View Full Version : 883/1200 Upgrade under way

26th November 2004, 05:02
Well I did it, just tore apart a perfectly good running motorcycle! Started last night and got all the crap off of it.

So far, so good. No surprises yet. The rear rocker was a bit of a puzzle but it's down to the cases and the gear case is next.

Everything is pretty much going to plan. I want it ready for parts by the time the dealer opens in the morning. I'll pick up the new stuff and work all day. I don't need to see it run by tomorrow night but if all goes as it should I don't see why that won't happen.

There was some initial anxiety but after reading the manual and all the web sites, (documenting the upgrade looks like as much work as the upgrade) I just tore into it. I have done some motors in the past and changed the base gaskets on a big twin so I have been here before. I don’t have a “local” HD mechanic I can ping so this site and the web sites that document this stuff make the difference. I really am having fun with this.

I plan on 10:1 pistons and the bolt in cams. I wasn’t planning on doing the heads but if the dealer has the parts I may just go ahead and do it. Not sure how many times you can really take these things apart before you start to screw things up. I’m doing the JT/Shu upgrade.

03 XLH 883 soon to be a 1200

26th November 2004, 05:08

Good Luck, and keep us Posted!!

26th November 2004, 14:40
Hey waterboy, are you using the wiseco dish pistons? You boring your cylinders or buying new ones. You should at least put in the 1200 intake valve. Good Luck

26th November 2004, 16:15
Wether I buy/work the heads depends on the dealer. I had them get all the parts together for me over the phone. There's a resonable chance they got it wrong. If so, then I will stop at that point and let the bike sit and send everything off to Nallins. If they do have the correct parts, then I'm putting it back together today.

I'm pretty convience oriented so if they have the parts then I go with it. I don't really want this thing apart too long. I don't do this often enough so I want to start putting it back together while it's all pretty fresh.

I am a bit concerned about the fitment of these parts. Everything I have read states "we'll match your pistons to your cylinders" and the cam details WRT bushing is way too far to go in my garage. I will measure everything as the manual suggests but I assume that if I took it to a dealer and had them do it they would just pull the same parts. I just had a cam put in my roadking and I doubt they did any machining when they did that, (and when I got it back the diaphram had fallen out of the carb after the rejet, no more dealers for me). I am going with the assumtion that bolt on really means bolt on.

Only one casulty so far, the timing cover screws head striped so I will need to get the stand off and screw. I can't get the brake pedal off so I'm going to try and work around it.

26th November 2004, 17:00
Waterboy, my hats off to ya and all you guys that have the knowledge, time and patients to tear you scoots down like that :clap Although I can put my own gas in :frownthre

26th November 2004, 17:48
Just done this myself. The engine is good to work on, no surprises at all.
Make sure you leave the hydraulic lifters to drain down for a while when you bolt the rockers back together.
If you have the battery disconnected there should be no problem, as by the time you have it all connected it will be long enough.

I removed the plugs and pulled the engine over on the back wheel in top gear to make sure thay did not foul the pistons.

Also follow the method of tighening the head bolts down, it's a very good method actually.

26th November 2004, 18:38
I know, work on the engine can bring lotsa fun. But its important to have the right place to work in and good wrenches. Let us know the results!

26th November 2004, 19:56
I have done about 300 miles (weather in the UK is pretty crap now) and i am well pleased. The mid range acceleration for overtaking is much better.

The exhaust note was much quieter than i expected. I though that being a bigger swept volume it would be louder.

Soon fixed that with a bit of work on the SE baffles, really deep note now :clap :clap .

Have to say that working on the engine is a dream compared to the jap whiners

27th November 2004, 14:45
Waterboy, one thing you may want to decide before going with dished pistons (SE or otherwise) is if you want to do the headwork or not. I called Headquarters not too long ago to see about getting my heads ported and some new vavles put in, but they said I'd have to replace my SE pistons (which are dished) with flattop pistons. Just the head work would cost around 700, adding new pistons would probably bring it up to 900-1K. Not worth the 10 or so HP gain I would be getting. But something to consider beforehand.

The nice thing about Shu's conversion is it uses all H-D parts so I really didn't worry about tolerances, especially if someone else would've bored my old cylinders or I had cams ground for me.

The bike's got plenty of power for my around town riding, and it will haul ass as it is. The head work was a "Hey, if it's easy to do and relatively inexpensive, why not" kind of thing. But after the fact, it wasn't.

27th November 2004, 15:11
Man, you are gonna love the difference in power the upgrade makes.

28th November 2004, 18:37
Well I did it, just tore apart a perfectly good running motorcycle! AND MADE IT BETTER!!!

She's running.

I took it up and down the street to warm it up and everything appears to be fine. I'm so damm excited that I can hardly eat. I could have finished last night but I was burnt. I worked my a$$ off yesterday. There's no way I could have finished it on Friday. So basically I took my time and double checked everything. I read so much about this that it seemed like I had done it a couple of times.

There were some trix though. I don't know how anyone could get the pistons in the jugs and then slid all that on the rod. I had to improvise, (read some wood and rags), but once I saw the plan work it was smooth sailing from there. I would recommend this to anyone who has had a least some motor experience. If you can try and hang out with someone while they take a bike down to the jugs.

I am really impressed with the screamin eagle parts. They measured out perfect and went right together.

The bike wants to romp, it's a perfect day in nor cal, going to put the first 100 miles on.

I have a lot of pics and a free dyno run I won in a raffle. Once it's broke in I will post the numbers.

The web sites were invalueable. They took all the guess work out of the shop manual.

28th November 2004, 20:48
Cool, now enjoy and make sure you let us know when you dyno.