intermitent front wheel chirp

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by Butch, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. Butch

    Butch Active Member

    227
    26
    0
    On my '99 ultra, as the front wheel rotates I can hear a, kind of loud, intermittent, more like cyclic in nature - chirp . At first I thought it was a rotor rubbing a pad. Removing the calipers/pads didn't solve the problem.

    I dropped the front wheel and looked things over, and all looked ok. Cleaned and re coated the axle w/grease, put a little grease in the bearing chamber. and replaced the speedo felt seal (it was mangled after nine years use). All was good for about 5 miles when it restarted for a few hundred feet then stopped. Now (two days later) instead of happening all the time, it may chirp once or maybe a couple of times and stops. I've also noticed prior to this, that my signals seem to be turning off sooner than expected. In fact, on a recent weekend run my signals seemed to turn off long before the other bikes.

    Because of the original intermittent nature of the chirp, I'm leaning away from bearings being the problem (nothing is hot or even warm in the axle area after it runs). Although with the directionals turning off quickly, I am leaning towards the speedo unit or cable being the problem.

    Then again, maybe I'm completely off my nut and it's something else? Any thoughts from you guys?

    Also, while I have you. I can't find it HD manual, is the front wheel unit serviceable (or is it a replace and forget unit). And, what is the procedure for lubing a speedo cable anyway?

    Thnx.
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    25,464
    108
    44
    For lubing the cable, it slides out of the casing I believe from the top.There's a tiny screw facing downwards on the drive unit that will allow the removal of the cable from the drive for servicing there.It unscrews after the removal of that screw.

    Ever think of the wheel bearings needing a greasing with a 99 bike?
     
  3. Butch

    Butch Active Member

    227
    26
    0
    Thanks Glider. Was hoping you'd chime in.

    Yeah, repacking the bearings is definitely on the mind (wanted to see if it was something a little more simple first).

    *sigh*...guess I'll be up to my elbows in grease this weekend. :s
     
  4. dangerdan

    dangerdan Junior Member

    922
    26
    0
    What about the speedometer drive attached to the front axle.

    Any chance it or the attached cable is causing this noise.

    I thought I would mention it, just incase the new bearing grease did not work.
     
  5. Butch

    Butch Active Member

    227
    26
    0
    Eureka! I've found the reason for the chirp.

    After making sure the bearings, spacers and axle were ok, and living with the intermittent chirp for almost a year it was what I suspected from the git-go (and what dangerdan suggested)...The speedometer gear mechanism gave up the ghost this morning (in a very vocal way). Now the speedo is dead and I have no directional shut offs. The upside...the chirp is gone. :D
     
  6. martin14

    martin14 Active Member

    373
    26
    0
    :rofl

    gotta love that positive spin.
     
  7. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    4,633
    68
    99
    "Officer, I swear my speedo is not working. I was trying to estimate my speed based on other traffic since I am on the way to the Harley store to get another speedometer gear drive."

    See if that works!!

    TQ
     
  8. Buzzy

    Buzzy Active Member

    125
    26
    0
    It would work with me.
     
  9. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    8,176
    98
    16
    I second TQ's more positive spin while Butch is fixing the speedometer drive! Then Smitty throws water all over it...at least officer points him in the right direction..."hopefully"...after all, he probably is riding a Beemer and forgotten the way!
     
  10. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    25,464
    108
    44
    You may be able to get the inner drive cable and just replace that. There's a tiny screw facing downwards on the speedo drive unit on the front wheel that will open it up if it's the bottom of that cable that broke.
    It's usually the cable that goes from lack of maintenance instead of the drive itself.
    In any event you'll probably have to remove the screw and unthread the cable out of the drive either way.