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  #1  
Old 11th December 2018
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Default XR heads on XL?

I apologize if there is a thread for this. I searched and couldn't find anything.

Let's just cut to the chase. Will an XR1200 head bolt to an XL1200 jug?

If so, will it work with both Rubber and solid mount XL1200s? My project bike is a 2002 1200S.

If not, if the XR1200 heads only work with XR1200 jugs, will the XR1200 jugs go into the XL1200 engine case?

I understand there is a whole system behind feeding to and returning the oil from them. I'm just focused on the physical installation of the heads for now.

Don't fire up your brain wondering why I want to try this. There's no grandiose earth-shaking reason. I'm just a silly "why not" sort of dude and I like to experiment. This is just one of the things I'm interested in.

Thanks for any experience you can drop on me and I hope I can at least entertain with my insanity in the coming year.
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  #2  
Old 11th December 2018
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Yes and yes
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Old 11th December 2018
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Encouraging.
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Old 11th December 2018
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Haha You only asked if it would bolt up, which I believe it would..... making it work is a different story
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Old 11th December 2018
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I like the Sportster cam cover on the XR. Reminds me of the Sportster Primary cover on real early Ironheads.
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Old 11th December 2018
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There's nothing unique about the XR1200 cylinders, as compared to the XL1200 cylinders. We sell the exact same cylinders into both applications. Only the heads are unique between the two models, and really the only difference is the oil cooling.

So yeah, an XR1200 head will bolt up to the cylinder just fine. But there are some other issues to deal with when putting late model heads onto a 91-03 model:
  • You'll need a new front motor mount, the one that connects the front head to the steering neck area. The right side bolt hole on the head (pushrod side) is moved inboard 1/4" on all 2004+ heads. The adapter mount is readily available and not expensive.
  • You'll need a couple of intake flanges. You'll notice that all 2007+ heads have a wider bolt pattern for the intake flanges. The 2007+ setup is better, in my opinion. Much easier to get to the bolts. The flanges are available from HD and not expensive.
  • You'll probably want a wider intake manifold. All the 2007+ heads (EFI) have their manifold mating surfaces milled down about 1/16" as compared with carb type heads. So when you go to put the carb type intake manifold on, you'll find it needs to be about 1/8" wider. If you don't get a wider manifold, there's a good chance you'll have issues with the seals being sucked into the intake ports on decel. Wider manifolds are readily available.
  • All 2004+ XL1200 and XR1200 heads are .020" shorter than the 91-03 heads. By itself, this is probably not enough to put you outside the lifter self-adjustment range. But if you also use thin .030" gaskets (what most guys do, to tighten up squish clearance), there's a good chance you'll need shorter pushrods.
  • Your cylinder fins aren't going to properly match your head fins, unless you also upgrade your cylinders to the 2004+ big fin style.

And then of course there's the oil cooling passages, which you obviously know about. What effect it would have to leave those open, not running oil through them, is an unknown to me. I can tell you the passage encircles the exhaust seat. I'd be inclined to try to figure out how to run oil through them myself, rather than leave them empty.
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Default

Oh, a few other things to be aware of ...

The XR1200 head gasket is unique. Be sure to use head gaskets made for the XR heads.

The rocker boxes on the XR1200 are totally different. However, your stock 2002 rocker boxes will bolt up just fine.

I personally would not try to dual plug the XR1200 heads, I'd be too worried about hitting the oil passage. So I'd be converting the 1200S to single plug.
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Good stuff. I was actually watching the Hammer video on the various heads as I read this great wealth of information. Thank you!
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  #9  
Old 12th December 2018
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Hi

Here's my thread about those heads on my Buell XB 12XT.
http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1994805
Aaron told you most things to know about how to put them on XL 2002.
If you gonna try to connect them to the oiling system I can give you some tips.
Because I did not update my thread (damn photobucket was one of the reasons...) there's no info about what I went thru when tried it on my Buell.
But from my experience, what I can tell you is that it is worth the effort and I belive it will be less trouble to do it on XL than on Buell. After many failures I can finally say that my oil cooled Buell 1250 is working lot cooler and is reliable.
Oh, one more thing, I would use return section of oil pump to feed them via oil cooler and upgrade yours to XL 07+ model if you did not do it yet. I have late model Buell with huge oil pump and I did not notice any wet sumping so far but I'm not sure how it's gonna be on XL oil pump. Keep us updated.
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  #10  
Old 12th December 2018
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Thanks everyone!

If I do the swap it will be way down the road. I pick up the bike next month at the earliest and I plan on shaking it down, fixing broken stuff and just riding and enjoying it. The previous owner already did a few things along the lines of what I'm wanting to do and it's going to be a lot of getting to know the bike and seeing what it will and won't do, if it's possible to improve it and how to do that.
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