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'04 FXSTDI
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906 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you think it looks? I wasn't able to get a pic of the inner tensioner, but here is the outer.
I plan on going to gear drive next year. Money ran out this year.
The Deuce has 20k on it.
 

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03 Heritage
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491 Posts
Look good

My were worse at 14k miles. If you use a dental mirror at the exact angle you can see the inner one w/o removal of the plate. Slide the mirror down from the top behind the cam plate. Take a few tries but it's worth the effort. DON'T LET THE MIRROR SLIP!
 

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Premium Member
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2,067 Posts
It was speculated over on HTT that how you ride your bike may have an impact on how well your tensioners hold up.

Some felt that lugging your motor may cause more stress on the chains and thus the tensioners.

When I switched to gears at 32,000 miles, my shoes were in really good shape yet too...and I always try to keep the motor spinning at 2500 rpm or higher.

In any case, as my miles got higher, I was constantly thinking of those weak points when I'd get farther than 100 miles from home. I live paycheck to paycheck for the moment, and I can't afford a catastrophic failure. The worry of it drove me to save my money up and put a gear drive cam in. If you do your own work, you can have it all done for about $600.00....really cheap compared to a guy I know who had to shell out over $3,000.00 when his tensioners disintigrated and went through the entire motor while he was on holiday out in the badlands. it was $1200.00 alone just to get someone to come out and haul his bike back home.:duh?: ...OUCH!
 

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'04 FXSTDI
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906 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was able to get a look at the inner shoe. It looked even better than the outer shoe. It was just too hard to get a picture of it.
I do a variety of riding. Not a lot of 2-up but have been on two long distance trips, a 2000 mile, one week trip to AL and a 2700 mile, one week trip to Sturgis and beyond (ended up in Billings MT before turning around.) The bike was loaded down pretty good on these trips.
I try my best to not lug the motor and so far have not had many instances of a lot of stop and go (except in Sturgis).
Gear drives are definitely in my future, as are ported heads and BB kit. Would prefer to do everything at once to avoid having to keep retuning the EFI.
 

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EASY DOES IT
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I've always kept my bike in the upper rpm's but my shoes were 50% gone at 12k...got gears?
 

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After reading all these stories of people's tensioners going bad at phenomenally low mileage, in my opinion, wonder why this happens so much? 32,500 miles on my '03 Ultra and I don't hear any abnormal sounds. And I don't run a loud exhaust. But, I ride it like a cruiser, not a sport bike. The rpm's only go above 5,000 occasionally. Only mods is a 'stage one' and a SERT. On the e-way I cruise around 75-80 mph all day long. I think I'm just gonna wait until I start hearing funky noises and then worry about it.
 

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Shoe wear itself is not bad but I'd wonder where the pieces from the pitting are going????
 

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swmnkdinthervr said:
I've always kept my bike in the upper rpm's but my shoes were 50% gone at 12k...got gears?
Well...that about shoots that theory to sh*t doesn't it?:bleh:
 

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Krayven Sumhead said:
After reading all these stories of people's tensioners going bad at phenomenally low mileage, in my opinion, wonder why this happens so much? 32,500 miles on my '03 Ultra and I don't hear any abnormal sounds. And I don't run a loud exhaust. But, I ride it like a cruiser, not a sport bike. The rpm's only go above 5,000 occasionally. Only mods is a 'stage one' and a SERT. On the e-way I cruise around 75-80 mph all day long. I think I'm just gonna wait until I start hearing funky noises and then worry about it.
its too late when you start hearing noises.......
 

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BFFB
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833 Posts
Krayven Sumhead said:
32,500 miles on my '03 Ultra and I don't hear any abnormal sounds. I'm just gonna wait until I start hearing funky noises and then worry about it.
37k on mine and believe me i was listening ,,,, to the point of sticking my head right down there ,,, they were on metal ,,not much but definately metal to metal
 

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Administrator
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11,287 Posts
Krayven Sumhead said:
After reading all these stories of people's tensioners going bad at phenomenally low mileage, in my opinion, wonder why this happens so much? 32,500 miles on my '03 Ultra and I don't hear any abnormal sounds. And I don't run a loud exhaust. But, I ride it like a cruiser, not a sport bike. The rpm's only go above 5,000 occasionally. Only mods is a 'stage one' and a SERT. On the e-way I cruise around 75-80 mph all day long. I think I'm just gonna wait until I start hearing funky noises and then worry about it.
I'd check them now. We recommend checking them at 30,000. If you are going to stay stock with chains, replace them while your in there. It's cheap insurance.
 

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0043--Licensed to Doof!
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4,369 Posts
Question of the day. Why do some motors go 30K with minimal wear to the tensioners and others go 12K and they're shot? Ahhh phooy! I'm gonna get a beer.
 

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Highly Seasoned Rider!
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Geezer-Glide said:
Question of the day. Why do some motors go 30K with minimal wear to the tensioners and others go 12K and they're shot? Ahhh phooy! I'm gonna get a beer.

Because some people ride their bikes WFO all of he time! That's easy. More RPM's = more wear.


:beatdh:
 

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?????
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newultraclassic said:
Because some people ride their bikes WFO all of he time! That's easy. More RPM's = more wear.
I think you have 1 piece of the puzzle, the service mgr at my dealer thinks heat is the enemy also. I've been struggling with what to do for several months, just when I think I have everything figured out for my build something changes my mind. I don't beat the crap out of my bike and the area I live in isn't that hot. The day I was talking to the service mgr they were working on a bike in the back that had 70k on the tensioners. I went in there convinced that I wanted gear drive and left thinking about saving my money and going chain. He said he would put anything in there that I wanted, he just didn't feel it was worth it given my riding style and how mild the cam was going to be.
 

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How many of you with cam tensioners still in good condition after 20-30k are running synthetic oil? My service tech tells me he sees more premature wear on dino oil and less wear with those consistently running synthetic. When I had mine open @ 17k for Stage II, tensioners looked awesome and I run synthetic.
 

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BFFB
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833 Posts
darkknight said:
How many of you with cam tensioners still in good condition after 20-30k are running synthetic oil? My service tech tells me he sees more premature wear on dino oil and less wear with those consistently running synthetic. When I had mine open @ 17k for Stage II, tensioners looked awesome and I run synthetic.
not true , there is no pattern at all , i have seen 7 or 8 come out , bagged and tagged with oil used , change intervals etc,as an experiment. some last well with dino, others with syn are worn out , highest milage i have personally seen is 91k , guy used mobil 1 , mine were completely gone at 37k with mobil 1,, 3 to 3.5 k changes , conservitive riding style
service manager at local dealer here says the syn wears them out
owner says they are good for 100k
 

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darkknight said:
How many of you with cam tensioners still in good condition after 20-30k are running synthetic oil? My service tech tells me he sees more premature wear on dino oil and less wear with those consistently running synthetic. When I had mine open @ 17k for Stage II, tensioners looked awesome and I run synthetic.

Nothing but dino in my bike.
First set still fine at 40K but replaced anyway, second set now at 64K
 

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2 ideas on the wear factor of the tensioners;
1... tensioner quality can vary from batch to batch.
2... Spring tension/pressure itself may vary from bike to bike, or even from front tensioner to rear.
I got gears now (yippie) so no more worries. :)
 
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