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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all...was riding the bike today and starting hearing some very unsettling noises coming from the upper motor.

My bike is a 2004 Heritage Softail with 7500 miles on her. Always be changed with HD synthetic oils (soon to change to AMSOIL next go around) and never abused. No engine mods...just a stage 1 when the pipes were put on.

While riding today, the bike started making weird noises coming from the top of the motor. If you're sitting on the bike, it sounds like it's coming right up through the gas tank. The sound is at times a clunking sound and at times a scrapping/grinding sound. It's plain ugly and can't be good. The weird thing is the bike seems to be running fine, no hesitation, stalling, or anything like that. It has never made the kind of noise untill it started with today. The sound is intermittent, loud and very noticeable. If you get next to the motor and listen, it seems like the noise is coming from the top of the V's on the motor.

Another thing, it seems to start making the noise after it has fully warmed up. If I let the bike cool, it doesn't make the noise...but once the bike warms up it starts. It's loud enough to hear it on the freeway, it's not a constant noise, it's intermittent...what is the situation guys!!!!!

Has anybody had this problem? I read some of the posts on the board about engine noise problems and say cam bearing/tensioner problems behind most of them. I believe one post talked about a rod bearing as well.

Any help or advice would be much appreciated. I've got 6 months left on warranty and will be taking it to the stealer in a week or so but any imput from the board would be great.
 

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Chain tensioners?
 

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Ironbutt
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I agree with Jamie, I would check the primary first. Check the chain for proper tension and then comp nut. Cam tensioners should still be good with only 7500 miles.
 

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Fastest Chkn N the South!
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My compensator nut loosened at only 5500 miles. This is a very common thing. It's no big deal to fix so hope that's what it is.
 

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I have a simialar noise in my new 08 softail custum. But mine only does it under load like when rolling on the throttle pretty hard. Is driving me crazy, can't determin if it is coming from engine or primary, but only hear it on the left side, so think it's in the primary. Sounds almost like a pulley slipping on it's shaft, like a chirp sound, or squeel, but brief. (this is just a noise description), but only in spurts, it is irratic, also seems to be more obvious when at operating temp, and riding 2-up. Just took mine to dealer (only 1200 miles), and needless to say the stealer "Can't hear anything".... grrrr, my wife can hear it from behind me for cryin out loud. Does this description sound like yours? It has GOT to go.. normal riding I don't hear it, just when rolling on throttle.
 

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06 NightTrain
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Sounds like the comp nut to me. Happend to me twice.
 

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" just love to ride "
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If your hearing a noise rolling on the throttle,maybe it could be spark knock....try putting in some octane boost.but the other post i would let a tech look at it again while still under warranty,if your normal HD shop doesn't do anything take it to someone else HD,while still under warranty
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the advice fellas...one thing I forgot to mention.

It makes the noise moving and not moving. It doesn't really matter how high the RPM's of the motor are. The bike can be stading still, at idle, in nuetral or moving down the freeway...the noise pops it's head up.

If it was a primary chain adjustment issue, would there still be noise at idle in nuetral?
 

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Noise

An intermintent metal/metal noise?
Coming from under the tank?
Bet those noises are being telescoped up the pushrods.
I'd be leaning towards the cam chest area, but again, it is tough to diagnose online.
Scott
 

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Comp. sprocket nut and primary chain would be good things to check. You might also check your front cylinder exhaust port and make sure one of the studs hasn't broken or that a nut hasn't come off, both cases being instances that would lead to a lot of rattle and metal on metal scraping of your exhaust header with the cylinder (remote but easily fixable possibility).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks everybody for your info...

The bike was running pretty hot when the noise started...I have one of those oil dipstick temp gauges and it read a little under 250 when I noticed the noise. Mind you it was about 92 degrees yesterday so I really didn't think to much of the high motoroil temp...but the bike ususally runs in the 210-220 range on a mild day.

I just went through the motor area checking for any loose mounting bolts. Everything seems to be tight. Checked the oil, looks fine. Checked the plugs, looked fine as well.

I'm stumped at this point :confused:. The sound seems like it was comming from the rocker boxes on top of the v (i think that's what they are called...the chrome caps on top of the v). However, it very well may be comming from lower in the motor...If only I had xray vision and could hear as good as my dog!
 

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Use a long screwdriver & butt the handle to your ear while using the working end as a probe. It works like a stethascope...

VicW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've been doing a lot of reading the last few days, trying to find similar issues others have had with their bikes and what the problem may have been.

The most common theme I hear is a "loose compensator nut". It seems like most people with this problem had very similar sounds coming from the bike to what I am exeperiencing.

I rode my bike about 50 miles home "after" starting to hear the noise and feeling the vibration. I babied her back home but never the less 50 miles is 50 miles. Hope I didn't jack anything up too bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok, I finally got a chance to open up the inspection cover on my primary and have a look around. I took a small magnet pen and rolled it around the bottom of the primary from front to rear the best I could. I found some shavings in the oil...bummer! So far, it doesn't appear to be a ton of metal, but never the less any shavings is bad shavings. The oil itself appears to be relatively clean, but there is some grey grime along the walls inside the primary.

The chain, tensioner, and sprockets seem to be in good shape...so I'm thinking it might be the compensator rubbing on the primary cover, possible the nut ever so slowly drilling a hole through it. Who knows, this is all very new to me...definitely a learning experience.

This weekend I’ll pull the plug on the primary, drain the fluid, and get a better look at how many shavings are in there. I'm still not even 50 percent sure that this is cause for the horrible noise and vibration I experienced the other night, but man those shavings must be a clue!

Hopefully, it this is where my troubles reside, the damage isn't too bad. I'll keep you all posted.

Thanks again for all the advice...been working on cars for a long time but motorcycles are like a whole new ball game for me.
 

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Hi all...was riding the bike today and starting hearing some very unsettling noises coming from the upper motor.

My bike is a 2004 Heritage Softail with 7500 miles on her. Always be changed with HD synthetic oils (soon to change to AMSOIL next go around) and never abused. No engine mods...just a stage 1 when the pipes were put on.

While riding today, the bike started making weird noises coming from the top of the motor. If you're sitting on the bike, it sounds like it's coming right up through the gas tank. The sound is at times a clunking sound and at times a scrapping/grinding sound. It's plain ugly and can't be good. The weird thing is the bike seems to be running fine, no hesitation, stalling, or anything like that. It has never made the kind of noise untill it started with today. The sound is intermittent, loud and very noticeable. If you get next to the motor and listen, it seems like the noise is coming from the top of the V's on the motor.

Another thing, it seems to start making the noise after it has fully warmed up. If I let the bike cool, it doesn't make the noise...but once the bike warms up it starts. It's loud enough to hear it on the freeway, it's not a constant noise, it's intermittent...what is the situation guys!!!!!

Has anybody had this problem? I read some of the posts on the board about engine noise problems and say cam bearing/tensioner problems behind most of them. I believe one post talked about a rod bearing as well.

Any help or advice would be much appreciated. I've got 6 months left on warranty and will be taking it to the stealer in a week or so but any imput from the board would be great.
I have a 2005 Fat boy with 96,000 miles all original and it started making a sound on the primary so I clicked my automatic tensioner a little tighter and now it’s making a intermittent knocking sound like knock knock then knock knock So I’m going to pull my primary cover and check it out, I suggest you do the same and don’t forget to put the two small round gaskets behind the cover P.S. I’ve always used synthetic oil in the motor and primary fluid in the primary and tranny fluid which happens to be 80 weight so hopefully I can fix it because I need to reach 100,000 before I die
 
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