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

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  #21  
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Right

And the metric cross-over x .03937 I think in inches but the customer is the customer
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I'm actually metric but convert before I post here as I figure most of you guys are still on the old system.

Far to many machine shops ignore ambient heat when measuring or working.
And the effect on the workers can be extremely detrimental to their output.
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i would like to see that one
bad mojo
there are two types of bearings
contact
non contact
non contact has a pressurized lube system and everything floats on a film
the contact type does exactly as it says. the distance between rollers is critical. it typically is in the .001>.0015 range but can be diff upon application. if you remove an element, the roller can run in a non linear path. this will cause roller jam and/or accelerated wear.
if you are in between sizes, logically it would behoove one to return to std or next over size. '
maybe on the very old harden steel rollers but today's rollers are more chromium and handling them is not an issue.
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been there done that
i wish i still had them but i gave them away, a whole set of main shaft, fork rod and center rod bearings, all standard and yep, handled them when i put them in a baby food jar. they were in there for no telling how long before i dumped them in zip lock bags and shipped. absolutely no rust, they were a little darker in color but other than that, pristine shape and i would have no issue putting them into my ch.
maybe to your defense, they were NOT hd units.
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I understand that if you use a powerful enough microscope to inspect a bearing surface that has been "handled" you will see some etching of the metal.
Is it enough to reduce the life of the bearing ? I dunno. I kinda doubt it.

Having said that I have watched Japanese Factory Race mechanics wearing white linen gloves while working on engines. That, I think is a bad idea. Surgical gloves would have been much better.

In 2018 I removed/installed the gearbox in the pits twice over the weekend.

Pristine working conditions ? Not really, I was kneeling in the dirt.

Did I touch those rollers without surgical gloves. Yes.

Mind you I wiped my hands carefully on my T-shirt before installation.

And know I have to wonder if the guys at HD wore surgical or linen gloves while installing rollers in all of those gearboxes over all those years.

My suspicion here is companies like Federal Mogul issue tech information on things like proper handling so they have an "out" when one of their bearings fail. Maybe not. Dunno.

But if handing rollers caused premature bearing failures we would be seeing a LOT more failures than we do.

I've seen engines assembled under conditions you would not believe. And engines not maintained for so long the oil turned to sludge. But they still ran. Maybe just luck. I dunno.

Last edited by Ferrous Head; 2 Days Ago at 21:21.. Reason: Typo fixed.
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I find it interesting that the service manuals go into detail on how to fit oversize rod rollers and and pre '77 oversize pinion shaft rollers but nothing about fitting mainshaft rollers.

Basically instructions say to drift out bearing race and press in a new one. Nothing about honing or lapping, but we know that it is often necessary.

And given that the size of the mainshaft is a constant (.991"), it's a mystery why they sell oversize rollers in .0004 and .0008 oversize when it is mathematically impossible to install them and meet the running spec of .0006-.0014 loose.
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Originally Posted by Ferrous Head View Post
Mind you I wiped my hands carefully on my T-shirt before installation.

I have found that a good pair of blue jeans is a good substitute if you don't have a T shirt. Or they can both be used together for when you need that extra degree of cleanliness.
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Normally, I would wipe them on my jeans but .... I was kneeling in the dirt.

By the time I finished working on the bike on the Saturday my mates were embarrassed to walk into the pub with me. I mean, like, they did but .... And they're Grots.

I can tell you re bull dust sticks to oily clothes like sh*t sticks to a blanket.
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Absolutely sure that cast iron rusts if I just look at it.

High carbon chromium, not so much.

What was mandatory with materials handling 80 years ago might not apply as much today.

But I do agree that an attitude that at least attempts to do the best possible practice is to be encouraged.

Back in 1969 Jack Carruuthers was working on my Ducati. In his workshop he had the RC161 Honda Kel had raced to so many victories. I watched him putting the engine together. To my surprise he used Araldite (epoxy glue) instead of gaskets.
He told me "It's an old racing bike. Honda can't or won't send me gaskets for it. And anyway, my engines don't leak oil"

I know for a fact Jack never wore gloves when working on engines.
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some where i read about an individual, maybe here, that bought a NEW bt and went immediately to surgical procedures to morph it into a fire breathing dragon and when he tore it down, found rust on the crank pin. so anything is possible.
reason why most industrial stuff has a cosmoline coating, especially so for offshore environments, we used to use a CRC spray on coating when storing parts.
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I use a spray on product called "Softseal" on freshly machined parts.

But I don't machine crank pins.

Have a look at the fork legs on your bikes.

They are exposed to the elements for years and while they will eventual;ly go rusty it's not a matter of "I touched them last week", now I have fingerprints on there.

Some materials withstand oxidation much better than others.

If he tore down a freshly built engine that had rust on the crank pin he was lucky, The crank pin was made of junk and going to fail before very long.
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