Author Topic: SE Compensator  (Read 43639 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Richard K

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 127
  • Live To Ride Ride To Eat
SE Compensator
« on: Wednesday, December 14, 2011. 02:39:16 PM. »
I am new to this forum but very long time Harley rider and very familiar with the issues involving the SE Compensator. I had a 2009 Ultra Classic and within 12K miles destroyed the stock compensator. I had failures on 2 other SE units and after installing the 3rd SE Compensator I sold the bike due to back issues taking me to a new 2010 TriGlide. I am about to install my 3rd SE Compensator in just under 30K miles. This one will be far improved over all the others. Like all of you I have searched for the answers to correct this deficiency with just bits and pieces coming out. I have tried to find the "long thread" you have been writing about have had no luck finding it. So if anyone can direct me I would appreciate the assist.

Like all of you I have been down this road with the dealers with no help but keep replacing the compensator. I have contacted the MOCO and they are acutely aware of the issues and say they are working on it. (yea right!!)  In addition to what I can determine and learned from these forums, I have also consulted an engineer and a machinist for advice. There appears to be basically 5 main deficiencies in the SE Compensator;
1) Marginally adequate load surface area on the journal (the area the sprocket rocks back and forth on).
2) The contact areas between the sprocket spokes and the cam are un-machined leaving them rough and contacting in an uneven manner.
3) Seriously inadequate lubrication.
4) Marginally adequate thrust surface on sprocket, approximately 1/2 the area of the cap and Teflon washer.
5) Weighing in at almost 10 pounds, there is no evidence of the assemble being balanced.
Three of these issues we are exempt from addressing; #1 This will have to be done at time it is made. #2 This would need to be machined before hardening is done, it would be prohibitively expensive to do it now. #4 This would also have to be done at the time it is made.

#5 This can be balanced but I had difficulty finding a facility that could get it done and several of the companies I called said it would be somewhat expensive if they could have done the job be a one off application. I find it curious that the MOCO would not have this assembly marked for assembly position and then balance. After all it is bolted to the crank assembly that is balanced and now you are adding about 10 pounds of unbalanced steel to the end of the crank shaft,,,, go figure
#3 As for the lack of lubrication, this can be addressed in two ways.
First, the grooves that have been discussed in these threads are very important. I decided to make spiraled groves directional towards the rotation of the engine as it runs. This will cause the oil to be forced into the journal as the engine is rotating. I decided to place 6 on the sprocket, 8 on the shaft extension and 4 narrow and shallow grooves on the journal itself and this was done to extend only about 1/2 the way into the journal so as to not reduce the load capacity that is already marginal. However this is necessary to get the oil into the critical area where it is needed.
Second, the oil has to actually get to the journal and cam areas. I have studied the flow of the oil in the primary case by pulling the cover drying everything then replacing the cover filling with oil then starting and running for about a minute then draining and removing the cover. I did this over and over to try and determine just where the oil is going. The center of the compensator seemed to be the last place it got to. I cannot speak for the other models but with the Ultra Classic the primary cover seems to be a major part of the issues in that it seems to shield the center of the compensator from  receiving much if any of the general splash of oil going on in the primary. The cover cups the compensator and the ribbing inside seems to serve as a kind of baffle deflecting the oil. What I saw was what has been commented on in several threads that the oil comes from what happens to run down after the engine is stopped. This does no good as the main problem is it goes dry when it is running. While it is running the lack of oil getting to it in combination with the natural centrifugal forces constantly clearing any oil that happens to make to the center appears to be keeping the failing areas dry of oil.
What I saw that needed to be done is the same thing you can find on many manual transmission on the input shaft bearing. They place a scoop of sorts that captures oil as the gears are turning and slinging oil thus allowing it to run into the bearing. I have tried several designs for this scoop and have determined what I think is the best way is to attach it to the primary cover on the dresser style covers and direct oil straight into the center of the compensator. Yes much of the oil will be slung off but a lot more will get inside than we are experiencing now. Also by attaching to the cover you do not have to change any of the factory bolts that attach the inner primary to the engine. That will make the dealer and MOCO much happier. I did make sure it is of heavy gauge material and attached with complete confidence that it is not going to fatigue and drop pieces into the moving parts or just fall off. That would not be a good thing for sure.

