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Harley Chain Tensor Defect "UPDATE" by Ivan Rodriguez

February 8, 2017

 OK so I've been working at researching this pretty hard and stayed up late last night doing the proper research. Now as I stated before this problem is not a new problem and I am not the first to discover this.  There have been several publications on this defect but not many on how to remedy. While I am going to share with you a solution that most people are doing to help extend the life of the tensioners, it is by no means a remedy to the defect! So please do not read this go out and spend your money and think OK I'm 100% safe. No you are not you will simply just be extending the life of The parts at hand. So let me explain in detail.

It is a situation that's been going on for years. On the 1999 through 2006 twin cam engines from Harley Davidson, riders have been experiencing issues with premature wear or catastrophic failure in the oil pump cam plate area. This failure is due to premature wear of the Spring loaded tensor and tensor pad for the timing chain and the camshaft chain. The nylon pad is wearing out prematurely that holds tension on the chains, the chain is simply using the engine oil to glide over the nylon pad. Dirty oil will have particulates that will cause more wear and tear on this nylon pad resulting in the pad wearing away, leaving chunks in the oil and clogging your cam plate or even worse popping your timing chain and a mess of other possibly catastrophic failures. Now it has not happened to a hell of a whole lot of riders, but there have been numerous forums online with people expressing their anger in this defect with Harley Davidson. It is rumored that Harley Davidson is not owning up to this defect and not covering it under their warranties however I am only repeating what I read and do not know this to be a fact! Now for the helpful facts! 

Once again this is not a 100% remedy to the situation but listen up! Harley Davidson does offer an upgrade from there screaming eagle performance parts lineup.  They have come up with a kit that includes new cam plate and hydraulic tensioner's.


The kit from Harley Davidson also includes a high flow oil pump which will increase will flow by 23% and will help keep your engine a lot cooler and also promises 50% scavenging. I have attached a photo showing the price directly from the Harley Davidson website which is a whopping $499. So hopefully if you purchase this you either know how to do it yourself or have a good mechanic that can work on a Harley. The kit has gotten some great reviews and I have also read that a lot of people have been satisfied with this upgrade and will extend the life of all the parts. It is recommended by most people in the forms to even further the life of the new screaming eagle parts to switch to a good synthetic oil of your choice and every 15,000 to  30,000 miles inspect the tensioner pads.

Not understanding what you're reading, no problem! Tune in to the next episode of this weeks The Cycleshack Podcast. I will discuss this upgrade and issue in detail. I hope this helped ease your worries as it has mine.The only problem is I may have to spend 1000 bucks to get it done! 

Thanks for reading!


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