Valve train noise

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by traveller, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. traveller

    traveller Member

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    I have an 03 softail springer that the lifter noise has gotten a little louder, it seems to have increased when I installed a 570 easy start cams, s&s lifters, 10.5 to one pistons. I've readjusted pushrods, changed the rocker arm bushings and rods. the bike has 127,000 miles on it. any info would be greatly appreciated. thanks.
     
  2. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    Which S&S lifters? Standard or premium? What push rods? Where did you set the lifter pre-load? How many of the 127K miles are on the build? Have you checked rocker arm end play? Unfortunately, sometimes an increase in valve train noise is the price we pay for the upgrade in performance.
     
  3. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    Dolt, could this be valve spring bind ?
     
  4. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    Yes, could be. I assumed that anyone that would install .570 lift cams would know to address the coil bind issue with the '03 OEM valve springs as well as rocker arm and/or spring contact with the rocker box and cam chest clearances but your question is a good one and worth asking.

    To the OP.
    What Jack is referring to is that up until the introduction of beehive springs in '05, the straight wound double springs would only accommodate cams with lifts of .510" by specification. Some could run .525" lift cams with those springs but .570" lift is way too much. If you did not address this in your build, what you are hearing is the valve spring closing against itself; coil bind. The remedy is cam replacement with lower lift cams or removing the heads and machining to accommodate the higher lift. It would be a good idea to replace the valve springs with beehives.

    If the potential for coil bind was addressed but the straight wound springs retained, the spring collars could be making contact with the rocker box at max lift or making contact with the rocker box cover. Remove the rocker box cover and look for "witness" marks of contact. The remedy would be to take a Dremel tool to the contact areas to provide more clearance.

    Something else to check is cam lobe clearance in the cam chest. The early models were not designed to allow sufficient clearance between the lobe and the main bearing boss in the cam chest. If there is not sufficient clearance, when everything expands at operating temperature, cam lobes with max lif greater than .550" can make contact with the main bearing boss.

    I would start with valve springs and move on from there.
     
  5. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion, the above comment about your 551 cam lift and stock valve springs should be taken very seriously and checked ASAP.
     
  6. traveller

    traveller Member

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    thanks for the input, I've checked for witness marks on the rocker cover and its clean, cam clearance is good with no marks to show contact. I'm ashamed to admit it but I didn't even think of spring binding. I've noticed that the sound quiets down a little after a couple of miles, I keep thinking that the lifters aren't pumping up like they should, they are s&s high performance lifters, oil pressure is 45 to 48 psi.@2500rpms, I know it runs strong without overheating so I'm going to address the springs issue, thanks guys you're a big help.
     
  7. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

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    This could well be spring bind but while you're in there check the bore clearance on the lifters. Anything over.0015 with the cam your running and the 10.5 pistons is to much.
     
  8. traveller

    traveller Member

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    thanks HDDon i will, but the spring bind i think will be my problem