REF: Transmission & Final Drive

Homemade Drive Belt Tensioner


This mod was actually done to install 15“ shocks on a 2013 Iron 883.
As a result of the taller shocks, the belt was loose due to the new geometry and was just barely rubbing on the exhaust bracket.
In search of a belt tensioner, Free Spirits makes a top quality one but it is expensive and uses the same mounts as an RSD exhaust.

So the homemade one below was done using a Dorman (419-109) belt tensioner for cars ($20 on Amazon).
It seemed to be solidly built and has a very sturdy spring. The only downfall is that the idler pulley is plastic but it doesn't need to be all that strong.
The bracket was made from about a 4” piece of 1-1/2“ angle iron (12 gauge).

The tensioner and mounting holes were traced out on the angle, holes center punched and drilled to fit 3/8” socket head bolts.
The corners were ground then smoothed with a sanding flap disk on an angle grinder.

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A suitable spot was found for mounting the assembly to the RSD exhaust mounting bracket.
The mounting holes were marked and drilled on the exhaust bracket the same way as done on the angle iron.
Slight shortening and final shaping was done on the angle iron on the exhaust bracket side before painting the bracket.

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photo by chris_b_owens of the XLFORUM
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