lifters

Discussion in 'Engine, Fuel and Exhaust' started by corrigon, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. corrigon

    corrigon Member Contributor

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    This post is to see if there is a preferred lifter out there that some of you that have been through the hassle could suggest. I just finished the engine on my 1999 twin cam touring and took it for a spin. Started fine, ran great until idling after reaching complete warm up, at which time it started making a clattering noise which seemed to be more from front cylinder and from right side. Upon removing push tubes the front two had rings around them that showed they were touching inside of covers at about the top o ring area. Not being aware of the problems that have been had with different lifters I had just bought a set on ebay, shopping for price. I believe this was where I made a mistake. Do you guys that have had experience in this area think that the lifter had collapsed, letting the pt move around in there or is there a more likely explanation? This is a FLHTCUI which has a oil gauge along with light. Gauge showed almost zero at idle but light did not come on. I really don't have that much faith in the accuracy of the gauge. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

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    I've read several posts about the push rods rubbing the tubes. Usually where you describe. Some ream the tube, some get over size tubes, some get thinner push rods (if they are adj.). I do not remember anyone saying the lifter was the problem. Are your push rods adjustables? what kind?
    Lots of opinions on lifters, but most top builders rank the Harley A or B lifters, Jims and many other Mexican or Asian made lifters at the bottom. Gaterman, S&S are ranked at the top.
     
  3. corrigon

    corrigon Member Contributor

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    Yes I have adj. push rods, I don't know the brand. They have 24 tpi. I took one of the new lifters apart and one of the original to compare parts and it looks like the originals would have a much better chance of putting oil up to the top end, having an actual relief cut for that purpose which would tend to make me feel a lot better. From what I have read the Johnson Hi-lift is liked by some. I hadn't checked on the Gaterman, I will give that a look. Thank you.
     
  4. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    You say you just "finished" the engine; what does that mean?

    I would put lifter replacement at the bottom of the list. If the push rods are rubbing the tubes, you can Dremel the "ridge" down at the top of the tube but a set of tapered pushrods should solve the problem. Aligning the rocker boxes could also help. Changing lifters will not. If a lifter had collapsed, you would know it.

    Not doubting your mechanical skills but always a good idea to check pushrod adjustment if valve train is noisy before going down the rabbit hole.

    H-D "A" and "B" lifters have been superseded by the "C" lifter, now made in Mexico. CompCams VThunder lifters are the most economical lifter available that also perform well. As mentioned, Gaterman are quality parts as well as Woods Directional and HQ Black Ops.

    What cam set are you running?

    No worries on the oil pressure. Early models will usually show 2-3 psi at idle at operating temps; some will even cause the oil pressure light to "blink".
     
  5. corrigon

    corrigon Member Contributor

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    Some good info there dolt and I thank you. The engine was locked up when I bought it as a project, it turned out to have a completely demolished piston, only the top stuck at the top and the rod going up and down all by it's lonesome. A piece of the skirt had wedged itself under one wheel, with the rod bearing completely out. Short story, I bought a low mileage crank and started from there. The crank had .004 runout so I decided to live with that. New stock cams and cylinder kits, all stock 88. One bent valve, otherwise top end was ok as engine had 24K New high volume pump. Cleaned EVERYTHING including removing oil pan to clean. I don't know brand of adj. push rods but are 24tpi. I tried 3 turns and 4 turns, same result. Turns maybe 2 turns to start cold, just a touch of button when warm. Normal power for stock. Like I said the lifters are no brand and cheap from ebay. My concern now is did the lifters send enough oil up to lube top end properly. I am thinking I will pull the tank and check that although the test run was only about 5 miles besides what running it had at the shop so even with little oil up there it shouldn't have been hurt too bad. Anyhow it has more noise than I can except so I have to find the reason. I know that any touching inside those tubes will echo something fierce so I will get rid of that for sure but I just think it is more than that. I am an old retired mechanic but my experience with harley engines is minimal so I am sure I will do some more learning. Anyhow, any thoughts will be appreciated.
     
  6. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    Sounds like you motor is up and running well except for the valve train noise and you are going to venture down the "valve train noise" rabbit hole. I do understand "more noise than I can accept"; been there, I hate a noisy valve train.

