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Just Like to Ride
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Okay, I got the Primary Chain Inspection Cover off, checked the play of chain and it looks okay. Couple of questions:

1. They have note in the service manual - As chains stretch and wear, they run tighter at one spot than another. Always adjust the free play at the tighest spot in the chain. How do I determine the tighest spot?

2. To adjust the chain, the manual mentions loosening the top center nut a maximum of 2 turns, adjusting and tightening this nut back up. Now I can handle that. But can someone tell me what the Phillips head screw about 1 inch above the top center nut is? It is shown in manual but NO MENTION OR DESCRIPTION OF THIS SCREW ANYWHERE in the service manual. I just touched it with my finger and it's loose.
 

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Unome , a bike lift is handy as you can then turn the back wheel , remove the spark plugs , and select 2nd gear then turn the back wheel whilst checking the chain tension , if you find a tight spot that is where you set the adjustment . Better still get a M6 chain tensioner , pull the primary cover fit the tensioner then you should never need to go back in there .
 

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Just Like to Ride
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanx, xrystl. My plans are to eventually get one of the M-6. Probably order from J&P. Aren't you same guy who goes there on their tech talk forum?

Still anyone know what that Phillips head screw just above the top center nut is?
 

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Hold it right there.

This is a common problem and it will cause you untold grief if you don't fix it right.
There are two of those screws that hold the serrated steel piece the tensioner shoe adjusts on to the inner primary.

Remove the outer primary (need to remove the heel shifter and left floor board) and the adjuster shoe, and then remove the two screws that hold the serrated adjuster to the inner primary. Clean the threads real well with carb cleaner or something and then use Loctite primer and Red Loctite to reinstall these screws.
If you don't they will come out break the inner primary and totally chew up the primary drive.

Easy to do, but don't cut any corners.

It also makes it real easy to adjust the primary to spec. LOL.

Smile, you just saved yourself a boatload of money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanx, Hippo. I tightened that screw up yesterday and will be pulling the primary cover off in next couple of weeks to install a hydraulic chain tensioner.
 

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Primary chain adjusters-aftermarket

I installed the M6 chain adjuster on my RK a month ago and will be installing it on the Ultra soon.

What about the hydraulic chain tensioner? Is it as good and worry free as the as the M6?
 

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Hydraulic chain tensioner

Unome : I installed one of those hydraulic chain tensioners about 4200 miles ago and it appears it is working as promised. You set the unit 1/8" off the bottom of the inner primary cover, then use the included shims to adjust the tensioner shoe if necessary to get chain adjustment within spec. That's it. I only mention the shims to illustrate that while this unit does reduce manual adjustment intervals , it will not replace regular inspection by yours truly .
On yea... Hippo was tellin ya straight, as usual. There are 2 of those screws attaching that serrated piece on, upper and lower . IMHO I would redo the lower one as well. If the upper one was loose, there is a good chance the lower one has loosened as well.


Hippo : Question for you...I had these same screws come loose on my scooter a few months back. I looked everywhere I could think of in my HD repair manual. Nowhere could I find the torque value for these screws. Could you shed any light on this subject?

twincamzz
 

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How do you torque a Phillips head screw? :D

Some late bikes have the same screws but with a Torx head. If you get some of them then you can use the general torque spec for the given size fastener from the general torque specs in the manual.

I just tighten a lot of this stuff by feel, but I have been doing it all my life.


Try to cut the "couple of weeks" down as much as you can. It may well be that nothing will happen, but if it does it will be very expensive.

Don't get me started on the automatic tensioners.
 

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M6 install

2001 and up M6 tensioners for Big Twins require you to remove the two phillips screws everyone has been talking about to install a longer bolt.
You will need a new gasket cause you have to take the primary cover off.
You have to take the primary cover off for the 2000 and older also.
The phillips screws are big and I used hammer and an impact tool with a #4 phillips bit to remove the screws. I used the impact tool to tighten them up with along with some locktite.

The included instructions are very clear and easy to follow. Wally's Cycle has the M6 for about $50.00
 

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HIPPO , not to get you started, but what are the disadvantages to having one of the hydraulic chain tensioners ? I have been a Millwright for 21+ years and to me it seems that the slop that is created on the bottom side of the chain under acceleration would be better controlled by the hydraulic unit. I realize that my experience in this area is limited to conveyors,machinery etc. I would like to hear your reasoning on this subject.
twincamzz
 

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Hydraulic chain tensioner

Where does the hydraulic action come from? The primary chain fluid is not under any pressure is it? I thought it was strictly a "bath" type reservoir for the chain and clutch.
 

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Don't have much time now, let's just say the hydraulic unit is superior to the M6 if you have to have one.

Keep in mind that in this application the direction of loadind reverses violently on sudden or high speed downshifts. The direction of loading also reverses on starting.

The more engine you have the more of an issue you have with the automatic tensioners.
 

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The hydraulic action comes from a check valve. Oil comes in thru a port submerged in primary oil.
 

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Re: M6 install

fcoxwell said:
2001 and up M6 tensioners for Big Twins require you to remove the two phillips screws everyone has been talking about to install a longer bolt.
You will need a new gasket cause you have to take the primary cover off.
You have to take the primary cover off for the 2000 and older also.
The phillips screws are big and I used hammer and an impact tool with a #4 phillips bit to remove the screws. I used the impact tool to tighten them up with along with some locktite.

The included instructions are very clear and easy to follow. Wally's Cycle has the M6 for about $50.00
Do you mean the inspection cover or the whole primary cover?
 

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Primary Chain tensioner M6

To install the M6 you have to remove the whole primary cover. There is just no way you can do the work through the inspection cover. On my bikes I also had to remove the driver and passenger floorboards on that side to get the primary cover off.

The primary cover MIGHT come off without removing the floorboards but it is a tight squeeze and you are going to scratch or damage something if you don't remove them first.

So in addition to the M6 you will need a new primary cover gasket and don't forget the primary fluid.
 
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