Q: How often should I change my transmission & primary fluid?
A: At least once a year, and preferably when you do your ‘before’ winter service. Oil, once exposed to oxygen through the vent, will begin to attract moisture and other contaminants that can eat away at seals, rust parts and degrade the fluid. A transmission breathes through the vent in the top cover as it is thermally cycled. As the transmission warms up, it exhales through the vent. As it cools, it breathes in through the vent. The primary drive housing also breathes through the vent in transmission top cover via the hole through the center of the mainshaft. Changing the fluid when warm is preferred as all the oil and its contaminants are in a homogenous solution and you will remove more of the heavy particulates and debris.
Q: How much fluid goes in my transmission?
A: ‘Dry’ fluid capacity is 22-24* fluid oz for all Evo and Twin Cam88/103 Harley 5-speed and BAKER 6-speed transmissions from 1980-2006 (*except 2006 Dyna). The 2006-up Dyna, 2007-up Softail & Touring (Cruise Drive factory 6-speed bikes) take a full quart of fluid (32 fluid oz). Use white thread sealant on the drain plug and make sure that the drain plug o-ring (if an o-ring is present) is good condition, before filling the transmission. Replace the o-ring if in doubt of its ability to seal properly. If you check the fluid level with the dipstick, do so with the bike help upright off of the jiffy stand.
Note: By design, we generally establish the fluid line inside the gearbox at .4” below the centerline of the shafts.
Q: How much fluid goes in my primary?
A: Fluid capacity is 1 Quart* (32 fluid oz) for all Evo and Twin Cam88/103 primaries from 1980-2006 (*except 2006 Dyna). The new bikes 2006-up Dyna, 2007-up Softail & Touring take a 45 fluid oz if the entire primary assembly has been removed or 38 fluid oz if you are simply draining the old fluid adding new oil. BAKER Function Formed Primaries (FFP) takes 10-12 fluid oz; match the fluid type to your clutch as mentioned above. Use white thread sealant on the drain plug and make sure that the drain plug o-ring (if an o-ring is present) is good condition, before filling the primary. Replace the o-ring if in doubt of its ability to seal properly
If you check the fluid level in the primary, do so with the bike held upright off of the jiffy stand. The fluid level should be at the bottom of the derby cover opening.
Q: What kind of oil should I use in my Transmission?
A: BAKER recommends Spectro Heavy Duty Platinum 6 Speed Transmission Fluid (75W140) for all factory and BAKER 4, 5, 6 and 7-speed applications. If Spectro cannot be found, use a gearbox grade oil or in a worst case scenario, differential (85W90) fluid.
Q: What kind of oil should I use in my primary?
A: BAKER recommends Spectro Heavy Duty Primary Chaincase Fluid (85W) for all 1980-up stock clutches and mild performance aftermarket clutches. Although we recommend using Dexron III ATF with our King Kong Clutch due to the added friction modifiers found in the Automatic Transmission Fluid.
Q: Do you recommend the new Harley SYN 3 oil?
A: No. SYN 3 is a 20W50 multi-use full synthetic oil that can be used in the transmission, primary, and the engine according to the Factory. SYN 3 is convenient in that only one oil type need be used in the engine and drivetrain. Like most things in life, the trade for this convenience is compromise. 20W50 works OK in the engine but is way too thin to be effective in the transmission and primary under cold and hot operating conditions. If the convenience of having one type of oil in your garage out weighs your patriotic obligation to take good care of your bike, you should consider selling your Harley so you can buy a Toyota Preus. Then you can join the Peace Corps and help orphaned children with dysentery in Zimbabwe.
Q: How often should I check the primary chain on my EVO/ TC88 bike?
A: Do the first check at 500 miles, after installing a new primary chain. Do the second check at 2500 miles, and every 5000 miles after that.
Q: How much free play should my primary chain have?
