How To Adjust The Valves On A Harley-Davidson Evolution Motorcycle Engine




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Did this video help you?

John Bisbal: Love the video!

Wesley Porter: Thank you

Greg Blahnik: Thank you for sharing this, I did not know that.

dan myers: I adjust the valves on my 2005 HD every week to keep it running strong. I'm going to change the timing belt this weekend. I still have my suzuki but I love my Harley. 

MrSlowestD16: Haha, I saw the title and was like "what the hell, thought they were hydraulic!?" - scared me for a bit!

Saddle Tramp: Anybody with enough mechanical know-how to adjust push rods is well aware of what a hydraulic lifter is. What a pointless waste of bandwidth this video is.

CrudeDude: Antiquated push rod technology. Typical out-dated, under-powered, over-rated piece of semi American-made junk.

Kapt. SneakerFreeker: hey how's it going? Question for ya. I have a 1200cc Evo sporty (1993) & there's a tapping/knocking noise coming from what it sounds like the top of my front block.. I'm thinking it's a valve problem, maybe they need replacing, i wanted to know if there's anything you could think of that would cause this.

Jack Fountain: Do you even know where the lifters are. LOL why are you pointing at the top every time you point to them????

MrBeboopman: hello, very informative video. As a confirmed four across the frame pilot I have been looking at a 1986 flh, any opinion on these please.

hoohoohoblin: The Final generation Buell 1125R motorcycles require valve adjustments, but the orignal tube frame models and XB models have hydraulic lifters. they also have drive belts rather than chains, which last longer and are cheaper in the long run.

hoohoohoblin: Those are 2 of my favorite bikes. I used to have a Sportster. Now I have a 2001 Buell Cyclone, which is the best of both worlds. Evo engine making close to 100 horsepower in a lightweight motorcycle that can go around corners. Check out my Buell Cyclone review video. Great bike, and affordable too. I paid $2,800 for it.

hoohoohoblin: @missionron You may want to check with S&S to be sure you don't have solid lifters and adjustable pushrods. Some high-performance engines have solid lifters, and you have to adjust the length of the pushrods to adjust the valves. You can watch my Royal Enfield valve adjustment video to get a general idea of how it works. Stock Harleys have hydraulic lifters which never need ajdustment, but I don't know about S&S.

Polter Geist: Actually I'm one of those people that was wondering about this. Having switched from sport bikes and not being to much into Harley's, I bought a sportster 1200 toward the end of last summer and like I said before didn't know to much about them mechanical wise. By no means am I a slouch when it comes to maintenance, I had to adjust the valves on all the sport bikes I've owned. This just made things a little more easier for me as I'm preparing my Harley for this summer. Thanks again.

hoohoohoblin: You're welcome. I knew there would be people out there new to the world of Harley Davidson motorcycles who wonder how to adjust the valves. I'm glad you found my video.

anthony burke: So same goes for all Harley's to right?

Lucas Holt: alright smarty pants... tell me how to adjust the valves on a harley without the stock fixed pushrods? take my s&s v96 for example with adjustable pushrods. how do you set the lash?

DmakAttack: I bought a 98 dyna WG and didn't know that... So, thank you

gio2812872: fast as ducatis????? you must be idiot expensive as a ducati? yeah but not as as a ducati unless you are talkin about a 60 years old ducati

anthony burke: Well they are only ever 7500 miles soo its ok

George Novak: Duh what about after a valve grind stupid

rick church: Good video man! Now the old iron heads....that's a different story!

hoohoohoblin: That's one way to look at it. The fact that you don't need to adjust the valves, it only has 1 carb that's easy to get to and clean every once in a while, it has a drive belt that lasts 100,000 miles, and it makes its power at low rpms means it's a durable, reliable machine that runs forever, is cheap to maintain, and gets good gas mileage.

hoohoohoblin: Tube frame Buells were made from 1984-2002. The frame on these bikes was made of steel tubing, looking kind of like a Ducati Monster frame. Check out the Buell Wikipedia page, and you can learn all about the different models. I rode a newer Buell, but I like the Tube Frame models better. They're bigger and more comfortable to ride if you're a tall person.

ridgerunner98570: Thanks, I am one of those people. Can you make a video of replacing the lifters when they go bad? Mine are starting to make noise and I have 68,000 miles on my 96 FLHT.

earthdog1961: OK, good point. However, for those of us (not me) who have trophy Harleys, those that get ridden once a month or so... regular oil can varnish a lifer and make it tap like it is out of adjustment...or flat (meaning it lost it pump). The simple fix is to add a quart of Mobile 1 synthetic oil to your oil change. The high detergent properties of the synthetic oil will remove the varnish and you will not need the Harley dealer to pretend to replace your flat lifter for $500.

hoohoohoblin: Thanks!

hoohoohoblin: They could, but the bikes would make less power, and Ducati dealers wouldn't make as much money in the service department replacing desmo drive belts. My neighbor has a Ducati, and it's frightening how much a basic service and valve adjustment costs, while my FXR and Buell just need a home oil change and the occasional primary chain and drive belt adjustment.

contact4mwy7: Thanks for the video, man! Just bought a previously owned Harley and was wondering how and when the valves needed to be adjusted. Now I know. I'm the proof that your video answers the question.

