Indian Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am planning to replace the original pistons in my 2014 Chieftain with the redesigned pistons that were first installed in 2018 TS-111 engines to eliminate clacking noise. To keep costs to a minimum, I'll be doing the work myself when I get snowed in next winter (the cost upgrading to a big bore kit is out of the question).

Most say putting new pistons in old cylinders is a very bad idea unless the old cylinders are bored or re-honed first and the pistons sized accordingly. I'm wondering if that is always true with the Nikasil plated cylinders in the TS 111.

Two ways to go:
1. Install slightly-used pistons and cylinders from a 2020 engine that were replaced with big bore pistons and cylinders
2. Install new pistons in the original cylinders (assuming they are in good visual condition / not scored).

If you have direct technical experience with TS-111 Nikasil plated cylinders, I'd appreciate hearing what you believe is the best way to go and why:
 

·
Rider
Joined
·
559 Posts
Sounds to me like a lot of work for no perf. gain at all.
Dont know anything about your bike but if its near stock why not get some cams and a good tune, alot of the clacking can be fixed with a tune
Youll be happy
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
468 Posts
Tuning didn't fix my clack, but I agree it may be wiser to try tuning first!
 

·
Bronze member
Joined
·
3,352 Posts
I don't know if you can go with 2020... didn't they change the throttle body to 60mm?... the heads are definitely different... but doing the work yourself it shouldn't be to costly... lots of 111's around after the big bore kits are done... check it out before you spend the bucks.. I know when my dealer has his swap meet you can buy kits all day long for $100 and if you wait until the end you can get them for $50... after that trash can here they come...
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
6,804 Posts
PVCX cured my clack. My clack was in the 2000-2400rpm range under light /cruising throttle. YMMV
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I agree that PV3 (or PVCX) tune would be very helpful and give me a performance increase. Something I will probably do at some point in time. The PV3 is about $400 plus a custom tune is about $300, making this a pricey option. And while likely, there is no guarantee a PV3 tune will eliminate the piston clacking.

I am happy with the performance of my 2014. It is my understanding that Stage-2 cams do not offer much of a performance increase over the 2014 cams (which are much "hotter" than the cams that came in the 2015-2017 TS-111s). Plus stage-2 cams require stage-1 intake and stage-1 mufflers, making this a pricey option that does not eliminate the piston clacking.

Two new pistons from Polaris cost about $300. Or I can get almost new 2020 pistons & cylinders from a friend at a dealership for the cost of shipping. My only other cost (since I am doing the work myself when I can not ride due to snow) is the cost of the gaskets and parts needed to complete the job. These are the only options that are guaranteed to eliminate the piston clacking, minimize potential long-term engine wear and are the least pricey. Plus I would enjoy doing the work, get to verify the condition of all the top-end parts and make sure the assembly is done correctly to spec.

I see my best options as:
1. Install slightly-used pistons and cylinders from a 2020 engine that were replaced with big bore pistons and cylinders
2. Install new pistons in the original cylinders (assuming they are in good visual condition / not scored).

The question I need some expert advice on is (with TS-111 Nikasil plated cylinders) which is the best way to go and why.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I would try this first before new pistons. This rider said the newer updated cam gears solved all of the noise in his TS111. (Click the big Red Letters)

2014 TS111 Valve Train noise issue solved
Thanks, I do have a good bit of upper-end noise in addition to piston clack. I'll definitely look into replacing the replaced all three camshaft gears and bolts and chain tensioner.
 

·
Silver member
Joined
·
4,632 Posts
I agree that PV3 (or PVCX) tune would be very helpful and give me a performance increase. Something I will probably do at some point in time. The PV3 is about $400 plus a custom tune is about $300, making this a pricey option. And while likely, there is no guarantee a PV3 tune will eliminate the piston clacking.

I am happy with the performance of my 2014. It is my understanding that Stage-2 cams do not offer much of a performance increase over the 2014 cams (which are much "hotter" than the cams that came in the 2015-2017 TS-111s). Plus stage-2 cams require stage-1 intake and stage-1 mufflers, making this a pricey option that does not eliminate the piston clacking.

Two new pistons from Polaris cost about $300. Or I can get almost new 2020 pistons & cylinders from a friend at a dealership for the cost of shipping. My only other cost (since I am doing the work myself when I can not ride due to snow) is the cost of the gaskets and parts needed to complete the job. These are the only options that are guaranteed to eliminate the piston clacking, minimize potential long-term engine wear and are the least pricey. Plus I would enjoy doing the work, get to verify the condition of all the top-end parts and make sure the assembly is done correctly to spec.

I see my best options as:
1. Install slightly-used pistons and cylinders from a 2020 engine that were replaced with big bore pistons and cylinders
2. Install new pistons in the original cylinders (assuming they are in good visual condition / not scored).

The question I need some expert advice on is (with TS-111 Nikasil plated cylinders) which is the best way to go and why.

