Author Topic: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!  (Read 2106 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline codyshop

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2101
Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« on: December 15, 2017, 03:04:38 PM »
2005 Heritage with 22K miles.   Hellacious noise coming from bottom end and after trying everything else, split the cases.   Balance chain cut through the entire plastic to the metal base...


Offline codyshop

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2101
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2017, 03:06:44 PM »
 :emoGroan: pictures not working...give me a second

Offline codyshop

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2101
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2017, 03:11:05 PM »

Offline fbn ent

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4043
  • Country: ca
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2017, 03:30:51 PM »
 :dgust:  WOW!! How many Softails are going to need this fix soon?  :turd:  Good news for the shops that can or want to do it $$$$.
'02 FLTRI - 103" / '84 FLH - 88"
Hinton, Alberta

Online Armin

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 80
  • Country: de
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2017, 03:34:41 PM »
Replace them, and change the pistons and the bearings too.

Armin.
Nothing can ruin a Man's day faster than an Almost-Takeoff!

Online PoorUB

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13444
  • Country: us
  • Tropical Fargo, ND
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2017, 03:47:35 PM »
It is not the first one with relatively low miles that has been discussed here, but it has been a while!
I am an adult?? When did that happen, and how do I make it stop?!

Offline wolf_59

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1567
  • Country: us
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2017, 04:57:20 PM »
Pretty messed up! Ken R did one a couple years ago a lot higher mileage, I ride a 04 Fatboy with almost 3 times that mileage without having to deal with this yet but I know it is coming lol maybe time to sell it and buy a side car for the Ultra

Offline prodrag1320

  • Premium Vendor
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4985
  • Country: 00
  • AHDRA & AMRA national champion & record holder
    • vee twin racing
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2017, 04:27:58 AM »
guides have been pretty worn on every "B" motor ive ever done

Offline mrmike

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2261
  • Country: us
  • Chronic Underachiever
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2017, 07:33:20 AM »
Kinda puts the cam chain tensioner issue into a whole lot lighter weight class.

Mike
I'm not leaving til I have a good time

Offline koko3052

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5156
  • Country: ca
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2017, 07:45:42 AM »
Replace them, and change the pistons and the bearings too.

Armin.

Why do you say that? Yes to the guides, but it's obvious that the pistons are working fine & the bearings are very robust, & basically running in oil, for what they're doing. :scratch:

Offline Hossamania

  • Road Glide Lover
  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14441
  • Country: us
  • 'Cuz ugly bikes need love too.
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2017, 08:46:12 AM »
A friend went through this last year, the counterbalancers shifted, the guides were worn, split the cases and many dollars later back on the road. Bike had about 30,000 miles on an '01.
No shirt, no shoes, but I still get service.
Why? Girl, look at this body!

Offline C#

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2017, 08:56:59 AM »
I had 92k on mine when I got tired of the numerous 'worn out' issues on mine but the counterbalance shoes never went out. A cam journal was shot along with the cam chain tensioner shoes at 35k so I did a cam upgrade and went to hydraulic cam tenioners. A 92k the clutch was frozen together and I didn't ride hard. I got a trade on my bike for an RK with low miles for the same difference as a new engine/tranny rebuild combo would have been so I went that route. Now I wish I had bought a used wide glide too.

Offline codyshop

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2101
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2017, 09:26:19 AM »
...the counterbalancers shifted...

Chain jump a sprocket?

Online ThumperDeuce

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 4555
  • Country: us
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2017, 09:52:34 AM »
I really liked Victories idea of a gear driven counterbalancer.
Winter is here.

Offline Hossamania

  • Road Glide Lover
  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14441
  • Country: us
  • 'Cuz ugly bikes need love too.
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2017, 10:34:19 AM »
...the counterbalancers shifted...

Chain jump a sprocket?

I'm not sure, but it is possible. I wasn't sure if they shifted on the shaft or the chain skipped. I just know he had a bit of an ordeal.
At the same time, he had compression releases installed, but the guy didn't flip the jig and drilled one in the wrong spot, welded it up, and said good to go. Yeah, no. He got a new head out of the deal after much discussion.
New shop for the next service....
No shirt, no shoes, but I still get service.
Why? Girl, look at this body!

Offline jeffscycle

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1196
  • 99 Dyna, XRD Racer
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2017, 10:49:46 AM »
:dgust:  WOW!! How many Softails are going to need this fix soon?  :turd:  Good news for the shops that can or want to do it $$$$.

