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Experts, do any of you own a 96 or 103 ci engines with over 35k miles ? Any problems you have had ? How do you compare the longevity of these to a TC88 ( assuming an equal level of maintenance). My 96 Rdking has been giving me problems for the past 6 months .... its been one pain in xss after another. thanks phd
 

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My '99 is at 95" with Bob Wood's .590 lift gear drives. Approaching 140k and the cases have never been split.

If longevity is your goal, look for a '99-'02 carbureted bike or an '02 injected bike (if you don't mind FI). '02 was the last year for the Timken bearing in the left side.

An '02 will have a few other niceties including Delphi injection as opposed to Magnetti-Marelli (in the FI models) as well as better swingarm and brakes. '02 is arguably the 'best' of the Twin Cam models and there are many low mileage ones out there as they were bought at the height of the fad and rarely ridden.

Flywheels were hot forged through '05. In '06 they went to the cold forged wheels (often mislabeled as cast).

The downside to the previously mentioned bikes is the cam chain tensioners. There are updates available to cure the problem easily enough. I prefer gear-drive cams, but that's just me. There are now other fixes as well.

Best of luck in your search.

Edit: To answer your original question, I know a few people with high mileage (100k) on 96" & 103" motors. If left stock-ish those lower ends are okay. The guys with problems tend to be the guys that want to build big torque. If that's your goal look to an earlier ride.
 

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I have worked on and serviced thousands (really!) of both engines and they both have their advantages and disadvantages. Overall I would rate the 88" bike as more reliable. Nottso is right about the timken bearing, that is a point of strength. It positively locates the crank shaft. As far as the cast vs forged flywheels...I don't see that as a problem as much as the design of the wheels which is. The 96" flywheel assembly is weak and prone to shifting, much more that the earlier ones. Also the compensator assemble on the 96" bikes is suspect as well, with many failures. Rod bushings in the late bikes seem to fail more often, I don't know if it's due to their tapered design. One advantage the 96" engines have is the hydrolic cam chain tensioner. The spring loaded early ones are prone to failure and I'm sure you all know about those. Gear drive cams have their list of good and bad too, I prefer the hydrolic tension conversion kit, but that could be a whole thread in itself with most people here more interested in older machines, I have never broached the subject. To get to the original question...there are plenty of both out there with more than 35k miles. If 35k miles is the goal either will do fine.
 
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