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

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case repair, trans reinforcement

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  #1  
Old 22nd July 2012
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DR DICK DR DICK is offline
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Default trans corner reinforcement 54-72

its common knowledge that 72< bikes may have had their trans corner of right crankcase damaged. then fixed by weldin every thing back together.

sometimes those repair jobs are good quality, sometimes maybe not so good.

this thread is about:
how to keep your orig undamaged cases safe. that is if your lucky enuff to have undamaged cases.
and
how to fix damaged cases correctly the 1st time.

the vibe i get here on the forum is that some members feel the case is so weak that it breaks from the power goin thru the trans.
i dont believe this is true.

years ago it was believed by some that the speedo drive adapter would shed its gear. then the broken off gear would get caught in the mesh of the power carrying gears, forcing shafts apart and busting cases at right countershaft bearing boss.
i dont share this view either.

what i think happpens is:
when power carrying tooth or dog or gear gets stressed enuff to break in the trans, it gets caught between the meshing teeth of the power carrying gears, forcing the shafts to seperate. this overloads the counter shaft boss.

the right side of countershaft drops from the broken boss. breaking off the speedo adapter gear. then the crooked counter shaft cracks the trans door.

with 2 pcs of shrapnel floatin around, the orig broken dog or tooth plus the now busted off speedo gear, you pull in the clutch and coast to the side of the road. with the rear chain still driving mainshaft rotation.

the mainshaft tries to keep the misaligned countershaft spinning. witch it does until the rear wheel stops turning. that delinquent countershaft continues to destroy everything it can sink its teeth into. most importantly your cases.

if this happened to you, you would get to thinkin;
"man id happliy buy every trans component brand new without a whimper if my cases had endured this failure. it be a a ton better than fixin my trans and my cases."

its impossible to completely remove the possibility of a broken power carrying component. the best you can do is the help you cases survive the above scenerio.

and that is a BIG deal when your standing on the side of the road.
lookin behind you.
at a 2" wide, 100 yard long trail of tears.
that mere seconds ago was your trans lube.

to that end i have reinforced many cases. most times they have endured the above scenerio. rarely they havent. depend on how severe the inital explosion was.

because these old bikes get stripped down for parts way more often than they get resurrected, preserving the good ones is important to me.
the fix described here will not allow trans driven speedo anymore.
so this is a reversible mod.
it can be undone to bring a bike back to oem specs.

a cross section view of the right ccase at the countershaft boss.

the 52-53 is the 1st itteration of the design.
each after that is noted as to the upgrade.

and this is the most common failures mechinisms.
not the only failures- the most common.

the red is the broken areas.
how long the countershaft continues to spin after this initial case failure determines how much worse the damage will become.

the 73-76 cases are almost immune to this failure. rare to see them welded up. they can survive all but the worst case scenerio.
the 77-79 cases were sligthly thinner. they break more often. but still are stronger than the 72< design.
then around 1980 you start seein cases busted badly again. they must be cast of lower quailty material.

when you hear of guys 'dehumping' 1000 cases for kick only models- what your really hearing is how to get the strongest foundation for your kick only.
its the strength 73-76 cases that makes all that work worth while.

the reinforcement rings.




before you assm the ring to the case you need to remove any mushrooming or raised burrs due to cshaft thrust washer kissin on the face of case boss.

on L66>-72 cases this fix can be considered done.

e66< cases are inherently weaker from the missing .125 fillet.
doing the above is a big help and is advised. but at times even with the ring will still fail as shown in the red pic.
optionally you can go to the next level- you weld the ring so the ring become part of the case. instead of part of the boss.

note that the welds are small enuff that they can be removed to restore the orig design.
some guys screw rings to case with screws thru the .250 thick wall behind the ring instead of welding.
ive never done that.
but have seen and worked on bikes setup like that.
they seem to work ok.
are there any hidden probs with the screws?
i dont know.

the shown welding can also be done on the L66-72. though its not really necessary unless your boss is hairline cracked.

when doing this mod keep press fit between the ring and unmolested boss od to .003 max. even a .0005 press is ok.

to achieve this fit the ring usually falls in the tolerance band indicated in the pics.

if your boss is slightly damaged shootin for the indicated ring bore size will get you back on the road.

there are many different ways cases have been damaged, and there are many possible ways to fix them. some better suited than others.

