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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Question Mystery Engine Problem Solved

I hope this post will help anyone experiencing the same problem. It took over 18 months and countless research and finally sheer luck to figure out the problem.

Here is my story:

I own a 2016 Road Glide Ultra, purchased with just 2 miles on it from Blue Springs Harley Davidson in Independence, MO. I rode my 2007 Ultra Classic from Fredericksburg, VA to Independence, MO for a business meeting. Ended up trading in my 2007 for the 2016 Road Glide Ultra, the test ride on the highway is what sold me on the Road Glide Ultra. With over 78,000 miles on my Ultra Classic, the lack of wind buffeting when I passed Semi's or strong winds really is noticeable going from the batwing to the shark nose.

Anyway, riding from Independence, MO to Fredericksburg, went through some bad thunderstorms and my RGU did great. Jump forward about 6 months and 10,000 miles later start thinking about adding some performance parts. Cam plate here, oil pump there, better lifters and adjustable push rods, you all know the mod story and it could go on for hours and dreams go on.

I'm riding home from work about 124 miles round trip (62 or so one way). It was a rainy February day, we had some snow the week prior so a lot of salt on the road, so along with rain, I have salt getting kicked up on the RGU. About 15 miles from home on I-95 south the rear cylinder stops firing, my engine light comes on and it feels like the ITMS just kicked in. What the hell is this!!! I had just bought all the parts for my engine upgrade and hadn't put them on and I'm glad I didn't. Going to Harley to have them look this over.

I call the Dealer the next day in Fredericksburg to take the bike and figure out the problem. I told them I'll see if she fires up, yep, sure did. Fires up with no problems both cylinders firing. Ride to the dealer about 7 miles down the road. Pull the engine codes, no combustion, fuel mix, and temp error codes all get pulled. The dealer looks the bike over, complete all sorts of test, compression test, idle, sensor tests, no problems found. WHAT? I know what happened yesterday... the rear cylinder definitely quit working and the error codes prove there was a problem. The dealer agrees, but can't figure it out. The replaced the spark plugs, fired up and road her home. If she experiences the problem again, they'll check it out.

OK... well, I decide to hold off the mods until I have a few thousand more miles on her to see if the problem persists. Another 2,500 miles gets racked up in a few months and no problems. The rear cylinder issue never came up again.

OK... must have been some weird fluke. I thought, had to be the salt, not sure how, maybe some odd way it may have come in through the air cleaner, mixed with the fuel air mix and caused the problem. I don't know, but I hadn't had the problem in over 2,500 miles riding her every day back and forth to work. No difference in performance, no difference in how she is handling, no difference in sound.

OK, let the mods begin!!!! So April 2017, I tear into the to and lower end. I installed the rocker lockers, replaced the push rods with S&S Quickie Push Rods, S&S Premium Lifters with travel limiters, replace stock cam bearings with Torrington Needle Cam Bearings, Feuling 7062 Race Series High Flow Oil Pump, 8015 High Flow Cam Plate, S&S Easy Start 585 Cams, Zippers Cam Chain Tensioners, Arlen Ness Inverted Big Sucker, K&P High Flow Oil Filter, Thundermax ECM, Bassani True Dual Down Under Headers, Screamin Eagle 4" Cannons with FullSac 2.25" Baffles.

DAMN!!! What a ride!!! I don't need to dyno because I can feel the kick in the seat! I wanted a daily rider with get up and go and got it now.

About 15,000 miles with the new mods, raining and heading to work and the rear cylinder cuts on and off... crap... what the hell. Thankfully I was only a few blocks from work when it happened. I'm going to call Triple A and have them tow. But lets see, before I do, if she'll fire up. Yep, fires right up, it not raining only in the morning, so I'll ride her home and if she acts up, I'll pull over and call Triple A. Get home with no issue... Wonder if the Arlen Ness inverted filter has something to do with it. It says it doesn't require a rain sock, but maybe to much water was sucked in.

Ok, going to put a rain sock on. I have my old rain sock from my 2007 Ultra Classic and it fits my Arlen Ness just fine... Ok, that's my solution....

She's been riding awesome for almost 20,000 more miles, now I've got a little over 31,000 miles on my RGU, its now February 2018. Never had an issue with the rear cylinder since that last time. Rain or shine, hot or cold, she's running awesome!

This winter is really cold... she's running great though in 7 degree temp. Really enjoying my ride into work and home. Almost 2 years on my RGU and loving it!

Mid February, Its rainy out, coming home from work, just entered the express way, have about 50 more miles to go to get home. SON-OF-A-BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB my rear cylinder is acting up again. This time I've got NO error code showing up on my Dakota Digital Gauges, I drop back my speed from 60 down to 40... not that I had much of a choice, but I intentionally reduce power because I now smell fuel, a lot of fuel.

SHIT, the injectors still firing fuel into the cylinder, its gotta be getting into the oil.. do I stop and call my wife, AAA or could I limp her home. Still got about 45 miles left, its cold outside, rainy and I'm pissed off..... f*** it... I'll limp her home very gingerly, the engine temp is showing 139 degrees and dropping, oil temp is showing 128 degrees and dropping... got about 15 miles left before I'm home...

