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Discussion Starter #1
I had an interesting conversation with the service mgr of my H-D dealer this afternoon.

I inquired about doing a 95" build on my '04 RK and asked his opinion on the benefits of using aftermarket gear drive cams as opposed to the SE chain drives. I expected him to strongly defend the use of all H-D parts, but his response was quite the contrary.

He said that he has yet to see a bike with more than 30k miles with tensioners that haven't grenaded. He said he gets bikes coming in on flatbeds all the time with this problem. In fact, he recently had a conversation with someone from H-D engineering who told him to let his customers know that the tensioners should be inspected at least every 10k.

The only downside to the gear drives is the gear whine that may drive some crazy. However, I've read some posts with guys saying that the noise subsides somewhat after approx a 5k break-in period. I also hear that installation of the Baisley bypass spring should help quiet things down a bit as well.

I told him that I appreciated his honesty and candor and to work me up an estimate using Andrews 26g cams.

BTW, he also told me that Andrews supplies oem cams to H-D.

Hope this helps in your decision making process.

TonyRKC
 

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Administrator
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11,242 Posts
TonyRKC said:
I had an interesting conversation with the service mgr of my H-D dealer this afternoon.

I inquired about doing a 95" build on my '04 RK and asked his opinion on the benefits of using aftermarket gear drive cams as opposed to the SE chain drives. I expected him to strongly defend the use of all H-D parts, but his response was quite the contrary.

He said that he has yet to see a bike with more than 30k miles with tensioners that haven't grenaded. He said he gets bikes coming in on flatbeds all the time with this problem. In fact, he recently had a conversation with someone from H-D engineering who told him to let his customers know that the tensioners should be inspected at least every 10k.

The only downside to the gear drives is the gear whine that may drive some crazy. However, I've read some posts with guys saying that the noise subsides somewhat after approx a 5k break-in period. I also hear that installation of the Baisley bypass spring should help quiet things down a bit as well.
I told him that I appreciated his honesty and candor and to work me up an estimate using Andrews 26g cams.

BTW, he also told me that Andrews supplies oem cams to H-D.

Hope this helps in your decision making process.

TonyRKC
Not sure if you mean it quiets down the gears or just in general but I can't see it helping the gears any. It does help quiet the lifters in a more "aggressive" cam.
 

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Doing time, behind bars!
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Restless
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It's funny how some dealers around here either haven't heard of or acknowledged the problem of tensioners failing prematurely. I've asked a couple dealers about it here and they're like "oh really? hmmm.... we haven't really had many of those issues". My guess is around where I live at least the folks that have their bikes serviced at the dealer ain't puttin' on 15k- 18k miles a year like I am. Who knows? Glad to see your dealer is proactive and on the up and up.

I'm very happy with my S&S gear drive and Woods TW5-G cams I installed a couple months ago. Gear whine or clatter is not a problem for me. Even though my crank runout was as much as .003. I guess if you eliminated wind and the radio and really concentrated on trying to pick out a whine you could do it. But just riding around you really have to be focusing on it to hear anything.

Save yourself trouble down the road and do the gear drive now. My tensioners didn't last 20k before they went down.
 

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Hellbound Train
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Yeah, that's it.
A. All the dealers are keeping a secret
B. Nobody in Tennessee rides as much as you
C. It don't happen that often

I'll go with C
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #9
csoday,
Before dismissing this scenario outright you may want to consider the fact that my dealer is in the NYC Tri-state area which means traffic & congestion. Logically, this low speed, stop & go, type riding means more heat, which will definitely result in accelerated wear and possible failure

According to a survey conducted by MCN, the average H-D owner puts approx. 4k miles a yr on their bike. I know for a fact that a lot of guys in my area do much more local boulevard cruising than long distance touring. They also tend NOT to ride when the temp is below 70 deg (basically RUBs).

My dealer moves over 100 bikes/mo in the busy season and 50/60 in the offseason, so they definitely have a good sampling to draw conclusions from. Also consider that the svc mgr has nothing to gain by recommending aftermarket parts since their markup on H-D parts is considerably higher.

