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Discussion Starter #1
Since day one, my 120ST has been noisy on the top end and was very prominent when hot... especially between 2600-3000 rpms. I was told it was NORMAL and had dealt with it day by day.... I wasn't buying it. There is no way I should here top end noise at 80mph over an Arc XDI 600.4 amp pushing 4 high-end speakers.

I found out about ROCKOUTS on another forum a few months ago and decided then, that this could be a viable solution ( to correct a potential problem ) that I 'might' be having.

It never got better or worse... so I bought the $15 rockouts and hung them on the bench in the garage for a rainy/snowy day.

I picked up some adjustable pushrods and yesterday decided to tear into it... GLAD I DID!

Once I got in there ( following the manual ) and took the rocker support housing off the rear cylinder, it was obvious that 'something' just wasn't right.



First clue was the right side bolt on the exhaust side.. VERY HARD to get out compared to the other 3



Second clue was the offset position of the rocker shaft itself...



Third clue was noticed looking into the bolt hole of the rocker support....



Fourth clue was the rocker shaft when I pulled it out of the housing with very LITTLE effort.... witness marks from rotational action



( they are not supposed to move this easy )


Here is a video...

Rocker Shaft Video

After finding all this... I called my HD tech and sent him pics... and told me to bring the parts in for inspection... afterall... only 3000+ miles and still under warranty ( I was 'cleared' by HD on this before I started )

Everything was within tolerances but it was clear to them that this had to be what we were hearing in the top end.

They agreed with me installing the Rockouts should cure the issue of the shafts bouncing off the bolts and moving around during operation.



After cleaning up and re-installing the shafts and aligning them, I installed the kit with ease... instructions are perfect and very simple.

Here you can see the ROCKOUT inserts installed.



I reassembled the rear cylinder with the new SE adjustable pushrods and took the advice of my HD tech to go 3 full turns on the rods vice 2.5 as stated in the instructions. He said the tighter tolerance will run better and quieter.... he has been an HD tech for 15+ years, so I trust him.

I did the front cylinder and found the same issues....

Got it all back together... and......

WOW!!! I have NEVER heard my 120ST so quiet since day one!!! Every bit of noise I was hearing is GONE! I ran it up to around 285 degrees at idle to get the oil nice and hot and rev'd to 2600-3000 rpms where the noise was most prominent... NOTHING AT ALL!!!

I couldn't be happier at this point! Gonna be takin er out today for a ride, so that will be the ALL-TELLING truth.....

Just wanted to share this with the masses.
 

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Nice job! I guess I will be trying the adjustable pushrods. The Rockouts took out the rattle in the rpm range you described but I still have the typical top end noise. Was thinking of going to the S&S lifters as well. Good info for the masses though. Also, nice chatting with you on FB. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Nice job! I guess I will be trying the adjustable pushrods. The Rockouts took out the rattle in the rpm range you described but I still have the typical top end noise. Was thinking of going to the S&S lifters as well. Good info for the masses though. Also, nice chatting with you on FB. :)
YESSIR! I did inspect the lifters, 'perfect fit' rods and cams for scarring ( abnormal wear indications. etc ).... nothing.

I think the compliment of adding the adj. pushrods was a key factor as well. Since I was already going in there, I figured it was worth the upgrade.

I was told to go with Woods lifters when I get around to more motor work..... S&S is a great choice, too.... decisions... sigh

Definitely great to chat with you on FB.... thanks for the info and insight you provided.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good job! But why do you need adjustable rods?
Best I can explain it.... 'perfect fit' rods are not 'perfect' for every application.

You are able to tighten the tolerances over a fixed pushrod and there is no possibility for slop in the valvetrain.
 

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Nice job! I guess I will be trying the adjustable pushrods. The Rockouts took out the rattle in the rpm range you described but I still have the typical top end noise. Was thinking of going to the S&S lifters as well. Good info for the masses though. Also, nice chatting with you on FB. :)
If you haven't changed out your stock lifters to S&S standards (you don't need the premium) you won't believe the difference they make.Did mine last week. Tore apart one of the front c-lifters of Harley. There were inconsistencies in the valve on the inside and you could see where it was hanging up at times. Tolerances were not followed for sure. Cheaply made.
 

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Nice thread and valuable info this is what makes this forum so kick ass great members willing to so this kind of info.
 

