Question about 2006 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster Custom

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Top end chattering sounds like rockers bike only has 11000 miles seems early to be the rockers chattering

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This is not good. The sportsters, and Big Twins, all have hydraulic tappets and there should be no chattering coming from the rocker arms. The hydraulic tappets are designed to keep the rocker arms at zero backlash.

Oil pressure, keeps the tappets pumped up prevents the rockers from clattering loudly. If you have a major problem you will have a clearly audible clatter that you won't have to "try" to hear. You can hear them clatter from ten feet away. If you have to get your head down beside the rocker box to hear any "chattering" the rockers are making, this is normal. You simply can't have that much mechanical movement going on in there and not hear anything.

With the engine running, pull the oil filler plug out of the oil tank. Shine a flashlight into the tank and rev the engine up a bit. You should see oil squirting back into the tank from the return back towards the rear of the tank. If you don't see it, look for small foamy bubbles on top of the oil. If you see the oil returning to the tank or the surface of the oil is foamy looking and moving around, your oil system is operating properly. If you oil tank gets hot when you are riding the bike, your oil system is working fine. Harley engines employ a high volume low pressure oil system. The Sportster engine is probably the toughest engine Harley has ever invented.

Posted on Apr 29, 2010


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I bought a 08 Softail Rocker C with 5000 miles, it's 103 cu. in. Screaming Eagle ported and polished heads, 2.2 exhaust, and Power Commander put some miles on it and it just started rattling very bad.

is that a harley ?
if it a motor noise
had a lot of top end work by that list

start looking at valve adjustment
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Check the inside of your combustion chamber and the inside of the rocker cover/ oil level. It sounds as if you have a blown head gasket.

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My 2009 1200L sportster leaks oil out the air filter every 2000-3000 miles.It blows onto my exhaust and higher up. I've had my rocker boxes replaced(warranty issue) THREE TIMES- could this be rela

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Sep 24, 2012 | 2009 Harley Davidson XL 1200C Sportster...

1 Answer

Power seems to run out early running through the gears and there is a hollow sound in the exhaust at the end

Hello...from your comment it sounds like your bike needs a valve adjustment. The "hollow" sound in the exhaust and the powerband loss is usually a good indication of this. Have you had them adjusted lately? This first adjustment should be done at 5000 miles and then every 7500 miles there after.
The settings are:
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There is a knocking noise at the top of my engine dyna lowrider 1450 it sounds like that gearbox noise you get on some motorbikes ihave been told it could something to do with the camchain bridge or tube...

You didn't tell me how many miles you have on your Dyna but I can assure you that it's not a timing chain bridge. You bike does not have overhead cams and therefore no bridge at the top of the heads. It does have two cams in the cam chest and they are driven by chains. As such, they have chain tensioners. They should be checked every 10,000 miles or so.

If the noise is indeed in the top of the head, it's more than likely a rocker arm bushing. They usually last the life of an engine but things fail from time to time. To check them, you'll have to put the rocker box covers off and remove the bolts on the right side of each rocker. Then the rocker will come out. You can have the bushing replaced and resized to fit new shafts.

Good Luck

Sep 19, 2010 | 2003 Harley Davidson FXDL Dyna Low Rider

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use an engine flush when changing oil/filter use only 10/40 semi synthetic oil(change every 10k)top end chatter occurs when engine is cold/oil not up to followers,but should stop about 30 secs after starting engine.there ARE NO adjustments AT ALL.if chattering persists,then top end rebuild req.
the person who told you about "rockers"should learn about self adjusting valve followers....

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