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Author Topic: Strange noises  (Read 2652 times)

LarsBloodbeard

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Strange noises
« on: November 27, 2012, 06:27:29 PM »
Something just doesn't seem right.  Perhaps I'm imagining things or overreacting, but I'd like your guys opinion... 

I keep hearing a rattling noise almost like pinging (sounds like a marble in a paint can), but it occurs at certain RPM's.  Giving more or less throttle gets rid of it, and it doesn't matter if it's under load or not.  Maybe it's just a loose bolt somewhere?

Then I came to a stop this morning and there was a loud "ka-chunk!" sound and my engine stopped.  I was certain it had seized... but then it started right up.  I looked around thinking maybe something fell off, but there was nothing on the ground.

I'm really confused here.  Where should I start looking?

ace.cafe

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2012, 06:43:25 PM »
Pretty hard to say.
If I were to go on a hunch, I'd say to slightly retard the ignition timing and slightly richen the pilot circuit, and re-set the idle speed accordingly. Not too slow on the idle speed. 1000 rpm is about good.
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LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2012, 07:34:05 PM »
Cool, that's along the lines of what I was thinking.  I will tweak the timing later since I don't have a big enough screwdriver with me.  I swapped the pilot for a 30 last night, as it was seeming to be a bit lean.  I didn't quite have it adjusted right though and the idle was way low once it warmed up and stalled a couple times.  I've never had the engine die with a loud noise like that though.

AgentX

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2012, 03:50:22 PM »
Something just doesn't seem right.  Perhaps I'm imagining things or overreacting, but I'd like your guys opinion... 

I keep hearing a rattling noise almost like pinging (sounds like a marble in a paint can), but it occurs at certain RPM's.  Giving more or less throttle gets rid of it, and it doesn't matter if it's under load or not.  Maybe it's just a loose bolt somewhere?


If you figure it out let me know ASAP!  I have a similar rattle coming on as I open up the throttle.  Backing off makes it go away, and riding harder either also makes it go away or simply drowns it in other clatter; kinda hard to tell.

If I back off throttle then accelerate extremely gingerly, I don't hear it.

But this is happening at low throttle openings, like 1/3 or so, and on flats, downhills, and uphills alike.  When I really hammer it going up a hill in 4th/5th it doesn't make this rattle (or at least it's masked by the exhaust note and other engine noises) or any other distinct ping. 

I am really, really confused.  It sounds like Snidal's description of ping, but lacks the metallic high pitched edge some others have told me is associated with the phenomenon.  And it doesn't seem to be affected by altering the ignition timing in either direction.

Indian riders claim it's a variety of things, including the sound of lash in the cam gears.  (Which, they further claim, will lessen as it breaks in...first time I've heard of break-in resulting in closer tolerances!  Must be metal shavings from elsewhere accumulating between the teeth and welding themselves in place.)

But I'm not sure it's an ignition timing issue anymore.  I can't find higher octane fuel, or toulene spirits to add octane to regular gas:  paint thinners come in old water bottles so I don't know what's in them, and I can't exactly find an MSDS or anything at the roadside shack.  Had been hoping to see if higher octane would have an effect based on Ace and others' advice.  (Just as a test, not as the cure necessarily.)

For what it's worth, though, my bike also likes to die off during sudden stops but there's no ka-chunk or other loud noise associated with it.

ace.cafe

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2012, 04:13:11 PM »
Could be bearings going bad.
That's extremely common.
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Afro Samurai

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2012, 05:52:23 PM »
Ace....as in the main rod bearing?.. or other bushings all over?.. or crank bearings?...

Ace.. think i read you mention something on ceramic bearing.. was that concerning the wheel bearings?.. or did you replace main crank with ceramic bearings?

I been thinking alot on this lately... replacing everything with higher qual bearings.. all throughout... ceram if possible.. slight perf increase?

LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2012, 06:02:34 PM »
Sounds exactly like my issue, AgentX.  I checked the timing about 5 times, and it's spot on.  I might try advancing it anyway just to see what happens.  Also, I'm running 100 octane.  Just filled up with 91 to see if that makes a difference.  Usually when I hear a ping think "is that pinging?", give a bit more throttle and it gets louder, then I think "yep, definitely pinging."  This however, is just like you describe.  Only certain RPM's, and uphill or straightaway makes it no worse or better.  I looked around for things that might rattle, and even held my keys while riding to see if that was it.  But it really seems to be coming from the engine.

I made some adjustments to my idle screws and now it idle's fairly well and hasn't died or made scary noises like that ka-chunk, though I'm getting some backfires when engine braking so I think I'm a bit rich.

ace.cafe

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2012, 08:26:50 PM »
Sounds exactly like my issue, AgentX.  I checked the timing about 5 times, and it's spot on.  I might try advancing it anyway just to see what happens.  Also, I'm running 100 octane.  Just filled up with 91 to see if that makes a difference.  Usually when I hear a ping think "is that pinging?", give a bit more throttle and it gets louder, then I think "yep, definitely pinging."  This however, is just like you describe.  Only certain RPM's, and uphill or straightaway makes it no worse or better.  I looked around for things that might rattle, and even held my keys while riding to see if that was it.  But it really seems to be coming from the engine.

I made some adjustments to my idle screws and now it idle's fairly well and hasn't died or made scary noises like that ka-chunk, though I'm getting some backfires when engine braking so I think I'm a bit rich.

Backfiring on engine braking means your throttle is closed, and that puts the carb on the pilot circuit.
So, that's what you have to adjust. Use your little angled screw.
I can't tell you which way to turn it, because it can happen with too rich or too lean. Too lean is more common, but it can happen either way.
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ace.cafe

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2012, 08:31:00 PM »
Ace....as in the main rod bearing?.. or other bushings all over?.. or crank bearings?...

Ace.. think i read you mention something on ceramic bearing.. was that concerning the wheel bearings?.. or did you replace main crank with ceramic bearings?

I been thinking alot on this lately... replacing everything with higher qual bearings.. all throughout... ceram if possible.. slight perf increase?

The main bearings and the rod bearing are known weak points in the Bullet.

Ceramics aren't available for the roller mains yet, but there is a ceramic ball bearing for the drive side. I haven't tried the ceramic in that place yet, but I'm waiting until the roller mains are available in ceramic, and then I'll try them all at the same time.

What you need are top quality main bearings from the major companies, and be sure that you aren't getting any counterfeits. The set of 2 main rollers and the drive side ball bearing should normally cost between $150-$200 for the 3 bearings as a set. Maybe you might find a good deal that is about 2/3 of that cost, if you were lucky.
If you are seeing the main rollers for $10 each, then you know it's junk, even if it looks right. You can't tell by looking at it, if it's counterfeit. They look good, but they don't hold up in the engine.
Don't buy bearings on Ebay.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 08:33:22 PM by ace.cafe »
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LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2012, 09:01:55 PM »
Backfiring on engine braking means your throttle is closed, and that puts the carb on the pilot circuit.
So, that's what you have to adjust. Use your little angled screw.
I can't tell you which way to turn it, because it can happen with too rich or too lean. Too lean is more common, but it can happen either way.

I put in a 30 pilot jet and the air bleed isn't screwed out very much, that's why I figured it was too rich.

ERC

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2012, 11:16:26 PM »
The sound your hearing "sounds" to me like a rod bearing to me.   ERC
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LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2012, 11:35:20 PM »
The sound your hearing "sounds" to me like a rod bearing to me.   ERC

Hmm.  I wouldn't doubt it.  I'm sure the lower end is in terrible shape.  The alternator output shaft is slightly askew for sure.  I can't afford to dig into that lower end yet though, plus I don't have any other mode of transportation for the next month.

This would also make sense with the amount of metal particles that the valve & rocker grinding themselves down added to my oil.  I spent forever cleaning it out of the timing side.  The oil filter is silver in color because of it, so I'm sure plenty circulated through the engine.  I really should have split the case and gave it a superb cleaning over the holiday weekend, but the amount of work I've put into this thing lately is really wearing me down.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 11:45:19 PM by LarsBloodbeard »

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2012, 11:51:47 PM »
In my experience, a worn rod bearing will clatter lightly at low speeds and becomes increasingly loud as the engine speed increases.  It doesn't come and go.

