Harley Davidson Evolution Engine Problems: What you need to know

Categorized as Guides & Tips, Harley Davidson
Harley Davidson Evolution Engine Problems2 e1630409092506

It’s no secret that Harley Davidson is one of the most popular motorcycle brands in the world. This American icon has been around for over 100 years, and it seems like its popularity isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. However, Harley Davidson motorcycles are not without their problems. One of these problems is with Harley Davidson evolution engines which have caused some Harleys to fail while riding them! Find out what you need to know about Harley Davidson evolution engine problems by reading this blog post today!

Table of Contents

Harley Davidson Engine Reliability

At first, the Harley Davidson engine was unreliable and started to cause Harley owners lots of heartaches. After receiving constant pressure from Harley loyalists and Harley owners, Harley-Davidson listened and released the Harley Davidson evolution engine. The Harley Davidson evolution engine is considered one of the best Harley engines that Harley-Davidson has ever produced. It’s great for Harleys, used primarily on flat surfaces or roads with little traffic because it has more torque than the other Harley engines.

However, there are some models of Harleys whose performance is reduced due to this engine – most notably those with low ground clearance. Riders who routinely travel on rough roads or off-road Harley riders should know that the Harley Davidson Evo engine has a lower ground clearance than most Harleys. If you are one of these Harley owners, consider carefully whether this will impact your Harley riding before buying one with an Evo engine.

Harley Davidson Engine Problems

We understand how inconvenient Harley Davidson 103 engine issues can be, especially when there are no others with the same problem. So, here’s a list of uncommon problems and possible causes:

Hard Starting

Hard starting is when Harley Davidson Evo engine Harleys are very difficult to start. If you have a Harley that has been idle for some time, turning the throttle several times may help with this issue because it’s caused by deposits that build upon the accelerator pump and/or in the carburetor bowl. A quick fix is to spray some WD-40 into Harley’s carburetor and attempt starting it again once you have waited several minutes.

Sputtering or Misfiring

This can happen because of Harley Davidson Evo engine parts such as spark plugs, fuel injectors, PCV valves, ignition coils, and Harley’s air filter. If your Harley is sputtering or misfiring, check these Harley parts first to see if they need replacing.

Engine Seizure

If you experience engine seizure while riding a Harley with an Evo engine, shut off the throttle immediately! Then pull over slowly without using Harley’s brakes, and bump the Harley into neutral. This will prevent your Harleys engine from seizing up completely and allow you to get home safely even if it doesn’t start right away.

Speed Sensor

Have you ever noticed that the needle on your bicycle speedometer goes up and down rapidly, yet it doesn’t measure your speed? If so, you most likely have a faulty speed sensor.

Before replacing the sensor, conduct this little test at home:

  1. Get a 12-volt battery, pliers, and a multimeter.
  2. Connect the terminals of the multimeter to the speed sensor.
  3. Grab your pair of pliers and touch the sensor back and forth. If you see readings on the screen, then there’s a good chance that you need to replace your sensor.

If you experience speed sensor problems, then there’s a chance that your Evo engine Harley doesn’t have the original speedometer because it was installed aftermarket. This can be fixed by either buying an OEM speedometer or having one custom built for you at an increased cost. Harleys with high mileage may also suffer from this problem, but replacing the speed sensor may help.

Engine Overheating

This is a pretty common problem that most Harley riders experience. One of the possible causes for this issue is when there’s dirt in the fins of the head. If you have a Harley Davidson Evo engine, it’s best to use an old toothbrush and some WD-40 to clean the fins out.

Another cause is a faulty radiator fan switch, so make sure that it works properly before replacing it. Also, make sure your cooling fan turns on when the bike is hot, and you’re driving at a normal speed for about 30 minutes or more, and that it turns off when you stop at a red light or reach your destination.

Oil Leak

Harley Davidson Evo engines can suffer from oil leaks because of a defective crankcase breather hose or the gasket around the oil fill tube. To fix this problem, replace the defective part.

