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Old 17th April 2011
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Default Pics of SO Hot Bikes hydraulic chain tensioner install.

The weather today was pure crap, damn near hurricane conditions, so I had time to install the Southern Oregon Hot Bikes HB125XL hydraulic primary chain tensioner on my Sporty. There was no way I was riding in a down pour so I used my kerosene heater to warm up the primary cover just to get the AmsOil 20-50 I had in there a little warm.

Here are the items I purchased to do this job. The HB125XL tensioner with spring, a new tensioner shoe (MoCo), a new primary gasket (MoCo) and a new shifter shaft seal (Moco). Also, I printed off the instructions from SO Hot Bikes web site.



Here’s a pic of the tensioner in the extended position.



Here it is in the retracted position.



Looks like there’s about 3/8-7/16 inch of travel in the tensioner from bottomed out to topped out.

Here’s the tensioner with the new “shoe” installed. It slides tightly over the tensioner top plate. I oriented it like the pic in the instructions shows with the lip of the shoe facing me and the lower oil port to the right. Not sure if it matters but I figured I’d do it just like the instructions.



First things first. I removed the inspection cover and drain plug and drained the primary.



Primary drain plug with “fuzzies” held by the magnet. Even after 32 k miles I still get some metal from the starter gear.



Next I match marked the shifter shaft and removed the shift linkage and the rubber spacer, that way I can put it back oriented like it was.



I backed out the chain tensioner threaded shaft till it bottomed out and allowed complete chain slack.



Next I slid the clutch cable boot up and loosened the jam nut and slackened the cable completely.



I then removed the derby cover to expose the clutch assembly.



I removed the retainer nut with spring, the ramp nut, ramp assembly and the cable hook, (shown here).



Here’s the ramp assembly shown removed. The 3 ball bearings stay put if you don’t remove the clip.



I next removed the 16 primary bolts (I have Hot Toppers on them and they look nice but are a pain to remove!) and used the new primary gasket to make an outline of the primary on a used pizza box (sausage, extra cheese, onions, black olives and sweet peppers, yum!) to keep the bolts in order as I took them off.



I then removed the front peg and shifter mount from the bike since it blocked removal of the primary cover.



The primary then popped right off. The original shoe and adjuster are shown. I was able to keep the clutch cable screwed into the primary and just set the cover on a towel covered stool to work on it.



Here are the score marks on the original tensioner shoe with 32 k miles of use. Not bad at all, and I could have reused the shoe, but what the hell, since I’m in here now I thought I’d just replaced it.



The new hydraulic tensioner with spring installed oriented in the primary cover's threaded hole. Notice how the lip of the shoe is shown oriented in towards the bike.



I threaded on the nut.....kept from the OEM tensioner, and turned out the shaft CCW till it bottomed out the spring. This allows for minimum adjustment to fit the shoe under the chain when reinstalling the primary cover.



I then removed the shifter shaft seal on the primary by gently prising it out and reinstalled the primary cover using the new primary gasket. I needed to push up on the primary chain from underneath so it sat on top of the tensioner shoe till the cover slid on. I then put all the cover screws in and torqued them to 10 ft/lbs. (120 in/lbs.) using the pattern shown in the service manual.



I reinstalled the cable hook, clutch ramp and nut. Next I adjusted the clutch 1/4 turn CW from tight, reinstalled the capture nut with spring and installed the derby cover and screws to 84 in/lbs.



I placed a wrap of scotch tape over the splines of the shifter shaft, and lubed up the inside of the new shifter shaft seal with a little oil and slid it on. This prevents the sharp splines from cutting the seal.



This pic shows the groove on the seal which goes against the primary cover.



I then used a piece of 1/2 inch copper tubing as a tool to seat the seal firmly in the recess of the primary.



I then placed the rubber spacer on the shifter shaft.



I used blue Loctite on the front peg and shifter mount bolts and replaced the mount and the shifter linkage aligning the opening of the shifter arm to my match mark on the shifter shaft.



I then replaced the primary drain screw and filled the primary with a quart of AmsOil 20-50 oil.



I adjusted the clutch cable for the correct play and taped a clear piece of plastic over the inspection cover hole so I could see the primary chain.



I fired up the bike while on the stand (in neutral!!!) and watched the primary chain for movement. The instructions say it takes a moment for the hydraulic tensioner to pump up to pressure and as I watched the chain it was bouncing, even after 30-45 seconds of running. I loosened the lock nut on the tensioner shaft and slowly turned it in until the chain was pretty steady. I shut the bike off and checked tension with my finger and it had some play when it bled down. I snugged up the lock nut and fired up again. The chain seemed about right when running with no whine or sloppiness. I’m going to leave it as is and hopefully the sun’s suppossed to come out tomorrow and I can go for a shakedown cruise. I’ll report back after a ride and see if I need to tweak the adjustment.

All in all it wasn’t a bad install, the tensioner unit is well built and the instructions are good. Now that I have my bike all ready to ride, unfortunately, I need to shut down for about a month to recover from neck surgery after this Thursday! Oh well, she’ll be waiting for me then.
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Last edited by LuxBlue; 17th April 2011 at 03:43..
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Old 17th April 2011
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Great write-up Lux! Best of luck with the surgery and let us know how your chain tensioner works out.
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Old 17th April 2011
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Awesome write up.... Rep for you.
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Old 17th April 2011
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Thanks for the information. I'll be installing my tensioner as soon as the new shoe comes in from MoCo.
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Old 17th April 2011
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Thanks LuxBlue, I was wondering how these things would bolt in. Great write-up and photos and I'll be waiting to hear how things go in the future. A question just came to mind...since the adjuster bleeds off when the engine is shut off then the only way to check to see if it is actually working is to go by sound or as you did tape a clear plastic window over the inspection port. Wait a minute..that came out more as a statement than a question, so how do you know that it's working?
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Old 17th April 2011
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very well written write up ! and please keep us updated on your surgery
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Old 17th April 2011
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Scott: Wonderful post ,great install. Best wishes for your surgery then get out there and ride the wheels off it!!!
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Old 17th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flashedwards View Post
Thanks LuxBlue, I was wondering how these things would bolt in. Great write-up and photos and I'll be waiting to hear how things go in the future. A question just came to mind...since the adjuster bleeds off when the engine is shut off then the only way to check to see if it is actually working is to go by sound or as you did tape a clear plastic window over the inspection port. Wait a minute..that came out more as a statement than a question, so how do you know that it's working?
Flash
In my write up I stated that it bled down but I was meaning to say the chain felt about the correct tightness after shutdown, just a little play. Basically there's about 3/8" of travel the tensioner can move from bled off to full pressure. You adjust the chain slack till it's just shy of being correct. That way the unit can pump up to the correct pressure and chain tension while running and still have a little travel left over. The way I understand it (and correct me if I'm wrong) the unit can only pump up to an established pressure till the top port starts bleeding off. I'm guessing as long as you have the chain adjusted in that 3/8" sweet spot the pressure will pump up and bleed off as necessary and vary as the chain revolves. If anyone has a more precise description, please chime in....I'm no expert!
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Old 17th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsterpaul View Post
Scott: Wonderful post ,great install. Best wishes for your surgery then get out there and ride the wheels off it!!!
Thanks guys! I'm riding all this week while I can....I hope not to miss more than 3 or 4 weeks afterward.
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Old 17th April 2011
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How did you guys get yours? According to their website the HB125XL is "coming soon!"

Great write up BTW, have some rep
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