Sportster Motorcycle Transmission, Clutch, Primary & Secondary Drive Transmission, Clutch and primary or secondary drive problems, advice, and/or how tos.

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  #1  
Old 15th August 2021
c1skout's Avatar
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Thumbs down Drive belt runs off front pulley.

1998 1200



My belt snapped, so I got a new BDL Falcon belt and installed it. I tried and tried to get it to run centered on the front pulley to no avail. It consistently runs off the pulley, toward the engine case.

I figured an easy "break-in" run may be needed. A short mile and back, no different. Jacked the bike back up to try again. I tried screwing the axle adjusters way cockeyed, but the belt insists on running partway off the pulley, spin the tire backwards and it runs fine. 2 rotations forward and its running off the edge again.

Next I pulled the belt back off and spun it around, thinking maybe if it ran in the opposite direction.....no difference.

Wheel bearings are fine. No unusual marks or odd wear on either pulley. I stuck a straight-edge across the outside of both pulleys and they do line up beautifully. The old belt was running normally, up until it failed.

I got no more ideas. Anyone?
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Old 15th August 2021
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You just might have a “bad” new belt?
Doesn’t the front pulley have a small flange on the inside edge? Are you saying the new belt just runs a little off center but stays in that one spot, even if it’s not perfectly centered, you went a mile on it, right? Did it actually run up the inside flange and rub the case?
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Old 15th August 2021
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My pulley flange is on the outside, away from the case. They changed to the inboard flange on the "rubbermount" bikes, I believe.

Belt runs off the inner pulley edge and rubs the case webs.

I would believe bad belt, if it had changed when I switched the direction it rotated.
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Old 15th August 2021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c1skout View Post
I tried and tried to get it to run centered on the front pulley to no avail. It consistently runs off the pulley, toward the engine case.
<SNIP>
spin the tire backwards and it runs fine.
Did you also spin the tire (bike on lift) forward using the tire? Did that run crooked or straight?

The sprocket you rotate from, should determine the position of the belt - I'm wondering if rotating the belt by hand from the rear sprocket runs straight in both directions?

Which ever sprocket you are 'driving' from will be pulling the belt across the other sprocket...

Is your belt tight, as in according to specs? Or loose, as most here find to be better?

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Old 15th August 2021
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Rotating forward from the rear tire, the belt runs off. Spinning backwards runs it back where it should be. I've tried it super loose, tightened normally, and tighter than normal, with the belt in both directions.

Powering from the motor (riding) the belt runs off the inner edge.
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Old 15th August 2021
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Are the spacers correct on the rear axle assy? Can you get it to run better {or worse} using the axle adjusters?
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Any play on the trans final drive shaft for the front drive sprocket?

Have you checked for vertical 'squareness' between the two sprockets?


All this seems unlikely to have changed since your previous belt was working...


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Axle spacers are correct. Haven't removed the rear tire in 5,000 miles or so. No, it won't run correctly (but better, yes)
even when offsetting the axle at the adjusters nearly a quarter inch to experiment.


No play at all on the Trans sprocket. I haven't checked the vertical plane of the sprockets, but with the rear axle even on the swingarm, a straightedge lays straight across both sprockets.
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Could be a bad pulley. Did the broken belt show any signs of unusual wear? Running partially off the pully may be what caused it to break. Could the swing arm be off center in the frame? Is the rear wheel properly aligned? That is easier said than done. When I first got a Sportster, I tried to adjust the belt. I was unable to get the belt adjusted properly, and the wheel aligned properly at the same time. A belt drive setup has to have a much more accurate alignment than a chain drive, because the belt is much wider and has zero side to side flex. I have the Motion Pro tool to align the rear wheel using the dimples in the swing arm shaft and the rear axle. I finally gave up and took it to a local independent Harley shop (NOT a dealer) They told me they use two people to do the wheel alignment/belt adjustment. I would love to convert my bike to a chain drive, but can't seem to find a kit for my specific model.
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Old 15th August 2021
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The old, broken belt shows no unusual wear, and appears to have been running normally on the front sprocket.
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