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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is my dilemma. I have a new riding buddy whose 88ci engine grenaded when cam tensioners failed. I had never heard of such a thing so I did some research and sure enough it was a known problem with these engines. I've had my bike for about a year and it now has about 17K miles on it. I am not a mechanic. The best I can do is change the fluids so I take all my work to the local mechanic. I've decided to upgrade the cam plate / oil pump to the 07-13 hydraulic kit to avoid this spring tensioner problem. Of course since the engine is open I was going to do a cam swap. The prices I'm getting so far for this is over $2300 and $2700 parts and labor. I figured since The price was that high I'd check into Big Bore kits. To install the Fuel Moto 88ci to 98ci power package runs $3900 and $4800 from these same two shops.

Here's where the dilemma comes in. I could use some more torque / HP since most of the guys I run with have 103 plus bikes I just didn't think I'd have to give my left kidney to have it. I've always heard you never get your money back on upgrades. Not planning on selling the bike anytime soon, however, I always keep in mind that in the end of the day I'm putting money into a 15 year old bike.

Bike is a 06 street glide with stage 1 consisting of mikuni carb, rheinhart duals, and K&N high flow filter.. So do I just do the hydraulic cam plate / oil pump / cam switch or since half the labor is already paid for is there value in upgrading to the 98ci engine. Is there almost a 2X upgrade in performance in adding the big bore kit over just the cam?

Thanks for any input in advance.
 

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The dreaded cam tensioner, yea been there myself

The right cam choice, open up the throttle body as well and take it to a 98 with upgraded cam plate and cam shoes, yea it's worth it since you decided to open it up. As I was told a few times while your in there nows the time to make some choices.

Now I pulled mine apart and sent the parts out had them done and I put it back together and that was around 3g to take it to a 98 in parts. So your prices are close to someone else doing the work. Think about upgrading to roller rockers and lifters as well at this time, I didn't and wished I did, . Its A few more bucks but at least you'll be done with it vs opening it back up for another upgrade. I used a Power Commander 5 on tuning, was happy with it.
 
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That's a lot of $$ to throw at a 15 year old bike but as you say it has low miles. You are making a good choice to go with the upgraded camplate/tensioner setup. Regarding more performance, it comes down to what you think you need and what you can afford. I recommend you discuss specifics with builder to ensure you get what you want. Do you ride 2up? Highway or back roads? Do you want low end power or high revving power? Factor in what compression/cam will work best with your existing pipes/intake etc. Get these answers BEFORE you pull the trigger and end up with a build that didn't meet the mark.

Check out Motorcycle Performance Guide for Harley-Davidson for lots of info on carb TC builds and dyno results. Fuelmoto is also good...call them and talk to someone, pick their brain and see what they recommend.

I was where you are when I did tensioner upgrade on my 88ci TC years ago (mine was FI). I contacted Big Boyz (site sponsor), got some advice from them on what parts would fit my needs and decided on a proven, reliable 95" build with Andrews 37 cam and 9.8:1 compression. Sent my heads to them for porting which was not that expensive, and they also bored cyls. I ordered the parts and when I got cyls and heads back put it together myself.

The safe option is to just do the reliability upgrade of camplate/tensioners and ride it for a year or so then move up to a newer model TC (103 or 110) or a M8 (107 or 114). I will say, the M8 114 is sweet right out of the box!
 

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The biggest problem with the old spring style tensioners were the pads and what they were made of. The newer Cyco type tensioner pads were much better then stock and close to comparable to the hydraulics. How many miles do you ride, everyday, weekends. How high of a lift of a cam? For me, if I only ride 5000 or so/year, going with a mild lift cam, I'd just replace the pads and oilpump with a higher flow unit.
 

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I just didn't think I'd have to give my left kidney
You couldn't have come up with a more expensive toy if that was your goal. OK, maybe if you had decided to take up flying. And you will find out, it's not enough. Once you get that taste, you're going to want more, more, more.

I'm no mechanic, maybe shade tree or just a tinkerer. Meaning, I don't do it for a living. If I had to pay someone what they think they were worth to work on my bike, I would've stopped long ago. You might consider getting the official HD shop manual (not a Clymer or Chilton's) for your year/model. Keep it by your commode, for when you have some spare time. You might see that there are some things you would at least consider doing on your own, It's almost as satisfying turning your own wrenches as a nice weekend ride.

And something you're not thinking of yet. You're going to start mixing parts from different companies and manufactures, you're going to get noises. If new noises bother you, keep it to a minimum. I see those Fuel Moto kits have forged pistons, you know they have their own noises. And adjustable pushrods, they might or might not drive you crazy chasing that tick. Everything in the valvetrain is subject to something you're going to hear. Some noises are warnings, some are just the way things are. I see you already have a Mikuni, so you've been introduced to that flat slide racket. Unless you rode the bike with the stock CV with all of Harleys air cleaner stuff, you don't know how quiet it was before.

Does any of these buds you can't keep up with seem willing to shepherd you through the cam chest project? You could save the price of labor, or convert it to a few brews and maybe a steak dinner or 2. And plan for that big bore upgrade after you replenish your funds. And if you decide that doing your own work isn't for you, you can say at least you tried.
 

