Modifying Station Friction Drive To Chain Drive



Yesterday, I converted my Staton rear friction drive to chain gear drive on "Mr. Hyde", my twin-engined cruiser. Then I mounted that friction drive and a pocketbike engine onto "Girlie", my coaster-bike cruiser.

I had always wanted to use Staton chain drive on "Girlie" but was unaware if Staton's freewheel sprocket and hub would even mount on the cruiser's narrow dropout. I didn't want to buy the extra HD hub and 16Tsprocket anyway.

So I'm staring at the friction roller from the back of the bike. The rear wheel is an old chrome Spookytooth with 12g spokes and a 36T sprocket. It is a reminder of an unsuccessful attempt to mount a Happy Time engine on a girl's bike.

Peering intently for a long time under the friction drive assembly, the idea crawled out and bit me in the face...

Staton friction drive conversion to chain drive!:eek:

If I remove the engine and friction roller, a jackshaft can be created by sliding a 3/4" shaft and a 10T sprocket in its place under the housing. This sprocket lines up and chains to the 36T wheel sprocket. The shaft then extends less than 1" out the right side of the aluminum housing and supports another 10T sprocket. This cog is chained to the third 10T sprocket mounted onto the 5:1 gearbox, which is bolted onto your engine of choice. The Staton aluminum housing is drilled and slotted to mount your engine. Spacers under the engine adjusts the gearbox's chain tension, the Staton support rods adjusts the 36T's chain tension and the Staton front mounting bracket aligns the jackshaft's sprocket with the 36T cog.

The entire conversion might cost $100, as compared to maybe $500+ for
the Staton drive, HD hub and sprocket. It'd be cheaper and lighter with Staton quality components and engineering(mostly).

What do you guys think?
Cost difference?

Actually Staton chain drive without engine is $469 plus $148 for HD hub and 16T sprocket plus $100 shipping(for me)=$717 plus some labor...

versus $125.60 for one jackshaft, 36T sprocket+hardware, three 10T sprockets, two locking collars, 5:1 gear box, two lengths of chain, engine plate + shipping plus some labor if machine shop drills and slots the plate.

seems well worth the conversion. You can also change back to friction drive by reinstalling the friction roller.
Last edited by a moderator:
Sorry, I'm not getting it....and I want to 'cause I've pondered if something like this would be possible....reuse some basic components, etc.

You lost me there though after the jackshaft.

Also, the 5:1 gearbox? Is that a Staton item? I've seen his 3.11:1 small gearbox but that alone is $129.
Happy, the 5:1 gearbox is available from for $34.95 in his Titan chain drive kit. The box reverses engine rotation, which is why the engine must face the bike's right side. In his kit, Dax combines it with jackshaft and 10T/44T(4.4:1) for a 22:1 gear ratio.

When the engine and friction roller are removed from the Staton friction drive assembly, the original bearings and aluminum housing provide very strong support for the new jackshaft. The shaft is inserted into the housing from either end.Then the 10T sprocket aligns with the 36T below, locks in and the shaft slips through the other end of the housing. The shaft has a 1" stub where it exits the right side of the aluminum housing. Another 10T sprocket locks onto this stub. Above this sprocket is the 10T cog which is mounted onto the 5:1 gearbox. This box mates to your engine of choice. The top of the Staton aluminum housing might be too narrow to mount your engine. If so, a simple plate is sandwiched between the housing and engine. Tension between gearbox and jackshaft is adjusted by spacers under the engine. Chain tension between the 36T sprocket and the jackshaft sprocket is adjusted by the Staton rear support rods. Gearbox sprocket alignment is adjusted by the engine plate's slotted holes.

It seems to me that this would provide a very strong, cheap and light chain drive alternative for riders who originally bought friction drive.
Last edited by a moderator:
Yes Happy, it's the same gearbox on the Titan engine. Some engines might not bolt on and need a spacer fabricated to fit. My Polini 40cc engine bottomed out the gearbox and didn't fit but my 47cc Chinese pocketbike engine bolted onto the box.

All this is just an idea floating in my head, but it seems do-able.

And the engine is almost centered atop the aluminum housing.
Last edited by a moderator: