$60 engine rebuild

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jack moghrabi
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:59 pm

$60 engine rebuild

#1

Post by jack moghrabi » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:45 pm

Hello, everyone greetings from South Florida

I've been away from the computer for a month (mountain bicycling with my swiss girlfriend around Zurich, Switz--the way things are shaping up I might be writing to this forum from Switz one day).
I'd like give a 2000 mile update on my "$60 engine rebuild" which I have written about before. My engine rebuild on my '63 FL consisted of installing new rings ( that's the $60 dollar cost for the "rebuild"). Naturally I honed the cylinders with my electric drill. I did everything by look and feel without taking any measurements whatsoever.....

The rest it was just cleaning the valve train. I took the valves out and removed the carbon and dirt and lapped the valves against the seats.

At 2000 miles as near as I can tell because I don't have a speedometer things are genuinely incredible. My bike starts on the first kick practically all the time either hot or cold. The bike had been sitting for three weeks when I got back from Switzerland and she started on the 5th or 6th kick on one cylinder only because the rear cylinder spark plug wire was not giving the plug full juice. But she ran good on one cylinder anyway. I played with the connection at the coil, reversed the wires at the coil (the plug to coil connection) and that seems to have fixed the weak spark at the rear plug. I'm finding that's really all my bike requires for consistent reliable operation. I do have a bigger battery shoehorned lengthwise in the oil tank and wedged in under my rear fender lip (I had to trim the rear fender lip where it made contact with the battery) and I had to do some grinding at the steel supports in the rear cavity of the tank to fit the battery in lengthwise. I believe I did this without sacrificing strength in the oil tank's structural support.

I'm definitely happy with the bigger battery. After three weeks sitting idle I thought at the minimum I'd have a dead battery coming back from Switz and with my set up I have to remove the rear fender to get it out. But no, the battery if fine.

Personally, I think part of the process to getting a good running machine is to use it as often as possible. Now I'm starting to run her harder and harder. I get the confidence to do this from Cotten's "rev her up" and "run her full tilt" advice posted on the forum.....

And yes, yesterday my throttle cable broke where she slips into the hole at the fitting on the throttle shaft lever. Luckily I had enough play in the throttle cable to reinsert what was left at the end of the cable and get enough into the hole to get the anchoring screw into the remaining cable meat. So far she's holding......

Anyway, it was nice getting back into Hydra-glide.net on coming back. It's amazing how there's always something to be learned at many different levels from these machines and the individuals who keep them running.....JackMO

Post by 51Hog on May 1, 2006, 8:03pm

Hi Jack,
Congratulations on the Swedish girlfriend and glad you had fun bicycling up and down all of those hills. (If it doesn't use fuel, I don't want it.) LOL
I really like Europe. Go to Spain almost every year. Unfortunately, with the Euros, Europe--At least Spain---Has gotten more expensive to live than the good old USA. The wages haven't gone up much either--In Spain--.
Glad your $60.00 rebuild is going well also.
Dale

Post by billy on May 2, 2006, 8:03am

jackmo-

"I did everything by look and feel without taking any measurements whatsoever....."

What ? no fussin-n-cussin ? It just ain't natural.. ;D ;D ;D ;D

Post by Cotten on May 2, 2006, 1:27pm

I said what?

...Cotten
PS: I'm almost tempted to use a damned smiley, but I don't see one that looks shocked.

Post by jackmoghrabi on May 2, 2006, 4:09pm

Thanks for the comeback everyone....

I do have several questions that come to mind which are as follows:

Anybody have any idea what the cost is to ship a bike to Europe these days? Is it cheaper to tear the bike down and ship it in a box as "machinery pieces". Has anyone had any experience in any of this? Customs, registration etc? Basically, my '63 is the only machine I really care about. If I eventually move there (I'm going back out there for all of June thru the first half of August) taking the pan with me is all I really care about. I don't even need my 1960 Triumph TR3 (I've restored it but it is still in primer black--needs paint) which I don't even drive that much 'cause I'd always rather be on the pan. Likely I'll sell the TR3.

