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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Engine ticking; I have been reading a lot about it on this forum and it seems that there has been several solutions? Even the its normal forget about it. There may be more than one root cause. It seems that the problem is more prevalent when the engine is warm and at idle speed. My 2003 VTX1800c started ticking about six weeks back and it sounded like pre-ignition to me (I know that pre-ignition is the silent killer but I have found it before with beta analysis and was able to hear it in some cases) anyway it is common especially in slow speed engines to build carbon deposits when run with a light load. It only takes a small glowing hot piece to start the fuel mixture burning early and the problem may go away when the RPM's rise to a level where the flame hasn't had time to build excessive pressure before TDC. Anyway I added a couple of table spoons of Marvel mystery Oil to my gas tank and the engine has not ticked in the last 5000 miles. I can't be sure if I had a carbon problem or if the MM Oil has raised the flash point enough to retard the flame, anyway I will continue the MMO treatment, it is cheap and will probably make my valve guides last longer.
I have noticed that some have cured the ticking by changing the oil. If you are familiar with piston design the vtx1800 pistons seem vary short for their diameter, maybe when the engine is warm the clearence is enough to allow the pistons to slap at idle if so (for get about it).
 

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The ticking most folks are talking about on the board is the valve ticking due to the "solid lifter" design of the rockers and valves. When the lash is correctly set there is some ticking that is normal and very audible.

I haven't heard any cases of people having pre-ignition problems since the motor is an 8.5:1 compression motor and is designed to run on 87 ocatane. I would rethink using the Marvel Mystery (snake) Oil in your gas. Your more likely to ruin it than help it.

The "oil change" cure is switching to synthetic oil which will qiuet the rockers some.

edit: yeah, it's a 9:1 motor :oops:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Info I stole off the internet

CAUSES OF PRE-IGNITION
Carbon deposits form a heat barrier and can be a contributing factor to preignition. Other causes include: An overheated spark plug (too hot a heat range for the application). Glowing carbon deposits on a hot exhaust valve (which may mean the valve is running too hot because of poor seating, a weak valve spring or insufficient valve lash).
A sharp edge in the combustion chamber or on top of a piston (rounding sharp edges with a grinder can eliminate this cause).
Sharp edges on valves that were reground improperly (not enough margin left on the edges).
A lean fuel mixture.
Low coolant level, slipping fan clutch, inoperative electric cooling fan or other cooling system problem that causes the engine to run hotter than normal.
 

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Ticking

I've had it since day one , with solid lifters its a given, once the engine warms up no ticking. 60,000 miles later no problem.
With full synthetic its real loud, I run a hybrid synthetic 20/50
much better.
Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yank,
Thanks for your input, I agree with what you say about "no problems" if the tapping stops when you have oil circulation and the engine is up to operating temperature, where the thermal growth of the valve train has taken up some of the slack. I have experienced that scenario many times with several different types of engines. I don't think that I have articulated what my problem was very well; My VTX1800 and three of my friends VTX's have never made a tapping or ticking noise at startup or any other time until about a month ago when mine started ticking only when the engine was very warm and at a slow idle. It stops if I increase the rpm just a little bit. It has been my experience with valve train tapping that if you increase the rpm the noise also increases. It may be that I have a different problem than the other reports that I have seen on this site and the Shadow Forum. If pre-ignition is a common problem I just wanted other VTX owners to know about it. I have rebuilt several engines that were wrecked by pre-ignition and detonation. And some showed no sign of a problem until a head gasket blew or a rod was knocking. When I open the crankcase and find babbitt that looks like small potato chips covering the bottom, I know what happened. If anyone has had the ticking noise develop into a failure please let me know about it. Otherwise the sky is not falling. Scott
 

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I'll give $100 to the first person who sends me a lifter from an 1800 VTX...




















...These use overhead cams that operate the valves via a rocker arm. Cam to rocker, rocker to valve...no lifter. Think I'll try the Marvel Mystery Oil bit though.
 

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Pre ignition

I get it occassionaly, one or two light pings just off idle. Mostly happens if I blip the throttle. A gallon of higher octane added to the regular makes it go away. Everything is stock on my bike. I'm thinking the quality of the gas might be suspect.
 

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i think i know what you are saying,after i done my desmogg/pair /air box mod i noticed when im sitting at lights i hear a ticking sound i know its the heat shields when i get moving it goes away. i know the differenence from valve noise other than that seems good does that mean its running more leaner now that this mods were done
 

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marvel mystery oil is top cylinder lubrication

its not snake oil, its a damn good product, has been for as long as i can remember. my father and brothers used to install the old mystery oilers in all their cars. its also very good to add to your fuel tank once and awhile. it will give your fuel pump, and injectors a little extra lubrication. and i also use it over stabil for storing my bike over the winter. its a proven tried and true good product as far as i'm concerned.
 
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