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arkyboy
30th December 2009, 15:03
I'm going to tear my 1970 XLH down this winter for paint and rechroming. My cam cover has had one of the distributor hold down bolt holes drilled out waaaaaay oversize by a PO. I have a spare cover in good shape, the cam bushings are used but look almost like new. My question is, could I use the spare cover without having to line ream the bushings or would it be better to have the oversize hole in my original cover welded up and redrilled to the correct size? Both covers are in about the same condition otherwise and will need to be rechromed, so the issue is only with the distributor hold down bolt hole. Thanks.
arkyboy

meanmechanic
30th December 2009, 15:48
As there are bushings in the spare and they aren't worn I'd use it. I would check it for clearances first though.

piniongear
30th December 2009, 16:00
I'm going to tear my 1970 XLH down this winter for paint and rechroming. My cam cover has had one of the distributor hold down bolt holes drilled out waaaaaay oversize by a PO. I have a spare cover in good shape, the cam bushings are used but look almost like new. My question is, could I use the spare cover without having to line ream the bushings or would it be better to have the oversize hole in my original cover welded up and redrilled to the correct size? Both covers are in about the same condition otherwise and will need to be rechromed, so the issue is only with the distributor hold down bolt hole. Thanks.
arkyboy
If it were me my first choice would be to weld up and re-tap the hole.
A Tig weld will quickly fill it and drilling out and tapping is a simple matter.
Using another timing cover just because you have a 10-24 hole stripped does not make sense to me. You have 6 holes in that cover that need to line up with the crankcase holes and the chances that is going to happen is almost zero.
Just my 2 though.
pg

SCRACAR29
30th December 2009, 16:07
Correct thread is 12-24. May think about Helicoil after weld-up.

Ivan RoachCoach
30th December 2009, 16:18
...own experience, with friends who've bought spare cam covers to cut down instead of using their stockers, is that 9 times out of 10 the damm things won't fit right and will leak.

So, get that hole welded up and re-tapped or heli-coil it.
Life's too short to overcomplicate it.

Rogerwilko
30th December 2009, 20:33
If helicoilng wont work you could have a steel threaded insert made.

Jafa39
30th December 2009, 20:45
....

So, get that hole welded up and re-tapped or heli-coil it.
Life's too short to overcomplicate it.

+1 on that

arkyboy
30th December 2009, 20:53
I don't think I can use a helicoil, the hole has been enlarged to about 3/8" and it opened up into the hole for the distributor. Don't know what the OP's reasoning for enlargening the hole that much was, but it looks like a weld up & redrill is in order before I send it out to the plater. Thanks guys.
arkyboy

the cowboy way
30th December 2009, 21:21
dont plate:smoke

meanmechanic
30th December 2009, 21:23
I looked through the thread again and if you're going to chrome-plate the cover, you'll have to rebush the cover anyway. take the spare, get it replated, rebushed, and save the money on welding, drilling and retapping.

Moon Wolf
30th December 2009, 22:23
They can chrome them without messing up the bearings--do it all the time. Of course, I think chroming is a horrible idea.

Find someone to weld the hole solid then redrill and tap it. It's a ten minute weld job (find the right guy). Maybe Pinion will do it for you with his torch. :clap You can't just put in new bushings anyway--they need to be line bored with the cases. I've seen guys get away with swapping cam covers, but even with identical castings, it's a hit or miss proposition.

meanmechanic
30th December 2009, 22:54
My indie rebushes cam covers w\crankcases he keeps around just for that. I wouldn't plate installed bushings but that's me.

Moon Wolf
30th December 2009, 23:17
My indie rebushes cam covers w\crankcases he keeps around just for that. I wouldn't plate installed bushings but that's me.

I'm not sure that line boring to another set of cases is the best procedure. After all, the purpose of line boring is to match the bushings to your cases.

