Serious Decision (Mechanical)

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by Randall K. Wilson, May 4, 2010.

  1. Randall K. Wilson

    Randall K. Wilson Junior Member

    My '03 Roadking has 43,500 miles. It has the original Chain Cam Tensioners and they have never been checked. This machiine has been awesome in every respect. It still spins my "beanie". The first 20K miles I used the Harley Davidson regular Oil, but the last 23K miles I have been using the Redline Synthetic Oil.

    At 45K miles if not before I am going to get a 10,000 miles service and have the exhaust dropped, cover pulled and have the Chain Cam Tensioners checked up close and personal. This being done by an able mechanic whom I know well, but not at a HD Dealer.

    I am seriously leaning towards just replacing them with the stock part, although I have heard of many folk upgrading and changing this whole technical portion of their machine. My reason for leaving mine stock is for several reasons: 1. Cheaper. 2. I have done fine with the stock tensioners to this point. 3. Within the last year I have acquired two more cycles hence I will not be riding the Roadking as much as I have been.

    Does my decision to leave my tensioners stock seem to be a prudent intelligent decision? (Based on all that I have shared here), Or do you think I will regret not spending the extra money and going a different route on this matter? Please respond. (I am a retired pensioner so money is always relative to my doing business)
  2. kemo

    kemo R.I.P

    Stock is fine but you should have the tensioners check soon and maybe every 20000 miles after. I think from what I have read is that the replacement tensioners might be of better material but am not 100% sure.
    Main thing is to get in there and have it checked and get the cam bearings replaced.
  3. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    If you're going to hang onto the bike and you're comfortable with the present setup, just have them inspected/replaced and be done with it. Like you said, the annual mileage should be dropping on that bike anyway. Just do like Kemo said and check them regularly.

    However, if you're thinking about selling the bike, it would definitely enhance the resale value of the bike to upgrade.
  4. Randall K. Wilson

    Randall K. Wilson Junior Member

    The Cam Bearings....yes I'm thinking my mechanic mentioned that there is a better cam bearing now, than the stock one that came with it. Will double check that for sure Kemo. :)
  5. Porter

    Porter Junior Member

    I am no expert but it would seem prudent to go with the stock set up given how you ride. A previous post mentioned that upgrading might be a good idea if you were going to sell, but I don't think you would recoup that cost. (Not that you are selling or thinking of it.) If I had the paperwork saying you replaced the cam chain tensioner with a new one and the mileage, I would think that would be plenty of "points" to make a better sale.

    Seems like a "nice to have vs. need to have" thing. My wife and I recently (few months) picked up a 2002 dyna low rider and from what I read, the cam chain tensioner is the main weak link in the system. From what I can tell, and I am no mechanic, it is catastrophic if it fails and then the repair bill gets much higher. What I would be asking myself is, "If I get another say, 40,000 miles out of this new tensioner, what would likely need work with 85,000 of wear on the bike?" My vote is for the stock system. By the time this new one gets 40K on it, you will probably be into other work on the motor and have it opened up at that point anyway.
  6. rick1062

    rick1062 Active Member

    The stock type tensioners do work well, as you have had experience with them and noted. You have also listed some very good reasons to stay with what you have. I would recommend replacing the tensioners with new stock ones and checking the cam bearings.

    Lots and lots of folks upgrade to other options because of pier pressure and it just sounds cool. Many never reap the true benefits of the upgrades. Save your money and enjoy your rides.:p

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    All Good post here so, I will agree with the over-due check of the shoes and we might all be surprised if they Don't need replacing.

    If by chance and using the dental mirror as TQ1 suggest to check the back one, It doesn't need them replaced. I would not go any farther and button it back up. The shoes were made a little better after problems in 99/2000 Tc bikes.

    I owned a 2000 and went thru the Ball style bearing problems of which your bike HAS the better Roller style in it from the factory.. a good heavy one on the drive cam! and a regular ball type on the 2ond cam that does just fine.

    I would not worry about the conversion on yours Unless it showed some other problems. Like spitting oil out the air breather area, noticed on the side of bike after a ride.
    Also, before I'd get into the bike, even to inspect and or replace the shoes, I would have the oil pressure checked by a pressure gauge to see if it is up to specks... If not, Then i would go for the KIT replacement. the all new style oil pump n tensioners.

    I would not put any more money than it is needed at this time... I also have a $ problem in my retirement:bigsmiley15: get my drift?

    You and the others are Spot On here... Hope my opinion helps!