cam timing chain tensioner

Discussion in 'Engine, Fuel and Exhaust' started by nascar7613, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. nascar7613

    nascar7613 Active Member

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    For all you that are procrastinating about changing your cam chain tensioners, this is what can happen to your engine. This bike only has 4500, yes forty five hundred, miles on it. It is a 2006 Duece. Came in to my shop making a lot of engine noise that I didn't recognize as something I'd heard before. The customer advised me that he bought the bike with 1300 miles, and within 10 miles of riding the oil light came on and stayed on. The dealer he bought the bike from picked it up and took it back to their shop and found that the cam chain tensioner shoe had broken to pieces, with only 1300 miles. They said they flushed the pieces out of the engine, however you do that, I don't know, and replaced the cam plate with the screamin eagle one and new lifters. When I took it apart, here are some pictures of what I found. Replace that crappy tensioner system with the screamin eagle one or some other aftermarket one before the shoe breaks up and ruins your engine like it did this one. You will never get all of the pieces out of your engine unless you totally disassemble it. Just a heads up. Picture one, oil pump screen full of debris, picture two, oil pump body grooved and pitted, picture three, crank shaft end overheated, picture four, cut apart oil filter full of pieces of tensioner shoe. oil pump 1.jpeg oil pump 2.jpeg oil pump 3.jpeg oil pump 4.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
    HDDon likes this.
  2. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

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    I wonder if changing oil once a year would have prevented this?????
    What a shame.
     
  3. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    Cam chain tensioner failure is a concern for sure but considering the number of early Harleys still running the OEM tensioners with no issues as compared to those that have had issues; the percentage of failures is very small. Having said that, just the possibility of such a failure and the damage that can follow, replacing the early OEM shoes with something better is a good idea.

    Hard to tell from the pictures but the material I see in the pump screen and in the open filter appears to be black which is not the color of the OEM tensioners but is the color of the tensioner chain guide. So if that is the case, a chain guide failure is very rare. I would like to see pictures of the tensioner shoes, the shoe holders and the chain guide.

    And, no, changing oil once a year would not have made a difference. Some tensioners just failed from the heat, heavy pressure from the spring on the link chain and tensioner material that could fail under those operating conditions.
     
  4. nascar7613

    nascar7613 Active Member

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    There were particles of the orangeish color plastic that the tensioner shoe looks like. It's hard to tell by the pictures. There was a piece of the tensioner shoe lodged in the side hole of one front & one rear lifter that I has to dig out with a pick. I wish I had pictures of the shoes, holders & chain guide, but the dealer had already changed out the cam plate before it came to my shop. I have seen several TC88 cam shoe tensioners fail, but I usually find larger pieces of them still in the cam chest. This engine ground them up into tiny little pieces.
     
  5. Bogey_52

    Bogey_52 New Member

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    Funny I just started into my '07 FLHTC today. I was out for a night ride last week and coming up the road to my home I noticed the motor clanking and rattling like crazy, looked down and had no oil pressure! Hell I might have gone 3 or 4 miles like that I was just enjoying the ride. Anyway today I took the oil filter off and it was totally dry! I took off the nose cone and there are a couple pieces of cam chain tensioner shoe in the sump. Took the oil pressure relief valve out - it came right out when I jammed a popsicle stick in it and pulled. It looks like new and it went in loose. I'm pretty sure that I either got a piece of tensioner shoe plugging the oil passage between the pump and the filter, or I got a broken oil pump. I'll take off the cam support plate as soon as I treat my depression with lots of alcohol. Sucks because I was just looking to trade it in on a new street glide. I got 37000 miles on it, never had a problem. Been in all the lower 48 states with it. I'd hate to have to rebuild the motor or buy a reman motor and then trade it. ($5 grand?) Hope I can fix this easily.
     
  6. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    Not a difficult fix if just the shoe has been chewed up; however, if the chain has eaten into the shoe holder, or the oil pump damaged, that would mean you could have some metal traveling in the oil and a bigger problem. Drain the oil and see what it looks like. If the problem is limited to the shoe(s), replace them with the CYCO shoes, clean out all the shoe material you can find, change oil/filter and ride. After 100 miles, change oil/filter again. If you are dead set on trading, ride it long enough that you can trade in good conscious that you are not passing the problem off to someone else and trade.
     
  7. Bogey_52

    Bogey_52 New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I'll know more when I get the cams out and get a look at the oil pump. I'm putting new shoes on it anyway now that I'm in there but I still need to find out why I got no oil pressure.
     
  8. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    Pretty sure that will be obvious when you get the cam plate and pump on the bench.;)
     
  9. nascar7613

    nascar7613 Active Member

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    Hopefully you caught it early enough. If the pieces of the shoe stay in the cam chest, you can normally clean them out and not have a future problem. You might have a piece lodged in the oil pump. Make sure you take the oil pump apart and clean and inspect for deep grooves or gouges, blow air through the passages in the cam plate and the passages going to and from the oil pump and filter. Put a rag over the oil filter housing when you blow through the passages and see if any shoe particles come out on the rag.
     
  10. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    I just stumbled on this read, my 07Streetbob after returning from Sturgis I found brass debris in the oil, it made NO noise, I did ride it to the dealer, the damage to the engine was SO bad it cracked the oil pump and cam plate but still ran with NO oil light on. The engine looked like it was sand blasted inside, the oiling jets for the pistons were plugged, The MOCO sent a rep to inspect it, saying they had never seen this happen, wanted to send a short block and have dealer redo the heads in house, my service manager said NO send a NEW engine, this engine had the NEW style tensioners