Chain Final Drive…

This 1988 Sportster had a belt final drive on it. The pulleys were crusty and the belt was worn out, hard and dry, and cracking. I replaced it with a chain final drive. I like final chain drives better anyway, they look good and are easier to replace than a belt. Yeah it is a little more maintenance to keep the chain lubricated, but I still like it better than a belt. Picked up a 21T front sprocket and a 48T rear sprocket, which is the stock ratio, and a 530 Chain.

The 48 tooth rear sprocket from Lowbrow Customs looks really good against the solid wheel.
48T Rear Sprocket
Bolted the sprocket to the wheel with a couple of drops of red Loctite Threadlocker on each bolt. Torqued the bolts on the rear sprocket to 50ft/lbs.

Picked up a 120 link 530 chain from Lowbrow Customs. Put it on the bike to measure it for the length I needed and marked it.
Measuring and marking the 530 chain
I ended up shorting the chain about 8 links.

After grinding down the rivet and knocking it out to remove the excess links, I put the chain back on the bike and installed the master link.
Master link installed
The closed end of the clip on the master link points in the direction the chain travels. The Lowbrow Customs’ 530 chain included an extra master link to keep in the tool bag.

With the master link installed I adjusted the axle adjusters to get the proper tension on the chain.
Chain installed and tension adjusted
Alignment was a little off so I had to try a few different wheel spacers to get the right combination, now everything lines up nice. Chain is running smooth, nice and straight. I’ll get the front transmission sprocket cover installed the next day or so.

After I installed the final drive chain I rebuilt the front and rear brake calipers. Both calipers got a good cleaning along with new seals and dust covers.
New seals and dust covers installed in the front and rear calipers
Had to pick up a new set of bolts for the rear caliper since I destroyed the ones that were on there to get them out. Still waiting on the brake pads, once I have them I’ll get the calipers installed on the bike.

A couple steps closer to getting her on the road again…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 × 3 =