88 Chain Cam Tensioners Question

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by Randall K. Wilson, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. Randall K. Wilson

    Randall K. Wilson Junior Member

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    I have a 03 FLHRI with 40K miles on it. A party has advised me that this winter I should a mechanic remove the covers etc and check my Cam Chain Tensioners to see if repairs/modifications need to be done. When I ask him if he thought they would be wore out he answered...." I'll guarantee ya, they will be shot!"

    I had been very faithful on my oil changes and all maint. for that matter. I do not seem to be having any issues with the cycle in any respect. The Machine runs and sounds great....like an old Timex Watch.

    For the sake of this discussion, can folk get a lot of miles out of an '03 twin cam 88 without having issues with their cam chain tensioners?

    In the spirit of education....Please respond.
     
  2. jaceddie

    jaceddie Junior Member

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    I had 41,000 miles on a 04 Ultra. I checked the tensioners and the outside one looked good, but the inside one was worn out. Good idea to check them out because if they fail, a lot of damage will occur. Not a too big a job if you're handy in the garage. You will need the tool to compress the springs to remove the tensioners. It makes the job much easier.
     
  3. sanec1

    sanec1 Active Member

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    I have a 99 RK and Kemo and I replaced cam bearings, cams, cam plate, oil pump etc. There was some "pitting" of the tensioner pads. I wouldn't want little chunks of plastic circulating around in there.
     
  4. Fourdogs

    Fourdogs Junior Member

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    I have a 04 RK...replaced them at 36,000 miles...but not knowing much had the OEM reinstalled...seems the idea here is to have them replaced with the hydrolic type tensioner's....lol I think!
     
  5. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    The hydraulic setup is the best way to go to eliminate the future checks on the tensioners.
     
  6. Randall K. Wilson

    Randall K. Wilson Junior Member

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    sanec1> How many miles when you did all of these changes?
     
  7. sanec1

    sanec1 Active Member

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    The RK is a 99 with 13000 miles on it. I went in there to replace the cam bearings as there were issues with the quality of the original Harley bearings. People here recommended going with the hydraulic tensioners and cam conversion kit. The tensioners weren't really bad but I have peace of mind regarding the two weak parts in the cam chest. Also the oil pump is an upgrade and Harley "B" lifters were installed while we were in there.

    Oh, did I mention the Andrews 21N cams? That was added for the "fun factor"
     
  8. Randall K. Wilson

    Randall K. Wilson Junior Member

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    Thanks pal!
     
  9. The4opps1

    The4opps1 Junior Member

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    My '99 Ultra had about 69,000 miles on it before the tensioners were checked. The bike ran great. Oil pressure could be a tad funky at times, but other than that there were no operational problems with the machine. When I puller the cam cover, the primary tensioner was all but gone and the secondary, while not as bad, was well on it's way to being in the same shape. There are a lot of great articles done by forum members on this subject. You need to pull the cam cover and have a look see. I did the roller chain conversion about 3500 miles ago and am more than happy with the results.
     
  10. slayer

    slayer Member

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    Funny this post comes when it did. My friend who has ridden H.D. for most of his life just told me about this issue a few weeks ago. He is very concerned about what shape his tensioners are in. Apparently, it is not the chain that is the issue it is the tensioners. Some have worn out before 10,000 never mind what some have been quoting. Not easy to check without getting into some serious disassembly of your ride. Would be nice to know what H.D. has to say about this.