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Hopper 1st January 2009 04:08

Special tools

Originally Posted by Shadowdog500 (Post 1655080)
I cant wait till Hopper starts him homemade Harley tool thread. His homemade crank and wheel truing stands are simple yet elegant tools that anyone can build, once they see his solution.

Maybe we should just start the thread and have him add his homemade tools to that.

I bet we all made some homemade and custom tools for our bikes, it would be neat to have one thread that lists them.


Ok, well I will start the ball rolling. I figure if we all post pics/details of our special Ironhead tools, either made-up or bought, one tool per post, with the name of the tool in the title bar, we should end up with a searchable data base of every possible special tool for future reference.

Hopper 1st January 2009 04:11

Clutch compressor tool
or is it clutch compresser tool??

Anyhow, mine, the el cheapo model, is made from two pieces of timber screwed together, a piece of harware-store 1/4" UNC threaded rod cut in half, some 1/4 nuts and washers. It does not have the centre screw like the factory tool. I just tighten down the nuts on the threaded rod to compress the clutch springs.

Hopper 1st January 2009 04:20

Flywheel / crankshaft truing stand
Can also be used for balancing flywheels as well as trueing.

Here are some pics of a flywheel truing stand we made years ago and I just found it lurking in my dad's shed. It is made from a piece of 4" steel channel as a base.
Two automobile connecting rods are then bolted to holes drilled in it at the right distance apart to suit whatever flywheels are being worked on.

A threaded insert was machined up so a half-inch or so bolt could be threaded threaded through, with locknuts to hold it in position.

The ends of the bolts are machined to a point same as a lathe centre (cant remember offhand now if that is 60 or 90 degrees. 60 I think.)

Magnetic dial gauge is stuck to the base to suit job in hand.

This rig has been used to do countless numbers of 45 Flathead bottom ends, J models and big Brit singles like the Matchless wheels in the pic.

The alignment of the two centre bolts is not super critical - they just provide the two points, the flywheels and shafts the straight line between them.

And here is a pair of adaptors to swing big fat Harley flywheels in a small lathe like a 4.5" swing Myford etc.

Here is another way to true flywheels in a small Myford lathe that has only a 4.5" swing so Harley flywheels won't fit. Two offset pieces made from some flat half-inch thick bar and some half-inch round bar.

You just lokc the chuck in position with the back gear and spin the wheels between the two offset centres. Simple but effective.

Hopper 1st January 2009 04:22

Wheel truing stand
My $5 wheel trueing stand used for making wheels run true and lacing on new rims, respoking etc.

And here is the $5 wheel truing stand:

Use old worn wheel bearings, b ut not notchy, with WD40 for lube, for balancing. Nice free movement.

And to get the initial spoking nice and centred, drill a hole on the work bench for the axle, scribe a circle where the rim goes and locate it with wooden blocks screwed to the bench. Wooden shims provide correct offset.[/QUOTE]

Shadowdog500 1st January 2009 04:46

Clutch Actuator Install Tool
This tool holds the clutch actuator so that the balls dont drop out of the channels when the primary is being installed. The tool is drilled through so a screw driver can be inserted into the adjustment screw. The full adjustment can be made while the tool is still installed and holding the inner and outer plates together so that the balls dont drop out of the channels during the initial clutch adjustment. Once the clutch and cable are adjusted you simply remove the tool and tighten the locking nut, this way the assembly never gets a chance to drop.

If you have a lathe it should only take under 10 minutes to make. I made mine from a piece of scrap that I fished out of the scrap bin.

Here are some photos.
The folowing picture was taken with a camera phone so it is blurry.


Hopper 1st January 2009 04:55

Sprocket cover dowel hole repair tools
This is a bit of an obscure one but a real pain to fix, requiring several special tools so I just pasted the whole section from my rebuild thread.

When it came back from the aircraft welder it looked like the pics below.
Amazingly, there was no big blob of weld but two tiny little rings, still with the (rough) hole in the middle. His TIG welder can weld aluminum .010" thick.
I left the gearbox shafts and bearings in place during welding to help stop distortion of the cases. He pre-heated the cases gently with a torch then would put a ring of weld on, let it cool off, repeat, repeat repeat etc.
The man is a true artist. Notice how he welded around the screw next to the top hole but did not go over it. And the 1/4" threaded hole in the middle was still useable. Truly amazing.

Close up but blurry - (wouldnt guess I was a professional photographer once upon a long time ago:laugh )

Now all I had to do was remachine those two 7/16" dowel holes back where they should be, within oooh, about .001". If had split the cases I could have put them on my mate's milling machine and precision machined them. But because I was too lazy to split the cases and disturb that nice tight, factory original bottom end, I did it the hard way.

