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Old 10-06-2012, 08:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cam Tensioner?

Hi, I have a 03 Heritage Soft Tail. I have 46K now. I understand I have a ticking time bomb in the Cam chest.
What are your suggestions please?
Thanks, Steve
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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go gear drive / cams and never go into the cam cover again worst idea H-D ever designed into a motor and thousands have lost good motors that H-D wouldnt cover or stand behind ! Harley would have gone back to gear cams years ago but they dont own the patant rights to produce them ! lets see.....H-D had gear driven cams right up to 1999 and never a big problem in that department.... hmmmm 1936-1999 and no chain tensioners not a bad run ! good luck....and get rid of those chains
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 59panhead View Post
go gear drive / cams and never go into the cam cover again worst idea H-D ever designed into a motor and thousands have lost good motors that H-D wouldnt cover or stand behind ! Harley would have gone back to gear cams years ago but they dont own the patant rights to produce them ! lets see.....H-D had gear driven cams right up to 1999 and never a big problem in that department.... hmmmm 1936-1999 and no chain tensioners not a bad run ! good luck....and get rid of those chains
Are there H-D gear-drive cams available for an '06 TC88B, or S&S kit, or which other reliable mfrs would you suggest?
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by steve.mac03 View Post
Hi, I have a 03 Heritage Soft Tail. I have 46K now. I understand I have a ticking time bomb in the Cam chest.
What are your suggestions please?
Thanks, Steve
First off...welcome to the forum Steve.
It's way past time for you to look at your chain tensioners. IMHO upgrade to the 2011 cam plate/ new tensioners/ oil pump . It all comes as a kit now, go for it, your motor will thank you later. While you are in there , new followers are in order and maybe a upgraded cam too. IMHO a SE 203 will do the trick for you, more low to midrange torque and you will be pulling the cams anyway to repace the tensioner shoes.




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Old 10-07-2012, 09:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Nitram_b4 is reading this now saying WTF is this?
You should change out the tensioners by now, I would and did switch to the new cam plate at about that mileage SE unit. you can go to gear drive if you wish, but you would need to check run-out to see if it is even do-able.
Personally I would use the new SE camplate, I have 10,000 miles on mine and the shoes show no wear at all...like new, the kit comes with a new oil pump that is far better than the stock one you have

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Old 10-07-2012, 09:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Well thanks y'all, I've asked around here to the guys that ride. They are saying everything from go back with what you have to gear.
Seems they had a good thing then screwed it up! Da, then just upgraded the screw up.
If they will rebuild under warranty, won't if no warranty, doesn't that sound fishie?
Seems as many that have failed, some one would of formed a group to act in behalf of all, 6 years of bikes with this, how many bikes were built?
What is the run out on crank that a gear can be installed?
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Excuse me, I stand corrected, 8 yrs, 99 to 06, except 06 Dyna
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by steve.mac03 View Post
Well thanks y'all, I've asked around here to the guys that ride. They are saying everything from go back with what you have to gear.
Seems they had a good thing then screwed it up! Da, then just upgraded the screw up.
If they will rebuild under warranty, won't if no warranty, doesn't that sound fishie?
Seems as many that have failed, some one would of formed a group to act in behalf of all, 6 years of bikes with this, how many bikes were built?
What is the run out on crank that a gear can be installed?
It really don't matter what run out is now, cranks will keep shifting unless wielded, even then some will stretch shift on crank pin.




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Old 10-07-2012, 10:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Crankshaft Bushing

I'm in the process of installing a S+S gear drive setup in my 06 Heritage and I noticed the crankshaft bushing in the cam support plate is sligthly egg shaped by about 1/16"
In the factory service manual it states that after you install a new bushing you need to Reattach the cam support plate to the crankcase and ream the new bushing with their crankshaft bushing reamer tool. If crankcase halves are not split ream the bushing by using a spare right crankcase half to avoid further engine disassembly."
You need to ream from the flywheel side(inside the crankcase)
I wasn't planning on stripping my engine down and splitting my crankcase just to replace a poorly designed camshaft setup and I don't happen to have a "spare" right crankcase half laying around.
Why not have the bushing the proper size to begin with ?
After having a Shovelhead and an Evolution for the last 23 years I am not impressed with the "New and Improved" twin camshaft engines.
And how often do the balancer chains and tensioners go out inside the crankcase on the B engines ?
Can someone give me some info on the crankshaft bushing replacement in the cam support plate ? Is it neccesary to ream ?
And what is run out ?
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toropark View Post
I'm in the process of installing a S+S gear drive setup in my 06 Heritage and I noticed the crankshaft bushing in the cam support plate is sligthly egg shaped by about 1/16"
In the factory service manual it states that after you install a new bushing you need to Reattach the cam support plate to the crankcase and ream the new bushing with their crankshaft bushing reamer tool. If crankcase halves are not split ream the bushing by using a spare right crankcase half to avoid further engine disassembly."
You need to ream from the flywheel side(inside the crankcase)
I wasn't planning on stripping my engine down and splitting my crankcase just to replace a poorly designed camshaft setup and I don't happen to have a "spare" right crankcase half laying around.
Why not have the bushing the proper size to begin with ?
After having a Shovelhead and an Evolution for the last 23 years I am not impressed with the "New and Improved" twin camshaft engines.
And how often do the balancer chains and tensioners go out inside the crankcase on the B engines ?
Can someone give me some info on the crankshaft bushing replacement in the cam support plate ? Is it neccesary to ream ?
And what is run out ?
Here,s a a good source that will shake youre faith a bit regarding youre twin cam but does have some good upgrade info http://www.jamesrussellpublishing.bi...buyharley.html
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi Steve,,, welcome to the forum. Pull the cam cover and check it for run-out. If it is under .003 tir you are good to go with gear drive. I had .0015 tir on my 03. Do it once and be done with it. Gear drive!!! Oh,,, yes the cranks are pressed together. If you ride that hard you might want to have your crank gone over. If you just ride like the most of us. You should be good for a very long time. Best of luck.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by hdrider82 View Post
Hi Steve,,, welcome to the forum. Pull the cam cover and check it for run-out. If it is under .003 tir you are good to go with gear drive. I had .0015 tir on my 03. Do it once and be done with it. Gear drive!!! Oh,,, yes the cranks are pressed together. If you ride that hard you might want to have your crank gone over. If you just ride like the most of us. You should be good for a very long time. Best of luck.
Hi Steve, I can confirm all of the given statements about the gear drive. My bike showed some wear of the outer cam tensioner at 30 KMiles and I went to gears without knowing my pinion runout, a later measurement revealed .001 tir when I changed cams. The whine some people claim to be a characteristic change of engine noise is not confirmed here. The most important fact: Install and forget it!

