It all started with a squeak after bad gas... - Road Glide Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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It all started with a squeak after bad gas...

My 2011 RG Ultra has a SE120R alpha create motor that I installed before it left the showroom, with Vance and Hines Power Duals and Hi-Output slipons, with 58mm throttle body and heavy breather. All the stuff that Harley is now paying fines for I purchased and used. It gave me 130 HP and 127 ft/lb of torque, so it works really well riding two up. I don't race it. About 2,000 miles on the new ride, the rear exhaust valve locked up, my piston impacted the valve, and all sorts of fun ensued. Had the head repaired (my expense - no warranty on the entire bike right out of the showroom because of the racing motor), and the bike ran well for nearly 30,000 miles. I did all my own maintenance, oil changes, adjustments, except for those things I didn't want to chance. I had the dealership install a Screamin' Eagle Oil Pan, giving me an extra 1.5 quarts of oil to cool that big engine.

Now enter the fun stuff... on about June 8th, I stopped at a well-known gas station chain for some premium gas, which immediately started to cause some serious knock. They didn't have any octane booster, so I had to go get some, which took care of the knock, but shortly thereafter it started to squeak. I mean REALLY squeak. So I took it in to get a 30,000 mile check on June 15th because I was leaving in two weeks for Yellowstone. They tore down the heads first (???), found some of what could be considered normal wear and tear in the rocker arms, and recommended the roller bearing rocker arms since I had SE266 high lift cams. Installed and reassembled, but wouldn't start. Why? New rocker arms added 4mm to pushrod clearance, so valves did not close, so no compression. Bought and installed new SE adjustable pushrods, and after reassembly bike started, but squeak was still there! (It gets better!)

Tore down to cylinders, saw that titanium rings were bent at the split and front cylinder had more than normal scoring. Dealership recommended new cylinders, pistons, rings and wrist pin because of that squeak. Of course they get replaced in pairs! Needless to say I did not take my bike to Yellowstone. After installing the new cylinders, squeak was STILL there. They installed new valve guides and valves. Still squeaked! They finally took apart the cam plate, found damage to the hardening on the rear cylinder cam and tappet. (Remember the damage at 2,000 miles? Seems they never checked the cams.) The rear cam had severe scoring on the portion that went into the engine case bearing. So they replaced the cams, bearings, cam chain tensioners, added new Screamin' Eagle Cam Plate and Oil Pump, as well as new SE tappets. The original tappets were standard tappets. In a crate racing engine? Come on!

New cams and stuff was just installed this past Friday. That's right..., August 26th! Well, the good news is that the squeak is finally gone. I still don't have my bike back as there is a tick at idle. I essentially have a new engine. I am going to re-install the SE120R map and hope that takes care of that. I don't want to do a dyno at 30k miles, but I may have to after another new engine break-in period.

Bottom line is make sure of what your engine has installed, and if you make any upgrades, upgrade to Screamin' Eagle parts (or equivalent) in critical engine areas right away.

My only question to the forum is has anyone else experience a tick in the engine at idle speeds after anything like this kind of repair? Mostly cam replace or upgrade, as the rest may not be related. I am thinking that a re-map and breakin may work. Any thought? All comments welcome.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 07:08 PM
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It wouldn't surprise me if it was one of the SE lifters ticking., or, the rocker arm still contacting the rocker box. I would hope that they clearanced the underside of the boxes instead of just adjusting the pushrods. That's the wrong way to do it. It's also possible that if all they did was adjust the pushrods by loosening them when they found the rocker arms hitting the rocker boxes, that one of the pushrods is too loose, and causing slack between the lifter and rocker arm and ticking away.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 08:01 PM
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One other thing you (or they) should do is figure out why that exhaust valve stuck in the first place. Was it running lean & got too hot? Once that valve stuck, it more than likely caused the collateral damage to the cam and lifter, and they should've checked those on the initial go around.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 03:53 PM
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My question is WHY didn't the check the cam and lifter on the fist repair?
You may want to find a new shop or just start fixing the bike yourself.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2016, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Picked up bike today...

Trust me, I am already looking for some other mechanic. I can't trust the dealers anymore. I would be happy to do my own work, but the specialized tools cost a lot and not worth the expense for only occasional use.

The bike seems to run the way it did before the issues, but since I essentially have a new engine, I have to go through a new break-in before trying to do a new dyno run. I will try a new map to see if I can get it to smooth out a little, but after at least a 500 mile break-in. I will wait and see. At least I have my bike back and it runs as well as it did, if a little rough.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2016, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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They ground down the valve covers because they did find that the new pushrods and rocker arms were tapping the top of the cover. Once they did a little machinign, that problem went away.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 06:41 AM
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That outfit was throwing darts in the dark, hoping that one would hit something.
That is what happens, when the unknowing, are led by the unknowing.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillsidecycle.com View Post
That outfit was throwing darts in the dark, hoping that one would hit something.
That is what happens, when the unknowing, are led by the unknowing.
Scott
Even I as a novice garage mechanic would have checked ALL the moving parts..

Whoa...
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 09:02 AM
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Damn thats a friggin nightmare. I have never heard or had a tick at idle but every time I think I want to upgrade my motor with new heads, cams etc I am going to read this thread.. what a nightmare and sounds familiar to some of the problems I had when I upgraded my old 96 to a 103..ughhh

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfRider View Post
Trust me, I am already looking for some other mechanic. I can't trust the dealers anymore. I would be happy to do my own work, but the specialized tools cost a lot and not worth the expense for only occasional use.

The bike seems to run the way it did before the issues, but since I essentially have a new engine, I have to go through a new break-in before trying to do a new dyno run. I will try a new map to see if I can get it to smooth out a little, but after at least a 500 mile break-in. I will wait and see. At least I have my bike back and it runs as well as it did, if a little rough.
Put it on a dyno now. The first few pulls to do the lower tuning positions will heat the bike then let it cool down. We do this on all our bikes then fully tune. If the motor is right, you'll have no problems, if it isn't, you will find it. Good luck, nothing like a good tuned bike to make it run cooler and make the motor work easier.
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