Lost a cam bearing failure in a TC-88 Lots of questions - Road Glide Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Lost a cam bearing failure in a TC-88 Lots of questions

I am going to start with back story and what we found. Questions will be at the bottom..


So we pulled the timing cover off because we heard some nasty noise coming from the engine and this is what fell out. It appears that the cage came out of the bearing but I think all the needles stayed in the bearing. Going to count them later to see.



Figured out real fast we lost a cam bearing so not a cam tensioner failure.



Pulled the oil pump apart the first set of gears that send the oil to the filter are clean and in great shape.

Now with that being said the second gear set or the scavenge gear had some very small impressions. Very hard to see but can feel them.







This is the parts list I have put together. It is a TC-88 in a 1999 ultra with 12,000 miles. If you know something better or something that doesn't appear to be correct in my shopping list please let me know.

$424 tensioner upgrade
https://www.shoputahharley.com/produ...MaAm7tEALw_wcB

$188 Pushrods S&S quickie style
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0031BFF3M...523268969&sr=1

$130 lifters if you want to use amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Feuling-TRTC1...B+Lifters+4000

$285 cam and install kit if you want to order it on amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Cycle-Chain-D...+Cam+1999-2006


My next step is to check the oil filter and see if metal made it to the filter and then to check the runout on the crank. Other than that what should I look at besides these two things?

Next I plan to flush the engine to try to remove any left over metal. Any suggestions on what to use for a flush or technique or a procedure to insure success? I am thinking the the metal may have made it to the oil tank but not through the rest of the engine.

Has this been a common failure? seems odd to me to see this kind of failure on an engine with 12k on the clock.

Is there any other mods that would be good to do while we are in there?
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 08:09 PM
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Those bearings should have been changed under a recall from 2001. I had an early 99 Electra Glide that I did away with the tensioners and put in Torrington bearings when I changed over to a gear drive system in 2001, due to a faulty tensioner at 18kmiles just before the recall was issued. Sorry to hear about your bad luck, but I would definitely consider going with a gear drive set-up.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Well that is awesome. This bike went in the shop last year and they caught the voltage regulator but not these bearings. This bike was bought by a guy and he died so his wife sat on it for 15 year and then sold it. When we got it, it only had 350 original miles on it.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-10-2018, 06:54 AM
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When I changed my cam bearings as they were making noise, I changed to the Fueling cam plate and hydrolic tensioner, and a high volume oil pump. I put new stock cams back in. My bearings went at 70,000 miles. My 88 has never run better since making this upgrade. My oil pressure now runs higher at both idle and highway speeds. And I hope that I donít have to repeat this project for another 70K.


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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-10-2018, 08:30 AM
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You could save quite a bit of money by using a '07 up cam plate and conversion cams. Source the cam plate, I sprockets and chains from a salvage yard or eBay. My all in cost was around $500 with new lifters, Andrews 26N cams, Rocker lockers gaskets, etc.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-10-2018, 01:33 PM
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That whole motor needs to come apart. The oil filter is in bypass until the oil warms up, so it's not filtering during cold starts. And since that's not an instant failure, it was most likely started a few times after the oil was collecting trash. So that stuff could be all through the motor. No way you'll ever be able to get it flushed out, too much indirect oiling. And don't forget the oil pan, it'll need scrubbing out too.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-10-2018, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermodyne View Post
That whole motor needs to come apart. The oil filter is in bypass until the oil warms up, so it's not filtering during cold starts. And since that's not an instant failure, it was most likely started a few times after the oil was collecting trash. So that stuff could be all through the motor. No way you'll ever be able to get it flushed out, too much indirect oiling. And don't forget the oil pan, it'll need scrubbing out too.
Respectfully have to agree, and disagree. To pull, disassemble, overhaul and reinstall that motor is gonna cost more than the bike is worth. Yeah, that is the "correct" way, but maybe not the right way.
Maybe the right way is to rig a pump to run a flush thru the motor while cranking it, put a camplate and whatever else got messed up in the cam chest in it and run it. It's a gamble, but a good used motor from that era is pretty cheap comparatively.
Dunno, glad it's not my decision.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-10-2018, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norm9278 View Post
Respectfully have to agree, and disagree. To pull, disassemble, overhaul and reinstall that motor is gonna cost more than the bike is worth. Yeah, that is the "correct" way, but maybe not the right way.
Maybe the right way is to rig a pump to run a flush thru the motor while cranking it, put a camplate and whatever else got messed up in the cam chest in it and run it. It's a gamble, but a good used motor from that era is pretty cheap comparatively.
Dunno, glad it's not my decision.
Then we have to disagree.

