Harley Davidson 96 Cubic Inch Engine Problems: What To Do

Harley Davidson has long been a symbol of American heritage and the ultimate expression of freedom for motorcycle enthusiasts. With its iconic roaring sound and sleek design, Harley Davidson has captured the hearts of riders around the world.

However, in recent years, the company has faced some challenges with their 96 cubic-inch engine, causing concern among loyal customers. Reports of engine problems and failures have been circulating, causing many to question the reliability and quality of this beloved brand.

Here we will delve into the issues surrounding the Harley Davidson 96 cubic inch engine and explore the potential causes and solutions. As a company known for its commitment to excellence, Harley Davidson must address these problems and assure their customers that they are dedicated to providing a reliable and high-quality product.

Join us as we uncover the truth behind the Harley Davidson 96 cubic inch engine problems and shed light on what this means for the future of this iconic motorcycle brand.

Harley Davidson 96 Cubic Inch Engine Problems

Information Of Harley Davidson 96 Cubic Inch Engine

Information Of Harley Davidson 96 Cubic Inch Engine

The 96 Cubic-Inch V-Twin Engine Is The Heart Of The Harley-Davidson Sportster. The 96 Cubic-inch modern engine features a belt drive and overhead camshafts for smooth operation. It also utilizes multi-port fuel injection for optimal performance.

This engine can produce between 8 and 10 horsepower, making it ideal for smaller bikes or those looking to upgrade their current model. The 96 cubic-inch engine has proven to be a reliable power plant with minimal problems. Many owners praise its durability and ease of maintenance, making it a popular choice for those looking to add some oomph to their ride.

8 Harley Davidson 96 Cubic Inch Engine Problems & Solution

8 Harley Davidson 96 Cubic Inch Engine Problems & Solution

Several problems can be encountered when operating a Harley-Davidson motorcycle with a 96 cubic-inch engine. Since this is a relatively large engine, it may require more maintenance than other models.

If you need help with the current condition of your bike and are looking for solutions to the problem, consider consulting an expert. The expert can help you diagnose the problem and provide appropriate recommendations to keep your bike running well. Here are 8 common Harley Davidson 96 cubic inch engine problems and possible solutions.

1.Cam Chain Tensioner Recall

Cam Chain Tensioner Recall

Cam chain tensioners are devices that help keep your camshaft in check. They work by applying tension to the chain when rotating, which helps prevent it from becoming too loose or too tight. If a cam chain tensioner is damaged, it can cause several potential issues, including faster wear on the camshaft and increased fuel consumption.

You can repair a damaged cam chain tensioner by replacing the unit’s seals, gaskets, and o-rings. However, you found this design could have been better, with plastic shoes that can wear out easily, leading to metal-to-metal contact and complete engine failure.

To address oil-scavenging problems, Harley-Davidson incorporated a dual scavenge system into the engine, restricting the diameter of the inlet to solve the problem counterintuitively. In addition to improved cam chain tensioner design, Harley-Davidson also developed an improved cam chain assembly that improves oil flow and service life.

2.Oil Pump

Oil Pump

The Harley 96 cubic inch engine has major issues with the oil pump getting jammed. To combat this, Harley-Davidson introduced a dual scavenge gear system in the engine to increase oil scavenging and improve the system’s longevity. In addition to this, the Twin Cam 88B engine variant was designed to address visual styling issues.

To improve the longevity of the oil system, replacing the cam chest with a hydraulic oil pressure kit can help ensure that the system can continue to work efficiently over time. Upgrading to a higher-quality oil and a fan-assisted oil cooler can help eliminate future cam issues. Maintaining and regularly servicing your Harley-Davidson motorcycle’s engine ensures its reliability and performance over time.



Many consider the Harley Davidson 96 cubic inch engine one of the company’s best. Despite its impressive performance and capabilities, it has experienced some common issues related to the cam chain tensioner and worn cam-plate bearings.

The cam chain tensioner is a small cylinder in the engine users that controls the camshaft movement. It works by always applying a pre-determined amount of pressure to the camshaft, regardless of engine RPM. However, with age and wear, this cylinder can lose its ability to apply enough force to the camshaft, resulting in excessive catastrophic engine wear and operational problems.

