Twin Cam Harley Primary Drive Removal

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  • Learn at your own pace
  • Access to our extensive library
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  • Knowledge when you need it

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Let’s pull the Harley primary drive on this Twin Cam. We have filmed drive removal and installation on a number of models. This time we are working on a 2002 Softail. We are removing the drive so that we can remove the transmission and motor as we make our way to stripping this m/c down to its bare frame.

Keep Organized

With the primary oil already drained; begin by removing anything that will hinder the removal of the inner & outer primary. Always try removing and keeping components together as a complete assembly. Always lay out hardware in a manner that will enable you to easily label and organize. Have a drain pan ready and loosen/remove all outer primary securing hardware, including two inspection cover screws.

Primary Chain Adjuster Shoe

Bend back the jackshaft lock tab so you can loosen and remove the jackshaft gear. You can do this, either now or after you remove your clutch assembly. Loosen the primary chain adjuster shoe so the primary chain lies loose. Loosen the clutch adjust lock nut and back off on the adjustment. Now you can use a retaining ring pliers to remove the adjuster plate/assembly.

As A Unit

Use a Harley primary drive locker to remove the mainshaft nut and the compensator bolt/assembly. The mainshaft nut is left hand thread. This means: turning clockwise will loosen, and counterclockwise will tighten. The compensator bolt is normal/standard thread (right hand thread). Remove the entire clutch – compensator & chain from the motorcycle.

Remove Inner Primary

Bend back the inner primary bolt lock tabs. Remove the two starter bolts along with the inner Harley primary drive retaining bolts. The inner primary is now free to remove from the motorcycle. With the entire drive removed we are getting closer to removing the transmission & motor on this Softail.

Remember to clean, label, and inspect everything you can, as you work. Always service your way in, and out of a job.