I posted this before, but some folks here may not have seen it:
04-06 Sportster XL1200 Cam Install
Read the Service Manual prior to performing any work!
This installation was not done on an 883 engine, however, the procedures may be the same. Gasket part numbers may be different. Cam ID numbers are different as per the Service Manual.
Parts and Supplies List:
Gasket, Cam Gearcase Cover
Gasket, Upper Rocker Cover
Gasket, Lower Rocker Box (Metal)
Gasket, Center Rocker Box
Anti-seize compound, blue Loctite, 3 cans of spray brake cleaner, paper towels and shop rags
Removing Seat, Fuel Tank, Air Cleaner, Spark Plugs and Coil:
Remove the single screw at the back of the seat. Push the seat forward and then up to detach it from the slots underneath the seat.
It would be wise to remove the fuel tank when it is almost empty of fuel. Turn the fuel petcock valve off. Remove the fuel line attaching to the petcock. Remove the small vacuum line that also attaches to the petcock. Remove the fuel vapor line that attaches under the tank on the right side. Remove the front and rear tank attachment bolts. The tank will then pull out from the top.
Remove the air cleaner, to include the air cleaner backing plate. This backing plate will be attached to both heads by a large bolts.
Remove the spark pugs. (You will later be rotating the engine)
Remove the coil. It is held in place by 2 hex head screws. This will make more room in order to remove the front upper rocker cover.
Removing Upper Rocker Cover, Lower Rocker Box and Pushrods:
Mark all valve train components as they are removed so they will be re-installed in there original locations. We will be removing one rocker cover / box assembly at a time.
Remove the 4 small Allen head screws that attach the upper rocker cover.. Remove the upper rocker cover.
Remove all the small bolts except for the 4 larger black colored rocker arm bolts that attach the lower rocker box to the head. The smaller bolts will include 3 small standard type bolts and 2 small Allen head screws per cylinder. After these 3 bolts and 2 screws are removed, first loosen the 4 larger black colored rocker arm bolts by turning them all in 1/2 turn increments using a criss-cross pattern (this relieves the valve spring pressure evenly). Once loose, remove the rocker arm bolts.
Once these 4 black bolts are removed, the lower rocker cover can be removed. Remove and discard the small rectangle rocker box center gasket.
The rocker arms will not be removed from the lower rocker cover assembly.
Remove the metal lower rocker box gasket from the top of the head and discard it.
Remove the pushrods from the pushrod tubes. Mark these so they will be later replaced in the same location.
The intake pushrods have an orange colored painted band. The exhaust pushrods have a purple band. They are of different length. If yours are not painted ... the intake rods are the shorter rods.
Remove the plastic crankcase breather from the already removed lower rocker cover. It’s attached with 1 torx head screw. Once the breather is removed, the rubber upper rocker cover gasket can be removed and discarded. Mark the breather, as it needs to be installed on it’s original rocker cover. (The breathers are not interchangable between lower rocker covers).
Repeat the previous steps for the other cylinder.
Clean all parts with brake cleaner.
Removing the Cam Gear Case Cover:
The cam gear case has 11 Allen screws of various lengths. They will need to be replaced back in the same holes from which they were removed. So, there proper location will need to be marked upon removal. Suggest you make a drawing of the cam gear case on a piece of cardboard, and then stick them into the carboard in the proper orientation.
Place a flat drip pan under the cam gear case. It will leak oil when removed.
Remove the Allen screws holding the gear case on and place these Allen screws on your piece of cardboard.
Pull the case out slightly so that it unattaches itself from it’s gasket and the engine case. You will note that it will not come completely off because the foot peg / foot brake pedal attachment support (it’s painted black) will interfere with the case. Loosen the 2 large Allen head bolts that attach this support. You do not need to completely remove these bolts. Loosening will allow the support to move outward far enough so the cam gear case can then be removed.
The case’s bushing alignment with the camshafts has a VERY close tolerance. That means that the case will need to come straight out. There will be no side-to-side or up-down play in the case. Once the case’s bushings are clear of the bushings on each cam, the case can be slightly rotated out of position.
