Author Topic: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up  (Read 2495 times)

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Offline Wood

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Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« on: October 18, 2017, 11:36:07 AM »
Need help on my 2010 Road Glide Twin Cam with 80K miles.

Problem:
Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up when in cool/cold air temperatures.

Symptom:
When the bike sits for a few hours or overnight in cool/cold ambient air temperatures that are approximately 70F or lower, the bike makes a loud clanking noise, which appears to be coming from one lifter or the rocker box at start-up; yes it sounds like just one thing is making the clanking. The lifters are also making noise, but there is clearly a loud clank.

Once the Engine Temp reaches about 175F the clanking and lifters finally quiet down; but when you raise the RPM and then back off the throttle quickly, the lifters will clatter for a short while and then go quiet. The back off throttle clatter appears to be linked with the recent change to Dino oil.

Once the Engine Temp reaches about 240F the lifter chatter, when you raise the RPM and then back off the throttle, goes away. I only hear some mild ticking noise that comes and goes when cruising around 2500-3000 RPM.

Fortunately, since I live in the desert, when the bike sits for a few hours or overnight in ambient air temperatures that are approximately 90F or higher, the bike starts up in a typical fashion with no clanking and minimum clatter from the lifters; the lifter clatter lasts about 15/90 seconds. Still have some lifter clatter when you raise the RPM and then back off the throttle quickly. Once the Engine Temp reaches about 240F this noise goes away. I still hear some mild ticking noise that comes and goes when cruising around 2500-3000 RPM.

Background:
Been chasing this problem since it first appeared @ 40K miles. Dealer tried to fix this problem by replacing the original cams with new stock cams, replacing the stock lifters with new stock lifters and by cleaning the heads. This fix worked for a while but the problem came back.

Changed to S&S lifters and adjustable pushrods @ 60K, changed to Fueling lifters @ 70K, they fixed the problem but for only a couple of hundred miles. Pushrods have been adjusted from 0.125 to 0.140 without any improvement.

The engine is a stock 96 with 80K miles. I have replaced the compensator, primary chain tensioner, inner primary bearing, stator, and voltage regulator.

Oil pressure is about 32PSI at start-up, about 28PSI on the highway, 8-16PSI at idle. Ran SYN3 for first 30K miles, then full synthetic for about 45K, last 5K miles or so using Dino oil. The bike burns about one quart of oil every 3K miles ever since it hit 40K miles.

I do more touring than anything else, running 2700 -3000 RPM.

A Power Vision tuner is used to provide the Engine Temp readings noted.

I have received various local inputs as to what the problem is and they are; 1) excessive lifter to lifter-bore clearances, 2) lifters are still bleeding down, 3) varnish in valve guides, 4) excessive rocker bushing to rocker shaft clearances, 5) bad valve spring washers, 6) inner cam bearings going out, 7) crank bearings going out, 8) main transmission bearing going out.

Thanks for any feedback or other suggestions that can help me fix my cool/cold start-up problem.

Online Armin

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2017, 12:48:57 PM »
With 80 Kmiles and presumably the first set of lifters I suspect that one of the lifters lost its flow qualities. With engine oil at operating temperatures the defunct lifter bleeds down faster and when you start the cold engine the thicker oil fails to pump up the lifter fast enough hence the clanking noise. You might use a stethoscope to pinpoint the origin of the noise or use long wooden stick if you don't have acces to a stethoscope. Probably the lifters should be replaced and make sure your engine oil level is adequate.

Armin.
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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2017, 02:16:08 PM »
That ticking noise around 2500-3000 rpms is a tell tale sign of rocker shafts rotating & clacking against the hold down bolts. Rocker shaft inserts are the cure.  :up:
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Offline Hossamania

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2017, 02:32:34 PM »
With 80 Kmiles and presumably the first set of lifters I suspect that one of the lifters lost its flow qualities. With engine oil at operating temperatures the defunct lifter bleeds down faster and when you start the cold engine the thicker oil fails to pump up the lifter fast enough hence the clanking noise. You might use a stethoscope to pinpoint the origin of the noise or use long wooden stick if you don't have acces to a stethoscope. Probably the lifters should be replaced and make sure your engine oil level is adequate.

Armin.

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Online Armin

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2017, 02:53:14 PM »
Ooops Hoss, I failed to recognize that but I still think the culprit could be traced down to some lifter defect.

Armin.
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Offline tdrglide

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2017, 03:33:20 PM »
Carbor knock
Excess carbon build up on pistons. Engine expands enough for clearance when warm. Noise goes away

Offline topcat3815

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2017, 02:32:54 AM »
Had the same noise on a high mileage 2009 Flh , thought sure it was a lifter related problem , turned out to be piston slap

Offline les

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2017, 08:49:02 AM »
Carbor knock
Excess carbon build up on pistons. Engine expands enough for clearance when warm. Noise goes away

Agreed.  Carbon knock.  I had and still have this issue on my 2011 Road King.  (Not sure the cause; maybe oil leaking around the outside of the valve guides.)

