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  #1  
Old 24th June 2022
ZTatZAU's Avatar
ZTatZAU ZTatZAU is offline
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Default Adjusting my Primary Chain

I've now put about 7 hundred miles on my 1973 XLH resurrection which included the installation of a new primary chain and adjuster shoe. Everything has been running good and I appreciate all the help I've received here.

I'm now doing some routine maintenance and thinking it's time that I re-check and, if necessary, re-adjust my new primary chain. I'm finding it difficult to accurately measure the play in my primary chain, let alone determine the tightest spot in the chain, through the little oil filler hole in the primary cover. Because the primary cover has to come off anyway, to adjust the primary chain on a 73 XLH, I was planning on removing the cover to see what's what.

I am really happy with my current clutch adjustment, (I.E. No slipping, No dragging, Easy Neutral, etc.) and there's nothing mentioned in the Service Manual about loosening, or releasing the pressure on the clutch cable prior to removing the primary cover to adjust the chain tension...

ADJUSTMENT (1976 AND EARLIER) (Figure 2-1)
To adjust chain, remove left footrest. and rear brake foot
lever. Place an oil drain pan under clutch and remove front
chain cover screws, chain cover and gasket
The front chain is adjusted by means of a shoe underneath
the chain which can be raised to tighten or lowered
to loosen the chain. The chain adjuster is secured to the
inner surface of the chain compartment by 3 bolts. Simply
loosen bolts and raise or lower chain adjuster. When chain
is correctly adjusted tighten bolts securely and reassemble
remaining parts.
Fill transmission with correct amount and type of lubricant
as described in "GEAR BOX." Section 4


My question is, can I really just follow the SM instructions above to remove the primary cover, adjust the chain, and re-install the primary cover, while leaving the clutch cable adjustment just as it is?

Thanks, ZT
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  #2  
Old 25th June 2022
1Scooter 1Scooter is offline
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You should be good to go following the FSM.
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  #3  
Old 25th June 2022
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SHAKY DAVE SHAKY DAVE is offline
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take off the upper filler plug,stick your finger in there and if more then a 1/2 inch adjust the chain.you will be good.no need to take it all apart.
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  #4  
Old 25th June 2022
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ZTatZAU ZTatZAU is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Scooter View Post
You should be good to go following the FSM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHAKY DAVE View Post
take off the upper filler plug,stick your finger in there and if more then a 1/2 inch adjust the chain.you will be good.no need to take it all apart.
Thanks 1Scooter! My only concern is that, even when the clutch is fully engaged, the clutch adjusting screw and release mechanism will, to some extent, already be in contact and exerting some amount of pressure on the clutch.

Will this amount of contact cause any problems when removing or reinstalling the primary cover without backing out the clutch adjustment screw?

I appreciate your reply Shaky Dave! I wish it was that easy; but unfortunately, as far as I know, unlike the 1977 and later Sportsters, there is no external adjusting screw and no way to adjust the primary chain tension other than removing the primary cover and moving the adjuster shoe and its support bracket up or down.



ZT (Ironhead Apprentice)
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  #5  
Old 25th June 2022
doodah man doodah man is offline
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No Need to undo your clutch adjustment for removal/installation of primary cover, leave it where it is.
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  #6  
Old 25th June 2022
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodah man View Post
No Need to undo your clutch adjustment for removal/installation of primary cover, leave it where it is.
Roger that Doodah! Thank you!
ZT
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  #7  
Old 25th June 2022
Iron Mike Iron Mike is offline
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General rule is to disconnect battery while performing work on an e-start primary.

(Highly suggested by three finger Ron)
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  #8  
Old 25th June 2022
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ZTatZAU ZTatZAU is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Mike View Post
General rule is to disconnect battery while performing work on an e-start primary.

(Highly suggested by three finger Ron)
CHECK! I've got that covered and still have all my fingers.
Thanks Mike!

ZT (Ironhead Apprentice)
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