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Old 12-23-2010, 08:55 PM   #1
Houseoffubar OP
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Gear drive cam Airhead?

Perhaps a dumb question, but looking at the cam chain on an Airhead, I can't help but wonder... has anyone installed a gear drive, like the aftermarket ones people install on small block Chevy's, ETC.?

It would provide more accurate timing, and I think the thick aluminum case would quiet the noise a bit too. Any thoughts, other than "WHAT A DUMBASS QUESTION"???
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:30 PM   #2
drhach
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Gear drives are very noisy so you would lose on that front. More accurate timing? I don't know. What's wrong with the timing now? I haven;t found it to be so bad.
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:04 PM   #3
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Why not consider a gilmer belt drive to connect the crank and cam shaft?
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Old 12-24-2010, 12:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RecycledRS View Post
Why not consider a gilmer belt drive to connect the crank and cam shaft?
That would be my preferred route, but you would have to seal the oil out out of the belt area.
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Old 12-24-2010, 01:05 AM   #5
ducsingle
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The '55 to '69 bikes had this arrangement. A timing chain is cheaper.
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:39 AM   #6
tofgasp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducsingle View Post
A timing chain is cheaper.
Sadly, that's the only reason.
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Old 12-24-2010, 10:02 AM   #7
chiefrider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducsingle View Post
A timing chain is cheaper.
A cam doesn't turn smoothly, by design. A chain is a bit easier on valve train than a gear, and a belt easier yet. The one advantage a chain has over a belt is that usually gives off bad sounds when going bad, warning the rider of impending doom, rather than just snapping like a belt.

Stay with the chain. It's a very good design.

My $0.02.

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Old 12-24-2010, 10:07 AM   #8
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Old 12-24-2010, 10:39 AM   #9
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I miss the "sook-sook-sook" of the old /2s at idle. With those hand-picked gear sets driving the cam, the sound of the intake was all you could hear.

But the "tickety-tickety" of the chain on my /5 isn't unbearable. I've put up with it since 1974...
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