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TC88 Cam Chain Tensioners

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Tech Talk' started by mmcmurphy, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. Seahag

    Seahag New Member

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    Wish they'd have done the chains right the first time though... This new generation of tensioners on the 06 Dynas and all 07's are a huge improvement. Not only did they come out with a better pad material, and tensioner system (hydraulic vs. spring), but they also spec'd a more expensive 'roller' chain instead of the cheaper chains they went with initially.

    The previous version of chain had its side plates stamped on a die machine. When the die gets dull, it puts a slight burr on the edge of the chain side plate. Since the side plates are what slides across the pad, they can cut the material and erode it faster. The new roller chains, have a larger roller section that 'wheels' across the hydraulic tensioners pad...for much less friction.

    Some of the people that have stayed with chain driven cams, buff the edges of their chains and then clean them thoroughly to make sure there is as little wear as possible on the pad surface. Something you may choose to try if you do not want the expense of going gear driven.
  2. bubbam1

    bubbam1 New Member

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    tensioner

    :mad: hello
    with this cam chain tensioner are you hearing any noise when thay start to go bad:
  3. hotroadking

    hotroadking Super Moderator Staff Member

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    When they do go bad you'll know it gets loud, in many cases they can break into small pieces, then you get to pick them out of the oil pump and every crevase

    It's worth it if you have a older TC with the older design to check them, if you have an upgraded motor then you should check them more often and/or go to gears.
  4. charlieharley0057

    charlieharley0057 New Member

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    S&S Geardrive Camshaft Kit

    Hi All :drunk:
    Thanks for the information and thanks for directing me towards Wally's. I have now ordered the replacement kit and will install as soon as it gets here. As I type this, it's snowing outside so I don't think I will put many more miles on the bike (27.575 sMiles:roflmao: :chopper: before the change. I will be taking some pic's of the procedure and the parts as I do the conversion (find they help when putting it back together) if anyone would like to see them just let me know.
    Rob the Dog has just completed the conversion on his bike and it did not look like rocket science too me and this is from an inexperienced wrench who only started servicing his own bike a few years ago. So let the stealerships :devil: go beg :cheers:
  5. chucktx

    chucktx Moderator Staff Member

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    glad your getting it ironed out... i think most of the board would be interested in your photos and essay on how you attack this. i know i am interested. posting here in a thread you start, about the replacement would be a good thing. thanks for the offer!!!
    chuck
  6. kenfuzed

    kenfuzed Administrator Staff Member

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    Let me know when you start and I'll help you layout the pictures. Sounds like a great project worth documenting for others to follow along.
  7. hookvnv

    hookvnv New Member

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    parts

    a while back there was a parts manual or something close to it that was posted here does anyone know how to get it back ....hook
  8. chucktx

    chucktx Moderator Staff Member

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    it was a link to a floridia site.. floridabikenights..the manual has been removed, the moco probably had a hand in it....maybe somebody saved it.....killerb found it for us...
  9. bubbam1

    bubbam1 New Member

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    photo good idea

    posting photo would be good as i to plan to replace my cam that would be a lot of help
  10. Screamer

    Screamer New Member

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    Just FYI,
    I got 78,000+ miles out of my 01 Road King before I started hearing a lot of noise from the engine and the oil light started coming on. I had never heard of this problem, the Harley people couldn't even tell me what it might be. The tensioner shoe was worn completely off and it was metal to metal on the chain. I replaced everything; cams, lifters, support plate, chain, tensioners, oil pump and push rods for about $1,500 including labor. I did go back with the chain drive but I will check it much earlier.
    The mechanic said the only way I got that many miles was because I use synthetic oil for about the last 60,000 miles.
  11. ZZTejas69

    ZZTejas69 New Member

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    Don't be fooled!

    My wife's brother has a shop and has seen the tensioners go at 5K or 50K. Mine 02 RK had 10K gentle miles with Royal Purple synthetic and the tensioners were cracked. As far as checking every so many miles, what would be the magic mileage number? The real fix is the more expensive gear drive. It's what ever you can live with. Good luck!
  12. ringo912

    ringo912 Active Member

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    Not sure what the mystery is with these tensioners. Not a good design to begin with. They seem to have a mind of their own. So I'll offer my 2 cents worth. I have 25K on my 02' Heritage. I checked the tensioners at 20K and they had about .005" wear. And I could only tell that by running my finger nail over the surface of the shoes. The shoes are 3/16", (.1875") thick and it is reccomended that they be changed when they are worn half way, about 3/32", (.093").