There's no problem with chroming the covers if the chromer knows what he's doing. Again, I would never chrome a cam cover, but that's just me.

arkyboy
30th December 2009, 23:32
My cam cover, primary cover and rocker boxes were chromed from the factory. I like the looks of both chrome and polished. May have to study on the finish for a while. :wonderlan
arkyboy

fdny37
30th December 2009, 23:34
You are mistaken my friend Ironhead Sportsters were never chromed from the factory. You bought it like that from the previous owner.

arkyboy
30th December 2009, 23:37
You are mistaken my friend Ironhead Sportsters were never chromed from the factory. You bought it like that from the previous owner.
I guess that was an assumption on my part. The chrome on this one is very old, thought it was from the factory. :doh
arkyboy

IronMick
31st December 2009, 03:16
1979 to 1985 factory service manual, page 3-41: "If the crankcase is not disassembled use another right side crankcase half".

arkyboy
31st December 2009, 04:08
1979 to 1985 factory service manual, page 3-41: "If the crankcase is not disassembled use another right side crankcase half".
Wouldn't that be basically what was done to the spare cam cover I have? It has been run on another engine. Just thinking out loud here.
arkyboy

Moon Wolf
31st December 2009, 05:58
Wouldn't that be basically what was done to the spare cam cover I have? It has been run on another engine. Just thinking out loud here.
arkyboy

No, not really. The wear would be different.

Moon Wolf
31st December 2009, 06:02
1979 to 1985 factory service manual, page 3-41: "If the crankcase is not disassembled use another right side crankcase half".


Interesting. I just re-read the section in my 59-69 manual and I don't see that.

IronMick
31st December 2009, 11:16
1979 to 1985 factory service manual, page 3-41: "If the crankcase is not disassembled use another right side crankcase half".

Interesting. I just re-read the section in my 59-69 manual and I don't see that.

I do not see it in my 1970 to 1978 manual either.

As i said in an earlier thread that is what the local guys here did in the past. When i needed to replace a bushing in my previous bike the indie said he no longer had his extra case that they used to use for line reaming. Until recently he had a 1957 IronHead used for years for drag racing.

arkyboy
31st December 2009, 12:09
...if I decide to polish my covers instead of rechroming them, what would be the best way to remove the chrome that's already on them? Sand/bead blast, or should they go to a plater to have the old chrome removed? I have a sand blaster but have never tried to remove chrome plating with it. I could do the polishing myself.
arkyboy

Gone
31st December 2009, 15:35
a blaster will remove the chrome, and gives a cool spark show too.

shupe
31st December 2009, 18:49
...if I decide to polish my covers instead of rechroming them, what would be the best way to remove the chrome that's already on them? Sand/bead blast, or should they go to a plater to have the old chrome removed? I have a sand blaster but have never tried to remove chrome plating with it. I could do the polishing myself.
arkyboy

If you plan to polish, I'd say having a plating shop remove the old chrome.
I've had that done, and it cost almost as much as chroming, but it's the
best way. Not to say you can't get satisfactory results with other methods.

meanmechanic
31st December 2009, 20:15
I hand stripped my cam cover. It takes time,your hands cramp, and when you think you got all the chrome off-you don't. Having a plater remove it is the best way but$$$$$. After I did mine I swore I'd get a used unplated cam cover first if I ever had to do it again. I wound up painting it.
http://i817.photobucket.com/albums/zz95/meanmechanic/bikes/IMG_0228.jpg

arkyboy
31st December 2009, 22:03
Sounds like there are a lot more options than I first thought. I've been toying with the idea of bead blasting them, then clear coating them to make clean up's easier. I'm going to do that with my tripple trees and see how it comes out. Back in the 70's we used to clear coat over black or gray primer to get some nice effects on our rat rods too.
arkyboy

66xlch
31st December 2009, 22:37
I just sand/blast stripped a cam cover and a kicker cover. The cam cover was plated in the seventies, and the kicker cover in the nineties. The nineties chrome came right off, but the seventies chrome was a B*&^H!!!! If you want to preserve the original shape of your parts, have a pro strip them !

arkyboy
31st December 2009, 23:48
The company I contacted to do the plating is a restoration company. They said they would strip the parts, repair any damage and either polish or replate them. I didn't get a price on the polish only, but I think it might be slightly cheaper since they have to polish the parts prior to replating anyway.

Hem1tp
1st January 2010, 22:40
if you are looking for thread repair a thousand times better than heli-coil, look into timeserts; they are more expensive but last longer, have a positive stop and actual steel insert/threads (not a spring). just my .02 good luck w/ your project; I use a chemical stripper for my powdercoating and chrome stuff; pretty strong stuff think its from belray or something; big green jug anyways goodluck..T

arkyboy
2nd January 2010, 00:14
I sent an e-mail for an estimate to strip & polish my parts to the plater I was thinking about using. I think I'll wait till I hear back from them before I decide what I'm going to do. The bolt hole shouldn't be a high stress area so it will likely get welded up and redrilled. This project will be a "tax refund" project, so I have a little time yet before I get started. Just trying to cover all the bases before I start ripping into it. Thanks everyone!
arkyboy

