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-   -   Ironhead Shovster build take2 (

RicThompson 5th October 2021 21:28

That's going to be awesome.

RicThompson 8th October 2021 22:17

For anyone following this thread contemplating building your own Shovster check this out.


smokey 2 8th October 2021 23:04

You're gonna have that new bike smell.....

billeuze 9th October 2021 03:47


Originally Posted by smokey 2 (Post 5919678)
You're gonna have that new bike smell.....

Hmm, don’t know what that is, I’ve never had a new bike before.

rejeanprimeau 9th October 2021 14:43


Originally Posted by billeuze (Post 5919716)
Hmm, don’t know what that is, I’ve never had a new bike before.

Iron head smell like a new barbeque and an Evo smell like they took the aluminum in a garbage bin. LOL

billeuze 18th October 2021 07:07

Its been a slow couple of weeks: last weekend we had running buddies visiting from out of town and we ran a 1/2 marathon (and recovery these days takes MUCH longer than when I was in my 20s or even 40s). And this weekend I was quite sick and actually not quite better yet - I think they need to find me a different antibiotic.

In spite of this I got some work done. I wanted to plug my oil drain holes since I have external drains and my cylinders don't even have oil drains. I don't know if its a good idea or not, but its done now. I can't imagine it would hurt anything:

Then I was itching to get my heads re-assembled. I lapped my valves just be sure they are still good (they were newly installed 10 years ago). but then I had a setback. I broke one of my valve stem seals. These are an odd size of valve guide ".520" and the closest size seal I could find in a 3/8 valve stem is for a .530 valve guide. so I ordered a set of them exactly the same type as what I had because at least I can compress the clamps a bit to tighten them up that extra .01". I could only find a set of 16 so I won't have to worry if I break more. And I did find a youtube video showing how to use packing tape to help slide the seal over the stem.

So, on to fitting rings on to the pistons. I have these because back 10 years ago when I was assembling parts and starting to work on this I must have had more available cash than I have now.

I already had them sized to the cylinders by the same guy who honed them 10 or so years ago. So the just needed a dap of oil and install in recommended orientation:

I really wanted to get my jugs on but I've read here the importance to clean, clean and repeat till a white cloth wipes clean. I thought they were already clean but it took 5 of these washes in hot soapy water:

Total Seal recommends using their dry assembly lube on the cylinders. I haven't seen this stuff before (or used it). I applied at as per instructions and it ended up looking silver rather than green which apparently means it isn't clean enough. So I cleaned some more using only brake cleaner and WD-40 like they suggest. It can't really get any cleaner than clean, but when I re-applied, it still looked sliver to me. Yes it does have a slight greenish tint but I not as green as I imagined from the instructions. It sure makes the cylinder walls slippery though.

Finally I can bolt the cylinders on and its very satisfying:

I know the heads aren't ready to go on but I wanted to make sure the rear head would still fit under the frame. I thought I had more than enough room there, but I did add some height +.15" rocker box shims - .09 head shaving = +.06. That's not a lot, but I won't know if there's a problem or not till I try. I know it would fit once installed but I couldn't know for sure if I could slip it over the fire ring to install it. Yes, just barely, but it does go on! That's also very satisfying:

So now waiting for seals to arrive. Also waiting for a tranny closed end countershaft bearing and a clutch bearing. The countershaft bearing is already 3 weeks late. Stuck in some box at the western Canada distribution center for the bearing company. I hope they find it soon...

RicThompson 18th October 2021 17:19

Get well soon! Nice progress.

kitabel 18th October 2021 17:40

building your own Shovster check this out

and you can't use the cylinders...

billeuze 20th November 2021 17:46

I got my new valve seals a while back. They were not easy to install without breaking. I finally learned how to install them and got one valve seal properly installed on each valve stem.

It turns out fortunate that I could only find a package of 16 because I had a few casualties along the way.

Also my bearings arrived. I got a new clutch bearing because I noticed this stamped on it: "China". I know this was a new bearing I installed 10 years ago. I don't remember where I got it from - probably ebay ordered under oem part number. That was before I new about the reputation of Chinese parts. That was before I lived in China for a couple of years and learned first hand how shitty Chinese bearings could be. I went on a road trip of about 5,00 miles on a new Chinese bike and the wheel bearings were shot. Mind you 5,000 miles on Chinese roads is a lot harder on a bike than American or European roads. Yes they have many nice brand new beautiful expressways that are better than any American interstate - but most provinces don't allow motorcycles on them. Anyway, at the end of the trip I needed new wheel bearings. I told the shop to install Japanese bearings rather than more Chinese bearings. They tried to talk me out of it: "we don't have Japanese bearings, we'd have to order them and wait three days for them to arrive. And they cost so much more, its just not worth it. We have Chinese bearings in stock and can replace them right away. Yes its true there is a good chance they will wear out much faster than Japanese bearings but it doesn't matter because you can can come back and replace them anytime for real cheap"... When they learned that I was planning to sell that motorcycle within a few months because I would be leaving the country they were even more convinced that I was one stupid foreigner. Anyone interested in that 5,000 mile motorcycle trip can find it documented here:

anyway, as soon as I discovered the words "China" on that clutch basket bearing I ordered a new one and eventually replaced it with the one on the right:

But even that didn't go smoothly. The local bearing supply uses Koyo as its house brand so that's the brand of 6206Z that I ordered. I froze the bearing, heated my clutch basket in the oven and expected the bearing to pretty much drop in. It did not drop in but required quite a bit of persuasion using a hammer and the old bearing as a drift. once the basket cooled, and I suspended it by my fingers through the inner race and spun the clutch shell It sounded and felt quite scratchy. So I looked to see what replacement I could get through amazon. They had an SKF sourced from the US that would take over a month to arrive or an NTN available fairly quick. This time, as before I froze the bearing and heated the clutch shell and just like it is supposed to, it dropped right in about 1/3 of the way down and then a gentle tap to seat it all the way. And it spins smoothly on my fingers.

RicThompson 20th November 2021 17:57

When you're finished with it and get it on the road I have no doubt you will feel most of the aggravation was well worth it. I would not have been able to live with the Chinese bearing in the clutch basket either. Not on that bike.

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