Before I pulled the heads and scraped the carbon off the top of the pistons and the squish area of the head, I would be that clanking sound on cold start up, or if the bike sat for a couple/few hours.  When I rode off, the clanking sound would happen as a let off the throttle.  Once the engine got hot, the sound would go away.

Now, here's the bad news...  Carbon knock, after thousands of miles, will beat the rod bearings into failure.  My flywheel assembly blew out at 50K miles while out west (thousands of miles from home) leaving me to fly back and ship the bike.

Carbon knock MUST be addressed right away.  Don't wait like I did searching for what the problem is and replacing three sets of lifters because I didn't know what else to do.

If you pull the heads, you can clearly see if it's carbon knock.  There will be a flat ring area on the carbon on top of the pistons.

Try this to verify if it is carbon knock or not:
- Run the bike until it gets totally very hot and the clank goes away
- Pull the bike into the driveway or car wash and take about 15 minutes to gradually mist spray the engine with cold water (not so fast as to harm the engine but not to slow either) until the cylinders are cool.
- Start the engine.

If it's carbon knock, the clanking will be the worst you've ever heard because the cylinders will have shrink much faster than the piston rod.

Offline Matt C

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2017, 10:16:26 AM »
Have you tried to narrow it down by listening with a screwdriver? Get a long enough, thick screwdriver. Put the tip on the
engine (where you suspect the noise is coming from) and put the handle up to your ear.

Probe around the cylinders, heads, rocker boxes, etc.. You'll narrow it down real fast. If you suspect carbon, pull the TB off
and look at the back sides of the intake valves. If they're caked up with carbon, the chambers are too.

If that's the case, pull the heads and get them freshened up; Bronze guides, valve job, de-carbon the top end. You're using
allot of oil, I'd bet the inside of the chambers are caked all to h3ll with carbon.

« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 10:25:44 AM by MCE Performance »

Offline Wood

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2017, 02:41:13 PM »
Carbor knock
Excess carbon build up on pistons. Engine expands enough for clearance when warm. Noise goes away

Thanks, others also agree.

Offline Wood

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2017, 02:45:45 PM »
Carbor knock
Excess carbon build up on pistons. Engine expands enough for clearance when warm. Noise goes away

Agreed.  Carbon knock.  I had and still have this issue on my 2011 Road King.  (Not sure the cause; maybe oil leaking around the outside of the valve guides.)

Before I pulled the heads and scraped the carbon off the top of the pistons and the squish area of the head, I would be that clanking sound on cold start up, or if the bike sat for a couple/few hours.  When I rode off, the clanking sound would happen as a let off the throttle.  Once the engine got hot, the sound would go away.

Now, here's the bad news...  Carbon knock, after thousands of miles, will beat the rod bearings into failure.  My flywheel assembly blew out at 50K miles while out west (thousands of miles from home) leaving me to fly back and ship the bike.

Carbon knock MUST be addressed right away.  Don't wait like I did searching for what the problem is and replacing three sets of lifters because I didn't know what else to do.

If you pull the heads, you can clearly see if it's carbon knock.  There will be a flat ring area on the carbon on top of the pistons.

Try this to verify if it is carbon knock or not:
- Run the bike until it gets totally very hot and the clank goes away
- Pull the bike into the driveway or car wash and take about 15 minutes to gradually mist spray the engine with cold water (not so fast as to harm the engine but not to slow either) until the cylinders are cool.
- Start the engine.

If it's carbon knock, the clanking will be the worst you've ever heard because the cylinders will have shrink much faster than the piston rod.

Thanks! Not excited about having flywheel problems. Are you saying, that after you cleaned the heads and pistons, your flywheels still blew apart?

Offline Wood

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2017, 02:48:24 PM »
Have you tried to narrow it down by listening with a screwdriver? Get a long enough, thick screwdriver. Put the tip on the
engine (where you suspect the noise is coming from) and put the handle up to your ear.

Probe around the cylinders, heads, rocker boxes, etc.. You'll narrow it down real fast. If you suspect carbon, pull the TB off
and look at the back sides of the intake valves. If they're caked up with carbon, the chambers are too.

If that's the case, pull the heads and get them freshened up; Bronze guides, valve job, de-carbon the top end. You're using
allot of oil, I'd bet the inside of the chambers are caked all to h3ll with carbon.

Thanks for the suggestions on how to further diagnosis the problem.

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2017, 05:19:23 PM »
I used a bore scope to check for piston carbon , one of the best tools to have around.   I  used  CRC  carbon  head cleaner,  also seafoam, squirt some in each Cly . let it set overnight, fire up  & go for a ride.  This was on a 85 FXRT  that never been tore down  . Took  more than a few overnight soaks, but with the scope  i could see some  clean up .

