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Top-end Rebuild

Discussion in 'How-To' started by Raywood, Sep 7, 2009.

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  1. Raywood

    Raywood The Pirate
    Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Here is my progress of rebuilding my top-end on my 05 Chopper with the TP rockers. Thought I would do a "How-To" on it since I went and took a lot of pictures during the teardown and re-assembly. I'm no certified mechanic but do have a lot of experience with V-Twins for about 30 yrs. (don’t mean shit!)
    I ensured I had the BDM service manual and the S&S SSW+ motor manual plus I printed off a few of the .pdf files from the S&S website that provide more information than the manual does. I also requested from TP Performance a copy of their files on re-assembly of the TP rockers. I've posted those here in the How To section already for those of you that have the TP boxes.
    I broke this down to three (3) parts. First is dis-assembly, second is machining/cleanup and third is final assembly.
    Ok, here we go. :D

    Dis-assembly:

    First thing I did was blow the motor down real good with an air hose. It's looks real dirty and it is but all the grit and sand and such has been blow free. Then I removed interference (Navy terminology!) by removing the gas tank, carburetor, spark plugs, coil cover and exhaust.

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    I had to tear up my harness by removing all the shrink wrapping to get to all the connectors to dis-connect the wires for compression releases, coil and ignitions switch.

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    Then I pulled the rocker covers (4 bolts each head) allowing me access to the lower rocker box.

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    Pull pushrod tube keepers and then collapse the pushrods.

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    Next was to remove all the bolts for the rockers and lower box and pull the assembly off in one piece. This allows you to pull the pushrods out.

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    You should note the location of each pushrod. The manual tells you what pushrod goes where as all four are different lengths but they are easy to remember.

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    With a 1/4" 12 pt socket remove the lifter blocks. The lifters should stay in the blocks as you lift them clear. Each lifter is fitted to each valve so don't mix them up (manual states this).

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    Use a 1/2" 12 pt socket to remove the four cylinder head bolts from each head. The bolts are receiving bolts and go over the cylinder studs.

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    Cylinders are now ready to be removed. You may need to use a rubber mallet to brake them loose. Just be gentle. As I raised the cylinders I had clean towels to wrap around the connecting rod to prevent debris from falling into the cases. Keep it clean!

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    Use some tubing of some kind to put on the cylinder studs to prevent gouging of the piston skirts.

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    I then pulled the clips (C style spring clips) out of the pistons so that I could punch out the wrist pin. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of this procedure but it's pretty easy (there are pictures of installing them further down). On removing the piston S&S and others make a tool for this but I was able to brace the piston and then using a long socket up against the wrist pin tap it out. Be extra careful that you don't put any stress on the connecting rod. The manual states to remove or install them but it doesn't tell you that it's not easy just go slow and be careful.

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    This is what you will end up with.

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    That's about all there is to tearing down the top-end. Real easy really. Now the clean up starts.
    In the meantime I took my cylinders and pistons to my local shop to have them hone the cylinders and fit new rings. I also took the new and old head to him and in a few minutes he swapped out the compression releases for me. You need a special wrench to do this and it's $80 and something you don't really use very often. You would probably have the heads re-done also as well as the lifters and blocks. Most here as you've read will restore the engine to S&S specifications by cutting down the cylinders or shaving the heads to increase the compression. A lot of you also have replaced the TP rocker boxes with S&S products and then replace the cam with something larger. Not a problem there however being on a budget and not needing the added performance I re-installed the existing parts. I did replace the heads with duplicates I received from a member here. My 05 heads had the cheap springs and retainers and the replacement heads (06 models) had the red stripe springs with the titanium spring retainers. Plus the newer heads only had a 1000 miles on them and were in like new condition compared to mine that had 65,000 miles on them. One issue that has come up numerous times about the TP rockers is valve guide wear. I did experience this in the rear exhaust guide. If you look closely at the rear head in the above picture you can clearly see that exhaust was venting into the rocker boxes. I also had replacement lifters and blocks. S&S recommends replacement of the lifter every 20,000 - 25,000 miles. Mine were original so in need of replacements.

    Here is a comparison of the 05 and 06 heads. Notice the springs and retainers. You can see the blow-by on the 05 head on the right.

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    Clean up:

    Ok, on with the clean-up and re-assembly.

    While my cylinders and piston were at the local shop I took the opportunity to clean up the rest of the parts. I started with stuffing the lower case as well as the lifter ports with clean towels to prevent any debris from falling into the motor.

    I then started to clean off all the old bottom case gasket from the cylinders. I used a razor blade being careful not to score or gouge the case. Then I used a soft wire brush to remove any residue and finally used some solvent cleaner to finish it off.

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    Then I used a shop vac to suck out any material that may have fallen into the towels before pulling the towels out of the bottom case. When I was done with the case I covered it up with another clean towel to ensure nothing fell into the cases.

