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Sportster Motorcycle Engine Conversions Advice, questions, and tips for 1200, 1250, 1340, 1450 etc... for Sportster and Buell motorcycle engine conversions

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  #1  
Old 24th February 2005
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raysheen raysheen is offline
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Default 88 inch shopping list help

For those that have (or anyone who has done more research than I have) an 88 inch kit I have a few questions for you. What would you consider to be the absolute necessities for this upgrade? I'm looking at the NRHS 88" kit, and maybe a set of their XB heads (stage 2 or 3?). not sure about cams...thinking of something not TOO extreme maybe the .536 SEs or whichever Red Shifts NRHS will recommend...anyway, other than the obvious things, cylinders, cams, pistons, heads, etc. what will have to be changed? Can the bottom end of a sportster handle the 88" kit and still be reliable or should I go with a new flywheel and rods as well? Any opinions on starting out with the CV40 before I go bigger? I would love the 44 but think that I would like to throw as much money at the internals so I won't have to open it up again for a while...then I can always move to the 44 in a few months later??
Requirements for me aren't too strict as it will be a street machine and only will only see the track for fun. Finally, what should I look for in rockers and lifters? or can these remain stock too? I'm guessing no but...
Thanks in advance!
John
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  #2  
Old 24th February 2005
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hmm, anyone? someone must have an opinion on this.
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  #3  
Old 25th February 2005
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OK ... so long as you know I'm not the most unbiased party

We do a lot of 88's. Here are some things to think about.

Case Boring: this is critical. It's got to be right and there is no room for error. The spigot hole needs to be 4.010" and it's relationship to the dowel and the studs needs to be dead nuts because there's no material left, as well as it's squareness to the deck. Anything else puts stresses on things and that tears things up. Do not underestimate how precisely and perfectly this needs to be done.

Lower end: LOTS of people have done 88 inchers with stock lower ends. The 00-02 Buell assembly is a real popular upgrade, it costs under $600 and it's light. All the 00-up assemblies are pressed together and are stronger than the 91-99 bolt-together assembly, but they're not as serviceable. Minor machine work required to update 91-99 cases for 00-02 cranks. Another option: S&S knife edge assembly with heavy duty rods and splined pinion shaft ... ~$1250 ready to go.

Other Case prep to consider: windage tray, upgrade 91-99 tappet pin arrangement to 00-up style (far superior), cam box clearancing, oiling system mods on 97 and older. 98-up style oil pump.

Cylinders: available in cast iron, aluminum with cast iron liner, or aluminum with nikasil plating. Cast iron is structurally strong but doesn't dissipate heat well. I recommend nikasil for engines that will be run hard; to date, I have NEVER scuffed a piston in a nikasil cylinder, even holding it at 7500 rpm for 3 miles at a time over and over at Bonneville. 2 brands available, Millennium and Axtell. We were the biggest distributor of Millennium, switched to Axtell when their product came out despite higher cost, it's worth it IMO.

Cams: Red Shift 585's are the perrennial favorite in all-around street 88 inchers. 643's are a hot street grind. Wood has a .630 and a .678 lift grind I'd consider, too. .536's are a real small grind in this size motor. Makes for a torquey motor but not a lot of power. Think roller rockers at lifts over .550 to minimize side loading and extend guide life. S&S are my favorites, only brand I've never broken one of. Roller rockers always require adjustable pushrods. Collapsible covers are almost essential. For high rpm (above 7000), I'd highly recommend hyrdrosolids.

Heads: they need to work well at the lifts you're targeting, and not go turbulent. Your head porter should know how to do the heads for the 88" application. Ports need to be sized properly to not exceed limiting velocity ... horsepower drops off rapidly above a certain point (inertia block ... takes more energy to accelerate the charge than you get from the additional velocity). Big valves are good. Best bet: STD 2" intake heads with corrected valve angles and 30 degree chamber. Can be made to flow 195cfm+ with stock port heights. Even more from raised and/or oval port heads but they introduce new issues.

Carb: I'm a much bigger fan of the HSR45 than the CV44. Bowl vent on the 44 can give a person fits. HSR45 is easy to tune and gives instant throttle response and more power.

88's done right are an absolute hoot to ride.
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  #4  
Old 25th February 2005
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raysheen raysheen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aswracing
OK ... so long as you know I'm not the most unbiased party
that's alright, I'm planning on having just about everything done with you guys anyway!

OK so taking all of that into consideration an the fact that I have an 03...here are a few questions back for you...

Case Boring: no question that I'd trust CNC done by someone with experience over some local machine shop so I'll definately agree with you there.

