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Posts Tagged ‘Excessive Heat’

H-D Brake Light Switch

Harley-Davidson issues a recall notice, NHTSA Campaign ID Number 11V506000NHTSA, earlier in the week.  The component in question is the brake light switch.

According to the recall report excessive heat from the exhaust may cause the switch to not activate the brake lamp or activate the brake lamp when no brake is applied and/or cause a brake fluid leak at the brake light switch.  H-D is recalling certain model year 2009 – 2012 Touring, CVO Touring and Trike motorcycles manufactured from June 6, 2008 – September 16, 2011.
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The list of affected models is significant and the potential number of units is over 250,000.  H-D will notify owners and dealers will install a rear brake light switch kit free of charge.  The recall is expected begin on or about October 31, 2011.  Owners may contact H-D at (414)343-4056 or go to NHTSA for more information.
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Photo courtesy of H-D.
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Twin Cam 96

Twin Cam 96

UPDATED: April 24, 2017Added a tab “Engine History” on the blog home page with updated V-Twin engine history including the Milwaukee Eight.

A little over a year ago I wrote about the history of the Harley-Davidson engines.  It’s one of the articles that gets a lot of attention/views from across the blogosphere so I thought it might be appropriate to update the post with some newer information.

The Twin Cam 96 was released for the 2007 model year in August 2006. Although the engine was the successor to the Evolution engine (“Evo”), they share a number of characteristics with nearly all previous HD engines. Both engines are a V-twin configuration at 45 degrees, are air-cooled, and control valve timing with push-rods. The crankshafts have a single pin with a tongue and fork arrangement for the connection rods. These are sandwiched between a pair of flywheels.  The HD Twin Cam 96B engine was released at the same time and is currently used on all softail models.  The TC96 is approximately 1584cc. The motor company has released Screamin’ Eagle models named TC103, a 103-cubic-inch (1,688cc) which is used in the 2009 Tri-Glide Ultra Classic (Trike) and the TC110, a 110-cubic-inch (1,803cc) in the 2009 CVO models (Fat Bob; Softail Springer; Road Glide; Ultra Classic Electra Glide).  The TC110 comes in an upgrade kit for the TC96.

It’s been speculated that the Motor Co. moved to the Twin Cam not because the Evo had reached its power limits as a design, but because HD could not prevent other manufacturers from making clones of the design. With the Twin Cam, HD was able to preempt cloning via the U.S. Patent Office, thereby making it a lot more difficult and expensive for the aftermarket vendors to compete with the Motor Co. in the development and sale of upgrades or complete motors.

In order to comply with the increasingly-stricter EPA standards, all TC96 equipped Harleys come from the factory tuned very lean, which in turn creates a great deal of heat.  All ‘07 and later Big Twins are equipped with Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) and 02 sensors for closed-loop operation, allowing an extremely lean tune to be safely, and consistently achieved. This has been a topic of much discussion in the Harley world, as many have commented that the excessive heat makes the TC96 too uncomfortable to ride in stop and go traffic, or in the heat of the summer. There are also concerns about heat’s impact on the longevity of the engine. To help combat this many owners re-tune their engines, run synthetic oil or add an oil cooler; and HD developed a “Parade” mode in which one cylinder shuts down on the Twin Cam to prevent damage to the engine.

Sources: Answers; Harley-Davidson; Wikikpedia; Shop Manuals

Photo courtesy AnimatedPiston.

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