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View Full Version : Ironhead cam cover off, what else to check while its open?


1982ironhead
13th October 2009, 18:57
checked the end play before i took the cover off
#1-.015
#2-.015
#3-.015
#4-.005

all have shims, paper thin shims! i measured from behinde the dog bone looking thing and between the cam and dogbone, about the same endplay measurements but much more consistent from behind the dogbone

im also wandering where the stamping that would be either a p or q is, on the backside of the cams? i dont see a #1-4 either. all the timing marks line up,cant see for sure on #1 & #3 though since # 2 & #4 cover them up

1982ironhead
13th October 2009, 18:58
also, 1 and 3 have a green paint mark, 2 has a white paint mark and 4 has a blue paint mark, what are the colors for, didnt see this in the book....

BuckIRyder
13th October 2009, 19:12
Shims are commonly .005" and .007" thick. #4 clearance is too tight. .015" to .020" seems to work for me, no chewed up shims, no excessive noise. Believe '82 had Q cams stock, not sure how they are marked.

1982ironhead
13th October 2009, 19:14
which side are they normally marked on?

BuckIRyder
13th October 2009, 19:46
The side facing away from the engine is what I've seen marked on older Harley "P", Sifton Hustlers, and Andrews "PB" cams, visible after you remove the cover and any shims on that end of the cam.

Ivan RoachCoach
13th October 2009, 19:49
...Besides looking good, your oil pump will appreciate the extra air.

1982ironhead
13th October 2009, 22:09
yup they are Q cams, arnt these about the weakest/smallest cams Harley ever put in the 1000cc XLH's?

1982ironhead
13th October 2009, 22:13
Shims are commonly .005" and .007" thick. #4 clearance is too tight. .015" to .020" seems to work for me, no chewed up shims, no excessive noise. Believe '82 had Q cams stock, not sure how they are marked.

if this is true, then why does my manual instruct to shim to .001-.005?

Jason's Sporty
13th October 2009, 22:17
Check the breather valve in the cam cover. Its cheap insurance against puking oil all over the place.

1982ironhead
13th October 2009, 22:30
Check the breather valve in the cam cover. Its cheap insurance against puking oil all over the place it Is in pretty great shape thanks though.

runingmouse
14th October 2009, 00:48
Check out service bulletin 860 remove those shims.

http://cid-25b87b745dc81b31.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/.Public/SrvcBullM860.pdf

1982ironhead
14th October 2009, 00:54
Iron Head Sportster & XR Cam Timing Specifications
Grind Timing(*) Dur(.053) Dur.020) Max Valve Lift Springs(1) TDC Lift(2)
Stock Q 10/32 222 262 .400 .440 .114
(1976-1985) 35/07 222 262 .380 .440 .114
Stock P (note 3) 34/40 254 294 .400 .440 .200
PB+ (4/1 kit) 43/31 254 298 .410 .440 .192
PB+ 34/40 254 298 .410 .445 .208
43/31 254 298 .410 .445 .208
Y 35/47 262 310 .425 .450 .206
53/29 262 310 .425 .450 .182
R5 33/41 254 306 .445 .470 .209
43/31 254 306 .445 .470 .200
X 35/55 270 314 .450 .470 .210
57/33 270 314 .450 .470 .206
V9 32/52 264 311 .490 .520 .207
52/32 264 311 .490 .520 .207
AX 29/57 266 310 .550 .580 .197
57/29 266 310 .550 .580 .197


pretty big difference lol


umm for some reason this didnt reformat really well so here is the link againhttp://www.andrewsproducts.com/PDF_files/Cams_IronXL.pdf

GA_Ironhead
14th October 2009, 04:20
if this is true, then why does my manual instruct to shim to .001-.005?

Like BuckIRyder said, that's way too tight.

The 79 - 82 FSM on page 3-40, specs the endplay at 0.003 - 0.025", except the rear intake which should be 0.004 - 0.010". That is, unless you're like me and remove the shims, per the service bulletin referenced above.

What manual are you reading from?

BuckIRyder
14th October 2009, 18:58
Search the forum on the topic of cam shimming and you'll find wide agreement that the clearance in the manual is inadequate. A fair number of guys don't use any shims with no problems encountered.

1982ironhead
14th October 2009, 19:06
dads old clymer, 1957-1981

BuckIRyder
14th October 2009, 20:44
Most would agree that anything less than .010" is asking for the shims to get chewed up. Even HD in the bulletin recognized the manual value was no good. Oh well, live and learn.

GA_Ironhead
14th October 2009, 21:30
End-play specs got looser over the years. The '57 - '69 manual is tighter than those I listed above. By '82 the service bulletin appeared removing the shimming requirement with no upper limit on end-play.

1982ironhead
14th October 2009, 22:23
ok well when i put in the new cams ill leave out the shims.

1982ironhead
15th October 2009, 04:22
hey, do you ever have to worry about the timing marks ever somehow catching on the bushings and spinning them? the cam timing marks just look kind of big and deep on my Q's