The MOCO has conveniently cast and threaded an attachment point in the center of the inside of the cover (no idea what it is there for) .  The scoop receives oil that is coming off the sprocket and chain on the clutch assembly. I cannot see any reason for concern about depleting oil from any other areas as it all stays in the primary and what is being directed into the compensator is a minor portion in comparison to the volume that is being circulated per minute within the primary. I plugged the discharge of the scoop and again dried everything and assembled and filled with oil then started for only couple of seconds. Opened it back up and the scoop was full so I know with certainty a steady stream of oil is making it to the center of the compensator.

As for the debate on what type of oil to use, your guess is as good as mine. I have always had trouble accepting the "ONE OIL FITS ALL" that Harley wants you to use. I for one and it is just the way I do it, use HD 20/50 synthetic in the engine, Royal Purple in the Tranny and Primary. I have tried them all with all the SE Compensators I have personally gone through and had failing compensator results every time. That is with HD synthetic, HD primary oil, ATF as advised by Barnett who's clutch plates I installed because the stock ones kept sticking and start up was difficult, to the Royal Purple. Some make the noises a bit less but none have helped with the Fretting of the journal and the wearing and pitting of the cam and spoke surfaces.

We have a 7K mile trip planned for the spring of 2012 and in 2013 we will be riding 11K miles back to Alaska and the Arctic Circle (if you can do this it is a must see trip WOW). I cannot have a failure of a major component like this lurking over our heads. It has to be made to last for the long haul. I will be posting updates as I get some miles on it and open it up for a look.

Have a look at the attached pictures of everything. The red is not rust it is the fretting we are all experiencing and this unit has just under 2,000 miles on it so you can imagine what it would look like after 10 or 20K miles (12K is when I end up having them changed out), the noise would stop you if it does not explode. Also note the wear on the spokes, not good for only 2,000 miles. You can see how I have placed the oiling grooves. You can see the inside of primary cover and the oil scoop installed. The bolt holds it in place and the tube locked into the hole in the rib holds it firm from any possibility of rotation that could loosen the bolt and also vibrations that could fatigue the metal. I have the new "A" design. The only thing I see different is the Journal is all on the cap instead of the shaft extension. Everything measures out the same so I don't see why the change other than maybe to help in assembly.

 Yes I have tried to contact the MOCO on this and no one seems interested. I tell a receptionist, who is all you can get to answers the phone, briefly about it and they say someone will contact me but to date no email or call.

My fellow Harley enthusiasts this has got to make things far better for now until the MOCO gets it all figured out.  They could make the casting and machining changes and just cast into the cover the scoop to direct oil to the compensator and hopefully they will sooner than later.
« Last Edit: Wednesday, December 14, 2011. 02:59:57 PM. by Richard K »

Offline dcgray2

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 104
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday, December 14, 2011. 03:02:27 PM. »
As someone that is about to install this component to overcome the weakness of the stock unit.  Thank you very much for your detailed write-up of your experience and your proposed fixes.  It is much appreciated.

I am very interested in replicating your scoop.  Would you be able / willing to provide more detailed photos / information regarding the scoop dimensions / design?

Once again, thanks for sharing!

Offline Max Headflow

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 18021
  • Country: tr
  • Not Admin
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday, December 14, 2011. 03:07:32 PM. »
Not sure balancing is one of the problems here but it might be better to find the heavy side. mark it and place in on indexed to the least out location on the crank.  :wink: Maybe 2 wrongs do make a right..

The trough looks interesting but am not sure how much oil will be making it to the center comp.. Looks like it will hit the sprocket and get flung off.. I've been thinking about a thin trough that dumps on the thrust bearing directly.. IIRC Ron was thinking this also..

What about lapping the spokes to the cam??

Max
Aka Mousinator, Another Wasted Minute With Max,
No Collar to the Bone

Offline wurk_truk

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2812
  • Country: us
  • WTF is going on here!
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday, December 14, 2011. 03:20:24 PM. »
The scoop may work!  Really...  all the other issues won't really destroy anything and balancing would be difficult.  But simply getting some oil onto the damn thing will help out for longer life.