    I have been running AMSOIL synthetic since the engine had 5K on it. I think the synthetic helps, but I also believe oil change frequency has a lot to due with it. I change mine at 2500 without fail. I figure it's cheap insurance. I'll be checking them again at 30K. Probably switch to the gear drive when they due wear out.
  13. charlieharley0057

    charlieharley0057 New Member

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    Some one beat me too it!

    Hi Ken

    I was talking to Rob the Dog who pointed me to this link. :D You need too have a look at this.I believe that if something is done well leave it alone.:rolleyes: I know its about the 1550 conversion but read on as it covers the S&S G510 full install. Same site there is a section on cam tensioners install.

    http://www.harleyhog.co.uk/1550/bbonline.htm

    Aye Charlie
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2007
  14. REED

    REED New Member

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    cam chains and tensioners

    check with andrews they make a set of cams and list all the parts and such needed to put the 2007 style cam chains and tensioners into the older engines.
    If anyone is interested I am just now putting a gear drive set into my 06 Dyna so have an excellent set of cams chains and tensioners. My reason for the change is that the lobes would interfere with each other due to the lift and duration on the camset I am using. The new tensioner and chain set are by far superior to the old design however I feel one should check them for wear at about 40,000 miles. Tom reedth@telus.net
  15. Crisco

    Crisco New Member

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    tc cam failure

    Hi folks-

    New here. Just browsing the web, looking for a twin cam tech message board. Why??? Because of the f-ing cam chain tensioners, of course. :cussing:

    But my problems go much deeper than that. I have '02 Softail Standard with less than 18k miles on it. I've been well aware of the cam chain tensioner problem, and with that amount of miles on my bike, I've been very keenly listening to the motor. Recently, I've started hearing a very faint whine coming from the right side of the motor. So, of course, I figured it was the cam chain tensioners. So, I took it into the local shop for inspection. I would have just taken the cover off and inspected it myself, but I know you can't check the inner tensioners this way. I actually told them just to change them regardless because if they were in there checking the inner chain, it might as well just be done, and I didn't have the money to go to a gear drive set-up. Figured I'd do that another 20k miles down the road.

    I get a call from the shop the next day, and they tell me one of the cams is shot. I'm in shock.....I say "WTF!!!" :mad: :mad: :mad:
    I baby this bike 90% of the time, change the oil every 3000 miles or so, as soon as the oil starts to break down. Anyway, there is wear or chipping on the left end of one of the cams, not on a lobe, but on the left male end that sits in the smaller bearing. Not the right end or cam plate end, where they had the cam/cam bearing problems in the '99-'01s. So, this makes no sense to me at all. Besides pisses me off, I'm clueless as to why this failed other that faulty metal.

    To sum it all up: I'm going with a S&S gear drive kit, 510G cams, SE lifters and pushrods.
  16. kenfuzed

    kenfuzed Administrator Staff Member

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    Sounds like a material defect. I've seen a lot of stock cams after being removed at different mileages, but never seen what you described. I would ask the tech for the damaged part just to take a look.
  17. Crisco

    Crisco New Member

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    kenfuzed-

    I did look at it. Had it in my hand for several minutes. I left it with them, but I told them to keep if for me. If I can, I'll post a pic when I get it back.

    And, fyi, one of the guys I respect at that shop said the same thing you did, defective material (metal).
  18. chucktx

    chucktx Moderator Staff Member

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    i am in agreeance with ken, altho, it may have been damaged before installation.....droped, hit with another cam, ect.....some time during assembly, and installed anyway....or missed by quality control. would like to see a pic. also, check the brg, where this rides, see how the rollers are. if ya can get a pic of that also. if the brg doesnt look damaged, it may have been there the entire time.....a pic is worth a thousand words.....
  19. ReeseSS

    ReeseSS New Member

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    Somewhere along the line, they went with cheaper inner cam roller bearings. The fit is sloppy and cam damage has been the result. Some of it is the cam lobes and/or lifter rollers because of "the wobble" not a getting a mated wear surface. Some have been the cam shaft ends. Ther gear conversion install kits include two torrington inner cam bearings (and replacement cam plate ball bearings). The Torringtons have fixed the inner cam bearing issue. I would recommend anyone staying with chain drive to still replace the inner cam bearings with torringtons.
  20. Crisco

    Crisco New Member

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    Thanks Reese.

    Figured it was along those lines or something similar.

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