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  #1  
Old 01-19-2011, 08:52 PM
tstucky tstucky is offline
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Default TC88 Cam Bearing Failure

I recently noticed a ticking in the front cylinder that has been getting louder over the past week. I took my bike ('04 Electra Classic) into my Harley dealer to have them look at it. Got the call today that the cam bearing was trashed and pieces of it were missing. I have the factory extended warranty and they said Harley would cover replacement of the cam bearing and labor. Great, but here's where it gets interesting.

The dealer is concerned that pieces of the bearing got into the bottom end and has possibly scored the crank. If that's the case, it all needs to be gone through and replaced but Harley won't cover that work UNLESS the Harley warranty rep sees evidence of metal in the bottom end. They want me to pay the $900 to have it torn down and inspected and IF they find something, I will be reimbursed. If not, I'm out the $900 and on my way. The shop doesn't want to do all the labor and then not be reimbursed by Harley for their work. I can't really blame them.. Not good and NOT impressed with Harley's full warranty about now.

I find it to be total bs that Harley won't just pony up and fix it right, instead calling my bluff and making me assume all the risk by forcing the $900 gamble on me. The tech at the dealer said he's 90% sure metal got down there but it's my decision. Easy for him to say, not his $$. I am very concerned that if I ok them to split the cases and get after it, the Harley warranty rep will take a look and say 'nope, looks good to me' and I'll be out the $900.. Total BS since I have a full factory warranty I purchased when I bought the bike.

My question is.. Would you guys pay the $900 or just have them button it up and ride it. If it blows up, Harley should still cover it but I'm worried they would say 'nope, the customer elected not to have it fixed, therefore the repair bill is on them.'

Anyone had a cam bearing failure on their TC88 and fix it without going into the bottom end? It wasn't running bad when I brought it in so I'm hopeful there isn't other damage but you never know.. Thanks

Tim
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:37 PM
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Sorry to hear of the problem and I have not had that experience but before committing to the dealer's terms do some due diligence to establish if and/or how much metal has actually gotten in to the bottom end.

1. pull the oil filter and cut it in half and look for metal
2.take an oil sample and send it to Blackstone labs for anlysis and see how much, if any, metal is in the oil.
3. the only way debris for a cam bearing failure gets into the system is through the oil pump. Did you have oil pressure when you took the bike in? Ask to take a look at the oil pump. If any of the needle bearings passed through the oil pump, the damage will be obvious and you would have had no oil pressure.
4. ask to see the old cam bearings

Run those traps before agreeing to anything. Not saying you won't need to bite the $900 bullet but if you do, you need to convince yourself that it is necessary rather than trust the dealer techs "90%" certainty.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:21 PM
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working in the industry in Socal for the last decade, i will tell you that this is normal procedure whether its a bike shop or a car dealer, and it really has nothing to do with the Moco.

its all about the legality of the contract that you are in with the shop itself, and the relationship between you the shop and the bureau of automotive repair.

To do any work on you bike, warranty or not you need to authorize a repair or inspection with a signature. and any time the contract is modified the specifics have to be noted and any estimate has to be spelled out to the letter to you on the contract (repair order). the dealer is required by California law to have a complete description of complaint, cause and correction, as well as separate itemized lists of all parts and services. this is a CYA technicality.

they have to tell you in print what needs to be done and the estimate has to include all the procedures and parts prices and labor times to be known to you up front (worst case scenario) , and the ball is in your court to sign or reject the contract.

This dose not mean HD will reject the claim, it just means that if in the rare chance that they do, you knew up front what it was going to take dollar wise to return the bike back to you in the same condition it was received in if you decline the repairs. and that they (the dealer/shop) closed a loop hole that might make them liable to spend time and parts to fix your bike for free in the event you decide to sue them.
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Last edited by mentor70; 01-19-2011 at 11:27 PM..
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:56 AM
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I agree with mentor, when you have an extended warr you have to pay for inspection and if the repair is covered then the charge reverts back to the warr, The proper wording is to tear down to the causal part Have to go with Djl and go that way good advise.
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:05 AM
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Re-reading your post just now, and ive had a couple of thoughts pop in my head.

First: If it were my bike, id buy and crank, and take the bike to a 103 or 107, then let them split the cases, and the you get a proper bike back, with more power and peace of mind.

If you cant swing it, buy and oil change and button it up and ride away....BUT FIRST, make them note on your invoice that there technician suspects bearing material in the case and that the MOCO wont pay for inspection under warranty.

this dose a couple of things one, you did the maintenance on your bike, at the dealer and two, will make them look stupid if something dose go wrong and then you and the tech and say "I told you so" to the factory rep when hes signing off on a new engine.

To me, this is just the MoCo playing roulette, they are willing to gamble on whether or not this will damage the engine.
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:22 AM
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My 06 Road king has an 88 and right before it was out of warranty I had alway,s heard a tick that should not have been there,but of course the dealer never heard it..I took it apart to upgrade the cams,well sure enough the bearings and the cam were scored badly..Went to the dealer with parts in hand..As I have several bikes they were not aware which bike the parts were from so..I show the parts to the service manager and he agreed they were trashed,so I told him the were from a bike under warranty.Long story short they replaced the cams bearing oil pump cam plate everything involved..I just had to pay for the difference between the cost of the cams which I wanted..

Last edited by Captain Itch; 01-20-2011 at 05:11 PM..
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:23 AM
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I assume that the dealer has your bike and that they have opened up the cam chest? That is the only way they would know the cam bearing has failed. You need to confirm that this is the case and go to the shop and take some pictures of the cam plate with the oil pump off, pictures of both cams, pictures of both cam bearing bores and pictures of the oil pump from the plate side.

If you had oil pressure when you took the bike in to the shop, any metal that would have gotten into the crank case did not go through the oil pump. The only other way for metal to get into the crankcase would have been for the needle bearings to have dropped through the backside of the cam bearing bore into the crankcase; I have seen this happen. If that did happen, that means that those needle bearings are laying in the crankcase sump. This happened to a riding buddy and we counted the needle bearings in a good bearing, counted the needle bearings remaining in the trashed bearing and we pulled the crank case drain and some came out there and the rest we were able to snag out of the crankcase sump with a magnet. Eventually, we had collected all the needle bearings. New bearings installed and all was good; no drama.

Have the techs pulled the crank case drain to see if anything comes out with the oil? If not, have them do that but make sure you are present when they do.

Not being familiar with the laws that Mentor makes reference to, I can't comment on the legal points of the matter but I do like his advice in post #5. However, before agreeing to anything, run the traps set out in post #2. The dealer and the MoCo have placed the responsibility of making the decision to proceed with the tear down on you and, therefore, you have the right to take whatever steps and time necessary to make that decision. Once you are comfortable with the decision, you won't be second guessing yourself.

Once the decision is made another approach might be to tear down in phases. Tear down the top end and if there is metal in the crankcase, they should be able to grab it with a magnet. If nothing is found and you have already run the traps in #2, button her up, replace the cam bearings and move on. If they do find metal continue with the tear down.

If you do continue with the teardown, I like Mento's suggestioni, if you have the $$, to buy a 4.374" stroke crank, have it trued, balance and welded, install the "Lefty" bearing and you come out of this with some value added and a platform that you can build up to 117" and the labor is covered by warranty.

Dont' get in a hurry, take your time, keep your cool, use your head and just move through this process in logical way.
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:23 AM
 
 
 
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2008, bearing, bottom, cam, davidson, dealer, end, failure, fauled, harley, ids, replacement, replacing, tc88, time, working


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