Gone
2nd January 2010, 00:45
Sounds like there are a lot more options than I first thought. I've been toying with the idea of bead blasting them, then clear coating them to make clean up's easier. I'm going to do that with my tripple trees and see how it comes out. Back in the 70's we used to clear coat over black or gray primer to get some nice effects on our rat rods too.
arkyboy

i did this to my upper triple tree, bead blasted and clear coated. looks real cool.

arkyboy
2nd January 2010, 02:59
Just got the estimate back from the plater. $300.-$350. + shipping to strip, repair and polish the primary, cam cover and both rocker boxes. I think I'm going to let him do it and save myself some work. ;)
arkyboy

cedestech
2nd January 2010, 03:15
if you are looking for thread repair a thousand times better than heli-coil, look into timeserts; they are more expensive but last longer, have a positive stop and actual steel insert/threads (not a spring).


What he said... Timeserts are all I will use in anything. If you are doing just one find a machine shop that uses them. A kit will cost you $100+ for just one size.

arkyboy
2nd January 2010, 03:24
The only problem with an insert or helicoil in this case is that the hole extends into the distributor hole. I would have to trim off some of the insert so that the distributor would go back in. I guess that could be done though.
arkyboy

BuckIRyder
2nd January 2010, 13:23
That does not seem like too bad a price these days. A good polish job takes some work and is really messy job. Once you get the stuff polished blue Wenol works great to keep things shiny. I had my covers polished many years ago and they still look good with a couple of applications of Wenol each year.

chevelle
2nd January 2010, 15:58
Are you reusing the cams or getting a new set? If the cams fit well with good backlash in the original cover I would repair it and stick with that. If you swap coversor get new cams you should verify cam gears have correct backlash.

arkyboy
2nd January 2010, 17:34
I'm going to use the cams that are in it now. Mostly just doing cosmetic work to it, the chrome is old and peeling in places and generally just in shabby cond.
arkyboy

66xlch
2nd January 2010, 18:18
Just got the estimate back from the plater. $300.-$350. + shipping to strip, repair and polish the primary, cam cover and both rocker boxes. I think I'm going to let him do it and save myself some work. ;)
arkyboy

If you did it your self, it wouldn't come out as good, and you'll feel like you'd have paid $1000.00 to avoid the frustration. Trust me I have done it!

66xlch
2nd January 2010, 18:20
However, at that price, you could probably buy some better ones from the 'bay, AND the polishing equiptment to polish an easy set, and still have some bucks for beer or crack or whatever you like to use. Just sayin...

1976 XL
2nd January 2010, 18:27
However, at that price, you could probably buy some better ones from the 'bay, AND the polishing equiptment to polish an easy set, and still have some bucks for beer or crack or whatever you like to use. Just sayin...:laugh From what I hear if he's on "crack", he would probably sell the bike and buy some more crack.:laugh A crack-head and his Harley are soon parted. Just my .02
:tour

arkyboy
3rd January 2010, 06:11
Lol! Beer is still cheap enough that I don't think there's much danger of the bike going up for sale anytime soon. :laugh Already bought a replacement primary cover on Ebay, but since the rest of my parts need to be stripped of old chrome, I think I'll let the pro do the polishing too. I didn't ask them what they would charge just to strip them, but I doubt there would be a lot of difference in the price...usually seems to work out that way. :rolleyes:
arkyboy

biged
3rd January 2010, 06:50
Please note that this is only a personal experience that dates back 30 years on a 68 ch of mine I had found a chromed cover identical to mine and changed it out only to put the original back in no time as the alignment was so bad the bushings ate themselves up turning my oil a beautiful gold color. my vote is to have the orig. repaired and that is only! my opinion as I am brand new to this group I do not wish to step on any toes but only to relate my exper. as it comes up.
after all we do ride a very special beast.
Ed

arkyboy
3rd January 2010, 15:42
I'm learning just how "special" the ironheads are. But, that's one of the nice thing's about forums like this, they are a collection of personal experiences. That is a huge benefit for those of us wanting to keep these older bikes running. I'm not going to take a chance on the replacement cam cover working, it will go to someone that is willing to have it line bored for their project. I am going to replace my primary cover since my the one on my bike now has some internal damage...unless someone on here informs me that there will be a problem as with the cam cover. Btw, I saw your post of the bike you resurrected, great job...that is one nice Sporty! :clap
arkyboy