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Old 08-30-2012, 04:31 PM   #526 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbubbalee View Post
I realize RB's post is 2 years old, so any body is welcome to answer the question..
One more thing - in case you need to replace the tensioners, do not be tempted to replace the cam chains. Yours will be nicely polished and subsequently are less likely to grind the tensioner shoes. In fact you could help the process by polishing the back of the chains.
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:39 PM   #527 (permalink)
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Tensioner

Changed at 25,000. Still had plenty of use left.


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Old 09-04-2012, 07:48 AM   #528 (permalink)
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03 road king

My 03 road king shows very little signs of wear at 20k
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:53 PM   #529 (permalink)
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I have to agree with the guys that say it must be a problem with the chains. I replaced mine at 33K but they were worn very little. You could not even feel a groove. The had a little bit of pitting but other than that they looked great. I replaced them while I was in there though. I have used dino and syn oils both. Right now I am actully using diesel oil, Rotella 15-40W. Might switch to Amsoil at next change.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:56 PM   #530 (permalink)
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2001 Fatboy

As a preventative, at 28000 miles I put my bike in the shop to do the SE tensioner upgrade with HV oil pump. Dealer called when they got inside and said I had a problem with the cams! Sure enough, ONE cam was really worn, had a groove worn into it. So, replaced the cams with 211's, and while we were at it, put on 95" jugs, SE H/C cast pistons, already had a 42" Mikuni, and compression releases! Didn't do any head work. Bike is a totally different animal, compared to the stock bike this thing is bad to the bone. Dyno #'s were not quite as high as as I thought they would be though. HP 78.27 and Torque 92.06. On dyno chart most all of this power comes on at about 2300 rpm's.......any thoughts?
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:37 AM   #531 (permalink)
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I have the first run of '88b motors and I got a letter from HD about a year after I bought the bike stating that the bearings/plate assay. may be a weak point (or something like that) giving me a extended warranty of 5 years and/or 50,000 miles. Can't find the letter anymore, it's been 12 years.
My cam bearings let go June of '11 while riding down a hill into Prescott, WI. with 27,000 miles. Started making a screaming noise so I pulled in the clutch and turned it off. Coasted into a rest area on the MS river and called HOG's tow number. St Paul HD tore into it, cut the filter in half and found no metal shavings inside so I got lucky, nothing got into the motor. Probably the best thing I did was to shut it off.
Since they have to take the cams out, which they said were OK, I did the HD factory stage II kit to 95" with the 203 cams and SE hydraulic cam chain tensioner & high-flow oil pump upgrade kit.
Bike runs great, very happy with 'only' a 95" motor, 203 cams and stock heads. Total cost of $2500 installed with a 1 year warranty from my dealer because I used all HD parts and they installed. A little noisier thou, using SE synthetic oil which is normal but runs much cooler with synthetic

Last edited by 00fxsts; 09-19-2012 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:43 PM   #532 (permalink)
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Bought an '03 with 52k on the clock. Outer was in bad shape, inner was metal to metal. I went with the Andrews kit.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:02 AM   #533 (permalink)
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Replaced the tensioners at 40.00 kilometers on my Heritage Classic 03 with 88B block. The original tensioners were far beyond replacement, but I think personally that it is a design failure. The placed SE hydraulic tensioner is in combination with a better oil pump. Giving a higher flow with some slightly higher pressure. The results are not only a more constant tension on the nylon surface but also increased the oil flow to the engine. Runs considerably cooler than before, due to the increased flow of oil and stronger spray beneath the piston.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:01 AM   #534 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00fxsts View Post
Since they have to take the cams out, which they said were OK, I did the HD factory stage II kit to 95" with the 203 cams and SE hydraulic cam chain tensioner & high-flow oil pump upgrade kit.
Bike runs great, very happy with 'only' a 95" motor, 203 cams and stock heads. Total cost of $2500 installed with a 1 year warranty from my dealer because I used all HD parts and they installed. A little noisier thou, using SE synthetic oil which is normal but runs much cooler with synthetic
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blancu13 View Post
Replaced the tensioners at 40.00 kilometers on my Heritage Classic 03 with 88B block. The original tensioners were far beyond replacement, but I think personally that it is a design failure. The placed SE hydraulic tensioner is in combination with a better oil pump. Giving a higher flow with some slightly higher pressure. The results are not only a more constant tension on the nylon surface but also increased the oil flow to the engine. Runs considerably cooler than before, due to the increased flow of oil and stronger spray beneath the piston.
Had the intermittent clatter on decel, it's an '07 35,000 miles ( hydraulic tensioners), for about 50 miles.
Spring disintegrated in the primary cam chain tensioner, the slack pounded the plastic material away and the chain links rode metal to metal.
A mechanical failure (spring) causes the hydraulic tensioner to fail.
Hydraulics are not bullet proof either.

