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twincam 88

Engine, Fuel and Exhaust

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Old Apr 7th, 2009, 09:12 PM     #1
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twincam 88

all i've herd since i bought my bike is how junky the cam design is
it has 14k on it now at what time is it a must that i have the s&s geardrive cams installed?
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Old Apr 7th, 2009, 09:27 PM     #2
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Re: twincam 88

I am not a huge fan of S&S parts. I have had reliability issues with them in the past. That's just me though, I know people that swear by them. The cam issue was really only an issue in 1999 and 2000 but there is no reason you can't do a little upgrade to help it along.
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Old Apr 7th, 2009, 09:41 PM     #3
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Re: twincam 88

I was thinking around the 20k mark doing it but now you say it realy isn't a big issue for a 2003 if i'm running short on cash when it hits 20k i won't sweat it lol
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Old Apr 7th, 2009, 09:43 PM     #4
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Re: twincam 88

Quote: Originally Posted by 00BUCKSHOT View Post
I was thinking around the 20k mark doing it but now you say it realy isn't a big issue for a 2003 if i'm running short on cash when it hits 20k i won't sweat it lol

just check the cam tensioners
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Old Apr 7th, 2009, 11:24 PM     #5
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Re: twincam 88

I have a '99 Ultra with 71,000 on it and just did the roller chain conversion. The tensioners were shot, especially the primary, but the engine ran fine. Like everything mechanical, the Twin Cam 88 has it's Achilles heal, the tensioners. There are several ways to address the problem from a simple tensioner replacement, to the roller chain conversion or a gear drive. Other than that, the engine is a good one. Reliable, easy to start in all temperature ranges, good power and fairly economical.
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 06:35 AM     #6
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Re: twincam 88

The gear drive set up is nice, not mandatory. It just eliminates having to change the tensioner shoes. When I converted my 99 the tensioners where shot at 32000 miles.
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 08:03 AM     #7
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Re: twincam 88

whitch is the best way to go roller chain or geardrive?
i run mobil 1 v-twin 20w-50 will that help the life of my tesioner?
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 08:07 AM     #8
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Re: twincam 88

Roller chain by a long shot. If there's any crank run out, the gears will be very noisy.

TQ's Engine Build - Harley Davidson Community (TQ's Engine Build)

Last edited by glider; Apr 8th, 2009 at 10:34 AM.
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Old Apr 9th, 2009, 10:26 PM     #9
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Re: twincam 88

It is not so much the cam as the tensioner. I had my 04 in for service at 30,000 miles and was told it need to be looked at. The tensioner was shot. They did a upgrade and put in 203 cams and 95 inch jugs and a couple of other little things. Ran it anouther 25,000 and never missed a beat. 18,000 may be a little early but they have to tear into them quite a ways to get to the cams so if you are going to have them looked at just figure on replaceing them with the roller or the gear drive whichever you decide on.
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Old Apr 9th, 2009, 10:47 PM     #10
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Re: twincam 88

Quote: Originally Posted by glider View Post
Roller chain by a long shot. If there's any crank run out, the gears will be very noisy.

TQ's Engine Build - Harley Davidson Community (TQ's Engine Build)
Thanks Glider and Mattman, I was hoping someone would show them TQ's steller build...not owning a TC engine, all I can say is watch the cam tensioners for pad wear and replace them before they self destruct and wreck havoc with the internals. Seems to be the only weakness that stands out amongst most owners of the "twinkies" as TQ put it (my 2 cents...) otherwise, one of the most reliable and well thought out engines HD built...cheers
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Last edited by NEWHD74FAN; Apr 9th, 2009 at 11:10 PM.
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