We jumped at this opportunity to cover the Harley-Davidson factory Evolution remanufacturing process from start to finish. If you have an engine remanufactured by the factory, removed and replaced at a dealership, your warranty is restored. The factory is also capable of remanufacturing your original powerplant or replacing it with a new, very reasonably priced unit containing your original VIN. Options such as chrome or polished engines are also available.
It starts with your dealer removing your engine and shipping it to the Factory's Capitol Drive Facility in Milwaukee. When it reaches the factory, they will unpack and prep it for disassembly. The process from the factory costs $2,000 for an Evo engine and $2,200 for a black and chrome job. Your dealer will probably also charge you for R&R.; Twin Cams are slightly higher, but there's more options. You can ship your Twin Cam engine and the factory will install a big bore kit and reman your engine at the same time.
The new engine and reman program started in 1999, and it takes only two weeks from the time your baby lands in Milwaukee before it's shipped back home. The factory runs through about 1,500 reman Evos a year and sells almost 2,500 new engines. Quality engine parts can be remanufactured to original specs and saved, while others are discarded. All reusable parts are cleaned and freshly powercoated. Reusable parts are machined, rehoned, and rebored to exact tolerances, and then passed through rigid specification checks.
Crankcases are set, bearings pressed, and parts reassembled. Chromed and polished parts are replaced. Each engine is upgraded to meet the latest specifications where possible. For compliance and warranty program acceptance, all engines will be built with stock camshafts. If you have installed performance cams, they will be discarded and replaced with the stock versions before your engine is returned. You might consider installing a stock cam before beginning this process.
Each remanufactured engine is hot-tested to Harley-Davidson standards. If it passes, it receives a one-year unlimited mileage factory warranty. After the running test engine was reman'd, it was packed for shipping back to Fullerton Harley-Davidson. We hired a reporter who snuck into the Harley-Davidson Capitol Drive facility in a box of parts and photographed the entire sequence of remanufacturing procedures.
We found this whole process fascinating. The remanufacturing system allows the factory to inspect the wear of many engines, determine how well they performed, and find their weaknesses. Since Twin Cam engines can also be remanufactured, it would be interesting to know which engines hold up better. We've always liked the Evo engine (and so does the aftermarket) for its simplicity.
We spoke to Scott Miller, the man in charge of the reman program for Evolutions and Twin Cams. He's also in charge of the new engine building program, including Evos, Twin Cams and big-inch Twin Cams. We quizzed him about wear and tear, what survives, and what fails. "We record and document failure codes," Scott said. Unfortunately, he couldn't tell us if the Evo lasts longer than the Twin Cam or what is weak or strong in their engines. "But I can tell you that if a rider is reasonable with his engine during use and changes the oil every 2,000 miles, he will get a lot more riding out of it."
He also told us many riders go for the $2,000 reman just to freshen up engines and have the components powdercoated for a much more durable and long-lasting finish. Before 1994, engines weren't powdered at all. He also pointed out that all the cosmetic components are replaced with new parts including chrome.
Enjoy this process. When our engine was returned, it was virtually new again.
Zipper's makes a kit to exchange the roller style bearings back to Timkens for Twin Cams. Harley is satisfied with the roller style even for their 110-inch Twin Cam engines. Jeff is also responsible for pressing in a new cam bearing. "The Evo cam bearing used in all reman engines is the most recent bearing used in Evolution production in 1999," said Scott Miller from the factory. "This is the same situation for any other common parts-they are always updated to the latest and greatest."