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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pretty new to this place, but have already seen a lot of good info here. Tearing down my 02 FLHRI and will replace the tensioners while in there (even though the primary chain tensioner doesn't look too bad at 9,000 mi). I read here (Hippo?) and elsewhere that polishing the outside of the cam chains will help reduce wear on the tensioners.

What's the best way to go about this - for a DIY'er that is? Or is it best to take them to someone with the right equipment and what would that equipment be?

Thanks for any info,

Greg
 

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The primary chain tensioner should go 100,000 miles if you keep it adjusted and keep oil in it. I haven't been in a cam chest on an 01 or 02 bike but it was my understanding that HD was installing polished or at least, pretty smooth cam chains in new bikes since 01 sometime. Anyone that polishes aluminum could do it with their setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Ed. Another question though - I don't see how you can adjust the tensioners. Looks to me like they just got a spring that keeps them up against the chain. What am I missing here? --Greg
 

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Not to butt in. . .
Sure enough, the service manual does refer to one of the cam chain tensioners as a "primary" cam chain tensioner.
The "primary chain" though, is the chain which connects the crank to the clutch, and that chain's tensioner is adjustable.
See where the confusion can come in?
So, no adjusters for the "cam" chain - just springs, like you're seeing - but for the "primary chain" . . . well, you get the idea.
Good rides,
RainRider
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
RainRider said:
Sure enough, the service manual does refer to one of the cam chain tensioners as a "primary" cam chain tensioner.
The "primary chain" though, is the chain which connects the crank to the clutch, and that chain's tensioner is adjustable.
See where the confusion can come in?
Aw sh*, thanks for wakin me up RainRider and sorry about that Ed....all I had on my mind was the right side of the bike and cam chains :eek: . Guess I gotta pay attention better to what I'm writin and readin. I was thinkin, man if that primary cam chain tensioner will go a 100K, what the hell's everybody worried about? :D

Still - if anybody's got a good recipe for polishin those cam chains, I'm all eyes.

Greg
 

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IronButt
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Stock set up can last 40, 000 or 4000 no way to tell. We do polish both chains on a buffing wheel before re-installing. the inner tensioner is the one that wears faster most of the time. The factory chains are not polished and do have machinening marks on them that eat away at the shoe. Polishing is not a fix for the poor design of the stock setup but unless you are ready to put the cash into gear drive polishing the cahins will make the shoes last longer.
 
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