Do you see the sparkle in that oil, that could be all through the motor. And its not bits of plastic, its steel shavings. The oil pan and Timken lefty would worry me the most. Cost for a tear down is a gasket set and a set of rings. Adds at most two days to the job if being done at home.

If you put it back with just a cam chest repair, then you get to spend the next 20K miles wonder if the noises you hear are related to the trash in the oil or just normal twin cam racket.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-10-2018, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norm9278 View Post
You could save quite a bit of money by using a '07 up cam plate and conversion cams. Source the cam plate, I sprockets and chains from a salvage yard or eBay. My all in cost was around $500 with new lifters, Andrews 26N cams, Rocker lockers gaskets, etc.
Had not thought about looking at a newer style stock plate and honestly wasn't sure of compatibility. After looking at the Andrews page I am going to price that as an option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermodyne View Post
That whole motor needs to come apart. The oil filter is in bypass until the oil warms up, so it's not filtering during cold starts. And since that's not an instant failure, it was most likely started a few times after the oil was collecting trash. So that stuff could be all through the motor. No way you'll ever be able to get it flushed out, too much indirect oiling. And don't forget the oil pan, it'll need scrubbing out too.
Learn something new. I was not aware that the filter was a bypass. Been though a lot of engines just not a lot of Harley engines. One thing that could be a saving grace is this was an all of a sudden let go. We were about 30 minutes down the road and we were side by side at a traffic light so when light turned green we may have had the bikes strung out a bit. (hitting upper RPM range) Not long after that we stopped at another light and that is when the bike did what it did. I still haven't dropped the oil. I am thinking that cutting the filter open and looking at the magnet on the plug is going to tell the big story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by norm9278 View Post
Respectfully have to agree, and disagree. To pull, disassemble, overhaul and reinstall that motor is gonna cost more than the bike is worth. Yeah, that is the "correct" way, but maybe not the right way.
Maybe the right way is to rig a pump to run a flush thru the motor while cranking it, put a camplate and whatever else got messed up in the cam chest in it and run it. It's a gamble, but a good used motor from that era is pretty cheap comparatively.
Dunno, glad it's not my decision.
Yeah I was fooling around with Craiglist and found a 103 with a 6 speed for $2800. Makes me think about a swap. Haha!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermodyne View Post
Then we have to disagree.

Do you see the sparkle in that oil, that could be all through the motor. And its not bits of plastic, its steel shavings. The oil pan and Timken lefty would worry me the most. Cost for a tear down is a gasket set and a set of rings. Adds at most two days to the job if being done at home.

If you put it back with just a cam chest repair, then you get to spend the next 20K miles wonder if the noises you hear are related to the trash in the oil or just normal twin cam racket.
Hey that is cool I appreciate all the input. Rather I follow or not at least I am getting all the considerations to make the decision. My gut tells me that most of it ended up in the filter but I would also like to pull the oil fill plate and expose the long rectangle hole to the oil tank. Then run a magnet in and see what I pull out. All this will have to happen when I am off my shift. I work 7 on 7 off 12 hour nights. One of the reasons I post at strange times.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-10-2018, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermodyne View Post
Then we have to disagree.

Do you see the sparkle in that oil, that could be all through the motor. And its not bits of plastic, its steel shavings. The oil pan and Timken lefty would worry me the most. Cost for a tear down is a gasket set and a set of rings. Adds at most two days to the job if being done at home.

If you put it back with just a cam chest repair, then you get to spend the next 20K miles wonder if the noises you hear are related to the trash in the oil or just normal twin cam racket.
No, I didn't see the sparkles in the oil, I'm sitting in the sunshine looking at a cellphone, but I'm already assuming debris throughout the engine. You have alot of experience with Harley motors, so I'll defer to that. But to do a complete teardown and replace only rings and gaskets? If I'm going that far I'm replacing every bearing, race and bushing in there. Also, the Pistons have been bathing in that glitter too, and particles will be imbedded in them. What about the big end bearings, their glitter soaked too.
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