 Took care of the  pinging  on a full roll on .  Also saved a lot of ride time and $$ with the magic in the can  for $7.

Offline Matt C

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2017, 07:25:35 PM »
I like my scopes too. Look right at the valve w/o taking anything off but the A/C.
De-carbon would help, but he said that bike is using oil. That needs to be fixed if
you want to get to the root cause.

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2017, 02:12:18 PM »
I like my scopes too. Look right at the valve w/o taking anything off but the A/C.
De-carbon would help, but he said that bike is using oil. That needs to be fixed if
you want to get to the root cause.

Valve seals on mine , but i need more of a reason to tear down  as it's not  smoking  and valve faces look good.I will get to it when the leaking  base gaskets  start pissing.

Offline les

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2017, 02:26:35 PM »
Carbor knock
Excess carbon build up on pistons. Engine expands enough for clearance when warm. Noise goes away

Agreed.  Carbon knock.  I had and still have this issue on my 2011 Road King.  (Not sure the cause; maybe oil leaking around the outside of the valve guides.)

Before I pulled the heads and scraped the carbon off the top of the pistons and the squish area of the head, I would be that clanking sound on cold start up, or if the bike sat for a couple/few hours.  When I rode off, the clanking sound would happen as a let off the throttle.  Once the engine got hot, the sound would go away.

Now, here's the bad news...  Carbon knock, after thousands of miles, will beat the rod bearings into failure.  My flywheel assembly blew out at 50K miles while out west (thousands of miles from home) leaving me to fly back and ship the bike.

Carbon knock MUST be addressed right away.  Don't wait like I did searching for what the problem is and replacing three sets of lifters because I didn't know what else to do.

If you pull the heads, you can clearly see if it's carbon knock.  There will be a flat ring area on the carbon on top of the pistons.

Try this to verify if it is carbon knock or not:
- Run the bike until it gets totally very hot and the clank goes away
- Pull the bike into the driveway or car wash and take about 15 minutes to gradually mist spray the engine with cold water (not so fast as to harm the engine but not to slow either) until the cylinders are cool.
- Start the engine.

If it's carbon knock, the clanking will be the worst you've ever heard because the cylinders will have shrink much faster than the piston rod.

Thanks! Not excited about having flywheel problems. Are you saying, that after you cleaned the heads and pistons, your flywheels still blew apart?

Worse.  Right before my 8000 mile planned trip out west, I was sitting in my garage starring at the Road King.  Next thing I knew, the top end was completely torn down and I replaced everything (including new forged pistons, rings, etc.).  And yes, the bottom end still blew out because of the beating the rod bearings took over all those months of never knowing it was carbon knock and replacing lifters and still having the clanking problem.  This, of course, was before I got educated about carbon knock.

Offline garlock

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2017, 04:32:04 PM »
Go out & buy yourself a set of Johnson lifters & your problem will be gone, you can find them online, HD used Johnsons the first few years in the tc, then they switched to some gypo lifters prom. to save money!

Offline Wood

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2017, 10:26:31 AM »
I like my scopes too. Look right at the valve w/o taking anything off but the A/C.
De-carbon would help, but he said that bike is using oil. That needs to be fixed if
you want to get to the root cause.

I just received by borescope ($22 Depstech, USB, Semi-rigid Endoscope Inspection Camera). Here are some pictures of the Front Cylinder. Please let me know what you think.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 10:34:48 AM by Wood »

Offline Wood

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2017, 10:28:04 AM »
I used a bore scope to check for piston carbon , one of the best tools to have around.   

Here are some pictures of the Rear Cylinder. Please let me know what you think.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 10:34:13 AM by Wood »

Offline Wood

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2017, 10:30:26 AM »
I like my scopes too. Look right at the valve w/o taking anything off but the A/C.

Here are some pictures of the Front and Rear intake valves. Please let me know what you think.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 10:36:06 AM by Wood »

Offline lilchief

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2017, 05:51:12 PM »
I'm far from an expert, but it looks like the valve relief in the one pic of the piston is full of carbon or smashed metel from a valve hitting it.

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Offline Matt C

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2017, 08:52:45 PM »
My guess is the pistons/rings are worn. Intake valves look fine. I'd plan on a rebuild with that many miles.

Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2017, 03:33:44 AM »
That does not look like oil carbon build up to me, that looks like a rich burn, I would check your tune, run some carbon cleaner through it.
What kind of  compression reading are you getting?
What do the cyclinder walls look like, scored from Piston slap?
« Last Edit: October 27, 2017, 04:10:29 AM by Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers »
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Offline Matt C

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2017, 05:48:50 AM »
That does not look like oil carbon build up to me, that looks like a rich burn, I would check your tune, run some carbon cleaner through it.
What kind of  compression reading are you getting?
What do the cyclinder walls look like, scored from Piston slap?

