Compensator sprocket slipping

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biker_k
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:41 pm
Bikes: 48 chop, 60 FL, 91 FXSTS
Location: Spokane, WA
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Compensator sprocket slipping

#1

Post by biker_k » Mon Jul 24, 2006 4:25 am

I did a search and didn't find any subjects on this matter. So...I decided to start a new thread to see what I can find out.

I have a 49 pan chopper. It's running with the chain primary and has a 55 or later compensator sprocket setup. I was fighting with a slipping clutch and some bad primary noise when it would slip. No matter how I adjusted the clutch cable and clutch arm, it would slip and make a loud rattle noise. I changed out the friction plates with the new kevlar plates, doesn't make any difference. It still slips. I inspected the hub, basket, plates, everything checked fine.

I finally took the outer primary off and wanted to see if I could tell what was going on and took it for a spin around the block. I noticed when the slip ocurred that it was the compensator sprocket and not the clutch! I discovered that the compensator sprocket nut was backing out....which makes sense, less spring tension allows the compensator sliding cam to disengage.....hence a slip.

So.....now I have what the problem is.....and I put some loctite on the nut and retorqued the compensator nut to probably around 150 ft-lbs. After she sat for a couple days, I took her for a spin. Well.....the slippage was WAY better, but I noticed that if I got on it in third gear, the compensator would kick out and the bike acted like it was in a slip. Letting up on the throttle allowed the compensator to slip back in and I would be able to get on down the road. But.....it still slips.

My question is:..... Do I need to replace the compensator sprocket assembly? There is no mention in any of the manuals about part measurements, or what to look for for a worn out compensator. Does anyone have any ideas? I want to get this girl on the road for the rest of the riding season and hope that someone can give me some info this.

Thanks...and I'm new here...but I've read a lot of the forums. You guys are great! Lots of really good information!



Cotten
Posts: 6911
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois

#2

Post by Cotten » Mon Jul 24, 2006 2:51 pm

B!

Since a post-'55 compensator will not fit a '49 drive shaft, we really need to know exactly what design you have.

You will be most blessed if it is a Factory taper'd unit.

Of the three Factory designs that I can think of off-hand, all of them can be shimmed to preload the spring pressure, but each is different.

...Cotten

biker_k
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:41 pm
Bikes: 48 chop, 60 FL, 91 FXSTS
Location: Spokane, WA
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#3

Post by biker_k » Mon Jul 24, 2006 4:50 pm

Cotten,

Well....dang....I don't really know what I have. The case number is 49FL12755. However the drive train is the post 55 style. I suppose that I'll have to remove the primary drive to see what kind of crankshaft it has. But, I'm sure that some previous owner put the right combination of stuff in it.

I can tell you that when I bought it, that it was ridable. It was not a total basket case, and it wasn't very safe to ride as it didn't have any brakes, and it was in pretty nasty shape looks wise. But, I fixed the rear brake and took her for a couple rides before I tore her down. So....I know that the shaft must be the right vintage for the post 55 sprocket set up. (actually, I'm just assuming that) The bike rode well before I rebuilt it with respect to the drive train. Everything else was pretty much in dire need of rebuild.

But, since you mentioned shim, it jogged my poor memory and if I remember correctly, I may have left the shim out because it looked like it was in really bad shape and I didn't think that it was a necessary part. The compensator nut without the shim does put a pre-load on the spring, however, it is becoming obvious from your reply that it might not be enough of a preload.

Can you tell me the proper way to shim? Where to get a shim?(I've looked all through the V-Twin catalog 06 version and can't find them) And how to know if I have the proper pre-load?

Thanks Cotten....I've noticed that you are a walking encyclopedia .....you rock dude!

Cotten
Posts: 6911
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois

#4

Post by Cotten » Tue Jul 25, 2006 3:11 am

B!

You won't find a shim for any of the different compensators in a catalog.

And without at least a picture of your assembly, describing a shim would be silly.

Please understand that the difference between a '49 drive shaft and a '55+ driveshaft requiress extreme machinework upon the motorcases for a timken bearing install.
Odds are most likely that if you have a splined drive shaft, you won't want your VIN inspected.

