Question about 1993 Harley Davidson FXR Super Glide

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I get a loud ticking noise at times not all the time even at high rpms seems to be comeing from front of bike

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I assume that the noise is coming from the engine. If so, it sounds like the classic bad tappet roller. Each tappet has a roller on the end of it that follows the cam. In other words, you have roller tappets in your engine. Since I cannot hear the noise, I'm making a guess here at best. It'll be up to you to determine exactly where the noise is coming from and if it is the tappets causing the noise.

These tappet rollers are notorious for going bad at around 25 to 30K miles. I have seen them go bad as early as 13K and run as long as 75K. You never know how long they're going to last. They start off with an intermittent knock but they'll get louder shortly. The front exhaust tappet is usually the first one to go since the angle of the pushrod is so steep.

To check the tappets is a bit of a job. First you must take the rocker box covers off the engine. With those off, rotate the engine until one of the cylinders is at TDC with the valves closed. Take the large bolts out of the lower rocker plate on the right side. This will allow you to get the rocker shaft out of the rocker arm. Tap the shaft out and remove the rocker arm of both the intake and exhaust valves. Now, you can remove the pushrod and the pushrod tubes. Take the four small bolts out of the tappet block and remove the tappet block. The tappets may fall out and into the cam chest but you can get them out. If you get the tappet block loose and kind of roll it out quickly, you may can get it out without the tappets falling out. Once you get the tappets out, inspect the roller carefully, Make sure they don't have any slack in them and that they roll freely.

Now turn the engine over until you get the other piston to TDC and do the same thing on the other cylinder.

note: the best way to roll the engine over is with the rear wheel. Raise the rear wheel off the ground and put the transmission in fifth gear. Turn the rear wheel in the direction of rotation with the spark plugs out of the heads.

If you find a bad roller, carefully inspect the cam lobes for wear or roughness. When you put the tappet blocks back on the engine, you must have a set of alignment pins with which to properly align the tappet blocks. Jim's tools makes the pins.

Good Luck

Posted on Jun 03, 2010


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