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I own a 2014 Chieftain with 27,700 miles; purchased 11 months ago with 23,300 miles from the Indian dealer in St. Petersburg, FL where I live. . Heard an unusual rattling sound on the right side of the engine and took it in to Indian dealer; was told it's the tensioner, it must be replaced and I should consider replacing the chain as well. I'm not a mechanic and have only been riding for two years (rented several bikes before deciding on the Chieftain) but it seems a little early for this to happen at 27700 miles. I know it must be fixed. Comments & advice appreciated on how soon this may happen again, is it a chronic problem with this model, etc. Thanks.
 

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I doubt the chain has any issues. But do a search on this forum on the cam chain tensioner.

Indian has beefed up the cam chain tensioner twice since the birth of the TS111. The earliest versions tend to wear a bit faster than normal (yours), so they made a revision. And then a third revision after the big bore kit cam out. The third one is super heavy duty and would be what they replace yours with. Good news, it's not a terribly difficult repair.

Read this one:

 

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I own a 2014 Chieftain with 27,700 miles; purchased 11 months ago with 23,300 miles from the Indian dealer in St. Petersburg, FL where I live. . Heard an unusual rattling sound on the right side of the engine and took it in to Indian dealer; was told it's the tensioner, it must be replaced and I should consider replacing the chain as well. I'm not a mechanic and have only been riding for two years (rented several bikes before deciding on the Chieftain) but it seems a little early for this to happen at 27700 miles. I know it must be fixed. Comments & advice appreciated on how soon this may happen again, is it a chronic problem with this model, etc. Thanks.
Your chain will be fine. When you get the shop to change it out let them show you the new one and the one taken off your bike. You will easily see the difference. Takes less than a half hour to change it out. Don't let them gouge you on this. Dean
 

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In my 5 years working the Indian service department. We had never replaced cam chains. Tensioners and guides, Yes. Have them take it off and show you where their concern(s) are with it and you make the choice.
 

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I'm thinking that Whizbang pulled his chain tensioner at like 80k and the wear was nominal. This is just off the top of my head and my memory has been known to be sketchy. LOL
 

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The problem with the early cam chain tensioner was that the ratchet used to slip.

The ratchet is the bit that allows the tension to go forward to keep the chain tight, but not backwards where it will loosen. the early ratchet would rotate slightly and slip a notch and the chain would loosen, but the spring in the tension could not push the tensioner forward. That's where the noisy chain happened.

Tensioner #2 changed to a slightly wider ratchet face, but they found it was not quite wide enough and the tensioner could still rotate, just not as easily as #1.

Tensioner #3 has a wider ratchet face again, and the wider flat area no longer allows the thing to rotate.

If you buy a tensioner these days it will be the #3.

Here's the old vs new. On the right is #3

577601


Another change that is not obvious here is the location of the pivot pin for the lock piece. It's now closer to the ratchet face and can no longer jam up.
 

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I replaced the original cam chain tensioner on my 2014 chieftain last year with a third revision cam chain tensioner at 27k miles. It took less than a half hour to replace and I even reused the original gasket.

The noise from the right side of the engine at idle did quiet down.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great advice for this "rookie". Service next Saturday and now I'll know what to do. Thank you all.
 

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Part # for the newest? Might just do this. I have already read it is an easy swap and fairly cheap...2016 Vintage.....
 

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The tensioner was updated on later models so yes on the tensioner. Id just replace the chain also of it was me. Cheap insurance. Chains will stretch.
 
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