Broken sprocket, can I cheat it for long?

Discussion in 'Dyna Models' started by Freewheelin Franklin, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. Driving my Wide Glide home from work last Friday, cold night (low 30s), the usual bumps and potholes.
    I get off, go to bed, get up to go to work the next day, and see the inner ring of my rear sprocket had broken completely off. just hanging there on the axle, nice and round, like a ring. I check the web, it's happened to a few other people. Fairly rare though. You can see that ring is kinda stamped on the sprocket every inch or two. Have a look at yours.
    I'm buying a good used one off Ebay, but that's going to take a few days. So I fire up the circular saw with carbide blade, zing through that ring in two places, take it off and drive on.
    I keep checking the belt, since there's nothing keeping it from walking out of the teeth and falling off the sprocket. But so far, it has stayed.
    Sometimes it'll scooch off the sprocket maybe a quarter inch,and then walk back on. Mostly it stays snug to the outer ring, away from the tire, squarely on the sprocket, although I can't see it while I'm riding.
    I figure the front sprocket will keep it pretty much in line.
    What do you think? Am I crazy?
    I'd have to ride my squirrelly Nissan farm truck otherwise. My other bike needs a front tire and inspection, and I'm short on cash.

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    While it is an "interesting" idea, would not drive it that way. Would REALLY hate it if it came off while going 60-80 mph on a bumpy or gravelly roadway. Take a tip from the movie Top Gun..."--never...*ever* push a bad position..." Most H-D dealers have them in stock, so it depends on if you want to wait or slam a couple hundred for sproket and fasteners. :s
  3. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    On my wide glide the belt tends to track to the outside when going forward and the inside when going backwards so in theory it should be ok for a few days
    However i personally would not chance it as if the belt comes off the pulley it could get jammed in the rear wheel area locking up the rear wheel and that would not be good

  4. Duane53

    Duane53 Active Member

    I would change it as soon as possible. I wouldn't take the chance of it coming off.
  5. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    I'm with the rest here. You are putting yourself in jebordy should the belt come off, not to mention more damage that will have to be repaired. As for buying a used pulley, belts are like chains and a used pulley may wear your belt out faster because the wear pattern will be different than the one you have now. If you had not cut the ring you could have had it welded back on.
  6. Thought about welding it. It's like pot metal. Figured it would be like tack welding a cymbal back together. Probably should have tried it.
    But I figured I'd have to take it off (along with wheel) to do it right, and I found a good, low-mileage one on Ebay for $50, plus $12 shipping. New one is more than three times that much.
    Might be peanuts to some of you guys. Not me.
    I always do my own maintenance, lovingly and as cheaply as possible. My ride runs perfect, goes 75 miles every day that it doesn't rain or snow.
    BTW, the sprocket inner ring broke off at 42,000 miles. I'm guessing it's really not all that rare. I'll post some pictures.
  7. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    Bottom line is this - thanks for the warning! I'll bet dozens of guys and gals are checking theirs now that you've pointed out a weakness and our Harley community will be a safer one, thanks to you!

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    Seemed that it did Happen on the Earlier Year Bikes. I had a 2000 that i worried about BUT Never a problem..

    If you choose to RIDE it after Cutting the flange off. I would of Adjusted the belt to HUG the opposite side putting a LITTLE more pressure to the good side and Not a chance for it to ride OVER to the missing side. (maybe yours was Bent a little)

    Now that you have found a good replacement ,,,,, that is the way to go....

    REMEMBER to Check the belt for ANY Damage.. Just incase You didn't Know, DON"T BEND BELT around to see inner side,,,Look THRU to see inner,, Damage from TWISTING may result in cords broken..... Belts are a lot of work to replace and 200$ at the least.

    When you align and adjust the axle alignment, Make sure you have it Straight. While turning wheel forward travel, Belt should show a LITLE Clearance each side.. That is WHERE i kept mine... No BIG pressure to either side of the LIP.


    Side note: the front sprocket has MUCH ROOM and only back is used to align
  9. Here's the photo of the broken inner sprocket ring, after I buzzsawed it off the axle, and a photo of the farthest I've seen the belt walk since then.
    Peace, and no crashing.

    Attached Files:

  10. BUBBIE

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    The first picture shows a LOT of rub marks that I think were NOT on my 2000 fxds...

    ????? on If it was way out of adjustment... You said it didn't run against the pulley but wear marks look to show me it did..

    No Criticism here Just insight on Photo LOOKS