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Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

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Brendan

Posts: 154

Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:59 pm

Location: Orlando

Post Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:20 pm

Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

:( I was giving my WLA a long hard run (around 65 miles an hour) when suddenly I heard a click clack click clack and engine shut off.
It feels like no compression on either piston. I opened the timing mark hole and flywheel is turning smooth with no scraping. The tappets are all lifting properly. I took the plugs out and have great spark. stuck my finger in the plug hole but felt no suction or blow. I guess I am hoping for two blown had gaskets instead of a broken crank pin. It was running so great. idled perfect, acceleration smooth, and shifting like butter.

So bummed. Taking the heads off this weekend.



Brendan
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Frankenstein

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Location: Interlaken, NY USA

Post Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:16 pm

Re: Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

Sounds more like a couple of stuck valves. You said the tappets were going up and down, but were the valves moving also?
be sure.
DL
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Pa

Site Admin

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Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:17 pm

Re: Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

Frankenstein wrote:Sounds more like a couple of stuck valves. You said the tappets were going up and down, but were the valves moving also?
be sure.
DL


I agree. But is there no compression on both cylinders ?
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Dusty-Dave

Posts: 933

Joined: Tue Oct 12, 1999 12:01 am

Location: Ojo Caliente,NM,USA

Post Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:04 pm

Re: Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

Ifn it was an Indian I would tell him to look for a sheared key in the crank gear letting the gear turn a quarter or half round then getting stuck on whats left of the key. Making it out of time a few teeth.
Dusty
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45Brit

Posts: 1526

Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:29 am

Post Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:40 pm

Re: Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

I suppose the first answer is, that the plate on the tank saying "don't exceed 65mph" is there for a reason. I'd reckon that riding much over 55mph on stock gearing and weight, for any length of time, is asking fir trouble.

+1 for stuck valves being the first thing to look for. Holed Pistons produce lots of smoke by sucking oil through and burning it. Next thing would be some sort of bore/ring failure. Check the timing is a fairly easy thing to do by observing the valve stems vs the timing Mark.
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...
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Pa

Site Admin

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Post Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:15 am

Re: Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

A broken crankpin is probably eliminated by the fact you see the timing mark go by and the valve tappets are also moving correctly, indicating the crankpin is still connecting both flywheels halves together. Unless, the crankpin broke and one of the flywheels rotated completely one, two, or even more revolutions before one or the other flywheel shifted and the broken end of the crankpin wedged against the opposite flywheel forcing both flywheel halves to rotate again, but now completely out of time with the valves.
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45Brit

Posts: 1526

Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:29 am

Post Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:35 am

Re: Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

I've never broken a crankpin on a WL but I've broken one or two, racing. "Click clack click clack" doesn't sound like a broken crank, CRASH BANG WALLOP and a hole in the cases, more like it!

It does sound like a timing error, though.
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...
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Pa

Site Admin

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Location: Ohio USA

Post Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:04 am

Re: Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

45Brit wrote:I've never broken a crankpin on a WL but I've broken one or two, racing. "Click clack click clack" doesn't sound like a broken crank, CRASH BANG WALLOP and a hole in the cases, more like it!

It does sound like a timing error, though.


I hope a broken crankpin is not the case but one could shear a crankpin with the flywheel halves stay fairing in position, after the break, on their pinion and sprocket shaft bearings, as long as the broken crankpin was only skipping off of the inner sides of the flywheels. If the flywheels tilt however, disaster follows.

Since the tappets are noted to be moving correctly, the pinion gear must be intact and still able to drive the cams, which drive the valve tappets, which drive the valves. It was stated the cylinders seem to have no compression. You pretty much have to separate the crankcase from the cam gears in order for a mechanical timing issue to be at fault. There are only a few possible situations in my mind presently, which can cause no compression. Those are (1) stuck open valves, (2) simultaneously completely blown out head gaskets, (3) simultaneously broken pair of piston ring sets, (4) dome of both pistons burnt clear through, and (5) broken crankpin. Removal of the heads will at least prove whether the pistons are moving up and down the stroke. (2), (3), and (4) being the least likely to have occurred.
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GuS

Posts: 352

Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2001 12:01 am

Location: Bergen, Norway

Post Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:40 pm

Re: Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

Stuck valves or sheared and relocated pinion key as staded by DD would result in no compression. Same would holes in the piston or blown rings. But with blown rings it shouldnt be so quiet as you describe.
How was the cyl/head temperature when this happened?
GuS
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Brendan

Posts: 154

Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:59 pm

Location: Orlando

Post Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:44 pm

Re: Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

I checked that the valve rods moving with the tappets. With timing mark in the window the rear intake is about to open when I crank it a bit more. I think That's right. Right??


The temperature was normal the best I could tell. I say this with confidence because put my hand about 1 inch away from the engine exhaust port and flick the fin with my finger every time I shut off the engine. Then I check it with the laser thermometer. I developed this habit because I thought I was running hot on my first start then I bought a laser thermometer. Don't ask why I keep touching the engine every time I shut it off but I do. calibrated hands now.

