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Old 08-21-2009, 05:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
Wild One
 
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Twin cam chain tensioners

I know there was a discussion somewhere on the site but I havn't been able to locate it again.
Anyway my 02 fatboy is at 25k miles and I know that it is in the range where they have been failing. I have decided to go ahead and replace the stock chain and tensioners. I spoke to a harley mech about it and there are two options. The redesigned (as of 06 according to him) hydraulic tensioners which is basically the same operating principal except instead of a spring they use hydraulic fluid to push the cup to the chain, or to go to a gear drive.
I am kind of leaning toward the gear drive as I think it would be stronger and get rid of the problem with the shoes altogether, and it runs about 900.00 versus the hydraulic running close to 1500.00
I was wondering if anyone on the forums had any experience with either type of upgrade and what they thought.
If I go with gears has anyone got any recommendations as to what manufacturers make the best.
Sorry for such a long post
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
I know there was a discussion somewhere on the site but I havn't been able to locate it again.
Anyway my 02 fatboy is at 25k miles and I know that it is in the range where they have been failing. I have decided to go ahead and replace the stock chain and tensioners. I spoke to a harley mech about it and there are two options. The redesigned (as of 06 according to him) hydraulic tensioners which is basically the same operating principal except instead of a spring they use hydraulic fluid to push the cup to the chain, or to go to a gear drive.
I am kind of leaning toward the gear drive as I think it would be stronger and get rid of the problem with the shoes altogether, and it runs about 900.00 versus the hydraulic running close to 1500.00
I was wondering if anyone on the forums had any experience with either type of upgrade and what they thought.
If I go with gears has anyone got any recommendations as to what manufacturers make the best.
Sorry for such a long post
I just inspected mine with 22,000 miles on them and they look almost brand new..It's worth the cost of a gasket, put the bike upright, you will have to pull your pipes off too to get the bolts out and remove the cover...(I was modifying my exhaust so it was a good time to take a look inside...) Gasket wasaround $9 plus the cost of a couple of exhaust gaskets... Here's a couple pictures I took of the cam chain scrubbers....my buddy has 38,000 on his Ultra with no problems either...just check it to be sure...
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File Type: jpg thunderheader job 026.jpg (1.54 MB, 156 views)
File Type: jpg thunderheader job 027.jpg (1.57 MB, 145 views)
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I am going to replace this later this year with a set of Andrews 37G geardrives and also a Feauling cam plate and oil pump, then the bottom end will be tight for a LONG time.
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Old 08-22-2009, 07:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Usually the inside tensioner shoe goes 1st . I've seen the earlier TC shoes worn through at as little as 6k miles and the later at 40k miles looking almost new , these were the extremes . Go figure on why some fail early and others last .
As has been said , the HD hydraulic tensioner upgrade and the gear drive upgrade both pretty much solve the problem of worn / broken chain tensioners . HDs hydraulic kit includes a new oil pump assy. that provides 10% more flow and 23% more scavenging which is nice . If going with the gear drive I would also go with an oil pump upgrade .
Also I've seen that pricing is comparable with the HD kit and the S&S setup all depending on which parts you throw at it such as cams , oil pumps , lifters , push rods etc. .
One more ditty ... following a stock tensioner shoe replacement and then doing a followup check 20k miles later on several different bikes , the replacement shoes seem to last longer ! Have yet to replace a set for a second time in the same bike .
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