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Discussion Starter #1
I know there are always other options when it comes to having work done on our bikes, and I have used a good Indy on a prior bike because I knew and trusted him, he was close to where I lived and he was competitive but not cheap. Well as it so often happens his business failed and he's now back at the dealer. Frankly I've had good and bad experiences with dealers, but I'd say on the whole more good or ok than bad. Well I have a particularl dealer who is very close to my home, has done work for me in the past, (including SERT tuning, installing Heads, pipes , regular service jobs,etc.) and done a pretty good job. This particular service dept is, however not real organized and burning through service techs weekly, and really was starting to give me an uneasy feeling. First of all, my mistake for not going with my gut, and or advice from others, but the last situation was I took my bike in Monday at noon to have:

-Wood TW6 Cams
-D&D Fatcat exhaust installed

to my 95", SE Twin Pro Heads equiped bike. This dealer had previously installed the Heads for me and did a fine job at a reasonable hourly install rate. By Wednesday late afternoon I called to see where they were with completing the work and was told that it was "back together" but they weren't getting any compression from the back Head. That didn't sound good. Several hours later they call and say I have a bent exhaust valve on the back SE Head. Mind you these are brand new SE Heads with less than 1500 miles on them, "that they originally installed." I did not ride the bike into the dealer with one lung, so the obvious was, "how did it get bent?" He connects me with the mechanic whom I know and have worked with. He says "I might have not centered the Heads perfectly when I reinstalled them, and when I bolted them back on to test ride it and take it over to tune, it was obvious there was no back Head compression. When I tore it back down, the back exhaust valve was bent." I made it clear that there was only one way the valve could have been bent and he agreed after a bit of discussion. I spoke to the service manager whom I know very well also and the solution was to place an overnight order for delivery today for a new SE exhaust valve part, which they would take to the Head shop they use to install and repair the bent valve, bring it back to the dealer bolt the bike back together and take it to tuning. "You can pick your bike up Monday or Tuesday." All this after having it there since Monday.

I hang up and am pretty uptight, pissed off and just overall bummed out. Brand new Heads having to be repaired. New cams goiing in the bike. New exhaust going on the bike. Of course I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of performance I'm going to get, and now in the event that the bike doesn't run to my satisfaction I'm at the mercy of the dealer and the Head shop that they "fixed" their mistake correctly with proper parts etc. Geez a guy shouldn't have to be this uncomfortable with a dealer doing something as simple as installing bolt in .510 lift cams and pipes!

Now for the real kicker. After I hung up I was thinking, why the hell did he remove the Heads in the first place to install these cams? As a bolt in cam, my understanding was it was totally unnecessary. I called the Service Manager back up and ask him. He asked if I had adjustable pushrods, and I said yes, knowing that I do. Keep in mind they are the ones who installed the SE Heads. He said, well another one of the Techs is standing here and he say's your bike has Non adjustable SE pushrods, thus the need to remove the Heads. I insisted the pushrods were adjustable and told them to go out to the shop and look. He said he would and I haven't heard back since.

First I know they are adjustable pushrods, so I have no idea what the hell these guys are talking about. Second, am I correct that the Heads should have never had to come off for the TW6 chain drive bolit in cam? Third, IF the pushrods weren't adjustable, (and they were) but IF they weren't, would the Heads have to have come off to do the job? Also, the labor estimate was 6.5 ours at $82.50 per to install the cams. Checking around that seemed competitive, other than the hourly rate. Would 6.5 hours also be the time required to install these bolt in cams without having to remove the Heads? Is that standard rate?

I'm sitting here not believing that my bike is out of commission for 8 days because someone bent an exhaust valve on brand new Heads that never should have been removed in the first place!

I apologize for the long rant guys and girls...but sometimes this is the only place i can get solid no BS feedback and advice. I have a feeling this saga isn't over and come Monday or Tuesday next week ( and a rideless weekend:(, I will be up there having to have all kinds of discussions about what kind of labor is correct, reconciling how replacing a part on brand new MSRP $1100 Heads makes them good as new, and dealing with the issue that the bike is there for 8 days. Any feedback or advice is much appreciated, particularly as it relates to:
The need to remove the Heads, adj pushrods or not.
The actual estimated labor hours required to install bolt in cams assuming Heads didn't need to come off or if they did.
Your thoughts re: repairing the bent exahust valve vs replacing the Heads. (Maybe that is no big deal and I'm over reacting.)

