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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

Just picked up an 02 electra glide (FI twin cam w/ gear drive cams) with 93k on the clock. The guy I bought it from assured me that all factory recommended maintenance had been done at the proper intervals but nothing is confirmed. What I have noticed is what sounds like a fairly loud lifter noise, only when its hot and mostly at idle. My diagnosis is mostly based on it sounding pretty similar to when my 350 chevy had a similar noise that turned out to be a hydraulic lifter issue. I'm not well versed in the world of harleys so I could be wrong but what threads I have read suggest this is pretty likely.

What I am wondering is if this could turn into a catastrophic failure on a road trip and if there is anything I can do now (aside from an oil change) that might improve the situation or delay a major failure without doing major repairs. Mostly trying to just finish out the summer season without dumping money into it... I know that seafoam was truly a miracle cure for my chevys lifter and I'm wondering if anybody has done a seafoam flush on a harley crankase the way you would with a vehicle (run a bit with the oil for a short amount of time before oil change).

Any general advice for high mileage 02 electra glide ownership is also welcome. Thanks in advance.

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Wayward Son
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Gear drives can be noisy. Just say`in..... :dunno

Surest way to avoid a breakdown?
Replace the lifters.

But you knew that.
 

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If you suspect the service may or not being done on regular basis. I would warm her up a bit and dump the oil and check the filter.. Magnet on oil plug may give you some info. Being a early twin cam. The cam chain tensioners might be part of problem. Open the cam chest on right side of engine. Check for debris and how much wear on the tensioner pads. Worn out cam drive chain another suspect. Chevy guys know about this, been there.
 

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Wayward Son
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys. The cam chain tensioners are gone unless the guy was lying. He said gear drive was installed early. I think its the lifters and not standard pushrod/gear drive noise because it only happens when hot (and sounds like a lifter)... Ill change the oil next weekend and will probably try seafoam. I'm 1/1 on seafoam fixing lifter noise so why not...

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Wayward Son
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Lots of Seafoam fans here.
Myself included.

However. As a fuel system cleaner.

IMO. In your application it`s a band-aid.
If those are the original lifters it is time for replacement.
 

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Fixed lifter noise on my Chevys with a quart of ATF trans oil. Cheapest stuff you can buy. Cleans engine internals. Idle for 10-20 mns, do not drive. Lifter noise slowly went away. Drain oil immediately and filter.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thunderstruck, I totally agree, I'm just wondering if anybody has freed a lifter on a harley the way it happened with my truck. Like I said, I'm just wondering what i can do now for this riding season. I dont want to do any long term damage but I sure do want to ride it for the next month or so, and I can look into major repairs this winter.
 

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Wayward Son
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Wayward Son
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Thunderstruck, I totally agree, I'm just wondering if anybody has freed a lifter on a harley the way it happened with my truck. Like I said, I'm just wondering what i can do now for this riding season. I dont want to do any long term damage but I sure do want to ride it for the next month or so, and I can look into major repairs this winter.
You do your own wrenching or having a shop do it.
Never looked at replacing lifters as a "major" repair.
Easy one day, or less job if you have some basic tools, all necessary parts and a decent place to do it.
 

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Good to know about the ATF...

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Welcome. Continuing to ride with a noisy lifter could get expensive. IMO
 

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Wayward Son
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So what kind of suds you prefer? :grin
When I did drink beer I was a Miller High-Life drinker.
Used it to chase my JD.
Then I went to the brown liquor only.

Now? I`m just a pepsi-holic.
And a cheap date. :laugh
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You do your own wrenching or having a shop do it.

Never looked at replacing lifters as a "major" repair.

Easy one day, or less job if you have some basic tools, all necessary parts and a decent place to do it.
Fair enough. I dont really know what it entails as ive never worked on this motor and havent looked at the cost of parts. but I live in montana and summer weekends are precious. Going on a trip tomorrow and would much rather ride than drive...

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When I did drink beer I was a Miller High-Life drinker.
Used it to chase my JD.
Then I went to the brown liquor only.

Now? I`m just a pepsi-holic.
And a cheap date. :laugh
Ever get crazy and do a mug of Root Beer I like cheap dates. :wink
 

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Fair enough. I dont really know what it entails as ive never worked on this motor and havent looked at the cost of parts. but I live in montana and summer weekends are precious. Going on a trip tomorrow and would much rather ride than drive...

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Check YouTube plenty of detailed videos
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Welcome. Continuing to ride with a noisy lifter could get expensive. IMO
Can you elaborate? I guess part of the reason I'm reaching out here is because I have had vehicles that ran fine forever with godawful lifter noise. I'm not sure if its a red flag urgent type noise or a "I should probably get that worked on before next season" type noise in this case... But either way I will do an,oil change next weekend with seafoam if not ATF.

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