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Sportster Motorcycle Motor - Top End Discuss Sportster Motorcycle Top End issues. Rockerboxes, Valves, Cylinders, Pistons, Rings, Lift Rods, etc...

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  #21  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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From the pictures - I see where the plug backed out from vibration, and the last few threads are worn down from that vibration. I think new plugs and a thread chaser is all you will need. Put some grease on the thread chaser and getter done. Work careful, but don't be afraid to clean those threads and go for it. A couple of fine metal particles (aluminum) won't kill the engine.

Always put some 30 wt oil on the plug threads when in an aluminum head to prevent seizing. I don't ever use anti seize because it can short out the plug if it gets on the porcelain, and also because VW always recommended it way back in the 60's when I worked for them, and I like to use what has worked all my life.

Don't over tighten plugs, but make sure they are tight enough. That means screw them in until you get good contact, then no more than 1/4 turn to compress the sealing washer. That's it.
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  #22  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Maybe it won't back out agin'. Something just looks off in the bottom threads. Could just be me.

I would chase the threads, as Wedge mentioned, with a plug repair tool with grease on it. Go in about 3/4 turn, back it out, clean it, grease it and repeat until your at the end of the hole. This doesn't re-tap the hole but just cleans up and reforms the threads.

You should be able to run a plug all the way to snug by hand. If that is the case already, chasing the threads probably won't help though.
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To get out the filing: remove front or rear exhaust, turn the engine so the valve is open while the intake is close. Send compressed air while threading. All the filling will fly out. Wear a shield or safety goggles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippysmack View Post
Maybe it won't back out agin'. Something just looks off in the bottom threads. Could just be me.
The top diameter is larger. You can see where the metal was beaten out by the lip where the threads start. Looks like the plug was banging around radially for a long time before it let loose.

I'd try a new plug and plan on a head removal insert repair or just replacement.
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Update, I bought a thread chaser at the auto parts store that has 14mm and 18mm. Thought I was good but it didn't fit, must be 12 but that's all they had. A new plug goes in wobbly until the last bit. It straightens up near the end and I'm able to get a pretty good torque on it. Took it out and tried again, same, I think it has enough grab. Started and rode around the block, seems OK. I'll probably just try to ride as normal, being extremely careful with plug changes - the alternative is not pleasant. What do y'all think?
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  #26  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robo524 View Post
Update, I bought a thread chaser at the auto parts store that has 14mm and 18mm. Thought I was good but it didn't fit, must be 12 but that's all they had. A new plug goes in wobbly until the last bit. It straightens up near the end and I'm able to get a pretty good torque on it. Took it out and tried again, same, I think it has enough grab. Started and rode around the block, seems OK. I'll probably just try to ride as normal, being extremely careful with plug changes - the alternative is not pleasant. What do y'all think?
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  #27  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
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I'd check for a leak while the engine is running.
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  #28  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robo524 View Post
Update, I bought a thread chaser at the auto parts store that has 14mm and 18mm. Thought I was good but it didn't fit, must be 12 but that's all they had. A new plug goes in wobbly until the last bit. It straightens up near the end and I'm able to get a pretty good torque on it. Took it out and tried again, same, I think it has enough grab. Started and rode around the block, seems OK. I'll probably just try to ride as normal, being extremely careful with plug changes - the alternative is not pleasant. What do y'all think?
Remember that they don't need to be super tight. Just finger tight until it stops and then less than 1/4 turn. Also, don't forget to oil the threads. I would ride it and just keep an eye on it. Obviously you don't need a chaser at this point.


Maybe look around now and then and see what else may be loose on the bike. Harleys do vibrate apart really well.
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