TS111 Engine Noises - NOT another Clacker Thread

Discussion in 'Indian Motorcycle General Discussion' started by SouthernProducer, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. SouthernProducer

    SouthernProducer Well-Known Member

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    Tom over at AMS (AMSmotomachine.com) encouraged me to post our recent private conversation on the "Other" forum where he has made numerous posts about the cause of the so called "Clackers". I didn't engage that thread because of all the snarky responses that are usually associated with serious posts on that forum. So, I thought about it and decided that this forum would be the right place to relate the core of our conversation because it just might add some knowledge useful to those here. Here it goes:

    • My initiation comments relate to the difference in engine noise on my recently traded 2016 Chief Classic (well past break-in mileage) and how those compared to my new 2016 Springfield...both bikes are bone stock engine-wise. Here is an extract of my observations to Tom: "The Chief ran well, but did have a generally noisy engine...especially during the warmup period (the first 20 miles in summer temps). It wasn't a "clacker" as described by others on the forum, but was a little noisier than my HD Glides. I believe the clearances on the major internal components were stacked on the loose side. I didn't care much about the noise as the engine quieted down after getting to operating temps...I've had HD's with much noisier engines. Wanting to get a bagger, I traded the Chief on the 2016 Springfield and noticed the engine was noticeably quieter than the Chief at all points in the warmup cycle. I reasoned the engine was assembled with tighter tolerances than the Chief. I only got about 400 miles on the bike before the weather here in TN turned on me, but in that amount riding I decided an experiment to eliminate some of the residual engine noise that was present on the Springfield. Using a recommendation I recalled from a Ford Motor Company High Performance Engineer relative to a race engine I was rebuilding (this is from the early 1960's!) I started adding to each fill-up, a synthetic fuel additive to the alcohol free premium fuel (92 octane). I'm sure you can guess what happened...it totally eliminated that residual noise. I suspect that the increased lubrication and detergents in the additive "hit" the areas of the top-end that were the source of the noise. There are probably more "cause and effect" issues at play here, but thought you might like to know about how my experiment turned out...so far."
    • Here is Tom's comments relative to his insight into the issue: "I agree, the noises at cold start was probably a little excess piston skirt clearance ( hate to sound like a broken record,: due to tolerance stack. Are you familiar with Geometric Dimension & Tolerancing, its used by all major and practically all small manufacturers theses days, the latest rules were established in 2009. GD&T lets a greater number of mating components be considered "OK", than the +/- tolerancing used for decades).And like you, I think a large number of "clacker" or similar noises are generated by poor combustion characteristic. Due to air/fuel & ignition tuning map parameters, and /or the combustion chamber & piston geometry causing early quench effect pressure-rise timing ( not quite as severe as outright detonation, but creates a sudden force acting unevenly on the piston crown, causing a hard rock-over as the piston approaches TDC. In both of these conditions, your testing with a fuel additive would show a change in the combustion psi-rate of change and therefore some noise factors. An octane booster will slow the rate of combustion, and likely show the biggest change in noise. I'm concerned that folks will assume there is only one source of the "noise" - which as you seen, it's not so. It was (is?) the same with the noises many Twin Cam Harley suffer. I've spent the last 16 yrs diagnosing and finding ways to eliminate their many sources of "un-normal" noises. And so did HD MoCo: their new M8 engine was designed with many improvements that eliminated the source of those noises they claim are "normal". Thanks for sharing!Tom - AMS"
    So, assuming Tom has made the right call...at least I think he has for my Springfield and maybe others here, he builds a great case for getting a flash tuner to address the "noise" issue by rebalancing the air/fuel mixtures so as to improve the combustion chamber & piston characteristics. I'm going to go with a flash tuner once I'm back out the winter storage and after my break-in service.

    I hope this has been helpful...
     
  2. Alpal

    Alpal Gold Member
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    Helpful?,......Mate that was fasinating reading, even though I own the little sister. It seems like you may have more to share at a later date and I for one will be looking forward to what you and your friend turn up. I will be investigating some of the things raised here as it is obvious I am a little out of touch with developments in engine design and bike manufacture.
    Thanks again Buddy,
    Regards,
    Alpal
     
    #2 Alpal, Dec 23, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
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  3. Alpal

    Alpal Gold Member
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    Great definition of GD @ T on wiki guys and girls, if you're interested,......going back there now,......Bye,.......
    Alpal
     
  4. Sturgis 75th

    Sturgis 75th Moderator
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    I have a 2016 RM that started a clatter sound at about 2000 miles. I now have 10,000 on the bike. I installed a PCV and still had the clatter. I had Lloydz install my cams and dyno tune my bike in Sturgis and the clatter is still there. Every time I bring my bike into the dealer I make a complaint about it and make sure they note it on my receipt as well. And each time the tech tells me he don't hear anything blah blah blah. It sound just like any air cooled V twin blah blah blah. I tell him he really does hear it but Polaris has him programmed to ignore it.
    Now I have heard some grumblings that Polaris may be realizing piston slap may very well be the cause. This could be an interesting year.
     
