Join Date: Oct 2011
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The top of the rod ends were egg shaped, I had some burnt valves, and the internals of the engine looked like it had 50,000 miles on it.
Purchased a 2012 Limited 8/27 (my first Harley). Broke it in as the book said and soon after the purchase noticed some valve noise in the bike...more than I am used to on the other bikes I owned.(metrix) Also at highway speeds between 2200 and 2800 RPM noticed a noise that sounded sometimes like a valve clatter or maybe like you were floating the valves at high speed in an old car. Sometimes it sounded like a really loud injector, and sometimes kinda sounded like I had cheap gas in it. Tick...tock, tock.....tick,tick,tick,.....tock at highway speeds on cruise. I have burned every brand of premium gas known to man and even some non ethonol fuel. When I went in for the 1000 mile service, I told them about the valve noise. They said, turn up radio, get louder pipes, wear different helmet, they all do that. OK...not really being satisfied with the answer, cause I got sense enough to know what I heard did not sound right. But I was gonna run it like it was...it has warranty. We took off on a trip across MS, AL, GA, TN, NC, KT, VA, for about 5 days and by now they valve noise is getting worse. The wife could hear it from the passenger seat and ask me what that rattling was and was the bike gonna make it back home. The clatter is heard quite often, actually by the time I got back home. I was debating whether to put Diesel in it cause it sometimes sounded like one but not all the time. The bike would have to be hot to hear it for sure. The bike now had over 5100 miles on it so I did the 5000 mile service myself. The oil I drained from it was BLACK as diesel oil...no metal on the drain plug magnet. I thought the oil being so black was very odd. I changed the oil with Amsoil 20-50, and checked all the stuff in the 5000 mile maintenance check list. I have a shop manual and this helped a bunch. After the oil change rode it to get it up to temp to do the final oil check and she was still rattling but maybe not as much...cause I noticed you had to get it good and hot before it would rattle a lot.
The Dealer just happened to call me checking on the bike since I was just there for my 1000 mile service a week or so before. (nice of them) I mentioned about the clattering of the valves and he said they want to see it again. The next morning 10/20/2011 I rode it in 37'f weather 250 miles back to the dealer. The mechanic got on the bike and stayed gone a while on it. After he came back he said I had something serious going on in this engine. He thought maybe it was a broke valve spring, valve guide that came out of the head or something like that cause it would not do it all the time. Occasionally you could hear it while idling in gear at a red light. I found a ride home and the next day the dealer called. They said I had to have a new engine. The top of the rod ends were egg shaped, I had some burnt valves, and the internals of the engine looked like it had 50,000 miles on it. They said the pistons were black and brown, and the piston pins were brown from the heat. A new engine was on the way from Harley. They said it would take about 7-10 days to get the bike ready.
The bike ran good...got pretty good gas mileage, 33-44 MPG, had plenty of power and torque. No indications that anything was wrong from the way it ran. I could merge into traffic on the interstate like lightening. I did notice a couple of times that my right calf would get very hot through my leather chaps. I just thought it was an air cooled bike and maybe that that was normal. Keep in mind it was cold most mornings and cool during the day on the trip in the mountians. All my other bikes were water cooled, so I was not sure how much heat I should feel. I never idled the bike for anytime besides red lights and even shut it off a couple of times while we were waiting for traffic in some construction in the mountians. On the trip we rode 10-11.5 hours a day...basically from daylight to just before dark, only shutting it off for fuel and to eat, and of course at night. The heat management was not turned off.
I cannot figure out where this all this heat indications on all the internals came from... If the CATS were stopped up, seemed like it would not run so good or get the fuel mileage I got. The bike is stock as can be...only a changed the windshield and added a chrome fork legs, plus a few small pieces of chrome. Stock exhaust and headers. Stock wheels and tires.
Anybody heard of this happening before? I think the mechanics and myself are stumped on why this engine has the symptoms of heat inside.
I would really like to know where all this heat is generated from...I do not want this happening again, especially when the warranty expires in 21-22 months. I talked to the dealer about installing an oil temp gauge in place of the air temp...he said it would only scare me to death, cause in the summer the bike will get very hot. IT is not unusual for them to get up over 260-300’F on a hot day.
From what they say the the internals of this engine looked like, I believe it got hotter than that…and if I would have had Non-synthetic oil in it…I believe it would have be nothing but sludge inside from burnt petroleum oil.
Saturday 10/29 they called me at 08:30, (they open at 10AM) and told me they had my bike ready to pick up. New engine is installed and they have put 100 miles on it to make sure everything is working as it should. GREAT...so they diagnoised the problem, tore down the engine, got an engine from the factory that has my last 10 digits of the VIN on it, installed it, and tested it in 8 days, and called me on the 9th day before they opened to come pick it up. I am amazed. I commend the dealer for such speedy service. Now lets just hope my luck changes and this engine holds up.
I am out of town on business right now and cannot pick it up till Wednesday or Thursday. RATS.
I am going through withdrawals due to no bike available to ride right now.
Just wanted folks to know, what some say is normal noise, "turn up your radio", "get louder pipes"...can lead to...a destroyed engine in two months of riding. Bike has 5400 miles on it now.
I am hoping for many many more trouble free miles...