An acquaintance of mine that has been riding the touring family bikes for quite a few years, told me that he had taken his Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic into Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford,PA. for service, and his wife’s Heritage Softail for a tire, and that a bike wash was tossed in for free that resembled more of a detailing job than a generic bike wash, and he suggested that if I needed any service work done, that I should give Hannum’s a shot, instead of hitting one of the other four Stealerships in the area.
Sometime during the week of May 23rd – 27th, I called Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford and made an appointment to have the Cam Chain Tensioners evaluated, as our 2005 Ultra Classic had recently flipped the 30,000 mile mark .
I didn’t realize that I would have to keep a diary of this experience, until I went to pick up the bike.
It went something like this:
An appointment was confirmed over the telephone for May 31st for a Cam Chain Tensioner evaluation and replacement. On May 31st, I showed up at Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford Service Department’s back door at10:00 am. As the Service writer gathered my personal information, out of curiosity, I requested and received a quote for the Gear to Gear option that came to $1,091.50 including parts and labor.
On June 1st, I was contacted by the Service department about installing the Gear to Gear option. I declined, and told them that I merely requested a quote for the installation of the Gear to Gear option, and told them again to replace the Cam Chain Tensioners with OEM parts if it was needed.
I was told that they’d contact me with the evaluation.
No return call was received that day.
June 2nd, three days after my original confirmed appointment, I called Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford Service Department and inquired as to the progress being made. The Service Department confirmed that the Cam Chain Tensioner Shoes replacement was required.
I told them to get with it.
I assumed after the call that they had began work on the Cam Chain Tensioner replacement, but they said that they’d call when the job was complete.
No return call was received that day.
The morning of June 3rd, I called Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford Service Department to inquire as to the progress being made.
I was told that I had, “lost fluids” during the Cam Chain Tensioner replacement and should the Service Department go ahead and change oil and filter. I said no, that a complete 10,000 mile service had beendone at 29,715 miles – approximately 300 miles previously. I also inquired as to the progress being made, and was told that I’d be called back.
No return call was received.
I called the Service Department at approximately 12:00 pm, and was told that motorcycle was out being test ridden then, afterwards would be brought back in to be washed and they’d call back.
I inquired as to what the bill would be and was told it was $752.42
No return call was received.
I got fed up with the, “no communication” crap, and called Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford Service Department at approximately 5:45 pm, and they said it had been ready since 3:00 pm!
When the Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford Service Department’s representative, Steve P. rolled the bike out through the service bay door, I took advantage of the daylight to inspect the Cam Gearcover, and not only discovered the part that they worked on was still greasy and smudged, and had to wipe it off myself, but there were 4 deep gouges in the top left flange of the Cam Gear cover chrome, that resembled tool markings, or someone had dropped the cover.
I brought this to the Service rep’s attention.
He and I both took digital pictures of the gouges, and he ordered a new Cam Gear cover and gave me a receipt, balance due: $0.00, to be installed upon its arrival.
We paid the bill of $752.42 and cranked up the bike, and I noticed it seemed a little louder than normal on the ride home.
On June 4th, I fired up the bike to go on a Saturday ride, and I heard what sounded like an exhaust leak from the rear pipe. As the day progressed, so did the sound.
That afternoon I called Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford Service Department and told them that I could live with the gouged Cam Gear cover until the replacement arrived, but the exhaust leak we were left with could not be tolerated.
I was told that the pipe had not been taken off.
I knew better.
Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford Service Department Representative Steve P. told me to bring it in the next day, Sunday, June 5th and he’d listen to it.
Sunday, June 5th, I rode the bike up to Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford Service Department so that Steve P. could listen to the exhaust leak, and he confirmed that it was the rear pipe gasket that was misaligned and leaking, and that if I brought the bike in Tuesday, June 7th at 10:00 am that it would be repaired while I wait.
Tuesday, June 7th I showed up at Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford Service Department’s door and let the bike’s pipes cool off and walked inside to get with Steve P. about it, but he already knew what I was there for, so he got a technician to come outside and have a look and listen to listen to the exhaust leak.
As soon as the technician looked up at the end of the rear pipe where it goes into the exhaust port, he knew what the problem was.
The technician said that he had forgotten to put anti-seize on the exhaust stud bolt, and without a doubt he also forgot to check the torque specs on the nut, because it was obvious that the nut was missing.
So, when I picked up the bike June 3rd, not only had the pipe been loosened and moved to get the Cam Gear cover off, the stud bolts weren’t tightened and torqued to factory specs, and had no anti-seize on the exhaust stud bolt, which easily vibrated off on the ride back home.
Sitting outside while the technician did his thing, I got the lowdown on where the gouges in the Cam Gear cover originated. It seems that once the technician had all of the bolts out of the Cam Gear cover removed, the cover, torqued by factory specs, didn’t want to come off. The technician went on to tell me that he enlisted two other “techs” with dead blow mallets, and steel ball peen hammers, in an attempt to remove the Cam Gear cover.
The technician claimed that it was the Factory’s fault that it was so tight, but I wasn’t buying into that.
We’ve taken the tour through the York Final Assembly Plant, and their air ratchets are preset to a factory torque spec setting so that a monkey could work on the assembly line.
I could’ve fixed the exhaust leak myself, had I the desire to look up into the area where the exhaust port was, but that wasn’t the point.
I took an expensive machine to a dealership that is supposed to employ certified Harley-Davidson Technicians, to have what surely had to have been a routine, mechanical maintenance issue and repair, only to have some Trunk Monkeys whammin’ and bammin’ on a part that is made of cast aluminum, covered in chrome, with hammers.
I can’t wait to see what they screw up next when the new Cam Gear cover comes in.
And by the way, about the wash job resembling a detail job, I can clean a touring bike and the trailer we pull behind it, better than Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford can, with one hand in my back pocket.