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Author Topic: advice on inner cam tensioner worn to metal  (Read 461 times)

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March 16, 2019, 06:20:58 AM
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chaspick


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advice on inner cam tensioner worn to metal
« on: Today at 05:46:52 AM »
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Hi- I have an 03 ultra classic with 51k. I took off cam chest plate to check out the tensioners, and the outside was worn 75% and the inner was down to the metal!! :-( The chain had worn the outside edge of the metal tensioner so that it curled over at the very top! I feel that there is metal in the engine, and hopefully not as much as is possible! The shoe itself had an outside piece that fell into the bottom of the cam chest, and the middle of the shoe was still in tack but very worn with the other outside edge. My first thought is to drop the oil from pan and filter! Check the magnetic oil pan plug for particles, and cut open oil filter. Put on new magnetized filter, add fresh oil and hope for the best? What are your thoughts and opinions? I would really appreciate the best way forward? Thanks in advance- Chas from Ma.

March 16, 2019, 07:22:58 AM
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AbueloBill

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The usual risk is pieces of the teflon tensioners getting into the oil and clogging up oil lines.  Sounds like you may have gotten away with this not happening, though only a thorough inspection can confirm.  The term you will see is 'grenading' to describe what happened, for obvious reasons.

If all is OK, your solution is a new cam plate, hydraulic tensioners, and oil pump kit, item # 25284-11 for $509.95.  See page 486 in the 2019 Parts and Accessories catalog, and while you are in there change out the cam bearings.  Same page, #24017-10 for $19.95, set of two.

The suggested inspection wass to start around 15k miles but this was discovered a bit too late for most and was not widely communicated.  Once the tensioners started wearing they wore down pretty quickly. 

Keep us posted, photos always appreciated of your progress.
"No man ever steps in the same river twice,
For it is not the same river and he is not the same man."

--Heraclitus
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March 16, 2019, 07:56:29 AM
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chaspick


AbueloBill- Thanks for responding! I bought the bike last year with 46k on it. I knew about the tensioner issue and thought I would tackle it this winter. I guess I was a little too late, and for that will have to pay the price! The bike was running fine Jan 1st the last time i rode it, the oil pressure was right where it should be, with no noise coming from the cam chest. I did find a 3/4"outside edge of the inner tensioner at the bottom of the chest, but no sign of fine metal from the tensioner. I think that if there is fine tensioner bits, fine metal bits they would be trapped by the filter and plug. Do the filters really do a good job?

March 16, 2019, 09:45:40 AM
Reply #3
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HDBitchin

Administrator
@AbueloBill has you covered and as said a detailed visual inspection is warranted and parts replacement is also warranted as he said. You said this which makes me worry...

Quote
My first thought is to drop the oil from pan and filter! Check the magnetic oil pan plug for particles, and cut open oil filter. Put on new magnetized filter, add fresh oil and hope for the best? What are your thoughts and opinions?

Don't just change the oil and filter and cut open the filter. You have work and parts replacement that needs to be done as Bill suggested.

As for your question on the oil filter and magnetic drain plug. The oil filter and the magnetic plugs will help you but they have their limits. The oil filter on a Harley Twin Cam is designed to filter down to 5 micron sized particles or debris. If the filter becomes blocked or the flow decreases through the filter media it has a bypass design that allows oil to continue to flow to the engine but it does not travel through the filter media when the bypass valve is open. The bypass/relief valve in an oil filter is needed to keep the filter media from collapsing when the flow through the engine exceeds the flow through the filter (clogged filter). The cam plate also has a bypass port that can get clogged.

You might want to read the below linked thread on the forum.

A Look Inside a Oil Filter


Follow this link for some information on changing the the tensioners and cam plate.

Options for Cam Chain Tensioner Shoe Replacement



March 16, 2019, 12:48:35 PM
Reply #4
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Screamin beagle

Supporting Member
On top off the other suggestions you drop the oil pan off and clean it out the best you can too. I know the HD inner cam bearings are better than they used to be it is highly recommended to go with koyo/ Torrington brand...available on Amazon, of course. The difference is the HD are caged while the koyos are full compliment. If budget is a concern maybe look for a low mileage take off for the pump and plate and you can stay with the spring tensioners but use cyco brand shoes...theyll still need to be checked but not as often because they're a lot better than stock. If you like spending money on your bike like most of us do then follow bills advice and convert to hydraulic shoes. If your crank runout is good You can go with gear drive cams too. You might want to consider putting some cams in anyway...i mean since you're already in there lol. Good luck and keep us posted.

August 07, 2019, 09:05:56 AM
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Harley Mike


Dude rip the engine apart, replace the cam tensioners and ride it like you stole it. no sense in worrying about what might have happened. if the oil pressure is good and ofcourse everything else checks out ok as you inspect and replace the tensioners then you should be fine. No offense but people get to deep with stuff like this. :)
Life is short, enjoy it but don't self destruct.
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August 07, 2019, 06:47:35 PM
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maniacmac

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Dude rip the engine apart, replace the cam tensioners and ride it like you stole it. no sense in worrying about what might have happened. if the oil pressure is good and ofcourse everything else checks out ok as you inspect and replace the tensioners then you should be fine. No offense but people get to deep with stuff like this. :)
I agree with about people get to deep, A little knowledge is sometime is worst than no knowledge. An experience tech finds the cause and analyze the damage and replaces only what needed ( sometime cost, mileage and just adding cheap insurance are factors )
CARS SUCK!
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December 01, 2019, 10:13:13 AM
Reply #7
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PanheadJeff


Drop the oil pan. Your year bike has the removable baffle in the pan. The two springs  that hold the baffle in place make this job less than fun, but this is necessary. The two “pockets” where the springs are held in place will collect all kinds of that Teflon shoe debris. If this stuff is not removed physically it will continue to mix in with the engine oil, causing more damage each time the engine is started. Your year bike has the two preformed rubber oil lines between the oil pan and camchest. These lines end up with debris imbedded inside the lines.The oil filter doesn’t stop this as it’s on the feed side of the Twin Cam engine. The heavier particles will drop to the lowest areas of the oil pan, the lighter will continue on back through the oil lines into the filter where, if there is enough debris, plug up the filter. Once this happens the bypass valve in the filter opens to avoid starving the engine for oil and allows all the now unfiltered oil to flow through the engine. Do the job right. Do it once.


December 01, 2019, 01:00:13 PM
Reply #8
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AbueloBill

Supporting Member
I sent a PM to the original poster with the issue last March to see how his situation resolved. 
"No man ever steps in the same river twice,
For it is not the same river and he is not the same man."

--Heraclitus
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