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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up a 26T front pulley from Fitzgerald for my personal 03 Rod mostly as a test mule for a customer of mine. I received the pulley in decent time but the pitch is off. No doubt about it. I laid it up against a factory belt, no way it's 14mm.

I talked to Scott at pretty decent length my first conversation. My customer is looking at cams, exhaust and some other odds and ends from these guys. He's not the most patient guy ever and wants answers pretty quickly after asking. I generally don't have a problem with that but we don't do much on V Rods, so this is the exception.

I'm looking for some information to see if this problem is unique or common with FM. I don't want to lose a customer but he's waited over a week just to try the pulley and I have a defective part at best. I haven't been able to reach him by Facebook, phone or email. To be fair I haven't given him a lot of time because I don't have it. I really just need to know if I should expect to have continued problems so I can plan accordingly. Thanks.
 

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That's strange - he's sold probably hundreds of those pulleys either that belt is the incorrect pitch for that pulley or it's machined incorrectly - doubtful. Did you try squeezing the belt into the grooves of the pulley with tension on the belt installed ? Yes, he's hard to get to talk to but he's called me back and talked to me for over an hour before so what did Scott say when you asked him ?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
He hasn't replied to me, but like I said, I just discovered the issue last night so I haven't given him much time. I've got 20+ years of experience in this industry. I'm EXTREMELY familiar with belt pitch and can say 100% this belt is not the correct pitch. Pitch is simply the distance between the "teeth" which on these is 14mm. The factory belt and pulley on all these are 14mm.

The problem is this pulley has a pitch greater than 14mm. Belts don't "stretch" per se and shouldn't be overtightened to compensate for manufacturing defects. I had hoped I either got an older defective pulley or the last batch he machined are incorrect.

I don't have an endless amount of time so I'm mostly trying to ascertain whether or not I could expect a fix from him or do we need to look elsewhere. Problem is, half of the parts my customers has chosen are from FM and if I can't trust the pulleys I wouldn't gamble on cams and bars and so on....
 

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He hasn't replied to me, but like I said, I just discovered the issue last night so I haven't given him much time. I've got 20+ years of experience in this industry. I'm EXTREMELY familiar with belt pitch and can say 100% this belt is not the correct pitch. Pitch is simply the distance between the "teeth" which on these is 14mm. The factory belt and pulley on all these are 14mm.

The problem is this pulley has a pitch greater than 14mm. Belts don't "stretch" per se and shouldn't be overtightened to compensate for manufacturing defects. I had hoped I either got an older defective pulley or the last batch he machined are incorrect.

I don't have an endless amount of time so I'm mostly trying to ascertain whether or not I could expect a fix from him or do we need to look elsewhere. Problem is, half of the parts my customers has chosen are from FM and if I can't trust the pulleys I wouldn't gamble on cams and bars and so on....
Not dealt with him personally but he has an exceptional reputation both on here and may other V Rod groups so I am pretty sure he will sort you out whatever the problem. I only ever hear good stuff said about him and how he always goes the extra mile to help.
 

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Understood. I would never over tighten a belt to compensate for anything either but how the hell can you machine a 26 tooth pulley with the pitch off ? The entire diameter of the pulley would have to be incorrect to get 26 teeth of an improper pitch to meet up perfectly at the last tooth. Not saying it couldn't happen but that would be an epic machining failure. I see that belt hitting two teeth on opposite sides indicating an improper pitch on the belt - or the pulley. Three questions - is that a new belt ? have you tried the old belt ? What is the pitch measurement on the pulley ? Having just installed a new 30 tooth H-D fwd pulley on my VRSCR I can attest to the fact that my used belt didn't just " fall " into the pulley - it was tight, it looked like your photo and I thought there was something wrong like you until I fed the belt teeth into the pulley. Look at the gap of the belt at the bottom of the tooth valley - push it in on each tooth as you go around the pulley and see what you have then. Also that must be a city or race bike - I had the 28 tooth and it was winding out a bit at 80 on the hwy - the 30 tooth makes the bike perfect and it pulls longer in every gear, settles down at speed almost like a 5th and a half - the early and intl. bikes were even delivered with a 30. But I'm not a stoplight racer, more like a GT style higher speed rider where the bikes excessive weight is not really a factor - ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We have 20+ HD belts in hand here that are 14mm pitch. Before I rushed to conclusions I checked over 10 belts. I tried new and used belts. I didn't really need to go as far as I did because the obvious odd man out is the new 26t pulley. The same belts, new or used, that fall into place on every 14mm pitch pulley we have on hand don't fit this pulley.

