Author Topic: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K  (Read 1115 times)

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Offline Wood

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Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« on: July 10, 2019, 05:52:27 PM »
The basics:  2010 FLTRX, 94K miles, basically stock, ran dino and synthetic oils over the years. 

The problem:  With some major rides still ahead of me this summer and my bike hitting 94K, I decided to replace my original hydraulic cam chain tensioners with HDís current offering.   Of course, I talked myself into believing that these original tensioners were worn and that they were making the cam chest noisy. 

Action taken:  Replaced the tensioners with the current ones from HD.  I also changed out the oil pump for a Screamin Eagle one in order to increase my oil volume.   I bypassed changing out the cams, cam bearings, cam chains and cam plate since all looked to be in good condition, and more importantly to keep my costs down. 

The tensioners were clearly worn as shown in the pictures below, sorry for the fuzzy pictures but you get the idea.   What surprised me was that the material that the original tensioners were made out of appears to be chipping/flacking away.   Hard to determine if the shoes wear has ceased, was on-going, or was just beginning.  Outside and inside tensioners displayed similar wear patterns.   Would the tensioners of lasted another 10K, 20K, or 50K, possibly, but not sure.  Nonetheless Iím very happy that I replaced them. 

The results:  The cam chest now seems to be quieter; not sure if this is because of the new tensioners, new SE oil pump or by talking myself into believing it is quieter. 

The only thing I know for sure is that my oil pressure increased by about 2 Ė 4 PSI across all temperature and RPM ranges.

Wood

Offline CVOThunder

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2019, 08:43:38 PM »
Good catch. 
2015 FLTRXS Denim, 2011.5 CVO Ultra, 2007 Softail Custom FXSTC

Offline smoserx1

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2019, 04:16:16 AM »
IMO that does not look too bad for 94K.  You sure wouldn't get the old style to look that good after that much distance.  I have conversion cams in my 99 FLHT and have about 50K on the setup now.  I might replace them in a year or so.  Are the new tensioners any different?

Offline CndUltra88

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2019, 04:38:48 AM »
The basics:  2010 FLTRX, 94K miles, basically stock, ran dino and synthetic oils over the years. 

The problem:  With some major rides still ahead of me this summer and my bike hitting 94K, I decided to replace my original hydraulic cam chain tensioners with HDís current offering.   Of course, I talked myself into believing that these original tensioners were worn and that they were making the cam chest noisy. 

Action taken:  Replaced the tensioners with the current ones from HD.  I also changed out the oil pump for a Screamin Eagle one in order to increase my oil volume.   I bypassed changing out the cams, cam bearings, cam chains and cam plate since all looked to be in good condition, and more importantly to keep my costs down. 

The tensioners were clearly worn as shown in the pictures below, sorry for the fuzzy pictures but you get the idea.   What surprised me was that the material that the original tensioners were made out of appears to be chipping/flacking away.   Hard to determine if the shoes wear has ceased, was on-going, or was just beginning.  Outside and inside tensioners displayed similar wear patterns.   Would the tensioners of lasted another 10K, 20K, or 50K, possibly, but not sure.  Nonetheless Iím very happy that I replaced them. 

The results:  The cam chest now seems to be quieter; not sure if this is because of the new tensioners, new SE oil pump or by talking myself into believing it is quieter. 

The only thing I know for sure is that my oil pressure increased by about 2 Ė 4 PSI across all temperature and RPM ranges.
.

I think the proof is in the pudding in that you found an issue.
Replaced/corrected said issue and now talked yourself into all of the positives that go along with those remedies.
Peace of mind goes a long way.
Have you cut open any of the oil filters to inspect the media for larg particles??
The pictures speak volumes .
Rob
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End of Tour April,4,2008 Panjwayi district Afghanistan

Offline Wood

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2019, 06:12:45 AM »
The new tensioner shoe material is different, white plastic of some type; see picture below.

