Harley Twin Cam Years To Avoid With Reasons

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Harley-Davidson is the most iconic touring motorcycle brand for years and provides most of the luxuries touring and cruiser motorcycles.

Harley Twin Cam Years To Avoid

If you are looking to buy a used or new Twin Cam motorcycle, it’s important to check the models that you should not consider in your purchase list to save time.

The Twin Cam engines produced from 1999 through 2017 have had several issues, ranging from camshaft failures to oil leaks.

We have done everything for you to choose the best for you and avoid the worst ones.

Let’s dive in:

The Worst Year of Harley Twin Cam to Avoid

The twin cam model from 1999 to 2006 experienced camshaft chain tensioner failure, 2003 to 2006 experienced high crank runout, and the 1999 to 2002 model was also the worst year due to the balance shaft module problems.

These are serious concerns that have been reported over the years, and you must look into them before making any purchase.

1. 1999 to 2006 Camshaft Chain Tensioner Failure 

The 1999 to 2006 Twin Cam is one of the most iconic motorcycle engines of all time. But, from 1999 to 2006, this engine had a major issue with its camshaft chain tensioner failing.

This failure caused an inefficient engine and often led to expensive repairs. The problem was due to the tensioner’s design; its single-piece design was prone to wear out, leading to misalignment and sometimes complete failure of the part itself.

As a result, excessive pressure on the camshaft chain causes it to jump off its sprocket teeth or break altogether, resulting in an inefficiently running engine.

But don’t miss that Harley Davidson released several updates and revisions over the years, including a redesigned two-piece tensioner that separated the tensioning spring from the roller assembly.

This update removed any potential misalignment issues that could have been caused by wear and tear on the single-piece design.

Harley Davidson also introduced more robust chain guides and sprockets, along with improved lubrication systems for both components.

However, if you are going to purchase any model between these years, you must check for problems with the camshaft chain tensioner to avoid costly repairs later.

2. 2003 To 2006 High Crank Runout 

Certain model years of the Twin Cam engine have become notorious for having excessive crank runout, an issue that leads to engine failure.

The 2003 to 2006 model years of the Twin Cam engines particularly faced this problem due to an inadequate crankshaft manufacturing process.

The crankshaft sometimes warps, causing engine vibrations, which can lead to premature wear on components and even engine failure.

These issues were not always easy to detect in standard service inspections because the warped crankshaft was only visible under a microscope, and the issue could go unnoticed until it was too late.

We recommend that if you’re looking for a used Harley motorcycle with a Twin Cam engine, avoid the 2003-2006 model years due to this potential problem. s

3. 1999 To 2002 BSM Failure

The 1999 to 2002 model years of the Twin Cam engine are considered the worst years for this type of engine.

It is due to issues with its Balance Shaft Module, which was responsible for the problems that caused excessive vibrations and poor running performance.

The BSM was designed to counterbalance some of the inherent vibrations in the Twin Cam engine. However, it increased internal wear and tear on the engine parts.

Over time, this wear and tear began to manifest in various symptoms, such as poor running performance, misfiring, stalling, increased fuel consumption, vibration, backfiring, and even complete failure.

The problems with camshafts wearing out prematurely due to inadequate lubrication from faulty oil pumps and excessive heat generated by faulty cooling systems.

Another common problem faced by many owners is the starting problem. It is due to poorly manufactured pistons or cylinder heads, which cannot cope with the higher levels of compression.

What year did Harley start the Twin Cam?

Harley-Davidson introduced the Twin Cam engine in 1998. It was a major overhaul of their existing Big Twin engine.

This highly successful motor was used in popular models such as the Dyna, Softail, and Touring lines.

The Twin Cam debuted in 1999 as part of Harley-Davidson’s Evolution series and quickly became an integral part of the company’s success.

Wrapping Up 

We hope this article helps you discover the worst years of Harley Twin Cam to avoid.

Surely, these issues can destroy the Harley engine if they are ignored over time, but overall, the Harley twin cam has a reliable engine.

You will be fine if you stay away from the pre-2007 models as they have chain tensioner issues.

But overall, the Twin Cam has a great engine that is loved by millions of riders and can give you a tension-free riding year.

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