Compensator Clunck

Question for Fix My Hog


After parking the bike for almost 3month after daily riding for years, I have a very loud noise on the primary side, What could it be or where should I start looking at least?
From the outside the sound seems to be coming from the clutch area, not from the rotor/shoe area. **** I’ve always had a clunk sound just after hitting the start button and before starting the bike, and i though its normal. after a year two years i had a noise out of the the primary side although i always change the oil with 20/50 Amsoil and on checking the drain plug it always have a normal/acceptable amount of metal shreds.
Recently a new sound came out of the primary side, just right after I turn off the bike it the sound of clung or like the sound of something resting back to its place anyway, last time the bike was fine while riding then I felt a sound/clunk in the primary side, next morning all of a sudden the battery died on me, kept charging it with the tender but it wasn’t enough, dropped the battery to the dealership and they advised to replaced though it may continue for a week or two, so i decided to give it a try after parking the bike for 3 month, though it has been always my daily ride for the past 2 years. i started the bike and there was a very loud grinding noise from primary side, especially the clutch area. I checked the battery charging and it was reading DC 8.5V while running, I’ll run a stator/rotor test and see results which will probably lead to replacing stator/rotor. My question is while I’m in the primary what else should i look for as my understanding that if the rotor/stator gone bad and there is a loud grinding noise its the result of something there gone bad, but not the source of the issue. thanks

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Fix My Hog Answers

Sounds like you may be describing more than one issue. Inspect your compensator assembly. That is the typical source of “clunking” sounds. Inspect your primary chain & adjuster shoe. Inspect the starter ring gear on the clutch basket and the starter bendix gear. You will need to remove your outer primary cover to begin diagnosing.

Hogger Follow Up Question:

I removed the primary cover and found the compensator nut loose, so my question is ; does tightening the compensator nut will fix the low charging coming out from the stator, since the regulator is not bleeding back and the stator resistance is good? Second; The grinding sound was coming out from the starter shaft being in contact with the starter ring, since I changed the stock.

Tech Reply:

If your charging system is not functioning correctly, tightening the compensator nut will not change anything. We suggest removing the compensator shaft extension and the (charging system) rotor for a closer inspection of the rotor & stator. The rotor & stator could have been damaged from running with a loose compensator assembly. If the rotor was tipping, it could have caused damage. Make sure that you are performing a full charging system test. If your stator & rotor are good, you should have 20 volts AC, per 1,000 rpm.
If all tests are good @ the stator plug, you may only have a bad regulator.
Make sure that the regulator is properly grounded and have a secure connection to the main breaker. Inspect the teeth of the starter bendix & ring gears. If they are damaged, they will need to be replaced. We suggest looking into a Compufire kit for replacement.

Related Videos:

Electrical Systems

Harley Compensator Upgrade

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7 Responses to “Compensator Clunck”
  1. dennis

    i ride a 07 E.Glide Classic.i had problem when I started it when hot I got a terrible clunking and grinding noise.i took the primary cover off and found that the compensator was the problem.i found that Harley Davidson was having a problem with there stock units.i replaced it with a Baker compensator.i have had no problems since.

    • Gary

      Went through both the stock compensator (39K) and SE Harley compensator (10K miles).
      Finally went to a Baker and no problems since.

      • ronaldrodriguez34027

        I have a 2004 flstfi fatboy 1449cc hear a lot noise like a loose chain would that be the primaty? I can’t afford the upgrade so I just want the replace and repair information


    • ronaldrodriguez34027

      I have a 2004 flstfi fatboy 1449cc hear a lot noise like a loose chain would that be the primaty? I can’t afford the upgrade so I just want the replace and repair information


  2. han

    I have a electra glide standard from 2010. At 20k km the inner bearing race was bad so I replaced it with the proper tools. Also the great bearing from the transmission I changed. At about 40k km the inner bearing race was bad again. My theory is now that from day one the compensator and the automatic chain adjuster are the blame of all the misery.So I ordered the Baker compensator and manual chain adjuster, new chain and I am very pleased. The bike feels great , no more cluck at starting and at stopping the motor, the idle rpm is 900 now with a smooth run. Even the top speed is increased. I’ve been reading a lot about the cluck and inner bearing race problems. I even read to solve the problem for 2008-2011 Electra glides is to change the inner primairy housing and the gear box because there is a misalligment. I hope and really think the problem is in the compensator so stop trying to solve it with screaming or spring loaded chain tensioners. Copy everything from the EVO’s who are flawless in the inner primairy.