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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Posts
    3

    Default 1976 Ironhead Valve Gear Shimming Clarification

    Hey Y'all

    I'm in the heat of lacing up my 76' Ironhead and I got a question. Which side of the cam gears are you guys shimming. I've read all the threads (ty btw) and looked at the service manual and various youtube tutorials. The manual says shim both sides. I've seen people only shim the outside AND people only shim the inside. I've also seen the service bulletin that says there's no need to shim them. My technical background makes me think thats crazy. When I opened the case some of them (the inside ones) were sheared in a way that made them almost two shims. It make sense, to me, that you would only shim the outside because 1- the shoulder of the cam gear matches the size if the shim (so no shearing). 2- Cam #2's shims are bigger and can only be dropped in from the outside (cam cover side) keeping the gear alignment consistent. 3 - you don't have to take out all the gears and reset the timing after you measure the back play. I'm looking to do this in the next few days and would really appreciate any advice.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    1,581

    Default

    I usually shim on both sides, but you are right, I have seen inside shims cut in half.

    It REALLY does not matter, so do what you are comfortable with.

    Shoot for .010 end play. Don't set it up to the ridiculous tight specs in the manual. Trust me on this.

    Jim

  3. #3
    Senior Member

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    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    12,250

    Default

    The easy way ....

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  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    188

    Default

    ran my 79 for best part of 10 years with no shims. Never a problem with the cams or valvetrain.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thanx for your help and insight guys. I laced it up a few weekends ago and got it to give me a smooth idle yesterday. I appreciate all the responses!

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