- Torque on Drive-Sprocket nut: 83 ft lbs
- Torque on Rear Axle nut: 47 ft lbs
- Tension/Slack in chain: .6 - 1.0 inch at midway point between sprockets
1. Do not use jack - leave bike parked on flat surface using side-stand.
2. Put bike in neutral.
3. Remove the swingarm cover and sprocket cover to reveal the drive sprocket.
4. User pliers to remove the cotter pin from rear axle nut.
5. Loosen (do not remove) the rear axle nut.
6. Back out the chain adjusters on both sides of axle.
Most of the extra play in the stock chain will be taken up with the larger sprocket. "Wiggle" (a technical term) the rear wheel up towards the front of the bike to give yourself plenty of slack in the chain.
7. The washer behind the drive sprocket nut is bent over one of the sides of the nut. This needs to be completely bent back so that the nut can turn. If its not perfectly flat, it will be tough to loosen the drive sprocket nut. I used a wide flat screwdriver.
8. Loosen and remove the sprocket nut and washers. Its tight and you'll need lots of leverage (breaker bar). I sat on the bike and pressed HARD on the rear break to keep bike and wheel from moving while lifting with my left hand the wrench and bar.
9. With the chain still around the sprocket, pull the sprocket straight off the shaft. Don't try and take the chain off while the sprocket is still on the drive shaft.
10. Replace the old sprocket with the new one and slide it back on the shaft. You may need to rotate the shaft a bit to get the sprocket to slide on. Good thing the bike is in Neutral!
11. Replace the washers and nuts on the sprocket and torque the nut to 83ft lbs. Again, you should sit on the bike and apply the rear brake.
12. Bend the washer back down over a side on the nut..
13. Tighten the chain adjusters EQUALLY on both sides of the rear axle. The chain should have .6 to 1.0 inches of play at the center of the chain (between the front and rear sprockets). Use the reference marks on the adjusters to be sure that they are tightened EXACTLY THE SAME AMOUNT. This will ensure that the rear wheel is properly aligned. Otherwise, the chain *could* come off!! You'll probably have to play with the adjusters a bit to get the rear wheel aligned while maintaining the correct amount of slack in the chain. When you're satisfied with the chain tension, tighten the lock nuts on the adjusters.
14. Torque the the rear axle nut to 47 ft lbs and replace the cotter pin.
15. Replace the swingarm cover and sprocket cover.
16. Enjoy cruising the highways at a more comfortable RPM!
It takes work, but you *can* get a 17 tooth sprocket on ALL 800 Marauders, even a 98.
The trick is to have that back tire absolutely as far forward as it will go and to have the swingarm in the position that provides the most slack. Best bet is to put the bike on a stand (like the Burrito Stand) and then, if needed, jack up the rear tire to compress the shocks slightly. You might need to use a screwdriver or similar tool levered through the sprocket hole against a bolthead in the sprocket area to get enough pull to get the sprocket into place. Once in place, there will be enough slack to readjust the wheel back into position. A rubber mallet or a swift kick (have someone hold the bike!) will help get the rear tire far enough forward. Remember to fully loosen the chain adjuster bolts, too!
Another option is to follow the rear wheel removal instructions in the manual, and pull the wheel sprocket from the cush drive. Then, you have all the slack you'll ever need. Install the front sprocket and re-install the rear wheel. I've had my rear wheel off the bike twice since installing the 17 tooth. No problem.
Jim Gammon, MIG 229 put a 17 on his 98. I have one on my 99, and there are a large number of others that have done it as well. don't say it can't be done.