Al
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:47 AM   #535 (permalink)
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99' (first gen v-twin) EG ULTRA, 38K. Mine broke today. Had to ride 75 miles with my bike screaming at me.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:57 PM   #536 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ronw435 View Post
I have to agree with the guys that say it must be a problem with the chains. I replaced mine at 33K but they were worn very little. You could not even feel a groove. The had a little bit of pitting but other than that they looked great. I replaced them while I was in there though. I have used dino and syn oils both. Right now I am actully using diesel oil, Rotella 15-40W. Might switch to Amsoil at next change.
I run Rotella also. Put 45,000 miles on a set of tensioners. They were less than 1/4 worn
(1999 FLHTC)
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:10 PM   #537 (permalink)
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just did big bore and cams in my 05 roadking right at 30 k. had about .020 wear inner and outer.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:04 AM   #538 (permalink)
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For those who haven't been able to access the previous link, here's the inspection procedure on '03 Softail:
Firstly, you need to take off the front exhaust, to get at the cam box. Stuff an oily rag in the port, to prevent nesting birds, mice, etc. from taking up home there.

Next, fit a polythene sheet between the lower half of the cam box and the lower frame rails, and shape it to form a trough that will direct oil to your drain can. There is always some residual oil left in the cam box, and it's enough to make a big mess.

Slacken the cam box allen bolts a little at a time, in a diagonal sequence (to prevent distortion) then remove completely. If you leave the top two until last, it stops the cover falling off until you're ready. Congratulate yourself on your forethought, as a pint of dirty oil streams down your polythene into your ice cream box.

This is what the inside of the cam box looks like. There is a cam plate, which supports the outer shafts of the two cams, and houses the main oilways to and from the oil pump. The small gear from the crankshaft drives the rear cam, and behind the cam plate, there is a secondary chain, where the front cam is driven by the rear cam. Unless you have X-ray vision, or are a Venusian with eyes on flexible stalks, you can't see that.

The primary cam chain is tensioned with a spring-loaded shoe, bearing on the outer faces of the chain.

To inspect the shoe properly, you need to overcome the tension on the spring, and pull the shoe away from the chain. Having done that, you can fit a retention pin to hold it in place.
I bought the special tool from Jims, which comprises a special socket and the two retaining pins.

Having used it, it's an overkill for this job, but as you have to be really careful not to let the tensioner spring back on to the chain (which can take your finger off, or shatter the shoe) and it's needed if you ever do a cam or cam bearing change, I thought it was worth buying.
The instructions are not good, and it's not clear how the unloader is supposed to fit on to the shoe. It will go on two ways.

There's a bit of metal that extends out to the hexagon drive flats, and that's supposed to go below the lower right of the shoe. You need a huge 1 1/4" socket or wrench to rotate the tool.

Once you have rotated the shoe anti-clockwise, the hole in the tensioner will align with the hole in the cam plate, under the 'H'.

Push one of the pair of retaining pins in the kit through the tensioner, and into the hole in the cam plate.

Now you can inspect your shoe, which needs replaced if more than half the thickness is gone.
As you can see, mine looks pretty much OK (this was 6 years ago at 27,000 miles).


It would be easy to say, "Well, the outer one's OK, so the inner one will be too." but many have had perfect outers and wrecked inners, so that's not a good short cut to take...

Get down to your local drugstore, and buy yourself one of these:


I was looking for a simple, cheap mirror, but they were out of stock, and I spotted this illuminated one. Best thing since sliced bread, because it gets over the problem that most of us don't have three hands for the torch, the tool and the mirror...

The tensioner sits behind the cam plate, and its axle is shown under the yellow ring. The red ring shows the hole where the retaining pin fits.

Using the mirror, you can locate the two hooks on the tensioner. These are what the retaining pin fits through when the tensioner is disengaged, so you slip a sturdy and long flat bladed screwdriver under the rear one, lever it up, and then stick the retaining pin through until it supports the tensioner under the outer hook.

Push the pin in as far as it will go, then remove the screwdriver and push the pin through the rear hook, to secure the tensioner.

This is what it looks like inside:


With the tensioner secured, you are free to use the mirror to inspect the underside of the shoe, which looks pretty good on mine.

When you're finished, get the mirror in there again, and support the tensioner again under the rear hook. Keeping it supported, withdraw the retaining pin, and gently lower the shoe back on to the chain.

Degrease and clean the outer cam cover, remove old gasket, and clean faces. Fit new gasket, replace cam cover, and torque down the allen bolts in the sequence illustrated in your service manual.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:26 AM   #539 (permalink)
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what about failures on the newer bikes(10 to 13)
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:50 AM   #540 (permalink)
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what about failures on the newer bikes(10 to 13)
Post #534?
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