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Flat Land Redneck
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Discussion Starter #1
My 06 88" RK has about 28,000 miles on it. It seems to be in perfect health. Someone at an indy shop said the tensioners could go at any time or 60,000 miles, with out warning. I've read all the above posts on the matter. So am I to assume it would be a good idea to do an upgrade? If I don't do it, it'll always be in the back of my mind. It is rather expensive in my book. Any and all advice and opinions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

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Id say first things first, and have your current tensioners inspected to determine the amount of wear.


Then if they need to be replaced, replace them with stock tensioners if you find the hydraulic upgrade kit to be too expensive.
 

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Only thing holding my rear tensioner on when my gear drive cams went in was the tension holding it to the chain. IT fell apart when it was lifted off the chain. I had 34k miles

My S&S 509 gear drive set, and PCV and everything installed was $1450 at my Indy
 

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MOST of the instances of the very early failure were associated with the first few years of the TC. Most guys with the later 88" are seeing 40K or more before worry. My 2005 Classic was right about there and there was a conservative 4-5K left on them when inspected.

But, there is certainly peace of mind in knowing for sure. It is a very easy process to inspect them. You just remove the cam cover and take a look. Lots of posts on here on how to do that.

Lastly, I would just go back with the same tensioners when they are ready to be replaced. They'll likely last longer than the first set and that was almost 10 years.
 

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Some cam chains had burrs on them from the stamping/manufacturing process, and others not so much.
We've seen the early tensioners fubared as early as 1200 miles while others were in good shape at 70,000 miles.
Had one in here that had 131,000 on the clock, that had never been touched.
Scott
 

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Flat Land Redneck
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Discussion Starter #6
All the above is more in line with my thinking. I don't know or suspect anything is wrong. If it ain't broke, I don't want to fix it. However, I do want piece of mind. A buddy of mine has been a HD dealer service manager for yrs. Now he just started working for a new, indy shop. I listened as a friend of our's asked him about the upgrade. He didn't push it on us, but he planted the seed that we need to be aware of this possible issue. The upgrade would be between $1200.00 & $1500.00! That was like a kick in the cods. Certainly didn't see all that coming. First of the week, we'll get down to real numbers. I don't know if that was with cams or what. I'm thinking about trying to check the tensioners myself. It's just I have a worry about ringing bolts. Thanks a lot every body. Y'all ride safe and enjoy. :ride
 

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Yeah!..Oldcoot! Like that handle! Anyways,i picked up a used 99wg. in feb.2014 without so much as a clue about this possible problem with the early TC's tensioners. So as i worried like others,i popped off the cam cover for a look and at 24xxx this is what i saw,but for sure if i need to change them out at some point,hopefully before a catastrophic failure i would go with the better tensioner pads. I hear somebody makes a better pad that is for lack of a better explanation..bulletproof-like.
But mine are good for now,just going to check them once a season of riding...besides the gasket is $10 bucks. ImageUploadedByMO Free1412381457.767114.jpg ImageUploadedByMO Free1412381489.998169.jpg


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Hit it she goes boom
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I'm almost at 25K, once the season is done I'm gonna open her up and take a look see. If its bad I'm just going to replace. I'm not ready to dump a chunk of change in this right now. I'm not a wrench, but I have no problem learning something new, also got the shop manual and the good folks here to help me out. What will it hurt for you to give it a go?
 

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Yeah!..Oldcoot! Like that handle! Anyways,i picked up a used 99wg. in feb.2014 without so much as a clue about this possible problem with the early TC's tensioners. So as i worried like others,i popped off the cam cover for a look and at 24xxx this is what i saw,but for sure if i need to change them out at some point,hopefully before a catastrophic failure i would go with the better tensioner pads. I hear somebody makes a better pad that is for lack of a better explanation..bulletproof-like.
But mine are good for now,just going to check them once a season of riding...besides the gasket is $10 bucks. View attachment 268265 View attachment 268273


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You've got to get a good look at the inside one. It's almost always worse.
 

