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Discussion Starter #1
I just finished installing new 98” big bore kit and rebuilt and replaced every single component in this engine other then flywheel. New oil pump, cam plate, throttle body, exhaust, Trinny, clutch, compensator, I mean everything. I switched cams to the woods tw-8g cams. Gear drive. S&s pushrods and premium s&s lifters. Everything. Heads ported, the rocker box had clearance but we even grinded more out to make sure. So now I still have a really loud clacking on the top end. I have only been able to ride this 20 miles. So the break in is not even complete. Could one of these lifters actually be making this much noise. Here is a 30 sec. video maybe one of you guys can help.



thanks
brian
 

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that sounds like multiple lifters, not just one..
how long has the motor been running, in minutes? did you pump up the lifters prior to installing? did you get the spacers between the oil pump gears in correctly? is the oil light on? do you have a pressure guage?it is quite common for new lifters to take up to 15-20 minutes to quiet down..
 

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Yes I used a oil can Nd tried to pump up lifters best as possible then let soak overnight even though I don’t really believe soaking them does much. The oil pump is brand new s&s oil pump and yes it’s correct. Down yo the t with the instructions. We even made sure and rotate engine during install with the little tool as they call it to center the gears. The oil light went off quickly. i actually left the plugs out and turned it over until light went off before starting. So no the oil light is not on. I do not have oil pressure gage. The lifters are S&S premiums without the travel limiter. I had a builder tell me yesterday that s&s actually quit making this lifter just last week because they are so precise and they were getting tons of calls about them pumping up. I have only performed the break in starts and rode 21miles so far on this build and it has quieted quite a bit. It’s cold cold here Aldo and the break in oil that was recommended is a 30w Dino with Hugh zinc. The builder told me that it being so cold and with this 30w it’s very possible that lifter hasn’t pumped up yet. Even after 20 min ride the oil temp was only 139 degrees. He said he thinks it’s lifters or some gear lash in my camshaft gears. Does any of this sound reasonable to you guys.
thanks,’Brian
 

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Hard to tell from the video just how much noise is being produced and where it's coming from. Could be one or more from a grocery list of issues. Hopefully the valve springs are spec'd to the cam. Wood camshafts have an aggressive ramp that bring out any deficiencies in the valvetrain. The engine design of an air-cooled V-Twin isn’t quiet to begin with and installing a gear drive camshaft with aggressive ramps often brings an unacceptable concerto with it. I’m sure that even those with experience building air-cooled V-Twins have run into this a time or two.
 

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For some reason in your video the primary side sounds louder.I would double check (readjust) valve adjustment first. Make sure the hydraulic plungers on the lifters aren't fully extended once they are pumped up.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes we had heads and everything spec to the cams actually woods gave me the guys name and number who did it. He did great job. The only thing is he used the SE heavy duty springs instead of beehives but that’s what they both told me to use. We made sure there was clearance at rocker boxes. It’s not a tick it’s more of a clack in my opinion. I’m honestly thinking that the lash in the gears are a big part of this. Then also the lifters if they haven’t finished pumping up yet. Then again that’s just what I am thinking like you say it could be 59 different things. Any opinions and things to check are greatly appreciated.
thanks
Brian
 

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Agree doesn't sound like a normal ticking.

If it was me and knowing me, being hardly no cost just time and hopefully take out some obvious concerns, I'd take off the rocker covers and fire it back up. I'd be curious on the oil if I see it coming out and oiling up there and or like you said you ground some material out so I'd double check to see/hear if the noise went away.

again, that is just amateur me talking.
 

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1) Put a heavy duty fan on the motor if you are going to run it stationary. Brand new motors make a ton of heat and can damage themselves in less than five minutes without air circulation.

2) Pull the rocker boxes and verify that all four rockers are oiling. Make sure there is not interference on the moving parts.

3) If it has adjustable pushrods, readjust them. Take your time, and make sure the tappets are extended before you adjust them. Or better yet, if its a "bolt in cam" just eliminate the push rod issue by putting the slicks (oem rods) back in. Make sure you follow the procedure in the manual when you do it.
 

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Hey Brian, I had an 03 FLH I had doen the same build on. One issue I had was one of the push rods was hitting the head and the top edge of the push rod tube. I had to grind it out. I also took a little off the top edge of the push rod tube. Another thing that helped was 'rocker lockers', and I think they were under $20 bucks. Also, have patience doing the push rod adjustments. In the end, a hi-po motor is still a lot noisier then stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I installed rocker lockers when I built it knowing there was going to be noise. I spoke with S&S today and he said it could definitely be air in tappets. He said it doesn’t take but a micro fit of sir to make lots of noise. He also said that when I took for test ride since the oil temp only reached 139 degrees that’s not warm enough to burp those tappets. Told me to readjust the pushrods and ride it until it gets good and warm. 190 degree oil temp. When I put together I checked all the clearance on boxes. One thing I did not check was that dang S&S inner pushrod tube and the S&S tech told me I should have shortened those. That I did miss.
 

