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Tuesday 9 June 2020


Twin Power - Twin Cam Tensioner

Described by a dealer recently at the 2020 Tucker Dealer Expo at Fort Worth, Texas, as the "thinking man's service parts," the Twin Power range has impeccable credentials. Having originally been introduced by NEMPCO in 1982, Tucker brought the program back under the expert guidance of V-twin industry veteran James Simonelli in 2016.

Cam chain tensioners (inner and outer)

That comeback saw the publication of the first Twin Power catalog since before the 1992 acquisition of NEMPCO (and with it Biker's Choice, Twin Power and other brands), and this year sees a second new iteration produced with the range now benefitting from several more years of Simonelli's expert curating.
Often associated with harder to source essentials - replacement parts that have relatively few OE (if any) alternates - seen here are options for updating the cam chain tensioners on Twin Cams.
Available for FLH and FLT '99-'06, FXST and FLST '00-'06 and FXD '99-'05 as inners and outers, they use a proven Twin Power show material for longer life, reduced friction and higher temperature resistance.

Replacement tensioner shoes and installation tools

Also seen here are a replacement tensioner shoe installation tool ('99-'06 Big Twins, except '06 Dyna), replacement tensioner shoes, an ABS plastic stock cam chain guide replacement - everything needed to replace and maintain often overlooked but 'mission critical' componentry.
The timing chain synchronizes the rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft(s) ensuring proper timing and allows the engine's valves to open and close during each cylinder's firing. When Harley adopted the concept on their Twin Cams in 1999 that opened it, its customer and their dealers up to a world of hurt.

Cam chain
The problems center on the tendency for the plastic spring loaded cam chain follower to fail and shred plastic material - which fouls the rotary gear oil pump and can cut off oil flow to the engine. The problem is that there is no reliable cardinal service interval rule about when to replace the follower, except perhaps before every ride! Many experience failures at many different mileages - it is hard to predict as there is no real external noise change or other tells.
Cam chain guide

On the 2007 and later motors, hydraulic cam chain followers were used to get rid of the stiff spring that put too much pressure on the followers that rubbed on the cam chain. But even that fix has not proven to be problem-free. Unless a gear drive cam conversion has been done, for the sake of not much money, savvy techs will replace the shoes every time they are in there, or at worst not leave it much longer than 25,000 miles.