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Discussion Starter #1
I took my 17 FLTRU to the dealer with excessive lifter clatter when starting up cold, they replaced the lifters
Under warranty I still have what I consider a lot of clatter on cold startup
Anyone having this issue? Thanks for any input
 

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Paulw...I have same issue on my RGU Stage 1 . Just turned 14,000 when it got really bad. Took it to local stealer and first question from service desk guy was "what oil do you use?" I said Amsoil and he had a funny look on his face and said that they have heard some bad things about Amsoil! Ha! I asked him if that was the case then why do you sell it off the shelve in the parts dept.? Wiped that funny look off his face real quick.
After service guys looked at it, they called the HD mothership tech dept, they said to change the oil back to HD oil. I said I pass on the oil change, I just don't think a different brand of oil is going to change that much on a component (lifters) that HD themselves say should be changed every 20K-40K miles.
Still have the clatter...I will do some more reading on the forum on what causes to check for. There must be some valve that is not seating thus causing oil to drain from lifters?
 

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I had that happen on my Vulcan Voyager at ~ 50,000 miles. Kawasaki replaced the Valve Lash Adjusters under warranty with a new design. They had the dealer change the oil to Kawasaki oil before deciding to open her up. No money out of my pocket.

I love not having to do valve adjustments on these big twins but one would hope that the Valve Lash Adjusters would last the life of the engine.
 

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MIne is not an M8, it's a 2016 and I just had to have my lifters replaced right at 20,000 miles. Same issues, a louder than normal clatter at startup. My lifters were "frosted." Oddly enough MoCo warrantied the issue even though the service manual says frosted lifters do not affect their operation, so kudos to Harley this time. I used Amsoil, but I switched back to Mobile 1.

I've heard rumors that Harley says check the lifters every 20,000 miles, but that's not in the service or owner's manuals. If it turns out to be true, that's a a heck of a"tax" to pay for folks who ride 20,000 plus miles a year, especially when you add cam tensioners and the primary tensioner to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
the engine is bone stock, i have used amsoil 20-50 since the 1000 mile service, and the clatter goes away after 20 - 30 sec.
 

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Having same problem at 21,000 and use amsoil and have in all my bikes for the past 29 years with no problems, talked to one dealer and they said go back to standard harley oil syn no good, talked to harley directly they said no issues with syn. going in for 20k service and this isse see what happens, waiting for the fucking or bullshit answers.
 

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my 2018 makes lifter noises on cold startup, too. goes away after a couple of minutes.

originally thought it was a compensator issue, but goes away when warmed up.

FTR I just turned 15,000 miles and noise started around 13,000.

also have used amsoil since 1,000 mile service. if the oil was an issue, wouldn't it have started on its initial fill???
 

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The M8 oil pump is a real piece of work. Especially the early ones. If I had an issue with a whole set of low mileage tappets, I think I would be looking at replacing the pump.
 

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I just don't think a different brand of oil is going to change that much on a component (lifters) that HD themselves say should be changed every 20K-40K miles.
who, and where, says that lifters should be changed every 20-40k? i've never seen that in any owner's manual or service manual.
 

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The M8 oil pump is a real piece of work. Especially the early ones. If I had an issue with a whole set of low mileage tappets, I think I would be looking at replacing the pump.
if the lifters have bled down (overnight) and it takes a few minutes for them to pump back up, then wouldn't the clatter continue if it was just an oil pump problem?

since it goes away after warmed up, would the viscosity of the oil change enough to make the difference?

(FTR it's a May 2018 build)
 

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9K miles on my 2018 FLTRU. Makes some clatter for about 5 seconds after a cold start, then calms down. Wouldnt be surprised if it gets worse but I'm considering trading for a 2020 model depending on what they come out with, so probably wont matter.
 