A: When the bike is cold, 5/8”-7/8” overall on the top strand, with the bike hot, 3/8” -5/8” overall movement. Never adjust the chain on the low side of the spec without doing the following. Put transmission in high gear. Remove the spark plugs. Jack the rear wheel slightly off the ground. Have a drunken buddy, squaw, or circus freak rotate the rear wheel while you observe the rise and fall of the top strand of chain. Inherently, some sprockets have more runout than others so some bikes may have a top strand of chain that rises and falls more dramatically than others. Have your trusty assistant stop rotating the rear wheel when the chain has risen as high as it goes (most taught). This is the point at which the chain free play can be adjusted to the low limit.
Q: Is there a recommended break-in procedure for my new BAKER transmission or clutch?
A: Yes, drive it like you stole it! Seriously, drivetrain components do not require any break in and can be put into service with 100% duty cycle right away. After 5000 miles or so, you should notice a slight increase in shift quality and the clutch performance.
Q: Is transmission neutral rattle normal?
A: You shouldn’t experience any type of rattle in the transmission at a neutral state or in neutral. Neutral rattle is caused by loose gear stack up or lash within the transmission gearset. The loose gear lash causes the gear teeth on the drive / driven gear to smack together on a no load (neutral) state.
Q: Why is transmission fluid coming out of my transmission top cover vent?
A: The transmission vent is located in the top cover of the transmission and allows the transmission to breathe out and in as it is warms up and cools off. A noticeable amount of fluid coming out is usually indicative of a transmission that is over filled. We see it often where someone has inadvertently poured a whole bottle (32 ozs) of fluid in a transmission, see relevant questions in MAINTENANCE. Some wetting around the vent port after a spirited high speed 150 mile run is normal. If you experience this condition, we recommend that you put another tank of gas in your machine and do it again.
Q: My bike upshifts great, but I quite often miss downshifts, what should I check first?
A: The shifter pawl adjustment. From 1980 to 1998 the factory 5-speed transmissions had an eccentric adjustment screw that was set at the factory. The initial adjustment was usually good for the service life of the transmission and rarely did it fall out of adjustment. If you experience solid upshifts with incomplete downshifts or solid downshifts with missed upshifts, it’s usually a sign that the scissor spring on the pawl inside the transmission is close to failure or the jam nut that locks the eccentric screw has loosened. The scissor spring (round cross section) used from 1980-98 was notorious for breaking and the broken piece of spring would quite often grenade the transmission as it worked its way through the gears. Note: BAKER transmissions come standard with the 2000-up style scissor spring with a rectangular cross section with a practical service life way beyond that of the motorcycle.
From 1999-up (ex 1999 Softail), the factory used non adjustable shifter pawls. If you experience shifting problems with a 1999-2006 (ex 2006 Dyna) application as described above, you can retrofit a BAKER (or factory) adjustment screw and locknut and dial in your adjustment. If you have shifting problems with your new Cruise Drive factory 6-speed transmission, you are S.O.L., sorry. Or you can purchase one of our new 7-speeds to correct that problem and other shortcomings of the factory 6-speed.
To adjust the ratchet pawl eccentric adjust screw, put the bike in 3rd gear and pull off the top cover. With the jam nut backed off, turn the eccentric screw to get the pawl centered over the drum pins, torque the jam nut down to 18 ft-lbs with blue thread lock. Double check that after you torqued the jam nut, that your shifter pawl is still centered over the drum pins. To adjust a BAKER eccentric screw without removing the primary housing you will want to customize your 7/32 allen wrench and cut ½” or so off the short leg of the allen wrench so you can sneak that little devil in between the inner primary and the transmission to do the job.
Q: How does BAKER recommend adjusting cable type clutch systems?