Instead of grooves up near the thrust washer, I have lately been thinking that drilling a couple holes into the ramp piece, and chamferring them inside (like a car's main bearings) and hoping something would get inside.  The scoop would help that.  I can NOT see how groovy really helps due to centrifugal  forces.  This is why I am string to think Holy instead of Groovy.   But I would need a 'flood' system to keep oil aimed at the holes.


GMR and Ron were thinking of a scoop that goes to a tube and the tube aims at the thrust washer.


Damn... for a brand newbie, I commend you on your efforts!  I am now on my third SE Comp.  2 on my 107 and now 1 on my 120r.  It is my sincere wish that while playing around... you discover something... anything... that works.

I don't think polishing the ramps will help.  MY theory on why the spokes get beat up is this:  as the inner bore gets pitted, the fretted material starts to ride on the surfaces and slows down the response time of the ramps riding the spokes.  When the DO move, they slap.  If we could fix the issues with the inner bore, I feel the ramp/spoke problem will be drastically reduced.
« Last Edit: Wednesday, December 14, 2011. 03:32:31 PM. by wurk_truk »
Oh No!

Offline Richard K

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 127
  • Live To Ride Ride To Eat
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday, December 14, 2011. 03:55:23 PM. »
Several items have already been brought up. The oil does get into the center of the compensator. I put it together filled it ran it for several minutes and opened back up and the center of the compensator was wet and dripping with oil. Not what I found in my past looks. So apparently the spokes do splash a fair amount of the oil into the center. I did not remove the compensator as it is required that the bolt be replaced each time and I will get a few thousand miles on it first for a really good test. I have visited with numerous people on the spokes and cams contacting. I had it to a machine shop and they placed it on device that rotated 360 degrees and they miced it the same place  as they rotated it exactly 1/3 around each time. No matter where they miced it it came up different on each lob of the cam and on the spokes. Some by a few thousands and other places we found it out as much as 35 thousands. It was suggested that this would cause a wobble as the cam rocked back and forth  under a load and that would not be good at all on the thrust and journal surfaces. As for lapping as we have all seem it will set itself to some extent. To machine it correctly is very costly because of the hardening I was told about $500 per unit. I have tried using my dye grinder and small barrel sanders but it made no difference in the pitting and wearing. I really think that is primarily due to the lack of oil. Folks I am trying as I know many of you are and we will get this thing figured out.

Offline Max Headflow

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 18021
  • Country: tr
  • Not Admin
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday, December 14, 2011. 04:10:33 PM. »
Quote
I don't think polishing the ramps will help.

probably right.. I'm still thinking that maybe it's better to try and mod the stock one.. More surface area on the cams..

I've got about 22K on the EGC now and it's beginning to rattle a little..

Max
Aka Mousinator, Another Wasted Minute With Max,
No Collar to the Bone

Offline wurk_truk

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2812
  • Country: us
  • WTF is going on here!
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday, December 14, 2011. 04:50:53 PM. »
I went back to stock on the old bike.  I do not see that as an alternative for my present bike.

Keep up the good work Richard K.
Oh No!

Online rbabos

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7744
  • Country: ca
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday, December 14, 2011. 04:54:12 PM. »
Outstanding effort that will make a big difference. You will find spoke wear an initial thing and once it wears a larger contact area wear reduces. Problem is by then there's more clearance then one would like but it can be lived with. Nice to see someone take all the data from the looooooooong compensator threads and get the tools out and work out a solution.
Two things I've not discussed before. Prior to installing the comp, rotate the extension shaft to different splines and use a dial indicator on the bearing area. There will be one spot that will produce less runout on the sprocket. Index this with paint for future r&r work.
Index the cam and spokes as well to retain the existing wear pattern on the spokes. It does make a difference.
Ron
I came over to the Dark Side. They have chocolate kisses.