You will need to remove a rubber oil vent line that attaches to the rear area of the case before the case can be completely removed (see picture below). Since the clamp holding this oil line cannot be reused, you will need to purchase a new hose clamp when the case is re-installed.
Remove and discard the gasket. Clean the case with brake cleaner.
Removing the Cams:
Place the transmission in 5th gear.
Rotate the engine by turning the rear wheel so that all cams are lined up exactly as shown in the diagram below.
This is done best if the bike is placed on a lift in order to get the back wheel off the ground so it can be rotated by hand.
Once all cams are perfectly lined up, remove all 4 cams by pulling them straight out. Do not remove the #5 pinion gear (This gear actually is held in place with a large nut)
The hydraulic lifters do not need to be removed. They will remain in there bores once the cams are removed.
Once all cams are removed, DO NOT rotate the engine. This will make it much easier to install the new cams in there proper position.
Prior to replacing the cams, they should be cleaned with a spray of brake cleaner and then lubricated thoroughly with engine oil to include the cam lobe and drive gear.
#1 cam (Rear Exhaust Cam)
#2 cam (Rear Intake Cam) (cam with double gears)
#3 cam (Front Intake Cam)
#4 cam (Front Exhaust Cam)
The “V” markings on the cams are not used for timing purposes. Disregard them.
Again, refer to the diagram above while installing the cams.
Installing the Cams:
Insure that the timing mark on the #5 gear (pinion gear) is still pointing directly at the center of the #2 cam’s bushing (see picture below). Again, the engine should not have been rotated since the cams were removed.
The lifters can be moved slightly up into there bores with you fingers while you are installing the cams which will allow each cam to slide all the way into the bushing in the engine case.
Install the #1 cam. Insure that the slot marking is also pointing directly at the center of the #2 cam’s bushing.
Install the #3 cam. Insure that the slot marking is also pointing directly at the center of the #2 cam’s bushing.
Install the #2 cam. As you install this cam, insure that all 3 timing marks (dots) on this cam line up with the timing slot markings on the other 3 gears (#1 cam, #3 cam and the #5 pinion gear). Again, refer to the diagram below.
Now install the #4 cam. Insure that it’s timing mark (dot) line up with the dot on the #3 cam.
All timing marks should now be alligned exactly as in the photo below:
Re-Installing Cam Gear Case:
Clean all spilled oil with brake cleaner prior to re-assembly.
Clean the surface of the engine case that mates to the cam gear case with brake cleaner.
Prior to re-installing the cam gear case, attach the new gasket to the engine case with a little contact cement. That will keep the gasket in place while installing the cam gear case.
Re-attach the rubber oil vent line to the cam gear case with a new worm clamp prior to installing the case.
Apply some oil to the bushings in the gear case. Be careful not to scratch these bushings!
Gently install the cam gear case. Remember, it goes in straight. There is no side-to-side or up-down clearance.
Once the cam gear case is fully in position, tighten the Allen screws in a criss-cross pattern.
Although the Service Manual does not specify to use anti-seize compound on these cam gear case mount bolts, I feel it is nessesary to prevent galling.
Re-Installing All Other Components:
Re-assemble all other parts in reverse order of disassembly.
When installing the metal lower rocker box gasket, note that the raised bead of the gasket is facing up.
Remember to install those 4 larger rocker arm bolts in the lower rocker box before installing the smaller bolts / screws. Tighten those rocker arm bolts in a sequence so they will tighten down evenly together. The lower rocker box will sit slightly off the head prior to tightening the bolts.
When installing the lower rocker box, insure the pushrods are in a fully down prior to tightening the rocker arm bolts. This will cause the least amount of spring pressure on the rocker arms prior to tightening. (turning the rear wheel will verify this)
Insure all bolts/screws are tightened to the proper torque spec.
Blue Loctite was also used on the rocker arm bolts even though not specified in the Service Manual. Be sure they are free from any oil prior to applying Loctite.
When in doubt … Refer to the Service Manual