First thing was to filethe flat surfaces back on again, using the sprocket cover with bearing blue on it as a guide. Couple of hours with a pair of 10" bastard file and millsaw file did that.

Now, to drill the holes, I had to make a drill jig out of half-inch steel plate:
This is to guide the drill bits when I drill the welded up areas, and to make sure the holes come out in the right place.
I made the jig by first drilling the hole to match the blind lower dowel hole in the sprocket cover, put the dowel in place and then drilled the footpeg stud hole by putting the sprocket cover over the plate and drilling down through it. Then the same for the top hole.
I also sleeved the sprocket cover down with a steel sleeve so the hole for the footpeg stud was a tight fit and would take most of the weight in future.

Because the top hole has a 1/4 bolt running through it, and the weld was off centre, I made a special drill/cutter out of 7/16" silver steel. It had a 1/4 inch hole up the centre so it could fit over a threaded stud screwed in the hole. I cut two flutes on the end of it with an angle grinder so it is like a milling cutter, or flat-nosed drill. Finished it off on the pedestal grinder. I then flame hardened it with the oxy torch. Heated it cherry red then quenched in oil. Then tempered it to a light straw colur and quenched again.
It looked like this:

So using my electric pistol drill and proceeding very carefully - dont want to drill through to China, it came up looking like this:
And this:

In the final fit up, I made custom dowel pins and fitted them with a small file and some bearing blue so they are tight as tight and wont work loose again.
I also drilled and tapped that top stud out to 5/16 for more strength and also plan to add a steel angle bracket from the top of the sprocket cover to the two bolts on the top of the gearbox near rear mounts. SOB will not move ever again!!

I still had to strip the gearbox and replace those bearings that had been welded right next to.

Hopper 1st January 2009 05:03

Transmission countershaft needle roller bearings drift
The two needle roller bearings on the counter shaft I replaced, heating the cases and trapdoor gently with a propane torch and gently tapping them out/in with a stepped drift I turned up on a mate's lathe.

They are two different size bearings so each end of the drift is differnt. The one for the trapdoor end includes a step on it the right thickness to locate the bearing the correct amount in from the surface, as specified in the manual.
Be sure to make the drift a few thou smaller than both the inner and outer diameters of the bearing so you can get it out after tapping the bearing in.

The propane torch needs to have the big burner head to get enough heat happening. Heat cases until you can spit on them and the spit boils and sizzles - 212 degrees F - and no hotter. It will not distort the cases if done gently and you keep the torch moving in circles all the time. Do not use oxy acetylene, it is too hot and can cause warpage.
I also found an electric heat gun will do the job, just takes longer.

Like all bearings, they can be changed cold but all you are doing is tearing the hell out of the aluminium and setting it up for the bearing to spin the housing due to the resulting loose fit, specially if the job has been done once or twice before.

Hopper 1st January 2009 05:05

First gear bushing installation tool
Found out the hard way not to hand ream this bushing after fitting. Put in another one and set it up in the lathe and bored it true. Had to make a steel ring to hold the gear in the lathe because the 17 tooth gear wont sit in a three jaw chuck evenly.

And this is the rig I used to get the old bushing out and the new one in. A pair of sockets and a 3/8 bolt for extraction, a stepped collar on a 9/16 bolt to instal.

The other collar on the left is the one I used on the same rig to fit new connecting rod small-end bushes aka piston pin bushings

Hopper 1st January 2009 05:12

Piston pin bushing install and ream
Used a 9/16 UNF high tensile bolt with stepped collars turned to fit loosely in the new bush, and slightly smaller than the outside diameter and pulled the old bushes out and the new ones in. Make sure the chamfered end of the bush goes in first.

After pulling the bushings in with the above rig, this is my $1 holding jig to stop the connecting rods flopping about when I reamed them. A couple bits of timber and four bolts. Holds them nice an steady for reaming.

And two holes in a rag with some tape stops any bronze chips from the reamer getting down in the crankcase.

Used an adjustable hand reamer to carefully size the bushings. The pins slide in and out without a hitch and just barely perceptible shake. Dont want them tight or they might nip up in operation. I have heard of guys putting fine grinding paste on an old pin to lap out the last half-a-thousandth, but I dont like putting paste in my engine if I can avoid it. Those little bits of carborundum might just embed in the bronze. So brake hone it was:

Then checked the pin was parallel to the crankcase mouth by using two pieces of 3/4" precision key steel from my local bearing supply shop.[/QUOTE]

Hopper 1st January 2009 05:22

Cylinder base nut torque wrench tool
Torque up the base nuts using a torque wrench and a ground down crows foot. The base nuts take 30ft Lbs or 360 inch Lbs. With the crows foot, you torque to 335 inch Lbs to make up for the extra leverage.
Formula to work it out is here:

If you grind down the crows foot like this, it works quite well, and I have not had a cylinder base leak since.

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