Is it really necessary?

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by horizonchaser, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. horizonchaser

    horizonchaser Senior Member Contributor

    I am going to have my chain tensioner replaced with the Screaming Eagle kit which has the high output oil pump included with it. I hear much talk on replacing the cams to Andrew's. The dealer says that if they see damage while doing the tensioner that it could cost more money. I am sure the dealer will find something wrong to bump up the cost even though the bike is running fine. An independent garage will do the hydraulic conversion for about half as much as the dealer is going to charge. When I asked him about putting new cams in he replied that if I wanted to spend the extra money then go right ahead but he has seen bikes with 60,000 miles on them with the original cams. So my question is: Is there really an overwhelming performance benefit to justify the expense? Please explain to me the advantage of cruising along on the back roads going around 45-55 mph with the new cams? Will the old cams have to be replaced shortly after the conversion and I will regret not having it done then? I am somewhat satisfied with the way my bike rides now but a majority of out members swear by Andrew cams. I should mention that TQ has been very helpful to me in supplying the info for the Herko Kit.
    Thanks guys/gals
  2. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    The onle reason people change out their cams when replacing their tensioners or any other work is that once the cam chest is open it is cheaper to have it done then. No sense opening it up twice. If you are happy with the way your bike runs than no need to purchase cams and pushrods and anything else. Ride safe.
  3. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

  4. Dswartz

    Dswartz Active Member

    There is nothing wrong with keeping your stock cams. When I did the conversion on mine that's what I did. The only reason people want new cams is for the horsepower and torque increases. If you are only interested in cruising on the backroads and dont care about horsepower then save your money for something else.
    1 person likes this.
  5. dbmg

    dbmg Guest

    Heres my opinion. The tensioner if bad are a necessity. So install new tensioner and if you feel you need more power on the back roads just drop a gear and run higher in rev range and you will be fine. One gear down shift can equate to 10 HP. This is how I ride the back roads all the time. Oh and I never go over 3,500 RPMs.:s
    Save the money and put it in the tank.:)

    HOLY DIVER Junior Member

    when i did my coversion i went with Andrews 21n grind cams. the 21n is not a "hotrod" cam it provides more torque witch is a huge improvment for my bike because its a heavy roadking and my wife rides with me far as the 60,000 mile stock camshaft....i've seen many twincam engines with over 100,000 miles with origanal cams,pistons,rings,etc.if your happy with the performance of your bike leave the stock cams in
  7. llharr

    llharr Member

    Just like you, I was happy with the stock cams but I did not want to run the new tensioner on the old silent chain (required if you keep old cams). So I went with the
    Andrews 21n cam with the new cam plate and roller chain. After the conversion I was very happy with the performance since I always two -up. Thanks to TQ for his write up on his conversion. Also my gas milage was not affected as far as I can tell.
    Bye the way, you will love the new oil pump.

    HOLY DIVER Junior Member

    Andrews does make a stock spec cam for the conversion i think its the 12n for those that don't want any changes to performance at all.
  9. HDSickness

    HDSickness Banned

    I replaced my cam chain tensioners to hydraulic kit at 16,000 miles cams were worn so I had SE 203 s put in only because they had hard facing worn off even though I have used only M1 syn. since I got it with 5,000 miles on her. Like others say might as well replace since you are in there only about $300.00 more.
  10. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    There is no requirement to change the cams since you are going with the SE kit, and you are happy with the performance of the original cams. With the Andrews kit, or buying a kit with the plate that has the cam shafts run in a journal bearing, the cams have to be changed.

    With those kits that have the cams running in bearings pressed in the plate, you can reuse the original cams if you so desire. You may want to consider changing out the sprockets on the cams to roller chain sprockets and use a roller chain on the inside of the plate. If not, it is probably a good idea to replace the silent chain if the original cams with the original sprockets are used. Definitely install new bearings in the new plate if it doesn't come that way.

    Unfortunately, it seems that John (Herko) is no longer putting kits together. This is a big shame. His kit was very well thought out, and with the optional stuff he offered, it was a one-stop-shop!!