Do-Dad’s that don’t Do-Dad

Twin Cam 88 Lifters. 16 years old and tired of doing what their supposed to do.

If I don’t do my job correctly, I’ll get a talking to. If I continue to do my job badly or not at all, I’ll most likely get the “clean out your desk” speech and escorted to the door. The same principal applies to most mechanical parts as well. However, it can be said that “having a talk” with mechanical parts is, well, pointless. They either do their job or they don’t.

But I wish we could talk to our parts or better, they could talk to us. If they could just tell us “Ya know, I’m not feeling as good as I used to”. Then we could enact the preemptive strike and avoid issues down the road. Internal parts, being what they are, internal, will always result in some dreaded mechanical surgery and this is where “knowing in advance” would come in handy.

The Litany of guts

You see, four months ago when I was up to my elbows in Twin Cam 88 guts, I should have just replaced those little do-dads called “Lifters”. I know this, yes, I do. But….At the time I thought “How can they go bad? They just go up and down and let oil through. Eh, they’re 16 years old, but they’re fine… leave em”. And of course there were the hoards of poopy pants naysayers out there injecting their 38 cents “Did you replace the lifters?”. Well, no… now are you happy? You jinxed me. These little plunger tappet roller lifty thingys are making my V-Twin sound like a ‘63 Galaxy 500 that’s been parked for 25 years. Nickles in a tin can is not an attractive V-Twin sound.

Been here, done this.

Begrudgingly, and anxiously I might add, I opened her up. Starting with the painful and damn messy removal of the gas tank —-why does this stuff happen when I have a near full tank?—- I pulled off the front cylinder top hoping, yes hoping, to find an cracked or broken rocker plate. That would have been an easy fix. But no, all was fine. And since there was oil in the top I can assume the oil pump is fine as well. Leaving me with the do-dads as the culprit. This is good. Why?

I don’t have to open the cam chest. And that’s very good.

Hate seeing her like this

Now, lifters aren’t cheap. Best price I got so far was $127 for a set of S&S Lifters from Dennis Kirk. While that may seem like super cheap when it comes to Harley Davidson parts, it still falls well into the “Where’s this money coming from” category. That being said, I also have to get replacement O-Rings for the various places that use said O-Rings, replace gaskets in places where gaskets use to be, fresh oil change where oil used to be and a new oil filter to replace the cocky-doody one that is there. All that right there should total the GDP of many Central American countries.

I think it’s time to paint the Ted Shed

Now I know…. believe me, I know…. there are oodles and squadoodles of Harley haters out there that will have something to say about this whole ta-do. And to be completely honest and frank, off you can f**k with your opinion. Mechanical do-dads will un-mechanical themselves from time to time, regardless of what machine you place between the appendages that keep your ass off the ground. Just ask my friend Drew at the Motoadventurer Blog, whose Triumph had a bit of human-machine hissy fit and aforementioned Drew is now having to deal with parts that are not doing their jobs.

Sometimes, for no apparent reason, machinery just doesn’t want to machinery anymore.


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