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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to cam shaft upgrades.

The first question I have is which is better, a chain or a gear driven cam?
Or is this another oil thread?

I am looking at upgrading to the S&S475 in the spring for my 2019.
Looking for suggestions.
 

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I had cam chain switched out for gears on my 99 Wide Glide several years ago. Imo, much more reliable and no more cam chain tensioners to worry about
 

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I think the gear drive is better. But will you notice the difference? Some say yes some say no. The only issue with going with a gear drive is that you need to make sure the runout on your crank is within spec for the gear drive cam, yes even on a brand new motor. I don't remember the spec off the top of my head but I am sure someone will know it. A lot of people switched to the gear drive when HD was having issues with chain tensioners but with your 19 that should not be an issue.
So it may come down to whether or not you are doing the work or a shop is. If you are doing the work then that means you may need to purchase a tool to check the runout, adding cost and time as you probably want to know the runout before you order the cam. If your crank does not meet spec then your decision is easy, I doubt you want to have your flywheel trued, get the chain.
Hope this helps and does't just add to you debate. I have debated gear or chain with myself for the past couple months and never did settle on what to do lol.
 

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Unless you’re getting work done to your motor anyway, probably wouldn’t bother with that on a newer bike. With the gears, noticed slightly more mechanical noise but nothing very noticeable or annoying
 

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Pre Rushmore/M8 , runout is .003 ..

Chain is much less expensive

if gears aren't set up properly , they will whine and be a problem

me personally , I would not use a Harley crank with gears , even if the crank was in spec ..

JtB
 

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I've got gears in the Night Train, but that was with the old-style tensioners, and it's now got an S&S crank. With the newer bikes I have/would stick with the hydraulic tensioners and a chain. Unless I was shooting for 200 hp/tq.
 

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part 1 of 2 that discusses history, theory, facts and opinions about both:
 

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yup great video , he's three hours from me and is the guy if you want gears set up right ..

JtB
 

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For the cam gears to run right the crank run out shouldn't be over .003. HD engine can have a crank run out up to .007 or more and that's why HD uses a cam chain instead of cam gears. Not sure what the crank run out is on a S&S but the cam chain is very reliable and more forgiving if your crank run out goes over .003. Also the new hydraulic cam chain tensioners don't wear out like they did with the older adjustable cam chain tensioners. I replaced my cam chain tension shoes around 70,000 miles and they were hardly worn out. IMO there is absolutely no reason to go with cam gears so save your money and spend it on something else. JMO
 

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For the cam gears to run right the crank run out shouldn't be over .003. HD engine can have a crank run out up to .007 or more and that's why HD uses a cam chain instead of cam gears. Not sure what the crank run out is on a S&S but the cam chain is very reliable and more forgiving if your crank run out goes over .003. Also the new hydraulic cam chain tensioners don't wear out like they did with the older adjustable cam chain tensioners. I replaced my cam chain tension shoes around 70,000 miles and they were hardly worn out. IMO there is absolutely no reason to go with cam gears so save your money and spend it on something else. JMO
Well said. I been doing my homework between the 2 as well. Gear is more money and unnecessary. I don't mind spending for a better product, but I've come to the conclusion the gear could be more of a headache than a better solution for me.
 

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I too went with chain upgrade and Andrews Cams....Solid and true..still makes me smile every time I get On it....Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the info guys, think I will stick with the chain drive unless something else comes up.
 
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