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Discussion Starter #1
Should I pay Harley $90 to tell me it’s the compensator and then pay $110 per hour for them to fix it or am I overthinking this?

My 2010 ‘Glide is making a knocking/holysh$t noise when the motor runs that sounds like it’s coming from a cylinder but likely is coming from the primary. It sounds almost exactly like this (but amplified since the primary cover is still on) https://youtu.be/jCrYmFbLKQs

The bike recently started backfiring on start and exhibiting compensator symptoms.

I am mechanically inclined. But I’m not familiar with my bike’s innards so wouldn’t know if other parts were worn by looking at them.
 

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Do it yourself. Once the outer primary is off,put bike in neutral and try to move clutch basket. Watch compensator sprocket,if it moves back and forth it's bad. Not a hard job to replace. I went with Vulcan engineering sprocket,no comp to wear out. Been on bike for 70k.
 

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What FDR and Phantom said.
Since You’re mechanically inclined it’s not a difficult job at all.
I also installed the Vulcan Engineering Solid Sprocket and am very happy with it.
No more clunking noise and neutral is much easier to find.
Mike U.


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Discussion Starter #5
My concern isn’t the doing so much as the diagnosing. I don’t know what wear looks like on a Harley because it’s my first Harley. Think I’m going to pay Harley to diagnose it and take it from there.
 

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Not telling you to spend money at the dealership. If you're mechanically inclined, you can do the work yourself and save some money. However, I will tell you that if you go with the upgraded Screamin Eagle compensator kit, there are a couple things you need to know. The inner primary will have to come off because the kit comes with an upgraded rotor, you will need the 2 part epoxy to hold the new drip tray in place inside the outer primary cover and you will need a T70 torx bit to tighten the new compensator bolt down. Just a heads up so you don't get your bike partially torn down and then find these things out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Not telling you to spend money at the dealership. If you're mechanically inclined, you can do the work yourself and save some money. However, I will tell you that if you go with the upgraded Screamin Eagle compensator kit, there are a couple things you need to know. The inner primary will have to come off because the kit comes with an upgraded rotor, you will need the 2 part epoxy to hold the new drip tray in place inside the outer primary cover and you will need a T70 torx bit to tighten the new compensator bolt down. Just a heads up so you don't get your bike partially torn down and then find these things out.
Great info. Thanks, man.
 

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Yes it's ok to overthikit, most mechanic' knowing or not know " thought is action in reshersal", set your time and make time, doesn't have to be all at once, hell it's gonna rain for the 3 months, that and your paying yourself for setting on your butt. Its like free beer.
I havn t done one though at least would take it apart to see and work forward from there` if you have a cozy place to do it.
 

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Should I pay Harley $90 to tell me it’s the compensator and then pay $110 per hour for them to fix it or am I overthinking this?

My 2010 ‘Glide is making a knocking/holysh$t noise when the motor runs that sounds like it’s coming from a cylinder but likely is coming from the primary. It sounds almost exactly like this (but amplified since the primary cover is still on) https://youtu.be/jCrYmFbLKQs

The bike recently started backfiring on start and exhibiting compensator symptoms.

I am mechanically inclined. But I’m not familiar with my bike’s innards so wouldn’t know if other parts were worn by looking at them.

Its not a real hard job, but you will need a few things. You'll need a strut to lock the sprockets so you can run the bolt and nut off. You can make it of buy one off ebay cheap enough. 6 inches end to end. A torque wrench that goes to 165 pounds ft. You'll also need a large torx bit for the SE bolt and a thread chaser to clean the crank threads. Amazon is your friend on those, 9/16x12 and T-70 IIRC. And you should get a service manual. You'll be pulling the inner primary, so lots of bolts to torque and so on.

There is also an adhisive kit required to attach the oil deflector. You can buy the whole kit from the MoCo or get some off of Amazon. 3M and Loctite both make their own versions of it.

Even if you decide not to do it, it would be less expensive if you took it to an Indy shop.
 

