Question about Harley Davidson FLSTF - FLSTFI Fat Boy Motorcycles

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How to tighten primary nut - FLSTF - FLSTFI Fat Boy Harley Davidson Motorcycles

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What year?????

THere is no primary nut per se

What nut are you referring to??

Posted on Oct 18, 2014


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My 04 nightrain. Is making a clacking sound Comming from near the front of the primary. When i opened. The inspection. Cover it appears. There is about 2inches of play in the primary chain..would the...

Adjust the chain. The comp nut could also be loose, so if you have the primary cover off, remove the nut, clean it, place 2 drops of red loctite on it and tighten it to the proper torque spec.

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1 Answer

How do I tighten a primary on a 1991 Harley Davidson Fatboy?

You take the oval inspection cover off of the outer primary cover. Inside you will see a nut. Loosen the nut and you can raise the primary chain adjuster to tighten the chain or lower it to loosen it. Use your finger to gauge the tension of the upper run of the chain. Set the up and down play of the chain to 3/4" to 7/8" with the engine cold.

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Primary chain hitting case on clutch housing, cable nearly fully adjusted clutch slips if adjust any more. bad grinding noise from chain hitting case can i adjust clutch any more in housing?

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.

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There is a large nut on a bolt under the left side of the motor under the shifter loosen the nut and tighten the bolt in. It requires you open the primary chain access door behind the left foor peg to do so. There should be 1/4-1/2" of play on the chain. This is a GREAT time to change the primary oil too. Make sure you use NEW Harley Primary oil too. It is a specific fluid for the primary.

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Riding today and at 35 to 45mph slaping noise from primary chain area took off cover found chain very tight adjusted rerode bike now making noise a 55 to 60mph what do you think it due for 20k service.

If your bike is equipped with the newer self tensioning primary chain adjuster, it should have felt tight. This type of tensioner keeps the chain tight by using primary oil in the tensioner. I'd take it to the dealer for service if it's due.

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1 Answer


Have you checked the tension on your primary chain lately. The chain should be adjusted to have 3/4 to 7/8 inch up and down movement when the engine is cold.

Remove the top primary plug and you can reach in with your finger and lift the primary chain up and down. The adjuster is on the bottom of the primary cover. Loosen the nut and using an allen wrench adjust the tension on the chain. Screwing the screw inward tightens the chain, outward loosens it. Do not tighten the chain too tight. As the engine warms up and expands, the chain will become tighter. If you get it too tight, it could cause damage to other components.

If you don't think this is the problem, repost and we'll try something else. If you feel comfortable pulling the primary cover off, you might want to check for a loose engine sprocket nut. I've seen them come loose on many occasions. If you pull the primary, disconnect the battery. You' may need all your fingers in the future. Good Luck

Oct 04, 2009 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

Noise on left side of bike,maybe primary

thees 2 adjustments - one on the cable, one in the primary....

stand the bike upright and remove the derby cover. Looseen the jam not on the cable adjuestment ( under rubber boot). Move the adjuster till u see alot of freeplay at the hand lever. Loosen the lock nut on th e clutch basket and then u can turn the center adjuster screw all the way in until lightly seated. Then u back it out 1/2-1 turn and tighten the adjuster jam nut . Then u go back to the cable adjustment and take up the freeplay till the hand lever feels right to u...... tighten that down, button up the primary and take her fer a ride........ let me know if that helps

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