The master, Rogue sporting a new Bikernet T.
I started off intent on just check the cam chain tensioners on my 2009 FLHTC, and then thought, what the hell. As long as it’s apart, I might as well upgrade to the Zipper’s Red Shift 525-HS cams. The 525-HS cams are a set of bolt-in units, and they allow me to use my stock pushrods, plus no changes to valves or springs were required. This cam works well in 96 and 103-inch engines and provides immediate throttle response and acceleration from 2,000 RPM and up. Here are the Zipper’s description and dyno chart:
The new Red Shift 525 Cams deliver an impressive gain in HP, with a HUGE increase in early torque – right where you accelerate around town and while cruising on the highway! Perfect for 96 and 103-inch 2007-Up Touring models, this cam was developed to deliver immediate passing power in 6th gear at any typical cruising speed. Red Shift 525 cams provide immediate throttle response and acceleration at or below 2,000 rpms without detonation. This means your Harley moves cleanly from 50 MPH and up, in 6th gear, without downshifting.
I could also upgrade the cam chain tensioners to the new Zipper’s Dual Piston Tensioners. Replacing the stock units with the dual hydraulic bodied design would maximize chain stability, restore critical timing events, reduce valve train noise and improve the life of the valve train components. Here’s the Zipper’s description:
The new Red Shift Dual Piston Cam Chain Tensioners are a must-have for all 2007-up Twin Cam performance applications. Red Shift Dual Piston Cam Chain Tensioners are a direct replacement, aftermarket product designed to improve cam timing accuracy and valve train control at two critical key areas - the drive and chain driven cam chains on all 2007-up engines.
Before. Rogue's puppy waiting for a Zipper's upgrade.
Why upgrade to a performance camshaft if you’re not upgrading the key valve train control parts at the same time? Replacing the original equipment hydraulic tensioners with this new dual hydraulic bodied design will maximize chain stability, restore critical timing events, reduce valve train noise, and improve the lifespan of valve train components; all while improving the overall performance of the engine!
I also decided to use Feuling Lifters because they are designed for use in high lift, high RPM applications. The valving in them improves oil flow to the top end while retaining excellent hydraulic operation. They also run quiet.
The procedure to change the cams is the same, though other steps may be required for many high-lift cams. Zipper’s does supply a very comprehensive instruction sheet, and it should be followed closely as well as having a Harley Shop Manual for your specific motorcycle. You will also need some JIMS special tools, and I will mention them during the procedure.
Follow the factory Service Manual’s procedure to remove all components that will interfere with the rocker box and cam chest disassembly.
I started by removing the main fuse and then the battery ground cable followed by the fuel tank, exhaust system and floorboards.
Removing ground cable.
He also disconnected the gas tank wiring and then the gas tank.
Rogue then placed the dash carefully on a blanket to prevent scratching.
With pipes and footboard removed, he was ready to tear into that big Twin Cam.
Remove the cam cover and allow the oil to drain while removing the rocker box and pushrod cover clips. Remove sparkplugs, raise rear wheel and rotate until pushrods are in their lowest position and spin between your fingers.
Remove the rocker arm and breather assembly and set aside for further inspection. Pushrods should be placed or marked so they go back in the same position they were removed from. Remove the lifters from their bore.
Removing the front rocker box cover.
It takes special wrenches to remove the rear rocker box covers.
Remove the sparkplugs to turn the engine over.
Remove the rear rocker arms.
Remove the chain tensioner. I marked the chains so that when I replaced them, they rotate in the same direction they have been. Place the cam sprocket lock tool between the gear teeth and remove the sprocket bolts, the sprockets and outer chain come off together.
Oil pump secured.
Then remove the bolts holding the cam plate to the engine case. Remove the cam plate. Since I was using the same oil pump, I secured it in place with some tools I made, so as to not accidently hit it and loosen the seal. If you are replacing the pump and or seal remove the pump at this time.
The lifters and bores were checked for size. Lifters are available in oversize if needed. I did not need them. The reason for doing this at this point was in case honing was needed the cam chest would be empty.