Speaking of sleeve bearings, worn main bearings can be pretty quite when the engine is idling or just cruising along easily.  When the throttle is opened they start to clatter and the harder the engine is working, the louder the knocking will be.

With the rolling element bearings on the crankshaft they might sound similar to the sleeve bearings on a crankshaft, especially if the fit of the outside race into the aluminum housing was getting loose. 
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AgentX

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2012, 03:28:43 AM »
For my part, I thought it couldn't possibly be bearings since the bike has about 700 miles on it since its rebuild.  However, the quality of the stock RE bearings is of course suspect, and I'm confident they were installed with a big hammer, because that's the only way anyone installs bearings around here.  So I guess it could be.  I'm probably just going to ride it with my fingers crossed unless/until I figure out another possible cause; the bearings only need to last a few more months before I get out of India and build a new engine myself.

(I just made a crude wheel bearing press out of bolts and washers and people told me it was a waste of time and $1.50...)

ace.cafe

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2012, 11:43:49 AM »
People pound them out and in here in the US too.

It's so easy to just heat the case to 250-300 degrees F, and they almost fall right out by themselves, and you can just drop the new cool bearings right in.
Hardly any work at all.
And it doesn't risk rolling or shaving any metal out of the bearing seats in the engine cases.

I just don't know where these people got the idea to beat these things with a hammer.
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AgentX

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2012, 02:06:02 PM »
I just don't know where these people got the idea to beat these things with a hammer.

Well, first they were just like:



And then they were like:


ace.cafe

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2012, 02:08:14 PM »
Ha ha!
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GreenMachine

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2012, 03:09:19 PM »
Ace: Its India, only the extreme wealthy would have anyhing that resembles a oven..I guess they could stick it in the clay pot after they are done cooking tandoor chicken and Nan ......Beating with a hammer is a way of life over there...Dam if u can't make a square peg go into a round hole...Determination always win out but it comes with no guarantees.I'm amazed what can be done with just the basics

Agent x : I'm calling GSO and telling them u using your oven to cook your enfield case ... :P GM
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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2012, 04:22:06 PM »
Agent x : I'm calling GSO and telling them u using your oven to cook your enfield case ... :P GM

Good luck getting anything bigger than a cylinder head into my oven...

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2012, 07:16:18 PM »
I'm still trying to figure out why something as simple as a little hand held propane torch (no, not a flashlight) is impossible to get in India.

The propane torches in the US are a dime a dozen.  The compressed propane tanks are available everywhere and are used for camp stoves, gas camping lights, catalitic heaters as well as torches for soldering (and heating Royal Enfield engine cases) and when coupled with a torch, giving the finishing touch to my casseroles at dinner time.

I sometimes think that things like this are (quite literally) keeping India "in the dark".

 :)
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ace.cafe

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2012, 07:46:00 PM »
I have removed and installed main bearings by putting the case half on a pair of upright concrete blocks, and used a small propane camping heater underneath the case half to heat it up.
It takes a while, but if you can spit on it and it boils, you are getting close.
Take a wood drift and a mallet, and try to tap the bearing out. If it's real stubborn, keep it on the heat longer.
Once you tap it out, then you can use oven mitts to turn the case half up so the bearing seat is seen, and then drop the new bearing in quickly and accurately, and it will very quickly be held in place by the shrinking bearing seat in the cooling case half.
Then do the other case half.

I've done this a few times. Just clean out the case halves real well before doing it, and try to keep it clean.  You can do it in the workshop, and try not to get any dirt on it.
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LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2012, 07:49:42 PM »
Thanks for the tip.  I don't have a torch right now, but I do have several camping stoves (most are alcohol burners I made out of soda cans).  Which leads me to think, why don't the Indian shops just make an alcohol stove and pour in some HEET or rubbing alcohol?