Good points. Either way though, at 80,000 miles it's probably time to think about freshen up top end (and a good tune).
That's allot of crust in there.

Offline Harley_Cruiser Rocker Lockers

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2017, 06:08:27 AM »
That does not look like oil carbon build up to me, that looks like a rich burn, I would check your tune, run some carbon cleaner through it.
What kind of  compression reading are you getting?
What do the cyclinder walls look like, scored from Piston slap?

Good points. Either way though, at 80,000 miles it's probably time to think about freshen up top end (and a good tune).
That's allot of crust in there.
I agree, a compression test before and after the carbon was removed would tell us a lot. I would be curious as to his gas mileage, 30-35 vs 40-45+, that would tell a lot about his tune.
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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2017, 06:29:22 AM »
I would also be curious as to what the oil looks like after 3-5 K. Carbon can do a lot of damage especially when it starts blowing by the rings.
Black oil = carbon in the oil.
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Offline les

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2017, 08:05:00 AM »
(First, when I refer to carbon knock I'm talking about carbon on top of the piston hitting the head when the engine is cold, or when the cylinders have cooled down faster than the expansion of the rod.)

Wood, it's a little hard to tell from the photos, but the carbon does look like it's built up and potentially enough to hit the head when the engine is cold.  (Looks similar to what I've seen with my eyes.)

I recommend doing the procedure I recommended in posting #7.  It does not cost anything and you don't have to take anything apart.  Also, it's been a sure fire method for me to determine carbon knock or not (as I've defined above).

Finally, when I've done compression tests, they have always shown proper compression even if the engine is having carbon knock.

Offline Wood

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2017, 07:53:43 AM »
Finally, when I've done compression tests, they have always shown proper compression even if the engine is having carbon knock.

Well I finally got around to doing a compression test: 115 psi Front and Rear @ cold; 120 psi Front and rear @ ~250 F engine temp  :crook:.

MPG runs from 40-45 depending on how hard a twist the throttle.

Going to do the top end and take a look in the cam chest. Someone have a nice low-end torque cam for this 96?

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2017, 09:19:14 AM »
Doesn't anyone see that the pistons are melted?
There is no carbon anywhere. It's running way lean.
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Offline Hossamania

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2017, 09:34:50 AM »
Doesn't anyone see that the pistons are melted?
There is no carbon anywhere. It's running way lean.

I didn't think there was much carbon there either, but I don't take motors apart very often. My pistons were black when disassembled with 25,000 miles on them to go big bore. I thought the pictures of these pistons showed them to be quite clean.
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Offline FXDBI

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #30 on: November 04, 2017, 09:39:30 AM »
Doesn't anyone see that the pistons are melted?
There is no carbon anywhere. It's running way lean.

Got to agree looks like its junk in there. One picture even seems to show a piece of ring where the top land is melted.   Bob

Offline tdrglide

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #31 on: November 04, 2017, 11:30:01 AM »
Time to pull the heads. Take a real look. Whatever the problem, Something is wrong.

Offline Moparnut72

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #32 on: November 04, 2017, 08:15:22 PM »
 I agree, those pistons are a mess. Extreme heat, most likely fuel mixture. That whole top end needs to be redone and the cause determined for sure.
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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #33 on: November 04, 2017, 08:59:29 PM »
My computer maybe showing different pistons because the ones I see posted have a thick layer of very hard burned carbon covering them and filling the valve reliefs. Looks much like the charbon you would find on the chamber side of a very high milage exhaust valve. The small chip in the carbon is exposing the only spot you can see the actual aluminium piston top.
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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2017, 02:21:53 AM »
My computer maybe showing different pistons because the ones I see posted have a thick layer of very hard burned carbon covering them and filling the valve reliefs. Looks much like the charbon you would find on the chamber side of a very high milage exhaust valve. The small chip in the carbon is exposing the only spot you can see the actual aluminium piston top.
Yes that is what I see. The plug would tell the story, what does it look like, carbon or melted aluminum on it.
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Offline hbkeith

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2017, 03:49:31 AM »
I like my scopes too. Look right at the valve w/o taking anything off but the A/C.
De-carbon would help, but he said that bike is using oil. That needs to be fixed if
you want to get to the root cause.

I just received by borescope ($22 Depstech, USB, Semi-rigid Endoscope Inspection Camera). Here are some pictures of the Front Cylinder. Please let me know what you think.
   are you saying you paid $22 for that camera ? nice and clear , got a link to that ?

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2017, 04:39:54 AM »
I like my scopes too. Look right at the valve w/o taking anything off but the A/C.
De-carbon would help, but he said that bike is using oil. That needs to be fixed if
you want to get to the root cause.

I just received by borescope ($22 Depstech, USB, Semi-rigid Endoscope Inspection Camera). Here are some pictures of the Front Cylinder. Please let me know what you think.
   are you saying you paid $22 for that camera ? nice and clear , got a link to that ?