Sometimes, especially with aluminum pulleys I see them manufactured slightly long in the tooth which doesn't allow the belt or chain to fully seat. This isn't ideal but it is a cheap way to gain life with a soft pulley or sprocket because they are tight at the start, wear into a good fit before the teeth wear down and prevent solid engagement. This is most commonly seen on sprockets being used with chains. It's improper, but I see it, especially with cheaply manufactured imports.

I'm having my measurements verified on this pulley by a machinist as I type this. I know the pitch is incorrect. Without a numeric measurement but using belts as a gauge I can say it's off. Since I had to grind both the flange and case, I can't say whether the pulley is correct in any other dimension except the bolt pattern which fits.

It's possible everyone who has ever installed these has done so by overtightening the belt until they don't notice. That would split the difference in teeth along top and bottom. Depending on the radius angle of the belt since the rear pulley is much larger, the contact area of this pulley may be small enough that the error isn't as obvious. Again, still not properly machined. I would really hope that I simply have a defective part and that hundreds or thousands of people haven't been stretching belts over incorrectly pitched pulleys.
 

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Yea, sounds like you checked the belts vs the 26t pulley so that may be it - either log in the tooth or improper pitch. I looked into aluminum pulleys with the hard wear coating but felt at double the price of the steel H-D pulley that wears probably twice as long but it would save probably a pound and a half for about $ 150 a pound which is a bit high. I think you might find the 26t to be annoying on the highway if the bike ever goes on it ) - in that case a stock size 28 tooth would be as good compromise. In any event be patient with Scott he runs a large machine shop as his primary business and V Rod Fitz M/S as his happy time side business - if he mis-machined that pulley he'll take care of you - if so I'm sure the CNC program somehow got improperly re-entered or corrupted somehow I've seen it myself on an I.D. CNC machine for rocket cases when I worked for MacDac.
Good Luck !
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I was able to reach his shop foreman today. Scott was out mowing lol. I explained the issue and he seemed to understand. He said they just recently had a computer crash and this last batch was on new programming. It sounds like they're going to be unhappily surprised to find the last programming is off. I'm awaiting a call back regarding replacement and they're going to check the current batch for issues.

I know there are other sources for the pulley, but I really prefer to deal with smaller businesses. I'd rather help support a family directly than a bigger company. By all accounts he seems like a good guy and deserving of the business.

I've heard people say the 26 seems aggressive, but my calculations have it at a 14% or so gear change. That means while it seems high revving it's not going to hit redline until 130+/-. That's well within comfortable cruising rpm at highway speeds. The extra grunt in short races should make that worth it. The factory gearing is atrocious. 60mph in 1st is crazy and makes the bike a dog until 30 or so. I'm surprised a 26t pulley isn't standard lol.
 

