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Old 11-08-2009, 07:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Harley Softail 1993 Engine Trouble

Out on a ride last week and my Harley's Evo engine started to make a loud internal engine noise.Sounded like something had broke off inside and was rattling around the engine. The bike lost power and the engine started missing badly. 150 miles from home I thought that I would have to have the bike transported home.A few minutes later the noise stopped and the bike retained its power . I was able to ride the bike home without any further trouble and it ran well. Been a bit of a puzzle really, as how did it right itself to get me home? I decided to drain the oil and when taking the oil filter off I found a heap of metal filings on the inlet of the filter. Something I have not noticed on previous oil changes.There is also a slight engine noise now coming from the rocker box on the front cylinder that was not there before the engine trouble.The oil pressure on the bike is still sitting up in the 20s range which is good for a Evo engine and the bike is not blowing any smoke. Just wondering if anyone has come across a problem like this. Should I keep riding the bike, or should I consider reconditioning the top end?
Cheers Gary
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Old 11-08-2009, 08:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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really should be a no brainer.
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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As long as you don't mind having broken parts and loose metal in your engine, keep riding it...
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If it were my bike I would investigate and find what caused the noise and metal shaving. If it were just a noise you might get away with just fixing the problem but with metal shavings present, your damage may be throughout the engine now. I would start with the cam cover and check the cam bearing. The inner cam bearings a known cause of failure. Also the lifters are suspect. It is possible that if you find one of those two as the issue, you could merely fix them and see how long she goes.
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Softail has only done 75,000km

I'm thinking the problem is a lifter, or a broken rocker.

The softail has only done 75,000km and has not been ridden hard. Top end rebuild at 45,000km due to a head base cover leak on one cylinder, a known problem with this model. That repair was done by a Harley dealer.Though thats not saying they repaired the bike properly either. New piston rings were installed, valves redone. I did not find any broken motor pieces in the recent oil change, just a few small metal flakes on the outside of the oil filter. I very much doubt there would be metal pieces flying around inside the motor.She would have seized with the miles I have clocked up in the last week. Is a mystery this one, the bike could run for another 12 months, then again could fail next week. Will replace the lifters and will have a look under the rocker boxes.
Thanks for all the advise.
Cheers Gary
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Broken rocker arm usually won't get ya home. Get a look in the gearcase first.

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Old 11-09-2009, 06:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Have a good suspicion that your going find a lifter(s) toasted.
Hopefully they did not migrate to any other areas.
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Will replace lifters tomorrow, have a question?

Thanks for the last two replies.You are right it can't be a rocker.The bike would have never travelled that far home.

Will take out the lifters tomorrow and replace, as I have a set here.Ive never replaced the pushrods before and have a set of adjustables, bought awhile back.
Revtech high performance push rods.Anodized aluminium. Has anyone used these and would like to know there success rate?
I did see a picture last night of one of the pushrods snapping after just 10,000km , put me off a bit.

I know you have to use bolt cutters to get the old push rods out. Can someone tell me how to install and set up the lifters and the adjustable pushrods? What sort of ajustments do I have to do?Pushrods have numbered adjustments at the bottom.
Cheers Gary
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