   YUP! Twin cams are good for BIZ, only thing is the value of the bikes are shrinking, compared to the repair if its catastrophic. the OL's '08 FLST is at 50k, and I'm wondering how long I got until the dirty deed.
'01 FXDXT, '99 FXDL/XRD, '76 FLH

Offline koko3052

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5156
  • Country: ca
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2017, 11:43:18 AM »



Could you post some pics from the sides of these guides please. I don't see anywhere where these are worn thru. The long (bottom guide) looks to be the same thickness all along. Hard to tell on the pivoting guides.Thx.

Offline 04 SE DEUCE

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5882
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2017, 11:56:29 AM »
My 04 has 135K, the only thing that has been done is a cam chest freshen/update at 80K and another set of lifters at 120K.

I don't know what worn CB slides sounds like but recently it has started making an engine rpm related whirring sound,  not very loud and seems to get more noticeable after the engine is up to operating temp.  At first I thought it was only with clutch engaged but it's there clutch in or out,  just seems to be more noticeable when engine is under decal load.

I'm going to look at the hydraulic cam chain tensioners (hybrid kit) as they have 55K on them but they looked ok at 40K.  Also considered the primary chain adjuster pad as it's the original.  May be a bearing on it's way out.

Ideas?
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 12:53:01 PM by 04 SE DEUCE »

Offline Karl H.

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1083
  • Country: de
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2017, 02:43:41 PM »
... I don't see anywhere where these are worn thru ...

 :agree:


Dyna Wide Glide '03, Softail Deluxe '13, Street Glide '14, Sportster 883R '15

Offline Scott P

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 7207
  • Country: us
  • Munnsville, N.Y., between Syracuse, & Utica.
    • www.hillsidecycle.com
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2017, 09:41:03 AM »
2005 Heritage with 22K miles.   Hellacious noise coming from bottom end and after trying everything else, split the cases.   Balance chain cut through the entire plastic to the metal base...


Very common to see those well worn.
Otto Knowbetter sez, "Even a fish wouldn't get caught if he kept his mouth shut"

Offline rbabos

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 13042
  • Country: ca
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2017, 11:26:47 AM »
When I did a 113 new shoes were installed. At 6k to do the 120 the 113 shoes looked just like the stock 96 did at about 25k. I think the outer areas of the chain bed in fast then once the roller area comes in contact with the shoe, just about all wear stops. I've only read about one case where the lower long shoe wore to the state the chain was rubbing the aluminum bridge. The uppers could I suppose eventually wear to the point where the tensioner could poke through but that would take more miles then the rest of the engine would last. The shoes in the op post almost look normal to me. General life span is in the 100k range from all the digging I've done.
Ron

Offline Karl H.

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1083
  • Country: de
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2017, 12:12:57 PM »
 :up:
Dyna Wide Glide '03, Softail Deluxe '13, Street Glide '14, Sportster 883R '15

Offline norcal

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 60
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #22 on: December 25, 2017, 12:41:17 PM »
My 04 has 135K, the only thing that has been done is a cam chest freshen/update at 80K and another set of lifters at 120K.

I don't know what worn CB slides sounds like but recently it has started making an engine rpm related whirring sound,  not very loud and seems to get more noticeable after the engine is up to operating temp.  At first I thought it was only with clutch engaged but it's there clutch in or out,  just seems to be more noticeable when engine is under decal load.

I'm going to look at the hydraulic cam chain tensioners (hybrid kit) as they have 55K on them but they looked ok at 40K.  Also considered the primary chain adjuster pad as it's the original.  May be a bearing on it's way out.

Ideas?

Offline norcal

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 60
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2017, 12:48:13 PM »
Sorry I hit the button before my reply. You mention whirring sound that changes with RPMís. Iím going back 10 plus years but my early 05 nighttrain did that and it was one of the bearings for the balancers that are pressed into the block.

Offline Timinator

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 121
  • Country: us
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #24 on: December 25, 2017, 05:58:04 PM »
Same deal as early cam chain tensioners. Synthetic oil. I've seen all of the tensioners go 80k+ with synthetic. Also seen them gone at 15k with dino oil and long change intervals. How do you ride and maintain seems to be the deal. Synthetic is cheaper than labor rate IMHO.   TIMINATOR
MODESTY IS A CRUTCH FOR THE INCOMPETENT!!!

Offline Scott P

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 7207
  • Country: us
  • Munnsville, N.Y., between Syracuse, & Utica.
    • www.hillsidecycle.com
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2017, 03:47:41 AM »
Root of the matter is, that it all depends on how burr-free the chain links are, at the point of install, on both the cam shoes, and balance shoes.
Otto Knowbetter sez, "Even a fish wouldn't get caught if he kept his mouth shut"

Offline rigidthumper

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4136
  • Country: us
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2017, 08:58:22 AM »
 :agree:  That, and heat- bikes that had temperature reduction mods (better breathing + carb rejet/tuned) seemed to have cam chain tensioners last longer than the ones in all stock setups.

