Hydraulic tensioner or bearing, don't know?

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by strikezone, Aug 17, 2016.

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  1. strikezone

    strikezone Member

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    Will try to make this as short as possible. Have a noise that is driving me nuts. To start its sounds exactly like when my Inner Primary Bearing failed (cracked) and squealed like a unlubricated, metal on metal bearing. To be clear it is not this bearing as I did replace it and the sound is still present. For those with a good knowledge of the 2007 96 CI Twin Cam inner workings I'm hoping you be able to point me in the right direction. #1 The inner primary bearing is new. #2 inspected the clutch basket bearing, and the two transmission trap door bearings; they appear to be fine. #3 DID NOT yet pull transmission and inspect the most inner bearing of transmission next to front belt pulley; really hoping its not that one. #4 it only makes the squealing sound when bike is cold or has sat for 30 minutes or more. Once the bike is hot and run for more than 10 minutes the sound goes away. #5 driving over rough road makes it squeal more and again stops once the bike has been ridden for 10 minutes or more, as if it were a loose motor mount issue, but its not. #6 my uneducated guess… something to do with one of the hydraulic tensioners in CAM area or Counter Balance chain. I don’t think it’s a tensioner pad failure as much as maybe a blocked or stuck tensioner. Based on how the tensioners operate, if the tensioner was not filling with oil properly to tighten the chain or is just stuck in the chamber, the chain would be loosely slapping around in the CAM or balancer area and rubbing against metal ?? Running the bike will slowly allow the tensioner to extend and tighten the chain as it is supposed to and thus the sound goes away?? My thought is that a bad bearing in any of the various areas would continue to make noise even when hot? Thank you in advance for the person who either experienced this and fixed it or just knows based on what my symptoms are what it probably is.
     
  2. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    I have not experienced what you are experiencing but will start with basics by asking a couple of questions.
    1. Is the current noise the same as the previous noise before you replace the IPB?
    2. Did you replace the IPB race when you replace the IPB?
    3. At idle, does the noise present differently with clutch engaged or disengaged?
    4. What is oil pressure at idle and at cruise?

    If you suspect the noise is coming from the cam chest, open it up and take a look. First thing to check is the pressure relief valve to see if it move freely in the bore. Then take a look at the tensioners and check the oil pump. If there was an issue with the counter balancer, I am pretty sure you would be experiencing a new vibration.
     
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  3. strikezone

    strikezone Member

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    First thanks for the feed back.....
    #1 Sounds the same as first bad IPB but goes away about 10 minutes of driving. It is also intermittent and not constant. The first time I replaced IPB the sound was constant and never went away. The best description is the sound a piece of metal or tool makes when pressed against a grinder. The first IPB replaced was cracked and when I removed it a piece fell off. I assume when the Dealer replaced the belt drive they started to tighten down the inner primary case and the bearing was not seated on the race, so it forced the bearing rod to crack the case and they either did not realize if cracked or did not care and put back together. It started making noise a few months after my belt was replaced. The one I took out a week ago looked fine and spun pretty smoothly on race when I just slid it on by itself (ie not pressed in the primary case) I put the new one on just in case to rule out the bearing. #2 No did not replace the race. #3 There is no noise at idle and only occurs once I start riding. But after the noise does start I can pull over and at a stop, rev the engine hear the noise. But not identify its location, since I can't put my ear next to all the locations while also turning the throttle. I fear its the inner transmission bearing only because it sounds like it is coming from both sides of the bike. It also does sound worse when the clutch IS engaged while riding. What has me perplexed is that when I'm riding on rough bumpy pavement, it behaves like squeak except that it is not a sqeak it is like touching and removing a piece a metal rapidly from grinder. The best way I can describe is similar to the ticking of a primary chain slap against the primary case except more grindy sounding. Also, maybe like a bearing tracking a piece of loose metal in the case. #4 don't currently have an oil pressure guage on this bike. Lastly, I have 83,600 miles on this engine. Sure people will say "that the problem, rebuild your engine now" The next step is a rebuild but so far little replacements, 2 starters, regulator, forks, wheels cam chain tensioners, primary chain tensioner, 2 IPB's, SE compensator to try to fix chain slap. Nothing else done to Trans, or lower/upper engine. Thanks!!!!!
     