I paid 19$ for mine and it looks up to my phone/tablet/computer, what ever has mini USB and USB. It also takes video and sound...
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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2017, 04:42:34 AM »
The very first picture tells me the story. If you look at the bore you will see the piston has chunks missing. The chunks reflect on the wall.

One other way to tell is look at the spark plugs.
Take a pic of those..
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Online 1FSTRK

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #38 on: November 05, 2017, 05:12:11 AM »
The very first picture tells me the story. If you look at the bore you will see the piston has chunks missing. The chunks reflect on the wall.

One other way to tell is look at the spark plugs.
Take a pic of those..


Wood could verify for us but the second pic is a better representation.
Blown up here with the red arrow showing the actual aluminium piston surface where the carbon has flaked off, the rest of the piston has a very thick hard layer of carbon covering it.


The cylinders are oil glazed and the OP said the heads were removed, decarboned and resealed. now here it is sucking even more oil past the rings. It needed a total topend to begin with.

Added
If you look close the missing carbon chip goes from the edge of the piston right up to the edge of the valve relief. I would bet it was thick enough to be struck by the valve during overlap and that is what chipped the carbon off.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2017, 05:26:39 AM by 1FSTRK »
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Offline Wood

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #39 on: November 05, 2017, 06:28:52 AM »
   are you saying you paid $22 for that camera ? nice and clear , got a link to that ?
[/quote]

Go to Amazon and enter:
USB Borescope, Depstech Semi-rigid Endoscope Inspection Camera 2.0 Megapixels CMOS HD Waterproof Snake Camera with 6 Adjustable Led Light - 16.5FT

Be careful as some only work with certain computers or phones. The one above works with my Mac computer using the "Photo Booth" application.

Offline Wood

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #40 on: November 05, 2017, 06:29:55 AM »
My computer maybe showing different pistons because the ones I see posted have a thick layer of very hard burned carbon covering them and filling the valve reliefs. Looks much like the charbon you would find on the chamber side of a very high milage exhaust valve. The small chip in the carbon is exposing the only spot you can see the actual aluminium piston top.

 :agree:

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #41 on: November 05, 2017, 04:02:18 PM »
The very first picture tells me the story. If you look at the bore you will see the piston has chunks missing. The chunks reflect on the wall.

One other way to tell is look at the spark plugs.
Take a pic of those..


Wood could verify for us but the second pic is a better representation.
Blown up here with the red arrow showing the actual aluminium piston surface where the carbon has flaked off, the rest of the piston has a very thick hard layer of carbon covering it.


The cylinders are oil glazed and the OP said the heads were removed, decarboned and resealed. now here it is sucking even more oil past the rings. It needed a total topend to begin with.

Added
If you look close the missing carbon chip goes from the edge of the piston right up to the edge of the valve relief. I would bet it was thick enough to be struck by the valve during overlap and that is what chipped the carbon off.


I can see that now.
Wow the silver really threw me off. I was thinking the piston was so melted that the ring was showing. But the ring did look a tad wide.....
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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #42 on: November 05, 2017, 04:35:34 PM »
The very first picture tells me the story. If you look at the bore you will see the piston has chunks missing. The chunks reflect on the wall.

One other way to tell is look at the spark plugs.
Take a pic of those..


Wood could verify for us but the second pic is a better representation.
Blown up here with the red arrow showing the actual aluminium piston surface where the carbon has flaked off, the rest of the piston has a very thick hard layer of carbon covering it.


The cylinders are oil glazed and the OP said the heads were removed, decarboned and resealed. now here it is sucking even more oil past the rings. It needed a total topend to begin with.

Added
If you look close the missing carbon chip goes from the edge of the piston right up to the edge of the valve relief. I would bet it was thick enough to be struck by the valve during overlap and that is what chipped the carbon off.


I can see that now.
Wow the silver really threw me off. I was thinking the piston was so melted that the ring was showing. But the ring did look a tad wide.....

And I think it has a lot to do with the lighting of the bore scope, being reflected.
Steve
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Offline les

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #43 on: November 06, 2017, 08:06:12 AM »
Finally, when I've done compression tests, they have always shown proper compression even if the engine is having carbon knock.

Well I finally got around to doing a compression test: 115 psi Front and Rear @ cold; 120 psi Front and rear @ ~250 F engine temp  :crook:.

MPG runs from 40-45 depending on how hard a twist the throttle.

Going to do the top end and take a look in the cam chest. Someone have a nice low-end torque cam for this 96?

Following up with a leak down test would show exactly where the problem is (rings, valves, head gasket).

Offline Wood

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #44 on: February 12, 2018, 07:42:54 AM »
Try this to verify if it is carbon knock or not:
- Run the bike until it gets totally very hot and the clank goes away
- Pull the bike into the driveway or car wash and take about 15 minutes to gradually mist spray the engine with cold water (not so fast as to harm the engine but not to slow either) until the cylinders are cool.
- Start the engine.

