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Thread: Belt Drive on Pan Heads?

  1. #1

    Default Belt Drive on Pan Heads?

    Hello all,
    What the wisdom or non wisdom of going with a belt drive on a panhead?
    Doing a restore on a 58 Fl and I am considering a belt drive....
    Would love to hear about it...
    thanks ! Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    182

    Default

    Steve; The good thing about a belt is it takes out a lot of vibration out of the bike. You will need to shut off the primary chain oiler. If your later model bike doesn't have the chain oiler adjustment screw on the oil pump ( I deal with older models ) then there is a great article on the riding vintage web site on how to route the oil from the breather to the drain on the inner primary. Hopefully some of the experts on here will give you the long term effects.
    Craig

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    4,342

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    Please be aware, Steve,...

    A belt feels good if you ride all the time.

    But it requires not only the oil feed shut off completely, it requires a modern seal upon the sprocket shaft;
    That way, when it sumps from sitting for weeks, it can fill your cases all the way up.

    If you thought you were avoiding a mess... It gets worse when there's nowhere for the oil to go.

    ....Cotten
    PS: I thought "restore" meant 'going back to "as it left the factory"' or 'something'.

    (Not that "restore" hasn't become a dirty word in itself.)
    Last edited by T. Cotten; 11-20-2019 at 05:37 PM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    4,178

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    Steve, I like the smoothness, and quiet of belts, but I have never had a primary chain shed it's links when I'm accelerating on to a highway. Just my 2 cents; I'll never go back to a belt.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 41craig View Post
    Steve; The good thing about a belt is it takes out a lot of vibration out of the bike. You will need to shut off the primary chain oiler. If your later model bike doesn't have the chain oiler adjustment screw on the oil pump ( I deal with older models ) then there is a great article on the riding vintage web site on how to route the oil from the breather to the drain on the inner primary. Hopefully some of the experts on here will give you the long term effects.
    Craig
    Hi Craig,
    Mine is a 58 so I believe I can turn off the primary Oiler...
    thanks ,

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by exeric View Post
    Steve, I like the smoothness, and quiet of belts, but I have never had a primary chain shed it's links when I'm accelerating on to a highway. Just my 2 cents; I'll never go back to a belt.
    Not a good thing!
    Thanks !

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by T. Cotten View Post
    Please be aware, Steve,...

    A belt feels good if you ride all the time.

    But it requires not only the oil feed shut off completely, it requires a modern seal upon the sprocket shaft;
    That way, when it sumps from sitting for weeks, it can fill your cases all the way up.

    If you thought you were avoiding a mess... It gets worse when there's nowhere for the oil to go.

    ....Cotten
    PS: I thought "restore" meant 'going back to "as it left the factory"' or 'something'.

    (Not that "restore" hasn't become a dirty word in itself.)
    Hi Cotten,
    Getting this bike back this weekend... it’s been sitting since 2001...
    Will tear down have frame checked, motor and trans gone over and everything else... when I say restore I mean make it all FL... It’s got shovel heads on it and a bunch of super glide stuff... make it happy again with the pan heads put back on the motor... I’m 62 now and this was my first Harley... bought in 1975...
    Quite the project!
    Thank you!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    753

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Galli View Post
    Hi Cotten,
    Getting this bike back this weekend... itís been sitting since 2001...
    Will tear down have frame checked, motor and trans gone over and everything else... when I say restore I mean make it all FL... Itís got shovel heads on it and a bunch of super glide stuff... make it happy again with the pan heads put back on the motor... Iím 62 now and this was my first Harley... bought in 1975...
    Quite the project!
    Thatís a great project and a nice find! :-)
    Pisten Bulley is Harry Roberts in Vermont.

  9. #9

    Default

    Hi Steve, according to my math, and correct me if I'm wrong, you first bought this bike when you were 18 years old. What happened to it over the years, how did you get it back, etc. Sounds like a great story to share. Thanks.
    Dave

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    Posts
    838

    Default

    I've had belt drives on Panheads since the 70s, and like them. Belt alignment is critical to long belt life.
    VPH-D

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