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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to possibly get a Harley in the year range they used the 103 engines. Looking at them in the mileage range of 30k-60k, The questiion is, do these 103 engines in general go a lot higher in mileage before needing serious work or are they normally in need of internals by 40k or so? I know it depends to an extent on how it was maintained of course but in general, if it was taken care of is it safe to buy one with higher mileage? Im asking because i remember reading about the older twin cams needing tensioners or other internals by 40k..
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I lost a good friend 3 years ago. He bought a new Ultra every 3 years. Every one of them had over 100,000 miles. Maintain it for long mileage. Only Problem he ever had was with an M8, Harley replaced the entire Motor
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I lost a good friend 3 years ago. He bought a new Ultra every 3 years. Every one of them had over 100,000 miles. Maintain it for long mileage. Only Problem he ever had was with an M8, Harley replaced the entire Motor
Sorry to hear about your friend! I guess what im asking is if the 103 also requires these cam tensioner replacements at lower miles like the older 88 engines did, or if the 103 is basically good to go on fluid changes for many miles before tensioners or anything else go bad?
 

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The cam chain tensioners were considered problematic until the hydraulic type became a standard. They aren't specific to any particular displacement, but I think the hydraulic tensioners came out in 2006 for the Dyna and 2007 for everything else.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The cam chain tensioners were considered problematic until the hydraulic type became a standard. They aren't specific to any particular displacement, but I think the hydraulic tensioners came out in 2006 for the Dyna and 2007 for everything else.
I see. so after the hydraulic became standard in all models then its not a routine thing to have to change them very often anymore? Im looking at 2013-2018 bikes, and wondering if they are capable of getting to 80 or even 100k without any engine work whatsoever as long as the fluids are changed when they are supposed to be and its not abused..
 

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There are no safe Harley's to buy. Any used Harley can need an expensive repair. There are a couple of years to avoid. 2000-01 Twin Cams. 05-07 Twin cams.

Any 103 you buy is going to have suspect tappets. And any used Harley with ABS could have a big repair in its future because the ABS unit service procedure was poorly understood until the 2015's or there about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There are no safe Harley's to buy. Any used Harley can need an expensive repair. There are a couple of years to avoid. 2000-01 Twin Cams. 05-07 Twin cams.

Any 103 you buy is going to have suspect tappets. And any used Harley with ABS could have a big repair in its future because the ABS unit service procedure was poorly understood until the 2015's or there about.
Damn..did they all have ABS in the years of the 103?
 

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Damn..did they all have ABS in the years of the 103?
No.

103 engines and ABS were both options for several years.

Make sure you know how to tell if a bike has ABS. Just from reading the forums it seems to me a lot of folks don't even know if their own bikes have ABS or not. One give-away is the wire running to the front wheel axle for the sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No.

103 engines and ABS were both options for several years.

Make sure you know how to tell if a bike has ABS. Just from reading the forums it seems to me a lot of folks don't even know if their own bikes have ABS or not. One give-away is the wire running to the front wheel axle for the sensor.
so if it does NOT have ABS, there will be no wires at all running to the axle?
 

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So whats the deal with questionable tappets?
The quality isn't the best giving them a short life span.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

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So whats the deal with questionable tappets?
Harley buys cheap tappets made south of the border with Chicom parts. Instead of an expensive hard roller, they just plate a hard surface over a cheap roller.

These tappets were pulled at the 1000 mile service.

269723
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
1000 miles! Is this normal with the 103 THAT early? Damn, ive been looking at them with between 10 and 30k miles..So if i buy one id have to take it straight home and replace the lifters and possibly the cams?
 

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1000 miles! Is this normal with the 103 THAT early? Damn, ive been looking at them with between 10 and 30k miles..So if i buy one id have to take it straight home and replace the lifters and possibly the cams?
Its not normal. But it does happen.

My advise is buy 80% of the scooter that you can afford. Then you have 20% held back if it needs a repair soon after you buy it..
 

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what does a lifter job normally cost on average?
If you're mechanically inclined and have the service manual, probably less than $200.
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