Belt running on inside of sprockets

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by Texas Hopper, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. Texas Hopper

    Texas Hopper Member

    I found this in the self help section: :eam

    "One other thing to notice is that the belt should always track to the outside of the front and rear pulleys. If you roll the bike backwards it will track to the inside and sometimes squeak as well. This is normal because Harley Davidson designs a slight angle in the transmission pulley mounting to keep the belt tracking to the outside."

    My Softail had the clutch assembly replaced within the last month and I have noticed when I stop (without backing it up) the belt is riding on the inside of the sprockets. I have heard a very high pitched noise (almost like a wind noise) that was not there before, could it be the belt rubbing the transmission and does it mean that the back wheel is not aligned correctly, or could it be the transmission pulley mounting? Inner primary seal started to leak again so it is in the shop now. I plan to call them tomorrow and ask them to check the inside of the belt for evidence of 'rubbing'. It was running to the outside of the sprockets before the clutch work. I have looked in the service manual and owners manual and this site is the only place I have found the quoted information, great forum.
    Input would be appreciated.
    Thanks all

    Texas Hopper
  2. brownfoxx1

    brownfoxx1 Active Member

    i seem to have the same problem.
    '09t/g with baker 5.5 oil pan installed. (actually holds 4.5 qts w/ filter chg.)
    but the main point is that i ordered it from baker drivetrain themselves .
    and had a local shop install it as its better to have 4 hands than 2. well the belt rubs the oil pan. so i sent baker pics. about thanks late nov '11. and yesterday sent another e-mail asking for a up date. too soon to expect a response, but i took a pic of the drive belt on the trans.
    the belt hasn't frayed (just rubbing the paint off and some shinny marks
    so far. only less than 200 miles. just info.can you post a pic?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  3. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

    Check the belt adjustment, I bet you will find belt to be tight.
  4. Mongo1958

    Mongo1958 Junior Member

    That being said, the rubber isolator under the rear wheel sprocket may need to be replaced.
  5. Texas Hopper

    Texas Hopper Member

    Thank You all your for your ideas, hope someday that I am knowledgeable enough to pay back or pass on.

    took the bike in, I know that they resealed the primary and the belt is now tracking as it should. Don't know what else they did, didn't get to talk to the mechanic and there was NO charge.
    Thanks again and be safe.
  6. Texas Hopper

    Texas Hopper Member

    When I parked my bike yesterday I noticed that the belt was running on the inside of the final sprocket again. I went to a parking lot today and when I would do three tight circles to the left, the belt would be on the inside of sprocket. When I would do three tight circles to the right, the belt moved back to the outside of sprocket where it should be. I do not understand why turning one direction or the other would make the belt reposition if everything is as it should be. After the approx 1 mile back to the house, it was again running on the inside. :eam
    The circle thing was just an idea to see if the way it is ridden influences the belt position. It was surprising and confusing.

  7. glasspilot

    glasspilot Member

    At least you're making me feel better. I often noticed my belt was on the outside of the front sprocket when I worked on my transmission lever. Now I know it's normal.

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    That is very Interesting , direction push on the rear wheel makes the belt track differently.. I have Never tried that on my 09 king. will but not soon.

    I think you have either a Loose wheel/bearing adjustment,not torqued tightly enough(doubt that tho)

    When you say TRACKS,,, I don't think that is as IMPORTANT as HOW MUCH it tracks.. IF you place the bike up on a lift(rear wheel off the ground) so you vcan manually turn it forward Then Back,,, AND IF the wheel doesn't take LONG or a LOT of turning to go the oposite way, I woould NOT worry about it..

    A little directional either way will Not hurt the belt... Forward it should run just a Smiggie to the outside and when your manually turn the wheel backwards it should move to the opposite side in an easy move.

    I tell you this as only telling

    On a friends bike(new style with the permanent cam adjustment) like yours and mine.

    I told him to shim the cam to see IF the shim (.025 or so) would HOLD the belt in the correct position.... (Usually takes four hands to do also) IF it does, filling some of EQUAL VALUE from the un-shimmed side would get it straight to fit your bike...

    RE-sizing the cams MIGHT be needed here... Be Careful...

    NOT suggesting to do this UNLESS you feel confident AND you understand what I just said above.. I doubt IF the belt on your bike will wear out IF out of side adjustment a LITTLE either way.

    These new style cams adjusters are a One Size Fits All and never perfect for All. Fine Tuning MIGHT be the answer.:D

    Just my Opinions here.

  9. 01 rk

    01 rk Active Member

    Think of the drive belt as a conveyor, there is a drive or head pulley and a tail pulley, when these two are parallel the belt tracks in the center. When they are not parallel the belt tracks to the side of least resistance. In order for the belt to track to the outside or left, then the distance between the outside or left side of the pulleys needs to be shorter.
    As Bubbie said if you put a shim between the cam and cam block on the right side this should move the belt to the left.
    It is also important to make sure there is no build up of grit or dirt on either pulley as this will affect the track of the belt.
    The thighter the belt is the quicker it will move to one side or the other.
  10. Texas Hopper

    Texas Hopper Member

    Problem solved and maybe help someone else

    after multiple inner primary oil seal failures the problem has been fixed. The transmission main shaft bearing was bad and final sprocket had to be replaced and now the belt tracks as it should and maybe won't have to worry about primary oil leaks for a while. :bigsmiley12:
    Point learned: if you are having multiple primary inner seal failures and your belt is not tracking as it should, be sure and have the transmission main shaft bearing and sprocket checked. Hope this is of some help to someone.
    Thank you all,
    1 person likes this.