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I've got an '05 E-Glide Classic, Stage 1, EFI, SE slip-ons, no other eng. mods, and about 38K miles on 'er.

The other day, I notice a loud, knocking or ticking noise. Sounds like the solid lifters I had on my old chopper. Could the pushrods need adjusting? What should I check? I'm not much on engine mechanics, but I hate to take it in somewhere. I'll do almost anything, if I know what the problem is, or at least what to check.
 

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Has the motor ever been opened up? If not, possible a cam tensioner wore through...Could also be a lifter collapsed at that mileage.
 

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hugie03flhr said:
Is it louder when hot or cold? What does it sound like if you rev it?
noisier at start up - cold.
gradually decreases, as it gets warm, but doesn't go away altogether. seems to keep time with the engine speed as I rev it, but doesn't get louder.

A buddy of mine suggested I check the lifters. Said I had to get the engine to TDC. Now, just how do I do that on an electric only start? He said to pull the plugs, remove the pushrod covers, and keep bumping the starter until the lifters were in the lowest position. Is the way? I pulled the pushrod covers, and promptly lost one of the spacers. Garage has recently been cleaned spotless, and I spent over a half hour, along with every member of the family looking for it (wife and oldest son suggested I buy another one, its still gone). Dejected, I decided it might not be the night I learn how to do this. hehe.

Cam tensioners. Is this the dreaded twinkie problem? 8-$900 fix?
 

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If you want to rotate the engine, get the rear wheel off the ground, bike in fifth gear, and rotate the rear tire by hand.

If it's the tensioners, it's a good time to consider new cams.

Also, the HD Service Manual for your bike has excellent directions for what you are doing--faster information and often more accurate than what you will see on a forum.
 

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remember to remove spark plugs before turning rear wheel!

IIRC, the new tensioners and chains cost around $150
 

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Bot said:
noisier at start up - cold.
gradually decreases, as it gets warm, but doesn't go away altogether. seems to keep time with the engine speed as I rev it, but doesn't get louder.

A buddy of mine suggested I check the lifters. Said I had to get the engine to TDC. Now, just how do I do that on an electric only start? He said to pull the plugs, remove the pushrod covers, and keep bumping the starter until the lifters were in the lowest position. Is the way? I pulled the pushrod covers, and promptly lost one of the spacers. Garage has recently been cleaned spotless, and I spent over a half hour, along with every member of the family looking for it (wife and oldest son suggested I buy another one, its still gone). Dejected, I decided it might not be the night I learn how to do this. hehe.

Cam tensioners. Is this the dreaded twinkie problem? 8-$900 fix?
With that many miles (38k) I would open the cam cover and check your cam chain tentioners. Assuming that all other thing have been checked (primary chain, oil levels,compensator nut). Only you know what has been serviced and checked over the years, if not! At 38,000 you need a good going over.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks so far for all the helpful responses. I've been reading up a bit on this, but have a lot more to digest yet. I am still under extended warranty, so I think I am going to pass this off to HD at this point. But, I think there is still some good discussion to glean from this. Primarily:

If this is a chain tensioner issue, should the stock cams, chain, and tensioner be replaced, or, should I consider the worm-drive kit as a replacement?

My initial thought was that (even) if I had to replace the stock setup every 30K miles, at about $150 for the parts, it would be pretty difficult to justify a $900 fix (parts for the worm-drive). These prices haven't yet been verified by me, just hearsay so far.

However, I also understand that the failure of the tensioner could lead to contamination of the oil pump with the plastic from the tensioner, which could be catastrophic to the engine. This would presumably happen AFTER my warranty expires (Feb 08). So, if I bite the bullet and buy the parts and tools required to install the worm-drive, it may well be worth the time and money.

What are your thoughts? What about the replacement parts by HD, are they improved, not prone to failure? Thanks again for the input, I look forward to further comments.
 

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I wouldn't buy anything unless you absolutely have to. This should be covered under your extended warranty. Let HD fix it, that is why they preach these extended warranties to us!
 

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Be ready for the " that is normal" speach. I hope they take care of it , and if not you can always make it get louder HA HA Then see what they have to say.
 

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Bot said:
Thanks so far for all the helpful responses. I've been reading up a bit on this, but have a lot more to digest yet. I am still under extended warranty, so I think I am going to pass this off to HD at this point. But, I think there is still some good discussion to glean from this. Primarily:

If this is a chain tensioner issue, should the stock cams, chain, and tensioner be replaced, or, should I consider the worm-drive kit as a replacement?

My initial thought was that (even) if I had to replace the stock setup every 30K miles, at about $150 for the parts, it would be pretty difficult to justify a $900 fix (parts for the worm-drive). These prices haven't yet been verified by me, just hearsay so far.

However, I also understand that the failure of the tensioner could lead to contamination of the oil pump with the plastic from the tensioner, which could be catastrophic to the engine. This would presumably happen AFTER my warranty expires (Feb 08). So, if I bite the bullet and buy the parts and tools required to install the worm-drive, it may well be worth the time and money.

What are your thoughts? What about the replacement parts by HD, are they improved, not prone to failure? Thanks again for the input, I look forward to further comments.
Not sure what you mean by the worm drive, do you mean gear drive? If all you want is to change out tensioners, just have them put new ones in and button it back up (along with new gaskets and o-rings of course). You got 38,000 miles out of the set of original tensioners already. The parts are not expensive, but labor will probably run you around $600. I changed out my tensioners at 36,000 and they weren't even half worn.

You could install new tensioner shoes yourself with a few special tools, but sounds like you're not the wrenching type, so for $600-700 you could be back on the road and riding instead of trying to learn how to wrench on a Harley engine.

As for gear drive, you would spend more than that even if you bought the parts and did it yourself, especially if you don't have a comprehensive set of tools. I don't think its a job for a beginning wrencher. If a shop installs the gear drive, look at more than $1,000 in parts and labor.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Funny thing happened on the way to the dealership...

and really, it IS funny.
I was playing around in the garage, looking at the bike, thinking that before I took it to the dealership (remember, under warranty), I was just looking at the pipes I have to remove first. Interestingly, the rear flange was missing a nut at the exhaust port. Hmmmm. new nut. no more noise. All this for an exhaust leak noise. :laugh:

But, as to the new wrenching thing. While I am not a mechanic, by any means, I have built a chopper. To be fair, I didn't build the engine, nor did I hop it up. However, I have decided that the next "top end" job will be done by me in the garage. I enjoy wrenching (at least on the bike). hate wrenching on the cage, primarily because that is a must drive situation, but I digress...

I was talking about the gear drives. worm drives :hystria: you know how long I searched for THOSE online? Gear drives is what I was looking for. I thing the reason one would go to the gear drives is that the chance of the tensioners failing and coming apart and destroying the oil pump goes to zero. Sure, a little more expensive, but it sure beats an overhaul every 24 mos or so. Anyway, I have a little reprieve at the moment, and have this winter to think a little more what I really need to do. In the meantime, there is still plenty of season to ride....!
 

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New cam chain tensioners and a new oil pump were installed under the HD Extended Service Plan. Installing different cams would not have added to the cost of the repair, so only the $50 deductible was incurred.
 
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