Looking for opinions for cam upgrade in Ultra Classic

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by mjb582003, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. mjb582003

    mjb582003 Member

    I am thinking on upgrading the cam on my bike and was looking for some input. I've got a 2007 Ultra Classic, TwinCam 96ci with Vance & Hines slip-ons, SE Stage 1 AC and a ThunderMax AutoTune. I am looking for more low end torque and narrowed down my choices to the SE 254e or SE 255. (I am leaning torward the SE 255 as everything I have read says the 254 is for the lighter Touring and the 255 is for the heavier bike.) I usually ride solo and rarely get up over 4500 RPM. Would I be correct in choosing the 255 over the 254 for the Ultra Classic? Does anyone know if there are any hot starting problems with the 255 in a 96ci TC engine? (or any other problems for that matter)

    I was also going to use adjustable pushrods, does anyone have an opinion on a specific brand? I see that HD has a couple of different ones, the SE Premium Tapered Quick-Install Adjustable Pushrods and the SE Quick-Install Pushrod kit for Twincam Equipped models. Does anyone know the difference between these? Would I be better of going with the S&S Adjustable Pushrod kit or some other brand?

    If I did the install myself, what special tools are required? The service manual lists quite a few, but I am wondering if all of these are really required. If someone could tell me what is really required vs. nice to have, I would appreciate it.

    Thanks for all your input, this will really help out.

  2. jdaws

    jdaws Active Member

    There is alot of info on this subject in different threads. I would start searching and reading. You will find all the info you need.
  3. 04flht

    04flht New Member

    Check out the Woods Night Prowler cams. I had the SE 283 in 95cu FLHT. They worked OK but I changed them out to the Woods High Torque TW6 with an Andrews Gear drive when the stock cam chain tensioner went south. I also went to a Super Trapp 2-1 breathing thru SE Air filter. EFI was remapped using a Direct Link Key which unlocks the stock EFI unit and allows way more adjustability than a Power Commander or any other Fuel mapping system.
    Bike runs real strong now. Dyno runs consistantly at 101 Ftlbs and 95HP.
  4. Porter

    Porter Junior Member

    I did a little reading on this a while back, trying to slowly plan for what I would do when my motor is in need of some rework as thing wear out. I found some good info in posts from Chopper and Bubbie. For me, how they type makes more sense to my brain, then other members posts made more sense to me. FWIW: I decided on the 255 if I ever put in a new cam and it appears to me that the adjustable push rods are fine to use. (But I am far from experienced with building motors.)

    On tools needed: To me, if I were to attempt to do this myself, I would purchase every tool recommended. This is because I would be doing the work to learn, not to potentially save money. I would think that while this is definitely I could do (installing cams) you want to do it correctly and within the tolerences allowed. If you take it to a shop, you will at least have them on the hook for correct installation if something goes wrong. If I wanted to "save money" I would take it to a shop. If I want to learn, I'll do it myself. If I happen to get both options, great. But I am not going into the project thinking that will be the outcome. Again that is my novice background. You may have much more experience.
  5. gamspaugh

    gamspaugh Member

    Also a great idea to replace the inner cam bearings with torrington b-168 when you have her apart that does take a special tools that i rented off of my local indy. the twin cam pusrod kits comes with all the orings and new covers which makes it easier to adjust the pushrods

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    On my 09 FLHR, I am VERY Pleased with full stage-one and TFI...

    I then (later) Installed SE255's.... WOW is the best description.. Torque right down where I use and like it (heavy bike)..

    The thing I know about the SEcams IS; they do well in the 96" motor as they are engineered to opperate in that Lower compression motor... LOOK at the Intake valve close and see the # is 25*, now that is low.... Now go look at a few Other cams ans SEE where the intake closes.... IF 30* or not much more34* it is still a lower RPM type cam for a little More of the Torque comm'n ON at the Lower RPM revs..

    Now , there is more to a cam then Just the Intake Close..... Lift and Duration and Overlap play a big BIG part in the selection also.

    The 255's are great in my book EVEN when I go to 103" motor later..

    I just got a Private PM from a fellow rider on SE 255 Cams.

    He saying; REALLY Happy with the results JUST Like I Had, Stage one First-TFI, then Went with SE cams.

    NOW he just installed the 103" for 7 more More cu. in. and got Heads massaged by Dewey's Heads...WOW,WOW,WOW...

    That is what I'll do in the future when I get some wear out of my 96"..

    I will get the -4* gear and try it out on the 96" Next(soon) and will Post Results also.. I think this gear will Move the intake from 25* Close to 29* and by doing that,,,It will move the power band Up Just a Little..(where the RPM's start and stop).

  7. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator


    Will defer any comments on the cams to those folks with larger displacement engines.

    On the tools, the only ones I would say are gotta haves, are the inner roller bearing puller and installer tools. Don't think it is worth the risk of DIYin' (Design It Yourself) tools for these. If any hard bits get down in the case, it is a REAL problem. When you gut the cam chest, you will see if you have the cheap INA bearings in there, or if they have already been up-graded to the Torringtons (Timkens). In either case, you may want to install new ones anyway while you're in there.

    You should get the oil pump alignment screws (2) in my opinion. If you have any of the EVO lifter block alignment screws, they are the same thing. It is important to get the pump aligned correctly. However, if you read up on it, there are some folks who just suggest rotating the engine (like with the rear wheel) while snugging up the oil pump screws. I think it is worth doing that WITH the alignment screws!!

    The other tool that is handy is the sprocket locker ("Cam gear locking tool" - see here:06-Up T/Cam Engine). But that one is not essential since you can DIY a work-around.

    That is about it. Obviously you need a good torque wrench in 1/4" drive at least.

    The process is shown in this pictorial:

    TQ's Engine Build - Harley Davidson Community

  8. Bud White

    Bud White Well-Known Member Retired Moderators

    I went with the SE 255 and the Se tapered adj pushrods .. also replace the came bearings with torrinting type

    Bolt cutters .. bearing puller and installer .. and of course Torque wrenches .. i made the bearing puller and got a installer of ebay cheap
  9. mjb582003

    mjb582003 Member

    Thanks everyone, that's just what I was looking for..

  10. flh canuck

    flh canuck Active Member

    I have also been considering swapping SE255 cams into my 08 Electraglide.

    Went in today and priced out the cams, installation kit, adjustable pushrods etc. and it adds up pretty quick.

    After some consideration, I think I will simply go for the Stage 2 kit as it includes the cams, 103" barrels and pistons, air intake kit and all gaskets. Stage 2 kits retail for under a grand which is only a few hundred dollars more than quote I was given for just the cams and related parts. Stage 2 appears to give the best bang for the buck.

    Will still have to go with some sort of tuner but am leaning toward Screamin Eagle or TTS.