During the time I strapped it to the trailer and brought it home, It could have got unstuck. I am going check for correct tappet adjustment to connect back up the oil lines and put some oil in it. and try starting it one more time.

I feel one sticky spot so I am going to remove the heads and peak in.

I was going to hook back up the oil lines and try and start it again but I think I'll be safe than sorry.
Absolutely no suction at all on either cylinder with my finger in the spark plug hole. weird!

Brendan
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45Brit

Posts: 1526

Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:29 am

Post Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:45 am

Re: Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

Sounds as though it's time to remove the heads, check the valves and check the timing
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...
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GuS

Posts: 352

Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2001 12:01 am

Location: Bergen, Norway

Post Wed Feb 11, 2015 6:02 am

Re: Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

Timing sound about right. Rear ex just closed an inlet just before open when timing mark in window. Next time the mark is in the window both are fully closed. So your timing cannot be that far off.
Really strange. I'd say heads must off. Will cost you nothing but a few hours.

GuS
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Pa

Site Admin

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Location: Ohio USA

Post Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:33 am

Re: Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

A sheared pinion gear key should separate the valve train from the flywheels, meaning, with a sheared pinion gear key, the tappets cannot function because the pinion gear is now stationary and the pinion shaft would be spinning free in the bore of the pinion gear. Pinion gear and pinion shaft must be locked together in order to make the tappets function. Right ?
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Dusty-Dave

Posts: 933

Joined: Tue Oct 12, 1999 12:01 am

Location: Ojo Caliente,NM,USA

Post Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:38 am

Re: Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

Pa wrote:A sheared pinion gear key should separate the valve train from the flywheels, meaning, with a sheared pinion gear key, the tappets cannot function because the pinion gear is now stationary and the pinion shaft would be spinning free in the bore of the pinion gear. Pinion gear and pinion shaft must be locked together in order to make the tappets function. Right ?

Don't know about Harleys but Indians occasionally shear the key and turn a quarter to half a turn then jam up on the broken key and still turn the cams but everything in the valve train is way out of time. Maybe they turn a whole lot then jam or pressure weld never been looking through the metal when it happens. :D But they pop when you pull them off. An acquaintance had one that only sheared the key 3/4 of the way that ran like shit and drove lots of mechanics crazy for years.
Dusty
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Brendan

Posts: 154

Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:59 pm

Location: Orlando

Post Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:45 pm

Re: Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

I am going to pull the heads, this will tell me if something odd happened as Dusty Dave explained. I hope not. The sound it made was a short burst of clickity clacks, as if the valve got stuck open and tappet was coming up at a high speed and clacking the valve stem instead of tapping it.
I'll let you know what i find.
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Pa

Site Admin

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Post Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:23 pm

Re: Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

Dusty-Dave wrote:
Pa wrote:A sheared pinion gear key should separate the valve train from the flywheels, meaning, with a sheared pinion gear key, the tappets cannot function because the pinion gear is now stationary and the pinion shaft would be spinning free in the bore of the pinion gear. Pinion gear and pinion shaft must be locked together in order to make the tappets function. Right ?

Don't know about Harleys but Indians occasionally shear the key and turn a quarter to half a turn then jam up on the broken key and still turn the cams but everything in the valve train is way out of time. Maybe they turn a whole lot then jam or pressure weld never been looking through the metal when it happens. :D But they pop when you pull them off. An acquaintance had one that only sheared the key 3/4 of the way that ran like shit and drove lots of mechanics crazy for years.
Dusty


That is definitely another posibility Dusty.
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Brendan

Posts: 154

Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:59 pm

Location: Orlando

Post Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:58 pm

Re: Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

I should be able to tell if the pistons are both TDC when I pull the heads. Fingers crossed. Hoping for blown head gaskets at this point. What's the preferred gasket going today?
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Tim 435

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Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 12:01 am

Location: Pa. , USA

Post Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:20 pm

Re: Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

When using gaskets I prefer copper, are you using bronze or cast iron valve guides ? Tim
Vintage roadracing, Class C, AHRMA # 335
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Pa

Site Admin

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Location: Ohio USA

Post Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:33 pm

Re: Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

Brendan wrote:I should be able to tell if the pistons are both TDC when I pull the heads. Fingers crossed. Hoping for blown head gaskets at this point. What's the preferred gasket going today?


Brendan. Even with blown head gaskets on both cylinders, you should be able to feel some compression and sucking. Both heads would have to be clear off not to feel anything at the sparkplugs.
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Brendan

Posts: 154

Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:59 pm

Location: Orlando

Post Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:03 pm

Re: Everything was working perfectly!!!!! until yesterday

I bought the copper head gaskets.


Pa, that's what puzzles me the most. I did this suction test many times and feel a little bit in the front cyl but nothing in the rear.
This weekend I will open the heads and see what is going on in there.
I don't recall the material for the valve guide.
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