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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a pair of 2004 TC88 engines on my RK and FXST. When I started running them on factory 20W50 they sounded normal. I switched them over to Amsoil 20W50 V Twin at 3500mi. Now they sound like two skeletons doing it on a tin roof. I have read that the increase in noise level is normal when going synthetic. My question is why does synthetic cause all of the clicking and buzzing noises that weren't there before. Thanks
 

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Thats strange. When we switched over they got a little bit quiter (nothing to brag about). Are these stock?
 

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Nipperdog, I felt the same thing when I changed from dino oil to Syn 3. I changed back to dino oil, and I swear the engine sounded quieter. Now I'm using Redline syn 20W50 oil, and the engine is quiet like dino oil(lol...I think). Going on 19,000 miles now, and the only thing I hear anymore is the wind and the exhaust pipes. I think we are too sensitive to any noises with a twinkie. Ride it, have fun, be safe.

Thorns
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks to all who responded. Both engines are dead stock with just about 5000mi. I have read that others have noticed an increase in internal engine noise when going to synthetic, but have never heard of any adverse effects. I was worried about high engine temp. during the summer here in Fla. so I decided to go to Amsoil. I intend to keep the Amsoil in both bikes, but have to admit that I've been tempted to flush it and go back to HD dino. I still would like to know why Syn. oils cause the noise to increase. 42 yrs in the saddle and still counting...............TNX again....Nippy
 

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Had the Same Problem

I had the dealer put Synthetic 20w50 in my FLSTSCI on the 1,000 and 2,500 mile service. On a hot day, my motor sounded more like a Singer sewing machine than a $20k H-D. On cooler days, it would take about 30 minutes for the syn oil to warm up, then clickety clack. I was really pissed that I had invested so much only to have a piece of crap engine.

I recently took the bike in to have the valve guide seals changed out. The bike was using oil and the dealership made a great effort to make me happy by letting me know there was a Service Bulletin out for the bad seals.

When I took the bike in, I told them about the noise and how concerned I was. I told them it was greatly taking away from the experience that I had hoped for with this bike.

They suggested, that since the bike was in the shop for the valve guide seals replacement, they would change the oil back to regular H-D 20w50 oil.

I subsequently took the bike out for about 2 hours. Engine noise is nearly non existent from what it was! I am now a happy camper, and very happy with the way the dealership pro-actively took care of my concerns.

My experience is the synthetic oil from H-D made my engine run louder. I'm thinking of trying Rotella diesel oil someday, after reading some of the comments from others. But for now, I'm sticking with regular H-D dino oil.
 

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If I put something in and it created new noises afterwards, I would flush it and go back to what was in there before the noises started.

The name on the label and the type in the bottle would only mean to stay away if that happened.

Hell, I just dumped that new HD Formula+ crap after 1,000 miles (2 weeks) because of all the new clunks and harder shifts it has caused.
 

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Amsoil/we'll see....


Hello to all: I'm new to the forum and the HD world, with the recent purchase of a 2006 XL1200C Thank the HD Gods for the 2004 upgrades to these bikes ! Lovin the bike so far, getting back into riding after 7 yrs off, and coming from Kawasaki inline 4 / KZ1000, and Concours world.
I ran Mobile 1 syn in my other bikes and a few cars and they all loved it.
I plan on switching soon to the Amsoil 20-50 MCV in the XL chain case and engine. I changed my fluids at 600 miles to get the HD crap out of there, with Castrol 20-50 dino. I must say, the bike seems to like that, and did quiet down engine wise. Unbelievable to me that HD doesn't want you to touch anything for 1,000 miles,.....I've adjusted primary chain already, clutch cable several times, idle adjustment, ..... and got about a lb. of metal filings off of the xmission magnet. Castrol 20-50 in there too,.....loves it.
ALot of people here get hung up on "clunking". That to me seems to simply be just part of what / how these bikes shift. To me, it's more important to have positive engagement, easy neutral, and no slippage........I'll take a little clunking anyday.
Also, the oil tests I've read seem to prove out the benefits of syn oil. We'll see how the Amsoil does. And remember, HD is in the biz of selling motorcycles.

l8tr, Steve
 

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I was about to start using synthetic oil, since synthetic oil is better. But, I spent a lot of time to "investigate" this idea and finally I found out that the mineral oil is better for "low RPM" engines, such our Harleys are. But, my friend decided to swithh to "better" synthetic oil, and very soon he got strange sounds from the engine. As soos as he switched back to normal mineral oil, engine got the well know very good sound. Maybe this is wrong, but this is our experience. Also, I need to add that I do not have experience with that brand new Syn 3 oil, since I can not get it here in Bosnia.
 

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We'll see......

This is all interesting, and yes, slightly concerning. However, I have a case of this Amsoil MCV so I'm putting it in. To me, the oil test results don't lie.
Since my "acclimation" to the HD world, in a very short time I've seen numerous examples of poor or misinformation regarding products / services, and overall, don't have a great deal of respect for HD dealer network.
The metric bike world seems to be more solid in these areas.
Now, if my engine starts to sound like a rattle trap, I may change my mind too. So I'll go back to dino and change it alot, and consider it a lesson learned. Maybe it'll at least provide better rust protection as the bike mostly sits for the next approx. 3.5 months !

Update: 11/13/05 Amsoil MCV 20-50 in bike, engine and chain case. All good. Slightly different engine sound; nothing offensive. See thread "AMSOIL" under lubes for more impressions.
Thanks, Steve
 

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I switched over a year ago to Mobil 1 syn for the engine and redline products in both the tranny and primary of my 2002 Ultra, before the bike went thru the big bore and gear drive changes.

Ever since, the engine has been very noisy, especially so during cooler weather. It would also 'seep' fluid at several locations, especially during hot weather rides.

Remembering that I never had either of those problems before the change to synth products, I switched back about 1,200 miles ago. During both hot and cool weather rides, there are no more unusual noises, everything is dry as a bone and it runs like I expect it to.
 

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seeping and older engines.....

It appears that perhaps the engines like what they mostly run with earlier in life. Most people reporting noise or leaks seem to have switched at some point, well into the life of the engine, after it had been run on Dino oil for quite some time. Time will tell............
 

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Nipperdog said:
Thanks to all who responded. Both engines are dead stock with just about 5000mi. I have read that others have noticed an increase in internal engine noise when going to synthetic, but have never heard of any adverse effects. I was worried about high engine temp. during the summer here in Fla. so I decided to go to Amsoil. I intend to keep the Amsoil in both bikes, but have to admit that I've been tempted to flush it and go back to HD dino. I still would like to know why Syn. oils cause the noise to increase. 42 yrs in the saddle and still counting...............TNX again....Nippy
Well I have been using RP for about 3 oil changes and I too have complained about the noises. One guy told me that the engine would quiet down after about about 15,000 miles. I have noticed it has quieted down considerably and now has 19,000 miles. I will keep using RP from NOW ON
 
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