Offline sfmichael

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5362
  • Country: us
  • Hoping to build the next mighty 'mouse'
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #27 on: December 27, 2017, 12:23:05 PM »
:agree:  That, and heat- bikes that had temperature reduction mods (better breathing + carb rejet/tuned) seemed to have cam chain tensioners last longer than the ones in all stock setups.

interesting - I hadn't considered that  :scratch:

thanks  :up: :up:
Colorado Springs, CO.

Offline rbabos

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 13042
  • Country: ca
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2017, 08:59:00 AM »
:agree:  That, and heat- bikes that had temperature reduction mods (better breathing + carb rejet/tuned) seemed to have cam chain tensioners last longer than the ones in all stock setups.

interesting - I hadn't considered that  :scratch:

thanks  :up: :up:
Oil temp is the main consideration as it's the cooling factor on the pressure points for shoe and chain. Mind you 9/10 times the tune drops oil temps too.
Ron

Offline 04 SE DEUCE

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5882
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2017, 09:34:49 AM »
Heat and several other things have been speculated as to chain tensioner wear,  guys that see results in numbers may see a pattern. 

I live in a hot climate and even though the bike doesn't make any HP it still makes heat,  sustained highway speed on a hot day registers 235-255 on analog dipstick,  have seen 265.  Syn3 first 40K, Red Line last 95K,  all with no oil cooler.  I guess I have an anomaly,  original cam chain tensioners when 80K,  only engine work has been to freshen the cam chest,  135K currently.

Offline rbabos

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 13042
  • Country: ca
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2017, 10:08:50 AM »
Heat and several other things have been speculated as to chain tensioner wear,  guys that see results in numbers may see a pattern. 

I live in a hot climate and even though the bike doesn't make any HP it still makes heat,  sustained highway speed on a hot day registers 235-255 on analog dipstick,  have seen 265.  Syn3 first 40K, Red Line last 95K,  all with no oil cooler.  I guess I have an anomaly,  original cam chain tensioners when 80K,  only engine work has been to freshen the cam chest,  135K currently.
Fair enough. If the stock 07s never melted the shoes out, nothing will. I've seen as high as 300* the odd time on Amsoil.  250 was the cold end of temps for that bitch. 230 was the norm for the 113 and 120ci, seldom hitting 250 in worst conditions.
Ron
Ron

Offline Karl H.

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1083
  • Country: de
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2017, 10:52:02 PM »
Root of the matter is, that it all depends on how burr-free the chain links are, at the point of install, on both the cam shoes, and balance shoes.

That cause is what my statistics point to as well.
1. The tensioner wear with the early design is significantly dependend on the model year (worst 2002-2003).
2. The tensioner live improves significantly with an older (broken in) cam chain.

Karl
Dyna Wide Glide '03, Softail Deluxe '13, Street Glide '14, Sportster 883R '15

Offline 04 SE DEUCE

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5882
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2017, 09:58:36 AM »
Root of the matter is, that it all depends on how burr-free the chain links are, at the point of install, on both the cam shoes, and balance shoes.

That cause is what my statistics point to as well.
1. The tensioner wear with the early design is significantly dependend on the model year (worst 2002-2003).
2. The tensioner live improves significantly with an older (broken in) cam chain.

Karl

Yes worn smoother is no doubt better but worn/stretched will wrap the tensioner pad more and cause accelerated/irregular wear.  I replaced the inner chain with new when I installed a hybrid kit at 80K as the inner chain was stretched.

There is a reason most better V8 builds/rebuilds use a true roller chain...and Harley calls for chain replacement.

Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

  • Premium Vendor
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1946
  • Country: us
  • www.RockerLockers.com
    • Rocker Lockers
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2017, 02:24:24 PM »
https://youtu.be/uZYkxOicqA0
I attribute this to the Florida heat and the old style spring tenteners and there tendency to pit/ flake out
Steve
www.Rockerlockers.com  Call for dealer discount

Offline CVOThunder

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 154
  • Country: us
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #34 on: December 29, 2017, 11:19:33 PM »
Watched an engine rebuild video off Amazon and I think it was SB Charlie who did the video. Been awhile since I watched. He mentioned polishing the chain but not sure how. I'd be concerned about getting the polishing media out of the chain but maybe a good washing would take care of that. Thinking cotton polishing wheels, rouge and time.
2015 FLTRXS Denim, 2011.5 CVO Ultra, 2007 Softail Custom FXSTC

Offline Karl H.