A: Collapse the adjustment turnbuckle that is located half way up the length of the cable. Remove the derby cover on the primary to gain access to the clutch. Back the jam nut off of the adjuster screw in the clutch basket and, using an allen wrench, run the adjuster screw all the way in (clockwise) until you feel it bottom out. Back the adjuster screw off (counter clockwise) ½-1 full turns. The closer to 1 full turn, the farther away from the handlebar that your bike will start to move. Tighten the jam nut using blue thread lock and make sure that you hold the screw snug at the same time. Back out (lengthen) the turnbuckle on the clutch cable to achieve 1/16”-1/8” of free play in the cable at the clutch lever as measured by grabbing the clutch cable at the clutch lever perch and pull it away from the perch. The gap between the perch and the seat of the cable is your free play.
Q: How does BAKER recommend adjusting hydraulic type clutch systems?
A: Use this procedure for bikes that were converted from cable type to hydraulic type with aftermarket parts. With the derby cover off, bottom out (turn CW) the clutch adjuster then snug the jam nut. Bleed the side cover at this time if not already bled. With the hydraulic clutch system fully bled, un-snug the jam nut and back the clutch adjuster screw off ½-1 full turn, then tighten the jam nut.
A1: The Screaming Eagle® Hydraulic Clutch does not have any adjustment as is it has a spring located behind the slave cylinder piston to provide the clearances needed for proper function.
Q: With the bike running, it is hard to find neutral and gets worse with a hot engine. With the engine off, finding neutral is no problem. What can I check?
A: This symptom almost always means the clutch or clutch actuator is unhealthy. The function of the clutch is to completely disengage the engine power from the transmission. If it fails to do this, it will be difficult to find neutral and upshifts (and downshifts) will be harsh. The first step is to determine if the clutch or clutch actuator has the cooties.
Be it cable type or hydraulic, the clutch actuator must move the pressure plate of the clutch assembly a minimum of .065” as measured on or near the clutch adjust screw.
Check your clutch adjustment and clutch throw with a dial indicator. You want a minimum of .065” clutch throw for full disengagement, If you are near the minimum for clutch throw, only back off your clutch adjuster ½ turn, or maybe a little less. The less you back it off, the more clutch throw you will get. NEVER BOTTOM OUT THE ADJUSTER AND LEAVE IT THERE WITHOUT BACKING IT OFF. YOU WILL BURN UP THE ADJUSTER SCREW, CENTER ROD AND PUSH ROD ASSEMBLY IN THE SIDE COVER.
The fastest way to assess if you are getting enough clutch throw is to start the bike, with the clutch lever pulled all the way in, and the bike in neutral, shift the bike into first gear, if the bike lurches forward, your clutch is dragging and you are not getting enough throw.
If you have a hydraulic clutch, check that the system if fully bled and not leaking somewhere. After you have verified that the hydraulic clutch system is fully bled, set up a dial indicator on the clutch basket. Verify that you are getting at least .065” clutch throw. With the dial indicator still in place, squeeze the clutch to the handlebar and put a zip tie around it to keep it against the bars. Write down the measurement from your dial indicator and leave it like that for 1 hour. Come back and check to see that you still have the same amount of clutch throw. Any amount of clutch throw less than that indicates a leak in the system. Double check all banjo bolts in the clutch system for tightness, double check that the bleeder screw is tight. Make sure that you are using good quality, new copper, brass or rubber impregnated sealing banjo washers.
If you have still have leaks than you need to check that the piston in the hydraulic side cover is working properly. With the cover removed, and the hydraulic line removed, removed the piston. If you can pull it out the o-rings are not being squished against the bore sides sufficiently, get new o-rings. The piston should need a shot of air in the banjo port to get it out, when working properly. If the insides of the bore are dry or scored, you need to contact that manufacture of the side cover. Scoring is almost always attributed to lack of lube during initial assembly or the piston being oversized. Check with the manufacture of the hand control if you have eliminated all of the components in the clutch system down to it to check it for proper functioning characteristics.