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2012, 10:32:06 PM »
Probably because if asked, they would answer, "I have used only this block and hammer always to remove the bearings.  My father before me used this block and hammer and his father before him used this block and hammer.
Why change that which has been done so successfully for so many years?"   :)
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GreenMachine

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2012, 12:19:29 AM »
After u lived there awhile, you accept it and go with the flow..Sometimes this requires repairs being put to the side and fixed once you're back stateside..Be curious to see if agentx brings back that 350cc machine.
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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2012, 12:28:21 AM »
There's probably an entire district of propane torch sellers somewhere.  But only those who have used propane torches in a particular obscure role for 4 generations know or care where it is or what a torch is.  Or maybe they're only unavailable in Hyderabad.

People rarely do anything by themselves here.  DIY is at once ubiquitous (and often tragic) for things you should definitely have a professional do, but beyond consideration for things people in the rest of the world do for themselves every day.

LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2012, 12:38:14 AM »
Interesting.  Sounds like a foreign land in every sense of the word.

AgentX

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2012, 02:06:01 AM »
"I have used only this block and hammer always to remove the bearings.  My father before me used this block and hammer and his father before him used this block and hammer.
Why change that which has been done so successfully for so many years?"   :)

Or maybe, "The guy who puts the fuzes into our nuclear weapons does it this way, so why isn't it OK for a motorcycle?"

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2012, 02:36:04 AM »
When I put the new bearings in my cases, I used my barbeque! I just kept a moderate heat and it worked very well.

It sounds like a hillbilly solution but it is a solution.

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2012, 04:27:28 AM »
That's only a hillbilly solution if you left the 'possum on the grill while you were heating the cases.
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LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2012, 07:53:12 AM »
My engine has added a horrible knock/rattle to it's arsenal of noises.  I'm thinking this is probably the rod bearing.  What do you guys think?  The pinging is there briefly but it's barely audible over the engine and because it's higher pitch and this cell phone recording is all distorted sounding.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 07:55:15 AM by LarsBloodbeard »

ace.cafe

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2012, 09:52:48 AM »
It wouldn't surprise me if it were a rod knock.
I can't listen to the file.

However, after hearing that your bike is somehow a Indian home market bike, and is here in the US, that explains everything.
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LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2012, 04:03:15 PM »
That's what I believe it sounds like, but I don't have much experience with these little thumpers.  Try listening to it here: http://youtu.be/rXIzCynmCRM

Blltrdr

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2012, 04:18:12 PM »
I think it sounds like your muffler baffle has a broken weld or crack. Maybe remove the muffler and shake it. If nothing rattles in the muffler then try running the bike with it off and see if the rattle is still there. Well I listened to your recording again. You might want to retard the timing slightly and see if the rattle goes away. I would still check the muffler though. Also make sure your tank is full of fuel. An almost empty gas tank can produce some funky harmonics that can drive you crazy.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 04:54:56 PM by Blltrdr »
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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2012, 06:04:09 PM »
The two of them sounded about the same to me, but I really wouldn't want to guess what it is. Put a hemostat to it and see if you can get the source of the noise located. Even a long screwdriver held to your ear with the blade touching various parts of the crankcase can be a help.
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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #34 on: December 04, 2012, 08:31:48 PM »
I just had the muffler off a week ago and it was fine.  I'll check it again though.

I've tweaked the timing both directions and it just makes it run poorly.  I don't think it affected that knock.

Fuel tank is nearly full.

It doesn't knock like that unless under at least a little load so I can't really narrow down the exact spot.  Perhaps I could enlist the help of a friend to hold the brake and give it a little throttle in gear...

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2012, 03:35:48 AM »
I just had the muffler off a week ago and it was fine.  I'll check it again though.

I've tweaked the timing both directions and it just makes it run poorly.  I don't think it affected that knock.

Fuel tank is nearly full.

It doesn't knock like that unless under at least a little load so I can't really narrow down the exact spot.  Perhaps I could enlist the help of a friend to hold the brake and give it a little throttle in gear...