If it's carbon knock, the clanking will be the worst you've ever heard because the cylinders will have shrink much faster than the piston rod.
[/quote]




This test worked; the clanking was the worst I ever heard.
.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 08:34:27 AM by Wood »

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #45 on: February 12, 2018, 08:09:50 AM »
Well I finally got around to pulling the heads and jugs and this is what I found.

Front Head:

Offline Wood

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #46 on: February 12, 2018, 08:14:49 AM »
Front Piston:

Offline Wood

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #47 on: February 12, 2018, 08:16:14 AM »
Front Piston:

Offline Wood

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #48 on: February 12, 2018, 08:25:22 AM »
Rear Head:

Offline Wood

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #49 on: February 12, 2018, 08:27:44 AM »
Rear Piston:

Offline Wood

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #50 on: February 12, 2018, 08:29:30 AM »
Rear Piston:

Offline Wood

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #51 on: February 12, 2018, 08:33:06 AM »
The cylinders were suprisingly good, so I just had them deglazed.

Also just cleaned up the pistons and installed new rings.

Had the heads rebuilt; new guides, springs, seals and a little porting. The stock valves and seats were good.

Didnít change lifters and did not crack open the cam chest.

Now have 300 miles on her. She is running strong, and is nice and quite at start-up.

Thanks for the input and feedback from everyone.



Offline koko3052

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #52 on: February 12, 2018, 12:48:51 PM »
Gee, 80K & you didn't change the lifters on an '10. If just a deglaze & rings cured your oil consumption, you were very lucky...how long do you think that your luck is going to run? :scratch:

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #53 on: February 12, 2018, 02:56:22 PM »
Gee, 80K & you didn't change the lifters on an '10. If just a deglaze & rings cured your oil consumption, you were very lucky...how long do you think that your luck is going to run? :scratch:

Check the OP
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Offline Tynker

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #54 on: February 12, 2018, 04:47:33 PM »
With 80 Kmiles and presumably the first set of lifters I suspect that one of the lifters lost its flow qualities. With engine oil at operating temperatures the defunct lifter bleeds down faster and when you start the cold engine the thicker oil fails to pump up the lifter fast enough hence the clanking noise. You might use a stethoscope to pinpoint the origin of the noise or use long wooden stick if you don't have acces to a stethoscope. Probably the lifters should be replaced and make sure your engine oil level is adequate.

Armin.


OP said lifters have been replaced several times....A re read might help.
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Offline N-gin

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #55 on: February 12, 2018, 07:23:20 PM »
All that and you didn't replace the pistons? At least measure the ring lands? I hope it works out for ya. I don't think I could go through all that and not replace pistons, even if same bore was used.

It does seem like a lot of carbon. did you check or replace the breathers while you were in there?
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Offline Wood

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #56 on: February 13, 2018, 03:33:32 PM »
All that and you didn't replace the pistons? At least measure the ring lands? I hope it works out for ya. I don't think I could go through all that and not replace pistons, even if same bore was used.

It does seem like a lot of carbon. did you check or replace the breathers while you were in there?


Yes, new breathers installed.

Offline les

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #57 on: February 13, 2018, 07:42:58 PM »
Try this to verify if it is carbon knock or not:
- Run the bike until it gets totally very hot and the clank goes away
- Pull the bike into the driveway or car wash and take about 15 minutes to gradually mist spray the engine with cold water (not so fast as to harm the engine but not to slow either) until the cylinders are cool.
- Start the engine.

If it's carbon knock, the clanking will be the worst you've ever heard because the cylinders will have shrink much faster than the piston rod.




This test worked; the clanking was the worst I ever heard.
.
[/quote]


I'm the one who developed this test and posted it.  I have some potentially bad news for you.  Depending on how long you've been pounding the pistons on the squish area of the head, you're crank bearings may already be in a state of rapid decline.

I found this out by getting stranded in Twin Falls, Idaho (a couple thousand miles from home).  When I left home, the engine sounded really great, and 5000 miles later in the middle of the wild west, the bottom end let failed.  Bottom end failure can and will take out the pistons and cylinders.

So, while you still have a good rebuilt engine, you may want to consider getting a new flywheel assembly and taking the trouble to put it in.

Offline Wood

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #58 on: February 14, 2018, 10:53:51 AM »
Try this to verify if it is carbon knock or not:
- Run the bike until it gets totally very hot and the clank goes away
- Pull the bike into the driveway or car wash and take about 15 minutes to gradually mist spray the engine with cold water (not so fast as to harm the engine but not to slow either) until the cylinders are cool.
- Start the engine.

If it's carbon knock, the clanking will be the worst you've ever heard because the cylinders will have shrink much faster than the piston rod.

This test worked; the clanking was the worst I ever heard.


