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Author Topic: HD Twin Cam problems  (Read 1088 times)

Capt_Zoom

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HD Twin Cam problems
« on: Nov 09, 2012, 08:18:19 AM »
J&P Cycle finally took a break from the cool-aid and wrote a decent article. Worth a read if you want to know about a big problem with the Twin Cam motors.  I'd heard of this problem before but its new to a lot of folks who are new to bikes.
http://blog.jpcycles.com/2012/11/i-love-harley-davidson-but-you-must-know-this/

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silverstreak

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HD Twin Cam problems
« Reply #1 on: Nov 09, 2012, 08:46:37 AM »
when does a harley not have a problem? this is no surprise lol

Veego

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Re: HD Twin Cam problems
« Reply #2 on: Nov 09, 2012, 09:49:06 AM »
Just buy a new one. LOL. At least they're better now than the earlier TC's but still a possible outcome. But hey that's the Harley mystique...will I make the entire trip or will I break down. Bean counters, profits and share holder value all dictate build cheap and hope the engine survives the warranty. Don't bother writing the CEO to bitch, been there got nothing in reply but that wasn't a failure related item, just a dealership complaint. For some, owning an H-D isn't worth the risk and of course all the negatives brought up in forums help to fuel the questions. Others enjoy the ride and whatever comes with the image and take care of the bike with the hopes of getting 100,000+ miles out of it. But you won't hear much of that since it's not negative. Guess I'll cross that bridge when I get there and determine if it's worth it to me or not. Open up the engine, have the crank built the proper way (stroker kit, balance, weld, bigger cams and pistons) and enjoy the ride. Or, I'll just buy a new one.  ;)

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Re: HD Twin Cam problems
« Reply #3 on: Nov 09, 2012, 10:10:36 AM »
Ok... I'll be the first to admit that I next to nothing about engines.  Having said that, I started to read the article and within the first couple of sentences, read this:

"Okay, what issue are we looking at? Itís a very serious one that is enough to alarm you.   However, you can fix these defects and end up with a nice bike".   

So, if .... "you can fix these defects and end up with a nice bike"...   why can't/doesn't Harely follow this advice?  I know it would cost them to do so but... ultimately, they could do it cheaper than an individual can and just pass on the cost to the consumer.  Harley's reputation gets better and those who like Harley's have a bike that's more dependable... everybody wins.   :shrug: 
 
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Ares X

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Re: HD Twin Cam problems
« Reply #4 on: Nov 09, 2012, 10:17:27 AM »
Ok... I'll be the first to admit that I next to nothing about engines.  Having said that, I started to read the article and within the first couple of sentences, read this:

"Okay, what issue are we looking at? Itís a very serious one that is enough to alarm you.   However, you can fix these defects and end up with a nice bike".   

So, if .... "you can fix these defects and end up with a nice bike"...   why can't/doesn't Harely follow this advice?  I know it would cost them to do so but... ultimately, they could do it cheaper than an individual can and just pass on the cost to the consumer.  Harley's reputation gets better and those who like Harley's have a bike that's more dependable... everybody wins.   :shrug:

I was thinking the same thing.  Problem is when you have a manufacturing line, changing parts and procedures is no minor task. It is something HD should really look into.

Veego

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Re: HD Twin Cam problems
« Reply #5 on: Nov 09, 2012, 11:23:28 AM »
I wish they would too. Rumor mill has it that 2014 will have water or oil cooled heads...guess we'll find out. Even if they do that I wish they'd offer a large Porsche type engine for the touring bikes. Maybe they're afraid it would distance the traditional crowd or they'd sell too many and couldn't keep up with demand. Like that would ever happen.

WilCon

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Re: HD Twin Cam problems
« Reply #6 on: Nov 09, 2012, 11:52:34 AM »
What a crock of crap. Do they not realize how many motors use this same setup? If this was so rampant you think there might be some owner complaints? Not enough apparently to warrant a recall or even enough to warrant a news story from any major organization, but some guy at a parts company who wants to sell parts talks like every motor will fail soon. News flash, every motor eventually will need some kind of part.
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Capt_Zoom

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Re: HD Twin Cam problems
« Reply #7 on: Nov 09, 2012, 12:46:27 PM »
What a crock of crap. Do they not realize how many motors use this same setup? If this was so rampant you think there might be some owner complaints? Not enough apparently to warrant a recall or even enough to warrant a news story from any major organization, but some guy at a parts company who wants to sell parts talks like every motor will fail soon. News flash, every motor eventually will need some kind of part.