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Not telling you to spend money at the dealership. If you're mechanically inclined, you can do the work yourself and save some money. However, I will tell you that if you go with the upgraded Screamin Eagle compensator kit, there are a couple things you need to know. The inner primary will have to come off because the kit comes with an upgraded rotor, you will need the 2 part epoxy to hold the new drip tray in place inside the outer primary cover and you will need a T70 torx bit to tighten the new compensator bolt down. Just a heads up so you don't get your bike partially torn down and then find these things out.
The inner primary doesn't necessarily have to be removed. There is a trick to getting the stator rotor off without removing the inner. The only reason the inner has to be removed is because theres a lip at roughly the 6 o'clock up to the 12 o'clock position of the gasket surface. That lip can be removed carefully with a dremel tool or die grinder without compromising the actual gasket surface. Once that's ground down the rotor WILL come off without removing the inner which will save time and money. I've replaced the comp on my stock 96" 4 freakin times without removing the inner
 

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I didn't have to pull the inner on my 10 either. It took a bit of wiggling to get the rotor out around the crank, but it came out (and went back in) just fine.


*Shrug* ...Might of just got lucky.
 

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The inner primary doesn't necessarily have to be removed. There is a trick to getting the stator rotor off without removing the inner. The only reason the inner has to be removed is because theres a lip at roughly the 6 o'clock up to the 12 o'clock position of the gasket surface. That lip can be removed carefully with a dremel tool or die grinder without compromising the actual gasket surface. Once that's ground down the rotor WILL come off without removing the inner which will save time and money. I've replaced the comp on my stock 96" 4 freakin times without removing the inner
You do know that it only takes about 5 min to pull the inner? And onec replaced with the new unit, you don't need to pull it again if the SE comp fails. Just buy buy the replacment that fits the 11.

Also when its pulled, you get a look at the primary bearing race, which is a good thing, since about a quarter of them are in need of replacment.
 

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You do know that it only takes about 5 min to pull the inner? And onec replaced with the new unit, you don't need to pull it again if the SE comp fails. Just buy buy the replacment that fits the 11.

Also when its pulled, you get a look at the primary bearing race, which is a good thing, since about a quarter of them are in need of replacment.
Yup and that 5 mins will cost you roughly another $50+ because the inner primary bolts are recommended to be replaced at roughly $5 to $8 each plus the necessary gaskets. If you're hearing the bearing making noise then yeah take it off and check it but the grinding trick only takes about 5 minutes as well. That is if you know what you're doing
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
My bike is now fixed so I’m closing the loop on this.

I took it to Harley for a professional diagnosis. The compensator, chain and chain tensioner were fine. Issue was a fin/oil slinger glued to the inside of the outer primary as part of a previous compensator upgrade came loose.

Rather than have a new fin glued in I purchased a new outer cover that has a fin cast in to it. Should ‘never’ have to think about it again, according to Harley.

Turns out that ultimatley the work was something I could have done myself. But I would have replaced things not needing replaced because of my lack of experience with the insides of a Harley. After researching online and watching YouTube I was convinced it was the compensator. I was wrong.
 

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Thank you for the update!!! I hate it when a problem goes unsolved. We all need the help.

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Sometimes having the MoCo dealer figure it out is worth the piece of mind. Glad you got it resolved, nothing worse than a lingering issue on your ride!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you for the update!!! I hate it when a problem goes unsolved. We all need the help.

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It’s frustrating - to me - when people start threads and then never come back to them. Folks put some good info in here.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Sometimes having the MoCo dealer figure it out is worth the piece of mind. Glad you got it resolved, nothing worse than a lingering issue on your ride!
I’m very happy I went the dealer route this time.

The service manager at Destination Harley spent time explaining everything and even showed me a bad compensator so I would have something to compare mine to if I wanted to do my own work. And they trailered my bike to the shop - at no charge - when I decided to have them “DNA” the bike (diagnose and advise).

Paying someone to ultimately just swap out a primary cover hurt my pride - and definitely my wallet. But I spent much less than I would have if I went solo. I would have replaced just about everything but the cover because of my lack of familiarity with the insides of a Harley.
 
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