Primary cam chain tensioner - Road Glide Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-19-2018, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Primary cam chain tensioner

I have a 2013 road glide. While installing my new cams i saw that my primary cam chain tensioner shoe was worn. It doesnt appear alarming im just curious if this wear is a cause for concern at 35000 miles. I do believe i hear people saying they should last a long time. Any help would be appreciated thanks.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-19-2018, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Also the secondary chain tensioner looks brand new
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-19-2018, 06:03 PM
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I'd change em if you're that far in. The chain should be nice & polished so it won't dig into the new pads as much, making them last longer. Make sure the chain goes back on the same direction that it came off. I'd say no concern. That chain was at one time brand new and the sharp new edges dug into the tensioner

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-19-2018, 06:06 PM
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Mine were worse than that at 20k. They had chunks out. Get the Zippers dual piston tensioners. I upgraded to them. Was told they'll way out last the HD ones. And it's a more even pressure pushing on the chain.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-19-2018, 06:50 PM
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Would agree with what has already been said and if you're already that far into the engine, you might as well replace the outer tensioner now. I have never used the Zippers tensioners so I can't give any advice good or bad about them.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-19-2018, 07:54 PM
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I tried the zippers on my old bike. The front pad took a beating and had alot of wear at only 5k miles on them. I went back to the oem ones and all was good. I think they changed something with the zippers tensioners after the ones I had to make them last longer.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-20-2018, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everybody for the input replaced the shoe. I was really concerned as far as having something wrong and this being a secondary symptom. Again thanks.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-20-2018, 09:09 AM
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Mine were fine at 15K, and I replaced them with Zippers just cause I was there.

The Zippers were worn and chunked when I looked at them 8K later. But the crank pinion had also gone from .003 to .007.

So its a crap shoot. I suspect the ones that wear more are getting hammered on by some crank wobble.


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 09:28 AM
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Mine were fine at 15K, and I replaced them with Zippers just cause I was there.

The Zippers were worn and chunked when I looked at them 8K later. But the crank pinion had also gone from .003 to .007.

So its a crap shoot. I suspect the ones that wear more are getting hammered on by some crank wobble.
Do you think the double piston Zippers tensioners might be putting too much pressure on the chain? I've never seen them in person, but in pics the piston part looks to be the same size as the stock ones, so twice the pressure? Dunno....

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 10:55 AM
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Do you think the double piston Zippers tensioners might be putting too much pressure on the chain? I've never seen them in person, but in pics the piston part looks to be the same size as the stock ones, so twice the pressure? Dunno....

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Hey Norm. I'm not sure. I suspect its the same issue as with the primary chain. After the auto tensioner takes the slack out, it doesn't want to back off. And as the crank wobbles the chain wants to run slack to tight with each crank revolution. The tensioner sets it tight when slack, and then its over tight when the chain pulls tight as the crank center moves away from the cam.

I did some measurements with a sprocket shaft wobble. .009 made the chain go from tight to over an inch of slack as the crank was turned. Have not had the opportunity to check a pinion and chain yet. But will the next time I have one open that has a lot of run out.

Here's a look at that Zippers tensioner. And this was with a used chain, so you can lay that needing to buff in the chain stuff to rest. It cut down till the rollers hit and then began to chunk. Too tight is my best guestimate. Its the "why its too tight" that's up for debate. Designed to set too stiff, or too much wobble in the shaft.



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Last edited by Thermodyne; 10-23-2018 at 11:00 AM.
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