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  #11  
Old 12-20-2007, 11:11 PM
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83XLX 83XLX is offline
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Default RE: 77 Ironhead Rebuild

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ORIGINAL: Patricks BBQ

Lest see if I have this right.
[ul][*]Stick with the top end unless the rods have too much play, then do the whole motor.[*]No matter what get the damn manual... (Its being shipped today)[*]Pull the cams for the purpose of re-timing (Keeping shim washers with their respective cams)[*]Re-Bore the jugs and get new pistons and rings accordingly[*]Install Hard Valve Seats and New Bronze Valve Guides[*]New Valves, Progressive Springs amd New Spring Keepers[/ul]
Am I missing anything?

Questions:
[ol][*]Where will I be able to get all of this stuff?[*]What is a Spark Plug Index Kit?[*]I have just rebuilt the carb (5 months ago)Im guessing that I can just leave it alone, Am i right?[*]I have drag pipes on it now. The look pretty bad and need replacing. I like them for the look and the sound but I have heard that they steal power. What are your thoughts on a new exhaust? These need new seals and they dont have baffles. That being said, I really do like the look and sound of the drags but I like power too. Im refraining from doing anything internal (Unles I hear otherwise) simply cuz I dont wana screw up a perfectly good motor for a few more HPs. Meanwhile I still need to replace the pipes... Looking for real guidance here...[*]My wife is asking for me to take her on a ride... Is this bike ok to have a passanger? Remember that this is my first bike and I've only had it for about 6 months or so. I dont wana kill her or me for that matter...[*]Do I need to remve the tank when Im taking the top of the motor apart?[*]Is it a good idea to get the jugs sandblasted and powdercoated since I have them off?[*]What are the best gaskets to go with? Im a Felpro guy my self but I doubt that the make motorcycle gaskets...[*]Tools, I have a really basic ratchet and openended wrench set. What more will I need?[/ol]
First, the rods will have some sideplay. Unless it's excessive, don't worry about it. It's the up/down play that you don't want.

The rebore with new pistons and rings to match is best left to a machine shop that works on Harleys. Same goes for the valve job and all those new acssociated parts. Those items aren't do-it-yourself things. I'd just tell the shop what you want and let them get it. For example, how do you know what size pistons you need before a shop drills and mics the bore?

Spark plug index kit is just a set of various thickness washers to allow the plugs to tighten in a set position - on an Ironhead, the open side of the gap should face the intake valve. Probably won't make much difference, so I'd skip it for now (you can do it anytime). Some automotive speed shops carry them.

The carb should be fine if it's OK now.

I'd run a set of pipes with some sort of mufflers if I were you. They don't have to be stock, but some sort of muffler will give you better mid-range performance and won't be so socially irresponsible (yes, I'm a lifetime AMA member).

I wouldn't carry a passenger unless I was really steady riding the bike. Even then, a passenger who tries to help by leaning into curveswill upset the apple cart.

Take the tank off.

Paint or powder coat the heads and cylinders while it's apart (after the valve and boring work), for sure.

I don't have an opinion on gaskets.

Probably a box end set, a torque wrench, a 12-point socket to fit the head bolts, and a piston ring compressor. Also with Harleys, a BIG hammer is a must (just kidding - but a rubber or rawhide mallet is handy).

That's all I can think of right now, but I'm sure others can point out some things I've forgotten. It's been years since I did mine, but I must have done something right - it's still runnng fine.
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  #12  
Old 12-21-2007, 01:43 PM
Patricks BBQ Patricks BBQ is offline
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Default RE: 77 Ironhead Rebuild

Ok I went to Sears today and I purchased the following:

264 Piece ractchet, open ended wrench and allen wrench set
12 Ratcheting wrenches (Standard and metric)
Torque wrench (The kind that clicks)

All for about $350.00 or so. Between that, my jack stand and my stainless steel (used to be in a kitchen) work table, I think that Im good to go.

im sure that I'll need other things but I think that I have the majority of it now...

I have ordered a shop manual and it has already been shipped so its on its way.

Im sitting down drinking a burbon and vanilla coke (yummm) getting psyched up to go hunting next week and drooling at the thought of opening up the Sportty...

