Cam Tensioner: what should I do?

Discussion in 'Engine, Fuel and Exhaust' started by 5Pack, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. 5Pack

    5Pack Member

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    I've been lucky enough to meet a 26 year vetran in HD mechanics. Last wekend he changed tires for me at his shop. We talked abot my bike and he said everything looked and sounded OK (he did not give it a good going over, just wanted to know if anything jumped out at him) but he asked about the cam tensioners. i could not give a def answer; i bought the bike at about 57K miles and now have about 64K miles on it and don't know what work prev owner did (or didn't) do.
    1. If you were me, would you change the cam tens spring anyways?
    2. Do you know how to do it?
    3. How much would parts cost?
    4. I know how to turn wrenches, and i can get a shop manual, but I am by no means a mechanic. Is this something I can do on my own?
    I have no intention at this time to do any performance upgrades, I just don't want to have a tensioner go bad 200 miles from home.
     
  2. Bud White

    Bud White Well-Known Member Retired Moderators

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    I would check them since its a unknow.. it has been posted about how to do them here

    as for cost depends what you want to do .. Gear drive? or conversion to the new chain setups ?? or just replace bare minimum parts?
     
  3. The4opps1

    The4opps1 Junior Member

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    At the urging of folks on this forum, I pulled the Ultra apart the other day and removed the cam cover. Thank god I listened to the voice of reason. The tensioner on the chain from the pinion to the rear sprocket was so worn that it was almost non existant. Trouble was, the bike ran fine. It has about 71,000 on it, and I am in the process of converting to the new roller chain. I am going to do it myself, as I can turn a wrench and have rebuilt a few motors in my time. Will keep the group posted as to my success (or lack thereof). My advice is the same as the advice given to me: check the tensioners out.....
     
  4. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    I have an '03 UC coming on 73kmiles. Had the outside tensioner nuke on me a while back, but was very lucky - no other damage. I replaced that tensioner and installed the Baisley spring. BUT, I did NOT replace or even check the inner tensioner (that was dumb!). Now I am very worried about the tensioners and am fixing to up-grade to the roller chain ('07+) configuration. I did consider the gear drive because I like that type of system best, but have opted for the roller chain conversion instead. You might find more info here:

    Conversion Cams: Roller Chain Drive Up-grade - Harley Davidson Community

    TQ
     
  5. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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  6. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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  7. The4opps1

    The4opps1 Junior Member

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    Managed to replace the inner bearings with the Torrington units over the weekend. Just waiting on parts to come in to complete the job. If anyone is interested in purchasing fixtures to do this work, I found mine on Ebay sold by Georges Garage. I bought the tensioner tool, the Torrington bearings, the inner bearing removal, inner bearing installer, and an oil pump alignment tool for about $250. That included free priority mail shipping. The tools worked extremely well, are of good quality and manufacture and come with instructions.
     
  8. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Here's a thought for those tools. There another member on another forum that RENTS these tools out for a decent price with a substantial deposit enough to cover the cost of the tools just in case, the deposit is returned when the tools are returned in good condition.

    Just a thought.:s
     
  9. The4opps1

    The4opps1 Junior Member

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    Thanks Glider. I had thought about doing that, but in all probability,, will jsut put them back on Ebay and be done with it. My entrepreneurial days are long gone....