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  • night_prowler Posts: 30
    Northern NSW
    Stock Poster night_prowler
    07 Sep 2019 07:21 AM
    Hi guys,
    I’ve been tearing my hair out over my Nightster pinging when hot and under load. 

    I’ve tried sticking with BP ultimate over the shit I get from my local Servo with little benefit, and I chucked a set of high compression screaming eagle plugs in which made the biggest difference but yesterday on my way home from work (particularly hot day) I wound it on in 5th to overtake and it was worst that I’ve ever heard. I’m at the point where I don’t want to ride it until it’s sorted, but it’s my main transport. 

    When I picked the plugs up I had a chat with the tech at my local HD dealer, and as I suspect from what I’ve read, it more than likely needs a new map with maybe more fuel or a timing adjustment. 

    I’ve got a Screamin Eagle tuner and I’d rather get the issue ironed out myself and learn something rather than handing over hundreds or more to the dealership.

    Aside from the pinging, it runs really well, starts up super easy everyday and pulls through the RPM’s smoothly so I’m hoping it’s only a minor adjustment and I can sort it with the help of some knowledgeable forum members. 

     If anyone has any advice on where to start, it’d be much appreciated. 


  • Krash Kinkade Posts: 2778
    Forum Legend Krash Kinkade
    08 Sep 2019 07:19 AM
    sorry to hear about your troubles.
    if it is pinging under load, I would shift back a gear to 4th gear.
    a few other things you could check, check cranking pressure see how high that is, and if you can check AFR under load see what that is.
  • Grease Monkey Posts: 842
    Performance Poster Grease Monkey
    08 Sep 2019 07:43 AM
    What Krash said on dropping a gear might alleviate the pinging some, however to me it's the tune that's the main culprit, couple of questions, what are the bikes modifications and what tuner do you have, the pro super tuner or the pro street tuner?
  • night_prowler Posts: 30
    Northern NSW
    Stock Poster night_prowler
    08 Sep 2019 08:06 AM
    Thanks for the reply fellas, I was definitely being lazy just leaving it in 5th, in cooler conditions it would pull along clean without an issue but being so hot it didn’t sound happy at all.

    Looking on the VCI it’s tuned for a 1275 kit, flat top pistons, 570 jackhammer cams, port and polished heads and intake manifold and 2 into 1 exhaust, the tuner is a screamin Eagle pro street tuner. It’s also got a bit of a dodgy chain drive setup at the moment which I’m about to revert back to belt temporarily, could it be possible that the gearing is too tall and asking too much of the engine? 

    HD Forums Australia - 0EE587D3-36C2-4E03-808E-79A7261ABEF1.jpeg

    HD Forums Australia - 45CAC937-E1D1-4756-928A-02B2CC65D4B9.jpeg

  • Grease Monkey Posts: 842
    Performance Poster Grease Monkey
    08 Sep 2019 08:46 AM
    That thing is ment to be revved, reckon you need to use your gears more, if it's been tuned right you should be golden, where was it tuned?
  • night_prowler Posts: 30
    Northern NSW
    Stock Poster night_prowler
    08 Sep 2019 10:08 AM
    I understand what you’re saying, it loves being up in the mid range plus but It’s definitely not a riding style issue, if it is pretty hot, especially around town, unless you are ultra steady during acceleration (and I mean like very REALLY ridiculously, slowly applying throttle) - even in lower gears - it pings.  

    Am I best to get a data run in to identify the issue on the tuner, then make the adjustments? Or should I be able to see what’s going on as soon as I plug the VCI in? 

    I found the old dyno sheet, from Fraser’s HD which I gather are a pretty reputable mob.. wether it has been re-tuned or not since, I have no idea but this is all I can go on at the moment;




