Sportster rebuild.

This Forum is dedicated to the Hobbyist I.C. (Internal Combustion) Engine Community.

Moderators: Harold_V, JackF

Patio
Posts: 1124
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:14 pm
Location: Centralia Wa

Re: Sportster rebuild.

Post by Patio » Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:35 am

I have been spending my free time working on the sportster, witch has not left me much time for posting, so here is a video of the bike running earlier today. It has some issue but none of them major, just a couple of leaks. I have been taking pictures to post here and will do so in the future of some of the problem I have had to solve, but for now, enjoy the video. :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VKek8l ... e=youtu.be
Now for lights and front brake. :)

Live for the moment!
Prepare for tomorrow!
Forgive the past!

JackF
Posts: 1535
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:56 pm
Location: Caldwell, Idaho

Re: Sportster rebuild.

Post by JackF » Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:10 am

Looks and sounds great Pat, I wish I had my old one back. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Did the gen work out or did you use it for the core?

Jack.

Patio
Posts: 1124
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:14 pm
Location: Centralia Wa

Re: Sportster rebuild.

Post by Patio » Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:37 pm

Thanks Jack,
I checked the generator yesterday and it is not putting out. I have flashed it, and still nothing. I am going to remove it and give it a once over to see if I can figure out what is wrong.
Live for the moment!
Prepare for tomorrow!
Forgive the past!

Patio
Posts: 1124
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:14 pm
Location: Centralia Wa

Re: Sportster rebuild.

Post by Patio » Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:43 pm

Ok I am taking a little time off as most major issue have a plan.

Some of the things that I had to do to get it running.....
The ignition needed some attention. I had two, points backing plates, one to tight and one to loose. When loose it allows the points gap to change while setting the timing. I fixed the one that was to tight, by fitting it to a mandrel and turning down a bit to get a good fit. I had also purchased a couple of new, ignition plate studs, that hold the backing plate in place and provide screw holes for the cover. In the end the studs is a slot for a screwdriver, that crossed the hole for the cover screws. This slot was so thin that none of my screw driver would fit it. :? :shock: A trip the the mill with a slitting saw and things are good.

The one on the vise had not been cut yet.
20150328_132823a.jpg
With that I had a working ignition.
Then I needed a couple of oil drain plugs and no one local has any, or any crush washers that were the right size. I pulled a plug from my other bike and copied it. Just bought a bolt and shortened it. Bought a couple of crush washers from the local metric bike shop and bored them to fit. The set up was fast and easy as dimensions aren't critical.
The washers I set up using the serrations in the jaws for locating the washer perpendicular to the axis. Bore it through, then flip it around to remove the burr.
20150331_182422a.jpg
20150331_182702a.jpg
The bolts I grabbed with the three jaw, getting it close, then while in back gear, for slow speed, I bumped my tool holder against the spinning bolt to get it running with the axis of the lathe. Tightened the chuck and parted the end off, put a little champher on the end and I have proper length plug.
20150331_183022a.jpg
20150331_183205a.jpg
I still need to make one more washer for the last plug.

More to come!
Live for the moment!
Prepare for tomorrow!
Forgive the past!

Harold_V
Posts: 17106
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 11:02 pm
Location: Onalaska, WA USA

Re: Sportster rebuild.

Post by Harold_V » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:20 pm

What would a guy do when there are no machines to make these types of alterations?

For years, I have not enjoyed running my machines. The shine went off that long ago, but there's no way in hell I'd be willing to part with any of them. I may not like running them, but I'm very keen on the capabilities they afford. Frankly, I'd be lost without them, just as you would be without yours.

Well done, Patio. You're taking to this stuff like a duck to water.

Harold
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

Patio
Posts: 1124
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:14 pm
Location: Centralia Wa

Re: Sportster rebuild.

Post by Patio » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:50 pm

I mounted the feul tank, with a couple of bushings, I turned on the lathe. I also fabricated a simple plate to hold a terminal strip and two breakers for the electrical system. With that I started thinking, I have fuel and fire, it could fire, even though it does not have an exhaust. What the heck, I gave it a couple of prime kicks, flipped on the ignition, gave it a kick, gave it another kick and she coughed, gave it another kick and she started! Scare the hell out of me for a sec, the elation, then the realization that she it literately breathing fire out the exhaust, hit the switch to kill it, BIG SMILE. The reason I was so happy is I have spend time thinking about building a electric powered roller to start this if necessary. I have spent time with friends watching and helping, kick new builds, to exhaustion.
I was short a couple of exhaust clamps, so after a call to a friend, he arrived with a couple of clamps. I installed the exhaust and gave it another go, and dang if she didn't start right up again. After a short period oil started to pour out from behind the points. I pulled the points and there was a seal that had not been installed yet. :oops: I pulled the cam cover off, installed the new seal, installed the cam cover, installed the points and set the timing. Time to start it again. This time I did not have any success. I kicked till I was tired. Next day, try again, no success. :? Started thinking about that electric roller contraption again. Talked to a friend, checked everything out, no success. The only thing that was different was I had taken the cam cover off, sooo start there. I removed the cam cover again, reset all the cams, take a picture so I won't second guess my self.
Here is a picture of the four cams, pinion shaft and all the timing marks.

