August 7, 2005
I know when I put my Screaming Eagle adjustable rods in it was 2 1/2 turns after seated. Depending on who manufactured the rods will dictate the number of turns. If you haven't put in adjustables before, there are a few tricks. I don't know if the '96 Softails had hydraulic lifters (tappets) or not but if they are the same as the TC then here are some steps:
1. Make sure the piston is TDC (top dead center) when installing rods.
2. When tightening down the rods, go just until you feel the rod come in contact with the rocker arm and hydraulic lifter. I use my fingers for this part.
3. After tightening rod to required length, let the lifters bleed down. The rod should turn freely but have no play between ends.
My biggest suggestion would be to get the service manual. The information there is priceless. Then I would get a copy of the installation instructions for the rods you had installed. They should walk you through the entire process. I hope this helps.