What's Causing This on the Lifters? - Road Glide Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-24-2016, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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What's Causing This on the Lifters?

Just changed out my SE lifters in my 120 with the S&S lifters because I was getting a knocking noise at start up but it would go away after about 30-60 seconds. Figured it was the typical bad lifter thing so I made the switch. Anyway, looking at the SE lifters that I took out 3 of them have some sort of wear grooves around the middle section. One is still smooth. Never noticed this on any lifters before so I am curious as to what caused it so I'll know if there is something else I need to look at. Also the front cylinder exhaust lifter bearing is bad so I think that is the lifter that was causing the noise at startup. I'll know tomorrow if the new lifters solved my issue when I finish putting the tank back on. Had to stop working tonight as the wife had a great dinner ready. I'll also upload some pics tomorrow from the computer because I can't get them to upload from my phone.


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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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Here is a pic of the lifters. The 2nd from the left does not have the wear the other three do. Never seen this before.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 08:00 AM
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What's Causing This on the Lifters?

Better off with the S & S lifters than the SE.
Just my opinion.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Better off with the S & S lifters than the SE.
Just my opinion.

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Probably but I am curious as to what is causing the wear marks around the center of the lifters. Concerned that I have a more serious issue.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 08:10 AM
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A combination of things. Low grade materials used in the manufacturing process of the import lifters, overkill valve springs in the heads = more seat pressure than needed. Fast ramps on the 255 cams.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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A combination of things. Low grade materials used in the manufacturing process of the import lifters, overkill valve springs in the heads = more seat pressure than needed. Fast ramps on the 255 cams.
I have 259E cams but probably similar ramp profile. I get the fact that is what is causing the light vertical scratches on the shiny parts of the lifter but what made the small grooves that are horizontal in the center of the lifters?

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 09:05 AM
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I get the fact that is what is causing the light vertical scratches on the shiny parts of the lifter but what made the small grooves that are horizontal in the center of the lifters?
You mean the very not fresh looking opposite to the direction of travel horizontal grooves in the non wearing recessed area in the middle of the lifter? I'd be inclined to think that it's just a finishing shortcut taken by the manufacturer because precision machining is expensive. I suppose it could be a designed attempt to coax a bit more oil into the oiling ports at the end of the recess ... But personally I wouldn't stress about it unless there is some other critical detail (like it was packed with metal bits during disassembly) missing from the story and photo.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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You mean the very not fresh looking opposite to the direction of travel horizontal grooves in the non wearing recessed area in the middle of the lifter? I'd be inclined to think that it's just a finishing shortcut taken by the manufacturer because precision machining is expensive. I suppose it could be a designed attempt to coax a bit more oil into the oiling ports at the end of the recess ... But personally I wouldn't stress about it unless there is some other critical detail (like it was packed with metal bits during disassembly) missing from the story and photo.
Yup.. Just talk to a friend at my local stealership and he said it was just how it was machined. The fact that one was smooth just made me start questioning it. No metal shavings were found at all but... now that I have started the bike the noise is still there so now on to that adventure.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 10:20 AM
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The manufacture just doesn't polish up the part of the lifter that doesn't need polishing.
The new lifters may need to pump up and you can get noise while they are pumping up which is some cases may take a little time. after the lifters pump up the adjustable pushrods (if you're using them) may need to be adjusted again.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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The manufacture just doesn't polish up the part of the lifter that doesn't need polishing.
The new lifters may need to pump up and you can get noise while they are pumping up which is some cases may take a little time. after the lifters pump up the adjustable pushrods (if you're using them) may need to be adjusted again.
Wasn't concerned that they weren't polished just the fact that the grooves looked like something had been digging in all the way around. The one lifter was smooth in that area and the new S&S lifters were all smooth so I was just checking. I did make an effort to pump up the new ones before install and I may not have done the best job and I'll see how it goes when I get out for a ride later on. Didn't do adjustable pushrods because I didn't feel they were worth the $180 bucks at this point. Taking the rocker box off and the rocker out is not that big of a deal to me. The hardest part of the whole thing was getting the tappet cover back screws closest to the fins out. Had to make my own little tool that worked good but it was still slow going.

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