are these T/C engines less capable?

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by overload, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. overload

    overload Member

    I have an 08' Nightrain, bought it new in Hammond, La. and the evening I picked it up, the mech. started telling me the do's and don't. I have had several Harleys thru the years, older ones, 62 pan, 74 glide, 78 lowrider and the one I kept longest, an 85 custom. they all had their temperments, they all loved attention, but I never had cams, cranks and all these internal failures and malfunctions. they leaked, popped, and sometimes refused to crank, usually when you really needed her to start. But with these T/C engines, (mine is the 96B) I read and hear about cam bearings, chain tensioners, dropping and sometime lost oil pressure. and engine temp is almost in all conversations somewhere. Choice of engine oil, reputable oil and filters seem to be the difference in a destroyed engine or not. some guys talk about 50K miles and even 100K miles on their T/C. I have 9K on mine and wonder if my HD 360 and black oil filter is sufficient or if my engine is slowly grinding and wearing it's way to destruction. I know within reason, all engines wear. but reading about the engine failures on these new designs makes me wonder about new technoligy. certainly I want the best in my engine and read where owners discuss 2 or 3 dollars difference in a filter or quart of oil, We are riding a 10K -20K dollar and higher machine and a few bucks doesn't enter my thought. I am Harley and have listen to my Dad argue with me at times about the attention my harleys have always gotten, and he's been ridin a 82 or 83 Goldwing for 90K miles on 20/50 Castrol. a totally different thing I know. anyway, Just an observation I suppose. But are these T/C engines less capable? I don't know this, just making conversation, and hoping I never know what the inside of my 96B looks like.

    until then, I'll keep riding for sure, then I'll bring home the parts and fix it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2010
  2. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    In my opinion if you didn't have a computer, you wouldn't hear about most of these "problems". When a problem is posted on the internet, thousands of people know about it, and relate the "I heard this failure story". There will always be Harleys that fail prematurely, and Harleys that are reliable no matter how abused and neglected they are. We "forum rats" love to discuss and dissect everything we know about Harleys and lots of things we don't know about them. Like I said, JMO

    Once again, Tank was quicker and used less words to say what I did.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2010
  3. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    I've got an 05FLTR with the 88A motor. I did have the cam tensioners removed and replaced with S&S gear plate with Andrews cams. I have 55,000 mi and it still runs like a champ.
  4. Recon Dad

    Recon Dad Member

    I'll just have to tell the wife how unreliable these engines are and I need to buy a 107 CUBIC INCH BOLT-ON KIT FOR 96"TWIN CAM.
  5. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    I like that let me know if it works:s
  6. wildspirit97

    wildspirit97 Senior Member


    Well I guess mine "did" get the word. I wish she didn't though. Hopefully the new engine will last as yours has.
  7. dbmg

    dbmg Guest

    No !!!!! They are just the ongoing process of evolution and change. That in itself is prone to criticism. Normal maintance and care wil give many years of reliable service and enjoyment. I will agree that when I worked at a Harley dealer most of the problems with the new bikes were caused by the owners inabilty to properly add-on or maintain, inexperience, or showing off causing problems. Otherwise just normal maintance and replacement of wear and tear items were all that was needed.

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    As Smitty and Tank say...the Twinky motors are just fine, and forums highlight problems of a statistical few, sounding like many. That is why MOCO does NOT have a service/customer service or blog button on their site. It would attract every SINGLE problem owners would care to discuss, skewing product satisfaction in a negative direction...that is why MOCO redirects inquiries to their local dealers to handle the "laundry duty". Took me awhile to figure it out, but then that is just good business and why forums such as HDT are vital to savvy consumers.
  9. Recon Dad

    Recon Dad Member

    Harley Davidson Customer/Technical Support Number (414) 343-4056. It's listed on the front pages of your service manual. They also have a toll free 800 number but I have free long distance so do not have.

    I had two problems with my 2009 Softail. A transmission problem and a brake problem that local dealers refused to handle. After calling this number and explaining the problems they authorized the local dealer to fix the transmission problem and are reimbursing me for the brake problem.

    Local dealers are notorious for saying that's normal or not covered under warranty.

    Harley Davidson cares and provides excellent support for their customers.
  10. ProF

    ProF Junior Member

    I post on a car forum for Toyota MR2s, and it's the same thing there. Whomever has a problem with the car posts it, hoping for some help. So if you count up the posts with problems compared to the posts praising the car, you'd come away with the same idea, that being the car is nothing but trouble prone and to be avoided. But in fact, the car is strong, reliable, and well made.

    It's just a fact of life. People highlight the negatives. Either looking for honest help, or just venting frustrations. But the majority of the people happy with their purchases don't write in.

    If HD was as universally bad as it's sometimes made out to be, they would have been out of business years ago.