8 Harley Davidson Evolution Engine Problems – Proven Fixes

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The renowned Evolution engine of Harley motorcycles, while powerful, is not without its issues. 

Harley Davidson Evolution Engine Problems

The engine has been plagued with issues, as evident from a reported 3% of owners facing engine problems in 1999 to ongoing challenges highlighted in forum threads.

So, in this article, I’ll share common problems of the Harley Davidson Evolution engine and provide you with solutions.

Let’s begin!

Harley Davidson Evolution Engine Problems

Harley Davidson Evolution engine problems are low oil pressure, engine turns off, loss of power, inner cam bearing failure, tapping, starting issues, and cam chain tensioner failures.

1. Starting Issues

It’s like when you try to wake up in the morning but feel too sleepy and can’t get out of bed – but for the motorcycle.

One reason for starting problems could be a drained battery. Batteries provide the spark that gets your motorcycle going, so if the battery is low, the bike might not start. 

It’s like if your alarm clock doesn’t have enough battery, it won’t wake you up. Another reason might be dirty or old spark plugs. 

Spark plugs ignite the fuel in the engine to start it. If they are dirty, they might not work properly, similar to if your matches were wet and you tried to light a campfire.

The solution is to ensure your battery is charged, clean your spark plugs or replace them if they’re old. 

2. Low Oil Pressure

Low oil pressure is just as water carries nutrients throughout your body and keeps it functioning correctly, oil in an engine lubricates the moving parts so they can run smoothly without overheating. 

If the engine oil pressure gets too low, that can mean there isn’t enough oil circulating. 

This might cause the engine to get too hot, and it could wear out or even break down much quicker.

The solution is simple: like staying hydrated when you work out, ensure your motorcycle engine has enough oil. 

You should regularly check oil and changes as per the manufacturer’s instructions for your Harley Evolution engine. 

If you’re consistently seeing low oil pressure even after topping off the oil, it could indicate a more serious issue, like a leak or a problem with the oil pump.

3. Cam Chain Tensioner

The cam chain tensioner keeps the timing chain (which is important for your engine to work smoothly) tight and in the right place. 

And, sometimes this tensioner can wear out, just like a bike chain might after lots of rides. 

When this happens, it can cause problems in your engine and your bike might not run so smoothly.

So, if you see signs of your bike not running well, like odd noises or a decrease in performance, you should check out the cam chain tensioner. 

Also, get in touch with the mechanic; they might suggest replacing it if it’s worn out.

4. Tapping

It’s similar to the sound you make when you tap your fingers on a table. This noise can be a sign that something isn’t right. 

In the case of your Harley, it could mean that some parts inside the engine are not getting enough oil to stay lubricated and function smoothly. 

If this happens, those parts can start to wear out faster and cause more problems down the line.

Related: Harley 96 Engine Common Problems

The solution for this does not need to be complex. First, you should check the oil levels on your bike. If the oil is low, you’ll need to add more. 

If the oil is dirty or old, you might need to change the oil. Also, ensure you’re using the right type of oil recommended for your specific Harley model. 

5. Engine Turns Off

One common problem some people experience with Harley Evolution engines is that the engine sometimes turns off unexpectedly.

This issue could happen for a few reasons. One reason might be because the fuel supply to the engine is blocked. 

So, in this situation, you should check the fuel lines that lead to the engine. And ensure they’re not kinked or blocked. 

Another reason could be an issue with the spark plugs; these are like the lighters that start the fire inside your engine. 

If these aren’t working right, your engine might stop. And you should carefully inspect the spark plug, if they are malfunctioning you should replace it.

6. Loss Power

The power loss issue with the Evolution engine is like a super athlete suddenly finding it hard to run fast. 

This can happen if fuel isn’t reaching the engine properly, like a runner not getting enough food to energize. 

And then the reason will be that the fuel filter is clogged (just like when we eat too much junk food, our body struggles). 

Another reason might be that the spark plugs, which help ignite the fuel to run the engine, are not working well. 

In order to solve the problem; you should first check and clean the fuel filter regularly to make sure it’s not blocked. 

Then, ensure the spark plugs are in good condition and replace them if necessary. 

7. Inner Cam Bearing Failures

To understand it, imagine the engine as the heart of the motorcycle, and the cam bearings as tiny assistants that help it do its job. 

These bearings are like small, round pieces that help the engine parts move smoothly. When they fail, it’s like trying to slide down a slide with no polish; it gets bumpy and rough. 

This can cause the engine to get damaged, just like how your knees would get hurt if you slid down a rough slide.

So, to resolve this problem; you should replace the rough bearings with new ones. 

This makes the engine parts move smoothly again. It’s important to do this quickly because if you don’t, the engine can get more and more damaged. 

8. Bad Lifters

This is a common issue where the engine’s lifters, which play a crucial role in operating the engine’s valves, start to malfunction. 

Imagine the lifters being like little elevators that move up and down to open and close the valves. 

So, if these “little elevators” start to perform poorly, the engine doesn’t run as smoothly as it should.

To solve this problem you should replace the bad lifters. The new lifters can do a better job of running the engine, making your Harley perform more smoothly. 

However, it’s important to have a professional check this out because incorrect installation can cause more damage.

You can also check out the Harley 88 engine, 96 engine, 103 engine, 107 engine, 110 engine, 114 engine, 117 engine, 120R engine, and 131 engine Problems.

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