What’s the Best Harley Primary Chain Tensioner?

If your bike has a primary chain problem, you should get a new primary chain tensioner to make the system more effective. The HD brand introduced the first primary chain tensioner in 2006. In 2016, the Milwaukee 8 made the primary chain adjuster more complex. It was designed with infinite points of adjustment and requires a special wrench for installation. Its main benefit is that it works with stock hardware. However, you should first check the mounting hardware. You can use the stock nuts and bolts to attach the unit.

Manual chains may be noisy and must be checked annually. The best way to avoid this problem is to use a manual chain tensioner. It will save you time and money and let you spend it on other things, like beer or chicken wings! The Twin Power Tension Reliever Manual Primary Chin Adjuster can only be used with a 34 tooth sprocket. If your bike doesn’t come with a manual primary chain tensioner, you can choose to buy a new one, which is also compatible with other models.

The best way to choose a primary chain tensioner is to find out which type of bike is compatible with it. Some models are not compatible with different models of bikes. If you have a motorcycle that uses a different size, you can get a manual primary chain tensioner instead. It costs less and does the same job. And it is not difficult to install. In addition, it’s very easy to install.

Best Harley Primary Chain Tensioner – Top 5

Features of Selected Harley Primary Chain Tensioner

Bestseller No. 1
XKMT-Automatic Primary Chain Tensioner Adjuster Compatible With Harley Big Twin 2001-2006 03 04 05 [B07BDCV87B]
  • Automatically adjust the tension of the primary chain
  • Provide constant and even tension, which improves gear shifting
  • Reduce shifting noise; makes for a smoother ride
  • Extend primary chain life
  • Fits: Harley Davidson Big Twin Models 2001-2006 (except 2006 Dyna models)
Bestseller No. 2
TIGERSGATE Primary Chain Tensioner Compatible with 2007-2017 Harley Big Twin Engine (including 06 Dyna) and 2017+ Milwaukee M8 Models
  • Fitment: 2007-2016 Harley Big Twin (including 06 Dyna) and 2017+ Harley Milwaukee M8 Models
  • Premium quality:Complete cam chain tensioner assemblies feature the proven shoe material for longer life, reduced friction, and higher temperature resistance.
  • Function:Automatically adjust the tension of the primary chain,Reduce shifting noise; makes for a smoother riding
  • Easy to Install:the kit come with complete installation instructions,
  • Package List:a set of Primary Chain Tensioner kit
Bestseller No. 3
Orange Cycle Parts Primary Chain Tensioner Adjuster Kit for Harley Twin Cam Dyna/Electra Glide/Softail/Road Glide/Road King/Street Glide 2001-2006 (Except 06 Dyna)
  • For Harley Twin Cam Dyna / Electra Glide / Softail / Road Glide / Road King / Street Glide 2001 - 2006 (Except 06 Dyna)
  • Use to upgrade or update an old adjuster system or to build a new motorcycle from the ground up
  • Complete kit comes with washers, bolts, shoe, adjuster, adjuster plate and nut
Bestseller No. 4
MoKitDora Primary Chain Tensioner Adjuster Compatible with 2007-2017 Harley Big Twin Engine (including 06 Dyna)
  • Fitment - Fits 2007-2017 Harley Big Twin Engine (including 06 Dyna) and 2017-up Harley Milwaukee M8 Models
  • Easy to Use - The tensioner could automatically adjust the tension of the primary chain, reduce the noise of shifting so that the ride is more stable
  • Practical Utility - Too tight the main chain is known to cause premature engine, transmission, and main bearing failure, among other complications. The primary chain tensioner helps prevent premature engine and transmission bearing failure by allowing proper chain tension