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Out mowing that IS funny ! big fun after winter and cv19 in Ohio ! yea, a computer crash will do it if it's not rebooted properly - I've even seen big time industrial espionage with an intentional desire by one military contractor to slow a competitor down that they were ordered to share production with. All I can say is everyone has a little bit different end use for their V Rods. If it's rate of acceleration you want, yes 26t is it but quick shifting must be set up right to take advantage of that - if it's longer legs for sustained higher speed or roll on with a built engine or Turbo 30t is it - for something in between 28t is the ticket. Remember the more power you get out of these engines the higher you can gear them - and I'll say mine is much better with the 30t than even the 28t, at only 110 ish rwhp - it even sounds better as the gearing absorbs that annoying light load revving which is raspy. Its like the difference between a CR close ratio and WR wide ratio dirt bike except the Japs were smart enough to re-gear first so it wouldn't be too high. My WR250 2 stroke would go over 90 mph easily - and still climb a huge hill. So yea, 1st gets pretty high with the 30t on the Revo and I bought a new 2nd gear that splits the difference between 1st and 3rd so the second gear shift won't bog the engine but with an upcoming 130ish rwhp it will pull the gearing anyway - it just depends whether your racing is up to 130 or up to 150, and how much highway time you spend - at 80 cruising /touring its a 30t hands down, 26t just winds to the moon which the engine doesn't mind it just doesn't feel right. Still waiting for a six speed that's never coming - (y);)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I run most races on the street to under 100mph. It's not a sport bike. A run of the mill R6 would lay waste to a Rod hitting the triple digits. I'm looking to make mine a stoplight cruiser. If that means tolerating some higher rpms at cruising speed than so be it. Mine has a big fairing and bags. I weigh 245 if I skip lunch. It needs all the help it can get lol. I enjoy the acceleration more than anything. I'll trade that top end off happily. Right now it can't pull redline in top gear. I'd be happy with a top speed of 110-120.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Talked with Scott. Essentially the pulley is correct as he designed. The problem is the diameter of a 26t pulley is smaller than the intended application of the rear pulley/ belt combo. With this tight radius the profile of the belt means the teeth that don't engage are simply riding nearer the leading or following teeth more tightly than intended. It's simply the result in an extreme change in the teeth of one pulley alone vs achieving the same gear ratio by changing both pulleys and possibly the pitch.

Long story short, it's a stretch. It's essentially the smallest possible pulley to use. But it should work. I'll have to figure it out but the assertion is that there are no machining problems and this pulley should work. It defies my logic at this point but I'll check again and wait to hear my official numbers to verify.
 

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Yea, you've got a lot of weight and air resistance for a higher rpm / lower torque engine to deal with so that 26t will put the engine at a real advantage, letting it spin up into it's meat of power, so you're on the right track. This is where the big cc / big torque air & shower head engines shine, on the big 987 Lb. heavy slower bikes with fairings. I'm on the other end of the spectrum, 165Lb, but even with the 120Lb. wife on the bike it still blasts ( for a heavy-ish cruiser ) to 120+ easily with only a windshield and once in a while the lighter weight nylon sport saddlebags. I'd love to lose another 40 Lbs like I already did with a new exhaust, lithium battery and removal of heavier tires, steel footpegs etc. but that will take new forged wheels, new aluminum belt pulleys or chain & sprockets, so we're getting into $ 150-200 a pound for weight savings, cost to benefit ratio upside down. I'm happy where it's at for now - a very stable 2 up bike with 1 up sporting capability. I saw your post on the prior 26t FM problem thread, so I wonder if they used the old CNC machining programming when they reloaded it as it seems this isn't their first rodeo with this problem -
 