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I just finished installing new 98” big bore kit and rebuilt and replaced every single component in this engine other then flywheel. New oil pump, cam plate, throttle body, exhaust, Trinny, clutch, compensator, I mean everything. I switched cams to the woods tw-8g cams. Gear drive. S&s pushrods and premium s&s lifters. Everything. Heads ported, the rocker box had clearance but we even grinded more out to make sure. So now I still have a really loud clacking on the top end. I have only been able to ride this 20 miles. So the break in is not even complete. Could one of these lifters actually be making this much noise. Here is a 30 sec. video maybe one of you guys can help.



thanks
brian
 

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I always use a oil pressure gauge after a build. Screw it in where the oil sender is mounted. They don't cost a whole lot and it's always good to check to make sure oil pressure is in spec.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I will absolutely check the oil pressure but wouldn’t my oil pressure light stay on if it was not correct. One more thing I wanted to tell everyone that’s speaking and helping me with this. I have a stethoscope and when you put the stethoscope on and listen for the noise you can not hear anything banging in the rocker boxes, primary, cam plate, pushrod tubes, cylinders, nothing no where. It’s actually quieter with the stethoscope then without. Just wanted to mention that to you guys trying to help me figure this one out. This is why I keep coming back to the lifters just not being pumped up yet. Everyone gave me great advice and I’m going to go down each list checking things. Thank you so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thermodyne Help?
ok I have pulled the pushrod covers and actually I really should have cut off the S&S inner tubes. The pushrods were hitting plus these aftermarket covers I didn’t have lined up perfectly and two of them was touching which also caused some tapping. I took care of all of that and readjusted the pushrods. It quieted down a lot at first then It started again not near as bad and I was able to isolate the sound to the rocker boxes for sure. The exhaust side on each box at the screw. I think it’s tapping on the screw because this is also where we had to grind small section for enough clearance. So either I didn’t have as much clearance as I thought and need to grind a little more or its hitting the screw itself and I’ll have to address that. You said to pull covers and make sure it’s oiling at top and watch all moving parts while running to check everything. How can I do this without first pulling tank and then removing the covers then putting tank back on while covers are off putting gas back in and restarting. Is there a easier way to approach this task. I just had everything painted and each time something goes off and on well you know. Something gets scratched or torn or whatever. Especially since I have all the led lights and crap all over this thing. Please let me know what ya think. Thanks bud
Brian
o
 

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Thermodyne Help?
ok I have pulled the pushrod covers and actually I really should have cut off the S&S inner tubes. The pushrods were hitting plus these aftermarket covers I didn’t have lined up perfectly and two of them was touching which also caused some tapping. I took care of all of that and readjusted the pushrods. It quieted down a lot at first then It started again not near as bad and I was able to isolate the sound to the rocker boxes for sure. The exhaust side on each box at the screw. I think it’s tapping on the screw because this is also where we had to grind small section for enough clearance. So either I didn’t have as much clearance as I thought and need to grind a little more or its hitting the screw itself and I’ll have to address that. You said to pull covers and make sure it’s oiling at top and watch all moving parts while running to check everything. How can I do this without first pulling tank and then removing the covers then putting tank back on while covers are off putting gas back in and restarting. Is there a easier way to approach this task. I just had everything painted and each time something goes off and on well you know. Something gets scratched or torn or whatever. Especially since I have all the led lights and crap all over this thing. Please let me know what ya think. Thanks bud
Brian
o
If you think there is some interference in the rocker box, then clean the suspected area and put some Dykmn Blue on it. Any place its hitting, the blue will wear off.

You also want to check to see if the pushrods are hitting where they come through the head. If they are, you can sometimes loosen the supports and slide them to the right or left enough to gain the needed clearance. Or you can run tapered pushrods. If it were mine, I would call Woods and see what the base circle is on that cam. Its probably the same as oem, but could be less 010 or 020. Then I would order a set of non adjustable tapered rods for it. On less variable, and four less points of failure.

While you have the covers off, pull the plugs and spin the motor over by jumping the starter solenoid. Make sure there is oil coming out of the rocker port by the valve, especially on the exhausts.

Past that, Woods cams are not the quietest cams on the market. And SE springs have a lot of seat pressure, so they make a lot of noise.

One more thing to do while the covers are off and the plugs out. Spin the motor with the starter and watch the left ends of the rocker shafts carefully. Mark em with a sharpie. If you see movement or see oil squeezing in and out, that will be some of your noise. In my experience, if the supports and shafts are worn, fast lift cams and big springs will clearance a set of rocker lockers faster than the time it took to put them in.

Note: When you spin the motor with the starter, you should jump it at the solenoid. That way only the starter has power, nothing else. So no fuel gets sprayed into the jugs, no coils trying to fire open circuits, and no codes being set. Also, once the starter is warm to the touch, you need to let the starter cool. 30 second of cranking then 2 min to cool off.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Do you think I should go ahead and replace the rocker supports and arms. That’s the only items other then stator and flywheel assembly not brand new. Honestly I didn’t even consider replacing them. I never thought about them being worn.
 

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Brian, if the gear lash was the issue,,, it generally gets the noisiest at a steady pull of around 2500-3000 rpm,,,, a noise that sounds like valve train is the gear mesh is too loose,,, whining is foo tight,,, you may already know this..

the info and recommendations everyone has given are correct... I wouldn't replace the only old parts but I would check them as therm suggestz.. I've had some lifters that were difficult to get pumped up,,, most are done in under 20 minutes,,, but one sticks in my head,,, I had to take it out for a 20 o r so mile ride,,, I could hear the lifters go quiet one at a time....

I agree that some cams are just plain noisy,,, especially the quick ramp.sfyle like woods cams are... did you check for the spring retainers not touching the top rocker cover just a hair..

usually the fuel tank can be. raised and moved back enough go get the top docker box off. I have a 1# rubber hammer I slide up in the tunnel.to hold the tank up..
 

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So for what it worth I just chased down lifter noise my self this summer. it turned out to be a cracked lower rocker box where the rocker bolts down to the lower. Same hole you put rocker lockers in. Only showed up when you tighten shitte down. Held together and even getting the snot beat out of it. Loud as hell and scary but I figured it was gonna blow or I would find it at some point. I’ll try and post a pic if it helps at all just figured I would ad my two cents
 

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easy peasy with the above advice, good to see a new mechanic being made kudos to you. I know the first time using new lifters the sound freaked me out., you got this!!!
 
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