Lower End: You say that lots of people run stock lower ends on these conversions...is that a recommendation by you or is it not a good idea in your opinion? How is the life of the engine in this setup? I'm running the 00-up design.

Cylinders: Was considering either Millennium or Axtell like you said and was leaning toward Axtell just because I've heard more good things about them so I'm not really worried on the cylinder front.

Cams: More questions here...I'm sure that I can look up the specs somewhere, but what would the major differences be between the 585s ad the 683s?

Heads: what do you think...I'm going all out so a NRHS stage two or three XB head?

Thanks very much, I think this thread might be a good sticky in the conversions section...or maybe better in your part of the forum for people who want more info on the 88 kits.

So how does this sound for starters based on your recommendations...anyone can feel free to bounce this around with me since the fine details of the list are sure to change a million times between now and the time I order the parts.

NRHS 88" kit
NRHS Stage 2/3 XB Heads (new engine mount needed for this one?)
Stock (or buell) bottom end?
Red Shift 585s
Mikuni 45
cam case clearing
rocker box clearig
S&S roller rockers
S&S lifters
adj. pushrods of some kind, Collapsible covers, etc

well...won't be super cheap, but at least I'll be getting quite a bit more bang for the buck than a big twin! I'm thinking this thing will be a fun little sleeper...
as a side note...how do they sound???

Quote:
Originally Posted by aswracing
88's done right are an absolute hoot to ride.
I'm counting on that!!

Thanks again!
John

Last edited by raysheen; 25th February 2005 at 01:40..
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  #5  
Old 25th February 2005
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Just a question. Why start with 585's or 643s. I heard the 567 were an awesome well rounded HP and TQ producing cam. Is the 585 that much better in the 88? Thanks
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  #6  
Old 25th February 2005
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Narley Narley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aswracing
OK ... so long as you know I'm not the most unbiased party

We do a lot of 88's. Here are some things to think about.

Case Boring: this is critical. It's got to be right and there is no room for error. The spigot hole needs to be 4.010" and it's relationship to the dowel and the studs needs to be dead nuts because there's no material left, as well as it's squareness to the deck. Anything else puts stresses on things and that tears things up. Do not underestimate how precisely and perfectly this needs to be done.

Lower end: LOTS of people have done 88 inchers with stock lower ends. The 00-02 Buell assembly is a real popular upgrade, it costs under $600 and it's light. All the 00-up assemblies are pressed together and are stronger than the 91-99 bolt-together assembly, but they're not as serviceable. Minor machine work required to update 91-99 cases for 00-02 cranks. Another option: S&S knife edge assembly with heavy duty rods and splined pinion shaft ... ~$1250 ready to go.

Other Case prep to consider: windage tray, upgrade 91-99 tappet pin arrangement to 00-up style (far superior), cam box clearancing, oiling system mods on 97 and older. 98-up style oil pump.

Cylinders: available in cast iron, aluminum with cast iron liner, or aluminum with nikasil plating. Cast iron is structurally strong but doesn't dissipate heat well. I recommend nikasil for engines that will be run hard; to date, I have NEVER scuffed a piston in a nikasil cylinder, even holding it at 7500 rpm for 3 miles at a time over and over at Bonneville. 2 brands available, Millennium and Axtell. We were the biggest distributor of Millennium, switched to Axtell when their product came out despite higher cost, it's worth it IMO.

Cams: Red Shift 585's are the perrennial favorite in all-around street 88 inchers. 643's are a hot street grind. Wood has a .630 and a .678 lift grind I'd consider, too. .536's are a real small grind in this size motor. Makes for a torquey motor but not a lot of power. Think roller rockers at lifts over .550 to minimize side loading and extend guide life. S&S are my favorites, only brand I've never broken one of. Roller rockers always require adjustable pushrods. Collapsible covers are almost essential. For high rpm (above 7000), I'd highly recommend hyrdrosolids.

Heads: they need to work well at the lifts you're targeting, and not go turbulent. Your head porter should know how to do the heads for the 88" application. Ports need to be sized properly to not exceed limiting velocity ... horsepower drops off rapidly above a certain point (inertia block ... takes more energy to accelerate the charge than you get from the additional velocity). Big valves are good. Best bet: STD 2" intake heads with corrected valve angles and 30 degree chamber. Can be made to flow 195cfm+ with stock port heights. Even more from raised and/or oval port heads but they introduce new issues.

Carb: I'm a much bigger fan of the HSR45 than the CV44. Bowl vent on the 44 can give a person fits. HSR45 is easy to tune and gives instant throttle response and more power.