DAMN the rear cylinder just started again... got power, she's running normal, smooth maybe we'll be ok... 5 miles left. NOPE rear cylinder stopped again... smell gas, she's now sputtering, at light and she is barely running, sputtering very badly.

Finally, get her home.... HOLY F***, what the hell is this!! undue the oil cap... damn, very strong fuel smell... fuel definitely got into the oil. I don't know how much viscosity loss it caused and don't know if there is damage internally. I'll leave the cap open to let the fuel evaporate and need to drain the oil.

It is some weird February, rain, salt mix issue? Got to be... I look up on the message boards, call Harley... due to the mods, especially changing out the ECM, I'll have to pay Harley to figure this one out...

NOPE, going to figure it out on my own. Search the blogs, could be this, could be that, check this, check that. Nope none of those checked out. Called my boss who is also a Harley rider, need to take the day off to figure out what's wrong with my Road Glide. I need to tear into the engine to see if there was any damage. Boss completely understands... my Road Glide is my commuting vehicle, I have to get her back up and running.

So I take off the Arlen Ness, ah oh... breather bolts look like water and oil mix. Not good. This means I need to tear into the lower end and see what damage.

Get the lower cam cover off, doesn't look bad, maybe I got lucky! Look at the cam chain tensioner... Looks very excessively worn for 20,000 miles. Called Zippers, yep, this isn't normal, shouldn't be anywhere as worn, I need to pull the shoe and look more closely.

Pull the cam tensioner shoe off, holy crap, large chunks are missing from the shoe. This definitely isn't normal. Ok, if large chunks are missing from the cam shoe, where did those chucks go? Need to pull the cam plate off and look at the oil pump and filter. Crap, this is looking like an expensive fix.

Continued in next post....
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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So removed the cam plate, pulled off the oil pump, and looked at the cams... ok, the cams look good. Oil pump has a lot of scoring. Need to take the oil pump apart and look at the large and small gear rotors. They have large pits. Definitely, something hard went through and damaged the oil pump..

I need to pull the cam out of the cam plate so I can look at the cam plate more closely. Cams won't come out of the cam plate... not good. Ok, after some time, wiggle and jiggle got the cams out of the cam plate.

DAMN... not good, cam plate definitely scoring and meta to metal contact with the cams. The aluminum melted onto the cams, so this has got to be what went through the oil pump and caused the damage.

Took the K&P oil filter off, and dissembled... Yep, lots of aluminum, and lots of black chunks of the shoe.

So the cam plate is toast, oil pump is toast, need to check out the push rods, lifters and the top end.

Here goes... Oh thank God, at least these are ok, no wear marks, no abrasions, I can still pump the lifters with oil.

So now, I wonder how much of this caused problems in the crank case. The K&P oil filter definitely did its job, but did the fuel cause metal to metal in the crank and are there issues there?

I reassembled with the stock components that I kept. Stock cams, go back in, stock cam plate, stock oil pump, oil filter back in. 4 quarts of oil in and flush 4 quarts of oil out. No metal, no debris in the oil, ok, looks like the K&P did do its job. Haven't taken the oil pan off and looked in there, but let's keep things stock and see if there are any more problems before I decide to disassemble any further.

Pics on the next few posts.
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, so this is the picture of my breather bolt. This was my first indicator that a larger problem awaits me. Sorry, some of the pictures I can't seem to orient properly.

The next picture is with the cam cover off... looks ok, but definitely has problems, but didn't know this until I took her apart.

The third picture shows the zippers cam chain tensioner, you can definitely see that the chain is settled in a lot more than normal at 20,000 miles. So had to look at the shoe because of that.

Looking at the shoe, you can see the excessive wear and chunks missing...

All this because of fuel in the oil....
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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So the next series of pics show the wear on the cam plate, oil pump and cams. I am at least impressed that the feuling cam plate didn't blow up due to the metal on metal, it absolutely held up albeit under the small engine load.

First pic is of the cam plate. You can see the scoring and the red anodized aluminum worn away. Not good, this cam plate is toast.

Next pic is of the gear rotors of the oil pump, the scavenging and pressure rotors. Probably could still use, but not worth tempting, need to definitely replace.

Finally the last picture pictures of the cams show the cam end that goes into the crank case. Was hoping the cams were still good...
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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So I had a hard time pulling the cams out of the cam plate. And the cams didn't turn easily in the cam plate. Definitely means there is an issue.

The pic shows the aluminum cam plate scorched onto the cams.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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So I start to put my RGU back together and last part is the Arlen Ness back plate, breather bolts. Hmm, doesn't seem to fit flush with the intake and the breather bolt spacers. That's weird, she was flush when I disassembled her. Damn... there is a big gap between the back plate and intake manifold.

I can't figure this out... Time to reread the installation instructions. Ah... the wiring bracket needs to be removed... ok, took that off... Fits, smooth.