Low effort mechanical ball and ramp sets, are something that we do not manufacture and do not recommend because they cause clutch actuation problems. Through our testing of examples found on the marketplace, as well some prototypes that we have made in the past, we found that the low effort ramp angle found on the inner and outer ball ramp plates, results in too little clutch throw to successfully disengage the clutch. Using a lower effort diaphragm spring or coil springs is a better route to go after. That is not say that it is not without it’s shortcomings as well. Higher horsepower applications are prone to clutch slippage when using lighter springs in the clutch. Using bigger diameter clutch plates, similar to our King Kong Clutch enables high torque handling capacity, low clutch effort for the rider and no sacrifice in clutch throw to result in clutch dragging.
Q: I installed a BAKER speedometer recalibration box on my bike (06-up Dyna, 07-up Softail &∓ Touring) followed all of the directions perfectly about splicing it into the factory wiring harness and my sixth gear light does not work and my cruise doesn’t work right, what the hell?
A: Through our development of the installation procedure and assessment of the function characteristics of the BAKER Recal Boxes on the new Cruise Drive Transmissions equipped bikes, we have learned that due to variations in Dynamometer calibrations, the speedometer & ECM calibration and algorithm settings from the factory, and the Throttle By Wire system that the Speedometer may need to read up to 4 mph faster at 60 mph than a Dyno or GPS unit reads. Cases where the 6th gear light fails to light up or issues are being experienced in achieving proper cruise function, can be attributed to one, or a combination of these factors. Having the speedometer read faster will usually cure both of these issues. If you still experience trouble in getting the recal box to function correctly give our tech line a call and we will get you taken care of. We always do.
Q: From day one my bike has made noise in ‘X’ gear but had not really gotten any worse, what should I do?
A: If it is a stock transmission or a non BAKER aftermarket unit, that is not uncommon, and indicative of the gear tooth profile, loose gear backlash in the gearset, gear tooth finish and a possible nick on one of the teeth. You would be surprised how small of a nick or scratch can make a horrible noise at highway speed. Take it back to where you bought the bike or gearset and have them evaluate the noise for your safety. If they tell you that is a common noise for that transmission, try some Redline Oil or call us for a better replacement transmission. If a noise gets increasingly worse, you need to rip apart the transmission and have it inspected by a professional. Something is failing or in need of adjustment and the bike should be parked until the problem is diagnosed and fixed for your personal safety.
If it is a BAKER gearset, call us (877-640-2004) and we’ll get the problem straightened out for you right away, like we always do.
Q: Installed a F6R Kit and I followed the Installation Instructions word for word, and when I put the whole unit in the bike, and torqued every thing down, the shafts bind and/or don’t want to spin at all. What gives?
A: The culprit as we have found in most every one of these cases has been the Split Securing Rings. They are cool little pieces because you can re-use them over and over, but the can also become dislodged from their designed position and get bound up when you press the gearset into the new bearing door. The last pair on the Countershaft, that hold on the 1C gear are almost always the set to blame. If you are experiencing a binding condition, remove the gearset from the case and double check that you have some freeplay in the 1C gear. If there is no left to right play in the gear, you will need to press the shafts back out of the door and double check all of the securing rings to make sure they are installed correctly. Using a dab of axle grease to hold them in place is good trick that we have found works.
Q: I bought and installed the BAKER F6R in my bike and the Reverse Solenoid wire broke and/ or pulled out of the solenoid. Why?
A: Every case that we have seen this happen, the wires were tugged on or bent over the edge of the solenoid at some point in it’s life. Since the launch of this program (Dec 2007) we have changed the packaging method and added sleeves to protect them. We put the whole Reverse system through extensive testing both in a bike on the road, and in the shop using our testing equipment and found them to be durable for use for many years to come and we fully stand behind their quality and function characteristics. If you experienced any issues, or just had more questions, give our tech dept a call, 877.640.2004.