I used JIMS Inner Bearing Puller #993 to remove the cam bearings from the engine case. The bearings were replaced with Torrington bearings which have more rollers than the stock Harley units and run smoother. Clean the bore well and lubricate it and the new bearing prior to installing, the numbers on the bearing should be facing out.
The new bearings were installed using JIMS Tool #787, which works on all Twin Cams from 1999 to present.
NOTE: I do not recommended using one of the bearing installers you hit with a hammer as they have been known to break the inner lip of the bearing bore.
Remove the cams from the plate and inspect them for wear. If you find any issues correct them.
Checking the cam plate for leaks, at the Oil Pressure Relief Valve, is an extremely critical step and the most missed by the average technician. The valve is known to be a problem and most leak especially at idle. A leak here will reduce oil pressure to the entire engine. If you have noticed lower oil pressure at idle you can be sure this is the culprit.
The way to check if the relief valve is working properly is with a Feuling Pressure Relief PSI Test Tool #9010. Insert the tool in a vice and bolt your Cam plate to it. Hook up your air hose and listen for leaks, slowly open the regulator until the valve pops off. I got leaks at 20 PSI.
The two pressure relief valves, Zipper's on the left.
I replaced the factory valve with a Zipper’s Precision Ground Bypass Valve that has a concentric taper and seals better especially below the blow-off point, which increases the oil pressure at idle and forces the oil to take the correct path to the critical areas of the engine.
NOTE: When engine was started after this installation, my oil pressure improved at idle and increased as I rode down the road.
Cams in place in the plate.
The cams were lubricated and installed into the cam plate making sure the timing marks were lined up. The new Zipper’s rear tensioner was installed and torqued to 90-120 in lbs. All parts were oiled and the Cam plate was installed to the engine case and torqued.
Back of the new cam plate Zipper's Tensioner. Note the small feed ports. Keep your oil clean.
Torquing the rear Zipper's chain tensioners.
The outer sprockets and chain were installed making sure the timing marks were lined up and torqued, followed by the Zippers Dual Piston Tensioner. The outer cam cover was installed and torqued to H-D specifications.
Make sure to line up the dots.
The Zipper's dual piston tensioner installed and ready for action.
The lifters had been soaking in Spectro oil and pumped up and were installed along with pushrods and covers. The rocker arms had been checked and everything was in good shape so they were installed.
Note: Lifters should be in their lowest position when the Rocker Arm Support Plate Is Installed. Follow Factory Torque Sequence and Do Not Turn Engine Over Until Pushrods Spin in your fingers.
Finish installing other parts, while following instructions in Harley Manual.
Since I also use a Zipper’s ThunderMax EFI Module, I changed the program to match changes I had made to the engine. The engine started right up, and I let it warm up as I checked for leaks etc. Everything was fine. As I rode the motorcycle it tuned itself. No need for expensive Dyno time.
I got to test ride it to Key West and back, and yes, I smiled all the way. The engine has a smooth Idle at 800 RPM and no one will know you have a cam unless you tell them or grab a handful of throttle and pull away from them. I also tried running at 2000 RPM and grabbed a handful. The response was instant and impressive. While running 70-80 MPH in 6th gear and passing, the increased torque caused me to fly around other vehicles. Damn impressive for such a smooth operating cam. Now my engine will last longer and run faster, can’t beat that!
For more information check Zipper’s Performance, click on their banner below.
Next time you ride to Key West I want to go.
Comment from Bikernet Reader
A reader asked if he could see Rogue’s stock cam tensioners, so we reached out to the master, in Florida.
I had 44,098 Miles on the 2009 FLHTC when I installed Zippers Cam Chain Tensioners.
Nylon pads started to show wear, and were breaking down, but not necessarily worn out.
You will see where the tensioners were wearing so I would recommend checking every 40,000 to 50,000 miles. I should also note this engine has always had fresh clean Spectro oil coursing through her veins.
Hey, why not just go ahead and change them now and be safe. If you note the angle of the rear tensioner pad you can see why a double piston tensioner would work better.
This is much better that the older spring type BUT!!!!! made even better with a set of Zipper’s dual piston hydraulic cam chain tensioners.
Feuling – http://www.feulingparts.com/