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My HD wrench told me that the cam chain tensor may go out around 25K miles. Can anyone help me with this. I ride a 2005 RG, BBII with 203 cams, currently hae 24,700 miles.

Thanks
 

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What kind of help do you need?

There is only one way to know the condition of your tensioners...Take the cam cover off and look. You can see the outside one and most of the inner one with a dental mirror.
 

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Lazy 98
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@gree:
It's not very difficult, and gives you an opportunity to freshen things up a bit.
 

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Ironbutt
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rgterry said:
My HD wrench told me that the cam chain tensor may go out around 25K miles. Can anyone help me with this. I ride a 2005 RG, BBII with 203 cams, currently hae 24,700 miles.

Thanks
Did he tell you this based on observation of the tensioners or just based on generality? Some have had their tensioners wear out with MUCH less mileage. I think most people are recommending checking them every 15k and replace as necessary. If you want piece of mind then just change to gear drive. Of course piece of mind comes with a cost. A gear drive setup will cost you around $1100 (parts and labor).
 

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Biggest pain in the but is getting exhaust off on a bagger. After that cam cover comes off easy. But that only shows fron tensioner. Some say with mirror can see rear.

I did my first inspection 34k. I agree 15k is a good place to start. Its a crap shoot.
 

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Where would one find HD's official position on their tensioners?

I ask because I now have 8,000 miles on my second set of tensioners, the first were replaced under warranty.

TC
 

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Terry C said:
Where would one find HD's official position on their tensioners?

I ask because I now have 8,000 miles on my second set of tensioners, the first were replaced under warranty.

TC

Just curious... how do you ride? "Puttin around" or "balls to the wall" or maybe some where in between?

Here is a pic of my front tensioner at 29k. I mostly putt but never lug, sometimes I twist it pretty hard when I get that urge.

 

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Here's a pic of mine at 52k. I got good service out of them. Did I replace them with more tensioners? Nope...Went with gears. I spent too much time worrying about the tensioners before. I now have cam chest peace of mind. I can now spend my free time worrying about when my belt is gonna break.
 

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xxxflhrci said:
I spent too much time worrying about the tensioners before. I now have cam chest peace of mind. I can now spend my free time worrying about when my belt is gonna break.
same here. There is little doubt you can just maintian them and replace when needed. But I don't want to think about it.
 

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[QUOTE=amidaeus]Just curious... how do you ride? "Puttin around" or "balls to the wall" or maybe some where in between?

Here is a pic of my front tensioner at 29k. I mostly putt but never lug, sometimes I twist it pretty hard when I get that urge.



Never lug!

Moderate to hard 90% of the time. I hate engine clatter, I'm sticking with the tensioners.

TC
 

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Hellbound Train
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Check them every 20,000-30,000 miles and ride. If you read this forum enough, they will have you replacing half the motor.
 

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"I hate engine clatter, I'm sticking with the tensioners"

Huh? Gear drive doesn't make clatter maybe a little gear noise but no clatter. Replacing the tensioners is much cheaper but it is a crapshoot when they will fall apart and contaminate oil. Gear Drive is solid piece of mine
 

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csoday said:
Check them every 20,000-30,000 miles and ride. If you read this forum enough, they will have you replacing half the motor.
csoday,
You got it right. Tech articles I've read show that the tensioner problem is most likely due to modded engines with high lift cams and super strong valve springs which put enormous stress on the cam chains. If you're running mild mod or stock and aren't wringing the hell out of the engine all the time, they're probably good for 100k. Those that do die prematurely seem to be random occurrences (knocking on wood that mine ain't one of them). Having the tensioners changed out without evidence of wear is kind of like going to your doctor and saying, "Take out my appendix because I hear some of them go bad every now and then."
 

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csoday said:
Check them every 20,000-30,000 miles and ride. If you read this forum enough, they will have you replacing half the motor.
That is what most do anyways once they get their bike. :hystria:
 

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Pestilence
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RB Jones said:
csoday,
You got it right. Tech articles I've read show that the tensioner problem is most likely due to modded engines with high lift cams and super strong valve springs which put enormous stress on the cam chains. If you're running mild mod or stock and aren't wringing the hell out of the engine all the time, they're probably good for 100k. Those that do die prematurely seem to be random occurrences (knocking on wood that mine ain't one of them). Having the tensioners changed out without evidence of wear is kind of like going to your doctor and saying, "Take out my appendix because I hear some of them go bad every now and then."

Mine signed off @ 40k miles. 02FLHT mostly stock
Buddy #1 (we'll call him Mr Brown) 35k miles. 99FXD mostly stock
Buddy #2 (we'll call him Mr Red) 28k miles 02 FLSTI 95ci very mild.
Buddy #3 (we'll call him Mr Black)....rides an Indian. ok, he doesn't count..

(pick up March issue of Rolling Thunder. As the miles roll by more and more folks are finding out (the hard way) about the cam tensioner issue.)

I ride 20k a year. Not worth going into the chest every year to see if everything's ok. Got better things to do, like ride some more.
You only do gears once.
 

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Jshuster said:
"I hate engine clatter, I'm sticking with the tensioners"

Huh? Gear drive doesn't make clatter maybe a little gear noise but no clatter. Replacing the tensioners is much cheaper but it is a crapshoot when they will fall apart and contaminate oil. Gear Drive is solid piece of mine
Ummm, gotta change the cams at the same time....right?

Every time I've changed a cam my bike got noisier (click clack). I'm stickin' with the stock set up.

A (very well known) buddy of mine who builds custom high performance HD engines just switched back to tensioners 'cause the noise was driving him crazy, and he had tried every gimmick known or heard of to quiet his bike down.

TC
 

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If your bikes an 05 it's still under warranty. The fix would be covered. Just take it in and tell them you're hearing noise and once they see any wear, they will replace them. At 24k, there will be signs of wear. The dealership I deal with told me that as long as you can take your finger nail and feel the groves worn into the tensioners they are replaceable.

Some wait until its too late. I did mine at 32k, but next time around I think I'll go with the gear drive.
 

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True! My riding buddy has almost 65,000 on his 00 and has not put a wrench to it, exept for the oil and tires! The motor is as quiet as it was in 00. Sometimes, your bike doesn't need a hypocondriac.
 
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