Question about Harley Davidson FLHR - FLHRCI Road king Motorcycles

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1997 Road King,engine knocking or clattering at all rpms,louder when you let off of the throttle to downshift,engine recently,started cutting out when warm,some metal filings in oil. What should I look for? Thanks

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  • ctilbury Aug 28, 2010

    I have replaced the liters and installed adjustable pushrods but it sounds the same.



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It could be anything. The fact that the noise sounds louder when you let off on the throttle is probably because the engine is quieter then. Without being there where I could hear the noise, I'd say that you probably lost a roller tappet. More precisely, the roller bearing on the end of the tappet. These commonly fail between 25000 and 35000 miles although I've seen the fail as early as 13000 miles and run as long as 75000 miles. So, there is no set life on them.

If you continue to run the engine, you will do even more damage to it due to the influx of metallic shavings. The roller bearing on the end to the tappet looses is needle bearings. When this happens, the roller stops turning and starts wearing the lobe off of the camshaft it's running on. The metal is pumped to the oil filter that catches a lot of it but still some gets through.

I'm afraid that the only way to find the source of the problem is "exploratory surgery" until you find it.

Good Luck

Posted on Aug 28, 2010

  • wd4ity
    wd4ity Aug 28, 2010

    Did you adjust the lifters the correct way? The tappets have about 0.200" travel in them. You want to compress them approximately half this distance. So, you turn the pushrod down until they barely touch the top of the lifter and then turn the adjsuter down about 0.100" . Usually the manufacturer tells you how many flats to go down. It doesn't have to be perfect but the closer the better.

    Ok Next place that I would go is to the primary and check the primary chain adjustement. Always set the primary chain tension with the engine cold, just like with tappets and pushrods. You want to have 5/8" to 7/8" up and down play in the top run of the chain when cold. I'd pull the outer primary cover off to set this measurement. That' way, you can check the clutch, the chain, the primary compensator sprocket and all.

    If you don't find it there, you'll just have to keep on going until you find it.

    Good Luck



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