Offline glens

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 3173
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday, December 14, 2011. 06:24:42 PM. »
I have done nothing further than ponder the situation, but had a notion about mounting a sprocket inside the chain loop.  The sprocket would have its spring-loaded mount sharing an attachment point with the tensioner which would itself act to "back" the sprocket.  The sprocket would either, via its configuration, directly sling oil at the compensator bore, or the sprocket would chain-drive another which would do the slinging.

Less "simple" and uncomplicated but definitely more "sure", the sprocket could drive an oil pump which picks up from the bottom of the case and discharges toward the center of the compensator.  The discharge could either be a simple spray, or it could enter the center of a drilled compensator bolt.  If anyone goes into production on this, I want a part of the action :)

Offline Eleft36

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 642
  • Country: us
  • Trade School Alumnus
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #9 on: Wednesday, December 14, 2011. 06:38:40 PM. »
http://www.epi-eng.com/mechanical_engineering_basics/fretting_corrosion.htm

This article shows fretting causes. Oscillating, which the cam does between the spokes of the sprocket, is one cause noted in the article. Vibration also.
Does anyone think the fretting causes a problem or is the spoke ware the problem.
I've not noticed any change since I cut the retainer shown, also cut the thrust washer down to the diameter of the sprocket boss @ 13,000 now have over 32,500.
Al
« Last Edit: Wednesday, December 14, 2011. 06:42:03 PM. by Eleft36 »
103" SE BB Andrews 26H's 2010 110" mufflers
Ride every chance I get, above 36*f

Offline Richard K

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 127
  • Live To Ride Ride To Eat
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #10 on: Wednesday, December 14, 2011. 07:59:37 PM. »
I appreciate all the feedback on all this. I cannot wait for the weather to get better so I can get a lot of miles on it to verify all is doing what it should..... I had not considered micing the run-out for the best and truest fit. I have always marked the parts so they would reassemble in the exactly same position as they came out just because of the wear-in characteristics between the spokes and cam ramps. I had considered the cap and grooving it in some way but with the washer having grooves I didn't go that direction. Yes, I may not need as many grooves I applied but it was on the bench and tool in hand and I felt to many in this case was much better than not enough, at $300 a pop to change out (gaskets oil and all). As for the old stock version vs. the SE unit. What I found was the splines on the shaft extension the cam moved on were so much more course and fewer the total surface area was inadequate for the loads applied. The first stock unit that I destroyed had eaten up the splines so bad I don't know how it was still working at all. I spent quit a bit of time over many months with the Mechanic at the dealership looking at units they had taken off and the splines along with the spring assembly had completely failed for the most part on many many of them. To me the SE unit is geared to handle a much heavier load (provided it was not fretting and grinding down the spoke and cam surfaces.   The 10 pounds I have stated was without the rotor and yes that should be part of the balance process. I also had considered how to place some kind of pump in there to get a stream of oil to the center of the compensator but everything I could come up with was complicated and getting more costly than I wanted to see it. I do like the idea of having a roller sprocket as the tensioner but I bet there is a good reason I don't see for the longer nylon pad they use, maybe more stabilizing or something.
Again THX for the welcome.. Have look at cyclestream.com I build these things for the bikes, they are a hoot..

Offline greg1140

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 105
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #11 on: Wednesday, December 14, 2011. 09:52:17 PM. »
Was just looking at a website that sold a part that would eliminate the compensator because he claims it is not needed. has anyone seen that site or piece?

Offline greg1140

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 105
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #12 on: Wednesday, December 14, 2011. 09:54:22 PM. »
The piece is a sprocket with a spline that replaces the compensator

Offline Richard K

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 127
  • Live To Ride Ride To Eat
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #13 on: Thursday, December 15, 2011. 05:51:53 AM. »
As I went through the process of trying to figure all this out I tried the BDL Products unit www.beltdrives.com. This was a waste of time. The design is not good. It has a spiral thread design that in theory causes the sprocket to rotate back and forth on the center assembly bolted firm to the crank. As it screws back and forth it is ,in theory, cushioned by Teflon washers on either side of the sprocket. NO SPRINGS. However in reality what happens is when the engine starts and any load is applied the sprocket screws very very firmly into one side of the washer and it all locks in place and will not let go under any circumstances. Now you have a solid one piece sprocket. This is not the way to go!!!! it caused the chain to slap and rattle very badly. This felt not good and sounded really bad. So back the plan "A" and the fix of the SE Compensator and a week of riding wasted.   

