Replaced Cam Chain Tensioner and Rods, Bike "Feels" Different

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by hamcentral, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. hamcentral

    hamcentral New Member

    Warning: Long post!

    Hello all. I'm worrying about this and I'm hoping someone has experienced the same thing and can tell me not to worry or what to adjust.

    Some background: I just replaced the cam chain tensioners and push rods on my 2001 FXD Superglide. I went with the stock shoes because I didn't have the money to put into the upgraded system. I cut the old solid pushrods and installed new Screamin Eagle adjustable rods.

    I did most of the tear down myself using the shop manual and the web, but had a local Harley service department pull the cams and bearings out of the plate and replace the tensioners, shoes and the outer bearings. I did not do the inner bearings, and I don't know what type of bearings the dealer put in the cam support plate. I put it all back together and installed the pushrods according the directions.

    Now, I notice that my bike does not have the same feeling of torque when I open the throttle. It used to feel like I was being pulled off the bike, now it's much more smooth (not a bad feeling, just different). I'm also feeling much less vibration overall (again, not bad just different). There may be more valve noise, but this could just be my imagination. I also can't tell if my acceleration is the same as before either. I think the bike is a little slower, but that could just be the lack of torque that I'm feeling.

    tl;dr: I replaced the cam chain tensioners and pushrods and now the bike feels slower and less torquey.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum Ham. Your feelings about the difference in performance are common. I swear my bike runs better after an oil change or good cleaning. Some days it seems like a dog, other days a rocket. It is a good thing that you perceive differences, real or not. Without any hard data, I say enjoy it. :)
  3. hamcentral

    hamcentral New Member

    Breeze, I appreciate the reassurance. However, I was still sure something was wrong so I pulled the cam support plate again and replaced the o-rings for the plate and oil pump and realigned the oil pump itself. Fixed! Bike is back to normal.

    So, if you recently pulled your cams or cam plate for any reason be sure to replace the o-rings and carefully align your oil pump. If you don't you may see a loss of power and overheating due to oil sumping. You may also see oil in your breather box.
  4. hobo55

    hobo55 Active Member

    Thanks for the update/cure. Ride safe.
  5. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    Ham; Thanks for the update. Sometimes a "perceived" performance difference really IS a problem. Good on you for knowing something really was "off", and going back in to find it. :small3d026:
  6. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    good on you for rechecking your work and solving your problem, this may help others:s
  7. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    I am glad that you got it sussed.

    I was gonna ask if you were sure that the marks on inside gears on the plate (punch marks on the shafts ends from the outside) were aligned, and that the marks on the outside gears were aligned when you put them on. A tooth off will make a big difference on either of these.