Thanks for indulging me and again sorry for the long rant.
 

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I think a good possibility for how the valve got bent is that the rear camshaft was not oriented properly, thus allowing the valve and the piston to attempt to violate a law of physics...that is that no two objects can occupy the same space at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
bigbluff said:
I think a good possibility for how the valve got bent is that the rear camshaft was not oriented properly, thus allowing the valve and the piston to attempt to violate a law of physics...that is that no two objects can occupy the same space at the same time.
Thanks Bluff...so would you assume that there was any damage done to the rear cam itself as well as the exhaust valve? Sounds like I better make sure the "expert" examines the positioning of the rear cam prior to reinstalling the "repaired Heads".
 

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"Jane you ignorant slut!"
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The heads should not have needed to come off, even if they did not have adjustable push rods. This could also happen if when they adjusted the pushrods the didn't let the lifter bleed down every half turn.

I would get in the car and look at my engine if I were in this position. You want to look at the top of the piston where the valve contacted to see how badly it marked or damaged the piston. In the automotive industry, when this happens in can compress the top of the piston into the ring land (I've seen it happen).

Sorry for your troubles

Chris
 

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JagmanR said:
Thanks Bluff...so would you assume that there was any damage done to the rear cam itself as well as the exhaust valve? Sounds like I better make sure the "expert" examines the positioning of the rear cam prior to reinstalling the "repaired Heads".
I doubt the cam was hurt. However, as Ceraaa42 says, the piston might have gotten hurt and should be looked at. If the event happened as soon as they attempted to start it, then the piston probably was not hurt. If the cause of it was that the cam was out of time, as I suspected above, then it most likely did happen when they first attempted to start it.

Yes! Make sure both cam shafts are oriented correctly. Also inspect the top of the piston to make sure it was not damaged. The head will probably be fine after the valve and guide are replaced.
 

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You don't have to take off the heads for non adjustable pushrods. You can cut them and replace with adjustables or just remove the rocker arms. Removing rocker arms is almost as much work as removing the head.

He may have bent the valve first and then taken the head off to check. If he tells you the head had to come off, that way you pay at least that labor. I would fight any extra labor charge above the camshafts R&R job. Anything else is thier problem. Make sure you know what they did, because if something else goes wrong, you have what was done to show them.
 

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"Jane you ignorant slut!"
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It probably wouldn't hurt to take the nuts off the end of the push rods and roll them across the counter to make sure they didn't get bent also.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm getting ready to go over there now to take a look at the pistons etc and have a chat. Thanks Cera, Paul and Bluff.

Paul..so with adjustable pushrods, was there a need to remove the rocker arms?

I'm getting the feeling there was a whole lot of ignorance taking place on this piece of work.
 

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JagmanR said:
I'm getting ready to go over there now to take a look at the pistons etc and have a chat. Thanks Cera, Paul and Bluff.

Paul..so with adjustable pushrods, was there a need to remove the rocker arms?

I'm getting the feeling there was a whole lot of ignorance taking place on this piece of work.
No, the old non-adjustibles are cut with bolt cutters and removed in two pieces. Then the adjustibles are installed while adjusted to their shortest length. Then they are extended (adjusted) to their operational length.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
SEDELUXE said:
having done this before on my own bike i have to say the piston is not hurt. but that was on my bike.
now there are a few other things to worry about, lifters being blown bent push rod, cam bearings being shot (worst case) bent connecting rod(worst case).
now that the valves are replaced make sure the thing is done correctly. its very obvious thaT they dont know what their doing and screwed things up. thats very evident as of the result but yiu will never get the truth any way so take it as it is ,let them fix it and move on. find another guy to do your work or do it yourself. the cam replacement is very easy and a pro doing it it should be a no-brainer hell i did mine and once i got past the fact that it was not as complicated as it seems it was easy.
the cam is a bolt it even if they did not let the lifter bleed down the lifter can only travel so far. now maybe they adjusted the push rods wrong but that would have left the valve open and cause the no compression thing. but as far as it hitting the piston cant say have not herd it. but i have i did it my self.