I wonder if your points plate is hanging up your mechanical advance. That is something that numerous Bullet owners have mentioned having a problem with. Just take off your points cover and then turn your points cam shaft and check to see if it hangs up on the advance. If so you may have to file something on the back of the plate.
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LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2012, 06:20:17 AM »
I wonder if your points plate is hanging up your mechanical advance.

Doesn't seem to be an issue.
http://youtu.be/eVNW2nzyW_c
And I took it off to look for signs of rubbing on the back of the plate.
http://youtu.be/slqEuLGSTtE

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #37 on: December 05, 2012, 12:47:07 PM »
That's what I believe it sounds like, but I don't have much experience with these little thumpers.  Try listening to it here: http://youtu.be/rXIzCynmCRM

Well, my noise and your noise sure aren't the same...

Mine's much quieter and more rapid.  Yours, alas, is slightly more alarming!

ace.cafe

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #38 on: December 05, 2012, 04:33:33 PM »
Well, it comes and goes sort of randomly.
Have you checked your primary chain tension, or inspected all the stuff in your primary chaincase?
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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #39 on: December 05, 2012, 06:59:17 PM »
Well, my noise and your noise sure aren't the same...

Mine's much quieter and more rapid.  Yours, alas, is slightly more alarming!

That wasn't the noise we share in common.  That higher pitch rattle only reared it's head for a brief moment in that sound clip and you can barely hear it.

LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #40 on: December 05, 2012, 07:05:57 PM »
Well, it comes and goes sort of randomly.
Have you checked your primary chain tension, or inspected all the stuff in your primary chaincase?

The knock comes in around a certain RPM range, and only when driving.  I added some Lucas oil gunk, and that quieted it somewhat.  I really think it's a crank or rod bearing.  Especially with the way it shakes... http://youtu.be/tymO9emz4WE

I tore apart the primary, cleaned it out, and replaced the alternator at the same time I replaced the cylinder and piston (~200 miles ago).  I guess I'll check it anyways.  Maybe I'll pull off the alternator and drive it down the street to see if that makes a difference.

Phlakaton

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #41 on: December 05, 2012, 10:35:52 PM »
My stupid rattling noise ended up being a lose tank bolt.  Metalic vibration noises at the top end of the gears right before shifting.  DUMB ME.  Spent a week trying to figure that crap out.  Live and learn.
'08 Bullet 500 Iron ES

LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #42 on: December 05, 2012, 10:43:40 PM »
My stupid rattling noise ended up being a lose tank bolt.  Metalic vibration noises at the top end of the gears right before shifting.  DUMB ME.  Spent a week trying to figure that crap out.  Live and learn.

I've had a few of those....

Loud rattle at high rpm's: head stay was loose.
Ringing noise at certain rpm's: shock shroud too close to frame.
Intermittent clunking noise: center stand rattling against frame.
Shallow rattle that comes and goes: front brake linkage too loose.

LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #43 on: December 06, 2012, 09:54:56 PM »
Update:

I took it down to the Brit bike dealer in San Bernardino (Doug Douglas).  They sell RE's but don't have experience with the earlier models like mine.  After a bit of gearhead talk about the old girl, the mechanics gave it a listen and said it's definitely engine noise, probably a rod bearing.  But they also said it's not that bad yet and I could probably keep riding it a bit longer before splitting the case.

baird4444

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #44 on: December 07, 2012, 04:07:25 AM »
suit yourself but you're just asking for more scrap metal to clean
out of the oil channels and risking a lot more damage to the cylinder...
   old school thinking is knock on acceleration is crank bearings;
        knock on deceleration is rod bearing....
     have you pulled either of the rocker covers or oil filter
looking for small bits of white metal?
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LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #45 on: December 07, 2012, 05:43:29 PM »
suit yourself but you're just asking for more scrap metal to clean
out of the oil channels and risking a lot more damage to the cylinder...
   old school thinking is knock on acceleration is crank bearings;
        knock on deceleration is rod bearing....
     have you pulled either of the rocker covers or oil filter
looking for small bits of white metal?

Yep.  Haven't seen any... yet.

cyrusb

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Re: Strange noises
« Reply #46 on: December 28, 2012, 11:11:11 PM »
So no metal in the oil? Piston slap?