The twin-cam engine in Harley Davidson is a major issue that cannot be ignored. This is not based on myth but facts. Some information on the machine is meant to educate Harley lovers to find the best solution. Anything related to the engine is a serious issue that needs to be rectified immediately. Fix the problem and your bike is back in great shape. The latest Harley also has some potential problems that every Harley buff has to get understand. The saddest part is that despite being a Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO), the bike is not devoid of problems. This cannot be taken lightly!
The design of the cam chain system is where the problem lies. The use of plastic shoes on the cam chains is the reason for the quick wear and tear. Despite the company making some changes in the new editions the problem persists. For instance, the new hydraulic tensioning system is a failure. When the plastic shoes rub the chains, the shoes wear out. What makes it a cause for concern is the contact between the metals that causes grinding resulting in engine failure. If the problem is not identified soon, it can result in complete destruction of the engine including pistons, cams, crankshaft and engine case.
What makes this alarming is that the engine can fail as early as touching 15,000 miles. The new hydraulic system is no exception, and it can also fail in less than 50,000 miles. Check out the service manual for more information about cam chain tensioners in twin cam engine. The biggest irony is that the oil pump route may get clogged without any warning. When the pipes are loud the tearing of the engine can be the only warning sound.
What makes it scary is that the new bikes also have Twin cam engine issues. Keep an eye on the engine before it is too late. The bike manufactured between 1999 and 2006 have real problems with Twin cam engines. In many cases, the spring loaded cam chain has failed. The plastic material shreds to disrupt the rotary gear oil flow thereby dampening the engine friction leading to failure. This is not all the rubbing of metal parts in the shoes lead to metal shreds that can get into the oil before it is filtered. This could be catastrophic as it can lead to buying a new motor completely. Rebuilding the engine may not be possible in this case. This is a realistic situation so beware to understand the engine better.
So if you think that post-2007, the twin cam engine is cleared of these problems, do not be misled. Instead hydraulic cam chain followers are used that can give relief from the stiff spring that was responsible for the pressure caused due to the rubbing of cam chain. But this is of no use as it only delays the process. Instead, of the engine failing at 15,000 miles, it will now fail at 50,000 miles. All that is done is the problem is postponed. Now the owner has to dismantle and check for every 15,000 miles or replace the gear drive system.
There are magazines that talk about how to fix this problem especially if your vehicle fails post warranty period. Now that the problem has been delaying to 50,000 miles it will not be covered under warranty. This makes it important to check for extended warranty especially when it comes to cam chain failure.