Q: I keep having problems with my Inner Primary or Main Drive Gear Bearing seal leaking and I have tried a couple of different seals and still have had no luck. What can I do short of ripping the whole bike apart and buying a new case or inner primary?
A: We have all been there, times when you have a leaking seal and can’t get it stop. You are convinced that you put it in correctly and did not force it, or bend it and it felt like the right amount ‘press’ since this isn’t your first rodeo. Well there are 4 possible culprits, oversized seal bore, (possible) bad luck in getting 2 or more seals that were undersize, (possible but rare), too much fluid (very common) or a primary or trans that is not venting properly and building pressure in what is normally a low pressure environment. (this happens, looked for vent hoses kinked or pinched off somewhere. We have even seen silicon or other matter in vent holes for whatever reason. One fix that anyone can do to keep their bike on the road if the leak is somewhat small. It to get some RTV sealant or try to find a marine or aviation grade liquid sealant and put it around the entire diameter of the seal, first making sure it is completely oil free with lacquer thinner or brake clean. (DON’T get either of these cleaning chemicals on your paint, bad things will happen) The press it into place and evenly wipe all the excess around the outside of the seal.
Q: The inner race on my transmission’s mainshaft walked inboard and is in contact with the main drive gear. It is so far in that I can not get the tool behind it to pull it off. Short of cutting it off, what I can I do?
A: First off, you don’t need to cut it off and we don’t recommend you trying. The trick is too loosen the jam nut on the mainshaft on the other side of the bike and gently tap the mainshaft with a dead-blow or brass hammer the 1/8” or so. You only need to get the ‘U’ shaped removal tool from and Inner Race Service Tool behind the race. Anymore than that and you risk damaging gear tooth in the transmission, bending shift forks, etc. You get the idea.
Q: I tightened the nut on the compensating sprocket to the 150 ft-lbs that both my Factory Service Manual and the instructions that you provided me stated, and it keeps coming loose. Why is that and how do I make it stop so that I can keep riding all year?
A: This is not that uncommon in big inch bikes or bikes that get ridden hard. The vibration just backs that nut right off. We have had it happen to us, and as a guy stuck somewhere or in a garage trying to get it fixed, here is what we have tried. Clean both the nut and output shaft threads the best that you can with Brake Cleaner or lacquer thinner and then once they are dry apply some ‘red’ thread lock. Using a ½” impact, just get after it, once the nut has tightened up, give 2 or 3 more 2 second blasts with the impact gun. Don’t use bigger than a ½” drive gun or you are asking for more problems in the future.
General Drivetrain Questions
Q: Is there an advantage to using the eccentric screw over a straight pin style for my shifter pawl?
A: Yes, the eccentric screw offers two advantages over the straight pin style. First is .010 – .020 more in shifter pawl throw when adjusted correctly. More throw means less mis-shifts. Second is the ability to adjust your shifter pawl. As parts wear in your transmission often times you can use slight adjustments in your shifter pawl to increase shift quality. When using the straight pin style there is no adjustment.
Q: My bike’s stock transmission is loud, what fluid could I use to help quiet the gear noise? How much of a difference will it make?
A: Use some Redline Heavy Shock Proof Oil (75W250). It will make a difference until the bike gets really hot, say 90 degree day, running hard at high speeds, then it will thin out and have less of a noise suppression effect. It does make a difference but is not a cure, more of a band aid.
Q: I here some people talk about straight gears here and helical gear there, for strength vs noise and I don’t know what the hell I need?
A: To keep it simple, as a general rule helical gears are quieter since they have more surface area in contact at any one time but straight cut gears are stronger as the torque is being transferred straight on and across the full width of the gear tooth. We will generally use straight cut gears in high torque gears (1-3) and helical gears for the cruising, low torque application gears (4-7). If you want to get more in depth about this, to the point that you will need a Valium™ and have to sit down and ponder existentialism, give us a call or stop by our booth at one of the major rallies. Gear design gets very complicated very fast, trust us, we do this every day.
