Compensator Troubles

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by quiticokid, Jun 7, 2015.

  1. quiticokid

    quiticokid Member

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    At a tire change at a Harley dealership my friend was told that the compensator on his 2012 Ultra was loose and that he probably needed a new one. Exactly where is the compensator, what does it do, and how big of a job is it to change?
     
  2. atm33

    atm33 Active Member

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    Compensator is a gear with a built-in shock absorber between the drive shaft and the clutch. If you take off the primary cover, it is the gear assembly on the left that the chain wraps around (the clutch assembly is on the right). To remove, take off the primary cover, unscrew the compensator bolt (high torque), remove compensator assembly, and put everything back together. Not too difficult but a little time consuming and the bolt requires something like 170ftlbs of torque and some loctite. Baker just came out with a compensator assembly that is supposed to have a better oiling mechanism so that it doesn't wear out prematurely. It's too new to say whether or not this is true, but there are a lot of issues with the HD compensator. There is also an aftermarket compensator oiler than you can buy if you stick with the OEM comp which apparently has had some success. Good luck.
     
  3. atm33

    atm33 Active Member

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    Here is a picture of the open primary. On the left you see the compensator. This one is for a 2008, but I believe it is nearly the same for the 2012 (just a different rotor behind the comp). I think HD went with the Screamin Eagle compensator in 2014. Which brings me to the next thing. If you are replacing the comp, you will either want to use the Screamin Eagle comp or the Baker comp. I'm not even sure HD sells the stock comp assembly anymore. That being said, the SE comp requires you to glue a couple pieces of plastic to the inside of the primary cover that act as oil diverters to help keep the SE comp from wearing prematurely. There are great write-ups with pictures on how to do this on another forum. Or, cough up the couple hundred labor bucks and let a mechanic do it while you drink a cold beer. Online, the SE comp is around $240 and the adhesive kit is around $40. You will also need a T70 torx bit for the SE compensator bolt. The Baker comp is around $400. Lastly, a third option is to use a fixed gear instead of a compensator. The up-side to this is simplicity and no worries about getting sufficient oil to your compensator componenents. The down-side is you no longer have a shock absorber protecting your drive shaft. Sorry if this is more info than you wanted...
     

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  4. quiticokid

    quiticokid Member

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    Thank you
     
  5. quiticokid

    quiticokid Member

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    no this is not more than I want to here, it will be up to my buddy what he wants to do and I think he will settle for the cold beer. I appreciate the thorough explanation. You sometime wonder if your dealer is pulling a fast one or what. sorry but I have a hard time now days trusting doctors mechanics and what ever. Thanks again
     
  6. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Sometimes the comp nut (left handed thread ) will loosen and not hold it's torque. The nut is to thick and should have some shaved off. I'd suggest your friend remove the nut, shave some off or better yet buy a new one and re-torque. That may very well fix his issue.
     
  7. tourbox

    tourbox Senior Member

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    Jeff. the Comp. Nut is Right handed threads, unless it changed in later years. The Clutch hub nut is Left Handed.
    tourbox
     
  8. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    A very common problem as the '07 OEM compensator was not well engineered and many have had issues and/or failed; they are completely different hardware from the early compensators. The issue with the '07 compensators was lack of lubrication and there were many failures in the first 5K to 8K miles on many new models. The MoCo came up with a modifications in subsequent years to address the issue but all were lipstick on a pig modifications. Just to give you an example of the dance the MoCo did around the later compensators, check out the PN history.

    '07 to '08-40296-06
    '09 to '10-40296-06A
    '11-83935-09
    '12 to '13-83935-08A
    '14-40100046

    IIRC, the '12 model year was the year of the "SE" designation to the compensator which was supposed to be the final fix and attaching the SE moniker would surely sell the latest and greatest upgrade; not. There is a final upgrade which is PN 42200064 which is the SE compensator with oil deflectors to direct oil into the new and improved compensator; however, one must also purchase separately the adhesive kit, PN11100088, which is required to attach the oil deflectors to the inner primary.


    I may not have the chronology of the modifications to the later compensator exactly correct but you get the picture. Anyway, to make a long story short, tell your friend to cut to the chase and replace the compensator with the Baker unit or the Compensavor.

    The fix that Jeff has noted in a previous post does not apply to the later compensators but is a fix for the pre-'07 units. n '08 or '09, not sure but was just lipstick on a pig.

    ATM33 has provided good explanation of the compensator function but replacing the shock absorbant feature of the OEM type compensator with a fixed gear is not a good idea; very hard on the crank which, under high torque applications is subject to twisting out of alignment.
     
  9. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor

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    You are correct sir, I had hub on my mind when I was typing. Thanks.
     
  10. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor

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    The fix that Jeff has noted in a previous post does not apply to the later compensators but is a fix for the pre-'07 units. n '08 or '09, not sure but was just lipstick on a pig.

    I stand corrected, I was under the impression the comp nut was a issue even on the later models.