screamin eagle cam plate issues

Screamin Eagle Cam Plate Issues: A Guide to Diagnosis and Solutions

We often find ourselves searching for ways to enhance the performance and reliability of our bikes. One area of concern for many Harley Davidson owners is the cam plate system, specifically the Screamin’ Eagle cam plate. While these cam plates are designed to offer enhanced performance, they can also come with their own set of Screamin Eagle cam plate issues that can lead to engine damage if not addressed promptly.

Understanding the potential problems associated with Screamin’ Eagle cam plates is crucial to maintaining the health of your engine. Some common issues include oil leaks, loss of power, and abnormal engine noise. In some cases, a faulty cam plate can even lead to catastrophic engine failure. By being aware of these issues, we can act quickly to inspect and replace the cam plate if necessary, thus preventing further damage to our motorcycles.

In this article, we discuss the possible Screamin Eagle cam plate issues and provide insights into what to look for to ensure your bike’s engine remains in top condition. Armed with this knowledge, we can make informed decisions about potential upgrades and be proactive in addressing any cam plate-related concerns.

Screamin Eagle Cam Plate Overview

The Screamin Eagle cam plate is a popular aftermarket upgrade for high-performance motors. The purpose of the cam support plate is to provide stability and support to the camshaft, as well as housing the oil pump. The design features billet aluminum construction with pressed-in bronze bushings, delivering a sturdy and reliable platform.

One key advantage of the Screamin Eagle cam plate is its pairing with a high-volume oil pump. This combination of components ensures optimal lubrication and cooling for your engine, which is especially important for high-performance applications. These kits typically include several components like a cam support plate, a high-volume oil pump, an oil pressure relief valve and finally a crankshaft bushing.

  • Billet Aluminum Construction: The cam support plate is made from billet aluminum, which provides excellent strength and durability for lasting performance.
  •  Bronze Bushings: Pressed-in bronze bushings further enhance the durability and longevity of the cam support plate.
  •  High-Volume Oil Pump: Paired with a high-volume oil pump, the cam plate ensures proper lubrication and cooling for your engine.
  •  Compatibility: The Screamin Eagle cam plate is designed to fit a variety of motorcycles, providing a versatile upgrade option.

While Screamin Eagle cam plates have proven to be a popular and reliable upgrade, there have been instances where some people have experienced Screamin Eagle cam plate issues. Reports of oil leaks, loss of power, and abnormal engine noise have emerged. Our next sections explore these issues in greater detail, providing insight for riders considering such a cam plate upgrade.

Common Issues with Screamin Eagle Cam Plates

Oil Pump and Pressure Issues

One of the common Screamin Eagle cam plate issues is oil pump and pressure-related problems. These issues can lead to oil leaks, power reduction, and even engine damage. Additionally, an inefficient oil system could affect the overall performance and longevity of the engine.

To address these issues, we recommend regular maintenance and inspection of the oil pump and pressure system. This will ensure that any potential problems are detected early and rectified before they become severe.

Cam Chain Tensioner Wear

Another issue associated with Screamin Eagle cam plates is cam chain tensioner wear. The chains in some earlier twin-cam models have sharp ridges on the outer plates, which quickly wore down the plastic tensioners. Since these tensioners are spring-loaded, there is always constant pressure on the chain, which contributes to faster wear.

One solution to this problem is upgrading to a hydraulic cam chain tensioner, which has been found to significantly outlast the spring-loaded models. This improvement will also be fitting for engines modified for enhanced performance.

Bearing Failure

Bearing failure is another one of the Screamin Eagle cam plate issues. Bearing issues can potentially cause catastrophic engine damage, so it’s crucial to inspect and replace them at regular intervals or as soon as any abnormal noises or loss of power is detected.

Overall, addressing these common Screamin Eagle cam plate issues is essential to prevent engine damage and maintain optimal performance. Regular maintenance, inspections, and appropriate upgrades can help ensure a long and reliable engine lifespan.

Causes of Cam Plate Failures

Manufacturing Defects

Cam plate failures can sometimes be traced back to manufacturing defects. In our experience, we have seen cam plates with undersized bores or stuck valves in the plate relief valve passage, leading to insufficient oil pressure at startup. These defects result in inadequate lubrication and cooling, which can substantially impact the overall performance of the engine.

Improper Installation

Another common cause of cam plate issues in Screamin Eagle engines is improper installation. When the cam plate is not installed correctly, it can lead to a host of problems. For instance, if the cam plate is not torqued down correctly, it can cause the plate to warp or bend, leading to oil pressure problems. Additionally, improper alignment of the oiler hole in the retainer plate can also result in inadequate oil supply to the cam chain.

To avoid these Screamin Eagle cam plate issues, it is crucial to follow the installation instructions carefully and use the appropriate tools, such as the support block, which properly supports the inner races of bearings during installation. This will ensure the cam plate is correctly seated and that the inner parts are aligned to provide optimal performance.

Lack of Maintenance

Regular maintenance plays an essential role in preventing cam plate failures. Over time, parts of the cam plate system such as tensioners can wear down, which can negatively impact the overall functioning of the engine. Upgrading these parts, such as replacing old tensioners with hydraulic ones and investing in a high-volume oil pump, can significantly improve engine lubrication and cooling.

Moreover, it is important to monitor oil pressure levels during engine operation to ensure that the cam plate system is functioning properly. A substantial drop in oil pressure can be a warning sign of potential issues with the cam plate.

