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Old 08-31-2010, 12:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question concerning 1999 FLHTCI?

I have 1999 FLHTCI Electra Glide with 38,000 miles. My question is do I need to be concerned about the inner cam bearings/clutch plates failing? I bought this bike used so I don't know all the bikes history. I have been freaking out reading what others have experienced with the 1999-2000 twin cams. Recently, the bike has been sputtering or cutting out when throttling at highway speeds. Could the fuel pump, filter or inner tank fuel lines be bad? I have stage 1 download, big sucker air cleaner, propipe and power commander.
Thank you,
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Do you know if the cam tensioners have been replaced? If not, and if they haven't been lookedat recently for sure, I would be doing that. There doesn't seem to be a specific mileage for the tensioners but quite a few have found that by 45-50K you are on borrowed time, and some fail much sooner on the first set. When the tensioners are being replaced I would suggest replacing the cam bearing.
I haven't heard any specific concerns with the clutches failing at all, let alone at that low mileage if it's had and is getting normal use. Change your primary fluid regularly and use appropriate fluid, ensure the clutch is properly adjusted and it should be good for a very long time yet.
wrt the sputtering, maybe hole in the gas line but that normally shows more when the fuel level is low and the worn through fuel line isn't submerged. If you take a look into the tank and hear hissing and notice a small jet of fuel, that will be it. Another possibility is broken wire to the fuel injector. Quite a few have found the wire to the front injector has broken within the wiring harness as it passes over the engine and inside the insulation so you won't see it. Try a wiggle test with the bike running.
Actually the early TCs are very solid with the possible exception of the MM injected bikes if the system goes flakey. Should that happen with your bike and you have trouble getting it back to right, it's a relatively cheap and easy conversion to carb. Quite a few of us have done this and been very satisfied with the result.
The only other thing that comes to mind is the higher than normal failure rate of the original stators. Many of them were sub-standard. If you find your bike isn't recharging the battery, suspect the stator. One wiff inside the primary chain case will normally tell you if your stator is burning.

Last edited by dunbarton; 09-02-2010 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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berserker is still riding a stock bike berserker is still riding a stock bike berserker is still riding a stock bike
The rear cam bearing should be changed out, I would say as soon as possible, cause I am paranoid, plus there has been a few failures. People tried to sue Harley, but I don't think it went any where.
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Go to your local HD dealer and have them run your vin number to see if the inner cam bearing has been changed from the recall. Tensioners should be checked as stated already. My stator went out around 45k and was upgraded to the newer stator.
MM injection is good with a few quirks though. If you experience the idle changing (usually dropping) it is a good idea to check the mini bearing in the plate on the side of the throttle body that IAC uses to control the idle speed at startup. If you feel a roughness to the bearings movement you can find the mini bearing at any bearing supplier. It is easy to replace, and the price is pretty cheap.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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cam tensioner shoes should be checked, mine made it 49,000 but I checked them at 25,000 and at 35,000
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree with all of the above, and will add to change out the inner cam bearings. I checked mine at 28,000 and found a wear mark on the rear cam. The wear mark was deep enough that I could feel it with my finger nail. If you're going into the cam chest it will be more time, and money if you don't have adjustable push rods, so now would be a good time to install them. But I for sure would switch the inner cam bearings over to the full compliment Torringtons even if your tensioners look good.
Good Luck,
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I want to say thank you for all the reply's! I really appreciate all the knowledge. I was able to find out the build date of my bike 6/14/1999. The cam bearing where replaced by a Harley dealer in Bloomington, IL back in 2003 with mileage of 12,400 (I now have 38,000 miles). I live in Indianapolis, IN so I wasn't able to get much information about what was changed or serviced back then. I also checked my vin number and found out I need the factory recall #0101 vapor valve switch mount. Maybe this is some of my trouble? Says it could cause engine to sputter. I would guess the primary chain tensioner #39954-99 and #39964-99 are the original factory ones? I am trying to learn wrenching on my own bike but, I don't have enough experience with something like this. Any idea what it will cost to replace the cam bearings and chain tensioners? Also, what parts do I need for this? Maybe Torrington's bearings? What about front & back primary chain tensioners? I would love some bolt in cams but, I have a new baby so it's not in the budget. I have wasted or been mislead a few times on repairs. A lot of this started when I had some throttle hesitations so I had the bike checked out. At the time I had installed stage 1 air cleaner, propipe and a power commander. Harley shop changed a sensor and added a stage 1 download and charged me $500 bucks! It didn't fix the problem. A lot of folks don't like the Magnetti Marelli so I have received many different opinions some say take the power commander off that all I need is the factory download? Even spent the money for Dyno and custom map! Another $500! Thanks again - Jeff
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would have bet those outer cam bearings had been serviced if you had 38,000 miles on her. Those things generally failed within the first few hundred miles on out to around 10,000 miles or so. Every now-n-then you will see a low mileage bike that age at a dealership torn down with the old bearings in there...they are still out there. Now would be a good time to move on up to the hydraulic kit. I did and love it. Less worry about tensioner failure, more oil pressure and a sizable noise reduction. You should change the inners also and forget about the bottom end from now on. I would not simply replace the spring loaded tensioners. They have to pull it all down anyway and you may as well go for the hydraulic upgrade.

You have the MM EFI system. This is a two-hose system and the regulator is external to the's down in the throttle body, so you will not likely have a fuel-line rub inside the tank. All the inner plumbing in there is pretty much bullet-proof. The MM system is not all that "tunable" and I have a little glitch in mine on very cool occasional cough until it gets warmed up. I just gas-it and it goes away. Could very well be an intake manifold leak for all I know.

If you do the hydraulic upgrade (or have someone do it) make sure they pay careful attention to the part number on the old cam support plate. If it ends in 99, there is an oil passage that has to be blocked off. They changed the lower end oiling after the 99 model year (engine likely built in 98). This is noted in the kit instructions, but I have heard from people that paid not attention to it and learned the hard way that they had to go back in and plug that particular oil gallery. Should be no biggie for a never know what they will do or who will be doing it.

Last edited by 1550vt; 09-08-2010 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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1999 Twin Cam Cam Support Plate

I have a 1999 Roadking First thing I can tell you and most important is the Cam Support plate. I blew out my rear cam bearing in 2001 and upgraded my cam's with the high lift Andrews 209. if the rear cam bearings have not been replaced in your bike get it done. 6 months later I blew out my lower end and that may have been due to junk from the rear cam bearing blowing.

I have since upgraded my engine to 95 and I recently upgrade the cam support plate with hydraulic cam tensioners & High Volume oil pump. Now their is one major thing you must know if you do this upgrade since the engine is a 99 you must add a screw to the support back of the support plate where the tube for the oil flow would go for the new engines with the counter balance. See photo and the hole needs to be tapped first and a screw (HD #94667-00) with crush wash blue loctite . I went nuts and could not figure out why my oil pressure would not come up and talking to all kinds on mechanics final one old guy told me the deal and HARLEY does not disclose even when I bought the parts from them. lessons learned.

If you do upgrade to 95 inch kit keep an eye out on your your rear swing arm drive side. That swing arm is not meant to take a lot of power and mine broke in the middle right between the axle bolt. The rear swing arm was upgraded in 2002... Again Harley told no one.
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