  4. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    I have no idea where the noise is coming from but, from what you describe, it does sound like a troubled bearing could be the offender. The above quoted comment also points to the compensator, clutch, transmission, throw out bearing, main shaft bearing, trap door bearing or one of the shaft needle bearings that the gears ride on. Have you checked main shaft end and/or side to side play?

    I start by looking at the SE compensator, taking it apart and looking for the red residue from fretting. How many miles on the SE compensator? Most that have replaced the OEM compensator with the SE unit (not the most current upgrade) have had to replace them again after about 25K miles if they last that long.
     
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  5. strikezone

    strikezone Member

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    You have been extremely helpful, thank you for your time. I think I should revisit the SE compensator now that you mention it. When I put it in about 30,000 miles ago it did not come with the "oil deflector" or "oil spinner" that is supposed to help deliver more oil to the compensator that I saw on more recent install videos. I even see that oil distribution is such a problem that a company has come up with something called the COMPENSAVER, so there must be an issue that I was not aware of when it was first bought and installed. Recently, I did see the procedure for torqueing the bolt was changed, which I went back and followed. Lastly, the demonstration of the new torqueing technic differed from the original instructions I had followed. Not only did the original instruction change in regards to backing the bolt off 1/2 turn and re-tightening, it also instructed the use of a large wrench to hold the Sprocket Retainer which has appox 1-1/2" bolt pattern on it and then tighten the center bolt. The video instruction I saw had the guy used only using the sprocket locking bar and not a larger wrench on retainer, which allowed the compensation sprocket to ride up the sliding cam as it was torqued. Its seems to me if the sprocket is riding up the sliding cam when tightening the bolt, the torque on the disk springs would be less than if the bolt was tightened while sitting in the lowest part of the sliding cam? I'm not a Harley mechanic but it seems that the spring plates could rattle around and cause noise if not seated properly? Again, thanks for your time DOLT. In the end probably just rebuilding the transmission and lower end and replacing all possible bearings on a bike with almost 84,000 miles. Its just frustrating because it would be nice to know exactly what is causing this. Taking one bearing out at a time and putting the bike back together makes no sense so it looks like a tear down is in my near future.
     
  6. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    My money is on the compensator. Bubbie, a member of this forum has solved the lubrication issue on his compensator by cutting some grooves in the spokes in the -08A piece. Is that the one you have? If not, you might consider replacing yours, again, with the latest iteration; I think the attachment is the '14 up but I also think the compensator was upgraded again for the '16 MY, not sure.
    http://www.harley-davidson.com/store/big-twin-compensator-pa-18-40100061--1

    I have attached a link to a thread showing pictures of how different guys have approached the problem by grooving the spokes; interesting read.
    http://harleytechtalk.org/htt/index.php/topic,88566.25.html
     
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  7. strikezone

    strikezone Member

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    While I don't remember any fretting up front when I replaced the IPB, I am more and more leaning toward the compensator and feel the noise is more directed towards the front end of Primary now that it is suspect. I should have inspected it better when it was off; my mistake. I do have the crappy stock compensator. When I replaced it with the SE it still worked, I only replaced it because I had heard of them eventually failing and I was getting a little bit of chain slap on front lower primary at acceleration. I'm thinking of throwing it back in just to see if the sound stops, if so I guess I will be purchasing a new comp with oiler. Lastly, I just thought of this, it intermittently has been experiencing what others have described as "knock start" when hot lately. I'm pretty sure it started around the same time as the noise in primary began.Thanks again for the attention to my problem!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  8. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    If "knock start" is what I think it is, that is more evidence that the compensator is the offender. Why not groove your SE compensator as shown in the photo and give it a try? What have you go to lose? It has worked for others......;)
     
  9. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    Just for grins, cut open your oil filter and have a look, my 07 Streetbob made a lot of noise I thought from the primary side, then it quit. I changed oil and found alot of brass shavings, rode the bike to the dealer, it made NO noises, found out the oil pump and cam support plate had cracked but the engine still ran, HD sent a tech down to see it they had never seen this happen before, the inside of my engine looked like it had been sand blasted