Ah ha! That was it. That was the cause of the rear cylinder issue, water and salt getting in from that huge gap! Ah, I feel so much better. Now that I know the cause of the problem, ok. We can breath!

My RGU is put back together, she's running great and I going to run her for 500 miles and do another oil change.

She rides fine, the loss of the 585 definitely noticeable power loss, but otherwise accelerates great, hold the speed and don't see any oil burn. Check the oil level after each day going to work and looks good. So far very happy!

Ok, about a week has gone by and no problem.... Now its the following Friday, have an afternoon meeting in DC, so I'll ride in during late morning and then head back home. It's raining, but should stop in the afternoon, so a nice ride back home after my meeting.

My RGU starts right up, running great, head out on I-95, and about 15 miles into the ride to work, HOLY F********* MOTHER F***** GOD****** PIECE OF SH******, COME ON MAN!!!!! My rear cylinder stops firing, I'm going to head back home, gonna have to drive the wife's car. So PISSED!!! I thought I figure it out!!!!

What the HELL could this be!!! I get off the interstate, limping the bike off the exit. The rear cylinder starts again, now she's riding fine, accelerate, yep, runs smooth, yes... hmmm... get back on I-95 North and go to meeting?

NO, get back home don't chance it. Get to light where I will make a left to the I-95 south ramp... whoa.... got a handing idle.... she's staying at 1,500 RPMs, idles isn't coming down.

OH MY GOD.... Could it be? Don't tell me that was the problem this entire time....

I limp the bike home, very gingerly riding about 25 miles with the hazards on and she's running fine. If I try to accelerate because its still raining, she starts to sputter and rear cylinder shuts quits firing.. slow and the rear cylinder comes back on...

Got to tear her part this weekend again! But I now I have a better idea what the problem is....
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 02:52 PM
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Mystery engine problem solved

Hello. In your thread you said, "All this because of fuel in the oil." How do you think the fuel get into the oil? -Thanks, Wayne

2017 FLTRU
Colorado Springs, Colorado
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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The hanging idle told me I had an intake leak.... but where? I haven't touched the intake manifold, maybe I've got a crack and during the cold winter the crack has gotten worse... Hot/cold, hot/cold and enough. Well, need to take off the intake manifold to figure out the problem.

At least now I believe I've limited the issue.

After researching and looking more at the intake manifold, man this seal looks bad.... Ok, I don't know if I have a crack, but definitely need new seals. Don't have time to test, just gonna get a new intake manifold (thank goodness for Rob's used Harley... he just got a new take off intake manifold). The person swapped out for a SE intake manifold....

Just picked that up from Rob's, and went to Harley dealer to get new seals.

Ok, let's look at the seals... Yep, definitely, bad seals...

Ok, replaced the intake manifold, new seals, torqued to specs 13 - 15 ft pounds. Time to test, sprayed starter fluid around the manifold seals while she's running... still idling normal, no revs or increased idle.. let's let her warm up a bit. Ride her around and then spray again starter fluid around the seals during idle. Still idling normal, no revs.

Ok, going to take a spray bottle and spray water while she's running around the seals... she is still running normal...

Ok, took the intake manifold to Harley to evaluate, that part is still under warranty... Took the part in....

Got the part back, the intake manifold is in great condition, no cracks, the electronic throttle works properly, the manifold is not defective.

Well... damn... a $2.49 bad intake seal caused this much turmoil!!!

I've now ridden over 1,000 miles with the stock cam plate, stock cams and stock oil pump, I've ridden rain and cold weather... She's running like a champ again.

So my lesson... if you experienced your rear cylinder shutting off, while you may not have a hanging idle, check out your intake seal. I only thought if you had a handing idle would this be indicative of an intake seal issue.

It was only when I had a hanging idle that it dawn on me to check the intake seal and intake manifold.

Well... for some good news out of all this bad luck.

I called Feuling and told them my situation. They asked me to mail them the parts and they would see if they could repair or replace. I told them the cam plate is toast, but would be great if they could replace the gear rotors in the oil pump. Well... Feuling called me back about 2 weeks later, yep... toast. But they replaced my 8015 HF cam plate and 7062 Race Series Oil Pump at nearly 70% off. Hell yea! So I now have a replacement Feuling 8015 cam plate and replacement 7062 oil pump ready to put back in.

So a smaller silver lining... I was impressed with Feuling's customer service!
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, so her is my question for you all now.

Remember the cams and the scorching from the cam plate? I was able to remove the scorching...

Question: would you reuse this cam? Any reason you wouldn't? The cam looks fine now, but I'm not a metal expert... However aluminum versus hardened steel, the hardened steel wins.

Cleaned off the scorch using fine sandpaper and oil and she looks smooth as a baby's bottom.

Any concerns with reusing?
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woverby View Post
Hello. In your thread you said, "All this because of fuel in the oil." How do you think the fuel get into the oil? -Thanks, Wayne
Because the rear injector was still firing, no combustion fuel works its way down into the crank case from the rear cylinder. Short duration, probably no issue, but long 50 miles, definitely caused issue.

Lessoned learned in the future for me, stop the bike and call a two truck.
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