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A cam chest update to harleys hybrid kit, andrews 37 cams, 95" with 10:1 pistons. Tune and proper pipe and you will walk away from most 103" rides unless they are built. Not a fan of slipper skirt CP bullet pistons at 98". 95" is a reliable solution at an affordable cost.
 

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You will need to check your cam bearings as well while it's open, because just sticking with a shoe up grade may not be a choice if you have the bearing wearing already, if no signs I'd replace those bearings anyways.
 

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With your mileage, I would check the tensioners and replace if needed with aftermarket pads and ride. If you have to replace, put the cam in and new cam bearings. I have always arrived at the destination with my riding buddies at the same time with an 88 ci motor. Most of the time they say that I ride too fast if the road has any curves. While the 120s, 124s, and 130s are at the bar, I am out riding. I am at over 100K and will go bigger if it expires before I do.
 

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If you're happy with current performance, what jmelin said.
If you, not your riding buddies, want more performance, what Don said.
 

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If you luv this bike DO IT! 😎

I ride a 42-year old FLH.

1979 Electra Glide 1200 FLH King of the Highway.

Ya...she's a Shovelhead.

Moded of course...

Daily rider.

God forbid any catastophic failures come my way but if so I'd resurrect her...

It's only money...

268123
 

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I once owned a '75 almost identical, mine was only that shade of red, not 2-toned, no WWW, and I didn't use the trunk. After 42 years, the nerves in your hands and ass must be dead. Still have those Batwing and bags on my fatboy.
 

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I'm with jmelin. I have an 04 RK with 120,000 trouble free miles only major thing changed was put in geared cams @ 30K so I wouldn't need to worry about tensioners.. It has got me from Mohave desert to Beartooth pass, coast to coast and 39 states without issue.
 

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check craigslist, there are TwinCam "take out" motors being sold now, as ppl buy M8's and don't need to keep a spare TC around.


"Here we have 2 twin cam Harley Davidson A engines they will fit Touring and Dyna models 103 ACR equipped 96 .all these engines are redone from top to bottom, all are standard bore and have a complete valve job, stock cams , fresh bore and new rings. chain tensioners are new as well too much to list call Bob "
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Appreciate all your responses. I really do. Still on the fence but leaning towards big bore. If my research is correct than I will gain more than twice the HP and TQ over just a cam upgrade for about a 70 percent increase in price. Again, thanks to all who responded.
 

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Appreciate all your responses. I really do. Still on the fence but leaning towards big bore. If my research is correct than I will gain more than twice the HP and TQ over just a cam upgrade for about a 70 percent increase in price. Again, thanks to all who responded.
I believe a stock 88" is about 65 hp, so double is 130hp. To get that out of a 98" it would be pretty radical, and maybe not to reliable to the street, high compression needing high octane, better not go to the unknown. Probably some heat issues too, and a 98" would have some thin cylinder walls, subject to warping. I think 100-110 is more realistic, and that's damn good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I believe a stock 88" is about 65 hp, so double is 130hp. To get that out of a 98" it would be pretty radical, and maybe not to reliable to the street, high compression needing high octane, better not go to the unknown. Probably some heat issues too, and a 98" would have some thin cylinder walls, subject to warping. I think 100-110 is more realistic, and that's damn good.
Perhaps I didn't state that too well. I meant that if cams would take me from a stock 65HP and 65TQ for example to lets say 75/75 then for about 60 to 70 percent more money for the big bore kit I could maybe get those numbers to 90ish/90ish of maybe better. The big bore kit would give me twice or more the gains over just doing the cams over leaving the engine stock. I would think if a 98 big bore kit could get you to the 130/130 mark they would be flying off the shelves. I had thought about the thin cylinder walls but the kit gives you an option to upgrade to a Extreme Duty Cylinders for an extra $300. Trying to do research to find out exactly what these are and if they are worth the extra $300. You have any idea what they may be referring too? Thanks again for your response
 

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You have a good question, Hopefully we get more of the engine guys in here on this since the subject is picking up and you have responded back instead of one post and be gone, they have great info for ya,.

I had my original jugs bored and did not have any heat issues that I experienced, even without kicking down a gear at 2 up I was able to throttle pass at highway speed no problem. I believe my cam was a bit higher in for my riding style but was still happy with the balance of reliable and better performance. You will have some guys on here compare your complete build to just picking up a crate motor, which are good arguments on the subject.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You have a good question, Hopefully we get more of the engine guys in here on this since the subject is picking up and you have responded back instead of one post and be gone, they have great info for ya,.

I had my original jugs bored and did not have any heat issues that I experienced, even without kicking down a gear at 2 up I was able to throttle pass at highway speed no problem. I believe my cam was a bit higher in for my riding style but was still happy with the balance of reliable and better performance. You will have some guys on here compare your complete build to just picking up a crate motor, which are good arguments on the subject.
I think for someone like me who is not knowledgeable a Big bore kit may be the way to go since they only give you limited choices. For example - the Bore is 98ci - no choice there. The cam choices are TW6 or TW555, etc. It gives me less chances to make a stupid pick like picking a cam that is a mid to high range cam when I am really looking for lower to mid range torque. Based on my riding style I have already decided to go with the TW555 if doing the kit or the CR570-2 if just doing the cam upgrade.
 
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