front eng noise and metal flakes in engine

Discussion in 'Engine, Fuel and Exhaust' started by jake the snake, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. jake the snake

    jake the snake New Member

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    I have been searching the forum on front eng noise it seems to get louder the warmer the engine gets I did a compression test the numbers were to spec but the front cylinder was 5 lbs lower than the rear cylinder and changed by a couple lbs. when I added oil to the fr cyl. I checked the cam guides today and they are worn out and show some heat distortion but are not metal to metal yet I found metal flakes every where that look brass in color but stick to my magnet my bike is a 2004 fat boy with 56,000 miles on it I have listened to my eng. with a stethoscope and everything sounds normal to me I have had a couple friends listen and one said it sounds like piston noise hence the compression test and the other said it sounded like my lifters and I needed to do a topend refresh kit I just bought the bike 2 weeks ago and it is my first Harley it seems to have normal power compared to other Harleys I have ridden so any help in my investigation would be greatly appreciated :D thanks jake :newsmile01:
     
  2. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Check the cam chain tensioners first. Do you have previous records? If this bike is bone stock, the cam chain tensioners are in need of inspection. Maybe that you are referring to the tensioners when you say "cam guides"? If they are worn out, do not continue to ride it. It will get much more expensive IMO.
     
  3. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Any mods to the engine? Did it have the noise from day 1? What oil are you running? a little more info would be helpful. I agree with Bodeen, if your speaking of the cam tensioners they need to be replaced NOW before you run it any longer. If the tensioners fail you'll have catastrophic damage to the engine.
     
  4. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    I would like to know what the compression readings were but would not be worried about the 5psi difference between cylinders. A leak down test sounds like it might be in order.

    As Bodeen and Jeff suggest, tensioner replacement is definitely necessary; ton't even bother with checking them, just plan on replacing them. Check crank runout while the cam chest is open and note it for future reference. I would not replace the tensioners with the OEM hardware but would replace them with the CYCO tensioners. If you have to use stethoscope to hear any noise, I would not worry much.:s You should be able to hear piston slap or valve train noise without the use of stethoscope. Believe me when I say that there are many that wish they had to use a stethoscope to hear valve train noise.:D

    If a leak down test doesn't indicate a problem; change the tensioners, oil and filter and call it good for now. However, at 56K miles, I would be tempted to refresh the top end, i.e., bore cylinders to 95" and have heads refreshed, i.e., valve job, new guide seals, etc. A BigBoyz "street" port for $299 would be well worth expense. The early heads were power bottlenecks. If you or your buddies are DIY guys, easy work and will not drain your bank account. If not, winter is coming on and many dealerships offer BigBore kit installs at a decent price during the winter months.:hii
     
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  5. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    Check your crank run out NOW, this is exactly what happened to my 07 Streetbob @ 27,500 miles. I was able to ride it to the dealer, it never stopped running tho the debris took its toll on the inside ruining the engine I have ESP and now have a new engine Good luck and let us know
     
  6. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    As a supplement to my previous, contact Blackstone (can do it online) an request one of their oil sample kits. Send an oil sample in for analysis; the results will tell you all you need to know about the condition of the motor.
     
  7. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

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    Thanks dolt, this is probably something a lot of us should consider with high mileage motors. And a definite need if we have questions about foreign objects we find in our oil.Blackstone Labs
     
  8. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    I have attached the comments from a report on a rebuild of my all bore 107" motor from 2011. I had been involved in a running battle with Axtell regarding their 4.125" cylinders that would not maintain a true bore. Without going into the gory details, suffice it to say that it was an unpleasant experience and I will never use Axtell cylinders again regardless of how many reports I see from those that have had successful installations.:s

    Axtell refused to accept any responsibility for the problems and after a lot of time and, of course, more money they kept offering excuses for the problem, i.e., dirty assembly, too much timing, not enough timing, inadequate or improper heat cycling, etc., basically operator error as if I was doing this for the first time.

    Anyway, one of their claims was that there was excessive metal flowing in the oil and unless I removed and cleaned the oil pan, I would never solve the problem. So, I sent an oil sample to Blackstone and their report includes a basic summary comment on the condition of the motor. This oil tested had 300miles and the motor, after Axtell had bored the first set of cylinders .010" O/S and I had purchased an O/S piston set. The original cylinders were sent back with just over 1000 miles with an untrue bore; belled at the top. The second set lasted just less than 1000 miles before they went south, so the motor had about 2000 miles on it at the time of testing.

    [​IMG]

    I eventually pulled the pan to convert install the later pan which would allow me to convert the exhaust system to the later cross under system and, as the report indicates, the plan was totally clean.

    The OP needs to understand that there will be metal in the oil, normal wear metal as the mileage increases; one of the reasons we change oil. A test will tell him a lot.:hii
     
  9. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Happy I quit considering Axtell cylinders a couple weeks ago!

    I agree with the oil report. The other nice thing about having an early oil report is that you can compare them down the road to give you a snapshot of general engine health. Kinda like blood work for humans......
     
  10. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    Agree.:D

    Don't know what cylinders you are looking for but if boring your "seasoned" OEM cylinders doesn't work and you are looking in the aftermarket, take a look at MTC cylinders. That's where I turned to solve my Axtell problem. Used the same .010" O/S pistons from the last go around with Axtell (checked them out first as there was some minor skirt scuffing) and ordered a set of MTC cylinders machined to fit the Axtell case bore dimensions and in 4.125" bore so we could "finish" the cylinders to a 4.135" bore and that motor makes 120TQ/105HP, uses no oil, no blow by and runs like a champ. I think a better set of heads will bring the HP number up to about 115.:s :hii