Cam Chain Tensioner

Discussion in 'Dyna Models' started by Nikko684, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. Nikko684

    Nikko684 Active Member

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    Hey Guys,
    So I was wanting to inspect my Cam Chain tensioners. I'm curious on the best way to do that. I know I have to remove the lower exhaust pipe to access the lower bolts on the Cam Chest Cover. Kind of kicking myself for not doing this when I had all the fluids drained, lol. Anyhoo, once I get the Chest cover over, what do I need to specifically look for? and if by some chance I do need to replace the tensioners, how do I do that and what kind of cost might I see for parts? If anyone can link videos that would be great! My ride is a 2005 FXDWG (carb'd) with 14,200 miles.
     
  2. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    The outer tensioner will be visible as soon as you pull the cover. Check the pad on the tensioner for wear. If it is worn well into the pad you can replace just the pad with HD part or order the aftermarket Cyco replacement. The inner pad requires a dental mirror and some patience.
    Then there is the whole changing out the cam plate for the updated hydraulic style plate that includes new improved oil pump. The "while your in there" you'll want to change out the inner cam bearings to the Torrington full compliment style bearing.
    Lots of info in the self help section. Use the search function and yopu shouild find enough to keep you busy the rest of the day......

    This is what mine looked like as an example.
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2014
  3. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

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    Nikko; If you do it with the bike on the jiffy stand, you probably won't loose a drop of oil. If you do it on a lift, you will only lose a small amount.
     
  4. glazier

    glazier Junior Member

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    If you want, you don't have to remove the exhaust to get to the lower cam cover bolts. When I inspected mine on my Heritage, I used a small allen head tip (like the kind you would put in a screw gun) and used a 1/4" open end wrench to turn the screw tip. It takes a little time, but less time than removing the exhaust. When I saw the tensioners needed replacing, then I removed the exhaust. The cam plate wouldn't come out with the exhaust still in place.
     
  5. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor

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    As Bodeen said the rear 1 is hard to inspect without a dental mirror, you'll also need a special tool to remove and replace.
     
  6. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    Nikko,
    If you get that far into the project, go ahead and replace the tensioner shoes with the CYCO shoes. The problem with the OEM shoes is that they can look fine at 14.2K miles but can fall apart at 15K miles. You might be one of the guys that has tensioner shoes that will wear evenly and not need replacing for 50K miles but the history for the longevity of the OEM shoes is not good. The lifespan is unpredictable and the damage can be catastrophic; it's just not worth taking the chance IMHO. I have two Harleys, '02 FLHT and '05 FXSTD and the outer shoe on the FL was completely gone at 25K miles; I was lucky to catch it. The inner shoe on the Deuce was near gone at 12K miles. The only reason I caught it was that I was converting to gear drive cams. The inner shoes usually start to go first.

    As others have pointed out, upgrade the inner cam bearings while you are in the cam chest. There is nothing wrong with the OEM cam plate and Drag Specialties offers a high volume oil pump for the OEM plate for about $150; that's all you need. JMHO.

    If you don't have the H-D service manual for your bike, get one.:s
     
  7. Nikko684

    Nikko684 Active Member

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    Thanks to all, Excellent info. I'll most likely break it down this weekend. Bodeen, how many miles was it that cause that amount of wear? I tend to ride kinda hard, So I'm pretty sure I put plenty of added stress on the whole bike. So I'm constantly keeping an eye out for new issues, lol. I think 3500 miles in one week was pretty rough on it too. but then again I'm unsure what the FXDWG is exactly built to handle, lol.
     
  8. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Style of riding seems to have nothing to do with it. Some last 50k some last 12k as Dolt pointed out. The pic of the inner was at 30K-ish.
     
  9. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor

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    +1 on mile vs hard riding. I inspected mine and they were at about 40% woren, 1 1/2 years later I caught the rear one just in time. (I posted a pic of them back then) I had about 35,000 on the clock with not real hard riding.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  10. stray dog

    stray dog Junior Member

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    I have to agree with Dolt.
    I inspected at 15,000mi and decided to check again at 30,000.
    Here's mine at about 32,500. The bad one is the inner(It wasn't broke, I did that with channellock).

    If I were to do it again, they would just be out at 15,000.
     

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