Engine Noise

If you have a Harley with an Evo engine, it’s normal to hear some noise when you start the engine and rev it. However, if your Harley is also making a loud noise at idle, this could be caused by a defective intake manifold gasket.

Low Oil Pressure

Have you been having difficulties starting up your motorcycle? If your oil pressure is dropping, there’s a chance that something is wrong with the bike.

Although this issue may be frightening for some drivers, an oil change is usually as simple as replacing the oil.

Bikers should remember to change their oil at specific intervals.

The oil levels will drop when they’ve gone past the time interval. This might result in a variety of problems, including low oil pressure.

Change your oil to fix this problem. However, if that doesn’t work, check your fuel pump.

A failing fuel pump will cause the oil pressure to plummet, resulting in a loss of power and stalling.

Make sure to check your oil levels and fuel pump periodically for any signs of wear.

Engine Smoking

The cylinder gasket on the EVO engine often failed. Although they aren’t as widespread as you might believe, they can strike out of nowhere.

The engine will start to smoke if the water pump gasket fails. The water pump gasket, also known as a head gasket, is a rubbery material that can stretch out over time.

Eventually, the gasket will become brittle and unable to function properly. This is why it is important to check your water pump gasket periodically.

If you have a faulty water pump gasket, then the engine’s head will most likely overheat, causing the engine to stall.

Although there may be various reasons for white smoke emanating from the exhaust, start with the head gasket.

Cam Chain Tensioner

Harley Davidson Evo engines can also suffer from cam chain tensioner problems. This problem is usually caused by the timing belt slipping, which results in a loud rattling noise when the engine is running.

The cam chain tensioner can also wear out over time due to constant use and age, causing the camshaft to move back and forth as it runs.

The noise will be very loud when you turn on your engine, so start by checking your timing belt.

If you have a faulty cam chain tensioner, the engine will start to make noise when it’s running, and it will stall when you try to start it.

The cam chain tensioner might also be a problem if your timing belt slips, so make sure that your timing belt is working properly.

If the cam chain tensioner isn’t functioning, you might also experience a drop in oil pressure, which might stall.

Make sure to replace the cam chain tensioner if your timing belt starts slipping or if you have a problem with it in general.

Tapping Noise

Harley Evo engines can also make a tapping noise if the engine is not properly tuned. Sometimes, this problem might be caused by carbon deposits on the piston.

If you have a problem with your Harley Davidson Evo engine making tapping noises, this is most likely caused by carbon deposits.

You can fix this problem by flushing the engine or taking it to a mechanic.

If you have an older Harley with carbon deposits, you might need to complete a rebuild.

However, if it’s just the piston making noises, then you can clean or replace it.

You should also check your valve clearance. If your valves are too tight, you might experience a tapping noise when the engine is running.

If the valves are too loose, you might experience a tapping noise when the engine is not running.

This issue can also be caused by a faulty cam chain tensioner, which might need to be replaced.

Tight Valve Clearance

There is also a problem with Harley Davidson EVO engines having tight valve clearance. This issue might be caused by your valves being set too tight, which results in a ticking sound when you turn on your engine.

You can fix this problem by adjusting the valves or getting a mechanic to do it for you.

If your valves are too loose, then the tapping noise will stay after you turn off your engine, and you might experience a loss in power.

Vibration Problems

Harley Evo engines can also make strange noises and vibrations if you have bad bearings.

You might be experiencing a bearing problem if your engine is vibrating or making strange noises when you start it up. The noise will also be worse at higher RPMs.

If you have a bearing problem, your oil pressure might drop, and the engine will start to smoke.

If you have a bearing problem, then the engine will also stall when it’s at idle.

Also, check your oil level and make sure to flush your engine out. If you have a bearing problem, then the oil might be black and dirty.

You should also replace any damaged bearings if you have a bearing problem.

Rough Idle Problems

If your Harley Evo engine is making rough idle and stalling, then you might need to clean your throttle body.

You can fix this problem by cleaning the idle air control valves and/or using a fuel injector cleaner to flush the system.

If your Harley Evo engine is idling rough or stalling, it might also make a ticking noise when you try to start it up.