Take the bike back when its done and beat the snot out of it it will have a 90 day warranty and try to break it and let them repair what is broke.
I have no idea about 90 day warranties on their work, but I DO have a new list of several things I'm going to need to make sure aren't damaged. The problem is that I'll never be able to be certain by looking at some of these things whether they are damaged or not. I have to assume if they are stupid enough to bolt it all back together once the bent exhaust valve is replaced, and there are numerous other problems, they will soon find the bike not operating properly still. It seems insane, but I'm taking this list you guys have provided me and going up there now to talk with the Service Manager and the Tech. Thanks for the all the input. You know when they try to downplay it as only "a bent Header exhaust valve" it may be just that, but there is no way I can trust them, mostly cause I don't think they would even know.
 

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Keep in mind there are adjustable pushrods and "quick install" adjustable pushrods, if you have the non quick install, you would need to remove the rocker arms and support, I can pretty much guess they didn't wait for the lifters to bleed down before they turned the motor over and bent the valve. Either way, all headwork should be thier problem, and at 82.50 per hour they can make up their mistakes in a big hurry, that's fkn outright robbery, 500 bucks labor to change cams is ridiculous. I would doubt you hurt the piston or connecting rod but this wasn't your fault so I would demand to have them checked. The woods cam has a fairly high tdc lift number but even if they try to tell you the lift was the problem, they still need to check their work for clearances, once again their responsiblility.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
BVBOB said:
Keep in mind there are adjustable pushrods and "quick install" adjustable pushrods, if you have the non quick install, you would need to remove the rocker arms and support, I can pretty much guess they didn't wait for the lifters to bleed down before they turned the motor over and bent the valve. Either way, all headwork should be thier problem, and at 82.50 per hour they can make up their mistakes in a big hurry, that's fkn outright robbery, 500 bucks labor to change cams is ridiculous. I would doubt you hurt the piston or connecting rod but this wasn't your fault so I would demand to have them checked. The woods cam has a fairly high tdc lift number but even if they try to tell you the lift was the problem, they still need to check their work for clearances, once again their responsiblility.
Bob, All,

Sincere thanks for the input. It has been very helpful and I just got back with my list of things to check, all gathered from all of your input. I went back to the shop and physicallly inspected all the parts in question. I saw first hand what he did. It appears just as you and others have said, he didn't wait for the lifters to bleed down, turned the wheel by hand before starting the motor to check, felt fine, then NO resistance. He bent the exhaust valve. As is the case, I was wrong about the pushrods. Everybike I've had had adjustable pushrods and I was sure this one did too, but they weren't adjustable or quick install, but Perfect Fit pushrods...ughhh! He didn't remove the Heads for the install, but did have to remove the rocker cover and arm supports due to the perfect fit pushrods. He only removed the Heads after determining there was no compression on the back Head and had to take off the rear head to trouble shoot. I did insist that he be sure the cams were properly oriented before re-installing the Head with the new exhaust valve. It is a new HD part and he did convince me that it wouldn't be any problem replacing the part with a brand new one. I looked at and he confirmed that there was no damage to the pistons or valve contact. There are no nuts on the end of the perfect fit pushrods to to bend and the pushrods themselves were not bent. The lifters looked fine to me and he confirmed there was no damage as well as the cam bearings and connecting rods. Basically he was saying, he felt horrible about it, and that after he did it he went home feeling like crap. I know him and he has done good work for me before and is truly a nice no BS guy. Trust me I've known some I couldn't say that about. I told him surely he understood my concerns and he said he did without question and there was no way he would reassemble the bike with bent and broken parts only to take it straight to the dyno for a SERT tune. I have to believe that and from what I saw, I believe short of the bent valve it is ok. Now the part where I'm feeling stupid; I had insisted on the phone that the pushrods were adjustable, they weren't, AND I had this long talk and visual inspspection of all the parts but still don't really understand "how it happened" exactly. as in the explanation of not letting the lifter bleed down and turning the wheel by hand after he had bolted everything back together. At this point, I just have to assume that everything I saw and was told is truthful and that I'll get my bike back next week with a new Wood Cam, Fatcat Exhaust and a great Tune! No use hiding it though...I'll be a nervous wreck until I fire it up and ride several miles!
 