Offline Gmr-Performance

  • Premium Vendor
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3254
  • Country: 00
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #14 on: Thursday, December 15, 2011. 06:50:14 AM. »
I got the fix for the SE comp !!! 
















Dont use it , we have been running the "stock pre se set up" have had better luck than the POS SE unit.. :banghead:


I have pictures of a se comp that we installed new, we did a dyno tune and I removed it after 89 Miles for inspection and it looked like azz.  Formula plus fluid, was used as well.  Crank was done by  Hobans, as the evo 30 tooth unit was a bit hard on the out put shaft. It got a bit twisted up.. :smilep:  Pulled the unit and install a 09 version.
« Last Edit: Thursday, December 15, 2011. 06:54:23 AM. by GMR-PERFORMANCE »

Offline Sc00ter

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1116
  • Country: 00
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #15 on: Thursday, December 15, 2011. 09:50:28 AM. »
Was just looking at a website that sold a part that would eliminate the compensator because he claims it is not needed. has anyone seen that site or piece?

It's only needed if you want to protect your crankshaft from absorbing the shock loads the compensator is designed to protect it from...

The current options are either protecting the crankshaft and living with a compensator that wears out prematurely - or eliminating the compenstor and sacrificing the crankshaft in exchange... 

Offline Gmr-Performance

  • Premium Vendor
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3254
  • Country: 00
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #16 on: Thursday, December 15, 2011. 10:22:02 AM. »
Running a non comp sprocket on the new fine spline cranks 06 dyna and 07 up all will only end up with a twisted or bent crank out put shaft. Got several here that are junk due to the EVO item.

Offline frankieb

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 283
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #17 on: Thursday, December 15, 2011. 02:39:47 PM. »
Why not just an enclosed belt drive?

Offline Sc00ter

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1116
  • Country: 00
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #18 on: Thursday, December 15, 2011. 03:13:57 PM. »
Why not just an enclosed belt drive?

There is no belt drive I am aware of that incorporates a compensator.

Offline frankieb

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 283
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #19 on: Thursday, December 15, 2011. 03:17:20 PM. »
Why not just an enclosed belt drive?

There is no belt drive I am aware of that incorporates a compensator.
that is the point,eliminate the compensator completely

Offline Gmr-Performance

  • Premium Vendor
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3254
  • Country: 00
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #20 on: Thursday, December 15, 2011. 04:25:34 PM. »
The belt is the comp...

Offline Sc00ter

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1116
  • Country: 00
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #21 on: Thursday, December 15, 2011. 05:12:25 PM. »
The belt is the comp...

Well, it's not really the same now is it...  A belt with the same dampening as a compensator would be more like a rubber band...   :hyst:

Offline Sc00ter

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1116
  • Country: 00
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #22 on: Thursday, December 15, 2011. 05:13:15 PM. »
Why not just an enclosed belt drive?

There is no belt drive I am aware of that incorporates a compensator.
that is the point,eliminate the compensator completely

As stated below...that would be a mistake...unless you hate your crankshaft.

Offline Richard K

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 127
  • Live To Ride Ride To Eat
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #23 on: Thursday, December 15, 2011. 06:24:45 PM. »
Well guys I have been down the belt primary also to start with expensive. Then no compensator. Then no oil vented primary which just does not work for me as when we take trip it is 6k to 12k miles.  All those parts dry not good for the long haul. Then there is the added noise. No thx not for me.  If the modes and scoop dumping directly into the comp does not fix it.  Then it is carry a spare and the tools needed and change as you go.  Guys this all really pisses me off to invest $35+K and have to even be giving this any concern.  Very irritating for sure.  I still am very confident this issue is done.  Give me a few weeks to get some miles on it and I will pull it down get you more pictures of results.   

Offline wurk_truk

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2812
  • Country: us
  • WTF is going on here!
Re: SE Compensator
« Reply #24 on: Thursday, December 15, 2011. 06:26:28 PM. »
Thanks Richard.
Oh No!