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FLAME Ev'rything
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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
NUC...I've read past threads about Shovels makin' engine noise... & if its just slight mechanical noises with nothing specific (such as ticking or knocking), you pretty much always say, "Shovels are noisy, ride it & enjoy it"
This is my first Harley & I'm VERY glad (blessed even) to have found a Shovel, period...let alone one with such low mileage (1100 original) & absolutely NO ONE that had ever turned a wrench on it.
I'm probably close to 6,000 miles on the bike now & have found it has slightly increased its engine noise by maybe 5%. Mainly top-end...NOTHING serious. I change the oil every 500 miles & use Valvo 60 wt every time. The bike runs VERY strong, I dont beat it & I dont push it on the freeway.
I've always wrenched on cars, so I can distinguish engine noises that are normal... & of course, the ones that make you cringe. The engine noises I'm describing are NOT the latter.
Anyway, what I'm wonderin' is: Do Shovelhead Top-Ends normally get slightly louder internally as mileage increases?
OR: Is the fact that my bike, having such LOW mileage when I got it, basically went through a break-in period?
Thanks Bro! T. '82 FXE
 

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Premium Member
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Wow, way to many possibilities. Have you had any of your local guys hear the sounds? You have some experience with auto engines,................. rhythmic, intermittent, tink-tink, tap-tap, knocking?
 

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FLAME Ev'rything
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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I was just pretty much generalizin'...my bike has NO specific areas of interest concerning noises. NO ticks, knocks or otherwise. The mechanics of it are sound, as when I got it...just seems to have increased SLIGHTLY over the last 4500 miles, thats all.
I'm just tryin' to aquire the basic understanding of a Shovelhead. So far, you folks on VTF have been very helpful & quite respectful...I figure, if I dont ask I wont learn.
 

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Check for loose nuts and bolts on the exhaust,gas tank mounts ,mirrors etc.:hmmm:
Locktight will be your best friend in time :whisper:
Check the primany chain adjustment and main drive chain and sprockets for wear and proper adjustment and lubrication.
The dry clutch will need periodic adjustment and can make a lot of racket at times.
 

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FLAME Ev'rything
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
VERY good stuff...Thanks! And don't get me wrong, I appreciate ALL who have helped me in the past...as well as the present!
 

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Banned
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Tony S said:
NUC...I've read past threads about Shovels makin' engine noise... & if its just slight mechanical noises with nothing specific (such as ticking or knocking), you pretty much always say, "Shovels are noisy, ride it & enjoy it"
This is my first Harley & I'm VERY glad (blessed even) to have found a Shovel, period...let alone one with such low mileage (1100 original) & absolutely NO ONE that had ever turned a wrench on it.
I'm probably close to 6,000 miles on the bike now & have found it has slightly increased its engine noise by maybe 5%. Mainly top-end...NOTHING serious. I change the oil every 500 miles & use Valvo 60 wt every time. The bike runs VERY strong, I dont beat it & I dont push it on the freeway.
I've always wrenched on cars, so I can distinguish engine noises that are normal... & of course, the ones that make you cringe. The engine noises I'm describing are NOT the latter.
Anyway, what I'm wonderin' is: Do Shovelhead Top-Ends normally get slightly louder internally as mileage increases?
OR: Is the fact that my bike, having such LOW mileage when I got it, basically went through a break-in period?
Thanks Bro! T. '82 FXE

I doubt you have anything to worry about, although I'd have to actually hear it to be sure. Yes, they do make more noise as they gain miles due to wear increasing the tolerances. Shovels are noisy engines, period. So are old Sportys and Evos. If it's running good, not using excessive amounts of oil (except for leaks... they ALL leak at some point), and aren't making loud, deep knocking noises, then don't worry about it and ride on! The only other noise you might want to check is LOUD ticking from the valvetrain. Just check you pushrod adjustment, clean the screen in the oil pump, and make sure the tappets are good and clean... that's about it. In time, you will get used to all the little squeaks, ticks, and other sounds a Shovelhead makes, and each individual bike will make different sounds. :D

Typical break in is 1500 miles. That gives the engine time to get everything seated. It will not be making the most power until after that time.

By the way, changing the oil every 500 miles is overkill. I changed mine every 2000 and never had a problem. Of course, I used an oil cooler (with thermostat!) so the oil wasn't breaking down more quickly due to the heat. Still, even without the cooler, I'd have no trouble going at least 1500 miles between changes.
 

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72FX/04Ultra
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598 Posts
Don't fix it unless it's really broke or don't loose any sleep over it.

I've had my 72' shovelhead since 73'. In that time, it has made most of the noises that are possible to some varying degree. Unless it making a metal on metal or grinding noise; I ignore it. The tolerences in the shovels vary alot even between parts and engines.

I have always found my shovelhead to make different noises as the engine changes temperature. Unless you plan to do a "blueprint" rebuild, you're never likely to make it as quit I you would like.

Good Luck
 

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FLAME Ev'rything
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ToddM, L.Linkert, & fauskar...THANKYOU!
ToddM...I'm really interested in performing some of the maintenance tips that you mention in your reply thread, as those are things I am more apt to do with the help of my service manual...and VTF, of course!!
I,too, have an oil cooler & a thermostat. The hottest it ever got last summer was a lil over 190* and the bike, to date, runs VERY STRONG!
Again, Gentlemen...thankyou very much for the feedback.
Later, Tony
 
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