Check your timing belt if this problem happens, and replace the cam chain tensioner if you have a noise like that.

Engine Shuts Off

If your Harley Evo engine shuts off, you might also see a warning light on the dashboard.

You can fix this problem by replacing the throttle position sensor or having it cleaned out. If your sensors are dirty, then they won’t function properly, and that will cause the bike to shut down even when you’re not using full gas.

If the throttle position sensor is broken, then your Harley might start to surge, and you won’t be able to accelerate or move at all.

You can also have a bad connection problem that causes the engine to shut off when it’s hot. Make sure this isn’t an issue by checking if there are any loose wires near the coils.

Also, check your fuel pump fuse and make sure there are no breaks in the wiring. If you have a bad connection, it might cause the engine to stall when it’s hot or shut down entirely.

Power Loss

If your Harley Evo engine is losing power, then you might need to replace the air filter.

You can fix this problem by changing out or cleaning the air filter on your bike. If there’s a lot of dirt in it and it isn’t replaced often enough, then that will cause an issue with low airflow, which means less power.

If your air filter is dirty, you might also need to clean the intake manifold and throttle body or replace them.

You should also make sure that there are no loose wires near the coils because this can cause a loss in power. Make sure all of these parts are functioning properly before replacing any expensive components on your bike.

Harley-Davidson FAQ’s Engine Maintenance and Repair Issues

Q: How much does it cost to fix Harley Evo engine problems?

A: These issues can vary in price depending on the issue. It’s usually cheaper if you can do the fix yourself, but if you don’t feel comfortable working with your bike, it might be better to get a professional mechanic involved instead.

Q: My Harley Evo engine makes a tapping noise when I start it up. What causes that?

A: You might have loose valves if your bike makes this sound, and you need to tighten them before they get too bad. You can go through tightening or replacing them yourself, but for the sake of safety should let a professional mechanic handle it.

Q: My Harley Evo engine has a hard time starting up and stalls when I’m idle; what can cause that?

A: Your timing belt might be stretched out too far if your bike is having issues like this which will result in poor performance and the stalling or hard-to-start problem as well. You should get it replaced as soon as possible and make sure to check the tension when you replace it.

Q: My Harley Evo engine shuts down randomly even if I have a full tank of gas; what causes that?

A: This is usually caused by problems with your fuel pump or the wiring that leads up to the coils. If you have any loose wires in the fuel pump or a bad connection with your wiring, it can cause this issue and need to be repaired as soon as possible before anything worse happens.

Q: My Harley Evo engine is slow even after I’ve done all of these repairs; what else could it be?

A: If your bike has been running poorly even after all of these issues, then you might have a problem with the valves. The valves are usually made from different materials than most engine parts and can’t be repaired without replacing them entirely.

Q: My Harley Evo engine surges when I’m driving it at high speeds or under full throttle; what causes that?

A: If your Harley has a lot of power but surges, you might have to replace the throttle position sensor. This will cause problems with the reading and make it seem like there’s too much resistance or not enough gas being applied, resulting in the surge.

Q: My Harley Evo engine won’t start at all; what could be wrong?

A: A Harley Evo engine that won’t start at all usually has a problem with the starter solenoid. This component needs to be replaced as soon as possible because it can cause other problems if not repaired quickly enough and require a professional mechanic.

Q: How often should I replace my Harley Evo air filter?

A: You should check your air filter at least once every other month to make sure it’s clean and free of any dirt or debris that might cause engine problems in the future.

Q: What causes a Harley Evo engine problem with low airflow?

A: This is usually caused by problems with your air filter. If the airflow isn’t as powerful or there’s dirt and debris in it, this can cause low-performance issues and need to be replaced if you want more power from your bike again.

Q: What causes Harley Evo engine problems with the timing?

A: The timing in your bike can become off if you don’t have a professional mechanic set up or replace it. This is usually caused by someone trying to do this themselves and not knowing what they’re doing, so make sure you get help from an experienced mechanic before attempting it.