BAKER DRIVETRAIN PRODUCT Questions
Q: What is the difference between an OD6 (Overdrive 6 Speed) and DD6 (Drive 6 Speed)?
A: There are a lot of differences which are discussed in detail on the OD6 and DD6 pages of our website. The OD6 is based on the original designs from 10 years ago that started this company. The DD6 is an evolution of the design in every aspect. To touch on the major points the main difference is that with the DD6 you are running 6th gear in the transmission at a 1:1 ratio versus the OD6 which runs at 0.86:1. That means that when in 6th gear with the OD6 you are turning 2 sets of gears in the transmission, resulting in more noise and parasitic power loss. The 1:1 to ratio of the DD6 cures this by having to only rely on one gear pair turning in 6th. We overdrive the primary drive with the provided compensating sprocket, primary chain and adjuster shoe. The gears (1-5) are shifted 14% so that you as the rider won’t feel a difference.
Q: Is the DD6 really a true overdrive?
A: Yes, the 6th gear is 0.86:1 when calculated with the overdriven primary.
Q: Why do you recommend the DD6 for TC88 bikes over an OD6?
A: The inherent nature of the heavier weight crank assembly in the TC88 motors vs. the EVOs causes amplified noise characteristics through the entire drivetrain. The heavier rotating mass causes resonance that is transmitted into the primary, (which acts as echo chamber) and into the transmission. The fact that by design the DD6 slows down the primary by 14% helps to minimize the amount of transmitted noise, as well combined with the helical nature of the gear teeth in gears 4-6 helps to further reduce the drivetrain noise inherent with the TC88 motorcycles. Overall the DD6 is a quieter more refined transmission, being that it is the next generation from the OD6 design it should be. We recommend this for all EVO and TC88 bikes. People that ride a Softail or Dyna may not notice as much of a noise difference if they were riding and FL with a fairing. Even on a loud piped Harley at highway speed, the fairing acts a noise reflector for the entire drivetrain, bikes with hard lower fairings will notice even more noise reflection still.
Q: How much power is the DD6 Rated for?
A: We say 125 ft-lbs of continuous use. Don’t let that number scare you, not many bikes out there run that as a peak number, let alone all the time. If you have a ‘hot’ motor, and don’t mind a little bit more gear noise, go with an OD6. We have many customers that run hopped up 124” motors with a DD6 without issue.
Q: How much power is the OD6 Rated for?
A: 165 ft/lbs of continuous use.
Q: What makes your gears so much better than everyone else?
A: All of our gears have diamond ground tooth profiles. (The tooth grinding machine is over 1 million dollars by itself) Back in the day we played around with gear tooth profiles that were ‘hobbed’ and just couldn’t get the level of noise reduction that we were after. Gears are given ratings (AGMA Scale is 1-15, 15 is a ‘master gear’) that are a combination of all the measureable attributes, kind of like a woman. She could be cute in the face but thick in the waist, overall she is still an 8 but you like a smaller posterior, so she is not the right one for you. We feel the same way about gear tooth surface finish. It is a science unto itself to design gears that have the most amount of mesh possible, with the lowest amount of residual noise. Lowest rotating mass possible for quiet smooth shifting, but are still strong in all the right places.
Another key factor is that since all of our parts are Made In The USA it enables us to have a better control of the materials used. We use only high grade, tested and documented 8620 gear grade steel. Using high grades of steel where all of the trace elements in the alloy are known enables the heat treating and subsequent gear durability and wear characteristics to be more precisely predicted. Our Meth-Head counterparts in China and Korea that knock off our designs from 10 years ago use crap steel, what do you know, they have crappy uneven heat treating and are much more prone to grenade in the gear box when you are going 80mph in traffic.
Q: How do you fit 7 gears in the stock transmission with the BAKER DD7? Do you use narrow gears?
