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My 04 FLHT is on its final month of warrenty. I thought I should have it checked out before the warrenty ran out.
21,000 miles on the bike and the cam chain tensioner was worn out pretty badly and would not have made it to 30,000. Since I plan on keeping this bike for awhile I'm replacing it with the gear drive. I'd advice anyone else who has over 20,000 miles to have your twin cams checked.
 

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On my '04 they were replaced last year at 14,500 miles when I had the BB done. They looked pretty good then. I now have 35,000 miles(20,000 on new tensioners) and gear driven cams are being put in soon. I'll post the condition of the tensioners when I find out.

I'm glad you caught them before something happened.

I'm in my last month or so of warranty too. I have an extended one but it sucks to see the factory one running out doesn't it? It takes away some of the peace of mind.
 

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Thanks for the info, I am new to this forum and I am looking for info on the primay automatic tensioner? Does this reply to just you or to the group, thanks, Captainjack03
 

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captainjack03 said:
Thanks for the info, I am new to this forum and I am looking for info on the primay automatic tensioner? Does this reply to just you or to the group, thanks, Captainjack03
:hystria:

The group.

Welcome to the forum.
 

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FLHTDan said:
My 04 FLHT is on its final month of warrenty. I thought I should have it checked out before the warrenty ran out.
21,000 miles on the bike and the cam chain tensioner was worn out pretty badly and would not have made it to 30,000. Since I plan on keeping this bike for awhile I'm replacing it with the gear drive. I'd advice anyone else who has over 20,000 miles to have your twin cams checked.
I agree. It's so hit or miss with different people. There is no rhyme or reason to it. If folks aren't willing to invest in gear drives I would recommend checking them every 20k. My inner started going south pretty quick at 20k. I've heard of a couple cases where failure happened earlier. But the majority of the failures that are premature seem to be around 20-40k.
 

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I couldn't stand it any longer and opened my 2004 FLHRI up Saturday. The outer tensioner was only worn about 10-20 thousandths, and the inner about 20-30 thousandths.

I don't have that many miles on this bike yet, ~16,000, but figure it will probably go at least 50,000 on these tensioners.

You never know with these Twinkies.
 

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hoosierhog88 said:
I'm a dummy. What happens if they wear out?

No flames, please.

Ray
When they wear excessively, large pieces of the cam tensioner can fall off and be picked up by the oil pump. Thats when bad things can start to happen.

Nice tensioner wear



Bad tensioner wear at 60K miles

 

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bwbike said:
I couldn't stand it any longer and opened my 2004 FLHRI up Saturday. The outer tensioner was only worn about 10-20 thousandths, and the inner about 20-30 thousandths.

I don't have that many miles on this bike yet, ~16,000, but figure it will probably go at least 50,000 on these tensioner.

You never know with these Twinkies.
The 16-50 thousand may or may not be. That is what is frustrating on the reports of these failures or near failures.

4200 miles when doing the gear drives mine looked great, except the pock marks all over them.

My theory is on some bikes the chain may be rougher, the density or composition of the shoes may vary, and the chain starts grabbing in these pock marks or air holes in the shoes, and they shred and peal.

I would say I would look at them at every 15,000 miles or so. Not that big of a deal to do but beats not looking at them and the potential damage that can occur.

Of course it the bug bites and you want gears then that every 15k is one less thing to worry about.
 

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captainjack03 said:
Thanks for the info, I am new to this forum and I am looking for info on the primay automatic tensioner? Does this reply to just you or to the group, thanks, Captainjack03

captain,

The drive belt on my 02 RK snapped on a ride out near Winchester. I used my Roadside America towing insurance (offered through the national HOG). While they were in there, they indicated that my primary chain tensioner shoe was worn and advised that it should be replaced.

I went with the new automatic chain tensioner, I think it was ~90 bucks.
Personally, I've had no problem with it, but it has only been a couple thousand miles since it was replaced.

The wrench at my home dealership (East Coast in Dumfries) told me that the automatic tensioner has been a mixed bag. On some bikes, after installation, the auto tensioner seems to tighten up too much (doesn't automatically adjust). On other bikes, it behaves like it is supposed to. No rhyme nor reason to explaiin why.