    I took all the bolts and put them in a pan of solvent to soak overnight. Then after drying them up I took my tap and die set and chased all the treads. I did this for every nut bolt and thread. You can tell in the picture which bolts I've cleaned.

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    I cleaned up all the covers, rocker boxes, lifter blocks pushrod covers and what every else I could get my hands on. I pulled the carb apart and cleaned it again (something I do every couple months!) then cleaned the tank petcock and flushed the tank. I lubed throttle cables, clutch cable and checked out all the wiring.
    As I got each part done I laid it out on my table ready for re-assembly. I used a lot of air and kept my air compressor on over time.

    When I got my cylinders and pistons back I went to work on them. First I did was get my electric drill and attempted to make those cylinders look like they didn't have 5 yrs of road grime on them. I used a lot of carb cleaner and a brush then with the polisher started putting a better finish on them. Was a lot of work and I was constantly recharging my drills batteries. But it paid off. You can see I was removing the base gasket material also.

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    30 years in the Navy taught me to at least be somewhat organized so I had everything laid out on a table as I cleaned and prepared it for re-assembly.

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    Now for the final cleaning of the cylinders and pistons. Manual tells you to wash them in soapy water ensuring you remove all polishing compound so I took them to the sink and cleaned them up as best I could. I them took them back to the garage and blew them out with some more low pressure air (ALP).

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    Assembly:

    Everything is pretty and clean and ready.

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    I install each lifter block first putting each lifter in a bath of oil to pre-lube it. Install the lifter into its place in the block lining up oil ports to match the block. Slide the blocks with lifters in them into place and using the bolts align it properly. Then torque to first 6 lbs then 8.

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    Time for the pistons:
    First thing I found out is I couldn't push the wrist pins into the pistons or even the connecting rod. I didn't want to punch it out the way I removed it although I guess there isn't any difference. So what I came up with was........... I threw the wrist pins in the freezer then I put the pistons in the over at 150 degrees. After an hour I pulled one of the wrist pins out of the freezer and pulled a piston out of the oven to test it and the pin dropped right in. Problem was the warm piston heated up the wrist pin and I couldn't get it back out! So I got my long socket and punched it back out again. But my test worked so I put the piston and wrist pin back in the oven and freezer. The manual just says install them, doesn't tell you how! So I went down the garage and got the wrist pin clips cleaned up and put some oil on them. I decided I would install the wrist pins from the primary side of the motor so I installed on clip in each piston on the cam side. The top of the piston is marked with an arrow and "cam" on one side so this is where I put the clip in. I then got my socket ready in case I needed it and my BFH.
    I pulled a piston out of the oven and grabbed a wrist pin out of the freezer. I get to the garage and put some assembly lube in the bushing in the connecting rod then in the piston. I lube the wrist pin and the stuff freezes to the pin!!! :eek: Have to wait for it to warm up just a bit. Anyway, I go to put it together and it goes right in with just a very light tapping. Boy was I surprised.
    I do the second piston with the same results. I'm thinking "boy this is going to be easy".
    Next is to get the other retainer clip in the piston to keep the wrist pin in. Boy this was a bear. All I can tell you is that clip bit me and caused me to leave some "blood and soul" in my motor.

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    [​IMG]

    Next step is putting the rings on the pistons. Here I was confused some. The S&S manual illustration only shows 5 rings but the BDM manual states 6 rings. I checked the rings I pulled off and it was 6. My new ring set included 6 rings per piston. Seems the normally 3 piece oil ring set has an extra ring on the bottom. I go to the S&S website and download the latest .pdf file and sure as shit is has the 6 ring setup. I get them on and follow the rest of the directions on placement of the gaps. All 6 rings have a gap placement at different points of the piston so ensure you follow the manual on this.

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    I don't have a ring compressor so have to do it by hand. I have a buddy come over and assist me but we get the heads on with one of use holding the cylinder and the other squeezing in the rings as we slide the cylinder down over the piston.

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    Next step is putting the head gasket on and placing the heads in place. Manual states all the torque specs for bolting on the heads. Two drops of oil on each head bolt to ensure even torque tension. Amazingly torque specs only call for 8 lbs then 18 lbs then an additional 90 degree turn. Pretty easy.

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    I then install the washers and new o-rings into the lifter blocks. Funny the manual doesn't state anything about the metal washers either. But I get it back in the way it came out. Install new o-rings in the underside of the heads also. This will be the seat for the top of the pushrod tube.

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    Assemble your pushrod tubes with new o-rings and insert appropriate pushrod through tube and install in motor.

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    I then pump oil into the pushrod using a pump can I just purchased.

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    There are four sizes. Longest goes to forward exhaust, second longest gots to rear exhaust, third to forward intake and shortest to rear intake.

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    I install a new boot onto the compression releases and route the wires around the head bolt ensuring there will be no chafing.

