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Discussion Starter #1
Ever since I had the rear cam bearing replaced on my 2000 Dyna, I am suspicious of the whole chain drive deal with the tensioner shoes and all that. I have read several adverts about Gear Drive conversion kits. I would like to know what results anybody has had with that, was it worth it, and pitfalls too.
 

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bone

haven't done the conversion but will as soon as i save the cash. the 'stealer' won't replace my cam bearing under the recall until it fails. the benefits that i have researched are:

timing is more accurate( no slop in the chain)
no plastic from the tensioner shoe getting in the oil
replacing stock non adjustable pushrods with adjustable (things do wear and need adjustment)

drawbacks

gear drive might be noisier ( may only notice at idle)
 

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It's pretty straightforward. The gears fit on the cams a bit tight but it's no big deal. They can be real noisy but after you do a few you get a feel for them, as soon as you put the cams with the inner gears in the plate you can tell by feel if they will be noisy. If you keep a few used cam plates around you can usually find one that feels good. I realize that this way you only check the inner gears but it works out as the discrepancies in the dimensions seem to work both ways, ie if the inner gears feel like they will make no noise the outer ones don't either, at least so far.

You can hold the engine with the spark plugs in and in 5th gear to tighten the bolts. If you ever have to remove the gears DO NOT use the threaded bosses in the gears to push the gears off, make yourself a little puller that works similar to a steering wheel puller.
 

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I did the gear conversion back in October as well as cam swap. Gear drive sounds different, I do'nt know if it's louder just different.
 

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I did it, like Rocko says, sounds a little different. I like it. Peace of mind I guess.....
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks for the replies. I have heard from other forums that the tensioner shoes deteriorate over time. I'm also concerned about those who have not had that cam bearing replaced on pre-15 Dec 99 engines. After reading many posts about the cam bearings going anywhere between 2,000 and 30,000 miles, I challenged my dealer. He gave me the standard warranty speech; I told him I want it out, I don't need to break down in the middle of nowhere. If it is still good, I'll pay, if it is bad you pay (warranty). And I also demanded to be there when he pulled it out. I'm not a trained wrench but I had read all I could.

Mind you, the engine appeared to run fine, and no unusual noises, but I just had a bad feeling, but hey a Harley engine makes so much noise anyway how would you hear it early enough to stop the engine? What if you had just filled up and driven 100 miles when it goes?

Well guess what? When the mech pulled the cam the ball bearings fell out of the cage and rolled all over the floor. Disintegrated is the word. The mech said "sheesh . . ."

Did you know the good roller bearing itself is like a $15 dollar part (retail)? What on earth did Harley pay pay for the original junky one?

Also, I think Harley was saying it was just 1 or 2% failure rate - I think the rate is really virtually 100% - I think they will all go just a matter of where!

And the reason I don't like those cam tensioner shoes either is because I suspect they are minimum bidder garbage as well.

Oh well, I'll save the money and get the S&S parts ASAP.

Cheers All
 

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Cam Gear/Tensioner Shoes

I just got my 01 FXC back from dealer. Had BB, SE heads, 10:1 CR FlatTops, 44CV, TW37 with Gear Drive.

My bike had 9K miles on it and the tensioner shoes had hardly any wear. Looks like they could have gone 60K or more. I am wondering if I wasted my money on the gear drive.
 

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Gear drive is NOT a waste of money even if you are assured that the tensioners would have lasted 150,000 miles especially when you start running higher compressions and hotter cams. The chain drive can actually allow your cam alignment, timing to fluctuate almost 4 degrees due to its very nature.
4 deg is a LOT when you start to get in the mods that will affect interferance, detonation, etc. Its a good investment in a motor with modified heads, cams, CR.
For a stock motor,,, I dont really see the point in spending upwards of $575.00 just to go gear driven.
JMHO
 

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I am new to this so lets go. I have seen both sides of the fence. One buddy said it was to noisy, and the one i herd was real quiet and smooth. I think it depends on your mods and cash flow.
 

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IronButt
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I just pulled a motor down to up grade it had less than 1500 miles on it. Inner tensioner was shot most of the shoe had blown apart. The suck HD knows it and has no plans to fix it. I would not think you will see any gains on the dyno but for trouble free use they are a must.

One thing you can try it your pocket book is empty. Is polishing the chain. I have done this on a few now and did get a chance to go back in the cam compartment. the tensioners looked great!!! But his was a mild set up. To polish the chains I used a buffing wheel with 3 differnet types of compounds in 3 steps. The chain was very smooth when done. The stock chain can be rough and this can lead to tensioner failure at a early stage.
 
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