That's my -2$en#e-

Welcome aboard!

regards,

wyo
 

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road_king said:
When they wear excessively, large pieces of the cam tensioner can fall off and be picked up by the oil pump. Thats when bad things can start to happen.

Nice tensioner wear



Bad tensioner wear at 60K miles


Those 60 ones look about right ,,, i did mine at 44,500 ....they were junked out but not that bad ,,,,, From the ones i have seen on different friends bikes ,,,,30k is where i would swap them out ... while you are at it on early twin cams ,,, do the cam bearings too .. rat
 

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hoosierhog88 said:
Thanks guys! Very high quality information.

Can any of you give me some detail on replacing w/gears?

Cost?

Pros?

Cons?

Install pitfalls?

Thanks again!

Ray

To see pix of my ride, click below...

http://beta.propichosting.com/Album.aspx?folder=450007794
First you need to do some searches and do some reading here on those questions. Then decide what cam you want based on your riding preference, and your bike modifications. You looking to save warranty, you or a dealer doing the work? A lot of stuff to sort out. You will be overwhelmed with information but ask away after you soak some info up.

And it just may be something you might want to pass on, and just inspect every 15,000
 

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Chain Tensioner

Thanks for the welcome, I will do more research on the automatic primary chain tensioner. How ironic, I live in Winchester, maybe you knew that from my bio? Or if you even looked at it, again, I am new to this. Thanks, captainjack03
wyodude said:
captain,

The drive belt on my 02 RK snapped on a ride out near Winchester. I used my Roadside America towing insurance (offered through the national HOG). While they were in there, they indicated that my primary chain tensioner shoe was worn and advised that it should be replaced.

I went with the new automatic chain tensioner, I think it was ~90 bucks.
Personally, I've had no problem with it, but it has only been a couple thousand miles since it was replaced.

The wrench at my home dealership (East Coast in Dumfries) told me that the automatic tensioner has been a mixed bag. On some bikes, after installation, the auto tensioner seems to tighten up too much (doesn't automatically adjust). On other bikes, it behaves like it is supposed to. No rhyme nor reason to explaiin why.

That's my -2$en#e-

Welcome aboard!

regards,

wyo
 

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IronButt
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hdmarsh77 said:
On my '04 they were replaced last year at 14,500 miles when I had the BB done. They looked pretty good then. I now have 35,000 miles(20,000 on new tensioners) and gear driven cams are being put in soon. I'll post the condition of the tensioners when I find out.

I'm glad you caught them before something happened.

I'm in my last month or so of warranty too. I have an extended one but it sucks to see the factory one running out doesn't it? It takes away some of the peace of mind.
I just sent the letter to cancel my extended warranty. After reading through it, it seems that pretty much anything you do to your bike will void the contract. I'm getting the 95" Stage I done by the stealer this winter, will enjoy my factory warranty until April of '07, and then those tensioners will be nothing more than a bad memory. Might even get some head work done, too, since I work in the same town that Big Boyz calls home.
 

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LAF said:
First you need to do some searches and do some reading here on those questions. Then decide what cam you want based on your riding preference, and your bike modifications. You looking to save warranty, you or a dealer doing the work? A lot of stuff to sort out. You will be overwhelmed with information but ask away after you soak some info up.

And it just may be something you might want to pass on, and just inspect every 15,000
Good information again, my friend. I really appreciate it! I'll check around the forum to see what I come up with. I'm thinking about just making a habit to change it out every 15k miles or so, just so I don't end up experiencing some of what has been said here. But I'll check out going with gears too!

Again, thanks!

Ray

To see pix of my ride, click on the link...

http://beta.propichosting.com/Album.aspx?folder=450007794
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I spoke to the mechanic today and he said that the chain runs hot and when you stop your bike and sut it off for gas etc. the chain may melt a tiny bit of the plastic. I supose it's possible??
 

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tjg358 said:
when mine wore out I lost the front cam bearing, front cam, inner chain, oil pump, and cam plate. Happened at Sturgis this year right on Main Street.
Not much warning, lil ticking then BAM!:duh?:
You were lucky, I've read on the internet reports of that horrible orange plastic destroying the oil pump which then started the domino effect. Engine seizure causing a connecting rod to seperate and launch through the gas tank. That usually causes a horrendous explosion that has been reported to cause loss of at least one leg. Those pesky tensioners. Someone should sue.
 
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