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Sportster Motorcycle - Bottom End Cams, Cases, Gears, Flywheel, Piston Conecting Rods, Oil Pump, etc...

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  #1  
Old 2nd December 2019
andy2175m4 andy2175m4 is offline
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Default ironhead crank rebuilding

i have this knock in the old 79 ironhead, and after checking the top end completely, i am told that the side to side slop of the rods is probably the source of the noise (there is NO end play in the rods) if this is true then its time for a crank rebuild, has anyone on this forum done an ironhead crank rebuild ?

after looking at the crank reassembly video on youtube it looks to me like the bronze thrust washers on the inside of the flywheels are a major part of side to side slop in the rods, the rod big end bearings maybe not so much ? with no end play that tells me the rod end bearing is OK but the thrust washers may be worn down,

any general comments on crank rebuilding will be appreciated.

thanks
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  #2  
Old 2nd December 2019
needspeed needspeed is offline
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Default

When you say "there is no end play in the rods" I assume you mean there is no perceptual play up and down on the rod bearings? Also assuming the side slop is the movement side to side between the flywheels at the big end of the rods?

Is the knock rhythmic, as though it seems that you hear one with every revolution of the crank?

I hope some other engine builders will chime in but I think it's unlikely that just end play between the flywheels will cause a knock. Can you put a feeler gauge between the rod and the wheel to measure the amount of end play?

I think it's recommended that up and down play is checked with the crank rotated at more than one position.
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Old 2nd December 2019
kitabel kitabel is offline
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Default

Generous side clearance (female rod big end to thrust washers) is relatively harmless, IIRC S&S allows .030".
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Old 2nd December 2019
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bustert bustert is offline
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Default

rebuild is easy with the right tools.
one word of caution is that the wheels are like glass and can be cracked and i am talking hairline to the point of not seeing it which will lead to a major failure.
if the bearings are good, check the wrist pin bushings.
knocks are not knocks, what does it sound like?
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Old 3rd December 2019
andy2175m4 andy2175m4 is offline
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Default

I did check the rod and the side play is reasonable and the end play is virtually zero,
I don't think the rod or crank is bad, never did, but there is this persistent knock, you can hear it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF5QejhrKvI

I don't think it sound like a rod/crank noise, I never did, It sounds to me like a rattling push rod, but the rods are tight, at the end of the day I think a crank job would be a waste of time, since the rod feels so tight on the crank pin,
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Old 3rd December 2019
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had the top off right??
wrist pin fit
piston clearance
piston mic'd (distorted)
rocker bushing wear
receded valves (rocker strike on cover)
broken springs
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Old 3rd December 2019
andy2175m4 andy2175m4 is offline
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I have had the top end completely apart, down to the valve springs, and did not find any parts out of spec, but I did NOT check for rocker strike on the cover, that's a good Idea and I will check that, I had the pistons and jugs checked by a machine shop, all were in spec (I don't have a bore measuring tool)
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