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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #11  
Old 3rd June 2020
mickey t's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Staffords View Post
They are serviceable. I would still like to replace them though. Its an eyesore. Top end job is easy enough to do.
Build it up by Welding it...every 4th pass you shape it...

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  #12  
Old 4th June 2020
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I actually prefer the D.S. pistons to OEM for the simple reason that piston metallurgy is constantly improving as time marches on and the "newest" NOS 900 pistons would have been made in the early 70's at the latest.
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  #13  
Old 5th June 2020
Staffords Staffords is offline
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I am not too concerned with salvaging the cylinders that are currently on it. I'm not sure if they are original or not, but I have a set of OEM NOS cylinders on their way to me that i found for cheap. The take offs will go on a shelf to possibly be repaired someday.

I will weigh the the stock pistons (assuming thats what I find when I pull it apart) against the TRW forged pistons to see how much the difference is. How much of a difference in weight is acceptable before rebalancing the lower end becomes necessary?

Someone has suggested to me that these old motors were probably not 100% perfectly balanced when they left the factory anyway and that it should be fine.
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Old 6th June 2020
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There are a lot of things you can do to the fins to make them presentable. Out on the West Coast it was in vogue to trim them to some shape, make them square, remove some fins etc. If they are going to be junk, why not. I used a set off a hot bike from the Fremont area, had matching heads with XLR valves. I would be reluctant to weld the problem away.
Forged pistons may be a bit noisy when cold as in "Rattle, Rattle" We all used Hastings cast iron rings, they seated in better and were just an all round great part.
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  #15  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
Staffords Staffords is offline
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Update:

Stock STD bore cast pistons and wrist pin weigh 444 grams each.

TRW. 030 over forged pistons and wrist pin weigh 480 grams each.

Is the 35 grams difference enough to worry about needing to rebalance?
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  #16  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
needspeed needspeed is offline
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I can't give a definitive answer because honestly I don't know, and you'll probably get several different answers depending on who you talk to.

You have to consider whether the balance with the stock pistons is right to begin with. You'll hear that balancing a harley is a compromise, because it is. It will never be smooth in all RPM ranges. You could probably put them in as is and not have a problem (maybe).

Sorry about the non answer, but here's a link to a thread about the same issue.

http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=2075045
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  #17  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
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are the TRW's such a spectacular deal that you can't refuse?the cast pistons from D.S. offer no issues to deal with.
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  #18  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
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That's a good point Brucstoudt. If this a just a normal top end overhaul on a street bike there's no need for forged pistons. And the cast are actually pretty inexpensive. Certainly cheaper than balancing or lightening the forged ones.

Also a consternation eliminator.
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  #19  
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Does anyone gave a link for the ds pistons?


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  #20  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucstoudt View Post
are the TRW's such a spectacular deal that you can't refuse?the cast pistons from D.S. offer no issues to deal with.
The TRW pistons were only $35. I bought them because they are out of production and it doesn't seem like there are many options for 900 pistons. Figured I'd buy them while theyre still available. Even if i don't put them in this motor right now, for $35 I felt like it was worth having them on the shelf to maybe use in the future.

I also bought a pair of original NOS STD Harley cast pistons that I found on ebay. They don't look nearly as nice but they are serviceable. I will just use those if I decide not to use the TRW.

I'm not planning on building a hopped up hot rod. Just building a solid XLCH that runs well.
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