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install cost gear drive cams & bearings on Twin Cam?

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install cost gear drive cams & bearings on Twin Cam?

Old 01-06-2019, 10:08 PM
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Gotta say I love this forum almost as much as I've enjoyed my Dyna.
Originally Posted by cggorman View Post
Gotta have a clear vision. I've got 3x-4x the book value of my bike invested SO FAR (not counting the bike itself) and have another $5k or so planned. Rapidly approaching '19 FXDR money...and no regrets.

Would that new bike be EXACTLY what you want as purchased? If not, don't forget to add the cost of anticipated mods.
Oh, I can see what you have "invested" in your bike, and I won't count the dollars, brother, 'cause that bike of yours is built of dreams.

Originally Posted by F86 View Post
AJ, I've basically done everything that you mentioned (and more), also on an 88" motor (https://www.hdforums.com/forum/dyna-...-my-motor.html). I had previously done some similar work (but decades earlier), but definitely not all of it. I bought each tool that was required, read the FSM carefully, watched lots of videos, and asked a million questions here. It worked out just fine. My whole engine build took a number of months, but there was trial and error involved, a busy work schedule, short windows of late-night time, bone-headed mistakes, and waiting time (powdercoating, headwork, etc.). I really wanted to do it myself, and I'm glad I did. Whenever I work on something myself, the mechanical operation of that area is constantly present in my mind while I use the equipment. I really enjoy that. If I ever have the need or desire to rebuild the cam chest again, I'm sure I could do it in a weekend. Probably in one Sunday, if I had everything ready in terms of parts and room in the garage.

But cggorman's thoughts are worth paying attention to... I'm a little more than halfway to having the bike I REALLY want. It's been mostly rideable along the way, I love it, and I can't imagine enjoying a new (or newer) bike more. Therefore it's all worth it. If you don't feel that way, than it wouldn't be...

Only you know the answer!
I'm pretty confident in my mechanical skills - time and workspace are bigger issues - but appreciate the pointers on your experiences, F86. Plus, when you do your own work, you know that it was done right (or sometimes what you had to fix when you did it wrong!)

Originally Posted by roadmutt View Post
If you decide to tackle this yourself, I have the Heartland inner bearing puller/installer tool and the support plate to press in the new cams (did it with a large C clamp). These are for the early twin cams. Pay shipping back and forth and you can use them.

Also have two new B148 inner bearings, still in plastic. Bought a set separately and these came with the puller. You can have them, they’re just sitting in my toolbox.

PM me if interested.
That is an extremely generous offer! And one that would certainly take the sting out of any of the cam and bearing install options!

I just hate getting much more money in the bike than it's worth. I bought it almost on a whim after buying two other bikes last year: Triumph Daytona 955i (February 2018) and a BMW R850R (June? 2018). Both bikes had their charms, but they weren't what I was looking for and I got all my money out of each of them. This Dyna has really surprised me how much I like it. Maybe I'd been away from Harleys too long (and this is my first big twin). So why if I like it so much am I working so hard to change it?

I'm honestly thinking maybe I should sell this Dyna for $5K AND sell my Busa (another $5K) and then buy something really new (like that 2018 Road Glide). I must be getting old. LOL!

(damn, I blinked and now I'm turning 60 next month!!! Maybe that Road Glide would make the perfect birthday present for an old man!)

Last edited by AJ88V; 01-06-2019 at 10:10 PM.
Old 01-07-2019, 05:34 AM
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Cam swap and re-dyno runs ( if you already have tuning software) around $1500 + tax, depending on parts chosen. Depending on condition bike a good tech can have it done by lunch time and waiting on dyno tune. If you have the parts, tools and decent mechanical ability I would say try it yourself.
Old 01-07-2019, 08:07 AM
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Since you already have the idea of another bike, or trading that one in... that thought won't go away. You may wish to only upgrade your cam tensioners, and then sell it. Or don't upgrade the cam tensioners and trade it.

When I bought mine, I decided then and there the bike would never leave me so investing in upgrades and this&that over time, is basically not a concern for me.

I do all my own work, except for the machining - and I would do that too if I had room and money for a mill/lathe
Old 01-07-2019, 08:33 AM
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What you want to do will work. However,
It truely serves little purpose. A TC unlike the EVO has no outboard bearings to support gear drive. On a EVO, even worn, the backlash may have been more then necessary but the save 360 around.

