Question about Harley Davidson FLHT Electra Glide Standard Motorcycles

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Trying to find correct method to set or adjust tappets on my 1973 Harley-Davidson Shovelhead engine which has a stroker motor and solid lifters

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If your Shovelhead has solid lifters, you set them exactly like you would set the tappets on an Ironhead Sportster. With the engine stone cold, Bring either piston to top dead center ON THE COMPRESSION stroke. Both valves on that cylinder should be closed and the tappets on the heel of the cam at this point. Now, adjust the pushrods longer until you can no longer turn them with your fingertips. Now, back them back down until you can barely spin them with your fingers. Lock the locknuts down. Then bring the other cylinder to TDC COMPRESSION STROKE and adjust those pushrods.

You are adjusting for Zero backlash just like on an Ironhead Sporty. As the engine heats and the cylinders and head expand, they do so away from the cases which gives you more backlash the hotter they get. If you get the pushrods too tight, when the engine cools down, they'll hold the valve open just slightly making the engine difficult to get started.

Now, if you have hydraulic tappets, with the engine cold, back the pushrods off until they are loose. Bring them back down to zero backlash and then come down four additional turns and lock the locknut. Wait until the tappet bleeds down and you can spin the pushrod before you turn the engine.

Good Luck
Steve

Posted on Mar 20, 2011

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I would like to set the tappets sound like a diesel motor


Depending on the engine will determine if you can "adjust the tappets". Older cars had solid lifters so they had to be adjusted. Newer cars have hydraulic lifters and need no adjusting.

If your tappets sound like a "diesel motor" it may be they are not getting oil - or the center of the tube that provides oil to the tappets are blocked.

Need to remove the valve cover and run the engine just long enough to see if oil is coming out of the lifter. If when you remove the valve cover and the lifters look dry then you have a "lubricating problem" and you need to get it taken care of immediately.

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1 Answer

Pushrods for a shovelhead


Hi, Doris, I feel your pain but, despair not, there are still vendors out there that care about the old stuff.
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Pushrods for Shovelhead


They seem to be readily available and videos of how to install. Solid pushrods available as after market items on ebay or custom shops.

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1 Answer

Noisy lifter on 1990 softfail classic


Hi Anonymous, you have 3 options, 1. with engine at operating temperature do a quick series of 5 throttle revs to 1000 RPM'S below red line. 2. Try an engine oil additive Liquid Molly Tappet Stop Noise or Risoline Engine Treatment. 3. Buy 2 new lifters and a set of adjustable pushrods. Good luck

Btw, I’m available to help over the phone in case u need at https://www.6ya.com/expert/gregg_c0ec1df182c7330e

Jan 04, 2014 | Harley Davidson Motorcycles

1 Answer

HOW to adjust valves on a Harley Davidson 2000 FLHT Electra Glide CLASSIC


Hi Anonymous, the OEM push rods on your year and model are non adjustable but you do have 4 options for noisy lifters:
1. with engine at operating temperature do a quick series of 5 throttle revs to 1000 RPM'S below red line.
2. Try an engine oil additive Liquid Molly Tappet Stop Noise or Risoline Engine Treatment.
3. Cut out stock push rods with bolt cutters, remove suspect lifter, disassemble lifter and clean with carb cleaner and compressed air especially under the lifter check plate, reassemble and install, replace push rods with Taper Lite Adjustable push rods.
4. Buy new lifters.
Good luck and have nice day.

Btw, I’m available to help over the phone in case u need at https://www.6ya.com/expert/gregg_c0ec1df182c7330e

Jun 12, 2012 | 2000 Harley Davidson FLHT Electra Glide...

1 Answer

Whats the procedure to adjust pushrods on a Harley evo motor equipped with solid lifters


Hi Anonymous, on old Harley Davidsons valve train tick can be caused by parts reaching thier service wear limits and based on years of experience and assuming that the tappet rollers and bearings and cam lobes are in good shape to eliminate anonnying valve tick I reccomend adjusting the pushrod when the the engine is warm to hot. When the front cylinder exhaust push rod is all the way up, adjust the rear cylinder exhaust push rod untill it spins but with noticeable drag. Then when the front cylinder intake push rod is all the way up adjust the rear cylinder intake push rod in the same manner. Apply the same procedure for adjusting front cylinder push rods. Good luck.

Btw, I’m available to help over the phone in case u need at https://www.6ya.com/expert/gregg_c0ec1df182c7330e

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2 Answers

I have a 2000 Road King 88 inch Twin Cam. It has T-7011 V-Thunder adjustable pushrods. I am putting in new stock Harley lifters. How do I adjust the pushrods. How many turns from zero lash?


Stock lifters often allow valve noise. Consider velvet touch or Jims' lifters AND lifter blocks. Adjustable push rods are okay.
Adjustment: I prefer TOTALLY dry lifters get the lifter at its lowest point and FULLY collapse the lifter. then turn looser by 1 to 2 1/2 turns. What this does is allow for a loss of oil pressure without engine destruction. This procedure is essentially the opposite of the normal procedure.
Many HDs have intermittent valve tapping and we have traced to the lifters. HD says "It's a Harley", but a valve tap ruins the whole ride.

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1 Answer

How hard is it to install lifters in a 1982 FXB??


It's not difficult at all to install lifters in a Shovelhead. Just take the pushrods out, lift the hydraulic units out, and take the tappet blocks up. Sometimes, if the valve seats and valves are badly worn, the pushrods can be tough to get out as they won't adjust short enough. You'll have to pry them out with a small screwdriver. You'll have to readjust the pushrods once you get the new tappets installed. The question is, why are you installing new tappets? If you have a bad tappet, it's probably ruined the cam as well. If a roller locks up it will gall the cam lobe that it runs on which means the cam will have to be replaced as well.

Good Luck
Steve

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Hello there I have a 2003 soft ail standard I just put a gear drive on it my question is does it make a difference which way the lifter goes there is a hole on the lifter for oil will it make a...


I know on an Evolution engine, it doesn't make any difference. On an old Shovelhead, it does make a difference. The old Shovelhead required that the oil hole be positioned toward the center of the tappet block, one facing inboard and one facing outboard. As a habit, I've always installed Evolution tappets in this manner as well. But, it doesn't make any difference on an Evo and I seriously doubt it will on your Twin Cam.

Good Luck
Steve

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1 Answer

I have a 99 1200s, After the motor gets hot I have lifter noise in the top end,I was told not to worry about it. Is there any adjustment in the rocker boxes??Or could my motor have solid lifters?


Your engine is equipped with hydraulic tappets and there is no adjustments on them. As the various parts of the valve train wear, the plunger in the tappet takes up the slack. What you are hearing is probable a little clearance in the rocker arm bushings and the shafts they ride on. This is typical of an overhead valve engine design like the Harley-Davidson engine. If it gets too bad, you can take the rocker boxes and lower rocker plate off the engine without removing the heads and have the rocker arm bushing replaced and new shafts installed.

Good Luck
Steve

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