At this point in this post, while looking at the next picture I am about to post I came to a frightful discovery. I have a saying, "Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good"! Today I am lucky, because I sure wasn't good. I had failed to notice that two of the, end play shims for the cams have fallen down below the cams and are floating freely in my cam case! :shock: The are plainly visible in the picture. Had one of those shims gotten between a set of gears, it would likely broken something, and halted the project for good. Looks like I know what I am doing next! :roll:
20150404_154033a.jpg
With that said, I put everything back together and she fires up as it should. I have run it through at least three heat cycles now. There are three leaks. One from the plug that needs the crush washer, one where the oil pressure gauge attaches, and one from a plate that block the hole where an electric start goes on a different model. All are not difficult to fix.

Lights and rebuilding of the front brake caliper are next.
The firing has now gotten me to the point where I am getting exited to be able to ride it soon.

I know this is not train stuff, but I thought some of you might find the cam system of the sportster interesting in itself.
20150404_154000a.jpg
The small gear on the bottom is the pinion and is the shafts that sets in a tapered hole in the right side flywheel. The one just above it and to the left is the #3 cam and is for the rear intake valve. It also is the cam the point cam is connected to via the threaded hole in the end of the cam. It is also where the missing seal runs. The significance of four cams, is that is allows the cam to be directly below the push rod and rocker arm for the valve. In Harley's big twins, there was a single cam putting all the push rods on a tangent to the rocker arm, there fore the sportster could rev higher than the big twins. The new motors are called Twin Cams and have two cams, one for the front cylinder and one for the rear, to help remedy this a bit.
Also in the upper right of the picture is a washer that I had to make. It is an oil slinger for the breather. The big gear is just an idler gear. In the bottom of the cam case one can see a horizontal running worm gear. That is the breather timer vavle. It is a rotary cylinder with a section of it cut out, and it allows the pressure in the crank case to escape on the downward stroke of the piston. The air escapes out of the cam case through a hole that is directly in front of the oil slinger. The shaft, that the oil slinger/washer is on, is the generator main shaft.

Back to it tomorrow to get a little more done.

More to come!
Live for the moment!
Prepare for tomorrow!
Forgive the past!

JackF
Posts: 1535
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:56 pm
Location: Caldwell, Idaho

Re: Sportster rebuild.

Post by JackF » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:28 am

Geat job as always Pat. :mrgreen: As Harold said, couldn't (wouldn't) do without our tools. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Jack.

P.S. We are in the house for 3 days now, still a lot of moving in yet and taxes to do but hope to get the shop settled in soon. :roll:

Harold_V
Posts: 17106
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 11:02 pm
Location: Onalaska, WA USA

Re: Sportster rebuild.

Post by Harold_V » Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:18 pm

Jack,
Are you happy with the move?

Sorry to see you leave the area, but if it works for you, I'm happy!

Harold
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

User avatar
steamin10
Posts: 6692
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 11:52 pm
Location: NW Indiana. Close to Lake Michigan S. tip

Re: Sportster rebuild.

Post by steamin10 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:13 pm

Back in the day, I neglected to tighten the locknut on a rocker, Honda 100. I had a heck of a time rocking, rolling, bouncing that thing until the nut appeared in the crankcase, via the cam chain alley. The engine had begun to run poorly, and I returned home after only a few minutes running, so I knew where to look. I cant imagine the devastation of that nut getting in the cam chain and gears. I dont like telling on myself, but we all make mistakes. But its what you learn about doing careful work, that is more important. Machines come and go, but YOU are always stuck with you. Ownup, manup, and boneup, to get it done.

I for one, enjoy seeing the gear train, and all the details, never having worked on that.

I have a license plate over a bench:
" THIMK "
I like it.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
It is not getting caught in the rain, its learning to dance in it. People saying good morning, should have to prove it.

Patio
Posts: 1124
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:14 pm
Location: Centralia Wa

Re: Sportster rebuild.

Post by Patio » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:50 pm

Jack, I am glad you are getting settled in. I hope you enjoy your new home.

Steamin10, I am glad there was some interest in the cam set up I posted. How is your caliper rebuild coming? I will be doing the master cylinder for mine soon and we will see how things come out.

Today I spent time fixing the leaks that have plagued the build. I made another crush washer to fit. I do need to find some copper flat stock, for these kind of projects, as the cost of the crush washer that I modify is better than 3 bucks each.

I also pulled the cover off the cam chest and took a look. One of the shims did not survive the journey. I now need to find where I put the extras, or see if the local shop has one. The one that is mangled is .015" thick. These are the same shims, I used to make the washer for the kicker shaft.
And because everyone loves pictures, here you go.
20150407_175453a.jpg
One can just make out the mangled shim, sitting just under the pinion gear, and the other resting on the oil strainer, for the oil pump.
20150407_175656a.jpg
More to come!
Live for the moment!
Prepare for tomorrow!
Forgive the past!

JackF
Posts: 1535
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:56 pm
Location: Caldwell, Idaho

Re: Sportster rebuild.

Post by JackF » Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:10 am

Harold and Pat, thanks and yes, we are happy with the move :mrgreen: . The only bad part is all the moving things from storage and unpacking; will take as long or longer than moving the stuff over here. :roll:


Jack.

User avatar
Glenn Lyford
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:05 pm
Location: Central MA

Re: Sportster rebuild.

Post by Glenn Lyford » Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:18 am

What are the odds of being able to bend it straight and flatten it and still have it do what you need it to do? Would a slight wave make it act too much like a spring, or is there enough pressure from everything around it to help keep it flat?

Since it's a shim, is (lack of) hardness an issue? Could you anneal it dead soft and then straighten it, and still have it do what you need it to?

Post Reply