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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
Old 1 Week Ago
andy2175m4 andy2175m4 is offline
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Default strange noise in top end

I still have this strange noise in the top end of the engine, sounds like a piston rattling or maybe in the valve train, but no matter how many times I tear down the top end, I cannot find this noise,

this link is a youtube clip of the engine noise:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF5QejhrKvI

it kind of sounds like ringing cylinder fins, I cannot find any damaged or out of spec components, the noise is loud just above idle, it sound like a rattle because it's not the rhythmic tapping that a sloppy lifter would have, dinging on every cycle, the rattle does not keep perfect time with the engine, it comes and goes.

If you have any idea what this is, any info is appreciated, sorry if my description is a bit vague, the best way to describe it is in the short youtube video, the clanking is right at the beginning of the video.

thanks
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  #2  
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Sounds like a loose bolt rattling around. Is all the gas tank mounting hardware tight? Do you have all the cushions and spacers and whatnot installed?
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Could it be a loose baffle in one of the pipes?
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Some guys shim the rockers to limit end play.
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Default

OK. Speaker in my laptop is total rubbish. But ...

That might be a bad pinion gear. Sorry, but it's very similar to what I hear when one does let go.

Hope I'm wrong but try putting your screw driver as close to the end of the crank as you can get it.

If you catch them early enough it doesn't do all that much damage. If it is the pinion gear and you leave it too long the results are "unspecified".
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Hi Guys thanks for the tips, for now I am going to go into the rocker boxes and see if that's the noisy area, I don't quite know what they are supposed to look like when they are new/rebuilt so that will be what I work on. I have checked all the other areas suggested and do not find anything loose, thanks for your help.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrous Head View Post
OK. Speaker in my laptop is total rubbish. But ...

That might be a bad pinion gear. Sorry, but it's very similar to what I hear when one does let go.

Hope I'm wrong but try putting your screw driver as close to the end of the crank as you can get it.

If you catch them early enough it doesn't do all that much damage. If it is the pinion gear and you leave it too long the results are "unspecified".
Andy... You need to either use a screw driver as was mentioned here or go get a good quality auto stethescope to listen all over the engine and the pipes to find that noise.

I can tell you from hard earned experience that tearing into the engine on a snipe hunt is going to end up the same as the last excursion into it.

I seriously doubt that noose is in the rocker boxes, but of course I sure wouldn't rule it out. Rocker noise is usually more cyclic, and piston slap is more steady too. It does sound like just a rattle which is usually something like loose hardware or a loose baffle as mentioned already. You sure don't want to find out the hard way that it is the pinion as was also suggested.

So, listen close to end of crank as was explained, listen to the exhaust and intake flanges by placing the prod directly on them. Tap the pipes with a rubber mallet or your boot toe and see if they rattle (mine rattled really bad and I looked for that noise all over the bike before I found it).

Bottom line here is that listening for that noise until you pinpoint it will save you a lot of time and possibly a lot of money by getting you focused in the right direction before you get too far down the road chasing your tail.

I bought a good automotive stethescope about 50 years ago and it has paid for itself many times over.

Piston slap shows up at the flanges (not likely what I am hearing), but checking on the flanges with a stethescope will eliminate it.
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As clear as that noise is, I can't image it will be hard to find with a stethoscope.......
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I've listened several times and can't really make it out.

But if it's inside the engine the frequency will change as the revs rises. At idle it's hard to tell.

But yes, you need to try and pin point the area before you go tearing into the engine.

Nothing worse then finding your muffler clamp is loose after pulling the entire top end off.
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my stroker pistons screached like that right before they stuck in their bores,but that wasn't at idle.speaking of idle yours is set to low,which causes lack of lubrication in the cylinders scoring the pistons which is what reminded me of that screaching sound.
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