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  5. ndncowboy

    ndncowboy Bronze Member
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    I don't really see how piston slap would be THAT MUCH of a problem unless you routinely ride at 120mph for several hours at a time but maybe I'm missing the big picture.
     
  6. Alpal

    Alpal Gold Member
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    Pistons at one time, maybe still, were cam ground in that they were not circular but oval in shape when cold in the bore. Over square engines, (piston diameter greater than the stroke of the engine, ie 4" piston diameter and 3.5" stroke ), designed for high revs had short piston skirts. These two factors when coupled together meant that when the engine was started it was likely you would hear a rattle until such times as the engine warmed up. The piston although oval would heat up and expand, more around the gudgeon pin area than the skirt due to the extra metal there. Once warm and expanded the noises would be gone because the piston was now round. Having said that, as more of an explanation to ndncowboy than anything else, I don't think that that is what causes the clacker noise and lean more towards the explanation given in post one. That also said, I feel that expansion of the internal parts still does play a role in the clacker noise. Most interesting topic,......
    Alpal.
     
  7. Sturgis 75th

    Sturgis 75th Moderator
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    It's not as much of a problem as it is annoying. Thank god I have a radio on my RM or I would go crazy having to listen to it all the time. But like I said. I do have it documented every time it is in the shop. Just to cover my ass after the warranty expires.
     
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  8. boosterp

    boosterp Active Member

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    An old Harley explanation. I am not quoting because it's been 15 or so years, but on my custom 1200 Harley customer service explained that cold the piston sleeves had a certain amount of tolerance and could slide x amount of millimeters, and once they expanded when warm the sliding stopped.

    I also heard something different from the guy who customized the custom for me. He said its the rockers clacking until they get warm and mesh.

    Both make sense, but I'd like a more current explanation and Producer seems to have found one.
     
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  9. Alpal

    Alpal Gold Member
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    That's interesting Buddy. I wonder what he meant by "sliding"? I mean by that that the piston can only go up and down. I wonder what he meant by " sliding"?
     
  10. boosterp

    boosterp Active Member

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    There's supposedly a ridge at the bottom of the cylinder wall that the sleeve sits on, so it can ride between that and the top of the head until it expands from heat.
     
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  11. Alpal

    Alpal Gold Member
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    Ok I see what you mean but I can't think of a reason why having the sleeve "floating" like that would be necessary,.....
     
  12. boosterp

    boosterp Active Member

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    Most high performance engines with aluminum heads have sleeves, its to keep a higher combustion ratio without rupturing the aluminum.
     
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  13. Alpal

    Alpal Gold Member
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    Agreed but I'm interested in why the moving sleeve,.....
     
  14. boosterp

    boosterp Active Member

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    Looking at the oarts list for the Scout, on the 60 you have a 93 mm inset that looks just like a sleeve.
     
  15. boosterp

    boosterp Active Member

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    Not as clear, but on the 111 there appears to be an insert also. If it is not welded to the inside of the cylinder It would have a mm or so of play.
     
  16. Alpal

    Alpal Gold Member
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    Sleeved engines I am acquainted with have a o'ring at the base to ensure no coollant escapes into the oil system. The cylinder head when torqued down held the sleeve or liner in place. That said, I am not acquainted with the Scout engine greatly other than knowing it goes like a cut cat,.....

    The
    that would be to reduce the capacity from 69 to 60 cu inches.
     
  17. ndncowboy

    ndncowboy Bronze Member
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    I guess where I get confused in this whole thing is I'm familiar with just 3 noises a engine makes. Ping, knock and clack/tap. And clack to me has always been the noise made from hydraulic lifters not pumping up all the way or tappets tapping depending on engine and who is describing the noise. Here it sounds like clack is referring to yet another noise. I guess if I ever heard one I'd get it but the only other one I've ever been around a lot other than mine is my buddies and his is just like mine, sounds like an engine.
     
  18. Ghost

    Ghost Silver Member
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    That was a major problem with some of the early Twin Cams like my 02 RK except it didn't go away when it warmed up. You either bought modified Rocker covers to get rid of it, modified your own covers or said F it and just lived with it.
     
  19. Sturgis 75th

    Sturgis 75th Moderator
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    To me it sounds like valve clatter like loose rockers on a small block Chevy. But I've been told by Kyle last year and now I've heard it from another source that it's piston slap.
     
  20. Alpal

    Alpal Gold Member
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    And hence, full circle. As mentioned in post one and my comments on cam ground Pistons. Just from what I've read I feel it is a "clearance" or " tolerance " thing. The latest changes to calculating tolerance, DG &T, in 2009 could be the explanation. It seems as if the new system is looking at finding the " overall" best clearance for mating surfaces, as opposed to specific mating surfaces. And I could be farting into a headwind too but that's where my thoughts take me...........very interesting thread,........
    Alpal
     

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