    I wouldn't worry about lubrication or lack thereof up top at this point. As you point out, shouldn't be an issue.

    Start with the simple stuff. Being a wrench, you probably have listened with a stethoscope to verify that the noise is coming from the valve train?? Are you fairly certain that the noise you hear is valve train noise? Have you listened to other Harley's to compare what you hear to other Harley motors? Remember, it's an air cooled, pushrod operated, 45* vtwin; it's going to make some noise. What is unacceptable to some cannot be tolerated by others.

    Stock cams so ramps are not aggressive and should not be a contributor to the excessive noise.

    When you adjusted the pushrods, are you sure that the piston was at, or near TDC and on the COMPRESSION stroke? If not, re-adjust the pushrods and set lifter preload at .130"; 3.25 turns at 24TPI.

    The marks on the pushrods indicate that they are not tapered and are touching the tubes; four pushrods making contact with the tubes will make more racket than one would think. I would consider replacing them with a set of SE Quick Install Tapered pushrods (PN18404-08).

    I would replace the lifters with a set of CompCams VThunder lifters; 850-1. As lifters go, not expensive but decent quality.

    Two other potential sources of valve train noise are rocker arm side play and rocker shaft to bushing clearance. If the side play between rocker arm and support plate is excessive, say .025" or more; the rocker arm could be pushed from the thrust side (exhaust pushes to pushrod side and intake pushes to valve side) and making noise as it contacts the support plate. Clearance has to be really sloppy though. Check the service manual for the wear limits and if within those limits, don't spend any time chasing that as a source of the noise.

    Check the clearance between rocker shaft bushing and shaft; if out of the service limits, replace rocker arms and/or shafts.

    That's all I have for now; good luck!
     
  7. 1Canuck

    1Canuck Banned

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    Dolt, I gather you are not on board with shimming. can you expand on this. 'If out of service limit' Did it come that way or did it wear out of service limit. Then a new one should measure longer than used, is this correct?
     
  8. corrigon

    corrigon Member Contributor

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    Dolt, got the top end off and just as I had suspected, no oil from tubes. The only oil on the shafts was what I put there when assembling engine. Clearance for rocker end play is .015 on intake and .011 on ex. and shaft bushings perfect. I ordered the 850-1 lifters as you suggested as I have felt all along it would boil down to the cheap lifters I bought. I will also boost the oil pressure a bit. The only thing then is the pt touching inside covers. I am going to do a little thinking on that yet and try to silence them down without paying $140-$160 for some tapered pt's. I believe this is going to all come out ok, thanks to your help. Keep the shiny side shiny.
     
  9. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    To say that I am not a "fan of shimming" is not exactly correct. Like in corrigon's last post; he measure end play at .015"/intake and .011". IIRC, the service manual specifies the acceptable service limit for rocker arm end play is .025" (citing from memory but pretty sure not more). So, in corrigon's case, I would not invest the time or money to shim.

    However, had corrigon's end play measured, say .022", or more, I would try shimming. Yes, a new rocker are might be longer than the one you are replacing, however, the difference in length most likely is not the results of wear but could simply be sloppy manufacturing tolerances. You might also get a support plate that measures wider between the support faces as well.

    If one does decide to shim, the correct way to shim, IMHO, would be to trim the rocker arms in a lathe to square up the ends and remove enough material to allow the use of SS shims no thinner than .010" and shim the clearance down to .003"-.005". Shim to the thrust side, IAW, shim the exhaust rocker to the pushrod side and the intake rocker to the valve side.

    I have shimmed rocker arms but have found that unless the clearances are very sloppy, shimming has no effect on reducing valve train noise. Even in cases where the clearances were sloppy, the effect on reducing valve train noise is minimal. As usual, JMHO.
     
  10. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    How long did you let the motor run before shutting down? It does take a while for the system to prime and actually move oil to the top end. Even then, the oil will dribble out; it won't squirt like small block Chevy pushrods.

    The Baisley oil pressure relief valve spring is a good way to boost low rpm oil pressure; $12 and the LMR-002 is the right spring for your application.

    Baisley Hi-Performance Oil Spring Product

    Or you can go caveman and shim the spring with a washer.:bigsmiley25: