1. The BDL kit included everything necessary to swap out the stock primary.
2. Stroker started the swap by draining the primary fluid and removing the outer primary cover. We're never going to need primary fluid again -- one less thing to worry about.
3. The chain tensioner shoe was nixed next (another part we'll never have to fool with on this bike again), along with the compensating sprocket nut and the clutch. Then the clutch basket, compensating sprocket, and chain were all removed at the same time.
4. Before the inner primary could be removed, the locktabs on the bolts were bent out of the way...
5. ...and the pinion gear as well.
6. The inner primary was officially removed, but there were still a few steps before the new open belt could be installed.
7. Stroker used a JIMS bearing race puller to remove the inner bearing race on the mainshaft of the transmission.
8. The motor and transmission mounts were then loosened to insure proper transmission and motor alignment before the backing plate of the BDL primary could be bolted on.
9. He test fit the backing plate with the motor and trans, shimmed where necessary, then bolted everything down.
10. The new starter pinion gear assembly was then installed.
11. He pressed the roll pins into the front pulley and stock insert, then used high-strength threadlocker on all the bolts, including the polished alternator cover
12. Before final installation of the clutch hub, Stroker greased the splines on the mainshaft in case the clutch hub had to be removed later.
13. He used a straight edge to check the alignment of the pulleys. Measure and check twice, it never hurts.
14. Next, the front pulley, belt, and clutch hub were installed at the same time.
15. The clutch hub mainshaft nut and the front pulley nut were tightened down to H-D specs.
16. A few fiber and steel plates were tossed into the clutch hub, then the stack was topped off with the pressure plate with the desired amount of clutch springs. Keep in mind the more springs you use the harder it is to pull the clutch in.
17. He adjusted the clutch...
18. ...and the clutch cable.
19. A little anti-seize was applied to the pinion gear shaft bushing.
20. The starter housing was then bolted on.
21. Stroker used a deep socket wrench to install the hexagonal standoffs that support the outer guard.
22. With a T-handle hex wrench, the hex head button bolts secured the guard to the standoffs.
23. BDL offers covers for the pulleys that can be secured with double-sided tape. If you want to go that route, simply stick the tape to the outer edge of the pulleys, and the pulley should stay in place, kind of like a hubcap.
24. With all the covers in place, this is the finished product. We chose the naked look instead -- no pulley covers.
26. After. Respect the open beltdrive. Thank you BDL.
There are dangerous moving parts with covers over certain areas to protect the ignorant. The open belt primary appears naked because of the exposed springs, rubber, and pulleys. The sound is different, too. As the motor is revved there is a subtle whine that sounds intimidating like the belt on a blown V-8. Glancing at the other motorcycles in the parking lot, it isn't hard to notice that all their primaries are covered, as if they aren't proud of what's underneath. What are they hiding under all that chrome?
An open beltdrive is a commitment. It is dangerous because you know that belt is moving fast and can tear your pants apart if they're caught in the pulley. You have to understand how it works so you don't hurt yourself when you're near it. The next time your woman hops on the back of your bike you have to tell her to be careful and respect one more part of the motorcycle -- the hot pipe on the right and the spinning beltdrive on the other. You can't just ignore the machine, you have to know its behavior to avoid injury. The bike is suddenly more alive than it ever was.
With so many reasons to go out and get a beltdrive, we're just going to assume that you share our feelings and are already making plans to get one right now. When we began our hunt for the perfect beltdrive for a Softail chopper we decided on two factors, the beltdrive had to have a naked look (no extensive billet covers or flash) and reliability. We flipped through a couple catalogs, and after we were finished looking at porn on the internet, we searched online until we decided that our best choice would be a BDL 3-inch open-beltdrive for '90-and-later Softails, PN BDL-141-3. In order to get the old enclosed primary off and the new primary on the right way we called up V-Twin City in Santa Ana, California. The head service tech, Stroker, was assigned the job and was able to get her done in a single afternoon.