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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Excessive carbon build up

Afternoon everyone.
Bike is a 13 fltrx fuel Moto A/C, was a cat less oem head pipe, power vision with map from Jamie at FM, Nasi CFR mufflers

Changing my plugs and getting the glide back together in prep for a Dyno tune since I couldn't get rid of the high load/ high rpm detonation from last year. Front plug was missing a small chunk of porcelain, guessing from the detonation, so I put a bore scope down the hole and can see an excessive amount of carbon build up and what looks to be some that had been breaking off. Only a couple hundred dollar scope so not the best image but other than the carbon it looks ok. Not as much piston wash as I'd like to see, but it's getting a better tune soon, hopefully. My question: Is there any way to remove some of this carbon build up or should I not worry to much about it? I don't want it to affect the Dyno tuning process by having it causing detonation while he's trying to tune. Can I steam them off with water spritz through the intake? Apologize for the long story. Just want to be thorough for all you experts to be able to better help. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 08:02 AM
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My top end is apart right now. I used oven cleaner and some gentle scraping with a screw driver. My carbon was on there thick. I'm attributing most of it to the head vents venting into the intake. I'm going to route my breathers down into a catch can with a return line to retain vacuum like stock. Some guys dump it strait to the ground.

I've heard that Sea Foam makes a product that you can spray into the intake. I'm not sure how well it works but maybe if you did a session and scoped it again. If you could see any metal with the scope you are doing better than I was. I have close to 50K on my motor and aside from the carbon build up everything looks new still. The cylinders still have the ball hone marks. I think I may start using sea foam at the same time I do oil changes. I hear they make a good additive for the oil as well to clean out the motor sludge.

2011 Road Glide Ultra, Andrews 57H, VeeTwin Performance street port, Big Sucker Intake, Rhinehart 2/1 w 4" muffler, Power commander V, Paugcho 17" bars, Stock seat recovered with leather, Michelin Comander II 140/80B front, Yokohama Envigor 205/60/16 rear. It's better on the dark side.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by MightyWhitey View Post
Afternoon everyone.
Bike is a 13 fltrx fuel Moto A/C, was a cat less oem head pipe, power vision with map from Jamie at FM, Nasi CFR mufflers

Changing my plugs and getting the glide back together in prep for a Dyno tune since I couldn't get rid of the high load/ high rpm detonation from last year. Front plug was missing a small chunk of porcelain, guessing from the detonation, so I put a bore scope down the hole and can see an excessive amount of carbon build up and what looks to be some that had been breaking off. Only a couple hundred dollar scope so not the best image but other than the carbon it looks ok. Not as much piston wash as I'd like to see, but it's getting a better tune soon, hopefully. My question: Is there any way to remove some of this carbon build up or should I not worry to much about it? I don't want it to affect the Dyno tuning process by having it causing detonation while he's trying to tune. Can I steam them off with water spritz through the intake? Apologize for the long story. Just want to be thorough for all you experts to be able to better help. Thanks in advance.
Take your a/c filter off, warm bike up, then take a spray bottle with water in it. What you want to do is idle up to 1500-2000 rpms and spray a fine mist into the intake. Make sure to keep idled up. If you over do it the motor will try and idle down to much. If you do this, the hot steam will clean the pistons off very nicely. Do this for 4 or 5 sprays then let it idle and blip the throttle a little. Do it some more the same way with the spray. You will be surprised how clean your pistons will be. This is a trick that has been used for years on Harley's and car engines to clean carbon off. From what you said about your plugs, it sounds like you've been running lean which could be lending help to the pinging and pre-detonation. What causes the buildup on the pistons is the breather tubes from the rocker boxes going into the intake track. I've got mine run to the outside air, no drip can. This will keep the excessive build up on your pistons. Good luck

Edit: All bike engine pistons on Harleys will look like yours without the breather tubes run to the outside air. Nature of how Harley did it.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 09:27 AM
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I had the same problem with my Dyna it ran like crap!the carbon would get hot and ignite fuel prematurely. sprayed sea foam into cylinders and I let it soak and repeated the process for a week or so it was winter.mean wile figured how to vent pcv to the atmosphere. Ran the bike and sprayed sea foam into the intake.wow what smoke.now before taking it for a longer test ride I changed oil installed new properly gaped plugs.wow it was like new. Carbon can realy make you bike run crappy.Good luck!
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 11:22 AM
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Here's a pic of my 06 pistons after 13,000 miles with SE slip on's and a high flow HD breather.



