Engine knock..... Only in 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th

Discussion in 'Engine, Fuel and Exhaust' started by Gearbreaker, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. Gearbreaker

    Gearbreaker New Member

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    Hi everyone.... I'm new to the forum and would first like to say hi.... Reading everyones posts I am impressed by the knowledge here and the way everyone is willing to help.

    I have a "new to me" 2006 Road king Police with 7,777 miles (Would have been more lucky with that number if I was in Vegas). I purchased it last week from a dealer with no warranty. The bike has a strange problem... In all gears except 5th there is a very distinct and rather loud knock that sounds much like a rod knock. (It is much louder than a standard pre-ignition pinging). However it only shows up at about 2,200 RPM and goes away sharply at about 2,800 RPM. It is only a little quieter when the bike is cold. In 5th it runs in the afflicted RPM range with only an extremely slight knock that would almost seem normal. My first thought was a rod but because there is almost no noise in 5th makes me think twice. Although difficult to tell exactly, it seems to be coming from the front of the engine. The baffle in the muffler for the front cylinder is completely black with carbon and the rear cylinders baffle looks perfectly clean and like new. The bike also seems to be running with no smoke or oil consumption. I would assume that the knock and the soot in the exhaust are related but possibly there are two issues. There is no "check engine" light on.

    After spending countless hours reading everyones posts I have found a few areas that I am not familiar with that could be causing the problem. However, if anyone has any information or if anyone thinks of anything else, please let me know.....

    One of my thoughts is that the knock sensing system is not functioning correctly. I don't know if there is a separate knock sensor in this model or if it is derived through a spark plug. (Anyone know?)

    After reading all of the horror stories about the tensioners failing, is it possible that I am hearing a cam/lifter/valve arrangement that is allowing a valve to either tap on a piston or have such terrible lash that it sounds like a knock?

    Perhaps it could be a faulty injector or intake air leak causing one cylinder to call for extra fuel which richens the mix for the other?

    I have not had a chance to pull the plugs yet but hopefully it is simply a fouled plug but I think that is wishful thinking.

    Is it possible that the transmission has a bad bearing knocking and when it is in 5th/1:1 that all gets quiet because the bad bearing is on the countershaft and then spinning with no load on it? If it is a problem with the tranny the soot in the #1 exhaust would be a separate issue making this a pretty big coincidence.

    HELP!!!! I'm losing a lot of sleep over this and really want to get it taken care of before this problem creates a catastrophic problem.

    "Hang on, it's gonna' be a wild ride! Chris."
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Chris

    It's hard or almost impossible to diagnose something like this over the internet.I would say there is a possibility of a bad lifter for starters but only a guess at best here. A noise can be very elusive and difficult to find. Try to generalize the area that it is coming from for an easier solution.
     
  3. Gearbreaker

    Gearbreaker New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. yes, this is a very strange problem and even being on or next to the bike it is difficult to get a good idea of what I am hearing, never mind being in cyberspace. :) As I have been thinking more about it, I too think it is something with the valve train and if not a chain it just may be, as you say, a faulty lifter. The good news is that the dealer is now telling me that they will stand behind it and fix it. I am dropping it off tomorrow night and they said that they will have the problem diagnosed by Saturday. When I told the service manager that I thought it may be a lifter he replied "that's bad".... Hmmmm, last time I changed Harley lifters it only took me an hour, so now I am a little nervous about the dealer.

    Anyway, I"ll keep you posted.

    Hang on, it's gonna' be a wild ride, Chris.


    Thank you for the idea, your reply is well appreciated. I have used a sawed off broom handle on car engines before and it really does work great. It is easy to get spooked by your engine or transmission from hearing the normal but terrible sounding noises that go on inside when you put your ear to the end of it. :)

    I actually now have a wire type stethoscope now and I also have an electronic one which both work well. I was not able to use either because the problem only happens while riding along. I'd rather not poke around with the stethoscope while riding for obvious reasons. However, I have installed a passenger seat so if it comes down to it, I'll be able to poke around while on the bike with someone else "driving".

    Not sure if you read the last reply I left but the dealer now says that they will fix it. The knock has always been there and they (the dealer) claimed that this was "normal". I knew that it wasn't and was planning on repairing it myself. I called them today and told them about the carbon buildup on the baffle they admitted that there was a problem.

    I bought the bike for more money than it was worth but it is a very rare bike and I have been searching for exactly this bike for two years. I had the single cam version (a 1998) of this bike and I loved it. When I was buying my house the bank told me that I had to come up with more money for a down payment so I had to sell it. Three days later the bank told me that they made a mistake and I didn't need to sell it. The guy that bought it was thrilled about the perfect condition that I had kept it in and told me that when he saw it come off the truck (ebay sale) he was in disbelief. He honestly thought there was a mistake and he somehow received someone else's new bike. Anyway, the color scheme of this bike supposedly cannot be ordered by the dealer for a non police application. I also wanted one with somewhat low miles and in showroom new condition. Usually police bikes in this area are beat on and ridden in any weather. This one looks like it has never seen a drop of rain.

    Harley will not admit it but I have heard a few times that cop bikes are better balanced and made with the best quality parts. Of course, the run flat tires make me feel a little better while on the highway too. I have some cool bikes but my cop bike always got the most attention of all.

    Anyway, I'll keep you posted when the bike gets all sorted out.

    Hang on, it's gonna' be a wild ride, Chris.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2009
  4. tlyoungb

    tlyoungb Junior Member

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    Hey Glider,

    Speaking of lifters. How often should these be checked? I noticed this morning that when I started my bike it was knocking a little then went away while I was letting it warm up. I have the 05 EGS. It has right at 40K on it. Should I be looking at replacing them?
     
  5. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Generally if there is a problem associated with the lifters, they are just replaced. No sense opening them up to check them without replacing them. If you don't have adjustable push rods, you would have to open up the rocker area to remove the lifters unless you clipped the push rods and replaced them with adjustable ones.
     
  6. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    What are you using for motor oil, and how often are you replacing it?

    TQ
     
  7. tlyoungb

    tlyoungb Junior Member

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    I am using the Spectro 20w50 full syn, and I change it at every 5000 miles. It does not do it all the time. This has actually been the coldest I have seen it here in Florida in years, and it only last for about 30 sec and then it stops. It does not do it all the time either. Like I may go out tomorrow morning and it will not do anything. Then say a few days later or a week later it will knock a little and then stop. You won't hear anything.

    I have not done any modes to it. The bike is stock. I am assuming it has the orginal stock parts in her. When she runs though, she purrrss like a cat. Just as smooth as silk.