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  1. #1

    Default Ironhead cam bushings

    Tore down the 1972 sportster and one of the cam bushings is loose, loose enough to pull out. It looks like the dowel pin came out and was at some point consumed. What can be used as a dowel pin? Should the bushing be loctited into place? I have read that a bushing that is too tight can cause damage but too loose will simply result in a noisy drive train but I believe they were talking about cam to bushing tolerance (line reaming) not bushing to case tolerance. What should I use for a dowel pin? Is there any hope in re-using these bushings? If not how do I remove and replace them. I appreciate any insight, pictures to follow

  2. #2

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    I believe Dragstews has a thread on this but I am pretty in the dark as to what the hell I was even looking at on there, looks like he heated the case and froze the bushings to drop them into place but I am curious as to how you get the old ones out

  3. #3

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  4. #4
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  5. #5

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    How’d U get them out dude

  6. #6

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    You need an oversize bushing to replace the loose one. The bushings come in plus .005, and sometimes plus .010. You may need to reduce the OD of the oversize bushing so that the amount of press fit is within limit. .0015 - .0020 press fit is what you want, and yes, you can Loctite the new bushing in place. I always pin the new bushing in the factory manner, and the pin is H-D part # 275. The repair manual covers the pinning procedure. You must align ream any bushing that you replace. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you can reuse the old, loose bushing. If you don't have the tools for this work, have it done by a competent shop.

    Jim

  7. #7

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    You should use a telescope gauge & micrometer to check the running clearance of the other bushings and their respective cams. Remember that the cam journals wear, too.

    To remove a bushing, you can thread it and screw in a threaded plug attached to a slide hammer and pop them out, or use a blind bearing/ bushing puller if you are so equipped ($$).

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooldean69 View Post
    How’d U get them out dude
    Blind Hole puller ...

    In the thread that I posted shows it in use ...

    Be best to line ream after a replacement bushing has been installed ..
    Will need a donner crankcase to use to pilot the ream ..


  9. #9

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    Thank you

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    From what I can see from your photos, all the bushings should be replace ...

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    It is not a particularly heavy part.. Maybe you could mail it to someone here on them forum with the right tools and pay them to do it for you?

    Even if you had an old case laying around, specialty reamers are a big investment for one job.

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    That's ^^ a good idea ...

    (Heard that FedEx and UPS are going to merge, renaming the Company to "Fed-Up")

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    Quote Originally Posted by confab View Post
    It is not a particularly heavy part.. Maybe you could mail it to someone here on them forum with the right tools and pay them to do it for you?

    Even if you had an old case laying around, specialty reamers are a big investment for one job.
    ^^^ That's a VERY good idea. ^^^

    Much as I love buying new tools (and an excuse to either buy another set of cases or a timing side to use with said tools) I learned it's not cost-effective to DIY everything. Even professional machinists outsource.

    1972 was a very long time ago so it would be wise to inspect the rest of the bottom end carefully while it's apart, or if the bike is a keeper perhaps rebuild that too. (I tend to do that on keepers since the labor is a bigger asspain than buying parts.)

    What do the cams and tappets look like? Post plenty of clear pics to help others help you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragstews View Post
    That's ^^ a good idea ...

    (Heard that FedEx and UPS are going to merge, renaming the Company to "Fed-Up")
    Oh... I thought it was 'Fucked Up'.

  15. #15

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    Cams are in decent shape haven’t seen any pitting, one of the tappet blocks was cracked and tappet was frozen in there, I got some spare parts with the deal including some rappers and blocks which I’m going to use in place of the cracked one, also came with another basket 72 which is sitting on the bench in parts with no title. I am willing to purchase tools because I want to learn everything I can on this one so when it’s time to rebuild the bench basket I can hopefully do everything “right” from the ground up. I live in Phoenix so I considered going to mmi which is a motorcycle school here but I work over time so I don’t have time and honestly it’s pretty expensive so I would rather invest my money in tools. Maybe once I’m rich and famous I’ll consider going to school for this stuff but right now this forum and these manuals are working ok. Here’s some photos Click image for larger version. 

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  16. #16

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    I have some videos of ripping up and down the street before everything blew up

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=99MnMjxYYQo

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UXx494zZH4k

  17. #17

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    Front exhaust cam gear you can see they’re in half decent shape Click image for larger version. 

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    Cracked tappet block Click image for larger version. 

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    Noticed some strange wear on pushrods looking like rings scraped into them or something idk if it was a valve adjustment thing or if they just got beat up when the wrist pin came out and everything was knocking around

    I have a 2005 xl1200r as a daily so I’m ok on taking my time with the ironhead waiting for parts and stuff but it would be nice to get it running again
    Last edited by Cooldean69; 09-26-2021 at 10:51 AM.

  18. #18

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    Jim my parts book calls the dowel pin #271 is this interchangeable with part #275 dowel pin I can’t find a 271

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooldean69 View Post
    I am willing to purchase tools because I want to learn everything I can..]
    Bravo! You're so fucked. You've taken the first step on a long journey that will probably end in suicide.. Or at least a lot of screaming, and involuntary admission to a mental health facility.

    If you have machining capacity, I saved money on reamers by using standard ones from and turning out a plastic insert (Delrin, I think? I can look if you're interested) to make them fit the case and work properly.

    That saved a ton.

    You can use a blind hole lap also. Which may even be better, because they're cheap and it leaves a better finish on the bushing with less burnishing when you're through. Use the same method of making them fit the case before you begin, of course.

    Otherwise there's specialty tools all over the place. I've scored some pretty good deals on ebay.

    Many times, a pilot bearing puller makes a cheap blind hole puller for other applications. Particularly for things like those cam bushings that don't require a lot of oomph to remove. Harbor Freight has a small blind hole puller set that would work fine for your application.

    Look through the service manual before you begin this, though. There's the basic procedures and tools you'll need.

    It takes a lot, actually. I did my shovel in house. First Harley I ever owned, or even rode, in my life. Never worked on one. Never did ANYTHING related to Harleys at all. And I have as much, or almost as much, in specialty tools as I do in buying the bike.

    The people here know a lot. They're invaluable. Youtube is good too. I like "Tatro Machine" and his various exploits.

    Look and learn, and be sure you want to do this yourself. It's a lot to come to terms with, even if you have excellent, non-Harley specific, skills. Experience, and a well equipped shop, generally.

    Good luck.

    Last edited by confab; 09-26-2021 at 12:09 PM.

  20. #20
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    PS: If you do this and you're successful at it, you're going to want to do it again. And again.

    I don't think there's any way around that aspect.

    So, consider being rich? Or maybe living in a van?

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