Q: What causes Harley Evo engine problems with the fuel pump?

A: The problem usually occurs when you ride your bike, and it overheats or runs out of gas which can cause damage to many parts such as the injectors, timing belt, spark plugs, etc. It would be best if you got a professional mechanic involved before attempting any repairs on your own.

Q: What causes Harley Evo engine problems with the valves?

A: If you have a problem with the valves, then it usually means that they will need to be replaced entirely because of how expensive this can be for most people. You should get help from an experienced mechanic who has done this before and would know exactly what to do.

Q: How often should I change my Harley Evo oil filter?

A: You should check your oil filter at least once every other month because it can easily get dirty and clogged, which will decrease the performance of your bike over time.

Q: What causes Harley Evo engine problems with the electrical wiring?

A: If you have any loose wires in your fuel pump or a bad connection between them, this can cause issues and poor performance. You should get help from an experienced mechanic as soon as possible before something worse happens to your bike.

Q: How often should I replace my Harley Evo fuel filter?

A: You should check your fuel filter at least once every two months to make sure it’s clean and free of any dirt or debris that might get into the engine. This will result in poor performance over time if not taken care of quickly.

Q: What causes a Harley Evo engine problem with the valves?

A: The timing in your bike can become off if you don’t have a professional mechanic set up or replace it. This is usually caused by someone trying to do this themselves and not knowing what they’re doing, so make sure you get help from an experienced mechanic before attempting it.

Q: What causes Harley Evo engine problems with overheating?

If you go too fast and your engine needs to work harder than it can, this can cause it to overheat and shut down.

The heat from your exhaust system can also affect the layout of the engine and damage its parts. For example, if anything rubs or touches where it shouldn’t and stops airflow, everything much hotter, resulting in an overheating problem with no quick solution.

Q: What causes Harley Evo engine problems with the electrical wiring?

A: If you have any loose wires in your fuel pump or a bad connection between them, this can cause issues and poor performance. You should get help from an experienced mechanic as soon as possible before something worse happens to your bike.

Q: How long will a Harley Davidson Evo engine last?

A: The engine can last between 30,000 to 100,000 miles depending on how well you maintain it and take care of it. If everything is kept clean inside the engine parts, then this will help with its longevity as much as possible, but there’s no guarantee that things won’t wear out over time regardless.

Q: Is it true that Harleys are reliable?

A: Yes, they are some of the best on the market today. They have a great design and are easy to maintain, which means that you can keep them for a long time if you take care of them properly with regular maintenance schedules.

Q: How much does it cost to rebuild a Harley Evo motor?

A: Rebuilds can cost between $8000 to $12000 depending on what you want and need. This is a lot more than most people can afford, which means that it’s best to keep your bike maintained properly over time so that things don’t wear out or break down as much as possible.

Q: What is the Harley Davidson Evolution engine?

A: The Harley Evo engine has a different design from other standard motorcycle engines, which are found on most bikes today. It features four valves per cylinder, dual overhead cams, and twin spark plugs for each cylinder to help with its performance no matter what type of riding conditions you’re faced with daily.

Final Words

When you’re dealing with Harley Davidson Evolution engine problems, it’s best to know the problem before making any decisions. You’ll need help from an experienced mechanic who can figure out exactly where the issue lies and how much it will cost to fix. These tips should get you started on your way to restoring your bike to its original condition without costing too much money or time in the process. Make sure that you take care of your motorcycle because if not taken care of properly over time, this makes parts wear out faster, which increases costs and damages performance over time. If all else fails and you don’t want a professional mechanic doing this for you, at least make sure that everything has been checked thoroughly, so nothing gets overlooked during the process.

By Jacob - The Rider

Hi, my name is Jacob. I'm the founder of Backyard Rider Mag - a blog about motorcycles. I've studied engineering in college but decided to make blogging my career because it really aligned with what I wanted to do creatively - talk about bikes! I've been riding for 16 years now- everything from sportbikes to cruisers, dirtbikes or even dual sports. And after all these years on the road, there are still new bikes that excite me just as much as when I first started riding.

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