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Thread: Belt Drive on Pan Heads?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Menomonie, WI
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    1,274

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    On a regular rider I would not dream of running a chain. When you get a belt aligned right, it will run tens of thousands of miles without need for further adjustment. With a chain you will probably be adjusting it every 1000 miles. ….but yes you will not limp a bad belt home.

    I can change out a belt on the road in 15 to 20 minutes so I do not worry about.

    Jerry

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    Central Illinois, USA
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    Like Jerry said:

    "On a regular rider..."

    Nearly every belt failure that came in my shop was oil-fouled.
    (Other than open-primary chops that ate rocks!)

    Sump monster got 'em.

    ....Cotten
    Last edited by T. Cotten; 11-21-2019 at 12:45 PM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  3. #13
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    Jan 2006
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    Menomonie, WI
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    Don't know what to say Tom - maybe I take better care of my stuff than a lot of people but I expect 40,000+ miles out of a belt. I have had one that failed at 22,000 miles and I have never figured out why. Worn out pulleys can eat a belt also. To me it is a no-brainer - get the belt tracking perfect and go.

    Jerry

    Quote Originally Posted by T. Cotten View Post
    Like Jerry said:

    "On a regular rider..."

    Nearly every belt failure that came in my shop was oil-fouled.
    (Other than open-primary chops that ate rocks!)

    Sump monster got 'em.

    ....Cotten

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    4,348

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    I was agreeing with you, Jerry!

    Its about riding them regular-ly.

    Otherwise, there lurks the Sump Monster.

    (Of course you take better care than most; That's a "given"!)

    ...Cotten
    PS: Steve!

    This is your thread.

    Do you expect to ride regularly enough to purge the sump?
    Like a good ride every coupla weeks at least?
    (Otherwise, particularly with a belt, you should consider draining the oil tank into a jug.)
    Last edited by T. Cotten; 11-21-2019 at 04:10 PM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by ammorest View Post
    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
    Hi Dave,
    Rode the bike all over from 1975 until the late 80ís... then life happened... Marriage and two kids...
    bike was neglected.... got the itch to start fooling with it around 2001... didnít have a lot of patience for it... so I sold it to a childhood buddy with the condition that I be notified if he was to sell it... but he never would get rid of it... we both had pan heads in the late seventies... bought. 2003 Electra glide and still have it... but you know I just really started thinking about the old panhead.... called him up and said remember that old bike I sold you? He started laughing and said itís still here...
    Picking it up on Saturday and canít wait to start...

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Wieland View Post
    On a regular rider I would not dream of running a chain. When you get a belt aligned right, it will run tens of thousands of miles without need for further adjustment. With a chain you will probably be adjusting it every 1000 miles. ….but yes you will not limp a bad belt home.

    I can change out a belt on the road in 15 to 20 minutes so I do not worry about.

    Jerry
    Love the belt on my 2003 dresser... 23 thousand miles and still fine...

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Cotten View Post
    I was agreeing with you, Jerry!

    Its about riding them regular-ly.

    Otherwise, there lurks the Sump Monster.

    (Of course you take better care than most; That's a "given"!)

    ...Cotten
    PS: Steve!

    This is your thread.

    Do you expect to ride regularly enough to purge the sump?
    Like a good ride every coupla weeks at least?
    (Otherwise, particularly with a belt, you should consider draining the oil tank into a jug.)
    Hey Cotten...
    Probably not... will the oil leak into the cases through the oil pump if sitting for extended periods? Like over the winter...

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
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    4,348

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Galli View Post
    Hey Cotten...
    Probably not... will the oil leak into the cases through the oil pump if sitting for extended periods? Like over the winter...
    With a Pan, Steve,..

    Sumping happens.
    And every pump leaks it own rate.

    (If anyone thinks they can get a ball check to pass a 3psi bench bubble-test,
    Let us watch.)

    With the OEM chain, and 'slinger' instead of a sprocket shaft seal, the cases can only fill that far,
    before it safely drools into the primary; (Messy by modern standards.)
    With a sprocket shaft seal, the cases can fill and fill.
    Beware when 'topping off' the tank if its been sitting.

    When the cases get real full, and the motor is started, there is no volume in the cases to accept the air forced downward by the pistons.
    The hydraulic pressures can pass oil not only out of the sprocket shaft seal to the primary, but puke other places that wouldn't otherwise.
    (Often it fouls the plugs, for another tail-chase.)

    So maybe the cases only get half-full when you miss a weekend or two, so you don't even notice.
    Maybe its only a few teaspoons each time that pukes on the belt as its running.

    It wasn't the belt's fault.
    You didn't ride regularly.

    ....Cotten
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    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Reno NV
    Posts
    208

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    I must agree that any oil on a belt will damage it.

    I currently have a bitsa shovel head on my bench. it has been puking oil everywhere, including into the semi enclosed primary belt. The main crank seal was installed correctly, so why was this happening?

    This motor was a complete rebuild that has had the belt installed for a long time before the rebuild, without any issues.

    I eventually tracked down the problem to being the incorrect cam cover.

    This bike has a set of 1973 cases set up for end oiler crank lubrication. But it had a 1970-72 side oiler cam cover fitted. The difference is 1/2"-3/4" between the oil passage feed holes.

    This resulted in the getting to much oil to the crankcase, that the oil pump was having trouble returning.
    This pressurized the crankcases and pushed oil into the primary cover, as well as every else. Every so often, the engine breather would dump a quart of oil, as the oil in the cases built up.
    Luckily, this motor has only done a few hundred miles, so the primary belt should still be usable.

    All of my late model bikes have belts, and i have had no trouble with them.
    I think using a belt on your pan is a good idea, as long as you can guarantee it will stay dry.
    Good luck.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Cotten View Post
    With a Pan, Steve,..

    Sumping happens.
    And every pump leaks it own rate.

    (If anyone thinks they can get a ball check to pass a 3psi bench bubble-test,
    Let us watch.)

    With the OEM chain, and 'slinger' instead of a sprocket shaft seal, the cases can only fill that far,
    before it safely drools into the primary; (Messy by modern standards.)
    With a sprocket shaft seal, the cases can fill and fill.
    Beware when 'topping off' the tank if its been sitting.

    When the cases get real full, and the motor is started, there is no volume in the cases to accept the air forced downward by the pistons.
    The hydraulic pressures can pass oil not only out of the sprocket shaft seal to the primary, but puke other places that wouldn't otherwise.
    (Often it fouls the plugs, for another tail-chase.)

    So maybe the cases only get half-full when you miss a weekend or two, so you don't even notice.
    Maybe its only a few teaspoons each time that pukes on the belt as its running.

    It wasn't the belt's fault.
    You didn't ride regularly.

    ....Cotten
    Picked up the bike Saturday and the oil tank was empty.... bike kicks over well...
    tear down starts soon...

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