kingcustomcycles: Aircraft engines use hydraulic "zero clearance" lifters and during assembly, a dry tappet clearance is measured. This insures the hydraulic assembly can compensate for valve train wear over the life of the engine and doesn't over extend itself. Also, the cylinder warms and expands during operation and the pushrods don't. The hydraulic lifters compensate for the clearances this creates. Same on a Harley.

hoohoohoblin: @maiden666guitar I'd recommend you go to some online Harley forums and describe the problem. You may have a bent valve, in which case you need to pull the head and replace it. Sometimes one of the hydraulic lifters will collapse, which means the pushrod doesn't open the valve completely or at all. Youtube user outlawstl made some great comments on this video, further down the page. You should send him a message and describe your problem.

hoohoohoblin: Yes. Except for the V-Rod, which does require valve adjustments.

hoohoohoblin: Harleys really are low-maintenance compared to some other motorcycles. You never need to spend time or money on valve adjustments, and the Kevlar drive belt requires little maintenance and lasts a lot longer than a chain.

hoohoohoblin: It is similar to the way I do it on my Enfield Bullet, but one turn looser, probably to allow for expansion when it gets hot. S&S had really good instructions on their website. Get the engine to TDC, with the pushrod on the lowest part of the cam. Then adjust it so there is no up & down movement. Tighten it 4 full turns ans let it sit 1/2 an hour. If you can spin the pushrod, you are done. If not, loosen it until it spins freely, then loosen it one more turn.

BT1: i got a tap (front cylinder valve train) it comes on only if its warmed up. when above 50 mph. then it goes a way if i slow down. wont do it around town runs fine. i think its a lifter, any advice is welcome. 2001 Sporster 883 convert 1200 screaming eagle kit, s&s super carb & intake.

outlawstl: pushrods to replace them with would dictate the valve adjustment procedure. The stock pushrods you would assemble the cylinder on "TDC" compression stroke for the cylinder you was doing and torque the rocker arm assembly plate to roughly 24 ft. ibs waiting for about 5-10 minutes to let the lifters bleed down and checking them by spinning each pushrod and making sure it spins freely. If one doesnt spin freely then the lifter hasnt bled down all the way or you have the engine on the "Exhaust" ....

bikemech77: You should at least let people know that mileage is a factor. Yeah on a EV80 sure cause they are non adjustable. It's a solid push rod. But when you hit 50k miles and hear that tick best replace all lifters and install time saver push rods. Hence the reason H-D makes em not so u spend more money not to "Save time for the dealer!" it's cause they know.

hoohoohoblin: Greetings! A lot of people buy Harleys and don't know anything about them, so I made this video for people who wonder if they should adjust the valves.

Broshus Liveth: Funny ending dude LOL

cuthbertjellyhead: This answered the exact question I was searching for. Thanks

maiden666guitar: I have a '99 sportster and I think my exh. Valve on the front cylinder is sticking. Can you give me any advice on correcting this issue. Or will I pretty much need to rebuild both heads? Thanks. By the way I am the guy with his first bike trying to keep it working correctly.

VTwinOnline: @ kassandrasduplex - I have a 1995 FLSTC. 90,000 miles. "some" ticking at the top end (valves, rockers) is ok, but should not hear much on the lower end near the cam. HD lifters are ROLLERs. I thought the job was too big from me, so I told HD I had ticking in the cam housing. They took the top end apart and ignored the cam housing. $250 later and still ticking. So I frigging took it apart myself and found a few of the many needle bearings from one of the hydraulic rollers fell out.

hoohoohoblin: I haven't had a noisy lifter problem, so I can't tell you for sure what to do. I did an internet search for "harley davidson noisy lifters" and found a ton of info. Give that a try and see what you find.

Hardtailxxx: @outlawstl ...And the lifters are at the bottomof the pushrods, not in the head like he points out in the vid.

heidebill: Thanks for the video, I like the way out blow out of it, Bill

Abraham Bernstein: Ok, about the goes around corners. You must have been riding a low or the custom sportie. I have a 2000 hugger. It shocked people to see me take some of the corners on a bike with a set of 20 inch apes on 4 inch risers. I always tell them, think of a fulcrum on a lever. Distance from the center of weight = lower amounts of mechanical energy to move a given weight. Ya I said it, my bike handles better with apes. Side note, my armpits stay much dryer in the summer also!

VTwinOnline: @ kassandrasduplex (Part two) to fix you can (Fast Way) cut the stock pushrods with bolt cutters and then remove the four small bolts at the tappet blocks, then remove as an assembly and inspect. However, you with then need to replace with adjustable push rods, and if not addusted correctly... can give you issues. (Long way) remove tanks, rockers, pull push rods, pull tappet blocks. You WILL need the service manual and an INCH lbs torque wrench. Put away the beer. You CAN do this job!

anthony burke: Wait so all harleys and buells don't require valve adjustments?

joeysixtysix: It's called 'if it's not broken don't fix it' its a classic and will always be cool. Some like classics some like the newest greatest flavor of the week that will be outdated and uncool in 4 years. Check the resale on a 15 year old HD versus a 10 year old bike from anyone else. I find it interesting that people who don't like Harleys seem to have a lot of extra time on their hands to troll HD videos on Youtube. Lost your girl to a HD rider????

anthony burke: Damn I'm inclined to go get one because I know they are about as fast as ducatis,hate that they are outta business though
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