Rear sprocket life

Discussion in 'Transmission' started by hog_one, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. hog_one

    hog_one Member

    5
    0
    0
    During routine maintenance of the swing-arm bearing on my 02 FXD at 39 000 KM, I was quick shocked to discover that 25-75% of the hard chrome had worn off the valleys of the rear sprocket. I was of the belief that these sprockets would last at least as long as the belt (which was in perfect condition) The front sprocket looks OK. I kept the belt tension on the loose side, just outside of the recommended range, maybe this had a bearing on the wear due to excessive whipping. I used the bike mainly for commuting for 7 years and am not an aggressive rider. I am just interested to find out other riders experiences with sprocket life.

    Ray from Johannesburg South Africa
     
  2. RetiredJake

    RetiredJake Junior Member

    862
    28
    2
    I have an '08 Dyna and an '08 Ultra. Both of them have the chrome significantly worn away on the rear sprocket. Everyone I have asked to check has found the same. I talked with the HD Rep at the dealer about it. HD's official position, "not a problem", even though the manual says to replace the sprocket if the chrome starts to wear away.
     
  3. hog_one

    hog_one Member

    5
    0
    0
    Thanks for the feedback. I know that chrome flaking is normal, but this one had no chrome left whatsoever for 75% of the width of the sprocket, only a small track was left on the RHS. I would expect the belt to dig into the raw soft aluminium quite rapidly after this. Anyway, I replaced it for peace of mind as I had the swingarm off to replace the Timken bearing. This was also unusual in that a bad manufacturing process had resulted in 2 deep scores extending from one side of the bearing housing to the other which the "O" rings couldn't seal. Water ingress resulted in the bearing being badly rusted. Guess the new sealed bearings are a better idea.
     
  4. RetiredJake

    RetiredJake Junior Member

    862
    28
    2
    When I pulled my rear wheel to get a better look at the sprocket, I found the IDS bearing destroyed. The dust shield was off, the bearing was dry and full of rust. When I loosened the axel nut, it did not have 100 ftlbs on it, more like the 20 ftlb intermediate step where you adjust the belt. I believe the tech who changed the tire forgot to go back and torque to the full value after belt adjustment. There is a statement in the manual that says failure to do this will result in premature bearing failure. Moral of the story, if you let someone else change your tires, check the axel torque when you get home.
     
  5. hog_one

    hog_one Member

    5
    0
    0
    You are right there. Only time the dealer touched my bike in 7 years was to replace the tyres, due to a puncture on the side of the road. I ened up having the slip-on muffler re-chromed due to it being badly scratched and dented, because the tech. tried to get the axle out without disconnecting the shocks and dropping the wheel down. Do you think the extra complexity of the IDS system is worth the benefit, the sportster hasn't even got a comp. sprocket. I must admint I enjoy the raw feel of the Sportster, I think it has the most real feel of all the HD models.
     
  6. RetiredJake

    RetiredJake Junior Member

    862
    28
    2
    The Ultra runs a lot smoother than the Dyna. I would put an IDS on the Dyna if I could fit it in there.
     
  7. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    25,464
    108
    44
    The IDS system refines the drive train on the bike in that it eliminates the lash that causes a the drive train noise in the 07 bikes. I installed it on my 07RK and it is a major improvement. I would do it again too after seeing the results.
     
  8. hog_one

    hog_one Member

    5
    0
    0
    I guess you are right, I have only ridden one 96" bike so can't comment. Going back to the sprocket wear again, I wonder if the new thinner belts, accelerate the wear on the sprockets due to the narrower teeth area. HD should have perfected belt drives by now, having manufactured them for nearly 30 years.
     
  9. Drumrguy

    Drumrguy Account Removed

    573
    0
    0
    My last Electra Glide had chrome chipped off the pulley and it ruined my belt. The teeth on the belt were like flaps that is how bad it tore it up.
     
  10. mc2

    mc2 Active Member Contributor

    254
    28
    7
    I have an 08 Fat boy with 12,000 miles of ridding on occassionally dusty/dirt roads in Vietnam. Was suprised to find my rear sprocket worn about as you describe for yours. I maintain proper belt tension to the letter. Same wear on with a little chrome left on the RHS of sprocket.
    For peace of mind will replace. Cheaper than wearing out and changing a belt permaturely.
    A buddy with a sporty with same miles has the same condition on his belt and will leave. A good one to monitor.