Tensioners Creating Tension

Question for Fix My Hog I have your Softail maintenance DVD and it has taught me a great deal and also saved me a lot of money. This is my first Harley. I have a 2006 Fatboy with around 15,000 miles on it. I recently checked my primary chain tension and the shoe was a little worn but not bad. Do you recommend going to the auto adjuster for this?

The other thing I’ve been reading about is that these motors have a very serious problem with the cam chain tensioners and that they can grenade and wreck the engine. Is this true? If so, what do you recommend as a fix. Thanks for your time,
James – Port Moody, BC, Canada

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Fix My Hog Answers James, We would replace your primary chain adjuster shoe with a H.D. stock replacement shoe. Another tensioner shoe to look at is Harley’s spring style cam chain tensioners. They were not a very good design. We have seen problems as early as 24k miles. The best solution for this problem is to replace these stock cam chain tensioners with Harley’s hydraulic cam chain tensioners. It is sold as a complete kit and resolves this problem. Thanks for your questions.

Related Videos:
Cam Chain Tensioner Inspection Video

Primary Chain Tensioner Removal & Install in This Video

See the Full Video Class on this type of project: Cam Chain Tensioner Class

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4 Responses to “Tensioners Creating Tension”
  1. Ken

    James, Look in to Hayden Manufacturing out of California for your primary chain adjuster. Works great and I havw several others who put one on and they it.

  2. Daniel Morgan
    Daniel Morgan

    Unless that primary chain tensioner is real bad I wouldn’t worry about it, just never run your chain too tight, it’s hard on everything in there. On the other hand the cam chain tensioners are crucial. The upgrade kit to hydraulic runs about $500 but could save you a lot more than that. It involves replacing the cam support plate which means taking the cams out as well. I’ve still heard you should inspect them at around 50K just to be safe