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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Cam Chain Tensioners

I've got almost 50,000 miles on my 15 road glide (48,500+) and thinking I probably need to inspect my cam chain tensioner. I was asking about it at the Harley shop and they said to change the tensioner you have to pull the gas tank, Rocker box covers, and pushrods in order to install the new cam chain tensioner. They said its about a 6 hour job. My question is to any of you who have performed this job do you really have to go through all those steps? I was thinking it was just a matter of removing exhaust pipe and cam chain inspection cover and then you would be able to simply replace the tensioner. So whats the real scoop?


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 08:47 PM
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To inspect or change the primary and secondary tensioners you would be removing everything you would to do a cam swap. If you already have adjustable pushrods you can leave the fuel tank and rocker covers alone. If you only remove the exhaust and cam cover you will only see the primary chain and tensioner, but at that point it can be inspected or changed. The secondary tensioner is on the back side of the cam plate that tensions the chain that links the two cams together. I do not know off the top of my head what the service or inspection interval would be for TC tensioners, but if you end up doing it I suggest hopping up the cams if you have not done so already in the past.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 09:00 PM
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a set of quick change pushrods are cheap and easy,then you don't have to touch the cam covers or tank,though pulling the tank is not a big deal really.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 09:01 PM
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I forgot to add that if you do not have adjustable pushrods the originals can just be cut for removal and adjustables installed. This way the tank and rocker boxes do not have to be messed with. Otherwise like I said, the job is basically doing a cam swap which would entail what I said about pushrods, exhaust, cam cover, cam plate and oil pump removal. Lifters would be a good idea to swap out too while it's apart.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 03:36 AM
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At that mileage you are sure to be in need of replacements. Cut the stock pushrods and tubes. Then replace them with an adjustable set. Then at that point you have two options.

1) Replace the oil pump o rings and spring loaded tensioners.
2) Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioner Upgrade Kit with high flow oil pump.

While you are in there I would replace the cam bearings and maybe add some cams.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 09:14 AM
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At that mileage you are sure to be in need of replacements. Cut the stock pushrods and tubes. Then replace them with an adjustable set. Then at that point you have two options.

1) Replace the oil pump o rings and spring loaded tensioners.
2) Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioner Upgrade Kit with high flow oil pump.

While you are in there I would replace the cam bearings and maybe add some cams.
Hey BBB! He has a 2015 so he does not have the spring loaded tensioners.

Taz,

If you have to have the dealership or an indy do the work you will save money on laber by going the adjustable pushrod route.

If you are doing the work your self and don't mind the extra time spent on taking the top end apart it is cheaper to not buy the adjustables. It still may be worth your time to buy the adjustable PR's anyway.

I would also change the inner cam bearings to the SE cam bearings while in there.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 11:24 AM
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On a 09 on FL, pulling the tank is an easy task. Much preferable to adjusting pushrods.

But before I did that, I would pull the cam cover and have a look at the outer tension shoe, If it's fine, I'd button it back up.

With that said, I don't think I would feel the need to check anything. With oem cams and valve springs, the 07> tensioners are 99% trouble free. Knock on wood, it'll prolly want a new tappet before it needs tensioners.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taz_FL View Post
I've got almost 50,000 miles on my 15 road glide (48,500+) and thinking I probably need to inspect my cam chain tensioner. So whats the real scoop?
Adjustable pushrods,
all cam bearings,
chain tensioners (aftermarket ..quality single piston)
oil pressure spring and oil bypass plunger (LMR Spring and Baisley plunger)
oil pump
cams if you want an upgrade ..but then you go down another road of tuner, pipes air cleaner
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Thermodyne View Post
On a 09 on FL, pulling the tank is an easy task. Much preferable to adjusting pushrods.

But before I did that, I would pull the cam cover and have a look at the outer tension shoe, If it's fine, I'd button it back up.

With that said, I don't think I would feel the need to check anything. With oem cams and valve springs, the 07> tensioners are 99% trouble free. Knock on wood, it'll prolly want a new tappet before it needs tensioners.
You're probably right because I have heard of many bikes going 80k-90k plus and the tensioners were just fine. However, when my inner cam bearing took out my 110" in my 2012 Skunk with 47k miles I noticed when I tore into the motor that the tensioners were pretty worn. They were right at their limit and would have needed replacing. I don't think it is a bad idea to check them at 50k miles if only for piece of mind. Checking them at the next oil change since your going to dump the engine oil and then just remove the exhaust and you're right there. You can even use a small dental type mirror to look at the secondary cam chain tensioner. Many times the secondary is worn more than the primary.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everybody for the feedback. I've read about people having issues with the tensioners and I'm just getting a little nervous as my mileage is getting higher.


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