...Cotten

biker_k
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:41 pm
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Ok....but

#5

Post by biker_k » Tue Jul 25, 2006 6:54 am

The bike was already inspected.......the engine number showed up as stolen about 30 years ago. It was no problem getting through the inspection as the stolen report was past the statute of limitations...whatever that is. That was all done from the guy who I bought the bike from in Arizona. Washington state basically said the same thing.....no biggie...past the statute of limitations and titled the bike with the AZ frame number.

So......what I'm guessing is that it's a legit number on a pair of post 55 cases. The perp probably used the stolen engine number to update his stolen bike......the thief that he was.

Regardless, the compensator assembly is a 55-69 compensator assembly as shown in the 06 V-Twin catalog on page 1149. The very same thing. So....regardless of whether there was a lot of machining done to the shaft, cases, or other parts.....that IS the assembly.

I suppose that I could just experiment with some tin or brass. Put a shim that is a couple thou in there and see what happens. If not good...add a couple thou more. I can eventually find out what the dimension should be for my setup.

I'll be taking the primary drive off again this weekend (I hope)....I'll take pics and show you what I have if that will help.

Thanks for your input....

Cotten
Posts: 6911
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois

#6

Post by Cotten » Tue Jul 25, 2006 12:24 pm

There is no "statute of limitations" on a felonized VIN in the USA.
(Your local authorities may have done you a short-term favor, but don't take it out of state!)

If I remember correctly, there are large washers within -58 and later shocks that fit the shoulder on the early splined compensator nut perfectly.

....Cotten

Kurt
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Bikes: 1942 U
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#7

Post by Kurt » Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:35 pm

I agree with Cotten!!!!!

True story; Recently (this year) a Corvette was going through Customs to be exported that was found to be reported stolen almost 40 years ago (if I remember the story correctly). The Vette was given back to the original owner who reported it stolen. Imagine the guy that was waiting for it to be delivered. It doesn't matter either that the insurance cashed out on it......it's still belongs to the the person it was stolen from.

Imagine your delight while at a show, this person who has been looking for his bike at shows and parking lots finally finds it and you have to surrender the keys while being put in the back of a squad car. I know if I had a bike stolen, I'd be looking at every show or parking lot for it.

Kurt

Guest

#8

Post by Guest » Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:44 pm

Throw the compensator sprocket away. It was Harley's attempt to rubber mount the motor and lessen the shock, especially when pulling a side hack. Replace the compensator with a 24-T (splined) sprocket and lose 30lbs. off that fat hog. :lol:

VT

#9

Post by VT » Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:46 pm

signed, Plumb-Halenski 8)
It seems that when I tried to tell the state of Washington that 49 Harley's did not have frame numbers, the fact that Arizona issued a frame number superceded that.
That's interesting... and fact worthy.
Last edited by VT on Tue Jul 25, 2006 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

biker_k
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:41 pm
Bikes: 48 chop, 60 FL, 91 FXSTS
Location: Spokane, WA
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Bad compensator.....bad VIN

#10

Post by biker_k » Tue Jul 25, 2006 8:47 pm

Well....you know.....sometimes sh*t happens. I can only hope that the person who was the victim in this whole VIN thing is not looking too hard. I'm not saying that my ignorance in the matter is excused...quite the contrary. Now I'll always be looking for ways to keep that coating of grime and grease on the engine case...hehehe. If someday the original owner comes for his bike.....I guess it's his. I can only hope that the paper trail of two different states registering the bike with that engine number will be enough to vindicate me. I'm not going to hide under a rock and not enjoy the hard work that I've put into this bike.

The bike's VIN number is not the engine number. It seems that when I tried to tell the state of Washington that 49 Harley's did not have frame numbers, the fact that Arizona issued a frame number superceded that. So....my title doesn't have the engine number on it anywhere. If I decided to put a S&S pan into this frame......I suppose that I could.

Thank you guys for letting me know about VIN's though.....I guess if I would have known about VIN's when I bought the bike...I would have kept looking.