Thanks Pinion, 83XL, Moonwolf and Mojo...

I really appreciate the time, knowledge and encouragement.

Have a wonderful Christmas guys and God Bless...

Pat
www.PatricksBBQ.com


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  #13  
Old 12-21-2007, 02:02 PM
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Default RE: 77 Ironhead Rebuild

The same back to you Pat. Go get 'em.......pg
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  #14  
Old 12-21-2007, 02:28 PM
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Default RE: 77 Ironhead Rebuild

Merry Christmas, Pat. Hope the rebuild goes easy for you.
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  #15  
Old 12-21-2007, 03:20 PM
bykrdan bykrdan is offline
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Default RE: 77 Ironhead Rebuild

Lot's of good advice offered heretofore. I especially agree with updating your valve train to cope with unleaded fuel. I did minesome years ago and the valves have not needed adjustment since then.

I received my sporty with drag pipes. It ran much, much better after I made a couple of restrictors from threaded pipe sections and closed the exhaust down to about 5/8" in each pipe. Eventually, those pipes became shabby-looking. I replaced them with cycle shack muffler pipes, and I've even put a copper reduction fitting in the end of those to make run just a bit better at low speed.

Best wishes...
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  #16  
Old 12-24-2007, 09:45 PM
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Default RE: 77 Ironhead Rebuild

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ORIGINAL: piniongear

Pat....
Gotta throw my 2 cents in here. I would also go in with the intention of rebuilding the top end only, and .............


...........manual will tell you exactly what to do, to check, and how to fix it.
And again, any question you are going to have can be answered by someone here on the forum.......pg

This whole post will go on the fridge in the garage as laundry list #1. Excellent details as always PG, thanks. I can, however, contridict you on one point and that is that the motor does not have to be out of the frame to take the oil pump out for a '77. So with that in mind, is there anything you would check out on that, or still leave it alone?

Rich
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  #17  
Old 12-24-2007, 11:13 PM
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piniongear piniongear is offline
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Default RE: 77 Ironhead Rebuild

Well, there I go again! Getting in trouble with my big mouth by making a statement about something newer than a 1974.
Thank you for the correction regarding not having to remove the engine to get the oil pump out in a 1977 model. The pump was changed and I guess it is possible to remove it. I stand corrected.
If it were me however, I would leave the pump in place, along with the piniongear and the oil drive gear. The reason is that it takes a special tool to remove and then reinstall the pinion/oil drive gear on the shaft (at least for a 1974 and earlier. and I think the 1977 must be the same). The shaft has 5/16-24 LEFT HAND threads in it and the tool screws into it. I am very familar with it because I had to make my own tool when I rebuilt my engine and still have the left hand tap and die I bought back then. Additionally, there is a small half moon key and a drive pin on the breather shaft that is better left alone if possible, so not having a reason to remove the pump will let that sleeping dog lie.
But if the pump needs to come out due to roughness in the oil gears then take it out. But check this before you just remove the pump without cause. If the breather shaft spins free (near as you can determine) then all is well.
Other than that, there's nothing that comes to mind regarding any other things you may want to look at...........pg
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  #18  
Old 12-28-2007, 07:52 AM
red76harley red76harley is offline
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Default RE: 77 Ironhead Rebuild

couple things i will add.. first you are getting great advice... second.. you CAN do this... if you are for sure you want more hp, carb/ aircleaner, cams and pipe will give you good results with a lot of the seat of the pants feel to it. You have a huge advantage with the oil pump. If you are going to rebuild the top end i would for sure take this apart as you will most certainly see wear here. The oil pump brether will probably be the hardest thing you can do in a rebuild to get back together.. Chech the manual it has a big seaction on this and deside if you want to tackle it. I have done everything possable to these and you can get a gret running, dependable machine worth of the lots of fun fairly easy..
One other thing. I was steared away from powder coating the jugs and heads as it holds heat, heat is the worst enemy of this motor and i recamend installing a oil cooler no matter what.
happy hunting,
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  #19  
Old 12-28-2007, 11:13 AM
powdercoater powdercoater is offline
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Default RE: 77 Ironhead Rebuild

