Dreaded ticking noise, Not the vent tube

SKOGDOG

One of the old ones.
Lifetime Supporting Member
Supporting Member
My ticking turned out to be failed exhaust valve guides—again requiring re-worked heads. This happened on both cylinders of my 2008 K9—one at 6500 miles and the other at 32,000 miles.
It was a noise that was a singular tick, louder when warm and at higher rpm. I also changed oil and adjusted the pushrods on several occasions.
Happily Blacktopper and I could do most all of the work.
 

Derf Nasty

New Member
Hello. Just picked me up an 05 big dog ridgeback with the 117 engine that has the same ticking noise but not as bad.
This is my first motorcycle and really didn’t know if was normal or not. Worked on tons of dirt bikes and quads with timing chains and cams and that’s means u got a valve problem. Lots of good info here, I’m thinking it’s got some worn out parts in there. Can anyone give me some prices on lifters, push rods, rockers, rollers. Is there a kit that covers it all? I emailed s&s today waiting to hear back.
Love the bike
 

Mr. Wright

Guru
Lifetime Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Hello. Just picked me up an 05 big dog ridgeback with the 117 engine that has the same ticking noise but not as bad.
This is my first motorcycle and really didn’t know if was normal or not. Worked on tons of dirt bikes and quads with timing chains and cams and that’s means u got a valve problem. Lots of good info here, I’m thinking it’s got some worn out parts in there. Can anyone give me some prices on lifters, push rods, rockers, rollers. Is there a kit that covers it all? I emailed s&s today waiting to hear back.
Love the bike
Start here, it will help.
 

knothead

RIGID4LIFE
Supporting Member
Try cleaning your tappet screen...dirty tappet screen will cause a tick... clean it every other oil change or u can kiss the top end good bye from lack of oil...that what gets most all top ends unless it has hit the rev limiter several times which is possible..
 

Derf Nasty

New Member
I’ll check it out. Probably pull it apart to check the status of wear. I’ve only had it for about four days but the more I ride it the more it bugs me.
Who knows how long it’s been ticking. Even if I clean the screen every min running without oil has tarnished those lifts rods guides rockers I’m afraid.
Cams might be good still since they were in lower end getting oil. I like to be optimistic but in my experience u shouldn’t be lol.
Where are the screens located below the lifters or maybe in them? Might quiet it down till I can really go threw it this winter
 

bdm7250

Guru
Lifetime Supporting Member
Supporting Member
I’ll check it out. Probably pull it apart to check the status of wear. I’ve only had it for about four days but the more I ride it the more it bugs me.
Who knows how long it’s been ticking. Even if I clean the screen every min running without oil has tarnished those lifts rods guides rockers I’m afraid.
Cams might be good still since they were in lower end getting oil. I like to be optimistic but in my experience u shouldn’t be lol.
Where are the screens located below the lifters or maybe in them? Might quiet it down till I can really go threw it this winter
Have a look at the attachment.
 

Attachments

Derf Nasty

New Member
That’s perfect I had no Idea how to change the oils.
Just cleaned that screen had some build up in it, some metal flakes also nothing to big tho. I’ll ride it to work see if it quits down. Thanks
 

john sachs

Active Member
If you have TP rocker boxes (4 bolt covers) you prolly have bad valve guides, The TP boxes ARE NOT compatible with the S&S 117" engines used in the Big Dogs. I don't really care if some people say "that they will work". :oldangry: They will cost you big $$ in the long run. Check your lifters also.
John
 

Derf Nasty

New Member
Rode the bike today after cleaning the lifter screen, no difference so it’s been getting oil. Thanks for the tip btw. And yes I believe it does have a TP rocker box. What brand rocker box would u recommend? Tick is coming from top of heads, valves would make sense. Ticks on both sides not to bad but when u pick up rpm it’s annoying as hell. Really only thing I can do now is just pull the lifters apart and see. probably better to do it sooner then later.
 

mleach72

Member
Marky-Marc has a video about bad bushings in the rockers causing a top end tick. He has the TP rocker boxes, but I would imagine the same thing is possible on the S&S boxes.
 

mleach72

Member
You know, I've always been nervous about my TP rocker boxes. I have been wanting to change them out to S&S boxes, but now I see Skogdog had worn valve guides. He has an '08, which means he has S&S boxes, and now, Derf Nasty has a ticking noise with the S&S boxes. If his problem turns out to be worn guides, it's going to make me wonder how much of an improvement S&S boxes are.
 

john sachs

Active Member
Marky-marc is right in terms of the rocker arm and rocker shaft rattles. Rocker Lockers will generally take care of the rocker shaft ticking, or you can use a small set screw on the top of the rocker saddle to stop shaft movement. Too much side to side rocker arm movement can be handled with shims.
You can't fix bad geometry, and the poor compatibility of the TP boxes on S&S heads is just that.
There's other general reasons for valve guide wear, but I can assure you S&S boxes on S&S engines ain't on the list.
John
 
Hey guys
So my new (to me) Ridgeback has an awful ticking noise that is driving me nuts. I did a ton of research and found out about the tp vs s&s rocker boxes, vent tube rattling, pushrods, primary slap etc.
I am not familiar at all with big dogs and have never torn into an engine in the least. After hearing the possibility of the vent tube in the tank i checked that out. Took the tank off, let it run for a minute, and still the ticking. It sounds as if it is louder in the front head at first then in both after warming up:confused: When I give it gas the ticking volume and rhythm increase. On startup it is there I think, but not very noticeable until it gets warm. Since I have the tank off and hadn't seen the inside of the engine pulled the front rocker box just to see. Not sure if it helps but attached a picture.

My next course of action will be to adjust the push rods, and see if that helps any. Also I just changed the oil to M1 20w50. Ticked before and after no difference.
Need to get this nipped in the butt so I can take this Dog for a walk, hate to see it sit in the driveway! Thanks guys
I have TP rocker boxes and i just removed my rocker boxes, replaced the rocker arm bushing, ticking gone..my ticking was louder on one head vs another. you can adjust your pushrods, thats probably not it, but as easy as it is to change bushings i wouldn't rule it out..
 
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