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Flat Land Redneck
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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah!..Oldcoot! Like that handle! Anyways,i picked up a used 99wg. in feb.2014 without so much as a clue about this possible problem with the early TC's tensioners. So as i worried like others,i popped off the cam cover for a look and at 24xxx this is what i saw,but for sure if i need to change them out at some point,hopefully before a catastrophic failure i would go with the better tensioner pads. I hear somebody makes a better pad that is for lack of a better explanation..bulletproof-like.
But mine are good for now,just going to check them once a season of riding...besides the gasket is $10 bucks. View attachment 268265 View attachment 268273


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I too, was clueless.
 

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I have an 01 so I checked mine last winter with only 8668miles since I have an early motor , they were still good so I'll check this winter again. I found a dental mirror that fit to check the rear one , even reused my gasket and it hasn't leaked.

FYI if you ever pull the cam support plate to replace them do yourself a favor and upgrade the inner cam bearings while your at it , they have caused alot of failures on there own.
 

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FYI if you ever pull the cam support plate to replace them do yourself a favor and upgrade the inner cam bearings while your at it , they have caused alot of failures on there own.
Replace early TC's (99-06 (05 dyna)) with Torrington B-148, available as Screamin Eagle High Performance Inner Cam Bearing PN# 24017-10

Late TC (07+ and 06 dyna) with Torrington B-168, available as Screamin Eagle High Performance Inner Cam Bearing PN# 24018-10
 

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I had mine replaced at the local Harley dealer.New tensioners,inner chain and all new bearings was just under $750.00. For peace of mind you should pull the exhaust and cam cover to have a look. It's not as hard as it seems. My bike is a 2001 and I was surprised at how easily the exhaust came off. The outer one was still in pretty good shape but the inner was completely worn out. This is what they looked like at 38,000 miles.

 

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Hit it she goes boom
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I had mine replaced at the local Harley dealer.New tensioners,inner chain and all new bearings was just under $750.00. For peace of mind you should pull the exhaust and cam cover to have a look. It's not as hard as it seems. My bike is a 2001 and I was surprised at how easily the exhaust came off. The outer one was still in pretty good shape but the inner was completely worn out. This is what they looked like at 38,000 miles.

Good save!!
 

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Flat Land Redneck
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Discussion Starter #15
No doubt, mine have to be checked. Whether I try it, which is probably not be the best idea. Or let them check it next week sometime, when they change my back tire. I guess now I just have to decide what to do about it. Once again, thanks all.
 

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No doubt, mine have to be checked. Whether I try it, which is probably not be the best idea. Or let them check it next week sometime, when they change my back tire. I guess now I just have to decide what to do about it. Once again, thanks all.
It's not hard to do. Watch a few youtube vid's and see if you might want to try it . :)
 

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May have to remove your front pipe to get the cover off though.
 

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Flat Land Redneck
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Discussion Starter #18
After much thought and research, I'm sure I don't need to try it myself. I've pretty much decided to go with the hyd. upgrade and be done with it. Since I never intend to get rid of this bike and will be RIDING it the rest of my life. I don't want to have to mess with it again. Does this upgrade require new cams? If so, what's the biggest I can go without needing a fuel management unit? I appreciate y'all's patience with me. I know very little about the mechanics of this. Every body has been real helpful. Thanks. :)
 

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Flat Land Redneck
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Discussion Starter #19
I called the local dealership that I have been doing business with since the late 70's, before they changed hands. I asked to speak to one of two of the mechanics that I know, who have done my work for just as long. I wanted to see what they had to say about it. The service mgr. told me to leave my ph. # and they could call me back on THEIR break. Like it was a social call. It was all I could do for several days not to go up there and give them a piece of my mind. In the end, I decided nothing good would have come out of it. Needless to say, they won't be doing the work. One thing I know for sure. I'm tired of stressing over it. Y'all ride safe and enjoy. :ride
 

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After much thought and research, I'm sure I don't need to try it myself. I've pretty much decided to go with the hyd. upgrade and be done with it. Since I never intend to get rid of this bike and will be RIDING it the rest of my life. I don't want to have to mess with it again. Does this upgrade require new cams? If so, what's the biggest I can go without needing a fuel management unit? I appreciate y'all's patience with me. I know very little about the mechanics of this. Every body has been real helpful. Thanks. :)
I went with the hydraulic upgrade as well, plus I had some points on my credit card that was in the "use em or loose em" status.
My thoughts were the same as yours, regarding:

"Not gonna sell it, wouldn't be prudent".



Used same cams before and after.

I'd say any cam change will need a fuel mgmt. device.
 
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