I'm the one who developed this test and posted it.  I have some potentially bad news for you.  Depending on how long you've been pounding the pistons on the squish area of the head, you're crank bearings may already be in a state of rapid decline.

I found this out by getting stranded in Twin Falls, Idaho (a couple thousand miles from home).  When I left home, the engine sounded really great, and 5000 miles later in the middle of the wild west, the bottom end let failed.  Bottom end failure can and will take out the pistons and cylinders.

So, while you still have a good rebuilt engine, you may want to consider getting a new flywheel assembly and taking the trouble to put it in.
[/quote]

Thanks for the insight, unfortunately my very thin wallet prevents me from doing the flywheels. This Twin Cam is sucking way more money out of me than my Shovelhead. Have to come up with a plan 'B'.
.

Offline les

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #59 on: February 14, 2018, 11:41:15 AM »
Got it about the wallet issue, and understood about not being able to do it now.  Plan B might be that you're aware that "possibly" your flywheel has been hurt by the abuse and maybe set your sights on something in the future.  Lot's of guys have take out flywheels that go for pretty cheap.  Keep your eye open for that great bargain.

I just know that before my out west trip, I rebuilt every damn thing in my engine and tranny (just to be stupidly safe) and the one damn thing I didn't re-do was the one damn thing that bit me.  Also, there was no indicator the bottom end was going until it did.

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #60 on: February 14, 2018, 03:48:11 PM »
Got it about the wallet issue, and understood about not being able to do it now.  Plan B might be that you're aware that "possibly" your flywheel has been hurt by the abuse and maybe set your sights on something in the future.  Lot's of guys have take out flywheels that go for pretty cheap.  Keep your eye open for that great bargain.

I just know that before my out west trip, I rebuilt every damn thing in my engine and tranny (just to be stupidly safe) and the one damn thing I didn't re-do was the one damn thing that bit me.  Also, there was no indicator the bottom end was going until it did.
Bought a used  Harley not problems on the first one so Like a fool I bought a used one with 43k miles on it checked out ready to go at the dealer ship lol 1000 miles later crank out lol  . So I can say with certainty your right there .

Offline koko3052

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #61 on: February 15, 2018, 07:54:12 AM »
Gee, 80K & you didn't change the lifters on an '10. If just a deglaze & rings cured your oil consumption, you were very lucky...how long do you think that your luck is going to run? :scratch:

Check the OP

With 80 Kmiles and presumably the first set of lifters I suspect that one of the lifters lost its flow qualities. With engine oil at operating temperatures the defunct lifter bleeds down faster and when you start the cold engine the thicker oil fails to pump up the lifter fast enough hence the clanking noise. You might use a stethoscope to pinpoint the origin of the noise or use long wooden stick if you don't have acces to a stethoscope. Probably the lifters should be replaced and make sure your engine oil level is adequate.

Armin.


OP said lifters have been replaced several times....A re read might help.

Ooops! I originally did read it....sorry. :embarrassed:
Wood...I hope that you overcome your "knocking" issue. Maybe ride the shovel while you tear down the twinkie & watch for a cheap crank. There are many take outs from new floating around & by doing it all yourself you will save a pile. :up:
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 08:02:36 AM by koko3052 »

Offline les

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #62 on: February 15, 2018, 10:20:48 AM »
Gee, 80K & you didn't change the lifters on an '10. If just a deglaze & rings cured your oil consumption, you were very lucky...how long do you think that your luck is going to run? :scratch:

Check the OP

With 80 Kmiles and presumably the first set of lifters I suspect that one of the lifters lost its flow qualities. With engine oil at operating temperatures the defunct lifter bleeds down faster and when you start the cold engine the thicker oil fails to pump up the lifter fast enough hence the clanking noise. You might use a stethoscope to pinpoint the origin of the noise or use long wooden stick if you don't have acces to a stethoscope. Probably the lifters should be replaced and make sure your engine oil level is adequate.

Armin.


OP said lifters have been replaced several times....A re read might help.

Ooops! I originally did read it....sorry. :embarrassed:
Wood...I hope that you overcome your "knocking" issue. Maybe ride the shovel while you tear down the twinkie & watch for a cheap crank. There are many take outs from new floating around & by doing it all yourself you will save a pile. :up:

He has solved it by removing all the carbon build up.  But we don't know what damage the hitting of the pistons on the head has done to his crank.  The problem was carbon knock.

My engine (2011) still has a gremlin inside.  I think it's a defect in the heads.  Maybe there was a series around the 2010/2011 range.  My carbon knock started around 9000 miles on my brand new bike.  When I found out what it was and changed the pistons (went to a 103") the knock went away, of course.  Then it came back a 5000 miles.  So, I scraped the carbon off.  No knock.  Then 5000 miles, the carbon knock appeared again.  Again, I think it's a defect with the heads.  Maybe some oil coming around the valve guides, or a crack in the head letting oil through.

