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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes, I know there will be many threads about top end noise. But I decided to change the lifters in my friend's 2003 Heritage because of a tick when the engine warmed up.

I find that there are already aftermarket adjustable pushrods in the bike (maybe I could have adjusted the tick out), but too late, I already took the top off.(damn) I put it back together and it makes an awful noise from the top of the front cylinder.. I'm like what the hell? So I find that the push rod threads are 24 per inch, equals 2 and 1/2 turns to adjust. Ok, I do this and I still have the noise. I start taking it apart thinking I have to have made a mistake, From what I can see it looks like this FAT push rod is rubbing on the top of the engine. I saw the marks on the push rod, should have investigated further. Anyway, any suggestions? I thought about switching the valve assemblies from front to rear to see if it eliminates it. It looks like all of this work is pretty new (bike is new to him).

Anyway, any suggestions would be helpful. I will be back at it tomorrow. After I research over and over to see if there is a fix. There are no markings on the pushrods to tell me a brand. The bike has what looks like brand new pistons and screaming eagle piston rods. it looks like someone just did some major work, although the reason I looked at the pistons is because it only had 115 psi pressure.

No I am not a professional, but I know enough to be dangerous. LOL
 

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What kind of lifters did you put in? What was your exact procedure for changing them?

What does "equals 2 and 1/2 turns to adjust" mean?

What does "I already took the top off" mean?

What exactly were the push rods rubbing on?

You removed the heads? Are "screaming eagle piston rods" the connecting rods? How did you determine this? Did you pull the cylinders?

What kind of suggestions are you looking for other than "stop taking stuff apart!" ?

What are you trying to "fix" again?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What kind of lifters did you put in? What was your exact procedure for changing them?

What does "equals 2 and 1/2 turns to adjust" mean?

What does "I already took the top off" mean?

What exactly were the push rods rubbing on?

You removed the heads? Are "screaming eagle piston rods" the connecting rods? How did you determine this? Did you pull the cylinders?

What kind of suggestions are you looking for other than "stop taking stuff apart!" ?

What are you trying to "fix" again?
Ok, unfortunately I don't know the brand of the lifters, my friend bought them.
2 1/2 turn applies to after you take up the slack when adjusting the push rods, you turn the nut 2 1/2 turns more.
I took off the heads.
it looks like the push rod is rubbing on the head/valve cover bottom (not sure if that is exact terminology)
Yes, I pulled the cylinders and it says Screaming Eagle on the connecting rods

And wow.. I was looking for a problem... that's why I took it apart
 

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Ok, unfortunately I don't know the brand of the lifters, my friend bought them.
Well...maybe you could ask him???

Does the guy know what type adjustable pushrods are in the engine?

Are you working with a service manual?

Where did you come up the 2-1/2 turns, are you working from an instruction sheet for the pushrods?

Are you sure the cam was on the low point when you adjusted the pushrods?

Did you wait until the lifter bled down before rotating the engine?
 

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Ok, unfortunately I don't know the brand of the lifters, my friend bought them.
2 1/2 turn applies to after you take up the slack when adjusting the push rods, you turn the nut 2 1/2 turns more.
I took off the heads.
it looks like the push rod is rubbing on the head/valve cover bottom (not sure if that is exact terminology)
Yes, I pulled the cylinders and it says Screaming Eagle on the connecting rods

And wow.. I was looking for a problem... that's why I took it apart
The rubbing push rod could have been found without taking the heads or cylinders, or even the rocker covers off.

That is not a real procedure for adjusting push rods.

I think you may have created a lot more work than was bargained for by tearing so far down. Top end noises do not come from the bottom of the cylinders.

There are a lot of details missing from this story right now.

And just for the record, a valve train tick is not an uncommon noise to hear from a Harley engine and usually more of an annoyance than a real "problem".
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Where did you come up the 2-1/2 turns, are you working from an instruction sheet for the pushrods?

Are you sure the cam was on the low point when you adjusted the pushrod?

Did you wait until the lifter bled down before rotating the engine?
Yes, I waited for the lifter to bleed. I got 2 1/2 turns from the internet, many videos etc. It was all I had to go on. Yes, I had the engine at TDC
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The rubbing push rod could have been found without taking the heads or cylinders, or even the rocker covers off.

That is not a real procedure for adjusting push rods.

I think you may have created a lot more work than was bargained for by tearing so far down. Top end noises do not come from the bottom of the cylinders.

