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Sportster Motorcycle Motor - Top End Discuss Sportster Motorcycle Top End issues. Rockerboxes, Valves, Cylinders, Pistons, Rings, Lift Rods, etc...

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  #1  
Old 11th October 2020
Anglegrinder Anglegrinder is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: Xl883 low
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Default Top end rattle at 3000 rpm

Hello all,
I’m looking for some advice and hope someone here can help. I’ve read through other threads first about the noise and tried a few suggestions but to no avail. The bike is a 2005 xl883 low that was converted to a 1200 by the previous owner. The kit came from HD. It has screaming eagle 2 exhausts and a dyno jet in the carb. The bike makes a rattle sound like shaking a bolt in an empty beer can from 2800 to 3300 rpm In any gear. Since it was on a stock non-adjustable ignition unit I thought it might be pinging so installed a Daytona twin tec tc88a. Unfortunately I could not get the noise to stop on any of the advance or slope settings. I then took the bike to be checked / set up on a dyno. They confirmed that the jets were correct and also could not get the rattle to stop on any of the ignition settings. They commented that they thought the noise could be piston slap. Having read a bit about it, it seems that piston slap generally of ocours when the engine is cold, idling or on over run. Since it never rattles in these conditions,I’m wondering if that is a incorrect diagnosis. However it is slightly worse when the engine is cold. The only other thing I can think of is play or rattle from the valve lifters. Does anyone know if that’s consistent with noise at a certain rev range? I would have expected that to be more noticeable at idle having researched rocker lockers. The bike doesn’t smoke and otherwise pulls well in all gears. One other thing that’s of note is that when the previous owner did the conversion, they got the timing wrong and bent a valve. This was remedied by a professional bike mechanic. Any help or advice you could offer would be most welcome before I start opening up the engine to investigate further
Thanks
A
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  #2  
Old 11th October 2020
sportsterdoc sportsterdoc is offline
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Default

Others with more top end experience than I should weigh-in.

Considering that the motor is 15 years old, has been modified, had problems after modification; I would disassemble before it grenades.
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  #3  
Old 11th October 2020
XL1275 XL1275 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsterdoc View Post
Others with more top end experience than I should weigh-in.

Considering that the motor is 15 years old, has been modified, had problems after modification; I would disassemble before it grenades.
Yup, was it doing this when you bought it? May be the reason he got rid of it. Who did the work? How many miles ago was it done? Break-in properly? You may be scuffing a piston
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  #4  
Old 11th October 2020
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sportsterpaul sportsterpaul is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsterdoc View Post
Others with more top end experience than I should weigh-in.
Jerry, most of my top-end experience started around prom night, but I'm thinking "strip it down and get hands on", oops, there I go back to prom night. Never mind.
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Last edited by Folkie; 11th October 2020 at 19:44.. Reason: Fixed quote
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  #5  
Old 11th October 2020
Anglegrinder Anglegrinder is offline
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Default

It was like it when I bought it although I didn’t hear it till I’d ridden away. I’d say the work was done 6000 miles ago, and by a local mechanic with a reputation for dealing with harleys. The noise hasn’t got worse in the 6000 miles of riding I’ve done on it.
Thanks for the 2 replies
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  #6  
Old 13th October 2020
Anglegrinder Anglegrinder is offline
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Evening gents,
Thanks for your replies, I appreciate our comments. I’ll start the strip down, see what turns up and post an update in due course.
Cheers
A
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Old 14th October 2020
XL1275 XL1275 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglegrinder View Post
Evening gents,
Thanks for your replies, I appreciate our comments. I’ll start the strip down, see what turns up and post an update in due course.
Cheers
A
Yep, damned if you do and damned if you don't. Hopefully something will turn up that's obvious and cheap to fix. Albeit cheap with these things ain't cheap.
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  #8  
Old 14th October 2020
Turbo Sporty 48 Turbo Sporty 48 is offline
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Default

Done riding for the season?
Got a clean, safe place to dismantle it?
Harley workshop manual?

Please let us know how it goes.
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  #9  
Old 14th October 2020
sportsterdoc sportsterdoc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo Sporty 48 View Post
Please let us know how it goes.
Yes, don't leave a story without an ending.
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  #10  
Old 23rd November 2020
andy2175m4 andy2175m4 is offline
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Disregard my post, it was posted in the wrong thread.
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