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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the first time, a few days ago, I was visited by the Clacking Gremlin. I guess my bell has COVID-19.

I did the Indian Check-your-Oil-Level-Kabuki-Dance and it appears my 2016 Springfield needed a bit of oil, so I obliged.

Yesterday I rode the crap out her; much more aggressively than normal. At the end of the ride, while still present, the clacking was diminished. Acknowledging that one data point a pattern doesn't make, it still leads me to ask,

"What does a good tune do to affect clacking?"

and,

"Does the ECU learn to stop clacking, under the influence of a good tune?"

Is it the AFR table? Timing? Anti-knock? Anti-Gremlin coefficient?

Inquiring minds want to know.
 

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Clacking occurs only during steady speed "boulevard" cruising at low load (level ground) - somewhere at (roughly) 1800 rpm to 2500 rpm - it is consistent, persistent, and "dependable" - it immediately vanishes by advancing or retarding the throttle position. Clacking is intolerable - the sheer volume of the noise makes it quite impossible to be "lived with" ..

It's "basic" cause is an unfortunate combination of piston design and flawed ignition programming. It is NOT piston slap, it IS synonymous with diesel engine clacking at idle, and low load operations. It is benign, though the engine does sound as if it is self-destructing.

All model years '14 - '17 can/will exhibit, to some degree, this malady - but NOT with the intensity described above. The difference that classifies one engine a "Clacker" and another as "just noisy" has to do with many variables - but if the engine matches the above description, and is intolerable in intensity, it's a Clacker.

Most importantly: If a "noise" matches the above, but you have to ask whether or not you have a clacker, you don't. Clacker owners never have to ask - even their neighbors know they have a clacker (when the bike cruises by them)..

NOTE: Do not mislabel your engine a clacker and continue riding it - it really might be self-destructing !

The tunes by Fuel Moto, and by fiat CraigB, attempt to "fix" the flawed ignition programming portion of the malady - with great success !
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Understood, @Indianster. The noise that I’m hearing fits your parameters of load and rpm, but is not (yet) intolerable.

She only has 4300 miles on her. I hope this isn’t the beginning of a Clacker.

Finally, I’ve learned from y’all that the ECU learns AFR via STFT->LTFT;

Does the ECU do something similar with ignition timing?
 

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Wow, the design of the original piston, sometimes referred to as an ash tray of slipper piston, can rock in the cylinder when the piston changes direction in the cylinder. This can happen in situations under a light load on the head of the piston. This because of the very shallow skirt of the original piston. Indian addressed this on the later design by adding more of a skirt to help reduce the rocking of the piston in the cylinder. If some rather not call it slap then fine. When the Indian rep came down to ride my bike he referred to it as piston slap. Whatever you want to call it that is what is producing the sound under the light load going down the highway. Mine was most noticeable between 2600 to 2900 rpms. Once my bike was flashed for the mis fire recall and the early stage 2 flash I experienced a similar noise from 2000 to 2900 rpms. This was due to the horrible timing curve that Indian produced. When Fuelmoto and Craig entered the scene a lot of the timing was adjusted out to eliminate most of the noise produced by the ignition. My bike still produced some of the clacking noise but with the Fuelmoto header and V and H pipes I barely notice it now, or maybe tune it out the noise over the years of riding my RM. If you want more detailed info of my experience just PM me. Dean
 

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Understood, @Indianster. The noise that I’m hearing fits your parameters of load and rpm, but is not (yet) intolerable.

She only has 4300 miles on her. I hope this isn’t the beginning of a Clacker.

Finally, I’ve learned from y’all that the ECU learns AFR via STFT->LTFT;

Does the ECU do something similar with ignition timing?
Short answer in the context of clacking: NO!

Long answer: Clacking occurs below the threshold of knock sensor activation - so the ECM has no idea that its' programming is causing "spark detonation" ( a "more perfect" term for clacking) ..

Also, the "ECU learning" you reference only occurs during closed loop operations and only affects closed loop operations. The narrow band O2's are used to maintain 14.7 : 1 AFR. No one should "twist" this into thinking the ECU can, or will, continually revamp the entire fueling scheme. All performance oriented engine operation is open loop, and there is no "learning" in open loop.

Since you know the malady and understand it, only when/if your engine becomes intolerable is "action" needed (IMO).. However, you will reap multiple huge benefits from doing-up a FM PV3 and using the appropriate (for your bike) FM tune.. Clack mitigation and a "whole new bike" performance-wise..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Copy that @Indianster.

However, I do have a PV3 and a @CraigB1960 Improved Stock tune. The only “mod” that I’ve done is to remove the muffler plugs.

I was supposing that perhaps this “mini-clanking” was brought on by the ECU adjusting to the new tune. I’ve put about 250 miles on her since I flashed it. But that's just a tinkerer’s hypothesis I suppose.
 

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Well then... You should be riding a powerful 111 with huge TRQ from off idle to redline - an additional benefit of your/any FM tune is that it defeats the polaris detune of the upper RPM range. ( that is on EVERY stock Thunderstroke)..

ECU adjusting to the new tune ? Nope... But I tell you what, assuming there is/was a transient issue and your clacking is soon never heard again, let's both claim that it's proof the ECU adjusts to new tunes and needs time to complete the adjustment... Don't laugh, such "happen stances" have steered peeps in worse directions...

The obvious question: Any chance your bike somehow ingested a little "low grade" fuel ? .... I'll answer that for you - Yes, there's always that possibility as no one performs octane testing of the fuel in their tank after each fill-up..

Le's hope your "mini clacking" is temporary - due to a transient issue. But if not, your cure is at hand (with Craig and Fuel Moto) for tweaking the "clack zone" of the ignition programming.
 

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Not hear on my 17'. Besides the great CraigB tune, guess my 585's drown out any clacking lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well then... You should be riding a powerful 111 with huge TRQ from off idle to redline - an additional benefit of your/any FM tune is that it defeats the polaris detune of the upper RPM range. ( that is on EVERY stock Thunderstroke)..

ECU adjusting to the new tune ? Nope... But I tell you what, assuming there is/was a transient issue and your clacking is soon never heard again, let's both claim that it's proof the ECU adjusts to new tunes and needs time to complete the adjustment... Don't laugh, such "happen stances" have steered peeps in worse directions...

The obvious question: Any chance your bike somehow ingested a little "low grade" fuel ? .... I'll answer that for you - Yes, there's always that possibility as no one performs octane testing of the fuel in their tank after each fill-up..

Le's hope your "mini clacking" is temporary - due to a transient issue. But if not, your cure is at hand (with Craig and Fuel Moto) for tweaking the "clack zone" of the ignition programming.

grin she runs strong indeed. Perhaps it is bad fuel, because there is some “wobble” in the idle at start, and a very occasional decel pop.

I presume that any “tweaking” involves buying the remote tuning service from Fuelmoto, yes? Is that a @CraigB1960 question?
 

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Oh, Craig will "chime in" if he's needed or wants to comment..

The basic tune service - that's available to you now - is where you should start.. Of course, only if the issue is permanent and becomes obnoxious..
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh, Craig will "chime in" if he's needed or wants to comment..

The basic tune service - that's available to you now - is where you should start.. Of course, only if the issue is permanent and becomes obnoxious..
Copy. I’ll keep riding and take it up with Craig.
 
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