Offline koko3052

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #63 on: February 15, 2018, 11:58:02 AM »
You can fix that quite easily... a drop in 124"! :wink:
Pulling the heads every 5K would get old pretty quick with me as I would have to do it midstream of my holidays. When you pull them to do the cleanup why don't you have them magna fluxed?

Offline kd

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #64 on: February 15, 2018, 01:23:04 PM »
The cure is venting to atmosphere. As we all know, the carbon is a product of oil vapor introduced to the engine from the head breathers. If you don't like a simple tube to the ground, use a catch can. If that's not enough, route through a catch can and then back to the breather.

.....or you can start running the bag off it so carbon doesn't get a chance to accumulate.  :teeth:
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 03:03:34 PM by kd »
KD

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #65 on: February 15, 2018, 04:08:25 PM »
It's hard to tell from the photos but that doesn't look like oil carbon to me. Carb, or injected? How is your tune?
Steve
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Offline Wood

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #66 on: February 15, 2018, 05:00:21 PM »
The cure is venting to atmosphere. As we all know, the carbon is a product of oil vapor introduced to the engine from the head breathers. If you don't like a simple tube to the ground, use a catch can. If that's not enough, route through a catch can and then back to the breather.

.....or you can start running the bag off it so carbon doesn't get a chance to accumulate.  :teeth:


I'll strongly think about venting to the atmosphere; thanks!

Offline Wood

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #67 on: February 15, 2018, 05:04:44 PM »
It's hard to tell from the photos but that doesn't look like oil carbon to me. Carb, or injected? How is your tune?

I thought the pictures were pretty clear, anyway it is oil carbon.

Being a stock FLTRX, it is injected.

PV tune, getting about 40-45 MPG depending on how I twist the throttle.
.

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #68 on: February 15, 2018, 05:08:14 PM »
It's hard to tell from the photos but that doesn't look like oil carbon to me. Carb, or injected? How is your tune?

I thought the pictures were pretty clear, anyway it is oil carbon.

Being a stock FLTRX, it is injected.

PV tune, getting about 40-45 MPG depending on how I twist the throttle.
.
:up:
Steve
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Offline les

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #69 on: February 16, 2018, 07:05:02 AM »
You can fix that quite easily... a drop in 124"! :wink:
Pulling the heads every 5K would get old pretty quick with me as I would have to do it midstream of my holidays. When you pull them to do the cleanup why don't you have them magna fluxed?

Bingo.  I'm about ready to drop in my 124" I've been working on all winter.  When I swap out the problematic 103", I will have the heads magna fluxed.  I have no proof, but I believe there was a series of flawed heads around the 2010-2011 timeframe.

Offline les

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #70 on: February 16, 2018, 07:08:03 AM »
The cure is venting to atmosphere. As we all know, the carbon is a product of oil vapor introduced to the engine from the head breathers. If you don't like a simple tube to the ground, use a catch can. If that's not enough, route through a catch can and then back to the breather.

.....or you can start running the bag off it so carbon doesn't get a chance to accumulate.  :teeth:

Me too, thank you.

I'll strongly think about venting to the atmosphere; thanks!

Online 1FSTRK

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #71 on: February 21, 2018, 04:33:39 AM »
You can fix that quite easily... a drop in 124"! :wink:
Pulling the heads every 5K would get old pretty quick with me as I would have to do it midstream of my holidays. When you pull them to do the cleanup why don't you have them magna fluxed?

Bingo.  I'm about ready to drop in my 124" I've been working on all winter.  When I swap out the problematic 103", I will have the heads magna fluxed.  I have no proof, but I believe there was a series of flawed heads around the 2010-2011 timeframe.

 :scratch:
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Offline rbabos

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #72 on: February 21, 2018, 08:52:16 AM »
You can fix that quite easily... a drop in 124"! :wink:
Pulling the heads every 5K would get old pretty quick with me as I would have to do it midstream of my holidays. When you pull them to do the cleanup why don't you have them magna fluxed?

Bingo.  I'm about ready to drop in my 124" I've been working on all winter.  When I swap out the problematic 103", I will have the heads magna fluxed.  I have no proof, but I believe there was a series of flawed heads around the 2010-2011 timeframe.
Pretty sure you meant dye pen.
Ron

Offline les

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Re: Loud clanking and noisy lifters at start-up
« Reply #73 on: February 21, 2018, 09:18:56 AM »
You can fix that quite easily... a drop in 124"! :wink:
Pulling the heads every 5K would get old pretty quick with me as I would have to do it midstream of my holidays. When you pull them to do the cleanup why don't you have them magna fluxed?

Bingo.  I'm about ready to drop in my 124" I've been working on all winter.  When I swap out the problematic 103", I will have the heads magna fluxed.  I have no proof, but I believe there was a series of flawed heads around the 2010-2011 timeframe.
Pretty sure you meant dye pen.
Ron

Yes, sorry.