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Discussion Starter #1
99 Dyna Super Glide TC-88, 7500 miles, bone stock.
Going down the highway at 60 mph and engine starts an intermittant miss. Lasts but a split second and then is fine for another mile or two then does it again for another split second. Each miss is accompanied by a noise that I can only best describe as the starter drive trying to engage, although I'm sure it wasn't. Slowed for a stoplight and it acted like it was going to die so I gave it some throttle and it acted like it was running on one cylinder then cleared up and ran fine for another mile till I got to my destination then it wouldn't idle worth crap. It finally died with the noise I described before. Started it up again and it ran on both cylinders for a minute then started running on one cylinder then died with that noise again. I trailered it to an independent dealer where it now sits.
The whole time I'm thinking ignition module or some electronic or timing problem. The service dept. hooked up the scanalyzer and found a code for a bad cam position sensor. They put in new cam sensor and no improvement. They said they then found an intake manifold leak and replaced a gasket. Didn't help. They went through the fuel petcock and lines and found no obstructions. Now they're talking about pulling the rocker covers and maybe doing a valve job!
I'm scared $hitless not knowing where this is going to end and I'm afraid these guys are fishing deeper than they need to.
At this point, I'm out the cost of the cam sensor and an hour or two labor and I'm thinking about hauling the bike somewhere else for a second opinion.
Anybody got any clues as to what might be getting overlooked? I'm desperate here!
 

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Take it to a dealer. It lunched the rear cam bearing.
Repair should be free, if they give you #hit call the factory.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
HIPPO,
I respect your expertise immensely. One question:
The bike runs almost perfect at higher RPM's with the miss happening at intervals as much as a minute or two apart. But the problem is really apparent when it starts running crappy and dies after idling for a minute or two. Are these the classic symptoms of a rear cam bearing failure? It doesn't make any unusual noise until it misses or dies. I'm not questioning your knowledge, just hoping maybe you could elaborate a little on possible collateral damage. Thanks.
 

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Just a guess, but these symphtoms all together are too coincidental. It is pretty typical for failing cam bearings to set a cam position sensor code as the airgap starts to vary. The fact they replaced it and it still sets the code reinforces that possibility. Being a 99 bike there are other things it could be depending on the exact date of manufacture. The real early 99 bikes didn't even have a splined cam gear and they were already either recalled or subject to a service campaign because the bolt that held the gear loosened and the key was sheared. It could be something along these lines, but when you get down to it it's still the same thing.

If the description of the problem is accurate, I think that's what you are looking at. The only thing that makes me wonder is that the guys working on the bike did not even think of the possibility since per your description they had to hear the noise.
The cam bearings also fail more catastrophically, but in early 99 when they first started to fail some bikes ran around for a while with the noise.
Let me know what they come up with, but the smart way is to cover the downside and take it to a dealer. No point paying for it if it turns out to be the cam bearings.

I suppose you could change the oil and filter and look for particles on the drain plug and cut the filter open to look for shavings there. You should get your confirmation.

When they changed the cam sensor they had the cam cavity cover off, it would have taken them 5 minutes to unload the outer chain and see if there was any unusual clearance in the rear cam area. Assuming you told them about the noise. If you did how did they explain it away?
 

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Dyna Bill,
Are you still there? After reading your post and then HIPPO's -- I hanging out here in limbo HA! This is interesting and I like to know the outcome. Things like this is what make this forum so good.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
After they replaced the cam sensor (they showed me the old one) they hooked the scanalyzer back up while I was standing there and there were no codes set. But the symptoms were still there. They heard the noise and obviously have not related it to a cam bearing problem. In their own words, "We've been pulling our hair out over this and we're pretty much stumped". That's when they mentioned getting into the valves.
I think these guys are on a fishing expedition and it would be prudent for me to heed HIPPO's advice and take it to a Harley dealer I feel confident with.
I'll keep you informed as to what comes up.
 

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Please do keep us informed (up to date) on this -- I'd sure like to know what the final answer is.
Thanks for posting this problem.
 

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I had a 1999 FLHP (Police Road King) that did the same thing. It ran alright most of the time, but would cut out intermittently at steady speed or rpm. The only other description I could give was the noise. It sounded like something in the primary case loose, getting caught up and swung around once in a while.

The noise I would heard went along with the intermittent loss of power. I had it towed in, and it was the early cam bearing. Even better was the fact that Harley hadn't recalled the bearing at that time, and replaced it with the original bearing. The new owner went through the same thing around a year and a half later. He was able to ride his home.

When I looked at the bearing after it was replaced, the "cage" that separates the balls had completely disintegrated, allowing the individual balls in the bearing to move to one side, seizing and screaming (the noise I was hearing). Had I ran the bike further, it may have come completely apart, and caused further problems. The original problem described sounds like what I had.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, I hauled the Dyna to the Harley dealer Saturday and left it. They won't be able to get to it till Wednesday. When I unloaded it off the trailer and drove it into the service area, it sounded like it was running on one cylinder. After describing the rest of the symptoms to the service manager he told me it could very possibly be...you guessed it: cam bearings. Said this one should be on Harley. I hope to know more later in the week. I'll keep you posted.
 

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Thanks for the update Dyna Bill, but sorry to hear about you being without your bike. Any idea how long it will take them to get you back on the road? So what are you going to do while you wait? Do you have the luxury of a bakup bike (of anykind)?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
cox9000,
All my backup bikes are 1/24 scale and made of plastic.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
O.k. folks, here's the skinny...But first I must bow down to HIPPO. You are the Master!
Dealer called and said it lunched the cam beearing. Replacement assembly airfreighted in yesterday. Should be done today. Pick my scoot up tomorrow. Harley picks up the tab.
I must give kudos to Ozark Harley Davidson in Lebanon, Missouri.
Fast , friendly, courteous, and HONEST service.
 

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Airfreight? You lucky dog. My part is coming by mule train. 5 stinkin' days.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well,Dave...Texas IS a big state. Takes a long time to get across it.:D
 

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What a great thread!

Hippo is in fact a good man to have on your side. Watching this thread unfold is really quite cool.

Could you imagine if you had left it with the first shop? :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
JimmyK,
I shudder to think. They're gonna hear from me though when I ride my bike up to their front door and let them know I will not buy so much as quart of oil from them again.
I'm not going to name the shop, but it rhymes with Sleazyriders.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I forgot to add that this first shop had my bike for 2 weeks and all they did was change the cam sensor. Whether or not they REALLY changed the intake gasket, I don't know. The only time I heard from them to find out the progress on my bike is when I CALLED THEM. They had the bike for 5 days when I called them the first time and they asked me how to get the chrome electrical cover off so they could hook up their scanalyzer! After making 4 or five calls to them over the following week and getting "Oh, yeah, we were going to call you..." I had had enough.
 

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Hey Dyna Bill,

Ozark H-D was the same folks that helped me out when I was up in your neck of the woods this past April.

I was stranded, they were backed up with bikes, and they got me in and out in less than 24 hours.

Really great people. Would highly recommend them to anyone.
 
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