Thanks!
You cannot use 2020 pistons in your 2014. 2020 models are TS116 engines.

You could up the compression on your TS111 with pistons from Indian Vtwin performance. He can check and re-hone your cylinders and provide and fit his pistons, which are much better then OEM. He has the correct Nikasill hones to do the job. If they did need re-plating he has that ability as well. Or he can check your cylinders, re-hone and supply the OEM 2018-2019 pistons fitted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
You cannot use 2020 pistons in your 2014. 2020 models are TS116 engines.

You could up the compression on your TS111 with pistons from Indian Vtwin performance. He can check and re-hone your cylinders and provide and fit his pistons, which are much better then OEM. He has the correct Nikasill hones to do the job. If they did need re-plating he has that ability as well. Or he can check your cylinders, re-hone and supply the OEM 2018-2019 pistons fitted.
According to the Indian Motorcycle website, all the 2020 base-model baggers (Indian Chief Dark Horse, Indian Chief Vintage, Indian Chieftain, Indian Chieftain Classic, and Indian Springfield) ship with the TS111 engine. Only the 2020 Chieftain Dark Horse, Springfield Dark Horse, Elite & Road Master models come with the TS116 as standard.

The IndianMotorcycle.com parts catalog show all of those 2020 TS111 engines with piston PN 3023065 and the 2014 TS111 replacement piston as PN 3023065 (replacing PN 3022648).

I'll check with Indian Vtwin Performance and see what they would charge to check my cylinders, re-hone and supply the OEM pistons fitted. However, if that is the only correct way to install new pistons in my 2014 cylinders, then I am pretty sure the cost of having Vtwin do that work, will cost me far more than the cost of acquiring the needed parts and personally installing almost-new pistons and cylinders from a 2020 engine, replaced by the dealer with big bore pistons and cylinders before the bike was sold. And I am guessing the performance and reliability of going either way will not be much, if any different.

If I had the funds, I'd would install Stage 1 intake and exhaust and then have a big bore kit installed. Unfortunately that is not currently an option for me.
 

·
Silver member
Joined
·
4,632 Posts
According to the Indian Motorcycle website, all the 2020 base-model baggers (Indian Chief Dark Horse, Indian Chief Vintage, Indian Chieftain, Indian Chieftain Classic, and Indian Springfield) ship with the TS111 engine. Only the 2020 Chieftain Dark Horse, Springfield Dark Horse, Elite & Road Master models come with the TS116 as standard.

The IndianMotorcycle.com parts catalog show all of those 2020 TS111 engines with piston PN 3023065 and the 2014 TS111 replacement piston as PN 3023065 (replacing PN 3022648).

I'll check with Indian Vtwin Performance and see what they would charge to check my cylinders, re-hone and supply the OEM pistons fitted. However, if that is the only correct way to install new pistons in my 2014 cylinders, then I am pretty sure the cost of having Vtwin do that work, will cost me far more than the cost of acquiring the needed parts and personally installing almost-new pistons and cylinders from a 2020 engine, replaced by the dealer with big bore pistons and cylinders before the bike was sold. And I am guessing the performance and reliability of going either way will not be much, if any different.

If I had the funds, I'd would install Stage 1 intake and exhaust and then have a big bore kit installed. Unfortunately that is not currently an option for me.
Oh..I have only dealt with the 2020 TS116's, had no idea Polaris split the models up like that. Not sure why someone would purchase a TS111 in 2020 and turn around and put the BBK on it. But even if you picked up new take-offs of 2019 cylinders and pistons, you would be good. There ought to be a lot of those floating around. But, I cannot imagine Jeff charging more for honing your cylinders over the 2019/2020 take offs. Our Indian Nikisil cylinders seem to hold up real well. Looking at @Black2016RMrider cylinders after 47k miles they look good and his was a clapper.

I certainly understand the cost of this stuff, I always look for the lower cost, better solution. The cam chest split-gears are really pricey too, cam chain, guide, and tensioner not too bad. There was a discussion here on 2014 cams having steeper profile then 2015 and was attributed to noise...I cannot verify. I have never seen the profile on 2014 cams versus later ones.

Keep us posted on how you go and if the piston change does improve your noise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
313 Posts
going that route you should be able to find jugs and pistons that are matching sets. my 19 roadmaster I had big bore done right off show room floor so I have a brand ne set of jugs and pistons sitting in a box, and I am sure there are many more out there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
896 Posts
If you can get brand new cylinders and pistons for the price of shipping, get them. If you end up not using them I'll double your money for them. But I can't imagine a reason to use old parts when you have new parts.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
If you can get brand new cylinders and pistons for the price of shipping, get them. If you end up not using them I'll double your money for them. But I can't imagine a reason to use old parts when you have new parts.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
They are not brand new, but close — removed from a new bike by the dealer before being upgraded with a big bore kit.
So The parts will have a few miles on them from the factory test and dealer set-up test ride, etc.
 

