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Old 13th June 2017
Airbozo's Avatar
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Default Primary chain adjustment without the window

Here's the deal:

My 2000 S3T had a few issues last year. I ended up replacing the main shaft bearing (and made my own tool to do it), and that has stopped the oil from blowing out the vent hose and dripping on the tire.

My issue is that when I went to open up the side cover, I noticed that one of the screws holding the primary chain inspection cover had a stripped head. I tried several tricks to remove it before breaking out the Speed-outs (didn't work) and another screw extractor (not a cheap one either).

I am not new to this procedure and I was really surprised when the screw extractor broke off in the screw head... So I break out the mini drill press, rig up a strap clamp and 'uge! c clamp to hold it in position as I attempt to drill out the screw extractor. The bit drifted and started a hole next to the extractor, so I stopped. I cannot get that damn screw out and it should not be in that tight. I even heated it up a little bit, but not enough to melt the o-ring. So I figure I do not have the right tools or skill to get that screw out, but I would like to make a temporary primary chain adjustment, so I can get this bike to the shop so they can try to remove that screw.

Is there a procedure I can follow, that will allow me to tighten the primary chain so I can ride the bike a bit without having access to the inspection cover??

Is there any other way I can try to remove the screw without damaging the cover?

Thanks!
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Old 13th June 2017
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Default

I read on here a long time ago about adjusting the primary chain (on Sportsters) by sound. Ever since, that's the way I've done it. I usually start by using the inspection cover but always fine tune it by listening. You don't want the chain to whine (too tight) but you don't want it slapping around (too loose). Adjust the chain with the bike running and you'll hear it. Tighten until it whine's a little, then back it off just a bit.

Is there a reason this wouldn't work the same way on a Buell?

See some discussion about it in this sticky thread.
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Old 13th June 2017
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Default Primary chain adjustment

Just want to add a note, this " ear" adjustment works best if the power plant is warmed up. Been doing it for over a dozen years without issue.
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Old 13th June 2017
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Default

Airbozo - have the same problem my inspection cover screw head has been stripped for 4 years. I do the method Screw Loose Dan suggests and I think it is the better method. When I did it the Moco way I always ended up doing it two to three times before it was right (would either whine when it was hot or rattle when cold).

Adjust it when hot, slowly tighten the adjusted until it slightly whines and back off until the whine stops and an additional 1/4 turn and it is perfect every time. The company advises against it because if you accidentally hit the shifter the bike will take off, but if you are concerned about safety, put it on a center jack and lift the back wheel.
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Old 13th June 2017
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Default

Excellent information on the adjustment. I thought I read something similar, but could not find it during a search.

I ran out of time to try this until I get back from vacation, but I will attempt it then. Thanks a lot for the info!
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Old 13th June 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Screw Loose Dan View Post
Adjust the chain with the bike running and you'll hear it. Tighten until it whine's a little, then back it off just a bit.


See some discussion about it in this sticky thread.
Hot damn. I KNEW there had to be a better way. Sometimes things pop up on this site randomly that really help.

Thanks.
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