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JagmanR said:
I'm getting ready to go over there now to take a look at the pistons etc and have a chat. Thanks Cera, Paul and Bluff.

Paul..so with adjustable pushrods, was there a need to remove the rocker arms?

I'm getting the feeling there was a whole lot of ignorance taking place on this piece of work.
No need to remove the rocker arms, only with non adjustables. I would insist on them putting in new adjustables, if a valve was bent, it could have bent or otherwised compromised the push rods. it is thier error, make them do it correctly.
 

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"Jane you ignorant slut!"
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He could have bent the valve just when installing the rocker train. Tighten to fast, lifter does not have time to bleed down, the valve comes down and contacts the piston. Considering how far out the face of the valve is from the stem, it takes very little pressure to bend it. Don't ask how I know.

I'd recommend you spring for the adjustable push rods while they are out and won't cost you any labor to install.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #15
ceraaa42 said:
He could have bent the valve just when installing the rocker train. Tighten to fast, lifter does not have time to bleed down, the valve comes down and contacts the piston. Considering how far out the face of the valve is from the stem, it takes very little pressure to bend it. Don't ask how I know.

I'd recommend you spring for the adjustable push rods while they are out and won't cost you any labor to install.

Chris
And I'm taking your advice Cera...without question. They're going on. Thanks
 

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Chris got there first, but to concur, my guess is that they didn't let the lifters bleed down fully between rotating the engind - CRUNCH!

Of course, that doesn't explain some maroon asking, "Oh, did you have adjustable pushrods...?"
 

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Sounds like you have things in order, don't be so quick to dismiss the perfect fit pushrods, they are stronger and have no dependability issues that the adjustables could potentially have, everybody makes mistakes at times, even when doing a simple task they may have done when building an engine many times before, so don't ask me how I know either, it's how things are handled after the mistake that matters, alls well that ends well.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
BVBOB said:
Sounds like you have things in order, don't be so quick to dismiss the perfect fit pushrods, they are stronger and have no dependability issues that the adjustables could potentially have, everybody makes mistakes at times, even when doing a simple task they may have done when building an engine many times before, so don't ask me how I know either, it's how things are handled after the mistake that matters, alls well that ends well.
Well I was told the same thing today by the mechanic who made the mistake. First about the pushrods, he said he'd put adjustable's on for free if I wanted them but he really thinks the perfect fit ones are better. I know it seems like why would I listen but as I said before, he is a good guy and I do believe that he didn't screw up as bad as I had thought originally when I thought he had removed the Heads to install cams! He said and I believe him that he has done cams hundreds of times, and I know just enough to be dangerous and he seems to know his way around a HD motor and the more specific nuances of a build. He said it today, "I screwed up and feel horrible." This is the guy that after he installed the SE Heads a month ago new from the box called me personally a day later and asked me how the bike was running. You make a good point and I don't believe raising holy hell with him or the dealer helps anything. I'm bummed big time cause I have a weekend here without my bike. It feels horrible. I wait all week long to get some serious riding in and this was going to be the one with new cams and exhuast...but it does seem that they are doing what they should and fixing their mistake. Now we will see when it comes time to settle up how that gets handled. I'm hoping we don't have a war then but you never know. I just want my bike back:)!
You love your Fatcats huh? Am I going to love it on my SG with the woods cams and Heads?
 

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"Jane you ignorant slut!"
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I don't see that you mentioned the cams you took out. Considering you had perfect fit pushrods, any chance you are increasing the lift enough that they were to long? Then pushing the valves into the pistons. Even if this was the case I feel they would still be at fault for not installing correct pushrods.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #20
ceraaa42 said:
I don't see that you mentioned the cams you took out. Considering you had perfect fit pushrods, any chance you are increasing the lift enough that they were to long? Then pushing the valves into the pistons. Even if this was the case I feel they would still be at fault for not installing correct pushrods.

Chris
Chris...they were SE 203's, same lift as the the TW 6's at .510.
 
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