A: The DD7 is designed to directly slip into the new, Cruise Drive (06-09 Dyna, 07-09 Touring & Softail) transmission cases using full width gears. We are able to do this as the new HD™ 6 Speed uses a Mainshaft that has gears 1-4 machined into it. To enable the manufacturing process that shapes the gear tooth profiles on the stock mainshaft, there are large spaces between those gears. With our design using a mainshaft that only has 1st gear machined out it. We then slid all of the gears closer together enabling us to use 7, full width gears in the same volume as a stock gearset, using a stock thickness billet bearing door.
Q: Do you guys make a 5 speed kit that I could put in my old 4 speed case?
A: No we don’t and here is why, adding that one more gear will help you to be able to tightened up the gears and have less rpm drops between shifts, but you would still only have a 1:1 final drive ratio. Keeping gears 1-4 stock and adding a .86:1 5th gear was not something we felt would deliver the kind of riding experience that we believe the marketplace wants.
Q: Why don’t you guys make a RSD 6 Speed builder’s kit? You make a RSD 5 Speed builder’s kit.
A: The manner required to properly assembly the RSD6 transmission requires some specialized tooling and training that can not be really conveyed through a set instructions. Due to manufacturing tolerances and the tight packaging of the gearset, there are many different measurements that must be taken during assembly to ensure a properly functioning, (i.e. safe to our customers) end product. Back at the beginning of the RSD project we tried to sell RSD6 builder’s kit and it just didn’t work out for anyone’s benefit. Having our staff of qualified, trained and diligent guys build your transmission is the best way to guarantee you get the jewel of engineering mastery that you shelled a stack of greenbacks for.
Q: How much wider is the 6-in-a-4 transmission than my stock 4 speed?
A: 1-5/8” wider and that is all in the bearing door. The side covers we install on those transmissions are the same width as stock. We need that added width to house the extra 2 gear pairs.
Q: Why does it say on the BAKER website and in the catalog that the BAKER Firestarter won’t fit my TC88 Softail or any FL model from 93-06?
A: The BAKER Firestarter packs quite a punch, such that we couldn’t∓To keep it simple, as a general rule helical gears are quieter since they have more surface area in contact at any one time but straight cut gears are stronger as the torque is being transferred straight on and across the full width of the gear tooth. We will generally use straight cut gears in high torque gears (1-3) and helical gears for the cruising, low torque application gears (4-7). If you want to get more in depth about this, to the point that you will need a Valium™ and have to sit down and ponder existentialism, give us a call or stop by our booth at one of the major rallies. Gear design gets very complicated very fast, trust us, we do this every day.
/strong stuff all that power into the same size housing as every other HD™ or aftermarket starter out there. The Firestarter has a bigger diameter body and is longer too.
FL Models won’t work because it hits the frame when you are trying slide it into place. More specifically the Field Coil Housing of the starter hits the frame to the left of the transmission by the swingarm pivot if you are looking at the bike from the right side. Furthermore, we have had customers that were doing a complete bike makeover and had their FL model stripped down to the ba/p pQ: Why do you recommend the DD6 for TC88 bikes over an OD6? re frame and are not afraid of grinding on their st/p/p/p /strongock frame (for the record, we DO NOT recommend this) to get their Firestarter to fit. To their dismay, once they were able to get the Firestarter to
fit, they were no longer able to check their Engine Oil with the dipstick. The Firestarter is so much longer that the stock unit such that it hangs over the top of the dipstick making it inaccessible. Even our sleeker, more compact FF FL Oil Spout will not solve this problem.
TC88 Softail Models are not compatible with the BAKER Firestarter due to the Factory Oil Tank design. The right side of the oil has hard steel tubing welding to it for the oil feed line to slip over. That hangs down right in the way of where the Firestarters Field Coil Housing needs to
lie when bolted in place. It is not a question of swapping out oil line fittings or making different hoses. Without grinding and some hefty metal working it just won’t fit, and we don’t recommend grinding on your oil tank to try and get it to fit.