·
Rider
Joined
·
559 Posts
Silverback, not telling you what to do but many were surprised how much noise was cured with a tuner and help from CraigB
That should be your first step, we are only trying to help, good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Silverback, not telling you what to do but many were surprised how much noise was cured with a tuner and help from CraigB
That should be your first step, we are only trying to help, good luck.
I agree with your recommendation — the PV3 tune with help from CraigB might cure the piston clack noise (and also give me a performance increase). This is something I would very much like to do.

The thing that is holding me back at this time is the cost — PV3 is about $400 plus a custom tune is about $300, making this a pricey option. And while likely it will work, even CraigB says there is no guarantee it will eliminate the piston clacking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
403 Posts
I agree with your recommendation — the PV3 tune with help from CraigB might cure the piston clack noise (and also give me a performance increase). This is something I would very much like to do.

The thing that is holding me back at this time is the cost — PV3 is about $400 plus a custom tune is about $300, making this a pricey option. And while likely it will work, even CraigB says there is no guarantee it will eliminate the piston clacking.
Craig tried to help me with my 2014 clacker but the noise never went away. We tried many tunes, the performance and ride-ability went up considerably but the clack never left. Some do others don't.
Some clackering is caused by a bad timing and can usually be tuned out, some like mine are mechanical clackers and it has no change. One good way to determine this is to put some octane boost in the tank and take it for a spin. If the clack changes in amplitude then a tuner and a good tune might get it down to a reasonable level. If like mine it doesn't change then you have piston slap and/or stack tolerance problems. I am convinced the only way to get rid of that noise is new pistons or the 116 BBK. Some have said the clack goes away with just new 2018 pistons, some say it didn't help them. I finally broke down and had the 116 BBK installed and I am happy to say the clack has finally been fix on my bike. (so far anyway, but I'm confident).
On a final note the Indian rep who finally stepped up and helped me out stated that she had spoken to one of the engineers at Indian Corp and he said the new pistons may or may not stop the noise.
He also stated that the 116 BBK would clear up the noise. Of course the TS111 doesn't make a clack noise and "it's all normal" anyway.:rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Craig tried to help me with my 2014 clacker but the noise never went away. We tried many tunes, the performance and ride-ability went up considerably but the clack never left. Some do others don't.
Some clackering is caused by a bad timing and can usually be tuned out, some like mine are mechanical clackers and it has no change. One good way to determine this is to put some octane boost in the tank and take it for a spin. If the clack changes in amplitude then a tuner and a good tune might get it down to a reasonable level. If like mine it doesn't change then you have piston slap and/or stack tolerance problems. I am convinced the only way to get rid of that noise is new pistons or the 116 BBK. Some have said the clack goes away with just new 2018 pistons, some say it didn't help them. I finally broke down and had the 116 BBK installed and I am happy to say the clack has finally been fixed on my bike. (so far anyway, but I'm confident).
On a final note the Indian rep who finally stepped up and helped me out stated that she had spoken to one of the engineers at Indian Corp and he said the new pistons may or may not stop the noise.
He also stated that the 116 BBK would clear up the noise. Of course the TS111 doesn't make a clack noise and "it's all normal" anyway.:rolleyes:
I agree with everything you've said. Last year I filled the tank several times with the highest octane fuel I could find and added octane booster. It had not effect on the clacking noise. Consequently I am convinced that it is piston noise.

With regard to the new piston design, as far as I know, there have been no reports of clacking noise in any 2018, 2019 or 2020 TS111s. And according to the online parts catalog, no other related engine parts of significance were changed in the 2018 models. I do believe that if Polaris ever officially stated that installing the new piston in a 2014-2017 TS111 would cure the clacking noise, they would be admitting the original pistons were a defective design and open themselves up to having to pay the cost of replacing the original pistons (and cylinders, etc.) in all 2014-2017 TS111 with piston clacking noise.

The clacking noise is definitely something none of expected when we bought our Indian Motorcycle. And Polaris says the clacking may be mechanically acceptable because it does not cause any reliability problems, we all know that it definitely takes away some of the pleasure of riding the bike and impacts resale value.

Even getting the gift of almost new pistons and cylinders for the cost of shipping, I am wondering with all the work involved and the cost of gaskets and other parts, maybe the best decision would be to tolerate the annoying piston clacking noise for another year or so until I can afford (and hopefully negotiate a good price) to get a big bore kit. Although I am not sure I can continue to be that patient and tolerant. 🤨
 

·
Bronze member
Joined
·
3,352 Posts
Are you doing the work yourself?... if you are, why not get the updated valve springs too... when you swap it all around and in the future want more performance you could go to Lloyds 585 cams... according to most dyno sheets a tuned 111 with Lloyds cams or Indians stage III cams puts out about the same performance as a big bore... the price would be quite a bit less
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mr.Niceguy
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top