Fat Boy handlebars shifting

Discussion in 'Other Service and Maintenance' started by David_ATX_FatBoy, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. David_ATX_FatBoy

    David_ATX_FatBoy Member

    Howdy, all. I recently got a great deal on a 2000 Fat Boy and I'm digging it immensely. I've noticed my handlebars are starting to shift a bit; nothing drastic, but it certainly won't get any better. My dealership tells me it's a bushing replacement job that'll cost me upwards of $250.

    I'm hoping some folks on here will toss me some info or referrals that will hopefully allow me to do this job myself. The project is a bit complicated by the fact that Cool Rockin' Loretta (yes, I've named her, and you get extra points if you know where the name comes from) has a HD stereo console mounted on the bars, so that's going to need to come off first.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Use the search box type in handlebars, there was a thread on this, Capital Jack
  3. Bait

    Bait Active Member

    Shifting in the bushings or loose in the clamp so the bars move back and forth? Song by Joe Ely?
  4. dbmg

    dbmg Guest

  5. David_ATX_FatBoy

    David_ATX_FatBoy Member

    This is a job that needs taken care of soon. As the rubber gromments continue to wear the handling will get very sloppy. A HD sevice manual is in order.
    Is this correct??

    Pardon the noobness...couldn't figure out how to paste both quotes in my reply. I'll work it out.

    I'm not sure about the bushing issue. The dealer says bushings need to be replaced, but the bars move back and forth slightly. I'm inclined to try tightening the clamps first, but I didn't want to get into it without researching beforehand, particularly since I have a stereo system mounted on the bars and that will need to come off first before I even get to the bars.

    I agree the job needs to get handled quickly. I searched for, bought, and downloaded a PDF of the 2000 official factory service manual for Softail models. (which I'd be happy to share with anyone, by the way). It's got a small section on handlebar removal, with blowout illustrations of the stuff involved. I want to make sure what I'll need in the way of tools and equipment before I start fooling around with it. Don't know what's involved with all the stuff mounted ON the handlebars; not sure if those connections need to be removed first or if I can just remove the bars, set them on the seat, replace the bushings, and reinstall.

    Which sounds easy enough, but makes my stomach knot up just thinking about it.

    Folks, I appreciate your help.

    Thanks again! Ride safe!
  6. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    I haven't seen the radio setup you have, but I can't see it being hardmounted. There is probably a plug to disconnect. Taking the rear tins off is pretty stright forward and replacing the bushings is a 1/2 hour tops. Put a towel or something soft so you can rest the handle bars on the tank, loosen the nuts on the bottom of the risers catch the nut and washer. Once you have the bushing out replace with the new ones and put it all back together. You can use aftermarket bushings, but I can't tell the difference between HD and aftermarket.
  7. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    As i remember when i did mine i loosened off both risers and took the bolt out of 1 side and spun the bars on the other bolt replaced the bush and put the bolt back in enough to hold then did the other side but it was a couple of years ago and the mind gets foggy after a while but it was a wee tweak rather than a big job

  8. David_ATX_FatBoy

    David_ATX_FatBoy Member

    A quick update on this little job:

    I bought and downloaded a copy of the service manual for my ride, but with the radio setup on the bars I did not feel confident attempting the fix myself.I found a great shop in Austin, Hardtailz Choppers, that did the work for me and showed me how to handle in the future.

    It turned out to be a two-pronged affair. First, the bushings needed to be replaced, as the dealer suggested. When I picked up the bike, the handlebars were still shifting, so I pulled back into the garage and Forrest showed me how to remove the stereo to get to the handlebar clamps.

    The stereo rig is an HD product, not aftermarket. I don't have the model number. It's attached to a base that's mounted on the handlebars and allows access to the clamp bolts, but the stereo box needs to be removed from the base first.

    We took off the skirting around the base to access the flanges where the box is screwed in. (If I could, I'd post photos to illustrate.) The flanges hold two phillips head screws that keep the stereo box in place. Removing the screws allows the stereo box to be removed; we didn't disconnect any cording, so we just laid the box back to expose the handlebar clamps.

    From there, it was finding the appropriate tool to torque the bar clamps, then putting everything back together.

    Now that I've seen it done, I don't think it would be too terribly hard to handle, so long as I had the appropriate tools.

    Now I'm on the road safe and sound, and she handles like a dream.