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Grinding Outer Primary Cover

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Your Harley outer primary cover may have an oil deflector that is cast into the inside, top, front of the outer primary cover. This deflector was designed to aid in the lubrication of the stock Harley Davidson compensator assembly. If you have this deflector, it will need to be removed from the primary cover.

The Baker assembly will not fit if the deflector is left intact. Also, even if there was adequate clearance; Baker has lubrication covered. The Baker Compensator sprocket has holes, and the spring cup assembly has channels which direct oil to the cam lobes. This, not only, improves function but also makes for quieter operation and extended durability over the stock factory design.

There are a number of ways and a handful of tools that can be used to remove the aluminum material that makes up this oil deflector in the outer primary cover. We recommend to use what works best for you so that the job can be completed correctly and safely.


Whether cutting or grinding, there will be a lot of metal shavings raised during this step. Do everything possible to protect the finished side of the outer primary cover and don’t forget your eyes. Working on a clean, soft, surface is important but remember that the aluminum chips will be falling all over your work surface. Your clean, safe surface will quickly become full of unwanted debris. Focus on holding the cover in one spot as you cut. Or, if possible, try to also wrap the outside of the outer primary with paper, plastic, or a towel for further protection.

Bob uses a die grinder with an rasp to do his cutting. If using a rasp, be sure to use one that is designed to cut non-ferrous metals such as this aluminum. If you try to use a rasp that is designed for steel/ferrous metals, the rasp will quickly become embedded with the aluminum and be rendered useless. After the deflector is removed it is important to clean the outer primary completely and thoroughly. Use brake cleaner and compressed air for this.

To wrap up, simply reinstall the outer primary cover with a new James Gasket and fill with Spectro heavy duty primary oil. Now enjoy the infinite benefits of this high quality repair and upgrade. Your Harley Davidson drive assembly will now perform flawlessly for years to come.

Tags: grinding, harley davidson maintenance, Member Videos, outer primary cover