Cam Tensioners

Discussion in 'Engine, Fuel and Exhaust' started by otter1958, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. otter1958

    otter1958 Member

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    OK, whats the deal with cam tensioners? I own a 2003 Fat Boy and a 2006 Ultra Classic both with about 30K miles. I just got an email from the local dealer suggesting we have the cam tensioners replaced (Special Price $600.00 ea.) Is this something that is really required? Or is the dealer just drumming up business? How long will these last??
     
  2. Brutal FXDX

    Brutal FXDX Active Member

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    As smitty said the 99-06 chain tensioners are a problem. Some last 15k miles and ive seen some break 60k miles(touring bikes usually fail first). The question is not if they will go bad, its when. Yes the dealership is trying to get business for the slow season. 600 a bike is a fair price to replace them, but that is not fixing the problem. Any time i have a bike that needs tensioners replaced i find what the customers budget is and go from there. Then would be a good time to upgrade to The hydraulic conversion that andrews, Screamin eagle, or bob woods offer. the second option would be gear drive cams by S&S or Andrews. But going geardrive will require the flywheels being up to spec. (no more than .003" pinion shaft runout. To check the tensioners just remove front pipe and remove the cam cover. Primary tensioner will be right in front of you and the secondary tensioner is harder to see since it is behind the cam plate.
     
  3. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    $600 only gets you replaced shoes and not an upgrade to hydraulic.? EeeeGadd. What would a conversion cost? (Assuming no cam swap)
     
  4. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    I would NOT spend $600 to have the spring-loaded tensioners replace in kind. If the dealership is offering to replace the current spring-loaded tensioners with the hydraulic tensioners (including a new plate and oil pump) that is a pretty good deal.

    Get the details about what that offer is for. I personally feel that anyone that can turn a wrench can do this project themselves. Here is some info:

    Roller Chain Conversion white paper

    Roller-chain Conversion - Harley Davidson Community

    TQs Engine Build

    TQ's Engine Build - Harley Davidson Community

    TQ
     
  5. BUBBIE

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

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    I'm with you Hoople!!!

    Apart and then Back together with the NEW but yet BAD Designed parts??????

    My shoes were BAD at 14,000 miles on my 2000 FXDS.. BUT then HD didn't have the fix... AND the oil pump was also a Could be problem.
    (larger Gearoters used in the Bigger replacement oIl pump In KIT)

    The KIT from HD that gives most of the Needed Parts to convert to the newer system...(gasket and 2 "full cage needle rollers" needed on engine side)..

    I like the Up-Grade for the fact,,, LOOK at all the parts you get for 429$$ in the KIT.

    New oil pump alone makes up for the cost of going Hydraulic "KIT" is very reasonable.. Then Never need to worry about the SHOE problem again.

    600$ just to replace the Shoes while all is apart is a bit MUCH for the finished product... I WOULD NOT go with this.

    I would go with the updated Hydraulic KIT conversion and get ALL the NEEDED updates in ONE swoop..

    I also CAN'T see more than 700 to 750 $$ for the complete up-grade INCLUDING KIT parts.

    There are Shops that WILL do this job (KIT conversion) for less and my prices are close to What They Should Be.

    signed....BUBBIE
     
  6. HOLY DIVER

    HOLY DIVER Junior Member

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    yea updating 2 the hydraulic cam tensonier is the way to go in my book i'll be doing it on December 26th(because i promised the wife i'd wait untill we got Christmas behind us) and the 26th is after Christmas right hehe.... i'm pretty sure the moco did thousands of hours of research to figure out what was the best way to solve the spring loaded cam tensioner issue and they went with hydraulic.....yea you could replace with a new sett of spring loaded tensioners or spend a few extra dollars and never have to worry about them again..in the dealer's defense they did u a huge favor by bringing this to your attention this is an issue you need to address at 30k
     
  7. otter1958

    otter1958 Member

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    Thanks, the dealer is installing hydrolic with that price so I guess I had better get'er done.
     
  8. Blue Wide Glide

    Blue Wide Glide Junior Member

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    Sometimes I am just a bit thick Smitty, and need more individual attention. Are you saying that the new version of the cam chain tensioner itself, just the part with the shoes that wear out, is available and better than the original part? I hear lots of "upgrade to hydraulic, gear driven etc", but no one talks about just replacing the spring loaded tensioner unit themselves. I dont want to spend any more money on this than I have to:newsmile093:. If this were a problem on a car, there would be a recall, and it would be fixed for free!:bigsmiley19:
     
  9. BUBBIE

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

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    IF You replace them......... And NOT paying labor to have it done......

    YOU can just LOOK and Replace Shoes IF Needed......

    The Shoe system CAN last a long time but a FEW CANNOT...

    To replace the Shoes ONLY:
    Would be like taking a Bath and putting old clothes back on.. Good for a while BUT not as LONG.. The new Hydraulic system is Like putting on a New Suit that will not wear out like the old one did and does...

    Look and IF your shoes are NOT bad,,,, Button it back up and Wait..

    They WILL get bad and Hopefully you catch it Before the engine gets the Metal to Metal that will RUIN the piston-cylinders and all moving parts.. IT is like putting FILED Pieces off the shoes and chains into the motor a little at a time...

    Your Bike.....

    signed....BUBBIE
     
  10. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    Thousand's? You could have fooled me. I did not think that had that much time in the entire engine.:D

    or maybe they just work slow:)