H-D Oil Pump Change: Screamin’ Eagle vs S&S

So the time has arrived for an oil pump change on your Harley Davidson and instead of just a pump…you want to change the camchest too to achieve better oil pumping and scavenging results.

Why is this desirable? Well it should help the engine to run cooler and there will be less oil in the crankcase thus less chance of oil sumping.

So oil sumping was a real issue especially for H-D tourers with the M8 engine but not so much with the Softails initially, however Harley Davidson in late 2019 and into 2020 production bikes opted to change the oil pump with an improved version with an outboard seal which improved the oil pumping and scavenging efficiency by 10% or so.

Prior to this, Harley Davidson were sluggish in recognising there was an issue with ineffective oil pumps especially for upstaged engines. If you have a stock engine or even up to Stage 2 on a Softail especially, Harley still to this day say the oil pump is sufficient.

Companies like S&S and Fuelling jumped on the oil pumping gap and the rising oil sumping issues, to develop their own oil pump and camchest designs which improved the capabilities but with little data to say by how much, however it is popularly regarding that these are better than stock.

Since that time H-D released the Screamin’ Eagle oil pump and camchest which claims 30% increase in oil scavenging over the 2020 redesigned oil pump, so one can only imagine what improvement it would have over the pre 2020 oil pumps.

So the question now is whether the S&S oil pump and camchest is still the better option over the SE oil pump and camchest or whether H-D have finally got this right.

Of course, as long as you’re keeping stock or not suffering from oil sumping there probably isn’t a requirement to change it, or at least just merely upgrade your pre 2020 oil pump to a post 2020 oil pump for peace of mind.

If you’re going to upstage with a new cam, then to cover the bases and give that extra security you might fit a new cam, oil pump and camchest at the same time. Of course S&S do a complete kit for this with new lifters and lifter guides but should you opt to Screamin’ Eagle parts instead and only use S&S lifters (H-D do not make them yet) and Lifter guides?

It’s certainly a question to ask. A couple of years ago there was no doubt that the S&S option was the best, but now times have moved on, it difference is not so clear. Screamin’ Eagle parts still get criticised in some quarters…with some foundation but mostly on past reputation too which may not be applicable any longer…

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