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1083
  • Country: de
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #35 on: December 30, 2017, 12:06:18 AM »
Watched an engine rebuild video off Amazon and I think it was SB Charlie who did the video. Been awhile since I watched. He mentioned polishing the chain but not sure how. I'd be concerned about getting the polishing media out of the chain but maybe a good washing would take care of that. Thinking cotton polishing wheels, rouge and time.

https://www.fixmyhog.com/video/polishing-harley-cam-chain-003270/
Dyna Wide Glide '03, Softail Deluxe '13, Street Glide '14, Sportster 883R '15

Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

  • Premium Vendor
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1946
  • Country: us
  • www.RockerLockers.com
    • Rocker Lockers
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #36 on: December 30, 2017, 05:42:00 AM »
Watched an engine rebuild video off Amazon and I think it was SB Charlie who did the video. Been awhile since I watched. He mentioned polishing the chain but not sure how. I'd be concerned about getting the polishing media out of the chain but maybe a good washing would take care of that. Thinking cotton polishing wheels, rouge and time.

It is very easy to polish them, I use a cotton spital seen wheel, and rouge.

Clean it in gas after, wash it in hot water, then soak it in oil before installing. You just need to knock off the sharp edges.
Steve
www.Rockerlockers.com  Call for dealer discount

Offline TXHogrider

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
  • Country: us
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #37 on: February 09, 2018, 09:06:05 AM »
Heat and several other things have been speculated as to chain tensioner wear,  guys that see results in numbers may see a pattern. 

I live in a hot climate and even though the bike doesn't make any HP it still makes heat,  sustained highway speed on a hot day registers 235-255 on analog dipstick,  have seen 265.  Syn3 first 40K, Red Line last 95K,  all with no oil cooler.  I guess I have an anomaly,  original cam chain tensioners when 80K,  only engine work has been to freshen the cam chest,  135K currently.
Fair enough. If the stock 07s never melted the shoes out, nothing will. I've seen as high as 300* the odd time on Amsoil.  250 was the cold end of temps for that bitch. 230 was the norm for the 113 and 120ci, seldom hitting 250 in worst conditions.
Ron
Ron

04 SE DEUCE, I think we both have anomalies.  My 2005 Softail Deluxe is stock engine, with only mod being true duals with fish tails and HD flash.  It has 89k miles with original cam tensioners and counter balance tensioners.  All my miles have been in New Orleans and in the Fort Worth area, so I see lots of hot weather as well.  I don't flog my engine hard and religiously change all three oils and the filter @ 5k intervals.  I actually used Rotella T diesel engine 15W-40 for about the first 50k miles, but have switched to Mobil1.  My engine makes lots of noise and I still ride it to work.  I know I am on borrowed time, but if it fails, well then I'll just build it bigger and better.

Offline koko3052

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5156
  • Country: ca
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #38 on: February 09, 2018, 09:22:23 AM »
For 30 bucks for Cyco pads & a little time you would do well to get into that camchest. If something lets loose there won't be anything left to build bigger.

Offline 04 SE DEUCE

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5882
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #39 on: February 09, 2018, 11:08:46 AM »
04 SE DEUCE, I think we both have anomalies.  My 2005 Softail Deluxe is stock engine, with only mod being true duals with fish tails and HD flash.  It has 89k miles with original cam tensioners and counter balance tensioners.  All my miles have been in New Orleans and in the Fort Worth area, so I see lots of hot weather as well.  I don't flog my engine hard and religiously change all three oils and the filter @ 5k intervals.  I actually used Rotella T diesel engine 15W-40 for about the first 50k miles, but have switched to Mobil1.  My engine makes lots of noise and I still ride it to work.  I know I am on borrowed time, but if it fails, well then I'll just build it bigger and better.

For 30 bucks for Cyco pads & a little time you would do well to get into that camchest. If something lets loose there won't be anything left to build bigger.

I'm with koko,  At your mileage I'd be doing some maintenance.  Mine were in need of replacement at 67K prior to a trip but didn't get to them until 80K, by then the inner was cracked and getting ready to let go.  I think 40-50K is max for most early tensioners.

Offline fbn ent

  • Site Supporter
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4043
  • Country: ca
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #40 on: February 09, 2018, 12:27:06 PM »
 I've seen them need replacing at 37K miles along with spalled cam / bearings.
'02 FLTRI - 103" / '84 FLH - 88"
Hinton, Alberta

Offline neale

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 180
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2018, 12:48:46 AM »
That sucks.
My 08 FLHT did 70,000 kms when I decided to have a look. Still serviceable then but over 3/4 of the way worn through.

Offline itsafatboy

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 816
  • Country: us
  • 2001 116" FLSTFI
Re: Holy counterbalancer chain tensioners, Batman!
« Reply #42 on: February 18, 2018, 05:39:08 PM »
ya those look normal to me , new ones will wear down to that spot anyway , so