A TC is designed for a chain drive systems. Even if you check run out when turning it by hand, that really does not show what it is doing when that end shaft if spinning with no bearing on the end. If you are concerned about $$, replace the tensioner shoes. Depending on year, if it has a roller chain on cams, you are good for 100k. My 04 TC with 50k still has original tensioners and it has link chain.

If you want gears just to say you have gears, go for it. It will work. Other then parts, conversion should not cost more then shoes since you need to replace cam bearings.
Old 01-07-2019, 11:09 AM
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Take the budget route- new shoes, bearings, bolt in cam- then ride the wheels off of it. Do it yourself, build that new relationship with your bike. No one will be more invested in getting it right than you.

If you have the itch for the bagger, go for it, but don't trade the Dyna. You'll miss it. The little buggers get in your blood.
Old 01-08-2019, 05:20 PM
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I think your thinking is flawed and here is why. You say you want to go gear drive but you have forgotten the most crucial 1st step. The flywheel run-out. Without knowing this, everything else is moot. You cannot just throw in a gear drive set without first knowing if you can. Run-out is critical. Ask anyone who has done this without first checking....if your concerned with money which it sounds like you are (and who isn't) then your 1st step before you decide anything is knowing this figure. If you want to grenade your motor in a few months then go for it...

Once you know the numbers then you can decide which way you want to go, personally I would just update the tensioners to hydraulics and ride the bike knowing that is one area of less concern.

Trading the bike won't make you happy, in fact based on the number of bikes you have or have gone though I doubt there is a bike out there thats stock that fits all things you require...just my opinion
Old 01-08-2019, 09:04 PM
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Y'all make some really good points, and I appreciate your feedback.

I'm not totally sold on the gear drive cams, but it would be my preferred route. Plan would be to open her up, mic the crank, and see if the runout is low enough to support the gear drive setup.

There are a couple newer Dynas for sale locally that would have the newer twin cam hydraulic setup, several years newer, 1/3 the miles, and really would be about the same price if I sold mine for less than I have in it plus the cost of upgrading the cams and pipes. One benefit is that the HD bags and MS batwing fairing I bought would fit without much modification. I can afford to buy now, then sell my 2003 in the spring for better money or just swallow the loss now.

And there's a killer deal on an '18 Street Glide that I'd really have to talk myself into, but I want to.

And, of course, maybe I'm really making more out of these cam chain tensioners than I should, but won't know unless I open her up, and I'm only doing that if I'm deciding to keep her. Really pretty bike, Just hate putting so much coin into a bike I bought because it was a "bargain." LOL!

Thanks again for listening. I really appreciate your thoughts.

Last edited by AJ88V; 01-08-2019 at 09:05 PM.
Old 01-08-2019, 10:04 PM
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I never look at a bike as an investment, investment in my time but not money. I tend to keep the bikes I have and turn them into the perfect bike for me. It takes time to find that right one. I love my dyna but if I had better knees I would be riding a Roadglide. I have had 4 dyna’s, 2 softails and two Roadglides. I have enjoyed my dyna’s including the one I have now and to be honest it’s my last bike, when I’m done with this one I’ll be done riding, health reasons, but you need to figure out which bike is best for you...unless you own or have owned a few different models how will you know?
Old 01-09-2019, 12:12 AM
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Chances are that your 03 will have too much runout for gear drive cams. You might get lucky but likely not.
The choice between the Roadglide and Dyna boils down to you. How do you ride.
The new road glides are awesome bikes. Both the engines and suspension are way better than what was available in 03 or there about.
I opted to upgrade the suspension, engines, clutch and drivetrain in my '99,'00, & '03
Old 01-09-2019, 02:56 PM
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Default Gear Drive Cams

Hate to spoil your fantasy about not doing gear drive cams...I have them in my 2006 95 cu in Street Bob and love the way it runs. I found a guy that moved to my area from Vista Ca. He did a great job on the gear drive and I also had him install S & S 585 cams. The cams come on later in the rpm range but from 3500 to 6200 rpm happens like now. I was really paranoid about the cam chain tensioner shoes.
If you don't decide to do the gear drive cams, them put in a set of Pingel oil pump screens. That way if the shoes come apart, it won't take out the oil pump and your whole engine. Good Luck.


BTW I'm pretty sure the the TC 88 engine was built to closer tolerances that the 96-103-107-114 that came after it. All you need to find out is a dial gauge and a way to mount it to the crank cases. You never know what you'll find till you try it yourself.

Last edited by dyna rider; 01-09-2019 at 03:02 PM.

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