Top end rattle sp1000

Hi all got an annoying rattle top end on my sp I’ve had the bike around 6 months its done 80 thou, anyway it had noisy tappets when I got it so not too worried so I did mention it in the forum and it was suggested I check rocker shafts ect for wear which I did and they were scrap,so picked up a really good set from Nick Wallis fitted reset tappets at tdc hey presto nice and quiet,went for a run to a mates around 10 miles and on tickover the top end rattling gig back home removed r cover amd checked oil feed ect,all good so not sure where i go now,quiet cold, noisy hot.:thinking::grimacing:

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I’d be tempted to recheck the tappets.
At the risk of telling you something that you already know. There are two TDCs. Only one is on the compression stroke

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Hi yep I checked and adjusted at tdc on compression stroke,maybe I’m being paranoid,seems to be on rjght cylinder, I rechecked everything again today,good oil supply ect,previous owner had the sump off and replaced it with the gasket in the wrong position so not sure if any Damage was done.:thinking:

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Are you checking TDC with a marker down the plug hole or using the Mark’s on the flywheel?
Try rotating the engine round a bit & see if the clearance gets significantly bigger at different points of the rotation. Maybe the flywheel has been removed & put back in the wrong place.


Thanks Don will try that,its really frustrating its quiet on start up,gets noisier as it warms up.:grimacing:

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I don’t think it’s too surprising. The barrels will expand when hot, which will increase pushrod clearance.
Get some earplugs and ride it!
Ian P


Yes but no but. Context: already discovered an incorrectly fitted sump gasket, so advice such as checking timing marks is far from unreasonable. That turned out to be on the money for my own T3 which seemed reluctant to behave as expected, when new to me, as this motor is to the poster.


I had a similar issue with my T3 recently. I re-torqued the cylinder head bolts, reset the tappets and the problem was resolved.

Good luck!



Also dont forget that the rocker spindles run in phosphor-bronze bushes in the rocker arms, so even if you replaced the rocker spindles, the original bushes might (will) be very worn and will thus require replacement as well.

IIRC, the new bushes are a press-in and ream to suit job.

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Now there’s a thought the previous owner said he took the r/h cyl head off to get a broken stud out, and the rattle is on the r/h cyl.:thinking:

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Well, the previous owner fitted the Sump Gasket the wrong way round so why would he fit the R/H head correctly! Good luck Roy


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Cheers buddy.:+1:

Well,still can’t trace the source of the rattle,several members have listened,lots of suggestions so decided to pull the offending side to bits,I replaced rockers and shafts as the originals were shot some weeks ago,so,head off remove valves all good no broken springs,no wear in the rocker shaft pedestal,off with the barrel,check piston all good,check small end ,all good,may as well check cam followers as I’m in there inlet follower pitted badly,ex follower not so bad,so,to sum up apart from the followers I’ve found nothing that’s likely to give ma a rattle, nope not tappets,so if anyone has any idea where to go now I’d be delighted, apologies for the ramble it’s starting to bug me,quiet from cold rattle comes in as it warms up.:thinking:

You seem to have covered all usual suspects. “Previous owner replaced broken stud”
This would concern me given his level of competence. What caused it to break? I find it hard to believe it broke.Was the thread in the crancase in good order or did it show signs of being butchered. Grasping at straws - has it been glued in with a low temp threadlocker which may be melting and resolidifying.
Are the pushrod tips secure? Are you sure ratlle is from cylinder and not, say, from the distributor?
Valve guide loose in head might be moving when head gets hot - check for witness marks, unlikely but one doesn’t know the history.
The only other thing I could suggest is using some kind of stethoscope to try and narrow down where the rattle is coming from - I confess Ivs never done this but it worked in “Das Boat”

Long shot, looks like you have eliminated the top end , a worn timing chain might be the culprit the noise that it makes seems to ring through the engine, if it hasn’t been done in 80,000 miles it will be shot, a fresh chain and automatic tensioner does stop a lot of clatter :+1:

The original tensioners didn’t last long and the chain tended to saw through the bottom left (as sat on bike) of the chain case

That’s what I found as well, mine made a clatter that sounded as though it was coming from the left cylinder, good luck with the search👍

Thanks all I’m going to replace the cam followers and check out the timing chain/ tensioner ect,guides are good,although I did check oil feed to head will check again.

Hi mr P the stud was a Carb manifold stud not a barrel stud(thankfully)