Board index Flathead Power-Technical Questions, Answers, and Suggestions Big Twin Flatties Lifters

Lifters

Post Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:57 pm
mas

Posts: 15
Location: Eau Claire Wisconsin
Anybody have time for a dumb question. I need to take a closer look at the lifters and lifter guides on my 37, 80c.i. flathead as they sound a bit noisey. Do I need to pull the heads and cylinders to acomplish this?
Thanks in advance for the info.
MAS

Post Tue Jun 13, 2006 5:49 pm

Posts: 199
Location: Cedar Springs Mi USA

Have you attempted to adjust them properly, and set the correct clearances yet?

Post Wed Jun 14, 2006 7:03 am

Posts: 783
Location: Victoria, Australia
MAS, I presume you have some knowledge of flathead motors and that you've owned your scoot for a while. Flatheads are generally noisy...solid lifters, but some are noisier than others. If the tappets are too quiet I'd be more concerned as there may be too little clearance between the tappet end and the end of the valve. Alternately the tappet rollers may be well worn and adding vertical movement to the whole column of the valve train. Check your tappet clearances when cold by unscrewing your tappet covers. Do not pull your heads or cyls unless you like work and are curious. Check your compression first and then the tappet clearances.
Replacing worn rollers requires quite a lot of dismantling and you really need to be confident in what you are about to do. Amen.

Post Wed Jun 14, 2006 7:38 am
mas

Posts: 15
Location: Eau Claire Wisconsin
Thanks for the reply guys. To back up a bit, I have had this bike for the last 3 years. My first flatty, but not my first"old" bike. With regards to this "lifter" noise, I am very familiar with solids(my ol pan had them). This seems to be excessive. Other than that the bike runs I think very well. I am a machinist so maby I am a bit anal over this but want to be sure. As you are probably well aware, a "regular Harley shop" is more in awe of a old machine like this versus actually being of any help.
I will check the tappet adjustments again and repost results.
Thanks, again.

Post Wed Jun 14, 2006 7:49 am

Posts: 3158
Location: Central Illinois, USA
Mas!

Do you know if the tappet rollers have been replaced in modern times? That is to say: Are there needles in them, or original design?

It might be best to do an inspection of the cam chest first.

....Cotten

Post Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:52 am
mas

Posts: 15
Location: Eau Claire Wisconsin
I bought this bike from a relative that was rear ended by a drunk driver.
He lived but now paralized. The bike actually faired much better as I needed to replace the rear fender and wheel assembly. No frame damage, nothing. Any way, that happened in 89", the bike sat until a few years ago at which time I bought it. My thought was to get her rolling with minimul work, evaluate the bike, putt around a bit and develope a process for a proper restoration, considering it seems to be pretty close to original. So, I bought Repop wheel and fender, changed fluids, added a battery and she fired right up. Oil is returning to the tank, the oil and gen lights go out shortly after starting. The trans is smooth including reverse. My biggest concern is the lifter noise. So...per your suggestion, I very well may pop the cover and take a look. I purchased Palmers resto book and a manual for reference. I would assume it is best to use and replicate the specs from the factory manual?
Thanks for the input,
Mike

Post Wed Jun 14, 2006 7:29 pm

Posts: 646
Location: Detroit
You might want to look carefully at your lifter adjusting screws. Over years of running they can develop depressions which will give inaccurate adjustment readings when you use feeler gauges. That may account for your additional/excessive noise. Three of four on my 41 UL had that problem before it was completely rebuilt. The fix was as simple as removing the screws and sanding the tops flat again with emery cloth. The screws have to be hardened nearly all the way through because the problem never reappeared after thousands of new miles.
New Knuckleheads? Thank, you, Jesus!!

Post Thu Jun 15, 2006 8:09 am

Posts: 15
Location: Windham, ME 04062
just remember, boys and girls.......noisy valves are happy valves.

Post Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:14 am
mas

Posts: 15
Location: Eau Claire Wisconsin
Part of my problem may be due to the fact that I have not heard anyother flathead running. Is there anyway of puting a sound bit along with a video on this web page? Any folks around Eau Claire WI familiar with older bikes?
Mike

Post Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:49 am
mas

Posts: 15
Location: Eau Claire Wisconsin
Part of my problem may be due to the fact that I have not heard anyother flathead running. Is there anyway of puting a sound bit along with a video on this web page? Any folks around Eau Claire WI familiar with older bikes?
Mike

Post Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:14 am
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 5839
Location: Ohio USA

krazy loop makes a darn good point. Before working the tappet screws though, you might try adjusting the screws via the thread travel first. I forget the travel specs on the threads off hand but a certain amount of turn makes a certain amount of travel on the screws. Once you get the travel specs, adjust them by starting at zero lash. That is to say.....metal to metal contact with no load. Pa

Post Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:28 pm
xlr

Posts: 149
Location: calif
hi yes i have friend in eau claire worked on flatheads a lot


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