Signs of Screamin Eagle Cam Plate Failure

As experts in the Harley-Davidson aftermarket scene, we have encountered several signs that may indicate a Screamin Eagle cam plate failure. One of the primary symptoms is an unusual noise emanating from the cam chest area. This can be indicative of internal damage or loose components.

Another potential sign is poor performance or reduced engine efficiency. If the cam plate is failing or damaged, it can lead to inconsistent power delivery or a reduction in power output. This can manifest as choppy acceleration, poor engine response, or decreased fuel economy.

Oil pressure issues can also be a symptom of cam plate problems. A faulty cam plate can wreak havoc on your engine’s oiling system, causing insufficient or excessive oil pressure. Pay close attention to your oil pressure gauge or warning light, as these can be early warnings of cam plate failure.

  • In some cases, visual inspections can reveal signs of Screamin Eagle cam plate issues. If you notice any wear or damage to the cam support plate or related components during routine maintenance or upgrades, it could be a red flag that the cam plate is in need of attention. Additionally, excessive pinion shaft runout is another sign of potential cam plate failure, with anything over 0.005″ being a cause for concern.

Lastly, any unexplained oil leaks or oil contamination could be connected to a failing cam plate. If your engine oil appears milky or contains metal debris, it could be an indication that the cam plate or other internal components are wearing out.

Preventative Measures and Maintenance

To prevent Screamin Eagle cam plate issues and ensure longevity, it’s important for us to follow proper maintenance guidelines. In this section, we’ll cover the following preventative measures: Regular Inspection, Using Quality Oils and Filters, and Staying within Performance Limits.

Regular Inspection

One of the most effective ways to prevent cam plate issues is conducting regular inspections of our motorcycles. By consistently checking the cam plate and related components, we can identify potential signs of wear or damage early on, preventing catastrophic failures. We should pay close attention to symptoms such as oil leaks, loss of power, and abnormal engine noises.

During an inspection, it’s crucial for us to examine the cam chain tensioners. Make sure the tensioners have adequate tension and are not worn or damaged. If needed, we should consider replacing them with updated tensioners to avoid sudden failure.

Using Quality Oils and Filters

Using high-quality oils and filters directly impact the health and longevity of our cam plates. We should stick to the recommended oil and filter specifications as specified by the manufacturer. This ensures optimal lubrication, preventing excessive wear and tear on the cam plate and other engine components.

Regular filter and oil changes are essential to maintain clean and effective lubrication. Based on the manufacturer’s recommendations, we should follow the ideal oil change intervals for our specific motorcycle model.

Staying within Performance Limits

Resisting the urge to push our motorcycle beyond its intended performance limits helps safeguard the cam plate and other components from unnecessary stress. By staying within the manufacturer’s recommended performance boundaries, we minimize the risk of accelerated wear and tear or potential catastrophic failure.

We should also avoid making significant modifications or installing high-performance aftermarket parts without first understanding their potential impact on our motorcycle’s reliability and overall engine health. If unsure about particular modifications, it’s best to consult our knowledgeable mechanic or the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Repair and Replacement Options

When dealing with Screamin Eagle cam plate issues, it’s important to consider the various repair and replacement options. We will discuss two main options: Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) replacement and aftermarket solutions.

OEM Replacement

One option is to replace the faulty cam plate with an OEM part. This ensures that we use a genuine part specifically designed for our engine. Harley-Davidson provides Screamin’ Eagle cam support plates and high-volume oil pump kits (Kit Number 25282-11). This kit can help address Screamin Eagle cam plate issues and generally includes an oil pump, chain tensioners, and camshaft sprockets.

Using OEM parts is beneficial for maintaining the engine’s performance and ensuring compatibility with the other parts. However, it may sometimes carry a higher cost compared to aftermarket parts.

Aftermarket Solutions

Another option is to explore aftermarket solutions. There are a variety of brands and options available to choose from. Generally, aftermarket cam plates are designed for improved performance, offering benefits such as increased oil flow or reduced stress on the engine components.

For instance, one might consider an upgraded high-volume oil pump and cam chain tensioners. This option may help address the most common Screamin Eagle cam plate issues while providing improved overall engine performance. But remember to select a reliable aftermarket brand that ensures high quality and compatibility with our engine.

It’s essential to carefully weigh the pros and cons of both OEM and aftermarket options, considering factors such as cost, performance, and compatibility. Ultimately, the choice lies with what best suits our specific needs and budget.

Final Verdict On Screamin Eagle Cam Plate Issues

We have discussed various Screamin Eagle cam plate issues, such as wear and damage that can lead to engine problems like oil leaks, loss of power, and abnormal engine noise. These issues, if left unchecked, can even result in catastrophic engine failure. It is crucial to perform regular inspections and replace the cam plate if any symptoms or signs of wear are detected.

While upgrading or modifying your motorcycle’s engine, it is essential to use quality components and consider professional advice. In some cases, it might be best to load your bike on a trailer and take it to a trusted professional for major work.

Furthermore, it is important to address other engine components that could contribute to cam plate issues, such as lifters. Faulty lifters in the Screamin Eagle 110 engine, for example, can cause loud tapping noises, which are primarily due to poor lubrication. So, even though we are focusing on cam plate issues, it’s essential to maintain and monitor other components that keep the cam plate functioning correctly.

In conclusion:

  • Regularly inspect and promptly replace worn or damaged cam plates.
  • Seek professional guidance for major engine work and upgrades.
  • Address other engine components, such as lifters, that can affect cam plate performance.

By following these recommendations, we can ensure the longevity and performance of our motorcycles while avoiding the common Screamin Eagle cam plate issues.

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