  • Quality Speaks - Made of premium quality metal which can improve the safety of using process and reduce the frequency of replacement. The shoe is durable for longer life and higher temperature resistance and can be replaced
  • Customer Support - Comes with primary chain tensioner adjuster as picture shown. Back-up with 24/7 customer service, if any questions you have, please message us to get a good solution.
Bestseller No. 5
Motorcycle Milky Primary Chain Adjuster Shoe For Harley Dyna Softail Fatboy Road King Road Street Electra Glide Low Rider 2001-2006
  • Fitment: For Harley Softail Deluxe EFI FLSTNI 2005-2006, Deluxe FLSTN 2005-2006, Deuce EFI FXSTDI 2001-2006, Deuce FXSTD 2001-2006, Fat Boy EFI FLSTFI 2001-2006, FLSTF 2001-2006, Heritage Classic EFI FLSTCI 2001-2006, Classic FLSTC 2001-2006, EFI FLSTI FLST 2006, Springer EFI FLSTSI FLSTS 2001-2003, Night Train EFI FXSTBI FXSTB 2001-2006, Springer Classic EFI FLSTSCI FLSTSC 2005-2006, EFI FXSTSI FXSTS 2001-2006, Standard EFI FXSTI FXST 2001-2006.
  • Fitment: For Harley Electra Glide Classic EFI FLHTCI 2001-2006 FLHTC 2001-2005, Standard EFI FLHTI 2003-2006 FLHT 2001-2006, Ultra Classic EFI FLHTCUI 2001-2006; 15th Anniversary Fat Boy FLSTF 2005; Low Rider EFI FXDL 2004-2005, FXDL 2001-2005.
  • Fitment: For Harley Super Glide Custom EFI FXDCI 2005, Custom FXDC 2005, EFI FXDI 2004-2005, FXD 2001-2005, Sport EFI FXDXI 2004-2005, Sport FXDX 2001-2005, T-Sport FXDXT 2001-2003; Dyna Glide Custom FXDC 2005; Street Glide EFI FLHX 2006, FLHX 2006.
  • Fitment: For Harley Road King Classic EFI FLHRC 2001-2006, Custom EFI FLHRS 2004-2006, EFI FLHR 2001-2006; Road Glide EFI FLTR 2001-2006, FLTR 2001-2002; Wide Glide EFI FXDWGI 2004-2005, FXDWG 2001-2005.
  • Color: Milky; Material: Nylon; Package: 1 X Chain Adjuster.
Bestseller No. 6
HONGK- Automatic Primary Chain Tensioner Adjuster Compatible with Harley Big Twin 2001-2006 03 04 05 [B07BDJKP57]
  • Automatically adjust the tension of the primary chain
  • Provide constant and even tension, which improves gear shifting
  • Reduce shifting noise; makes for a smoother ride
  • Extend primary chain life
  • Fits: Harley Davidson Big Twin Models 2001-2006 (except 2006 Dyna models)
Bestseller No. 7
HTTMT EPC010- Automatic Primary Chain Tensioner Adjuster Compatible with Harley Big Twin 1965-2000 99 98 97
  • Automatically adjust the tension of the primary chain
  • Provide constant and even tension, which improves gear shifting
  • Reduce shifting noise; makes for a smoother ride
  • Extend primary chain life
  • Fits: 1965-2000 all Harley Davidson Big Twin models.
Bestseller No. 8
Bestseller No. 9
CICMOD All Primary Drive Twin Cam Locking Tool in Transmissions & Chains for Harley Davidson Electra Glide/Road King/Softail
  • For all Big Twin and XL.
  • Use on all primaries between front primary chain and motor sprocket.
  • Easily inserted into the primary drive system and wedges in place to restrict movement without damaging the sprocket teeth.
  • Function: A must-have primary drive locking tool for most Harley owners. This is a good helper to lock primary drive in place while removing or installing primary drive components.
  • Package include: 1pcs Primary Drive Locking Tool.
Bestseller No. 10
Feuling OEX Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioner Conversion Kits for Harley 02-06 - 7090 - Scooters Performance
  • Cam chain tensioner conversion kits include the needed components to upgrade early 99-06 style mechanical cam chain drive systems to the late 07-17 hydraulic cam chain drive systems
  • Kits include a Feuling OE+ billet oil pump and camplate, Feulings billet hydraulic tensioners, cam chains, sprockets, sprocket alignment spacers, TimkenR/Feuling bearings, needed gaskets, O-rings, ARPR cam, crank and tensioner hardware, LoctiteR and moly lube

What Happens If the Primary Chain is Too Tight?

