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i picked up a ultima 120 pretty reasonable. think it was built in 06 or 07. never been fired. looking for recomandations on what i need to upgrade for best performance and reliablity. what are these motors weak points? i would just as soon address known problems and limitations now rather than wait for something to give out or disappoint me after build complete. thanks
 

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What we have seen is loose roller rockers.
Heard about the lifters, but have not experienced adverse with them.
Have witnessed them north of 140 ft/lbs SAE, with a Wood 9B, and cylinder head modifications, modified S&S G.
They are a good platform to do a performance upgrade.:)
Scott
 

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I'd reccomend a place that has worked with that combination before, to avoid experimenting on your bike, and that way, dedicated results will occur.:)
Scott
 

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appreciate the input. any reccomendations on who, to rework heads and carb?
Get hold of Branch Heads.
They know their stuff real well.
I wouldn't waist my time re-working that carb.
Depending on how much work is done to the motor, grab a 45 mikuni and due just a little jetting.
It should work out real nice.
 

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The only ones I've seen close up were in bits on the shop floor. Crank problems and piston problems, but these engines were not babied. I think there are better sources, buy American.
 

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Ultima Engines

I also picked up a new (05') 127 about a year ago. I disassembled the engine to check everything out. The biggest problem that I found was that it had way too much piston to wall clearance (Ross pistons). I talked directly to Larry Miller (VP) and between he and Matt in tech service they supplied me with a new set of jugs and Mahle pistons/rings even though it is an '05 model. I also upgraded the oil pump to the new hvhp oil pump. The piston that is mfg'd by Mahle is the intelectual property of Ultima and can only be purchased through Ultima. I reassembled this motor with increased CR(11.5-1), more cam (S&S 640), ported heads, DTT 1005t ign, bored G w/t-jet etc...it has given me 2500 trouble free miles so far this year. I ran it on the dyno three weeks ago and it made 130/134 with a badly slipping BDL lockup clutch. I just reworked the clutch and hope to try it on the dyno again this week. Make sure that the rest of your drivetrain is up to the stress......Good luck.
 

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I just went out to check the miles on my 120 and it's right at 56,998.8 miles. At right around 25k I replaced the factory lifters and since I already had them I installed S&S roller rockers. The Ultima ones still looked good and were actually quieter than the S&S. However, there does seem to be an issue with "some" rocker arms breaking. All the cases of broken arms I've heard of occurred within about the first 2k miles. As already mentioned the very early versions used different pistons and had issues. Changing to Mahl pistons seems to have corrected it as I don't really hear about piston issues anymore. Mine came with their MW264 cam which I swapped out for an MW248 looking to get better performance on the back roads I usually ride. I'm really happy with my 120. It's been reliable and easy to start using the factory starter with oversize cables. Just don't try to fight the compression. Remember to use the comp releases. This motor replaced an S&S 97" short stroke 4" bore motor that was super smooth. I was worried that I was gonna loose that but this 120 is at least as smooth if not even more so. Mine came with one of the phoney baloney Ultima knock off "G" carbs. Had troubles with it early on but I think yours should either have a MIK or an actual Super G.
 

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I just went out to check the miles on my 120 and it's right at 56,998.8 miles. At right around 25k I replaced the factory lifters and since I already had them I installed S&S roller rockers. The Ultima ones still looked good and were actually quieter than the S&S. However, there does seem to be an issue with "some" rocker arms breaking. All the cases of broken arms I've heard of occurred within about the first 2k miles. As already mentioned the very early versions used different pistons and had issues. Changing to Mahl pistons seems to have corrected it as I don't really hear about piston issues anymore. Mine came with their MW264 cam which I swapped out for an MW248 looking to get better performance on the back roads I usually ride. I'm really happy with my 120. It's been reliable and easy to start using the factory starter with oversize cables. Just don't try to fight the compression. Remember to use the comp releases. This motor replaced an S&S 97" short stroke 4" bore motor that was super smooth. I was worried that I was gonna loose that but this 120 is at least as smooth if not even more so. Mine came with one of the phoney baloney Ultima knock off "G" carbs. Had troubles with it early on but I think yours should either have a MIK or an actual Super G.
 

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My 120 had lifter failure while still under warranty. Ultima took care of it----shipping costs included. Lifter failure again around 20,000 miles. That engine has been sitting on the floor for quite a while. I think it needs a total re-build from all metal I found in the cam chest.
 

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Since yours is an earlier motor if it were mine I would make a couple of changes at least before installing the motor. My advice is worth what I charge so keep that in mind. The lifters should get pulled and replaced with your preferred brand. Since changing the rocker arms is going to change the ratio anyway and lower the valve lift just install a new set of OEM rocker arms and a cam with a max lift of around .585. My cam was shown as having a .625 intake and .600 exhaust. When I installed the S&S rocker arms it dropped to .600 intake and .585 exhaust. If it were me I wouldn't worry about the pistons. Not all were failures by any means and personally I think that because of possible costs involved in swapping pistons it's probably worth the gamble. I might stick to my home area for a while though as my confidence built. I've had great luck with mine which I believe has a 2014 build date. Hope you enjoy yours as much as I've enjoyed mine.
 
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