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Andrews 48H Cams are in...

25932 Views 27 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  akjeff
I picked up my bike last night around midnight (It's a L.V. thing. Shift work is the norm, 8-5 jobs are the oddity here) and after hanging out with the mechanic for a bit, I gave them a quick test.

All I can say is I am very impressed. I still have to throw on the tour-pac and wife, and do the critical to me passing-the-semi-from-60-mph-while-loaded test, but I think I got what I'm looking for. Idle is ever so slightly lumpier, but I can still rodeo the bike and not have it surge at idle like my 2003 R/G did with the SE 203 cams.

Power appears to come on strong just over 2000 and by the time I hit 3000 or so I better be pointed in the direction I planned, because it builds rapidly after that, all the way to 6200.

I did a couple of freeway on ramps, and was at 100 when I hit the end of one. On another, I had to back out of it at the top of the ramp as there is a slight bend, and I was carrying too much speed.

I'm positive that my 96" R/G would now seriously spank my stock 103" work bike...

I didn't dyno it, and the mechanic used a map for the SE 255 cams. He said he tweaked the map a bit, and after I ride it a bit to bring it back and he can play with it some more. He is the dyno-guy at the shop, and said that while a dyno would help, he's pretty confident that he is very close. He dynos tons of bikes, so I trust his opinion.

He did say, however, that if I was to go to a 103" it would really run. Gotta get my wife the P&A catalouge, Christmas is coming...:)

I'll see if I can get a longer ride in tomorrow, and maybe attach an audio file.
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Thanks for the first impression. Hope the two up ride is a good one!

Sounds great, thanks for the report! Did you have anything else replaced/upgraded when they did the install i.e. inner bearing, cam plate? Sounds like I need to start working some more OT! I just ordered a set of contrast chrome Agitator wheels & new shoes(Dunlop) for mine, so my upgrade fund is pretty well tapped out...but it's a long winter!

Yeah, I did the inner cam bearings. The tech said he was glad I did, and he won't do cams without new bearings. I have ~11,500 on the bike, and you can already see wear on the old cams where they ride in the stock bearings, kinda scary... I used the stock pushrods, I've had one adjustable pushrod fail, and another loosen up on me in the past.

I know what you mean, seems like there is always one more thing the bike needs. Love or hate Harley Davidson, you have to admire their marketing plan. They sell you a bike and give you a phone book size catalog full of other things you didn't know you needed, until you start looking...

I like those Agitator wheels, should look nice! I keep trying to find a set of take off Limited Chrome wheels, no luck yet...
Wish Andrews made a gear drive version of the 48H. I'm a big fan of getting rid of as many moving/adjustable parts as possible, and the simplicity of a gear drive really appeals to me. The 48H grind seems so right for a bagger, that I'll likely buy one, even if they are chain drive. Like you, I'm a solid pushrod fan. It takes 5 minutes to pull the gas tank off a new FL, and the rocker boxes aren't near the headache they used to be. I doubt the added labor to use solid rods, is much more than the cost of the adjustable rods. Unless someone is a member of the cam of the month club, I just don't see the point. What intake/exhaust are you running? How about a tuner/PC-V? Thanks again for the hands on review of this cam.


Thanks again for the great info. I feel a little better about the chain drive cam, now. My aversion is probably irrational anyway, as I know no one personally, that has had a problem with a chain drive cam....I'm just a bit of a Luddite! I do believe I'll be going with the 48H. My Stage I setup is a S&S intake, a BUB7 2:1 exhaust, and a PC-V w/Autotune. Really happy with the whole bit, thus far.

My previous bike(FLHS) had an 80" Evo with a Sifton Interstate cam(great Evo cam, BTW), and I had to goose it a little off idle, like you're talking about. So it'll be easy to get back in that habit.


Good point Bluzman. It would be wise to check your runout, before even ordering a gear drive!

I just heard back from Andrews tech support, as I had explained that I was looking for a bolt in cam, with good low/mid range torque, that would also grow with a 103 jug/performance head addition later on down the road. He said while the 48H will work with a 103" motor, he cautioned me to keep the compression ration to 9.5:1 or less. He thought for a 103 at 10:1 compression, a 54 would be a better choice. Since I am not a fan of adjustable pushrods, no matter what I choose, the rocker box covers are coming off. While they're off, it wouldn't take much time to put in new springs. Decisions, decisions!

Interesting. What I told them was that a 103 was likely in my future, but I was sticking with stock heads and compression ratio. They recomended the 48H.

I just checked HD's page and they show a stock 96" motor at 9.2:1 and a stock 103" at 9.7:1

What kind of head work are you considering? I wonder if that is why they are suggesting the 54 for your build...
I believe that is why he suggested a 54. However, upon doing more research, I believe I will still go with a 48H. I'm looking to have Branch-Okeefe do their "PT" package on my heads. It results in a 9.5:1 ratio, so the 48H should still be fine. This head package is intended for touring bikes, and the power is mainly from 2000-4000 rpm, which is where I spend a fair amount of time.

Also, the guy at Andrew said if I went the 54 route, it would be beneficial to use a +4 advance sprocket to improve the low end, until having the heads done. The more I think about it, we have a hard time finding pump gas up here, over 90 octane. I really don't think 10:1 heads are a good idea. Better to stick with virtually stock compression, use the 48H cam, and just up the displacement, and feed it more air!

Did you just re-use your factory pushrods, or did you go with the SE Perfect Fits?

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I used the factory pushrods.

My plan is a cheap build, for lack of a better term. Head work is expensive, so I'm trying to avoid it.

I sent this to Andrews:

Hi Gary

I have the cams installed and really like them, definite increase in power right where I wanted it. I had planned on installing a 103" kit on the bike in the future, but I have a concern. I know the stock 2009 96" motor is around 9.2:1 compression. A stock 103" Limited is listed at 9.7:1 and Harley lists a 2011 Road Glide Ultra at 9.6:1 The HD P&A catalog states that compression releases are recommended when using their 103" kits. I have no intention on doing any work on the heads, and using the head gasket that comes with the kit.

If I install a 103" kit, will this be too much compression to work with these cams? If so, would an automatic compression release solve the problem?

And this is the reply from Andrews:

It may be wise to get the compression ratio down to 9-9.25:1 with after market pistons - you'd have to look into what Wiesco, CP, or KB have to offer. Compression releases won't change the engines running cylinder pressure, only the cranking pressure. If you fit the 103" with the lower comp. pistons you'll be fine, and not only that, you'll have a very dependable, low rpm torque engine.

So, I guess rather than buying the 103" kit off the shelf from HD, I need to go in search of jugs and aftermarket pistons...
I think I'm going to shelve the cam purchase, until I do some more research. I don't want information overload to cause a panic purchase. Have all winter to think it over. If Gary suggests a CR of 9-9.25 for the 48H, perhaps the 54 would be a better choice for me. I think it'll be easier to find a piston/head combo in the 9.5 range. I know one thing, before I even try the +4 advance gear, I'll have to measure the cylinder pressure, to be sure it's not too high(over 185psi or so). My head is so full of cam info, I think I need a compression release for my skull !

Mine expires in July, and I just had to use it, and am a little gun shy now. I also may likely just do as jbrushoe suggests when the time comes.....skip the 103", and just do a cam change and head work. Any more mods this winter will be cosmetic. The wife says if I put stretched bags on, I'll have to ditch the 2:1 pipe, and go back to duals, otherwise, "it would look stupid". I love her! Looking at the new BUB7 TDX. It's a 2:1:2, which I hope will have a better low end than true duals. Doubt it will be quite as good as the 2:1, but hopefully close enough.

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