How to Install a Stator on a Harley Davidson Soft Tailby Chris Gilliland
The stator is an integral part of your Harley-Davidson Softail motorcycle's charging system, generating an electrical field that is manipulated by a rotating magnetic flywheel to generate an alternating electrical current. A short circuit or a sudden spike in electrical current caused by a failed voltage regulator can damage the tightly wound copper coils that surround the stator, reducing its ability to power the charging system.To replace the stator, the Softail's primary drive system must be partially disassembled, using a variety of specialized tools. Additionally, the voltage regulator should be replaced at the same time to avoid future problems.
Mount the motorcycle on a service stand to hold it in a vertical position. Allow the engine and primary chaincase to cool completely.
Remove the seat from the motorcycle, using a flat-head screwdriver or by removing the thumb screw by hand. Disconnect the battery cable from the battery's negative terminal, using a Phillips screwdriver.
Unscrew the primary chaincase drain screw -- under the round derby cover -- using a Torx socket and a socket wrench. Drain the primary fluid into a catch pan, then screw the primary drain screw back into place. Tighten the drain screw to 18 foot-pounds, using a torque wrench.
Unbolt the left front floorboard or foot rest bracket, the left passenger foot rest and the side stand, using a socket wrench. Remove the outer primary chaincase cover, using an Allen wrench.
Insert a primary drive locking tool between the upper portion of the primary chain and the compensator, located on the engine output shaft in the primary chaincase. Loosen the compensator nut, using a socket and a breaker bar. Unscrew the nut by hand and remove the compensator. Remove the primary drive locking tool.
Remove the primary chain tensioner, using a socket wrench. Pull the compensator sprocket and shim off the engine output shaft. Remove the stator flywheel from the engine output shaft, using a stator flywheel removal tool.
Unscrew all four bolts from the stator's inner steel ring, using a Torx socket and a socket wrench. Remove the wiring retaining plate, located behind the left side of the stator, using a Phillips screwdriver. Disconnect the stator connector from the wiring harness, located between the front of the engine and the primary chaincase housing, then push the connector through the primary chaincase's rubber grommet. Pull the stator off the engine output shaft and out of the primary chaincase.
Unbolt the voltage regulator from the front of the engine, using a socket wrench. Pull the ground wire terminal off the threaded mounting post on the right side of the voltage regulator. Unplug the voltage regulator from the motorcycle's wiring harness, then pull the voltage regulator away.
Mount a new voltage regulator onto the engine, then place the ground wire terminal over the right mounting post. Screw the mounting nuts into place and tighten them to 100 inch-pounds. Plug the voltage regulator into the wiring harness.
Coat the new stator's electrical connector with Harley-Davidson primary chaincase fluid, then push the connector through the rubber grommet to the front of the engine. Plug the connector into the wiring harness. Mount the stator onto the engine output shaft. Coat four new stator mounting bolts with medium-strength threadlocking compound, then screw the bolts into place with a Torx driver. Tighten the bolts to 40 inch-pounds. Reinstall the wiring retaining plate.
Slip the stator flywheel over the engine output shaft, followed by the compensator sprocket shim. Place the compensator sprocket into the primary chain, then slip the sprocket, followed by the compensator, into place over the stator flywheel. Screw the compensator nut into place by hand, then tighten the nut to 150 foot-pounds.
Reinstall the primary chain tensioner and tighten the tensioner nut to 25 foot-pounds. Reinstall the primary chaincase cover and gasket. Loosely screw the cover bolts into place. Tighten the bolts to 120 inch-pounds, alternating between bolts in a crisscross pattern.
Remove the derby cover from the primary chaincase cover, using a Torx driver. Fill the primary chaincase with one quart of Harley-Davidson primary chaincase fluid. Reinstall the derby cover and loosely screw the Derby cover bolts into place. Tighten the bolts to 6 foot-pounds, alternating between bolts in a crisscross pattern.
Reinstall the front and passenger foot rests or floor boards, as well as the side stand. Tighten the foot rest and side stand bolts to 42 foot-pounds.
Reconnect the battery cable to the negative battery terminal. Reinstall the seat, then lower the motorcycle onto its side stand.
- 1998 Harley-Davidson Service Manual: Softail Models; Harley-Davidson Motor Company
- A damaged stator will give the primary fluid a smoky, burnt odor.
Things You'll Need
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Phillips screwdriver
- Torx driver set
- Catch pan
- Torque wrench
- Socket wrench and sockets
- Allen wrench set
- Primary drive locking tool
- Breaker bar
- Stator flywheel removal tool.
- Voltage regulator
- One quart Harley-Davidson primary chaincase fluid
- Four stator bolts
- Medium-strength threadlocking compound
- Store the old primary fluid in a sealed container, away from the reach of children or animals, until it can be taken to a Harley-Davidson repair center for disposal.
An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.