Twin Cams a future problem?

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by flyrc100, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. flyrc100

    flyrc100 Member

    Ive got 37K on my 99 Road King, I bought it last year. Its got the 1450cc Twin Cam engine. My local Harley Dealer warned me its best to pull the Valve covers and inspect the cam (chain?) tensioners, since they can be trouble at the mileage I'm at. He will do it for $110 and advise me if more work is needed from there.

    Ive read these can blow up in your face, so probably not a bad idea, but Im wondering if this is something I can do myself? What does a worn tensioner look like? Can you upgrade to something better without spending a fortune?

    Thanks for the input, Ive got plenty of wrenches and know how to use them, but its my first Harley.
  2. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    Yes it is advisable to do at your mileage. Yes you can do it yourself. There are many how to's available on the web. This forum's self help area is experiencing problems right now, but it may be in the members self help tips (box at top left of page). If not, google something like " Harley cam chain tensioner inspection". The best money you'll ever spend on your Harley will be the factory service manual. I'd give you more details, but the road is calling. :D
    Welcome to the forum P.S. it's the cam cover, not the valve covers.
  3. STEVE07

    STEVE07 Well-Known Member Staff Member Super Moderators

  4. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    TQ's engine build which now links to photobucket has pictures ant text that covers most of what you need

    Harley Davidson Community

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2012
  5. kemo

    kemo R.I.P

    If he is going to charge you $110 dollars for an inspection I would I would pop for the whole job and have it done and no more worries. The worst part of the job is getting the right side exhaust off. He can sneak the cam cover off without removing the exhaust but is awkward, on your year bike there is also a cam position sensor wire that will restrict his inspection a little if he doesn.t remove the cam cover.
  6. ironmark

    ironmark Junior Member

    A lot of people install S&S gear drive to replace the chain drive. HD also has a upgrade where you can go with the new hydraulic cam chain tensioner, the HD hydraulic cam chain tensioner works very very well, I inspected my 08 which come stock with the hydraulic tensioner and it look brand new and the bike had over 40,000 miles on it at the time. You can get the SE Hydraulic Cam Chain Tensioner and High Flow Oil Pump Upgrade Kit HD part # 25284-11 for $499.95 . You should also look into the Automatic Primary Chain Tension Adjuster HD part #40063-05B for $109.95 as a upgrade. Doing both of these upgrades will make your bike a more worry free machine because it will eliminate the need to adjust and maintain both of these chains.
  7. The4opps1

    The4opps1 Junior Member

    I am going to follow the leads of folks on this forum and recommend that you check these tensioners out. When I pulled the nose cone off of my '99 Ultra, the outer tensioner was toast and the inner wasn't far behind. As members pointed out, tons of good info on this site. The good thing about the hydraulic tensioners is that they come with the improved oil pump. Good luck on your project....

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member


    Not the valve covers...... Cam Cover on the right side of engine...

    ALSO on the down frame neck is a sticker that tell you the "Build Date"
    IF the date is 00 you have the Newer type of ROLLER rear cam bearing that is a good thing...

    IF it says 99 as a Build Date
    , The old (can go to pieces) Ball Style rear cam drive bearing MAY have been replaced or NEEDS replacing regardless of shoe tensioner condition

    I think that is where the Tech meant It Can Blow Up. It CAN IF the old style ball bearing is there YET and hasn't been replaced with the safer replacement Roller Style Bearing on that rear outside drive cam-plate...

    Now THAT All needs to be addressed here.:D

  9. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    Here is some info for you to consider:

    Roller Chain Conversion white paper

    The link above does not work. If anyone has downloaded this pdf, please let us know and we can rebuild the link.

    TQ's Engine Build

    Harley Davidson Community

    As mentioned, get yourself a HD factory service manual for your model and year.

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  10. kemo

    kemo R.I.P

    If you do the roller chain conversion you will need a 2007 or newer manual for the swap. The manual for your bike does not not cover the swap.