I want to throw an idea out about fixing the tendency for my compensator sprocket to slip out due to either a worn spring or improper shim pre-load. I am thinking about replacing the spring with a machined pipe sleeve. I can machine one for a fraction of the cost of a new compensator, and at a lot less effort than experimenting with different thicknesses of shims. There is no way that the sliding cam will be able to cam over the dogears on the sprocket that way. Does anyone see a potential problem with replacing the spring with a solid steel sleeve? Other than the obvious additional weight that is?

biker_k
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:41 pm
Bikes: 48 chop, 60 FL, 91 FXSTS
Location: Spokane, WA
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Loose the compensator dude

#11

Post by biker_k » Tue Jul 25, 2006 8:50 pm

Anonymous wrote:Throw the compensator sprocket away. It was Harley's attempt to rubber mount the motor and lessen the shock, especially when pulling a side hack. Replace the compensator with a 24-T (splined) sprocket and lose 30lbs. off that fat hog. :lol:
Actually.....that might be a good idea.

fourthgear
Posts: 1390
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:12 pm
Location: north florida

#12

Post by fourthgear » Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:10 pm

biker-k
Do you have a tapered sprocket shaft or splined ? Just put on the sprocket as has been said , they sell them at JP cycles to convert the compensator (24 bucks)or go to a belt drive $$$$$$, I happen to like mine.
As far as the motor numbers , They will look at the motor numbers if you get a seasoned officer and they will take the bike if not right , you can count on that . I would get new cases and use the frame # just to feel safe from the law. You say its titled from the frame number any way.
good luck.

biker_k
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:41 pm
Bikes: 48 chop, 60 FL, 91 FXSTS
Location: Spokane, WA
Contact:

Stolen vehicle blues

#13

Post by biker_k » Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:51 pm

fourthgear...

Thanks. I'll probably go ahead and change the sprocket out like you suggest. it is only 24 bucks....and with the proper sproket nut, it's just a little over 40.

I'm a little confused on this motor number showing up as stolen back in 72. The vehicle was registered in Arizona when I bought it. The seller disclosed that the motor number had been reported stolen, but that the DOL in AZ registered it anyway. Now....why wouldn't they have confisicated the bike or refused to register it?

Then, when I brought the bike to WA state. The vehicle inspection was at the State Patrol headquarters inspection station. They said that.....sure enough...the engine number was reported stolen 27 years earlier. Why would they approve the inspection and pass me onto the DOL to register the vehicle if there is a problem??

Since the Arizona DOL registered the vehicle, would not a VIN search cause the vehicle to come up as stolen even with the new frame VIN? And since WA state kept the same VIN number. Wouldn't that come up as a stolen vehicle also?

As you can see....I'm fairly ignorant about stolen vehicles since I won't even steal paperclips from work to take home. Well...maybe I'll steal a pen and take it home, but that's about the extent of my depth of thievery.

If the frame VIN that I have shows in the national computer records as a stolen vehicle....then what recourse do I have since even changing out the cases wouldn't help.

I really appreciate all of you bringing this to light. And now at least I'm informed. But....it sure puts me in a position where I either take a risk and enjoy this bike, or sell the damn thing. And with the price of vintage bikes going through the roof.....I probably will not be buying another. Isn't the previous owner at risk for registering and selling a stolen bike? And if I sell it...am I not guilty of the same crime?

I guess the bottom line is who do I talk to and where do I get good information on whether or not this licensed bike will end up flagging an officer should I ever get pulled over in let's say.....Indiana?

Thanks

biker_k
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:41 pm
Bikes: 48 chop, 60 FL, 91 FXSTS
Location: Spokane, WA
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another VIN question

#14

Post by biker_k » Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:53 pm

Here's one more question.

When I go to the free VIN sites online. They all want a 17 digit VIN number and mine is not that long. Does anyone know where I can run a check on the VIN that I have which is only 8 digits long? Other than the obvious local state patrol inspection station.

fourthgear
Posts: 1390
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:12 pm
Location: north florida

#15

Post by fourthgear » Fri Jul 28, 2006 1:27 pm

biker-k
I'm a little confused, are both the motor number and the issued frame number , come up as stolen?

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