    HD Forums Australia - 2BADB300-BF88-4CDC-8429-0D22693584DC.jpeg

    Also probably worth mentioning that the plugs were pretty white, I had the pipe off to have cracks and mounts welded up and noticed the inside of the headers and the exhaust ports were also white. 
  • Grease Monkey Posts: 842
    Performance Poster Grease Monkey
    08 Sep 2019 12:24 PM
    Having that info I'm 100% back to the tune, given that combo of parts if accurate that bike should pull over 100hp and white plugs is lean, if the parts list is real it's not one you want to learn how to tune in, I mean you could but you could also cause it damage, you in Melbourne? If so give Brian at Eastern Big Twin a call, he can tune, Lushy at Victor Harbour in SA is also a good tuner.
  • night_prowler Posts: 30
    Northern NSW
    Stock Poster night_prowler
    08 Sep 2019 01:25 PM
    Ok so I plugged in the VCI and straight away this stood out to me, I’m no mechanic but the red highlights seem to be right around where I’m hearing the ping, or at least I’m guessing so because I don’t have a tacho, I was going to adjust these numbers, they’re all at their maximum potential figure, they can only be decreased so I’m assuming that is less air in the ratio but I’m starting to feel like I’d be better off leaving it to a pro... 

    HD Forums Australia - D2538B37-1138-46E8-B6F5-2DC687700DB3.jpeg

    I can only assume it has all the hardware that the VCI is tuned for, but I told my friend who is a mechanic about the dyno figures and he also said they’re pretty underwhelming for the alleged configuration so maybe the whole shit fight needs a good going over. There’s a lot of guess work involved at the moment because I have very limited info, I had no idea it had the work done when I bought it, which is odd that old mate wouldn’t tell me, I guess it’s a selling point for some but a deterrent for others. I never really asked anyway, I just assumed it was mostly standard. 

    I’d also rather not making the situation any worse than what it is, and I’m thinking if I start playing with the AFR without knowing what I’m doing I could potential fuck something up. 

    I’m not in melbourne, I’m far north coast NSW, I’ve been told of a local guy who is apparently pretty handy at dyno tuning, he does a few ASBK bikes apparently so I think that’s my next port of call. 

    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply and help out, it’s much appreciated! 
  • Grease Monkey Posts: 842
    Performance Poster Grease Monkey
    08 Sep 2019 02:04 PM
    Can make that afr table a lot more friendly than that and it can only help, give me call and I'll talk you through it, way easier than trying to write it all down.
  • night_prowler Posts: 30
    Northern NSW
    Stock Poster night_prowler
    08 Sep 2019 02:24 PM
    Thanks Greasey, but I’ve just packed everything up and I’m dropping the bike in on Tuesday to get everything sorted properly so I won’t bother changing it, I really appreciate the offer though, bloody legend you are! 
  • Grease Monkey Posts: 842
    Performance Poster Grease Monkey
    08 Sep 2019 02:27 PM
    No worries
  • brash Posts: 652
    Performance Poster brash
    08 Sep 2019 03:04 PM
    Let me guess, this bike was tuned by a rotary tuner in melbourne?

    I won't name names but not hard to figure out. The term "ping is power" comes to mind ;)


  • night_prowler Posts: 30
    Northern NSW
    Stock Poster night_prowler
    08 Sep 2019 03:15 PM
    Hey Brash, I can’t be 100% certain if the bike has been tuned since but the dyno sheet above was from Fraser’s HD which I’m assuming is the Sydney store as the bike apparently spent most of its life down that way as far as I know. 

    I don’t know enough about mechanics or engine tuning but that was my assumption, they’ve got the thing highly strung to push out impressive figures which doesn’t actually interest me, I didn’t buy a sportster to race or set landspeed records. 

  • Grease Monkey Posts: 842
    Performance Poster Grease Monkey
    08 Sep 2019 03:28 PM
    Dunno where you are taking it but if they can tune you will love it when you get it back.
  • night_prowler Posts: 30
    Northern NSW
    Stock Poster night_prowler
    08 Sep 2019 03:40 PM
    Quoting Grease Monkey on 08 Sep 2019 03:28 PM
    Dunno where you are taking it but if they can tune you will love it when you get it back.
    I bloody hope so! I will post updates, I’m really happy with it as is so any improvement will just be a bonus! 
  • Grease Monkey Posts: 842
    Performance Poster Grease Monkey
    15 Sep 2019 01:27 PM
    Quoting Grease Monkey on 08 Sep 2019 03:28 PM
    Dunno where you are taking it but if they can tune you will love it when you get it back.
    Quoting night_prowler on 08 Sep 2019 03:40 PM
    I bloody hope so! I will post updates, I’m really happy with it as is so any improvement will just be a bonus! 
    How did it turn out cobber?
  • night_prowler Posts: 30
    Northern NSW
    Stock Poster night_prowler
    10 Nov 2019 01:40 PM
    Quoting Grease Monkey on 08 Sep 2019 03:28 PM
    Dunno where you are taking it but if they can tune you will love it when you get it back.
    Quoting night_prowler on 08 Sep 2019 03:40 PM
    I bloody hope so! I will post updates, I’m really happy with it as is so any improvement will just be a bonus! 
    Quoting Grease Monkey on 15 Sep 2019 01:27 PM
    How did it turn out cobber?
    Sorry for the late reply.... I’m still in the midst of sorting out the issue, fuck it’s been a pain! Long post so hang in there for those who are remotely interested. 

