120 Jims Motor
In May of 2015 redacted presented to us his 2003 Road King. It was in poorly maintained condition as evidenced by the following initial points.
Horn rattle and wiring issue
Loose muffler with stretched clamp
other unknown noises
Redacted determined that a noise was coming from the primary and upon inspection he found an issue with the pinion shaft which was remedied by replacing the starter assembly.
No other noise was heard at this point. redacted had requested an oil change, when draining the oil, metal was found on the magnetic drain plug. This was documented and photographed and reported to redacted because it is not normal. After installing new oil the bike was test ridden, everything seemed fine.
When redacted picked up the bike, neither he nor Louis heard any noise coming from the engine. Within 5-10 minutes of riding redacted experienced both noise and performance issues. He limped the bike home and phone calls and emails were exchanged. redacted did not return the motorcycle for inspection or warranty.
Redacted states he trailered the RoadKing to Redacted Cycle Shop in redacted for a second opinion. Redacted states that redacted concluded that the engine had failed because there was no oil in the oil tank.
This triggered a need for further investigation as redacted is basically saying redacted forgot to put oil into the bike based on redacted report.
After several days of posturing it was agreed that the motor would be made available for inspection at my location.
On June 17th redacted presented the motor in a partially disassembled state, minus the oil filter, cylinder heads and rockers which are necessary for a complete inspection.
The pistons were both wet with oil and had not been cleaned. There was no sign of engine seizure or heat build up (discoloring / burning) The small end of the connecting rods were wet with oil and showed no signs of heat build up or discoloring. In particularly the rear rod as will become clear later in the report.
Cylinder bores and piston skirts showed signs of scuffing but not seizing, indicating lack of lubrication, poor oiling, and/or poor maintenance.
Redacted allowed me to further disassemble the motor and provided a small oil sample he had retrieved from the flywheel kidney sump. In his presence I overturned the motor and collected another approximate 8 ounces of new motor oil. We believe this oil will match the oil we installed.
The cam cover was removed from the motor and chunks of metal with more new oil came out into the pan. Three of the valve lifters were removed. The 4th ( front intake) could not be removed. The lifter had failed catastrophically and the “wheel” was no longer attached. The lifter is mushroomed and cannot be retrieved by normal means.
Pieces of the wheel show signs of very long term wear , this may have been diagnosed with a stethoscope when engine noise was suspected. When this lifter let go the engine noise would have increased and performance would have become an issue. With a closed intake valve the engine would continue to run only on the rear cylinder.
Further inspection of the oil pump reveals grooving and wear from metal particles on the feed side of the pump. The scavenger side of the pump was blocked from full operation by a large portion of lifter debris.
While I would still like to see the oil filter, cylinder heads and rockers, my conclusion is that due to wear and improper maintenance the front intake lifter failed, the remaining damage is collateral. This engine did not seize up from lack of oil.
Even after the front cylinder stopped making power and the scavenger pump was restricted the rear cylinder continued to operate without seizing.
To my knowledge the techs at redacted Cycle have no way of knowing what happened to this motor as they failed to disassemble it completely. It is unclear what led to any decision not to look for the actual problem. It is also unclear as to how an estimate of costs to repair could be arrived at, which led to the purchase of a replacement motor.
In closing I will restate that this motorcycle was not returned to us for inspection or warranty.