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Which pushrods did you use?
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Which pushrods did you use?
SE non-tapered

I initially bought S&S... but when I got home, the NOTE on PAGE 3 said required to use aftermarket covers to gain access to the adjusters. I wasn't THRILLED at that point... so I went back in and swapped them out for the SE Kit that comes with covers and O-rings and not just pushrods.
 

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Thanks. I'll be putting my motor back together soon with the SE pushrods as well. 3 turns down eh? I got the rockouts too. It looks like they just go in 2 of the holes on each side?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks. I'll be putting my motor back together soon with the SE pushrods as well. 3 turns down eh? I got the rockouts too. It looks like they just go in 2 of the holes on each side?
No problem.... The difference in the tapered and non-tapered PR's is about $25.. FYI... I didn't need tapered.....

The rocker shafts are only keyed for the bolts on the right side, so yes...they only do in one side of the rocker housing.

Just ensure the shaft key is aligned with the housing BEFORE you start the Rockouts ( it's explained in the instructions and not rocket science by any means ) or you can damage the Rockouts. Basically, you don't want to use the insert to align the shaft or you will mangle it.. it's only brass.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
UPDATE AFTER A 225 MILE RIDE:

OK... so is my 120ST 'completely' noise-free? The answer.... no. BUT WAY BETTER than it was.

All of the rattle that my top end had at 2600-3000 rpms before is completely gone... that's for sure. Before.. it sounded like it was coming apart as if NOTHING was tight... I could almost hear EVERY VALVE open and close like someone tap-dancing in the rocker boxes... no joke.

I brought it down to my HD guy and he noticed right off the bat and was SHOCKED! He is a believer in Rockouts now.

I have minimal chatter ( that may be a bad word to use here ) that most can be related to the TB from what I can tell now since everything else is quiet. I can put my ear up to the AC it's prominent only there.

When I pull up to a light now.... I can't hear the engine clattering as before... only my exhaust.

HAPPY CAMPER!!
 

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Sounds good. BTW you are up wayyyy to early Spazz. I'm only up now because I have to be. :) It would be cool to meet up some time since you aren't that far away. I'm glad the Rockouts worked for you. Like I said I'll be installing mine soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Sounds good. BTW you are up wayyyy to early Spazz. I'm only up now because I have to be. :) It would be cool to meet up some time since you aren't that far away. I'm glad the Rockouts worked for you. Like I said I'll be installing mine soon.
Im up by 0400 daily.... can't help it.. LOL!!! I'll be back to work some time in the next 2 weeks after almost 5 months off recovering from left knee surgery on Oct 5th.... I CANT WAIT TO GET BACK!!!

I was just down your way yesterday on a ride... went down 395S to 208 to 339 into Yerrington and up 95A into Fernley and back west into Reno.





We can hook up some time for sure.... Im always game for meeting up.

I gotta see that car tire!!!!
 

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Right on. That's my preferred winter route for a ride when it's too icy up in Tahoe. The Car tire is cool. I have about 20,000 miles on it and it still looks new. I may go with the 190 next time for additional belt clearance. I have about 1/16" between the belt and tire but it's worked so far and handles better than any bike tire I've had on it.
 

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If you haven't changed out your stock lifters to S&S standards (you don't need the premium) you won't believe the difference they make.Did mine last week. Tore apart one of the front c-lifters of Harley. There were inconsistencies in the valve on the inside and you could see where it was hanging up at times. Tolerances were not followed for sure. Cheaply made.

So even with the 120 you would go with the S&S Standard and not the Premium?


Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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So even with the 120 you would go with the S&S Standard and not the Premium?


Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
Yes, if I was staying below .585 lift, I would go with the S&S standard. Almost the same lifter, just a little difference on the inside. My understanding from S&S, the premiums have a ceramic ball in the check valve and the standards have a steel one. Pretty much everything else is the same, rollers, body, etc. My understanding is, on high lift motors and race engines, the premiums pump up with more hydraulic pressure due to the lighter ball. I know Bobby Woods' lifters are noisy on start up and pump up slow but once they pump up they almost act like a solid lifter with the benefits of a hydraulic lifter. Anyway, here's a video that kind of gives you an idea how a hydraulic lifter works.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgLIwYGya9Y
 
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