    So The local ASBK bloke wasn’t interested in tuning it because he doesn’t like Screamin’ Eagle tuners and is already overloaded with jobs apparently. His best offer was to look at my AFR table and give me advice for 100 bucks. Yeah, no thanks. 

    So I went with a mob up the coast called Karupt Kustomz who are HD specialists, they seem to know their shit, are avid Harley riders and enthusiasts themselves and seem like a cool crew of guys. 

    I went up on a bad day, it was raining torrentially most of the way up and it hung around the whole time I was up there, they advised they’d do the best they could but they couldn’t test ride in the rain, it needed a complete new map, they didn’t want to even try adjusting the original as they said it was so far out it could potentially cause damage. So I said yep, go for it. 

    4 hours or so on the dyno and we’re done, figures are roughly the same so I’m happy, As soon as I hit the starter I could hear the difference and I was pretty excited to get out and give it heaps, snapping the open throttle it sounds crisp and clean, ‘Fuck yeah!’ I thought and went off up the road spinning the wheel through the rain with a huge smile on my face. In the cooler conditions I wasn’t expecting it to ping if it would at all and I was pretty confident from how different it sounded and well it rode that the problem was solved. 

    But after going for a ride a few weeks ago up north a bit where the temps were edging towards 30, I heard it again loading it up in 4th gear climbing burringbar northbound doing about 100kph and my heart sank, it’s only very, very minor but It’s there and I’m damn tired of chasing these problems, I just want to put the miles down. 

    We had an extremely hot day earlier this week (hottest town in the state if what I heard was true- 41c) and it wasn’t as bad pre-tune but it’s enough to be keeping me up at night. I’ve been babying it around and it’s really frustrating.

     I contacted the guys and they said bring it back in and we’ll have another go with decent weather where they can test it and hear it themselves but it could be a case of too much compression which could result in either new head gaskets or new pistons. Guess we’ll just have to tune it again and see! 

    Bummed to say the least but I’ll get there. Booked in for next week. Just going to have to continue riding it very carefully in the meantime. 

  • Ken in Cairns Posts: 581
    Cairns FNQ
    Performance Poster Ken in Cairns
    11 Nov 2019 05:34 PM
    At least it is progress, and you can ride it without the risk if engine damage. Sure the guys will sort it out for you, sounds like they will not have to change much to get it bang on.

  • tussuck Posts: 2239
    Melbourne
    Motor Head tussuck
    11 Nov 2019 05:43 PM
    So question from me....is there a 'magic'tune that will cover off this situation (ie engine build + high temps + low rpm = pinging)?

    In my mind and experience you  need to change your riding style to match the bike build.  You cannot lug a race engine like a tourer as the builds and cams are totally speced for different things.
  • Krash Kinkade Posts: 2778
    Forum Legend Krash Kinkade
    11 Nov 2019 06:01 PM
    Just finished reading, first thing to know is what gear ratio you have with the chain drive, as a motor with 211pound cranking needs stock or lower gearing , not higher gearing. so when you get time count how many teeth you have on the gear box Sproket & how many teeth on the rear wheel Sproket.
    also I don't care how many HP they make , it's how quick they make it!! but it's Torque I can always feel. by the way I've got 230 pound cranking on my carb sporty no problems but never been on Dyno as yet, will be soon.
    your bike looks good.
    Also you could probably solve the high cranking pressure with a cam change, as I said I have high cranking pressure too but I love it! I have always had high cranking pressure on my Harleys just have to use good fuel & ride to suit. but they grunt!!
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