ill answer any questions.
or give feedback on your thoughts.
if you have existing damage posting pics of your probs will be required.
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  #2  
Old 22nd July 2012
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sweeeeet! thanks for this. now I'm gonna go back and read it

edit: guess I shoulda bought a '73-'76
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  #3  
Old 22nd July 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenyears of famine View Post
guess I shoulda bought a '73-'76
No, the early ones were cooler. They are more trouble but when you're done, they have more character. You'll be happy with it.
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Old 22nd July 2012
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Awesome job DD, awesome.
Have you ever seen an overly tight (i.d) reinforcement ring pinch needle bearing bore?
How did the 52-53 bearing/ shaft differ?
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Old 22nd July 2012
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Dang Dr. you just blew my mind. archived.
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  #6  
Old 22nd July 2012
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DR DICK,

as always, the time and effort you put into your post is the best, Mick needs to start a sticky with this type of stuff from you so it dont get lost.

i had planned replacing the gears in my 72 with andrews this winter to help prevent any damage to the cases, but it looks like i need to go a step farther.

thanks for your time, effort, detication here.
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Old 22nd July 2012
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Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us all dr dick its awesome as i for sure want to know as much as i can about these old bikes .And how to do as many repairs myself or at least have the correct info to tell machine shop .
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Old 22nd July 2012
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Great thread Dr D , this could easily be overlooked .

My 72 was cracked at the boss , Patrick (french Owl - HDRCGB) put me straight with what was the procedure for a repair .
Now run a cycle speedo in place of the original , jobs a good un
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Old 22nd July 2012
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Thanks, DR DICK,

As usual, you've covered it fully...

As I never have any suitable bits of alloy to machine, I have done a set of cases with a thin metal ring made from the outer race for the mainshaft 23rollers. It's ID is slightly bigger than the boss, seem to remember using a 5 thou shim to close the gap and optain a press fit, plus stud loctite to lock it in situ.

Other cases I've used alloy rings, with a slight vertical cut on the face to ensure the Torrington will receive enough oil...



chevelle, the 52/53 K had a bigger diameter countershaft, hence the bigger bore inside the boss together with bigger Torrington needle bearing.

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Old 22nd July 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenyears of famine View Post
sweeeeet! thanks for this. now I'm gonna go back and read it

edit: guess I shoulda bought a '73-'76
7 step into the time machine with me.
1967.
you had this this 60ch for a few years.
its allways ran quick.
so quick you become known as the man to beat locally.

on fri nite a stranger walks into to the gin mill- 'im lookin for seven years.'
you walk up to him. he shakes your hand.
smiling he says 'i hear you got a bike that hasnt been beat.'
full of pride and suds you nod your head. and ask his name.
'you can call me flash. and im here to end your streak and to keep mine alive.'

the suds jump into action- without givin it a second thought- your flappin gums set up a grudge. that you plan to put to rest in 15 min when you beat this clown too. besides you could really use some extra cash.

down at the marked off strech of road you guys line up. you in left lane him to the right. right then you notice there is sumtin between his cyl bases and crankcases. you think what the hell is that all about?

no time to think. little cute katie is waving the flag.

he walks you. bad. like you were on your old schwinn.
you never seen anything like it.
neither did any one else who was watchin.
---
couple of days later you walk into the bike shop.
'how ya doin'.
'ok i guess'. you answer.
'heard you decided to but heads with flash'.
'yeah. that guys bike is a rocket. unbelievable.'
'well what ya expect. goin up against a stroker.'
'a what-----?'
----
1968
you decided to change mr flash's handle. to flash indapan.
it takes every cent you can scrape. and every favor you can call in.
now YOU got
a stroker wheel assm sittin on your bench.
and some minus minus cams.
and an s&s gas carb.
and the crown jewels of your build- dytch big bore jugs.
your soul is in that 60 now.
as well as your last two mortgage payments.
--------
2012
is the above fiction?
none of us can say.
i can say something thats possible.
i heard and saw this exact thing over and over again when i rode my schwinn to the chopper shop and hung around like a fly.

you got a 60's hotrod. the real deal.
id wouldnt take five 73-76's for it.

i guess others feel like that too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by barefoot View Post
No, the early ones were cooler. They are more trouble but when you're done, they have more character. You'll be happy with it.
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