CHOP CULT HOME
Email Password
Search
  1. #1
    Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    81

    Default Shovelhead rebuilder advice

    So I recently picked up an '82 80ci Shovelhead. It's a runner but has definitely lived a hard life. The odometer read 80,000.

    I'm in the process of sending my frame off to 47industries for a hardtail conversion and I'm a bit reluctant to put this crusty engine back into that fresh frame.

    So, I'm trying to decide if I should just regasket the engine myself now (and kinda go through it) or bite the bullet and have it professionally rebuilt now.

    That being said, I'm brand new to the Shovelhead world and really don't know who to trust with a rebuild.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    12,663

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 53hemi View Post

    The odometer read 80,000.
    I'm a bit reluctant to put this crusty engine back into that fresh frame.
    .

    So, I'm trying to decide if I should just regasket the engine myself now (and kinda go through it) or bite the bullet and have it professionally rebuilt now.
    Lots of miles on it, bout at the end of it's life cycle ..

    If it was me building the scoot, I'd go all the way though the critter and do a few up-grades along the way ..

  3. #3
    Senior Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    103

    Default

    It really depends on your budget, but honestly, you shouldn’t have bought a Shovelhead with 80K on it if you don’t have the budget for a complete rebuild. Either put no money in it at all and ride it until it dies, or rebuild it the right way. I wouldn’t waste time or money doing it half assed.

  4. #4
    Senior Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    671

    Default

    TomK's advice sounded a little harsh, maybe, but he's right regarding ride it 'til it dies or go through it all the way. Based on your user name profile pic I'm guessing you have experience running and wrenching older stuff, so you most likely won't have any issues keeping a shovel on the road. They are actually really reliable if built correctly and maintained... And no 5" stroker wheels or stuff like that.

    As for builders that know their shit, one has already replied to this thread (post 2).

  5. #5
    Senior Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    12,663

    Default

    Aaaaaa yeah, guess that be me ... "Mild to Wild"

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	84324919_10219340544522951_389610875855568896_o.jpg 
Views:	1 
Size:	304.5 KB 
ID:	105462

    Oops ... Dang motor needs the carbs on it .. !!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	93269230_10219952515101833_2441482388568539136_n.jpg 
Views:	1 
Size:	113.4 KB 
ID:	105463

    But I'm one of many ...

    I built a 98" Shovel for a Boy in your neck of the woods a few years ago..
    Name is Glenn Hayes ... From what I hear, the Man done quite a bit of Twinkie hunting with it ...
    Last edited by Dragstews; 4 Weeks Ago at 7:09 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,125

    Default

    I can't speak for others, but my experience with Jesse ( aka Dragstews ) was beyond excellent. He WILL tempt you with the pleasures big cubes may hold, but at the end of the day he will build you what you want.

    Now if I could just get my ass in gear and put my pan back together....

  7. #7
    Senior Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    12,663

    Default


  8. #8
    Senior Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    1,015

    Default

    Lots of miles on it, bout at the end of it's life cycle ..
    Either put no money in it at all and ride it until it dies, or rebuild it the right way. I wouldn’t waste time or money doing it half assed.
    ^ This is good advice.

    80K is a lot for any harley, and a ton for a shovel. How does it run? Does it smoke? How do the plugs look? Does it leak? Or are the concerns cosmetic in nature? Got a bore scope to see inside the cylinders? Can you do a compression test? What's the budget?

    If it runs okay and doesn't smoke/oil up the plugs or leak badly? You might put it back in for a "rolling mockup" But plan on taking it back down for a rebuild soon. (Be a handy time to do paint, too.)

    I see you're in LA. So you don't really have "riding seasons" like we do in the Midwest. (Which sucks for us, but it is a big chunk of mandatory downtime to use for things like an overhaul.)

    If you think it is bad enough that you will blow it up? You're adding a bunch of cost to the eventual rebuild by continuing to ride. Maybe even broken cases and completely unnecessary crap like that, which adds up very quickly.

    It's your bike. Nobody else has a better handle on its condition than you. Give it a truly objective assessment and make a plan to move forward.

    There are several, very competent, people on this forum who can do a rebuild for you. Shipping the engine to Drags or JB, etc, will add expense.. But not as much as paying some wanker down the street who will just screw it up and make you do it twice.

    Doing it yourself is hella fun and a great learning experience, but amounts to high stakes gambling and is probably not much if any cheaper than just paying someone competent to do it for you.

    Best of luck.


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    1,896

    Default

    If it's a runner and the bottom end is sound, you could do a top end rebuild, including cam and tappets, and have a motor that may well make tens of thousands more miles. It all depends on how it was treated by past owners.

    Jim

  10. #10
    Senior Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    125

    Default

    JB has a good idea. Its better to know what you have before it blows up in the middle of nowhere. Best case scenario is new gaskets and maybe some rings.

    Of course, my last build had a supposed "rebuilt" engine. 1 oil leak led to complete rebuild. As expensive and annoying as that process was I KNOW its right and runs like a champ.

  11. #11
    Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    81

    Default

    Ok, it's on. I'm starting to look for a shop to do the work.

    These guys are local to me - I'm going to speak with them tomorrow.

    http://bbracingonline.com/

  12. #12
    Senior Member

    Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

    Get Adobe Flash player


    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    125

    Default

    Ask around about any shop. My town has a few shops that "specialize" in older bikes but only 1 will get my biz. Most outsource the machine work.

    My favorite local indy closed the doors after the owner died a few years ago. I talked to a reputable chopper builder and asked who did his engine work and he recommended another shop. Come to find out this other guy actually work at the shop that closed.

Share This



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Log in

Log in