There are a lot of details missing from this story right now.
I have replaced lifers before. My problem was when I got them out I found that they were adjustable and not factory. So yes, that was a battle finding out correct adjustment procedure.

I am aware top end noises do not come from the bottom of the cylinders. But I was there and I had the kit so I decided to check things out. Yes, I have done this before too
 

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I have replaced lifers before. My problem was when I got them out I found that they were adjustable and not factory. So yes, that was a battle finding out correct adjustment procedure.

I am aware top end noises do not come from the bottom of the cylinders. But I was there and I had the kit so I decided to check things out. Yes, I have done this before too
OK. I don't know what "kit" you had, but it sounds like you found the source of the noise.

Are you planning to put the cylinders back on as-is or will there be a ring replacement and cylinder honing done first?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK. I don't know what "kit" you had, but it sounds like you found the source of the noise.

Are you planning to put the cylinders back on as-is or will there be a ring replacement and cylinder honing done first?
I wish. He wont pay for that and we are in Mexico at the time and finding those parts and someone to do it is hard unfortunately. It looks like someone just did this work. The kit is the gasket kit for atop end rebuild
 

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I wish. He wont pay for that and we are in Mexico at the time and finding those parts and someone to do it is hard unfortunately. It looks like someone just did this work. The kit is the gasket kit for atop end rebuild
That is very unfortunate.

I'm not so sure that I have any useful suggestions for you at this point. I feel like you know where you are at in this. Whatever the ticking noise was you were chasing (which was probably the rubbing push rod), I think it just became a secondary problem.

I do wish you luck on the outcome.
 

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Pushrods should not have rub marks on them.
This is the problem. Will make noise and put metal in the oil.
If it is not a gonzo lift cam replace with standard known brand pushrods, if they are smaller.
Make clearance for the larger pushrod.... Does it have roller rockers? check rocker geometry?
I'd check the lift, best to check the cam # so you know what you are working with. (might not be something good)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sooo, I believe I have found the problem. Remember I mentioned screaming eagle rods? Well, the bike is not factory and has been bored out. I used a factory head gasket. I believe this is my noise. I have checked and rechecked my work. The gasket is a tiny bit too small and I believe the noise is the compression stroke. Anyway, I have ordered the correct gasket. I feel pretty stupid....
 

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Best of luck.
Unless the pistons are coming out of the hole at TDC, despite being wrong, this smaller head gasket bore will not cause interference, thus a noise. If there is mechanical interference, you will see witness marks on the gasket when it comes apart. This needs to be fixed, I agree. If there is a compression leak this causes a chirping sound and an engine misfire.

Yes, I waited for the lifter to bleed. I got 2 1/2 turns from the internet, many videos etc. It was all I had to go on. Yes, I had the engine at TDC

There are two points during a 4 stroke engines operation when the piston is at TDC, top of compression and during overlap. During overlap both cam lobes are lifting the lifters.
  1. If pushrods are adjusted without the engine on TDC compression stroke this is a problem.
  2. If there is interference in the inner tubes at the top, shown with witness marks, the top of the inner tubes need to be opened up to 5/8" from the top down 1" (already mentioned)
Still noisy? Buy new high-quality lifters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Best of luck.
Unless the pistons are coming out of the hole at TDC, despite being wrong, this smaller head gasket bore will not cause interference, thus a noise. If there is mechanical interference, you will see witness marks on the gasket when it comes apart. This needs to be fixed, I agree. If there is a compression leak this causes a chirping sound and an engine misfire.

Yes, I waited for the lifter to bleed. I got 2 1/2 turns from the internet, many videos etc. It was all I had to go on. Yes, I had the engine at TDC

There are two points during a 4 stroke engines operation when the piston is at TDC, top of compression and during overlap. During overlap both cam lobes are lifting the lifters.
  1. If pushrods are adjusted without the engine on TDC compression stroke this is a problem.
  2. If there is interference in the inner tubes at the top, shown with witness marks, the top of the inner tubes need to be opened up to 5/8" from the top down 1" (already mentioned)
Still noisy? Buy new high-quality lifters.
Well that fixed the issue. The bike is originally 88 cubic inches. It is now 103 cubic inches. The piston was not coming out of the hole, but I believe the compression was just enough to make that millimeter of gasket make noise? At any rate, she is fixed and down the road. Thank you and thank everyone else for helping with suggestions.
 
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