I've known a lot of guys with this issue.  The real question though is should any motor be sold when it's likely to nuke itself in 15,000 miles?
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silverstreak

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HD Twin Cam problems
« Reply #8 on: Nov 09, 2012, 06:18:10 PM »
What a crock of crap. Do they not realize how many motors use this same setup? If this was so rampant you think there might be some owner complaints? Not enough apparently to warrant a recall or even enough to warrant a news story from any major organization, but some guy at a parts company who wants to sell parts talks like every motor will fail soon. News flash, every motor eventually will need some kind of part.
its a harley, when you buy it you must sign a nondisclosure clause to keep quiet so you cant tarnish the name brand. didnt you know? lol

Capt_Zoom

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Re: HD Twin Cam problems
« Reply #9 on: Nov 09, 2012, 06:20:25 PM »
What a crock of crap. Do they not realize how many motors use this same setup? If this was so rampant you think there might be some owner complaints? Not enough apparently to warrant a recall or even enough to warrant a news story from any major organization, but some guy at a parts company who wants to sell parts talks like every motor will fail soon. News flash, every motor eventually will need some kind of part.
its a harley, when you buy it you must sign a nondisclosure clause to keep quiet so you cant tarnish the name brand. didnt you know? lol
:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
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theurbanlegend

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Re: HD Twin Cam problems
« Reply #10 on: Nov 09, 2012, 09:07:02 PM »
Strange that they would have problems with tensioner shoes.I've seen OHC car engines with timing chains stretched out so much by wear that the tensioner couldn't pick up the slack anymore and the chain just skipped over the gears,but the plastic material on the chain guides and tensioner shoe were still very thick.I also did some work on a high mileage 750 Virago with a broken front cylinder timing chain and the guides looked great so I just reinstalled them.
If it's such a problem for Harley,they should replace the shoe setup with an idler gear.
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t84a

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Re: HD Twin Cam problems
« Reply #11 on: Nov 09, 2012, 09:14:22 PM »
I asked my buddy about this and he doesn't think its that big of a deal. He has and has had a bunch of Harley's. You just have to check them periodically. J&P must sell the S&S kit.

Capt_Zoom

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Re: HD Twin Cam problems
« Reply #12 on: Nov 10, 2012, 09:17:03 AM »
It is and isn't a big deal.  Seems if you're anal about your maintenance you're ok.  If not look out.

I can actually sympathize because we have a similar problem with the old XS650s.  When I changed the oil filter the first time on my wife's bike the pletes had daryln plastic chunks in it.  Its normal for a 30 year old bike.  On the xs your good to go until you start finding metal shavings in the oil.  THe oil system is set up different from the HD's so as long as your sump filter and regular filter are intact your oil pump isn't likely to be affected.  Even so I think about this problem often on her bike. 
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gostr8r

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Re: HD Twin Cam problems
« Reply #13 on: Nov 10, 2012, 12:30:15 PM »
I know many more people that ride Harwees than any other brand, and some have had that issue with their twinkie motors and some ended up with new engines. I donít usually even respond to their woes when they tell me about it cuz they wonít like my reply for a very easy way to fix it. "Sell that bike and get a Raider!Ē The few I have said that to were actually very receptive, but ultimately let the peer pressure of their other tattooed, HD ragged out and decal crazy brothers get to them. Now when I call them to invite Ďem to ride they have company with something in common, as they sit staring at their downed steeds. A few of them got so sick of sitting and bitching that they borrowed a friends Road Star and went out with us anyway. :rolleyes:
« Last Edit: Nov 10, 2012, 12:33:38 PM by gostr8r »
I go too far and too fast to ride a Harley! If you see my bike on a trailer call 911. A Corbin fairing, bags, heated seat, V-Rail and back rest, PC3, PR Air Kit, V&H BR, 5" Chopper's Surplus Z Bars, DWG sound system, Indian front fender, mucho Kuryakyn and Yammy bling,   

Ares X

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Re: HD Twin Cam problems
« Reply #14 on: Nov 12, 2012, 11:09:28 AM »
I have a co-worker who's taking courses one becoming an HD mechanic and here's what he had to say regarding the subject...

Quote
Yes.  It was an issue with the earlier twin-cams so they have gone to a hydraulic chain tensioner as mentioned in the article (50K miles).  Owners of these earlier twin-cams are advised to monitor their wear & replace when necessary.  Iím surprised that it isnít a ĎScheduledí check in the service manual.  Iím also wondering if the dealers donít just check them anyway, knowing that this is a problem.  Itís an easy check (just take off the cam case cover.  But for people who do their own maintenance, it can be potentially costly.  Thatís why they should always take their bike into the dealership for scheduled maintenance to be performed by a Certified Harley Davidson Technician!   These owners can upgrade to the new style of cam plate (which the hydraulic chain tensioner is bolted onto) which also comes with the newer higher flow oil pump (Iíve learned to UPSALE).  Every 50K miles isnít bad for a wear item.  The Sportster is gear driven & the VROD uses long (5 inches or so) cam chain tensioners.  Iíll have to ask my instructor why they havenít gone to the gear driven design.