New Lifter Question - SE High Cap Tappets

Discussion in 'Engine, Fuel and Exhaust' started by jwquinn, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. jwquinn

    jwquinn Member

    So, my big upgrade project is about to start, as soon as I clean up this Christmas tree and light stuff. But that's another story.

    My ride is a 2012 FLSTC and I've already installed the SE Stage 1 air kit, Rush slip-ons with a 1.75" baffle, and a Doebeck EFI.

    I'm installing new cams (S&S 583), inner cam bearings, S&S Quickee Adjustable push rods, and at the last minute decided to install new lifters while I was in there. I went with SE High-Capacity lifters, which have 25% larger needle bearings, according to Harley.

    I'm trying to find out the length of piston travel is inside the lifter. The instructions that came with lifters don't say. I stopped by the stealer and asked a tech (who likely went to the Moronica Motorcycle School) and he had no clue, and then told me he only installs stock lifters. :11: Okkkkkkkaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy then.

    Has anyone installed these? Does anyone know where I might get those specs? Any help is appreciated - thanks.

    - JQ
  2. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    Most lifters have .200 travel. S&S quickee push rods are 32 threads per inch (tpi). Each flat = .005", 6 flats = 1 complete turn = .031". I adjusted my lifters (not S.E.) 3 1/2 complete turns or .105". The S&S sheet says 4 complete turns, but I prefer to not go as deep into the lifter. Count the flats on the female push rod, not the male adjuster.
    I've not heard of S.E. "high capacity" lifters, the latest version I'm aware of are "C".

    P.S. Put a LOT of oil on all of the pushrod tube o- rings, and seat them carefully and fully.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  3. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member


    Harley has a new Screaming Eagle #18572-13 performance lifter set based on the "C" lifters and also made in Mexico.

    With the exception of the Comp #875, all are believed to have ~0.210" internal piston travel with a recommended preload of ~0.105" (although many mechanics report they tend to run a bit quieter set a little deeper than 0.105").
  4. jwquinn

    jwquinn Member

    Jack and Breeze - thanks for the replies. The new lifters I have are the ones Jack pointed out, and I guess Harley decided to call them 'high capacity' for some odd reason.

    I'm good with how the pushrods adjust - it's pretty straightforward. My big concern was extending them too much and causing some valve damage.

    I agree with adding lots of oil on the O-rings. Never go in dry, as they say! Thanks again!
  5. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    If you still have them out and handy, you can mike them with a micrometer or a good veneer caliper. I would measure all four and them take an average and use that as your "rule of thumb" from now on!!

    Like Jack said above, I like to adjust a bit over half the travel of the piston on the adjustable PRs. I had 24tpi PRs in my UC TC, and I would adjust to 3 1/6 turns (three full turns and one flat).



    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    With 24 per inch, You can go a full 4T but that is deep @ .166...
    3.0 T is good for all I do...

    I'd STRONGLY say (IMO) Don't use the HD lifters.... Get a set of 1023 gatermans or try to find a set of HD "B" stock lifters. I'd RE USE your old ones IF they were "B"'s.... BEFORE the HD ones that are probably "C"'s and lot of trouble reported..

    I don't TRASH products Lightly... No reason to BUT Been Thar Done That.

    LOTS of builders WON'T use HD's at all..... Just say NO to HD lifters unless they are the Hard to find "B"'s.

  7. jwquinn

    jwquinn Member

    TQ - I haven't opened then engine yet, but I can mic the orig lifters once I do that. I think I'll be using .210 as a baseline though. Thanks.

    Bubbie - I appreciate the info, unfortunately I already bought the new lifters from HD, and they are C's. I'll give them a shot and see how they work out. I'm pretty easy on my engine, and am generally at 4000 rpm or less, and I don't generally crank on the throttle when I'm accelerating through the gears.
    I'm not sure what the stock lifters are on this model though. C's or B's - any ideas?

