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

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  #1  
Old 9th November 2009
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Default assemble new engine out of frame, and reinstall as a whole?

its a fact, those rear head bolts are a bit(h to torque so since i have mine compleatly stripped right now i thought, well why not fully assemble and torque it to spec out of frame, then reinstall as a whole? you had to pull the engine to reach the oil pump on early models, would this be doable on an 82?
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Old 9th November 2009
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yep, how do you think the factory put the bikes together?? thats how I did mine. I have also done them in the frame and forgot about the rear head space issue on my buddy's 75. So I just unbolted the motor and leaned it out of the frame enough to install the rear rocker box....Its harder to put it in as a unit if you do it like I do everything...floor level...no stand or table for the bike. I'm short enough (5'7") that it doesn't bother me to stoop down...lol...
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Old 9th November 2009
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Default Do it whichever way works best for you --- there's no rule...

...that says you HAVE to assemble it from the bottom end up, inside the frame.

I personally believe it makes a lot more sense to do it the way you propose, as it makes proper torquing of all fasteners possible.
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Old 9th November 2009
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Quote:
how do you think the factory put the bikes together?
Here's a photo from 1979 at the York Plant of about 1000 assembled motors ready to be installed:

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Old 9th November 2009
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Default not me

any time I build a IRONHEAD
I will install the cases w/ the flywheel assembly and oil pump only
it is too easy to scratch up the paint YOU AINT THE MOTOR CO
you aint got all those fancy tools on a assembly line
I then build the cam gear box and tranny in the frame
its the cowboy way
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Old 9th November 2009
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I installed mine without cylinders or heads and was able to lift the engine right into the frame. I doubt I could have done it with the barrels on it.. I use blocks of wood to hold the cylinder square to the piston.. be sure to use rags so nothing falls into the bottom end. Keep everything that can fall in .. away from the engine.. believe me.. washers and nuts jump right in there !! I was recently doing an exhaust on a GMC 4x4.. and the damn exhaust bolt slipped into the exhaust .. I had to take the whole exhaust off to get it out.. magnets don't work...

The other thing is you are going to have to re-torque the head bolt once you have the engine running. For the past 20 yrs I have never torqued my head bolts... practice with a torque wrench and get the feel of 65 lbs... I use a long 12 point wrench with a one inch bend in it to tighten them down..

Putting the heads after the engine is installed is a great way to go.. it only takes an hour (if you have done it before) or two (if you have never done it) to install the heads..

Also when I remove the heads, I leave the Valve Covers attached if I wasn't having a problem with the gasket.. this save some time.. I can usually replace a head gasket in less than an hour..

Mine is a 1970

Jim
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Old 9th November 2009
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Works either way. I prefer to assemble the motor and then stick it in the frame, but I usually leave the timing gears out. No special reason, but since I have the bike on the stand, it seems a little more convenient. It is a little harder to torque the heads with the motor in the frame, but as Jim says, a lot of guys (myself included) don't usually use a torque wrench anyway.
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Old 9th November 2009
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I've found that laying the engine on the cam cover side on an old tire for padding. Then lower the frame over the engine. If the frame is freshly painted, wrap some type of padding around tight clearance parts of the frame.
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  #9  
Old 10th November 2009
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Quote:
it is too easy to scratch up the paint YOU AINT THE MOTOR CO
im not worried about it, flat black spray can is all it is, easy touchup!
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Old 10th November 2009
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done it most ways metioned here,,, by myself the easiest way for me is layin the frame over the engine on it's side like buckiryder said.
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