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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think I blew the rear head gasket today on my 2002 road king. It has a dealer installed stage 2 with a power commander111r. About 3500 since stage 2 install, 14,000 miles total. Running 2 up, about 85mph, (middle of desert, 175miles east of LA). Sounded like broken exhaust header except air coming out of the side of the rear cylinder. (also, headers look fine).

Any ideas why? Is this at all common? Usually, i would presume faulty install, or faulty head gasket would not last 3500 miles?

Any thing to be aware of when i take back to dealer, i.e. causes, etc.

thx, greg


ps, got home fine, will post another thread.
 

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I did 1550 stage II myself and run my bike pretty hard, I run up to 6000 rpms nearly every time I take a ride, and hull 80-85 for 10 miles a pop and 70 for a 100 or so miles (like this past Sat.). Over all I have about 6000 miles on my own upgrade, I used S/E head gasket and did not even change the rocker plate gasket and I have no leaks no iol blowing out my A/C and a pretty smooth running bike. Good luck getting them to fix it, if its been under 3 months they should without problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Kags, its only been about 8 weeks since the stage 2. I don't run mine up to hi RPMs real often, but I will cruise 86-90, two up, fullyloaded, for 100mile at a time (at over 80, 2 up, gas mileage goes in the tank, drops up to 10 mpg!). However, this has always been in cool outside temp. Bike seems (seemed?) to run very smooth. Hoping this is just a fluke. I'm probably mre conerned with long term reliability than whether or not they warranty it. greg
 

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Greg,

Its gotta be a fluke. Stage 2 is a pretty common hop up. I'd be surprised if they didn't fix it gratis. BTW, how'd you get the bike to the shop? Towing insurance?

wyo
 

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Man, you brought back some memories. I got suck for 3 day about that far from LA when I lived out there. I was on my old rigid chopper between 10000 palms and blyth. I even wrote my will out on a pack of cigarettes.
Oh by the way, now that I went completely off topic. The stealer who installed it should do the fix free of charge. There is no way if you are riding the way you say you are should you do any damage like that to the bike. I vote for defective parts or improper installation.
 

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Maybe, maybe not.


If you use the factories cylinder head torque sequence often enough, ie with the final stage being tightening the head bolts 90 degrees, and then you go and recheck the bolts torques you will find that now and then one or two of the bolts have a very low torque.
I don't use this sequence any longer and instead use the S&S sequence with my own twist.

Never had a problem with the Harley sequence but after getting in the habit of rechecking it and correcting it more often then not maybe I got lucky and caught most of the problem ones.


In addition you can't really expect a guy at a dealer to go into this sort of detail, so I would call it an act of the gods. LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the replies. Talked to the HD service mgr today, who sent someone out to pick up the bike. Said not to worry, bike was warrantied. Thought he would have it done in a couple/three days.

So far, he's done and said all the right things. Since I had them add the 203 cams as part of the stage 2, I'll guess I'll find out if someone wants to be chickensh$t about the factory warranty (I know there have been several threads on that subject).

Hippo, your remarks are, as always, very interesting. Similar to the more general thoughts of my porsche mechanic (i.e. said he always re checks head bolt torque after 500 miles or so on those engines). How much of a job is it to re check the head bolts on an TC engine?

I'll post back as soon as I hear more from the dealer.
 

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Retorque of TC heads is not needed. Like Hippo said I seen torque uneven by the Mo Co specs. From my experance if one uses not enought oil on the bolt (or no oil at all) the uneven torque seems to be more of a problem.
 

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greg,

In actuality, the factory Stage II kit comes with the 203 cams...My stage II came in a box: cylinders, pistons, cams, air cleaner and gaskets...I added the SE Heads and adjustable pushrods and SE Ign.

Mine is running strong and I should be thru break in and seating the rings this weekend...I can hardly wait to lean on the motor a bit...I cna feel the incresase in power and it has tempted me...but so far I have resisted.

manny
 

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Hey Manny, good to hear CV1 is on the road again.

Greg I was referring to rechecking torque inmediately after finishing the tightening sequence, with a numerical value as opposed to the degree value. Even now while I use 4 steps as opposed to 3 I still do the last step twice just in case.

Retorquing after the bike has been run is likely not needed and utterly unrealistic in any case as only two of the four bolts on each head are accessible for retorquing without major disassembly.

The only concern on a case like yours would be the condition of the stud threads in the case and it might be smart to remove the cylinder on which the head gasket blew for inspection to make sure as opposed to just replace the head gasket.
 

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Hippo,

CV1 is on the prowl...running very strong although I have not tried to take it over 3000rpm. I am gonna baby it for a few more days until it seats the rings...then I'll drop the hammer on it and see how it does...it, certanly, feels very strong. Looks good too!

manny
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Broken Head Bolt! Picking bike up this afternoon, no charge. Dealer said he had never had a broken head bolt on a TC motor. Hippo, you were right, "act of god" (LOL).
 

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Well Harley should have had first option on the Bud Light phrase anyway. They sure do strange $hit sometimes. Only thing I have ever seen that came close was when GM bought Saab, used to rag on the swedish engineers telling them they should stop using east block engineering. LOL.

Why ask why??
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Picked bike up, runns great. No charhe for the pick up, or labor, etel. Bike was washed and ready to go. Also, no mention of warranty coverage with stage 2 kit. Took them about 25 hours total from when i called Tuesday.

Overall, I was pretty impressed with the service (it was also two days after the Love Ride, which they sponsor).
 

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I'm wondering if it was a broken head bolt or cylinder stud. I'm a proponent of always changing the studs when you pull the cylinders - insurance against this happening, only cost a few $.

Glad you're back in the breeze again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The service mgr showed me what I thought was a bolt, maybe 5 ' long and hollow inside part of it. Just snapped in two. I actually asked if i could keep it but he said he had to send it to the Motor Co. to support the warranty claim.
 
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