Install An Open Belt Drive On A Harley Davidson

Install an Open Belt Drive on a Harley Davidson

For some Harley-Davidson owners, it’s all about horsepower. If the engine of a Harley-Davidson has better-than-factory horsepower, installing an open belt drive will improve the performance. This is major modification. An open belt drive can be installed on a Harley-Davidson in a backyard or garage, but some things are better left to a professional. This project involves specialty tools and procedures, including some that an average Harley rider would not have in a toolbox or know about. An owner’s manual is a must to do this large of a job.


1. Put the bike on a bike stand, securely. Tear down the bike. Refer to the service manual for the exact parts that need to be removed as this differs by model.

2. Take the bearing race out of the main shaft using the JIM’S No. 34902-84. Take off the alternator rotor. Check the sprocket shaft seal for wear.

3. Glide the motor plate to where it will be installed. Insert the heel/toe shifter shaft into the motor plate.

4. Continuing on the right side of the bike, put the starter back in place at the rear of the motor plate by installing the two flange bolts.

5. Slide the entire assembly, as shown in the manual, over the end of the starter shaft. Thread the bolt into the middle of the entire belt drive assembly. Torque as instructed in the manual.

6. Install the belt on the drive shafts temporarily. Adjust the shafts for the belt to slide into position. Remove the belt once the shafts are set to the proper setting.

7. Install both pulleys, torquing as directed in the manual.

8. Working the pulleys, install the belt on both. Position the front and rear pulleys with the motor sprocket and transmission main shaft.

9. Take the pulleys out again. Install the alternator cover by sliding it over the sprocket shaft right next to the stator rotor.

10. Install the pressure plate with the stamped word “out” showing.

11. Install the diaphragm spring and retainer. The stamped word “out” will face away from the bike. Tighten all nuts and bolts.

12. Replace the starter jack shaft with the bolts supplied in the kit.

13. Reassemble all other parts for your model. Adjust the clutch. Go for a test ride, adjusting as necessary.