Quote:
ORIGINAL: red76harley

couple things i will add.. first you are getting great advice... second.. you CAN do this... if you are for sure you want more hp, carb/ aircleaner, cams and pipe will give you good results with a lot of the seat of the pants feel to it. You have a huge advantage with the oil pump. If you are going to rebuild the top end i would for sure take this apart as you will most certainly see wear here. The oil pump brether will probably be the hardest thing you can do in a rebuild to get back together.. Chech the manual it has a big seaction on this and deside if you want to tackle it. I have done everything possable to these and you can get a gret running, dependable machine worth of the lots of fun fairly easy..
One other thing. I was steared away from powder coating the jugs and heads as it holds heat, heat is the worst enemy of this motor and i recamend installing a oil cooler no matter what.
happy hunting,
I'm not here to argue with any of you, but I'd like to dispute red76harly's last comment. The ironhead Sportster has cast iron cylinders and heads that must be treated with SOME sort of finish to prevent almost instant rust. Powder coating, applied properly, will only be slightly heavier than a coat of automotive paint. The thickness on cylinders and heads should only be anywhere from 3-6 mils. That much powder alone will not cause any overheating problems with your engine.

My old shovel [cast iron cylinders/aluminum heads] has been powder coated for nearly 12 years and is still running strong today. I've powder coated a lot of shovel and ironhead engines and have never had complaints. The suggestion of adding an oil cooler is a good one but I'd make sure to include either a thermostatic or manual shut off valve to bypass it when cold. Those old engines have enough oiling problems without creating more by keeping the oil too cool for effective lubrication.

Before making up your mind on which way to go I suggest you find a good indy shop that has a lot of experience with the old Harley engines, particularly one that has drag race experience. Talk to them about your concerns to see what they say, however, find out if they're talking from experience or speculation. An informed decision usually makes for a good decision.

Good luck with your project!
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  #20  
Old 12-28-2007, 03:49 PM
red76harley red76harley is offline
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Default RE: 77 Ironhead Rebuild

Quote:
ORIGINAL: powdercoater

Quote:
ORIGINAL: red76harley

couple things i will add.. first you are getting great advice... second.. you CAN do this... if you are for sure you want more hp, carb/ aircleaner, cams and pipe will give you good results with a lot of the seat of the pants feel to it. You have a huge advantage with the oil pump. If you are going to rebuild the top end i would for sure take this apart as you will most certainly see wear here. The oil pump brether will probably be the hardest thing you can do in a rebuild to get back together.. Chech the manual it has a big seaction on this and deside if you want to tackle it. I have done everything possable to these and you can get a gret running, dependable machine worth of the lots of fun fairly easy..
One other thing. I was steared away from powder coating the jugs and heads as it holds heat, heat is the worst enemy of this motor and i recamend installing a oil cooler no matter what.
happy hunting,
I'm not here to argue with any of you, but I'd like to dispute red76harly's last comment. The ironhead Sportster has cast iron cylinders and heads that must be treated with SOME sort of finish to prevent almost instant rust. Powder coating, applied properly, will only be slightly heavier than a coat of automotive paint. The thickness on cylinders and heads should only be anywhere from 3-6 mils. That much powder alone will not cause any overheating problems with your engine.

My old shovel [cast iron cylinders/aluminum heads] has been powder coated for nearly 12 years and is still running strong today. I've powder coated a lot of shovel and ironhead engines and have never had complaints. The suggestion of adding an oil cooler is a good one but I'd make sure to include either a thermostatic or manual shut off valve to bypass it when cold. Those old engines have enough oiling problems without creating more by keeping the oil too cool for effective lubrication.

Before making up your mind on which way to go I suggest you find a good indy shop that has a lot of experience with the old Harley engines, particularly one that has drag race experience. Talk to them about your concerns to see what they say, however, find out if they're talking from experience or speculation. An informed decision usually makes for a good decision.

Good luck with your project!
sounds like you would know a lot betteer than me, i was probably listening to the wrong people, I did paint the engine. I do not begin to claim i know enough about powder coating it was just what i was told. Probably the same people who said you cant put a wide glide front end on a ironhead and you could't put a rear disk on a 76 with the original swing arm.
sorry
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Old 12-28-2007, 03:49 PM
 
 
 
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