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The fact of the matter is that HD stock lifters these days are junk. They have been nothing but problems ever since they switched to the "C" lifter. I had mine replaced under warranty at 400 miles on my 2015 when they began rattling on start up. I offered to pay the difference to upgrade to S&S standard tappets. Dealer tried to talk me into SE lifters and I pay the difference, but S&S is what I wanted, and they ended up being cheaper than the SE's anyway, and within a few bucks of stock lifters. Dealer ate the few dollar difference and I haven't had an issue since.
Lil Chief
 

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no one is disputing that the s&s lifters are better. but, i have warranty and esp, so if the lifters go, they get to replace my engine. if i put in s&s and the lifters go, then it's on me.
 

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if the lifters have bled down (overnight) and it takes a few minutes for them to pump back up, then wouldn't the clatter continue if it was just an oil pump problem?

since it goes away after warmed up, would the viscosity of the oil change enough to make the difference?

(FTR it's a May 2018 build)
The bleed down issue only takes place on the tappets which are holding valves open when the motor stops rotating. So it would just be a tappet or two and should not last more than 1/2 a second or so. Most readjust while the engine is cranking over. All of the tappets rattling for a minute or more is an oil supply issue. Generally its the pump, or the rear surface of the cam plate. As the clearance opens up, the oil is able to drain from the pump while sitting. The the pump fills with air. That air get pushed through the system on start up. And the air causes issues where ever the oil flows through a metered devise. Just like air in a diesel injector line. Because the piston oilers are down stream from the tappet and use a poppet valve for regulation, the air has trouble flowing through. The oil metering ports in the tappets also restrict the purging of the air out through the pushrods.

What you can do with oil, depends on how much wear is in the system. Oil that has a low cold pour weight (thin out of the bottle) will probably flow through a cold system faster, but might also drain out of the pump more readily. If I was going to try and fix the issue with oil, I would probably try using a qt of Lucas Oil Stabilizer on it. Not that it really is the wonder additive they make it out to be, it does actually make oil cling to surfaces. And that might be enough to stop the pump from draining when parked overnight.
 

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The bleed down issue only takes place on the tappets which are holding valves open when the motor stops rotating. So it would just be a tappet or two and should not last more than 1/2 a second or so. Most readjust while the engine is cranking over. All of the tappets rattling for a minute or more is an oil supply issue. Generally its the pump, or the rear surface of the cam plate. As the clearance opens up, the oil is able to drain from the pump while sitting. The the pump fills with air. That air get pushed through the system on start up. And the air causes issues where ever the oil flows through a metered devise. Just like air in a diesel injector line. Because the piston oilers are down stream from the tappet and use a poppet valve for regulation, the air has trouble flowing through. The oil metering ports in the tappets also restrict the purging of the air out through the pushrods.

What you can do with oil, depends on how much wear is in the system. Oil that has a low cold pour weight (thin out of the bottle) will probably flow through a cold system faster, but might also drain out of the pump more readily. If I was going to try and fix the issue with oil, I would probably try using a qt of Lucas Oil Stabilizer on it. Not that it really is the wonder additive they make it out to be, it does actually make oil cling to surfaces. And that might be enough to stop the pump from draining when parked overnight.
thanks again for the explanation, Thermo!

i guess at this point there's two choices: go in and replace/upgrade everything or trade it in.

hmmm...
 

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thanks again for the explanation, Thermo!

i guess at this point there's two choices: go in and replace/upgrade everything or trade it in.

hmmm...
I trading the bike in really a viable option? Asked another way, have do the 2020 motors have improved oil pumps and lifters?
 

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I trading the bike in really a viable option? Asked another way, have do the 2020 motors have improved oil pumps and lifters?
at this stage (LOL) i guess i could try to blow it up. dealers in this area don't do very well at warranty claims though.

for the amount of money i would spend upgrading i could lose on a trade-in and another "roll the dice" on a newer model.

besides, i have no way of knowing how much damage has been done, if any. definitely don't want to upgrade the entire valve train.
 
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