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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Cam lobe damage.

My inner tensioner is toast. Ground down metal kind of toast. The front cylinder camshaft exhaust lobe is pretty ate up. Do you think that this is the cause?
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1999 Road Glide, 95" Andrews 37, Power Commander 3, D&D Fatcat 2-1, Big Sucker
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 12:24 PM
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Not trying to be facetious or critical in any way, but does it matter? That cam is beyond any hope. I would guess your looking at a full tear down at a min. Your engine has been contaminated. I suspect you'll find more wear and damage once you get to digging. What year and size motor was this. Mileage as well. BTW Very sorry to hear this has happened. I cringed when I looked at that pic.. OUCH! That's gonna hurt.

If your lucky maybe the filter caught all the big stuff, but that cam looks REALLY bad.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 01:07 PM
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First question is who has been working on it. What was done to it.


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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 01:14 PM
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Makes ya wonder if a piece of metal from the tensioner vot between the lifter roller & the lobe and tore that cam up. Sorry man, that's a mess.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 03:19 PM
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I would have to agree with the engine contamination. That had to put a large amount of metal into the oil. I see it is a pre- hydraulic tensioner motor
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-06-2016, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies.

I think maybe I should clarify. I wasn't hoping to reuse the cams. I guess in the grand scheme of things it don't matter, I was thinking that the damage was likely from metal from the tensioner getting flung on to the lobe and was curious as to what others thought. I just wanted to make sure that it wasn't from something I wasn't seeing or to see if someone said oh hey that's from X, I had that problem before.

I bought the bike last year. It had the 95" kit and head work and cam upgrade early in its life from what I was told. I should have inspected the tensioners last year. My own fault. Obviously the engine has been contaminated with metal bits. Not much I can do about it now.

However I've got little choice but to clean it up and hope for the best. I don't have the cash for a rebuild. I think I'll change out the oil and filter every 1000 miles and watch it and see what it looks like. The other cam doesn't look anything like that and the inner bearing surfaces look ok too I think. So maybe I'll get lucky.

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-06-2016, 08:22 AM
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Cut open the oil filter and inspect for metal particles. You already know there will be tensioner shoe bits. Look at the lifter rollers on that cam also. How does it look? Is a roller bad too? Let's see a pic of the tensioner. Take the oil pump apart. Look at the gerotors. What do they look like? Was there any metal pieces in the cam chest bottom? According to the answer of all these questions, you might be able to flush out the engine case. But first, drain the oil. After that drain the oil in the sump, should be around 6 ounces or so in there and catch it separately. Inspect that oil for debris. You might get lucky with just flushing, replace all lifters, replace the inner cam bearings with torrington bearings, rebuild oil pump if necessary and new cams. Be sure and pull the pin on the oil passage valve and pull the ball out and clean really good all the openings and hole. But you want know until you have done all these things. Good luck.


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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-06-2016, 10:21 AM
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Of course there is going to be some metal particles in the engine somewhere. Smarty gave you some very good suggestions but it would seem that if you don't have the cash for a engine rebuild then buying a new bike may be difficult.
I don't think that the cam chain tensioner getting that bad would do the cam damage in the pic, the damage to cam looks more like a lifter was going bad or if the bike had adjustable pushrods that the pushrod was adjusted wrong.
The biggest thing to keep a eye on after the engine is fixed is the oil drain plug, if the drain plug has a lot of metal on it there may be a lot of metal in the engine, also cut open the filter and look for metal.
You may want to consider getting a new cam plate upgrade so you have the hydraulic tensioners.
Personally I would fix the cams and put in new cam bearings and lifters and get a case of dyno oil and 4 or 5 oil filters and do a oil change every 500 miles for the first 1500 miles and see if the engine runs OK.
You have nothing to lose doing this if the engine needs to be rebuilt you will have to crack the lower case and pull the crank anyways. The engine may be OK which is my bet
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-06-2016, 10:42 AM
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In addition to the good advice above I would also drop the oil pan and clean it out. Its not that difficult of a step to do. There was metal circulating in your motor, so chances are there is metal in the pan. Get it all out now or cause yourself more problems later.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys,

The bearings have been previously changed when whomever did the cam swap. Bike still retained original push rods as well.

My plan is to replace cams, and bearings. I had also thought about rebuilding or throwing a new oil pump on as well and planned to pull the bypass valve and make sure the passages are clean. basically thoroughly clean the cam chest area and all associated parts.

Dropping the oil pan, hadn't thought of that one and I like that. consider that added to the list.

Quick observation was only tensioner pad chunks were in the bottom of the cam chest. Really there are tiny orange pieces strewn thru out the cam chest. No metal pieces. I'm sure there are shavings or grindings is more applicable in there. The secondary tensioner looks like it was put on the grinding wheel basically. Oddly enough I googled what a tensioner was supposed to look like on google images to show a friend the difference and one of the pics looked just like mine. I will add a couple other pics here.

Smarty, You suggested draining out the "Sump". I'm unfamiliar with this area or how to perform this at the moment. Or if you're referring to the oil pan as the sump.

Once again, Thanks for the suggestions.

This pic shows the outer tensioner and some tiny orange pieces on the outside of the cam plate.
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1999 Road Glide, 95" Andrews 37, Power Commander 3, D&D Fatcat 2-1, Big Sucker

Last edited by Bill-99RG; 03-07-2016 at 04:22 AM.
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