Q: Why won’t the BAKER 300 Wide Tire Kit fit my 1990 EVO Softail?
A: The transmission will fit, but the problem lies with the frame structure around the shocks where the swingarm bolts up. It is different from 1991-2006 Softail frames for which we designed the BAKER swingarm to fit. It would require some extensive fabrication to make it work, and in turn having to paint your frame. Not a path that is recommended by us.
Q: Does BAKER sell transmission cases or bearing doors by themselves?
A: No. We don’t want the public (our customers) to be tricked in to buying a bike with a BAKER in it, or buying a BAKER at a swap or on the internet when in fact all that happened is somewhat stuff worn out stock or Korean parts in a BAKER case. We stand by our warranty and take pride in our high level of customer service, so we of course will replace cases or doors in cases of warranty.
Q: Do you make extended length mainshafts for offsetting the drivetrain to run a fat rear tire?
A: Yes, we make one model, the DD6 can come equipped with a 12mm longer mainshaft with matching, extended length main drive gear. This is the only type of gearset that we make extended mainshafts for and it was a result of strong demand from an aftermarket bike manufacture. We do not make or generally endorse extended mainshafts as they are a poor design/solution from a strength and durability approach, as well as bike rideability. The added length of the only adds to the load being put on the mainshaft. We developed RSD (Right Side Drive) in 2003 as a counter to the extended mainshaft movement because we believe that it is the right approach from an engineering and design viewpoint. Motorcycles have been designed from day one with the drivetrain, and in turn, the centerline of mass, in line with the centerline of the bike. Why would you want to change that?
Q: What comes with a DD6 Builders Kit and why is that better than spending the extra money to have you guys build the whole transmission for me? What is required to do the job? How long does it take?
A: What you get is a completely assembled, ready to slide in gearset. An all billet, chrome plated bearing door is standard issue. An all new shift system as well as new main drive gear roller bearing and seal. New gaskets too. Basically all of the guts of the transmission expect the top cover and case. We spent a lot of time making sure our unit is a direct drop-in affair with the stock case. There is that 0.1% of the time, that due to the anomalies of sand casting that you have to clearance the case little. It very rarely happens though. (Check out the DD6 page on our website for the in depth details of the provided components)
First off, it does save you money, at least $700 on the cost of the Builder’s kit vs a complete unit. Secondly on all TC88 transmissions, we will be selling you back the same case you already have in your bike. All of the new style transmission cases have so many patents on them that we have to buy directly from Milwaukee rather than make our own, like the EVO Softail Style. Lastly it is actually an easier job to swap the gearset than pull the whole case. You have to remove the swingarm pivot shaft and support the motor to swap the case. To put it bluntly, it sucks to do. That being said we do sell a fair amount of complete units for people that need to replace their case because it may have one or more defects, or people that are looking to get a fully polished trans case, custom case finish, etc.
The short version of what it takes to install a BAKER Builder’s kit. Pull the battery, exhaust, bags, primary assembly, oil tank (Softails) and the old gearset. Swap out the old main drive gear bearing and gear for the new BAKER provided parts. Swap out stock shifter pawl. Slide in the new BAKER gearset. Install the forks, fork rods, drum and adjust the shift system. Tighten down all of the bolts and start re-assembling the bike. If you have a 1994 or later bike with a electronic speedometer, you will need to install a ReCal Box as well. Total time required or at least what a dealer with usually bill is 5-8 hours. Some people can do it in a lot shorter time, but it all depends on experience doing the install, the amount of groovy tools you have and the style of bike. If you have a fully decked out Ultra with every chrome cover installed on it, you are going to be at it for a while.
(Check out the DD6 instructions to get a better idea of the specialty tools that are required to do the job) It is not that bad of a job, but it requires, patience and a critical attention to detail the entire time.