View Full Version : 5th Gear walking

10-14-2015, 11:42 PM
Or so I'm being told
Last year I found a small rock imbedded in the drive belt of my '02 road king, it was not near the edge of the belt and I was assured by my local dealer that it would not break. well, after a week trip thruogh southern Utah and a summer full of day rides it snapped right in my driveway. That's living right
I trailered it to an independent shop trying to support the little guy and he replaced the belt.

200 miles later after a short ride I found a puddle of oil under the bike. maybe a 1/4 cup. I brought it back to him and the bike was leaking in front of his shop while we were looking a it. he agreed he needed to investigate and fix leak. When I came back to get it a week later he told me that the bushing in the fifth gear is walking or pushing out and pressing a seal out and that is where the leak is coming from. He reset the seal and didn't charge me but said if that happened again that I would need new fifth gear and seal.

Well, bike never really stop leakng but only couple drops at time. but overtime is getting worse. so now he is saying I need new fifth gear and maybe 10 hrs labor.

Has anyone ever herd of this before? I want to believe the guy but seems awfully coincidental that this all started at same time he replaced my belt.

and is 10 hours reasonable for this job?

Thanks for any input

10-15-2015, 05:05 AM
Sorry Bro, in all my years I have never heard of such a thing. But everyone has different ways of describing things. He had to remove your inner primary to put on a new belt, at that time he should have checked all the seals for leaks. The tranny has a main seal, shifter shaft seal and inner primary has main shaft seal and a starter shaft seal. One of these is most likely the culprit.

10-15-2015, 05:36 PM
Maybe I am wording it wrong.... But when I google it I find a couple a couple things that sound similar.

here is one:
on this link if you scroll down to Big Twin 5 speeds, they refer to something similar

have found a couple others that sound similar

Hoe this helps

10-15-2015, 05:37 PM
I like working on my own bike but this one might be more than I am willing to chew

10-17-2015, 04:01 PM
when the primary bearing race shifts it almost always takes the 5th gear seal out, when that happens you can replace it by removing the primary (completely) pulling the race off the shaft and pulling the seal behind it (5th gear seal) to get this far is a few hours work, rule of thumb, with the right tools it is only another 15 min work to get to the other seals while you have it torn down that far, so you should do the full job while you are in there.
That being said, it is very common for the primary bearing race to shift and cause a leak. depending on the year bike you have (mine is a 2000) you can buy a roller bearing to replace the style that is in there and that will solve race shift problem. You can buy a kit from Baker if you like. It will come with a sealed bearing and a seal for the primary ( note the hole in the seal is smaller because there will be no race passing through it, just the main shaft) you need to keep this in mind if you ever need to replace the seal in the future. I have used this setup in a few bikes and I have run into one issue and this is how I get around it.
The sealed bearing does not hold up very long, it seems to loose grease over time, what I do is remove the seal facing into the primary before I install it, this way it is oiled by the primary, problem solved, I have one in my bike for a few years now.

Oh yeah, this is a simple job with the right tools ( I made my own tools ) to buy them is not cheap

10-17-2015, 04:06 PM
I just noticed you have a 2002, the Baker kit will fit yours

10-17-2015, 06:23 PM
Nitram_b4, Thanks for reply
If I decide to just replace with a stock seal do I need to replace 5th gear also as he has suggested, or can just the bushing or bearing be replaced ?

10-17-2015, 06:26 PM
Also, What is the danger if I decide I can live with the leak and do nothing?

10-17-2015, 07:49 PM
It all depends on what is wrong. If you don't have the needle bearing shifting, causing the 5 gear seal to leak and the primary bearing is fixed, then as long as you keep up with the tranny and primary case oil levels, then for the most part it isn't a big deal, just messy. Now don't take this as gospel but based on the fact that you had the inner primary bearing race shift and they almost always damage the 5th gear seal I am guessing that is what is leaking, they are kind of a pain in the ass to get to seat properly and if he put a new one in, it might not be seated correctly, but he can't tell that any better then me over the internet without pulling the primary again.
You can get an educated guess, if you clean everything up and let it set for a while to see what side of the drive pulley the leak is coming from, if it is leaking from the outside ( facing the inside of the primary) then it is more than likely the 5th gear seal, if it is leaking from behind the drive pulley then it is more than likely the transmission main shaft seal.