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Thread: Finally got my bike

  1. #11
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  2. #12
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    Re: Finally got my bike

    Interesting info from you Alex, which leads me to ask would you treat a freshly rebuilt Ironhead Sportster or Shovel in the same way or does their different (ancient) design need a different approach.

    Ron.

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  3. #13
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    Re: Finally got my bike

    It’s an ex demo from Manchester HD & from I was told the branch manager used it for his commute to work

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  4. #14
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    Re: Finally got my bike

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    would you treat a freshly rebuilt Ironhead Sportster or Shovel in the same way or does their different (ancient) design need a different approach
    It depends on the technology and experience used during the honing process. A ball hone in a hand drill or anything similar then I personally wouldn't get involved. If it was a Sunnen or Delapena reciprocating honing machine used to produce the crosshatch and plateau honed surface finish recommended by the piston ring manufacturer then yes - I would follow the same heat cycle and break in procedure as a later engine ...

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  5. #15
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    Re: Finally got my bike

    Without meaning to hijack the thread I thought I'd use photos to illustrate what I'm getting at in my last post regarding the equipment and experience needed to produce a perfect honed surface ...

    Here's a cylinder that was sent to me that had been 'honed' with a flex hone and an electric drill ...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Even uglier close up ...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's a cylinder that's been honed properly. This finish can be generated on any cast iron lined cylinder - Shovel, Iron Head, Evo, TC or M8 ...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The piston ring to bore seal is a critical factor in performance and engine life. Not an area to cut costs on when doing a rebuild ...
    Last edited by Fast Lane; 25-01-2020 at 02:56 PM.

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  6. #16
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    Re: Finally got my bike

    Been out of touch for a while so a bit late with this, thanks for the reply and the interesting pictures.
    Although I've played motorcycles all my life I've never had any engineering training so may ask dumb questions so here goes. It seems that ring seal is the most important part of the running in process. After that first 60 to 100 miles would you then take it easier to bed in all the other moving parts or take some other course.I am of course thinking of Ironhead Sportsters and Shovels rebuilt by competent professionals.
    Thanks.
    Ron.

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  7. #17
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    Re: Finally got my bike

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    so may ask dumb questions so here goes
    Fire away Ron, there's no dumb questions. If I can help I will ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    It seems that ring seal is the most important part of the running in process. After that first 60 to 100 miles would you then take it easier to bed in all the other moving parts or take some other course. I am of course thinking of Ironhead Sportsters and Shovels rebuilt by competent professionals
    That's a good question but I'm afraid I'm not qualified to comment on pre Evo engines - my work is all about performance but only Evo and Twin Cam engines due to the positive design changes in the cylinder head since the Shovel engine. I work on Iron and Shovel cylinder heads but I have no experience of a full rebuild. You're right that the ring seal is paramount and is critical to both performance and longevity. Other components not so much. Manufacturing tolerances are so much better nowadays than in the Shovel/Ironhead production years and I believe that after a hundred miles all of the mating surfaces have worn enough to be subjected to heavy loads. There must be hundreds of thousands of 360 degree crankshaft rotations in a hundred miles. After the break in period I take them to be tuned on the dyno where they're spun up to about 6000 - 6500 RPM depending on the build specs. Usually the first hour of any dyno tune is spent at percentage throttle openings which also acts as a controlled break in period. I think I would be concerned more about vibration and critical fasteners coming loose on an older engine rather than internal friction problems. I would also insist on a richer air/fuel ratio for the break in period as iron components dissipate heat less efficiently than aluminium parts. I'm no expert though, there are many more knowledgable than me on the older stuff ..

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  8. #18
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    Re: Finally got my bike

    Quote Originally Posted by Dazzlin View Post
    Just a thought..........Can he change the filter himself if the bike is still under Warranty?
    Quote Originally Posted by Fast Lane View Post
    Good point - yes he'd better check first. I wouldn't know ...
    If he uses like for like filter will they ever know? Just don't buy it from them as it will be on record.

    Get a mate to buy one from the same dealer.
    __________________________________________
    ....Black Bikes and
    .....Trucks Rule



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  9. #19
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    Re: Finally got my bike

    Hi Alex, I think you've got it where you said "I would be concerned more about vibration...". When I bought my Ironhead Sportster new in 1980 I found that at 50 mph in top gear which was about 2,500 revs it was quite smooth but at 55 and 2,750 revs it was noticeably rougher. I used the 50 at 2,500 revs for a good few hundred miles until 55 was smooth and 60 (3,000 revs) was rough. I carried on slowly raising the revs and riding just below the rough area until the bike was just short of 5,000 miles. By then 70 mph (3,500 revs) was as smooth as lower speeds.
    The smoothing out was confirmed by the rear light bulbs which kept blowing. I rubber mounted the light and bought bulbs from different places and of different makes none of which made any difference until at about 5,000 miles my wife and I set off for the South of France with pockets and luggage full of bulb none of which were needed until on my way to the bikes first MOT at around 23,000 miles it blew between work and the MOT garage, a distance of less than a mile.
    When I bought my Sportster I had never heard of "ring seal" and only knew that for running in it was important not to race or lug the engine. It would be interesting to go back and follow your advice to seal the rings though perhaps only up to 3,000 revs not the modern 4,000 (80 mph in top on my Sportster). Once settled in it used to do 500 miles to the pint (other measuring systems are available) of engine oil and did this for many years. I wonder what this could have been improved to.Mind you 90,000 miles down the road its a bit late.
    Thanks for your interest.
    Ron.

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