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I own a 2004 Road King Classic that has 30000 miles on it. I don't ride hard nor over rev the motor. I've read about cam tensioners going bad and causing engine problems. I don't have the money for any costly bike repairs. I keep oil changed and ride conservatively. Need I be concerned mileage wise. Will the tensioners go a 100000 miles?
 

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do a search on here for cam tensioners, you will get a weeks worth of reading , as far as mileage some went at 10K some lasted 50K there was no way to tell without periodic checking , with a manual and a half day you can check them yourself for the cost of a couple gaskets
 

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You might make more than 30K, but I wouldn't expect 100K out of them without at least checking them. Checking them only takes one gasket and a couple of hours. That is cheap peace of mind.
 

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You need to at least learn how to check them properly, it is not hard but check both shoes and do it right and soon
 

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he shoes on my 2002 RK lasted about 32K miles. They went out with 32K, 65K and 96K miles on the clock so you are about due for replacement.
There are replacement kits that upgrade the Oil pump, cam plate, tensioner pads, etc that make this problem a non-issue. Expensive but worth it.
 

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Guy says money is a concern than changing out just the shoes is an option
If you can find a buddy with a bearing puller and installer I would recommend you do the cam inner bearings as well, so with a little know-how, you can get in and out for under 200.00 bucks.
If you take it someplace to have the work done it will cost you 3 times that at the very bottom
 

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Change your oil and cut your oil filter apart and look for small orange plastic pieces. I inspected mine at 27,000 miles and saw they were worn enough for me to be concerned enough to replace them.No big chunks missing, but what's next right? It's a little time and a good thing to learn how to do it. Hardest part is seeing the back shoe with a dentists mirror and small light. Pipes, Floorboard, Nose Cone, etc. Do your homework and get a manual if you don't have one already. YouTube has some great videos too. Just don't look at only one. You can tell the good videos from the bad videos.
 

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Depends on what "expensive" means...
The cost of not doing them and having one fail gets spendy, possibly taking out everything in the cam chest.
The cost of doing them along with the inner cam bearings (another potential issue) before they fail as stated above about $200, but then you have new parts and peace of mind.
 

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I own a 2004 Road King Classic that has 30000 miles on it. I don't ride hard nor over rev the motor. I've read about cam tensioners going bad and causing engine problems. I don't have the money for any costly bike repairs. I keep oil changed and ride conservatively. Need I be concerned mileage wise. Will the tensioners go a 100000 miles?
I'm facing the same thing, have 31k on my 04 RG and have been researching since last fall when I pulled the cover and checked the tensioners. The others have given you the straight story, and the expense of replacing the tensioners is just a fraction of the cost of not doing it in time. Once the shoes are gone the tensioner arms and springs will grind to pieces on the chains, destroying the oil pump and every bearing in your engine. A couple hours work to inspect, and you can probably reuse the gasket. You'll need a very small dental mirror (about 1/2"dia) to check the inner shoe. The hardest part is pulling the front exhaust pipe off, which may not be necessary on your bike.
Then you have to decide what way to go to fix the issue, replace as original, go hydraulic, go gear drive or hybrid (Knight Prowler by Woods).
DIY price starts around $200 and goes up from there.
 

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$200? Maybe, but probably less, and that includes shoe rivet tool, bearing puller, and gaskets.

The dealer will be $500+ for this service. And this service is not rocket surgery, the biggest fight you'll have is dealing with the tensioner springs.
 

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For that price, you will be pulling your rockers too to re-use your push rods as well, that is not a big deal either
 

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There is a kit on FleaBay, item # 252611175188. I don't know the quality of the parts in the kit, but it's $105. Add an oil change to that and you're pretty close to $200. Or you could add quickie pushrods and be around $250 without the oil change.
There's no way I would pull the cam chest apart that far and not replace the bearings along with the tensioners, and be prepared to replace the lifters and possibly the cams as well.
 

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and be prepared to replace the lifters and possibly the cams as well.
Yeah, been there and suffered the same. Did an oil pump while I was at it too. P I T A ! Turned a cheap job into about $500 worth of "new" cams and new other parts. Still don't have it running but I'm getting the rest of the work close.

There are other things like, since you have the tank off and fuel drained, might want to replace the fuel strainer and high pressure filter, and of course the gaskets and fasteners for the fuel pump/filler assembly.
 

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I did mine at 36K on an 01EG and they were two thirds the way gone. I had to buy a few tools which is fine with me, I have lots of tools from my wrenching days and will use them again. Besides that with cyco shoes and gaskets it cost me 76 bucks minus the tools. I did mine the right way and replaced rocker cover gaskets and also the breather elements that are under the covers. I don't like shortcuts I'd rather do it all so I can check the motor out and torque on the bolts. But Much cheaper than 1200.00-1500.00 the dealer charges.

If you have mechanical ability and patience it's a breeze. I found it very relaxing myself doing the job. Hardest thing was getting the exhaust off but after that pretty easy...Mine being an early model you have to remove the cams and get them pressed in and out for the rear tensioner yet there are ways around that.

Ive got a special tool to remove the rear tensioner without the pressing in and out of the cams. Saves time and money. I felt no need to do the bearings as my year has good bearings in it from the factory along with a forged steel crank. When I do the cam plate upgrade I'll do new bearings. For now it's fine and runs great.

My buddy has an 02 RK and he just checked the tensioner on his and there was barely any noticeable wear at 29K. Each bike is different. I'm glad I can do most all of my own work otherwise maintenance on these can get real expensive. But if I couldn't do the work myself I wouldn't even own a Harley. A lot of the Harley scene for me is doing my own work on my bike. This way i know it's been done right and also the gratification of doing it myself. But good luck on your tensioner job it's just something that has to be done for maintenance... Do what you want but some engines go over 100K without changing out anything else but the tensioners. Some guys just do it all while apart but I don't mind breaking mine down again I enjoy tearing into motors and working on them. I'm retired so I've got all the time in the world... Good luck...

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Did mine at about 27K...it was definitely the right choice as they were about half gone. I'm a 'shade tree' and it's not hard, take your time and do the up front research before diving in. Good advice regarding cam bearings while there.

Everyone is different...I made it a winter project and went with a different cam, bumped to 95" and sent heads out to Big Boyz. Since then I had a crank issue at about 50K and went to 107" using S&S stroker crank, and upgraded to SE Hydraulic Tensioner setup (higher output oil pump, new cam plate, hydraulic tensioners).
 

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Scan eBay for parts to upgrade if you're thinking about changing cams too. For my 107" build for an 03 I got a late model pump (new takeoff) and a lightly used billet plate for cheap. And I still have a leftover stock hydraulic camplate and chains from the deal. Be aware, though the choices are limited for conversion cams. I opted to keep the gear drive I already had and block off the hydro ports on the camplate.


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d that.

Ive got a special tool to remove the rear tensioner without the pressing in and out of the cams.

What is the specal tool that you used and were did you get it??
 

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Look on YouTube for user Holescreek and inner cam tensioner tool. It's a real good quality tool...

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