Engine Compensator Sprocket Question

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by jigglestick, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. jigglestick

    jigglestick Member

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    My '03 Road King has developed a knock, mostly at idle. I think that I have narrowed it down to the Compensator Sprocket and Cam. I am about to remove it and give it the once over. I think that the springs are either weak or broken after 72,000 miles.

    My question is this: With the engine off, are the Compensator Cam and Sprocket supposed to be tight together? or are they supposed to have a space between them? In other words, both the cam and the sprocket have, what I would call, ramps that sort of mesh together. Allowing the cam to slide on the shaft when torque is applied. Just not sure if they should be together for a starting point or apart. I am inclined to think that they are supposed to be together. Mine aren't. I have about 3/8" gap between the two with the motor off.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. btsom

    btsom Active Member

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    I have no experience with a machine the age of yours so all I can do is describe what I found on mine. I have an 08 Road King with the 96 ci engine. From the factory it came with a comp similar to yours and mine began making noise and allowed for the starter bang you may have heard about. Even so, when I disassembled it, there was no space between the ramps. It took some effort to get the pieces to slip past each other. The new, stronger SE comp is pressed together with MUCH more spring force when at rest. I could not move the pieces until applying 70 or so pound feet of torque with a wrench. It sounds as though you have found the source of your noise, your spring has been beaten to death. I have no idea if you can just replace the spring or if you must replace everything as a kit.Typically the stock 88s don't need the heavy duty compensator and if you wanted one, I don't believe one is made for your engine. I'm confident that someone will correct that if I'm wrong.
     
  3. jigglestick

    jigglestick Member

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    Nevermind. I took it apart and answered my own question. I did discover that the nut was loose. Reinstalled everything. Torqued to specs. Knock is gone! By the sound of that knock, I could have sworn it was something internal and my motor was about to go.

    I am extremely pleased!
     
  4. jigglestick

    jigglestick Member

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    Thanks btsom,

    that does help allot but since I think I got it, I'll let it ride until I hear something again.
     
  5. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    Very common with early models. You may have it fixed but should it come loose again, shave .030" from the end of the compensator nut. Due to sloppy factory tolerances, sometimes you can tighten the compensator to spec but not get the clamping pressure required to hold the assembly together. The MoCo offered some shims to go behind between the nut and the shell to compensate for this. Before the MoCo came out with the shims, us shade tree guys started shaving .030" to .060" off the compensator to solve the problem. The illustration will explain. Hope you got it fixed but should it come loose again, you will know why and how to address the issue.

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. jigglestick

    jigglestick Member

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    Thanks dolt,

    I HAVE heard this and when I took it apart, I looked at it closely to see if it showed any signs of bottoming out prior to being torqued. Didn't see any but I will definitely keep an eye on it. The riding season is coming to a close here in Mn so I am hoping to get by until I park it for the winter. Then I will include that in my winter project list along with the cam tensioner upgrade. (I may go with gears and eliminate the tensioners altogether.) But thanks for the heads up.