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Old 10-07-2012, 08:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghrider View Post
Here,s a a good source that will shake youre faith a bit regarding youre twin cam but does have some good upgrade info http://www.jamesrussellpublishing.bi...buyharley.html
Have tc call BS on the article linked above. When you actually run the statistics on tensioner failure, lifter failure, crank failure, etc. as a percentage of total bikes sold, the percentages are almost unmeasurable. Compare them to other manufacturers and you will see that there isn't much difference. Go lurk on a Honda, Triumph, Ducati or any other site and you will see a similar number of rider complaints. You rarely hear from the guys that have 75K or more trouble free miles on their bikes. Doesn't help those that have experienced one of the above failures but the article is biased and, IMHO, not a fair portrayal of the machine.


There are five options for the OP to address his tensioner issue:

1. Replace with OEM tensioners; the chain is "polished" now and a new set of OEM tensioners will last a long time. However, they should be checked about every 10K-12K miles.

2. Replace the OEM tensioners with the new CYCO tensioner shoe; better material, similar to the primary chain tensioner material. This is cheaper than option #1.

3. Replace the OEM cam plate with the '07 and later OEM, or billet, cam plate with hydraulic tensioners, roller chains and upgraded oil pump. This will require conversion cams and would be the most expensive option.

4. Replace the OEM cam plate with the "hybrid" conversion which includes billet plate, front roller chain, hydraulic tensioners and upgraded oil pump. OEM cams work with this setup.

5. Replace the OEM chain drive setup with a gear drive setup. This will be the next most expensive option. Crank runout should be less than .003" but I have run gears at .0045" with no issues. If the OP is a DIY guy, gears are much more work than the conversion to hydraulic.

The OP has an early model with a tougher lower unit than the later models. His crank runout is probably less than .003" and will hold up to 100TQ/100HP performance without issues, assuming no lugging and no abuse. In spite of what has been previously posted, cranks dont' "keep shifting"; however, they will definitely shift if abused. The MoCo changed the runout spec used for warranty purposes from .003" to .012" in 2007 when the supplier for the cranks was changed to an off shore manufacturer. That is why some of the later models come from the factory with .006" runout. It is within spec and a problem for the buyer, not the MoCo.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:36 PM   #14 (permalink)
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thanks djl,,, interesting link.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djl View Post
Have tc call BS on the article linked above. When you actually run the statistics on tensioner failure, lifter failure, crank failure, etc. as a percentage of total bikes sold, the percentages are almost unmeasurable. Compare them to other manufacturers and you will see that there isn't much difference. Go lurk on a Honda, Triumph, Ducati or any other site and you will see a similar number of rider complaints. You rarely hear from the guys that have 75K or more trouble free miles on their bikes. Doesn't help those that have experienced one of the above failures but the article is biased and, IMHO, not a fair portrayal of the machine.


There are five options for the OP to address his tensioner issue:

1. Replace with OEM tensioners; the chain is "polished" now and a new set of OEM tensioners will last a long time. However, they should be checked about every 10K-12K miles.

2. Replace the OEM tensioners with the new CYCO tensioner shoe; better material, similar to the primary chain tensioner material. This is cheaper than option #1.

3. Replace the OEM cam plate with the '07 and later OEM, or billet, cam plate with hydraulic tensioners, roller chains and upgraded oil pump. This will require conversion cams and would be the most expensive option.

4. Replace the OEM cam plate with the "hybrid" conversion which includes billet plate, front roller chain, hydraulic tensioners and upgraded oil pump. OEM cams work with this setup.

5. Replace the OEM chain drive setup with a gear drive setup. This will be the next most expensive option. Crank runout should be less than .003" but I have run gears at .0045" with no issues. If the OP is a DIY guy, gears are much more work than the conversion to hydraulic.

The OP has an early model with a tougher lower unit than the later models. His crank runout is probably less than .003" and will hold up to 100TQ/100HP performance without issues, assuming no lugging and no abuse. In spite of what has been previously posted, cranks dont' "keep shifting"; however, they will definitely shift if abused. The MoCo changed the runout spec used for warranty purposes from .003" to .012" in 2007 when the supplier for the cranks was changed to an off shore manufacturer. That is why some of the later models come from the factory with .006" runout. It is within spec and a problem for the buyer, not the MoCo.
glad someone else said it...I did not feel like arguing
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