Tighten the primary chain by loosening the lock nut on the bottom of the primary case. Make sure the primary chain has at least 3/8 inch of wiggle in the cold state. If it is loose, it will cause the primary chain to surge and the primary case will be damaged. A tight primary chain can cause the bike to shift difficultly. In such a case, it is essential to adjust the tension of the primary chain.

Check the tension of the chain by moving it half an inch in either direction and measuring it with a measuring tape. If it does not move much, then it’s probably too tight. To ensure proper tension, refer to the owner’s manual. It will tell you how much chain slack should be present to prevent the chain from slipping. You can find this information by referring to your motorcycle owner’s manual.

Too-tight primary chains can lead to excessive wear. The chain can break while the bike is moving, causing the bike to jerk or stop suddenly. Motorcycle owners need to keep a primary chain with 5/8” to 7/8” of slack when the bike is cold. If it’s hot, it should be at least 3/8” loose. This slack helps the bike to keep the clutch basket in place.

How Tight Should the Primary Chain on a Harley Davidson Be?

To determine the correct tension of your Harley primary chain, start by listening to the left side of the motorcycle’s engine. If the primary chain makes a whining noise, it’s too tight. Too loose, and the primary chain will stretch and rattle the bike. A proper chain tension is 20 mm or half an inch, and if you find that your primary chain is too tight, you should adjust it.

For the Harley-Davidson Sportster, you should adjust the primary chain to its most-tight spot. Bob Dawson explains how to find this spot and why unhooking the negative cable is so crucial when servicing the primary. This video is a valuable resource for anyone looking to adjust the primary chain on their own. However, don’t forget to follow all safety precautions when servicing the primary.

The primary drive on your Harley Davidson motorcycle is a combination of gears and a chain. It transfers engine power to the input shaft. The shift lever changes gears. In some models, a compensator helps smooth out the pulses of the engine and prevents them from being transmitted through the drivetrain. Ensure that you adjust the primary chain tension according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Checking the primary chain tension is easy. You should loosen the axle nut by a couple of turns. If the chain is too loose, you can loosen the bolts by turning the adjuster nuts on the swingarm. Turn the adjuster nuts so that they touch the upper chain guard. Then, turn the engine off to let the motorcycle cool down. The bike chain should now hang in its sweet spot.

How Long Do Harley Cam Tensioners Last?

One of the most important parts of a Harley motorcycle engine is the cam chain tensioner. The cam chain runs through a gear and requires tension to keep it working correctly. Harley-Davidson cam tensioners are spring-loaded and are used to keep the cams in place. If they become worn, the shrapnel from the spring is sent through the motor, destroying the cams and the oil pump.

What Problems Did Harley Have at First with Cam Chain Tensioners?

The first problem with the Harley-Davidson 96-ci engine is that it can fail. Even though it is considered one of the most reliable motorcycle motors ever made, this model has had problems with cam chain tensioners. Thankfully, this issue can be easily remedied with a few simple steps.

What Year Did Harley Use Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners?

Did you know that your motorcycle’s hydraulic cam chain tensioners are different from their spring counterparts? In 2007, the new cam plate design replaced the spring tensioners. The hydraulic tensioners are made of a different material than the spring tensioners. The difference between the two models is the cost of the Bearing kit. If you notice an unusual noise coming from your engine, you should get it checked out. It’s important to know that a bad cam chain tensioner could be the cause of a rattling or scraping noise.

You should know that your 1999-2002 Harleys have Timken lower end bearings. Moreover, you should choose a high volume pump and plate. Tapered Timken bearings are bulletproof. For the earlier models, you’ll need a high-volume pump with under.005 run-out. You’ll have to remove the cam cover to check the front tensioner. Once you’ve checked the tensioner, you can upgrade to the hydraulic ones.

The hydraulic cam chain tensioners on Harley motorcycles have the same benefits as their spring-based counterparts, except that they run on engine oil. They are more reliable and last for many more miles than their spring-powered counterparts. And Harley’s over-engineering extends to their hypereutectic aluminum pistons. The latter feature is a type of aluminum alloy coated with Teflon. It can also be made lighter because of its silicon content.

Last update on 2022-05-12  / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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