Tensioner Material Upgrade?

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by Shifter, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Shifter

    Shifter Active Member

    I've been looking into pulling the cam cover off my 2000 Fatboy engine to replace the inner cam bearings, since mine are the ones that did not get upgraded in mid-production that year, as verified through HD. Bike was bought used with no history of maintenance known (Hock Shop sale). I am also looking into tensioner replacement, if needed. I noticed the material for the tensioner is now a reddish color, instead of the yellow in all of the pictures I see, ie., link;

    Harley Twincam Secondry Cam Drive Chain Tensioner 99-05

    Also says the new part #'s replace the old. Does anyone know if this material is any better or worse? Maybe just a color change? Anyone know?

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    I had the early 1/2 year 2000 FXDS and did my bearing replaced My self at 14,000 miles. The tin cover that holds the Drive cam Ball Bearings in place, was cracked and glad I got it apart and replaced that bearing with the Roller style that is the Fix...(fuleing oil pump, delkron cam plate SS gear drive cams)

    Being NO history on your bike. The Bearing Might of been changed, But you will have to tear enough to see the face of the bearing..(off the Big gear sprocket) that will show IF THAT bearing has been changed... The roller bearing LOOKS a lot different than that front one,,,, looking at the face you can see the difference.. If they look the same(tin covered ball bearing) It is still the stock one.

    IF ME,,,, I would get the Newer style of hydraulics"""KIT""" HD's 429$$ and address the WHOLE problems of the early TC'ms.

    The new parts in That "Kit" are well worth the 429 $$ and what an UP GRADE.. Newer style oil pump is a must-do along with the better cam plate, new sprockets and chain.... Get the torrington style Inner (motor side) cage bearings and a gasket for the out side cover and away you go..

    If your are into just replace the OLD STYLE shoes while ALL is apart, I would STRONGLY Suggest to go the FULL Route here.

    Your bike will be updated to the Newer Style, Hydraulic tensioner of todays bikes..(HD KIT or CK w/ John Herko's Kit)(tools, puller for Ina's out)

    The Orange type of shoe Might be improved and hold up a little longer and your chains on your bikes inE and outE might be smooth-out enough to get a lot of use OUT of just replacement BUT the OIL Pump and other parts to UP GRADE your Bike is easy and better to address now. The hydraulics work good as compared to the Shoes.

  3. Shifter

    Shifter Active Member

    Thanks Bubbie. I understand what you're saying. I hope to upgrade to hydraulics, but may not be able to at this time. Oldest Son's company in AZ did a no-notice layoff of @ 100 employees, him being one of them, upon their return from Thanksgiving holiday, Daughter is in the middle of a divorce, with 2 sons, from her bum of a husband and 3rd Son just had to move back in the house for a while due to job slowdown. I've been trying to help them out, so funds are an issue here for now... I'll have to work this as I can. Right now I'm getting the tools I need together and then I'll go from there. I was just curious about the change in material, if I can only afford to swap out the bearings and tensioners at this time.
  4. kc5gxc

    kc5gxc Member

    Hey Shifter...you can get all the tools for this job at Autozone. A deposit that is returned to you in full is the cost ! Great deal! Only tool not available there is the tensioner spring compressor....make one from an old socket...!
    I just replaced my shoes and inner bearings on my '04 softail.
    Good Luck........Pete
  5. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    I may have misunderstood. Are you talking about replacing the inner cam shafts support roller bearings (INAs) or the outer cam shaft support bearing in the support plate? If you are doing the one in the plate, you should also replace the inner roller bearings if they are the INAs. Up-grade to the Torringtons.

    With respect to up-grading the tensioners to the roller chain configuration, check this out:

    Roller Chain Conversion white paper

    Roller-chain Conversion - Harley Davidson Community

  6. Shifter

    Shifter Active Member

    I'll be replacing the inner cam shafts support roller bearings with the torringtons. Tools are on-hand now. Thanks for the info and help!
  7. allepoc

    allepoc New Member

    Auto Zone looked at me like I had a third eye when I asked if they had a tool to install the case bearings for the cams. What did they rent you? They did rent me a removal tool, but didn't have an installation tool.
  8. Slo-Ryd

    Slo-Ryd Junior Member Contributor

    allepoc, this thread is 6+ months old. Someone may chime in with the answer, but it might get overlooked. By the way........:ws