88's done right are an absolute hoot to ride.
ok ,I spoke with aaron for about 20 minutes...digested all he had to say..had the part list done in three price ranges...Unfortunate for him, but good for me I didnt build up my existing nitrous 74inch.( this way I have 2 bikes) Instead I bought a whole new bike with a great 88 inch motor that does 124 hp and 110 tq. So I read and read and listened and studied.
Trust Aaron ...he will upsell ya to the quality you need even though you may not no it...he is right...he wont sell ya short just to make it seem affordable so you will buy.Dont take from the grocery fund ,but he can tell you what is needed to be confident in high performance with great reliability.
I agree with his call for roller rockers...which then need new pushrods and covers (this was the middle priced build. ) The value build was just heads and cyclinders and pistons. Then # 2 was cams like the 643 which meant better springs and bigger valves and the roller rockers and a few more neccesary parts. But I wanted more ...DO YOU. I wanted monster power and torque and reliability. This required rods and wheels and trap door for the tranny ,and the heads...those std heads with the 2 inch is the one thing I wish the bike i bought had. Thats the icing on the cake...those heads would be so great .I would love to see details on a few builds with those heads...so badly i would even sacrifice my budget for the trailer to get a set....seriously...my build is great, but those heads....ooo lust!

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  #7  
Old 25th February 2005
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raysheen raysheen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Narley
ok ,I spoke with aaron for about 20 minutes...digested all he had to say..had the part list done in three price ranges...Unfortunate for him, but good for me I didnt build up my existing nitrous 74inch.( this way I have 2 bikes) Instead I bought a whole new bike with a great 88 inch motor that does 124 hp and 110 tq. So I read and read and listened and studied.
Trust Aaron ...he will upsell ya to the quality you need even though you may not no it...he is right...he wont sell ya short just to make it seem affordable so you will buy.Dont take from the grocery fund ,but he can tell you what is needed to be confident in high performance with great reliability.
I agree with his call for roller rockers...which then need new pushrods and covers (this was the middle priced build. ) The value build was just heads and cyclinders and pistons. Then # 2 was cams like the 643 which meant better springs and bigger valves and the roller rockers and a few more neccesary parts. But I wanted more ...DO YOU. I wanted monster power and torque and reliability. This required rods and wheels and trap door for the tranny ,and the heads...those std heads with the 2 inch is the one thing I wish the bike i bought had. Thats the icing on the cake...those heads would be so great .I would love to see details on a few builds with those heads...so badly i would even sacrifice my budget for the trailer to get a set....seriously...my build is great, but those heads....ooo lust!
Hey Narley,
Thanks for the response! I'm looking at the middle of the road build myself...I don't think that I'm looking for "monster" power and torque since I think that just about anything that I'm considering will blow me away! ...I'm not really that "fast" of a rider but I do love to have a lot of power under me if that makes any sense...well OK, I guess I have to admit that I like it fast sometimes just don't tell anyone in my family! Ddefinately looking for a reliable engine and am willing to pay for it up front so I don't have to pay for a failure down the road...still torn about the bottom end though...oh well I guess I'll just have to think about that part of it.
Thanks,
John
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  #8  
Old 25th February 2005
Darhawk Darhawk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raysheen
Hey Narley,
Thanks for the response! I'm looking at the middle of the road build myself...I don't think that I'm looking for "monster" power and torque since I think that just about anything that I'm considering will blow me away! ...I'm not really that "fast" of a rider but I do love to have a lot of power under me if that makes any sense...well OK, I guess I have to admit that I like it fast sometimes just don't tell anyone in my family! Ddefinately looking for a reliable engine and am willing to pay for it up front so I don't have to pay for a failure down the road...still torn about the bottom end though...oh well I guess I'll just have to think about that part of it.
Thanks,
John
okay, not to be nosey, what's the bottom line price to doing something like this, and what are you starting with, an 883 ?????
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Old 25th February 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darhawk
okay, not to be nosey, what's the bottom line price to doing something like this, and what are you starting with, an 883 ?????
I'm starting with a 1200 conversion (wiseco reverse domes, SE cams, etc.)...this will be a heart transplant that goes into my wife's bike (an 883) and I'll be going with the 88"
bottom line price...not cheap, but a whole lot of fun! absolute cheapest conversion would be about $3,000us as a guess, but as you can tell from this thread I'm just starting my research...that would be assuming that you do all of the work yourself and buy only the 88" kit, heads, and an ignition...personally I wouldn't want to go that route though...I think that I'm looking at a budget a bit higher than that...maybe 5k-ish so that I can go with some better heads, carb, ignition, valvetrain, etc. but as I've said in the other posts, I'm still torn about the bottom end and will have to consider this for some time. These prices could be way off but we'll see how much I end up spending in the end
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Old 25th February 2005
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I forgot cams in the list above but you get the idea
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