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  #511  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
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sportsterpaul sportsterpaul is offline
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Kelley, you getting any riding in after the “great flood”?
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  #512  
Old 1 Week Ago
Crusty Crusty is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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Sportster/Buell Model: XL 1200 CX
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Perplexing Problems


My bike is ill and Iím not sure what the problem is.

It started tapping on the way home from Canton. I figured it was a bad tappet (lifter) and I thought it was coming from the front cylinder. So I changed out both of the lifters, which turned out to be a royal PITA job. When I was done, I started the bike and it was quiet; the tapping was gone.

When I took the bike out the next day, the noise returned when the bike warmed up. My problem is that I canít determine whatís causing it. Rather than continuing to throw parts at the engine, I went to an independent shop yesterday and had them listen to it. The noise was evident, but the source is not. Even three people who work on Harleys for a living, using an electronic mechanicís stethoscope, were unable to positively identify the source of the ticking/knocking.

While I feel a bit better about my abilities as a mechanic,it still doesnít help me solve my problem. So; after talking with the shop owner, Iíve decided to change out the lifters for the rear cylinder. There are reasons for this decision; the noise was a little louder toward the back of the engine when they listened with the scope, and I still feel itís a lifter noise. Iím also going to spend a bit extra and change out the pushrod tubes for a set of old style tubes. That way, if I ever have to go back and change out another lifter, I wonít have to take the head off. Itíll be a bit more work to do that now, but it will save time in the future if I ever need to do it again. And itís the way the bike should have come from the factory. I want to make the Gentlemanís Express the Best Sportster it can be in spite of the bean counters.

One thing that was recommended was to install a set of Rocker Lockers. I hadnít heard of these before, but they make sense. If youíre mechanical and also havenít heard of them, go to:

https://www.dkcustomproducts.com/spo...-dk-rl-spt.htm

They may be snake oil, but they don't cost a lot. I think they wonít hurt anything and just might help.

So in a little while, Iíll head over to Cin City H-D and buy some gaskets and lifters. My pushrod tubes should be in this afternoon. I donít know how long itíll be to get the Rocker Lockers, but theyíll be going in towards the end of the job, so Iím not too worried.

I WILL get the Express running right. Itís looking really good, now I want it to be running really good.
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  #513  
Old 3 Days Ago
Crusty Crusty is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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Sportster/Buell Model: XL 1200 CX
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Sportster/Buell Year #2: 1978
Other Motorcycle Model: XL 1200 R
Other Motorcycle Year: 2005
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The Hour of The Wolf

Iím wide awake and my head is racing. My bike is still making ugly noises, but I now have an idea of what the problem is.

Yesterday, I called Guido at the shop and had a detailed conversation with him. When I first told him about the noise, he said lifters. I told him that Iíd changed all four and he said, ďYouíre f**kedĒ. (Dondi told me that he really is a good friend if heís willing to talk like that to me.)

As I described when it was loudest and when it quieted down, he said itís piston slap; I was describing classic symptoms. That makes the most sense to me. If it was a rod bearing, it would be pretty constant. So I looked up parts on Ronnieís parts finder and saw that the MoFoCo offers piston and cylinder assemblies. So I guess Iíll be changing out both front and rear pistons and cylinders. I figure that if I change out just the front, itíll turn out to be the rear that was bad and vice versa. And if itís only one thatís bad, and I guess right, then the other piston will start making noise in short order and Iíll have to rip the bike down again.

The thing thatís preying on my mind this morning is why did the piston fail? The pistons should be good for at least 100,000 miles. My fear is that Iíll do the top end and the problem will resurface a few thousand miles down the road. Was it just a fluke or is there some underlying problem that caused the failure? If there is something that needs to be addressed, can I do it in my tiny 3/4 car garage, or will I have to find a shop that can fix it right? And how much will it cost? Well; Iíll give it a bit more thought; I want the Express to carry me to the Arctic Ocean and back without trouble. This has been my dream bike and I want it to be right.

Well; itís after three AM. I think Iíll put some Strauss on the Wave and let the Blue Danube carry me off to hopefully peaceful dreams.
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