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Just saw your post - before I went 30 tooth fwd I looked for 65 -68 tooth rear pulleys ( smaller, lighter ) they are out there for big twins but I don't know if they would work - obviously you would need a 74 -76 tooth rear pulley using a 28 tooth fwd pulley to be in the 26t fwd. pulley gearing ballpark. I like the belt, resisting going chain but I honestly think a H-D 28 tooth fwd would work fine for you if you had a 30t prior. Build the engine with extra torque in mind ( 1/4 inch added stroke ) 1300-1350cc power and never look back. I think the 26t is kinda pushing it too far in the wrong direction - that's why the 30t works so well, it's a larger radius. Try installing it to see how the belt seats at the right tension lots of guys run these 26t FM pulleys can't all be bad - maybe someone will chime in here - but the belt just has to fit in about 50% of the way around the pulley due to rear pulley diameter being larger so maybe it'll work ? Scott should know - Otherwise go 28t or someone else's 26t ? Good Luck !
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have a Yamaha Raider with a 120" motor in it. (Factory 113 with a big bore) I have basically intake, exhaust and a PCV with an Ivan's custom ECU in it. The torque is great. It's very enjoyable to cruise. I have a fairing on that bike as well. Aluminum frame or not, it's a large heavy bike. And the Rod will walk away from it at a 20mph roll. I haven't run it from a dead stop but I'd assume in current form the Raider would gain a few bikes it wouldn't lose until 80-100mph. Without a supercharger and 30-32t, no way is the Rod gonna make me want to ride it unless I can get it moving down low. Hopefully it impresses. I'll find out soon enough.

I've only found shedding weight to be of use in very high HP low torque engines, and specifically this with a poor power to weight ratio. Like you said, at some point the weight savings aren't worth the expense.
 

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Can't say you handled this very well. You essentially start out by trashing Scott (which is fair IF he was sending out junk or ignoring you...which he isn't in this case) and then people chime in claiming/speculating that a "corrupted" CNC program caused this possibly (completely ridiculous if you understand how such a machine works/what you are saying).

This reminds me of why I hate the Internet at times....shooting at the hip with little facts or knowledge while a guy that makes parts for a dying (and low popularity) bike is getting the brunt of it. Seriously, think about your actions when it comes to vendor trashing. The market for this bike is VERY small and only going to get smaller.
 

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freudie1 you're right about that - no one should be " trashed " when they support our V Rods but also if Scott had responded immediately to DRR there would have been no conversation, research or speculation here to figure out what, if any the " problem " with that 26t pulley is. If you read the thread it's clear this was a " problem " in the past here from a prior thread about the FM 26t pulley to belt fitment. Then many here bought these pulleys with apparently no reported problems, then another " problem" was reported by DRR and even Scotts machinist said this batch of pulleys was on new programming - a real possible problem area, if it was mis-machined it would be incorrectly re-entered or "corrupted" data in the program. I've seen 250K Cruise Missile casings get rolled out for scrap due to this - it happens, and thinking it can possibly happen is not ridiculous. Then Scott finally called DRR & said it's as designed - it's not a current machining problem so there you have it - an understanding of what's going on - if you don't like the 26t pulley as designed send it back and move on I'm sure he'll refund the $ but it must work as many have them. I think Scott can survive a lot more than just simply a frustrated customer venting here and an in depth discussion about his products - just like Mike Jones of Jones Cams has - these are busy and great guys supporting our bikes - but proving that timely communication skills are all important to keep customers informed & happy, and it's never been easier than it is right now.
 

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Can't say you handled this very well. You essentially start out by trashing Scott (which is fair IF he was sending out junk or ignoring you...which he isn't in this case) and then people chime in claiming/speculating that a "corrupted" CNC program caused this possibly (completely ridiculous if you understand how such a machine works/what you are saying).

This reminds me of why I hate the Internet at times....shooting at the hip with little facts or knowledge while a guy that makes parts for a dying (and low popularity) bike is getting the brunt of it. Seriously, think about your actions when it comes to vendor trashing. The market for this bike is VERY small and only going to get smaller.
I can see his concern however. I'd be doing a double take on seeing that as well. Pitch is pitch and it should match up be it belt or chain. Take a good look at actual full contact area of the belt to sprocket . If That is in fact how it lines up, no fkg way I'd want that sprocket on my bike. If it's a machining error and shit does happen, I'm ok with that as that can be resolved. Remember the pitch is pitch and belt's pitch should follow the sprocket if they are both the same. Notice there is an increasing error in each pocket, offering less engagement as it goes around.
Ron
 
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