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Old 01-02-2011, 12:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Any Problems with Eliminating Compensator?

Hey guys, need your experience here. I have ordered a primary re-gearing kit from Monty Heathe Products in Sacramento, CA that uses a 30 tooth front sprocket and eliminates the compensator as far as I understood. This will change the overall final drive ratio on my 09 Dyna Street Bob to 3.15 and increase cruising rpm by 500. Monty makes these kits using premium parts and tells me there is no more vibration than a stock motor and its easier on the starter. I will be using an S&S 585 Easy Start cam for my build (the heads are out being done now) so starting shouldn't be an issue. I've been doing a search on this forum but can find no evidence of problems caused by eliminating the compensator. In fact, judging from what I have been reading, they seem to cause more problems. However, I think very few have chosen to not use one so the data may be misleading. Thanks in advance for any advice.
-Tutt
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I should probably mention the engine build uses a stock bottom end with good tolerances and will be a 103 inch build with CP pistons, ported/polished stock heads, SE 50mm TB, SE intake and Rinehart 2-1 exhaust. -Tutt
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by CowboyTutt View Post
Hey guys, need your experience here. I have ordered a primary re-gearing kit from Monty Heathe Products in Sacramento, CA that uses a 30 tooth front sprocket and eliminates the compensator as far as I understood. This will change the overall final drive ratio on my 09 Dyna Street Bob to 3.15 and increase cruising rpm by 500. Monty makes these kits using premium parts and tells me there is no more vibration than a stock motor and its easier on the starter. I will be using an S&S 585 Easy Start cam for my build (the heads are out being done now) so starting shouldn't be an issue. I've been doing a search on this forum but can find no evidence of problems caused by eliminating the compensator. In fact, judging from what I have been reading, they seem to cause more problems. However, I think very few have chosen to not use one so the data may be misleading. Thanks in advance for any advice.
-Tutt
these cranks have enought trouble without adding to the problem.
unless you have a welded/plugged crank,I wouldnt consider it.
it has been hashed over here before. it has been awhile though.
there are better ways to lower your final ratio.
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I use a belt driven primary on one of my bikes and that eliminates the comp sprocket. The difference I notice is the amount of shock transfered to the drivetrain. At slower RPM you feel every firing of the engine and this is especially noticeable when taking a slow turn with the clutch out. You try to creep around a corner and every time the engine fires a cylinder the bike lurches forward. With the comp sprocket ramp and spring system absorbs that extra forces rather than deliver it to the tire.
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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No compensator used on my bike with 30 tooth Evo sprocket but the crank has had all the attention done to it.Not recommended for stock cranks as Stroker said enough problems there allready.
Running higher RPMs with my engine set up keeps the "chugging"at a minimum.
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Sorry to rehash an old idea. I searched through 5 pages of threads and could not find anything too meaningful. I saw one post that indicated no increase in vibration. Revolution Performance stated in one of their podcasts that crank problems start when engine torque exceeds 120 lb ft. I'll be under that. Also, my bike is a Dyna and not a Bagger and the added weight on the touring bikes places a lot more stress on the bottom end. Lastly, some people at least truly abuse their bikes with wheelies and burn outs which really loads up the bottom end again. I like sport riding but have never been one for wheelies and burn outs. I'm trying to avoid lugging the engine as that would also not be good for it and a gearing change seems manditory.

Can someone briefly explain how the compensator aids the crankshaft?

And if regearing the primary is not the best way to go, what would you suggest?

Thanks for taking the time to educate me. I will make some more phone calls tomorrow on the subject.

-Tutt
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Can someone briefly explain how the compensator aids the crankshaft?

-Tutt
The comp sprocket works using ramps and a spring. It buffers the shock of the engine from the drivetrain by allowing some spring loaded give in the engine sprocket.

The splined sprocket on the bottom right mounts to the engine. The sprocket on the upper right slides over it and is allowed to spin freely on the shaft. The ramp in the top middle them slides on the splines and is allowed to slide in and out on the ramps but is spring loaded holding it tight to the sprocket. The upper left round part contains the spring and applies pressure to the outer ramp. Then the nut (bottom left) holds it all together on the engine sprocket shaft.
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Last edited by springer-; 01-02-2011 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Wow, with pictures no less! Thanks! So, its similar in purpose to the cush final drive on chain driven bikes? -Tutt
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey Springer, I use your websites calculators all the time! I mean until my head is spinning and my eyes are getting blury! Thanks for creating those very useful tools.
-Tutt
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hey Springer, I use your websites calculators all the time! I mean until my head is spinning and my eyes are getting blury!
That's what the're there for.

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Thanks for creating those very useful tools.
-Tutt
Your welcome.


Thanks for the positive comments
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm looking into the cost of having the crank welded and balanced. Its only about 3 more hours labor at this point but getting conflicting information on the cost of welding/truing. -Tutt
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:01 AM   #12 (permalink)
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You could also try changing the clutch basket gear, instead of the comp. gear.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:56 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks Rob. At this point, I found someone experienced and qualified to weld and true my crank for a good price. I still can't find any reason to not eliminate the comp as all the various belt drive conversion kits for primaries that have been out for many years have also eliminated it. And while I'm not 100% sure its true but someone told me that Sportsters do not or didn't have compensators for many years either. So I suspect it will be fine. I do appreciate the help though and may look into that. -Tutt
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Old 01-04-2011, 05:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Just went through this with the 06 bike,and vibration was quite noticeable with no compensator and hydraulic tensioner.You might luck out and not notice.Good Luck
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the input guys. I called Monty Heathe again and I have to say, his knowledge of his subject matter is truly remarkable and he can quote tolerance numbers and steel hardness' like no Harley person I have heard or seen. Apparently, he and his dealership worked very closely with HD to try and determine how and why their cranks were failing. In his opinion, the compensator is nothing but a band-aid to protect the non-Timkin supported and pressed cranks when people lug the engine. He described to me in detail how to "scissor" my crank and how to do it EVERY time.

Regarding his kit, it DOES use the stock primary chain guides. He explained to me in detail how he arrived at 30 teeth and not 32 or 28 and why it had to be that way. He assured me that the only drawback to the kit is more mechanical noise coming from behind the primary case. However, without the "lag" caused by the comp, bikes lunge harder off the line and people really seem to like that.

As long as I weld the crank, I will have no crankshaft issues with this kit.

-Tutt

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