Had problems with my primary cover chain inspection cover leaking since it was serviced. I could never find time to take it back and figured it was caused by the new Harley gasket and no inspection cover change. I ordered the new and improved cover and gasket kit for my '04 XL883. Got it yesterday and went to install it. When I removed the front bolt some of the threads in the primary case appear to have pulled from the case (stripped). When I installed the new gasket and cover the front bolt wont torque to the proper spec., it just spins. The rear bolt torqued fine. I rode the bike and have no more leak issues, but I want to fix the primary cover. Anyone have a recommendation other than replacing the primary cover? When I was in the military we used an item called a heli-coil, or something to that effect to fix similar problems. Is it possible to fix this without removing the cover? Thanks in advance for your advise and suggestions.
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Hi Kmercer, could be primary noise. Remove the square inspection cover and check to see if your primary chain adjuster slipped or came loose giving lots of chain slop. Chain should have no more than 1" total up and down play. Next drain the primary oil and check the magnet on the drain plug. Fiber or powder like accumulation is normal but if you find solid metal pieces remove the primary cover and do a through inspection of the chain, sprokets, and adjuster. If everything checks out ok you might want to take it to your local dealer or shop and let them listen to the noise. Good luck
Remove the drain plug located under the clutch area of the primary chaincase and drain the chaincase lubricant into a catch pan. Remove all mounting bolts from the primary cover and slide the cover from its locating studs. Loosen the primary chain tensioner and inspect it for wear (this is a logical time to replace the tensioner shoe, since you are in the case).
Lock the primary chain where it enters the bottom of the clutch drum. Remove the engine sprocket nut and slide the compensator/sprocket assembly from the engine sprocket shaft. Slide the reluctor bowl off the engine sprocket shaft. Push the stator plug through the hole into the inner primary case. Remove the stator mounting bolts and slide the stator from its support boss. Remove the stator from the case.
Slide the new stator onto the support boss and orient it so that the stator wires are closest to the stator plug hole in the case. Install and torque the new stator bolts to factory specification (refer to manufacturer's torque sheet). Do not re-use the old bolts. The bolts come pre-treated with Loctite and are designed for one-time use. Insert the stator plug into the plug hole and snap it into place.
Slide the reluctor bowl onto the sprocket shaft and bottom it onto the shaft shoulder. Align the splines on the shaft and the compensator/sprocket assembly and slide the assembly into position. Install the engine sprocket nut and torque to factory specification for your model of Harley. Adjust the primary chain tensioner to factory specification.
Scrape the old primary gasket from the case. Harley Davidson gaskets are produced with a print-o-seal feature that melts and '"cooks" onto the case surface. Insure that all of the old gasket is removed from the machined surfaces. Use caution when scraping the gasket, as the cast-aluminum cases are easily gouged, leading to poor sealing and leaks. Install the fresh gasket onto the locating studs, followed by the primary chaincase cover. Torque the primary cover to the proper torque and in the recommended pattern according to the specification sheet for your model of Harley. Remove the inspection plate and add new chaincase lubricant. Replace the inspection cover gasket and re-install the inspection plate.
It could be the primary chain slapping. When is the last time it was adjusted? Take the inspection cover off that's in the center of the primary cover. Reach in with your finger and lift the top run of the primary chain. It should be between 3/4" and 7/8" up and down slack in the chain with the engine cold. If it's too loose, loosen the nut on the adjuster just inside the inspection cover opening and raise the shoe to tighten the chain. Retighten the nut once you get it set correctly. If that's not the problem, it could be that the clutch discs are glazed. This is rare on the newer model bikes but I have seen it on a few occasions. The clutch disc will need to be taken out and cleaned and sandpaper used to slightly scuff the surface of the fiber discs. Try adjusting the chain first.
Now, I'll address the primary chain but the warranty is between you and your dealer. From my experiences with the dealers, don't get your hopes up though. Now, find the drain plug on the bottom side of the primary back near the derby cover. Drain the primary. If you have to take the shifter and the floorboard off to get the primary cover off, do so. Then take the bolts out of the primary and take the cover off. You'll have to take the bolts out of the oval inspection cover to get the primary off. Remove the bottom bolt and the rear bolt of the inspection cover. Once you get the cover off, look for anything obviously wrong in there. If the primary has a conventional chain tensioner, check the up and down movement in the top run of the chain. It should have 3/4 to 7/8 inch up and down play with the engine cold. If the chain has an automatic adjuster in it, the chain will be tight. Look to see if you see anything that the chain might be rubbing. Look at the underside of the inner primary at the top just above the engine sprocket for signs of rubbing. See if the chain is running in the middle of the tension shoe at the bottom of the primary.
The primary chain adjustment has nothing to do with the clutch. Take the small upper inspection cover off the primary cover and use your finger to check the primary chain tension. It should have 3/8 to 1/2 inch up and down movement in the top run of the chain when the engine is cold. To adjust, loosen the lock nut on the primary chain adjuster on the bottom of the primary case. Turn the screw upward to tighten the chain, downward to loosen. Once set, tighten the locknut.