The bearings on Harley Davidson motorcycles can be problematic due to the engine’s vibrations. Over time, these vibrations can cause the bearings to fail prematurely. The best way to address this problem is to inspect the bearings and replace them regularly.

4.Ignition System Problems

Issues with the ignition system of the Harley Davidson 96-cubic-inch engine have been reported, such as issues with using a single coil in the Evo engine and deploying double coils in the Twin Cam 88 engine. You also knew the Twin Cam 88 to have a weak chain gear drive system.

Dealers advise their customers to watch out for cam-support bearing issues with the TC-88 engine. However, mechanical tension rocker arms in cam chests were left unchanged, resulting in poor cylinder filling and reduced performance. Hence, customers must be careful when purchasing or servicing this motorcycle model and ensure everything is up to date and working properly.

5.Cylinder Head Problems

Cylinder Head Problems

The Harley Davidson 96 Cubic Inch engine has suffered from cam chain tensioner, oil tank pump, and cylinder head problems. The cam system in the H-D engine typically consists of cams located on the camshafts and cam lobes that move inside the cylinder heads when the engine is operating. Camshafts have various lengths and diameters, allowing for different exhaust and intake requirements of a specific engine design.

However, over time, hardened steel camshafts can wear out. Suppose there are problems with the cam chain tensioner, oil pump, or cylinder head in a Harley-Davidson 96″ motorcycle engine. In that case, there could be loud and unpleasant thrashing sounds coming from the engine whenever it is running.

6.Cylinder Block Problems

A few issues can occur with the cylinder block on a Harley Davidson. One of the main concerns is wear and tear. A worn cylinder block can cause an increase in friction and damage to internal engine components, such as valves, spark plugs, and pistons.

This results in reduced performance and increased fuel consumption. Another problem that can occur with cylinder blocks is cracking. Cracks form due to thermal expansion or contraction of the metal, which can lead to leakage of oil or coolant into the combustion chamber.

Finally, some cylinders have been known to experience failures due to manufacturing defects or improper assembly during production. These issues can be tricky to track down because they may only be apparent with close inspection by a technician. If you notice any of these issues on your engine, bring it in for a thorough inspection so no further damage occurs.

7.Carburetor Problems

Carburetor Problems

A few common problems can occur with carburettors on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, including clogged jets, stuck pilot jets, and excessive idle. You may need to remove and clean the carburettor to fix these issues. If the issue persists, contact a mechanic for help.

If your Harley-David has an excessively rich or lean fuel mixture, check the pilot jet for debris or other obstructions. Use a cleaning solution or wire brush to clean the jet if necessary. Also, adjust the fuel mixture screws on the throttle body to fine-tune the engine’s fueling characteristics. If your Harley runs rough or is losing power when accelerating, check the air filter for cracks and replace it if necessary.

8.Oil leak Problem

Oil leaks can be a common problem with the Harley Davidson 96 cubic inch engine. However, there are several solutions available to address this issue. First, it is important to check the oil lines and connections for any signs of damage or looseness.

Tightening or replacing these components can help prevent leaks. Additionally, inspecting the gaskets and seals for wear or damage is crucial, as they may need to be replaced to ensure a proper seal.

Regularly checking the oil level and changing the oil at the recommended intervals can also help prevent leaks. If the problem persists, it may be necessary to consult a professional mechanic who specializes in Harley-Davidson motorcycles for further diagnosis and repair.

Maintenance Tips On Harley Davidson 96 Cubic Inch Engines

Maintenance Tips On Harley Davidson 96 Cubic Inch Engines

Harley Davidson engines are some of the most popular worldwide and for a good reason. They are powerful, versatile, and easy to work on. However, like all engines, they require regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly. Here are 10 important maintenance tips for Harley Davidson 96 cubic inch engines:

  1. Regular Oil Changes
  2. Check Fluid Levels
  3. Clean Air Filter
  4. Spark Plug Inspection
  5. Coolant System Maintenance
  6. Belt and Chain Inspection
  7. Battery Maintenance
  8. Brake System Check
  9. Tire Inspection
  10. Regular Tune-Up

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Harley Davidson 96 Cubic Inch Engine?