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    Prepare the lower rocker box for installation. There are many bolts here some long some short. Easy to tell which one goes where as the longer bolts go on the taller bosses on the rocker box. Two smaller bolts go on each side of the CR with only one having a washer. I have to tell you that the manual states (both BDM and TP file) that every bolt but one has a washer. When I took both of my rockers off only one bolt has a washer on it. I put it back together the way I got it.

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    Torque following sequence illustrated in manual.

    Install aluminum gasket. Manual states you can use some gasket material to hold it in place. I used some extra to ensure a good seal. Some of you may not like this and others may do the same. Up to you.

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    S&S manual states to check clearance on each exhaust spring to ensure adequate clearance but must be the TP rockers cause there was plenty of clearance. Guess with the S&S rockers it different. Clearance was for .012.

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    I then installed the rocker covers ensuring I used new o-rings in each of the 4 bolt holes and tightened them down.
    I then prepared to adjust the lifters.

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    Many threads on here on adjusting lifters and every book has a segment on it. S&S has instructions for the download from their website. I adjusted mine and then closed up the pushrod tubes and then started hooking up wires. CR's, coil, ignition switch. I also hooked all the breather hoses.

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    After this is was only a matter of connecting the carburetor back up and then the hooking up the wires to the coil and ignition and mounting it up with the top motor mount torque to specs. For the coil you have a blue, red and yellow wire for the three terminals. I used a sharpie and marked each terminal with the letter of the appropriate wire.

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    Almost ready to fire up. I cleaned up all the wiring ensuring that the tank wouldn't rube or ground out a wire while out on the road. I pulled out a different pipe again (one of my seven!) and installed it with some new gaskets. Filled the oil tank after cleaning the oil filter then put the air cleaner on.

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    Lastly I cleaned up all the rubber grommets and sprayed them with some silicone and after polishing the caps a bit I installed the tank and gas line. Next came spark plug wires, fill the tank with some fresh gas and connect the battery.

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    All back together with only a few hours of love and labor. I think this bike is ready for a few more thousand miles.

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    Oh, she fired up on the first stroke!!!! :2thumbs::2thumbs::2thumbs:
     
    cdogg556 likes this.
  2. Trainguy

    Trainguy Chromeoholic
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    Well done Ray! :cheers::2thumbs:
     
  3. BIKERDAD61

    BIKERDAD61 Puddle Pusher

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    Nice job Ray!!! And a excellent how to!!! :cheers:
     
  4. Staffy

    Staffy Active Member

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    Excellent, just reading this posts wants me to re-bulid my engine :2thumbs::2thumbs::2thumbs: not there "yet" but this is a keeper - THANKS

    (oh, must mention the pic of you on your knees - PRICELESS - lol)
     
  5. V

    V Guru

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    Good job:cheers:
     
  6. BigDogBro1

    BigDogBro1 Made in the USA

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    Nice job Ray! Is there any way to make that a PDF or MSword so it can be printed and placed into our manuals?
     
  7. Daddycool

    Daddycool Active Member

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    I went thru all that last year when I did mine. Compressing the piston rings by myself really sucked! You hit all the points someone needs to know. Good job!
     
  8. jimizee028

    jimizee028 TRUE COLORS COLLISION

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    NICE JOB RAY................
     
  9. Mach_1

    Mach_1 Active Member

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    Great job I will definately print this thread and put it in my binder. Thanks Ray! :cheers:
     
  10. Big Ron

    Big Ron Well-Known Member

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    Man that was like standing right next to you watching every step. I learned allot here. Thanks Ray and great job documenting process.
     
  11. Byrddogg

    Byrddogg Active Member

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    Ray YOU DA MAN :cheers:
     
  12. Vegas

    Vegas Well-Known Member

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    Fantastic job Ray. Gas has some stiff competition.
     
  13. Eric

    Eric Banned

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    wow good job ray..
     
  14. avdhunter

    avdhunter Active Member

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    Sweet Ray! Once again thanks for taking the time to share!!!!
     
  15. Gas Man

    Gas Man Cool isn't cheap
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    Good job Ray.

    Why are all those wiring hanging out on the right side, out from under the tank? Should they be all nicely tucked under the tank?

    And I love the freezer/oven trick. Have used that a few times myself.
     
  16. Tomtang aka Reptilejim

    Tomtang aka Reptilejim Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Ray, you're a real confiddence builder.
     
  17. Raywood

    Raywood The Pirate
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    Yeah, have to re-shrink wrap them over again. Will do it after my next trip down to dry hot Kalifornia in the morning.

    :cheers:
     
  18. jaggerz

    jaggerz Active Member

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    Ray -- Excellent work and pics on the top end job. In my book you are a certified Big Dog tech. Thank you for taking time to take us along on the trip.:2thumbs:
     
  19. demo man

    demo man coming to a ghetto near u

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    very,very nice clean job and excellent how to. it's good people like yourself that make this place:2thumbs:.
    tim
     
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