New Engine rattle - 1998 Springer Softail

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by oowf, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. oowf

    oowf Member

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    Well, here I am again!

    My ride just developed a strange noise and I'm not sure where to start. Of course I am limited to some degree since I live and ride in China.

    It started out as a small sound on deceleration. A slight rattle at deceleration which at first I couldn't tell if it was at the exhaust or in the carburetor.

    Over the last few weeks I have noticed several things. First of all, the sound is not there at all until the ride is up to maximum temperature. Say the first ten minutes of riding it is not there at all.

    After the ride is good and hot it still may not be there but then suddenly as I come to a stop light and start decelerating there is a pronounced rattle which may stay consistent or after a few accelerations and decelerations it may go away.

    The next thing that started this last week is even though before I only heard the sound on deceleration, I can now occasionally hear it at normal speed and standard power... neither acceleration or deceleration. I hardly ever hear the sound on acceleration.

    My best guess for now is the sound is coming from what seems to be the area behind the riveted plate that covers the points area.

    However, due to the close proximity, it could also be coming from the push rods or lifters maybe?

    New oil! New plugs! Clean air filter! This sure has me worried!

    Another problem is that when the bike is parked and I rev it up I can't replicate the sound.

    Any ideas or guesses out there?

    Thanks so much!
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2009
  2. HarleyHarry

    HarleyHarry Banned

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    Could it be the primary chain that needs adjusting? I would explain why you don't hear it when not riding. (Not that I have even 1% of Hobbit or Gliders knowledge)
     
  3. oowf

    oowf Member

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    Thank you for your come back.

    I would be the last one to rule anything out! But isn't the primary on the left side on the 98 softail springer? I could swear this sound is for sure on the right side. I would wish and pray that is all the sound is... a simple adjustment! I'll check it!

    Thanks!
     
  4. HarleyHarry

    HarleyHarry Banned

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    You're right. It was still a little early here.
     
  5. Stubby3492

    Stubby3492 Member

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    Never overlook the simple things.
    I had a knock in my engine ('92 Fatboy) that I could swear was either a connecting rod or the pistons swapping holes.
    It would just hammer away at certain rpm's but when I had the bike on the jiffy stand, I would listen all over with a stethoscope, and the noise would not be there. Then one day, a friend was sitting on my bike with the jiffy stand up and I was checking for loose motor mounts, etc. Then when I pulled the jiffy stand down with my hand and let it snap back up, I heard the same clank.
    Seems I was missing the rubber stopper on the jiffy stand and it was contacting the bottom of the primary case. At a certain rpm (vibration level), it would vibrate against the primary.
    With my windshield on it was even louder and drove me crazy. It sounded like it was coming fron the front cylinder.

    Another knocking noise I had was my front pushrod hitting the inside of the pushrod tube. This was also loud. Apparently the person who owned my bike before me put in a set of Rivera tapered adjustable pushrods, and it was hitting the inside of the top tube. I just shortened the tube by 1/2 inch and reamed the bottom of it out with a round file to make the wall thickness a bit thinner on the bottom, and that was just enough to add clearance to eliminate the knocking.

    Just thought I would share a couple of my noise issues. It might help someone before they tear their engine apart.