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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I read an old discussion regarding this and I guess it seems there is some different opinions as these bikes seem to have a problem with a rattling feel when over bumps (mine did anyhow).... The manual does describe adjusting the fall away and torquing the stem bolt to 50 ft lbs...

Anyone have some feedback on this whole adjustment??????:notworthy
 

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vilzrod,

Here's a link to my observations on V-Twin forum. http://205.214.91.71/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=5429

In summary, I found that the clunk disapears at at 8" of fall-away. Unfortunately, there is enough binding/drag on the steering that the bike suffers from a slow weave. At the recommended max of 7" of fall-away, it the bearings don't clunk much (only under very, very hard braking) and steering is good.

I've heard rumors that tighting the top triple clamp nut may solve the problem. It is rumored that the '04 model year service manual specifies a much, much higher torque spec for the top triple clamp nut than previous model years.

Paul in MI
 

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Color me Gone
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The clunk is not from the fall-away it is from the improper torque of the nut. If you torque the nut to 90ft lbs if memory serves me the clunk will be gone.

Max
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hippo and Max tanks...I do notice MUCH more DRAG since I tightned the notched adjuster....the wheel before simply flopped and really would n't stay forward when on a jack

.I jus worry about being too tight (wrecking the bearings)....can we confirm that the torque spec is higher??is there a bulleton or somethin from HD????...Max do you have an 04 manual??
 

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sorry but...what's fall away?
 

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SNAFU
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Fall away is the distance the front needs to be turned before it will continue turning under it's own weight. The measurement is done on a liget with the front unweighted.
 

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vilzrod I have never seen the bulletin but have heard about the information from more then one source and found that it did cure the clunk.

Max
 

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SNAFU
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I tightened mine (by feel since I don't have a socket big enough to attach to my torque wrench) and the clunk all but disappeared, no additional friction so the fall away stayed withing spec. I guestimate I got it to about 80 ft lbs
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
what kind of stiction(fallaway) in inches do you guys have when on a stand when "tapping the bars"?? I will have to find a 04 owner with a manual for that torque spec that really has me curious now
 

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Max,

From reading your previous posts, I know your knowledge far supasses mine. I'm a bit confused about the relationship between the notched adjustment collar to set steering head bearing pre-load and the steering stem nut on top of the triple clamp.

I know the clunking noise comes from the steering head. I know that moving moving the notched adjusting ring adjusts the preload on the steering head bearings. I imagine torquing the steering stem nut also (additionally) preloads the steering head bearings.

Are the updated instructions to set fall-away at 5"-7" and then torque the steering stem nut to 90 ft.lbs.?


sospolice,

Fall-away is the method HD uses to set proper steering stem bearing preload. If I remember correctly (it's been over a year since I last did it), with the front of the bike raised off of the ground, fall-away is the total distance that the front wheel can be moved off center before the wheel freely flops over to full lock. So, 7" of fall-away means that the front wheel can be turned 3 1/2 inches to the right or the left (or 3" in one direction and 4" in the other, or any other combination) before the wheel freely flops all the way to full lock.

Paul in MI
 

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Color me Gone
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Hippo it was my understanding that the fall away needed to be adjusted at first but I was corrected later to leave the fall away as it was and simply re-torque the steering stem nut to 90ft lbs. I'm afraid that if you adjust the fall away and then torque the nut to 90ft lbs that the fall away would then be to tight.

Either way they come up with the same result but I have heard from several sources now to simply re-torque the steering stem nut.
 

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Live Free or Die
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I had the same clunk. I read the posts here and on the VTF, but my 1000 mile service was approaching so I had the dealer re-do the Fall-Away (One of the dealer's mechanics is a good friend, he came over to watch the V-Rod mechanic test the fall-away). They said it was in-spec.

I drove it home then went to Sears. The only size tool that fit that top nut was a box end wrench, so I did not have a torque measurement on what I did.

I loosened the triple tree clamp bolts (all 4); took that cap off; bent back the anti-vibe portion of the washer; and tightened up the nut. I could not feel whether I altered the fall-away in any significant way, but the Clunk disappeared from the front end. It feels much better over rough roads and big bumps.
 

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How about a picture showing what nut your refering too. I too have that clunk and upon my next service i was going to ask them to adjust but it would be something i would like to know how to do!

Thanks
 

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Fireman/investigator
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I had this too, and at the 1000mi service I brought it up to the mech, who fixed it. This was last May I think. I guess he just did it by feel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
greg687... to keep this investigation going on the right track could you ask you mech what he EXACTLY did to cure this problem??...torque spec on the stem and what kind of fall away...
 

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When I had mine in for it’s 1K service 2 years ago, I made the service mgr. aware of the “clunk”.
When I picked the bike up he said that the top nut needed re-torque. He also billed Harley for the time under the same recall number as the Softail re-torque.
Larry
 

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speeding safely
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Mine's a clunking a bit over the big bumps. Can anyone tell me the size of the nut? None of my wrenches are quite the right size. Must be Metric?

(oh good, I love buying new tools)
 
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