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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 11:53 AM
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Take your a/c filter off, warm bike up, then take a spray bottle with water in it. What you want to do is idle up to 1500-2000 rpms and spray a fine mist into the intake. Make sure to keep idled up. If you over do it the motor will try and idle down to much. If you do this, the hot steam will clean the pistons off very nicely. Do this for 4 or 5 sprays then let it idle and blip the throttle a little. Do it some more the same way with the spray. You will be surprised how clean your pistons will be. This is a trick that has been used for years on Harley's and car engines to clean carbon off. From what you said about your plugs, it sounds like you've been running lean which could be lending help to the pinging and pre-detonation. What causes the buildup on the pistons is the breather tubes from the rocker boxes going into the intake track. I've got mine run to the outside air, no drip can. This will keep the excessive build up on your pistons. Good luck
Thanks Smarty. I think I just found a new thing to do every 5000 miles.

2011 Road Glide Ultra, Andrews 57H, VeeTwin Performance street port, Big Sucker Intake, Rhinehart 2/1 w 4" muffler, Power commander V, Paugcho 17" bars, Stock seat recovered with leather, Michelin Comander II 140/80B front, Yokohama Envigor 205/60/16 rear. It's better on the dark side.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by turbochrisb View Post
Here's a pic of my 06 pistons after 13,000 miles with SE slip on's and a high flow HD breather.

Just a suggestion, cylinder stud protectors. Even the slightest movement of the piston against the threads of the studs will damage the rings
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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I had the same problem with my Dyna it ran like crap!the carbon would get hot and ignite fuel prematurely. sprayed sea foam into cylinders and I let it soak and repeated the process for a week or so it was winter.mean wile figured how to vent pcv to the atmosphere. Ran the bike and sprayed sea foam into the intake.wow what smoke.now before taking it for a longer test ride I changed oil installed new properly gaped plugs.wow it was like new. Carbon can realy make you bike run crappy.Good luck!
Is there a particular type of sea foam to spray in the hole? How much? Did you crank it over without plugs to evacuate before trying to fire the bike after a week of soak time?
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Smarty View Post
Take your a/c filter off, warm bike up, then take a spray bottle with water in it. What you want to do is idle up to 1500-2000 rpms and spray a fine mist into the intake. Make sure to keep idled up. If you over do it the motor will try and idle down to much. If you do this, the hot steam will clean the pistons off very nicely. Do this for 4 or 5 sprays then let it idle and blip the throttle a little. Do it some more the same way with the spray. You will be surprised how clean your pistons will be. This is a trick that has been used for years on Harley's and car engines to clean carbon off. From what you said about your plugs, it sounds like you've been running lean which could be lending help to the pinging and pre-detonation. What causes the buildup on the pistons is the breather tubes from the rocker boxes going into the intake track. I've got mine run to the outside air, no drip can. This will keep the excessive build up on your pistons. Good luck

Edit: All bike engine pistons on Harleys will look like yours without the breather tubes run to the outside air. Nature of how Harley did it.
I agree smarty, I think it was running lean. I tried a few adjustments with the power vision, it was late in the season and would only ping in a balls out trying to race crotch rockets situation so I wasn't too worried about it. Anyway, that's why I decided to get it professionally tuned before the season starts. I think I'll try soaking the Pistons with some seafoam as suggested by Dozer then try to steam them off. Do you have any pictures or a link to the kit you use to run the breathers out of the A/C plate?
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 12:24 PM
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Just a suggestion, cylinder stud protectors. Even the slightest movement of the piston against the threads of the studs will damage the rings
Get you some rubber hose or pvc pipe to cover your studs for protections

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