Didn't cut open the oil filter looking for tensioner pieces as there was no catastrophic event within the cam chest; the bike was still running fine. To me this was a simple maintenance item who's time has come.
Wood

Offline Justpassingas

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2019, 06:21:38 AM »
Now you have me wondering ...Iím at 90k on my 09SG and only thing done to the motor was a new cam bearing,Andrews cams with adjustable pushrods @ 15k...knock on wood... no issues
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Offline IronButt70

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2019, 07:19:48 AM »
I recently changed out the OEM tensioners when I changed cams on my 17 FLSTC at 39k and they were white. The inner was about 10% worn, the outer almost no wear showing. I replaced them with a set from Fueling that were red. Guess the color doesnít matter but I would think red chips/flakes would be easier to spot and I also had a 2-4 PSI increase in oil pressure after the work. Will be checking them again at 50k just for piece of mind. And from the FWIW dept. I would also take a look at your wheel bearings with that many miles. Iím maintenance OCD and change mine every 25k.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2019, 07:59:00 AM by IronButt70 »
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Offline koko3052

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2019, 07:58:23 AM »
I recently changed out the OEM tensioners when I changed cams on my 17 FLSTC at 39k and they were white. The inner was about 10% worn, the outer almost no wear showing. I replaced them with a set from Fueling that were red. Guess the color doesnít matter but I would think red chips/flakes would be easier to spot. Will be checking them at 50k just for piece of mind. And from the FWIW dept. I would also take a look at your wheel bearings with that many miles. Iím maintenance OCD and change mine every 25k.


And what exactly is it that you're finding at 25K? Post some pics, I'm sure we would all like to see.  :scratch:

Offline Hossamania

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2019, 08:03:25 AM »
I'm pretty sure my rear wheel bearings have over 100,000 miles on them, fronts too, I don't remember ever changing them. Still have the original spokes too, 19 years, coming on 115,000 miles.
Not bragging, just saying.
No shirt, no shoes, and I still get service. Why?
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Offline IronButt70

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2019, 08:08:32 AM »
I recently changed out the OEM tensioners when I changed cams on my 17 FLSTC at 39k and they were white. The inner was about 10% worn, the outer almost no wear showing. I replaced them with a set from Fueling that were red. Guess the color doesnít matter but I would think red chips/flakes would be easier to spot. Will be checking them at 50k just for piece of mind. And from the FWIW dept. I would also take a look at your wheel bearings with that many miles. Iím maintenance OCD and change mine every 25k.


And what exactly is it that you're finding at 25K? Post some pics, I'm sure we would all like to see.  :scratch:
Didnít say I was finding anything but after a friend of mine had a rear wheel bearing fail at 14k a long way from home changing them at 25k is part of my routine PM. Like I said, maintenance OCD.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2019, 09:34:00 AM by IronButt70 »
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Offline HD Street Performance

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2019, 09:26:19 AM »
All this and not a peep about lifters?

Offline remington007

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2019, 09:31:11 AM »
08 up 25mm wheel bearings have a high failure rate. I have replaced some under 10K miles. 02 to 07 is a more robust bearing.

Offline IronButt70

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2019, 09:32:18 AM »
All this and not a peep about lifters?
  :agree: Good call.
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Offline Hossamania

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2019, 10:46:44 AM »
All this and not a peep about lifters?
  :agree: Good call.

And no new cam bearings. I would have included those on the very first list of parts.
No shirt, no shoes, and I still get service. Why?
Girl, look at this body!

Offline koko3052

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2019, 03:18:11 PM »
I recently changed out the OEM tensioners when I changed cams on my 17 FLSTC at 39k and they were white. The inner was about 10% worn, the outer almost no wear showing. I replaced them with a set from Fueling that were red. Guess the color doesnít matter but I would think red chips/flakes would be easier to spot. Will be checking them at 50k just for piece of mind. And from the FWIW dept. I would also take a look at your wheel bearings with that many miles. Iím maintenance OCD and change mine every 25k.