    - JQ
  8. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    From 1999 - 2001, Johnson-Hylift supplied lifters to Harley-Davidson...
    Johnson-Hylift designed and produced a special piston and valve body
    to work across the temp ranges and varying oil psi typically encountered
    on a Harley engine. Since 2001, in a cost-savings move, HD has used
    Delphi hydraulic lifters, which explains Harley's p/n change from
    18538-99 to 18538-99A, and after some problems, a second Delphi lifter
    was used, p/n 18538-99B. However, Delphi still did not use a 0.655"
    hi-volume / hi-pressure plunger and valve body like those specifically
    designed for Harley by Johnson-Hylift. After some research AMS learned
    Delphi 18538-99B lifters bleed down rather quickly due to the
    higher engine temps and heavy valve spring pressure found on most
    Harley Twin Cam's. The oil reservoir inside the lifter is too small,
    allowing the lifter to clatter, and likely causes many Twin-Cam bikes
    to be noisy. Note: ALL lifters bleed off during operation and even
    more-so when the bikes sits, engine off.

    Tom at AMS has known Chet Starron, who owns Johnson-Hylift, for many
    years. Chet put Tom in touch with the original engineer of the earlier HD
    18538-99 lifters, which don't seem to be as noisy as those made by Delphi.
    Working with Hylift' engineering staff, AMS modified a Johnson-Hylift lifter,
    to accept a very precise check valve, a larger plunger that allows more oil
    reservoir volume, and a ball seat that fits much tighter, yet has an oil feed
    groove to allow more upper rocker box oiling. The result was a significantly
    improved lifter, with a much bigger internal oil reservoir that will keep the
    lifter/pushrod from bleeding too much and bottoming out. The bigger
    reservoir maintains a cushion of oil inside. The improved ball seat ensures
    better top-end rocker oiling and better pushrod tip fit.... all of which makes
    for a quieter lifter.

    AMS and Hylift have continued to develop this lifter, and today, we offer
    3 versions of the AMS-Hylift lifter for Harley Twin Cam applications:

    AMS A2313SE for stock and performance street bikes. This is our newest
    and best lifter, with "Direct shot" oiling to the roller. Only $39.95 each

    AMS A2313R for all out, hi-rev, hi-lift racing applications. $39.95

    AMS A2313-002 this is a 0.002" oversized version of the AMS2313, for use
    in cases with worn lifter bores. $39.95

    We also have lifters for EVO applications - call for details. 1-800-210-8675.

    We recommend using AMS-Adjustable Pushrods, or stock non-adjustable
    pushrods with them... however other brand adjustable pushrods will work
    too. We provide very detailed installation & pushrod adjustment info, so
    even a first time DIYer can easily install AMS lifters with confidences.

    There are many other things that can cause "lifter" noise - it can be
    something as easy to fix as excessive roaker arm end play. In which
    case our AMS Spring Steel Rocker Shims will solve the problem! ...or the
    cause of the noices can be from more serious issues, like coil bind,
    rocker to spring cap interference, spring cap to stems / guide length
    interference, poor oiling, high lift cam profile causing loft, overheating motor,
    wrong oil viscosity for ambient temperatures, aerated oil, low oil pressure,
    gear drive backlash, worn drive chains, etc. However if you're convinced
    you've eliminate all of these things, and the lifters still rattle, then the next
    step is to a set AMS-Hylift Lifters. With their larger oil reservoirs, they will
    usually lessen or eliminate the noise.

    For more info give us a call at 1-800-210-8675. Here is some pretty good info I did not know:s
  9. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

    If the OP hasn't "unpackaged" the lifters, return them; the dealer will take them back. The "C" lifter is the OEM lifter from model year '10 up; manufacturing outsourced to Mexico. You have several options from the CompCams VThunder 850-1 lifters for about $60/set to your door up to $270 for a set of Woods Directional lifters or the new S&S Precision lifters. JMHO but the CompCams lifters are adequate for the OP's application. CYCO is also selling lifters; a new product line for them and the go for about $11/each. I don't know anything about them but use their gaskets and cam tensioner shoes; both quality products.

    Best to work with .200" of plunger travel and set lifter preload at .120"-.130". At 32TPI, that would be about 4 turns. As usuals, JMHO.:s