Harley Davidson Forums banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, so I'm currently replacing the cam tensioners in my 88 I opted for just replacing the shoes and reuse the tensioner itself but I'm thinking I might have bent the tensioner while changing shoes. It is super difficult to get it back on and seated and once I do there's so much tension on the cams I can barely turn them. It just doesn't seem right to me. How tight should that rear chain be? Should those cams be so difficult to turn?
 

·
Retired citizen
Joined
·
26,048 Posts
With the tensioners engaged to the chains the cams are difficult to turn. Did you remove the gears and cams to replace the tensioners ?
How many miles on the engine ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
With the tensioners engaged to the chains the cams are difficult to turn. Did you remove the gears and cams to replace the tensioners ?
How many miles on the engine ?
25k on the bike. I did not remove the cams I used the tool for the rear tensioner that is designed to remove the tensioner without removing the cams
 

·
Retired citizen
Joined
·
26,048 Posts
Would that be the tool with 2 handles that the tensioner comes off the plate with the tool attached ? Is that the tensioner you're having trouble getting back onto the pin ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Would that be the tool with 2 handles that the tensioner comes off the plate with the tool attached ? Is that the tensioner you're having trouble getting back onto the pin ?
Yessir that is correct. I was able to get it back on it was just a pain to do so and now that chain just seems extremely tight making the cams hard to turn by hand and I also hear a slight clicking type noise when I'm turning the cams. I just don't want to wipe out a cam bearing or something worse if there is to much tension. Only way you can turn the cams currently is by grabbing the cam and giving it a good twist, can't spin them at all from the front without the gear on them and I was pretty sure I was able to spin them from the front side before I removed the cam plate because I checked the alignment for timing
 

·
Retired citizen
Joined
·
26,048 Posts
Unless the cam plate is installed and the cams are in the inner case bearings the cams will be pulled from the tensioner springs. Try turning the cams with the tensioner hairpins in place taking the tension off the chains.
 

·
Retired citizen
Joined
·
26,048 Posts
We used to have a couple of TC cam plate displays at the shop. One was the S&S gear drive setup that you could spin with your fingers, the other was a stock spring tensioner setup that had a 6 inch long crank handle to spin the cams ! The displays were at the parts counter for S&S as they were a S&S distributor. There is considerable drag with the stock TC spring tensioner cam drive system. I still prefer the spring tensioners over the hydraulics or the gear drives simply because it's easier to service IMO.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Convince Me

·
Retired citizen
Joined
·
26,048 Posts
I should point out that when I do TC cam plate service I go the whole 9 yards. All top end gaskets, new lifters, install all new plate and inner case bearings, new tensioners, fresh relief spring, oil pump or better HVHP replacement and service the cam plate. Usually includes a full 20 or 30k service too ! That's how I quote the job to a customer. Ain't cheap but done right and the customer doesn't have to worry about it for a long time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,759 Posts
I should point out that when I do TC cam plate service I go the whole 9 yards. All top end gaskets, new lifters, install all new plate and inner case bearings, new tensioners, fresh relief spring, oil pump or better HVHP replacement and service the cam plate. Usually includes a full 20 or 30k service too ! That's how I quote the job to a customer. Ain't cheap but done right and the customer doesn't have to worry about it for a long time.
About how soon would you recommend a 2010 twin cam have all that done to avoid problems. Assuming everything’s currently running fine.
 

·
Retired citizen
Joined
·
26,048 Posts
The 2010 came with the hydraulic tensioners and I would just follow the recommended service intervals. The hydraulics don't wear like the spring tensioners simply because they go slack when the engine is off and no oil pressure.
I do all the stuff I said simply because I use all the parts that are supplied in the TC cam service kit. That kit has everything except the spring tensioners and oil pump. It used to cost just $99.00, not sure what it is now tho !
In your case easy enough to check on your 2010. Move the exhaust and floorboards around and pop the cam cover off to take a look ! Also I think the 2010 has the floating cams, no bearings in the cam plate just the inner case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,759 Posts
The 2010 came with the hydraulic tensioners and I would just follow the recommended service intervals. The hydraulics don't wear like the spring tensioners simply because they go slack when the engine is off and no oil pressure.
I do all the stuff I said simply because I use all the parts that are supplied in the TC cam service kit. That kit has everything except the spring tensioners and oil pump. It used to cost just $99.00, not sure what it is now tho !
In your case easy enough to check on your 2010. Move the exhaust and floorboards around and pop the cam cover off to take a look ! Also I think the 2010 has the floating cams, no bearings in the cam plate just the inner case.
awesome. Good to know. Bike had 4K miles when I bought it and I’d had a older twin cam before this one I had bearing issues at 9k miles. so I popped the cover off to take a peak and everything looked great but for sure different than my old one so I wasn’t sure if someone had already been in there. So far I’m at around 8k on this bike and knock on wood it’s been one of the best smoothest running harleys i have ever had. Thanks for the info
 
  • Like
Reactions: SCHMIDTY

·
Registered
2005 Road King with Dnepr Sidecar
Joined
·
6 Posts
awesome. Good to know. Bike had 4K miles when I bought it and I’d had a older twin cam before this one I had bearing issues at 9k miles. so I popped the cover off to take a peak and everything looked great but for sure different than my old one so I wasn’t sure if someone had already been in there. So far I’m at around 8k on this bike and knock on wood it’s been one of the best smoothest running harleys i have ever had. Thanks for the info
I've been told to expect about 30k from spring tensioners and about 70k from hydraulic ones. I had a hydraulic retrofit installed on my 2005 Road King at 30k when I found the shoes on the tensioners were worn. A mechanic also showed me the difference between one from a bike that ran conventional oil and one that ran full synthetic. That made me a believer. I don't stretch out the periods between oil changes, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,759 Posts
I've been told to expect about 30k from spring tensioners and about 70k from hydraulic ones. I had a hydraulic retrofit installed on my 2005 Road King at 30k when I found the shoes on the tensioners were worn. A mechanic also showed me the difference between one from a bike that ran conventional oil and one that ran full synthetic. That made me a believer. I don't stretch out the periods between oil changes, though.
Awesome. And yea me neither. I actually enjoy service work so I do it little more often than I need to . Gives me a chance to just pull the bags and everything give it a good cleaning and a good over look for anything coming loose or wearing and what not. And 1/2 the time I will find Something. Loose bolt or something
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Yessir that is correct. I was able to get it back on it was just a pain to do so and now that chain just seems extremely tight making the cams hard to turn by hand and I also hear a slight clicking type noise when I'm turning the cams. I just don't want to wipe out a cam bearing or something worse if there is to much tension. Only way you can turn the cams currently is by grabbing the cam and giving it a good twist, can't spin them at all from the front without the gear on them and I was pretty sure I was able to spin them from the front side before I removed the cam plate because I checked the alignment for timing
Where did you get the tool from? I can’t find one available anywhere.
 

·
2004 Ultra Classic
Joined
·
1,960 Posts
#16 Cam tensioner tool? I made one out of a metal pipe PVC did not work. Just cut a slot in the pipe.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top