To adjust the clutch, loosen the clutch cable adjuster as much as you can. Remove the derby cover from the primary cover. Remove the spring and the locknut. Turn the adjuster screw counterclockwise as far as it will go. Turn it back in 1/4 turn and replace the lock nut and the spring. Replace derby cover. Adjust the clutch cable so that you have about a 1/8 inch play at the hand lever.
To remove your primary cover, first, disconnect the battery and drain the oil from the primary. Then, remove any footpegs or shifter mechanisms that might be in the way.
Look on the bottom of the primary cover and you'll see a bolt and locknut. This is the primary chain tensioning device. Loosen the locknut and turn the screws out (downward) to loosen the chain.
Then take the derby cover off. Remove the spring and the locknut from the clutch adjusting mechanism. Remove the bolts that hold the outer primary on. Turn the clutch adjuster screw clockwise as you remove the cover.
When you replace the cover, turn the clutch adjuster screw counterclockwise until it stops. Put all the bolts back in the cover and tighten them. Turn the screw counterclockwise again until it stops and then back off 1/4 turn. Install the locknut, the spring, and the derby cover.
Remove the upper inspection cover and reach in with your finger and check the primary chain tension. Using the bolt on the bottom of the primary, turn it upward (inward) and tension the primary chain to between 1/2" and 5/8" up and down play. Reinstall anything else that was taken off and pour in one quart of primary lube. Reconnect battery.
You can check this for yourself. Remove the inspection (oval cover in the middle of the primary) and check the tension on the upper run of the primary chain. Of course, do this with the engine not running. It shoud have slack in the chain of 3/4 to 7/8 inch with the engine cold. If it's too tight, it can cause problems.
If this is correct, you can do one other thing. Since you said that you can hear the noise with the engine idling, while you have the inspection cover off, start the engine and let it idle. DO NOT STICK YOUR FINGER IN THE INSPECTION HOLE. You will lose your finger. But, listen and see if your can hear the noise. If so, there are several things it could be. One, you have an alternator in the primary case, the rotor could be rubbing on the stator. Also, I have heard of a starter not disengaging and the "jackshaft" (starter gear that engages the ring gear on the clutch drum) running all the time.
If you can hear this, take it back to the dealer that serviced the bike and have them recheck their work. People are human and humans make mstakes, all of them do. I know I've made my share. Just have them check over their work since it seemed to have started when you had the service work done at 1100 miles.
Have you checked the tension on the primary chain lately? Take the oval shaped inspection cover off the the primary cover on the right side of the bike. Check the tension on the top run of the primary chain in the middle of the run. You should have between 5/8" (15.8mm) to 7/8" (19.0mm) with the engine COLD. To adjust loosen the nut that holds the primary chain shoe in place and raise the plate to tighten the chain, lower it to loosen. Since working through the inspection cover hole is tedious, some people elect to take the outer primary cover off and then set the tension. Refill the primay with 36 to 42 ounces of the appropiate oil. Harly uses H-D Syn3 20W50 synthetic engine oil in the primary.
If the noise seems to be coming from the right hand side of the engine, it could be the cam chain tensioner and shoe. To repair this requires going into the cam chest. This is something that I do not recommend for the amateur mechanic. There are also some special tools required to work in this area.
Sounds like you have some shifter pawl problems. If you remove your outer primary cover, you can see the shifter pawl just behind your clutch assembly. The problem could be the shifter pawls, the springs, or the carrier. You'll just have to go in there to find out exactly what it is.
To get the outer cover off, first loosen the primary chain tensioner beneath the primary cover. Then remove the large round cover from the outer primary cover. Beneath the cover is a spring with a locknut over the clutch adjuster. Drain the oil out of the primary and remove all the bolts around the primary including the left side foot rest and the nut at the front. Slide the outer primary cover off as you turn the clutch adjuster clockwise.
With cover off, you may can see the problem with the shifter pawl but I'm afraid that you're going to have to pull the engine drive sprocket and the clutch assembly off to repair it. To do this, you need an air wrench to remove the front sprocket nut and the clutch assembly nut. The clutch assembly nut is left handed threads. Take the snap ring out of the center of the clutch assembly and remove the clutch adjuster plate.
When reassembling the primary, torque the engine nut to 150-165 Foot pounds, the clutch nut torque is 70-80 foot pounds left handed, adjust the primary chain to 3/8 to 1/2" up and down with the engine cold. Check the primary chain adjustment thorough the upper inspection hole on the outer primary cover. I highly suggest you purchase a service manual to refer to if you decide to do this job. If you do it yourself, the book will pay for itself with this one job. Otherwise, this is a pretty advanced job and you might be better off taking to an experience mechanic.
If I understand you, the leak is coming from the inspection cover for the primary chain. There should be an O ring on that plate. If the cover is leaking when the bike is off you have way to much oil in the primary. The primary only takes 1 quart of gear lube, I use Mobile 1.