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Harley Davidson 96 Cubic Inch Engine

A Harley Davidson 96 cubic inch twin-cam engine offers several benefits, making it a popular choice among motorcycle enthusiasts. The engine has improved combustion and efficiency compared to its predecessor, the Evolution engine. This means you’ll get better fuel economy and performance from your motorcycle.

  • Increased power
  • Improved torque
  • Smooth and balanced performance
  • Enhanced durability
  • Iconic sound
  • Customization options
  •  Increased resale value
  • Heritage and prestige
  • Smooth highway cruising
  • Community and camaraderie

The most Reliable Harley Motor

The Harley Davidson Twin Cam engine is popular for many Harley owners, but significant design flaws can cause reliability issues. The main problem with the engine is its cam chain system, which uses plastic shoes prone to wear and tear.

Additionally, the hydraulic tensioner tensioning system implemented by Harley Davidson is a possible solution to this problem, but it is a short-term fix. You can fix the engine oil pump issue with a compensator eliminator.

Does A 96 Cubic Inch Harley Horsepower

Does A 96 Cubic Inch Harley Horsepower

The 96 cubic inch Harley motor has an estimated 88-95 hp horsepower. The engine has a bore of 3.75 inches and a stroke of 4.00 inches. The Twin Cam 95 engine displaces 94.6 cubic inches, while the Twin Cam 96 engine displaces 96.7 cubic inches.

The 96 cubic-inch Harley Davidson engine is known for its power and performance. On average, this engine can produce around 67 horsepower. However, it is important to note that the actual horsepower can vary depending on various factors, such as the specific model of the bike, modifications, and maintenance.

If you are experiencing any issues with your 96 cubic inch Harley motor, it is recommended to consult with a professional mechanic who specializes in Harley Davidson motorcycles.


The Harley Davidson 96 Cubic Inch engine has been a popular choice among motorcycle enthusiasts, but Harley Davidson 96 Cubic Inch Engine Problems common. From oil leaks to overheating, these issues can be frustrating for riders.

However, with the right maintenance and care, many of these problems can be prevented or resolved. Regular oil changes, proper cooling system maintenance, and addressing any leaks or mechanical issues promptly are key to keeping your 96 Cubic Inch engine running smoothly.

If you’re experiencing any issues with your Harley Davidson engine or need professional assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted mechanic or dealership for help. By taking care of your bike’s engine, you can enjoy the open road on your Harley Davidson for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Cc Is A Harley 96 Engine?

The Harley 96 engine is a powerful and reliable engine with a displacement of 1584 cc. With its impressive capacity, this engine is designed to deliver exceptional performance and a thrilling riding experience.

What Is The Common Problem With Harley Twin Cam?

A common problem with Harley twin cam engines is the development of excessive heat, which can lead to issues such as oil leaks, oil level piston and valve damage, and overheating. Proper maintenance and cooling system upgrades can help mitigate these issues.

How Long Will A Harley Engine Last?

On average, a well-maintained Harley engine can last anywhere from 100,000 to 150,000 miles. However, with proper care and regular maintenance, some Harley engines have been known to last even longer.

Is Harley-Davidson Engine Reliable?

Yes, Harley-Davidson engines are generally reliable. They are known for their durability and longevity. However, regular maintenance and proper care are important to ensure optimal performance and reliability like any mechanical system.

Are Harleys Fuel Efficient?

Harley-Davidson motorcycles are known for their performance and iconic style but are not typically considered fuel-efficient. Due to their larger engines and heavier weight, Harleys tend to have lower fuel efficiency compared to smaller, more lightweight motorcycles.

1 thought on “Harley Davidson 96 Cubic Inch Engine Problems: What To Do”

  1. Grateful for this article. Answered alot of my questions on reliability of my 2008 Heritage Softail with the 96 Cid PowerPoint. Thankyou


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