TonyRKC
 

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The service manager at my local HD brought the gear drive cams to my attention, let me listen to a bike with them installed and told me that 20k 30k I will need to do something one way or the other. Put the Woods TW-6G in.

I can barely hear the gears... what a difference in performance.
 

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"Jane you ignorant slut!"
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So, what's everyones opinion on which gear drive to buy and where's the best place to buy it?

Thanks,

Chris
 

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Knower of Stuff
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ceraaa42,
S&S is the only licienced manufacture of the gear drives themselves. They hold the patent.
Woods Cams and Andrews Cams make a gear drive cams setup to use the S&S gears. Search the forum for build ideas and most will have one of these manufactures of cams recommended.
Where to buy is up to you.
 

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Restless
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PM HDWRENCH. I got all my stuff from him. He can put a great gear drive package together for you.
 

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BTW, he also told me that Andrews supplies oem cams to H-D.

Hope this helps in your decision making process.

TonyRKC[/QUOTE]
I talked to the guys at Comp cams at the Vegas big twin west show and they told me they make the cams for HD. That is why they dont offer any twin cam cams under the comp cam brand. Harley made them not sell any TC88 cams when they gave them the contract.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Calif Phil,
It's quite possible that H-D uses more than one cam supplier to the minimize risk of supply disruptions.

One more think I forgot to mention is that gear drives provides more precise timing control (no chain slop), which results in better performance.

TonyRKC
 

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Cam Chain Tensioners

I put 204 cams in my 2001 FLHT when I had 15,500 miles on my bike.I now have over 55,000 on bike with no problems.I am going to have the Pads checked this winter.Have dyno run my bike 92.1 horse & 101.8 torque I was told I can get a lot more out of my bike by going to a different cam I am thinking of going to a andrews tw-37 gear driven.I have done the heads, carb, air box, big bore kit,2 into 1 exhaust bike runs good but nervous about the tensioners.Has anyone used the tw-37 cams and what did you think of them. Dustbowl
 

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TonyRKC said:
He said that he has yet to see a bike with more than 30k miles with tensioners that haven't grenaded. He said he gets bikes coming in on flatbeds all the time with this problem. In fact, he recently had a conversation with someone from H-D engineering who told him to let his customers know that the tensioners should be inspected at least every 10k.


TonyRKC
Funny, but when I had my 95 build done on my 04 Heritage with 44000 on the clock, the tensioners were barely worn(surprised me!!!!). That being said, I still feel much more comfortable with the gears. Got a little whine, but I like the sound.

Teu
 

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Doing time, behind bars!
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What???

dustbowl said:
I put 204 cams in my 2001 FLHT when I had 15,500 miles on my bike.I now have over 55,000 on bike with no problems.I am going to have the Pads checked this winter.Have dyno run my bike 92.1 horse & 101.8 torque I was told I can get a lot more out of my bike by going to a different cam I am thinking of going to a andrews tw-37 gear driven.I have done the heads, carb, air box, big bore kit,2 into 1 exhaust bike runs good but nervous about the tensioners. Has anyone used the tw-37 cams and what did you think of them. Dustbowl
OK, I see this is your first post :welcome: to VTF. I suggest that you surf thru the recent posts here in the Engine Mod section; there are quite a few opinions on those cams, mostly positive. You will also get a 'feel' for this place and hopefully you won't be :flames: although sometimes they can be hard on FNG's but usually it's all good fun :bleh:
Here is a good thread to start with = http://65.38.172.84/forums/showthread.php?t=64649
 

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IronButt
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WHOOO you mean some one would be hard on a FNG ??? But really welcome to the board. If you do a search you will find that this topic has been :beatdh: SOOOOO you might also find that a few of the CSO... I mean members here are not on the gear drive boat and it it is fine , they can be a bit testy from time to time.


CSO good to hear you are coiming home for the holidays, safe trip home and God Bless
 
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