And what exactly is it that you're finding at 25K? Post some pics, I'm sure we would all like to see.  :scratch:
Didnít say I was finding anything but after a friend of mine had a rear wheel bearing fail at 14k a long way from home changing them at 25k is part of my routine PM. Like I said, maintenance OCD.

Sorry, I was under the impression that you were changing cam tensioners at 25K.  :doh:

Offline Scotty

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2019, 03:26:25 PM »
The new tensioner shoe material is different, white plastic of some type; see picture below.

I think you will find that they all start whiteish and turn brown with heat & oil.

Offline Karl H.

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2019, 10:55:21 PM »
I'm pretty sure a roller chain tensioner must wear in that way. When the rollers contact the tensioner surface the wear stops imho.

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Offline Justpassingas

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2019, 04:28:49 AM »
All this and not a peep about lifters?

FWIW....Iím at 90k 09SG on original lifters and compensator too...wheel bearings front & rear were changed out at around 60k though
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Offline BVHOG

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2019, 06:13:20 AM »
Those look pretty much like every other tensioner I have seen with substantial miles on it. The failures I have seen was a circular crack where the piston pushes it out. Inner bearings should have been replaced!!!! along with the lifters. All that work and the reality is you have no more reliability than before you started.
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Offline kd

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2019, 07:15:20 AM »
 :agree:   At that mileage and already in the cam chest, the cam bearings are a no-brainer for most.  Did you price them and see how cheap they actually are?   
KD

Offline Wood

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2019, 07:48:13 AM »
I would agree that what we see in the pictures is probably typical for the mileage. The only problem I have is with the flaking/chipping/pitting of the shoe material in the grooves where the chain 'links' ride-in and made over the years. 

As others have noted, where the chain 'roller' rides there is no visible wear.

I did the lifters, I even have an oversized Fueling lifter in one of the holes.  If I had easy access to the cam bearing puller/install tool I probably would of done same. 

Cost is a big factor here.  I have put way more money into this Twin Cam than my Shovel.   
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« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 08:32:52 AM by Wood »
Wood

Offline Hossamania

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2019, 10:35:21 AM »
How many miles on your shovel?
No shirt, no shoes, and I still get service. Why?
Girl, look at this body!

Offline Wood

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2019, 07:03:14 AM »
How many miles on your shovel?

LOL 

Bought my 1975 FXE in 1976 for $2,600. Rode the Shovel for 34 years; been coast to coast on it multiple times, and all over the West/Mid-West, with and w/o a squeeze on the back; great memories. 

I did a few valve jobs, ring sets, and punched it out twice. Had the cases split once for rod bearings and a fresh top end.  Only went into the trany once to see how things were wearing. I also added a CV carb, primary belt drive and electronic ignition.

When I picked up the 2010 Twinkie in 2011, the Shovel was moved to the back burner where she sits patiently today.

Odometer(s) were not on my priority list, so when they broke they stayed broke which was the norm.  Canít give you a mileage number, only the years rode.
Wood

Offline Mirrmu

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2019, 08:42:59 PM »
How deep are the grooves? Thatís the service issue

Offline smoserx1

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Re: Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioners @ 94K
« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2019, 04:32:58 AM »
The grooves don't look very deep to me and what wear there is seems to be evenly distributed across the faces of both tensioners.  One of the problems with the old spring loaded tensioners was  uneven wear.  I guess it was the cantilever effect of the way they were mounted but one side would wear down and then the shoe would crack, come off the pin and after that you had metal to metal contact still with the pressure from the spring.  I did conversion cams about 50K ago and so this post is very comforting to me.  These shoes do start out as white and apparently change to a darker color with age.  I have seen a few pics of black ones as well; don't know if the actual material is any different.  And for the inner bearings, while I would have changed them, I haven't heard of the 1 inch/168 size having problems like the older 148 size did, so maybe leaving them alone was not too bad.