My bike definitely runs wonderful although it is not perfect. I still have a lot of oil leaks that need to be isolated and taken care of and I do understand getting to all the oil leaks takes time, patience and careful scrutiny. I've made a few comments before about my new rear cylinder base gasket that spits oil out the left side.
I have about four or five other leaks also. But all the leaks are manageable (I go through one quart of oil a week riding the bike everyday (50 to 80 miles I gather). I know that is excessive and I do need to wrench more and ride her less to get the leaks fixed.
I just have difficulty doing that though. I'd always rather be running her than taking care of something not critical.
Is it possible to have a truly leak-free Panhead? Does anyone really have a Panhead that doesn't leak somewhere? Testimony to that effect would be nice and particularly what it took to get there......

At any rate, my bike seems to like the fresh infusion of oil everyweek anyway....And I don't mind the oil, either on the bike, on the ground or on my hands and clothes....Wiping her off every couple of days is not so bad. I wipe her off as I go. I've always got a wad of napkins from the coffee shop stuck under the seat for wiping off the oil. This way I'm always looking at her up close and hopefully keeping a close eye on things although that doesn't mean you're not going to miss something anyway as we all know.....

Everything on my bike is repaired, rebuilt or just cleaned. When a bracket breaks I just get her welded back up. My approach has been to keep things simple and basic. Stay stock and repair instead of buying new. This does give my bike a distinctive unrestored "patina" that I hear carries some degree of "weight" in the "collector market" though I don't really care about that anyway.
Don't mean to be so winded everyone. Any thoughts always appreciated (helps me keep my head on straight). JackMO

Post by fourthgear on May 2, 2006, 5:12pm

Jack.
I do not think you will find a Pan that doesn't drip a little oil now and then ( unless its out of oil ) , if anything it will drip from the primary/breather side , not to mention that damn oil filter canister, rear chain oiler etc. ya see what I mean. There are places it shouldn't leak and one of them is your base gasket.
Never been to Switzerland , seen photo's of it, looks like a cool place.

Post by Mbskeam on May 3, 2006, 5:18am

I do not think you will find a Pan that doesn't drip a little oil now and then ( unless its out of oil )
why I outta........
when I do find a weep I have to tell myself its only a bike......
my 99 has more oil down the side from the crappy breather system,way more than the pan ever has.........
almost starting to get that Rat bike look

mbskeam

(been to busy ridin to fix it)



rootwad
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:02 am
Bikes: '59 Pan/Shovel FLH
'06 Road King FLHR
Location: Bremerton Wa

Re: $60 engine rebuild

#2

Post by rootwad » Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:04 pm

hydra wrote:Hello, everyone greetings from South Florida

I've been away from the computer for a month (mountain bicycling with my swiss girlfriend around Zurich, Switz--the way things are shaping up I might be writing to this forum from Switz one day).
I'd like give a 2000 mile update on my "$60 engine rebuild" which I have written about before. My engine rebuild on my '63 FL consisted of installing new rings ( that's the $60 dollar cost for the "rebuild"). Naturally I honed the cylinders with my electric drill. I did everything by look and feel without taking any measurements whatsoever.....

The rest it was just cleaning the valve train. I took the valves out and removed the carbon and dirt and lapped the valves against the seats.

At 2000 miles as near as I can tell because I don't have a speedometer things are genuinely incredible. My bike starts on the first kick practically all the time either hot or cold. The bike had been sitting for three weeks when I got back from Switzerland and she started on the 5th or 6th kick on one cylinder only because the rear cylinder spark plug wire was not giving the plug full juice. But she ran good on one cylinder anyway. I played with the connection at the coil, reversed the wires at the coil (the plug to coil connection) and that seems to have fixed the weak spark at the rear plug. I'm finding that's really all my bike requires for consistent reliable operation. I do have a bigger battery shoehorned lengthwise in the oil tank and wedged in under my rear fender lip (I had to trim the rear fender lip where it made contact with the battery) and I had to do some grinding at the steel supports in the rear cavity of the tank to fit the battery in lengthwise. I believe I did this without sacrificing strength in the oil tank's structural support.

I'm definitely happy with the bigger battery. After three weeks sitting idle I thought at the minimum I'd have a dead battery coming back from Switz and with my set up I have to remove the rear fender to get it out. But no, the battery if fine.

Personally, I think part of the process to getting a good running machine is to use it as often as possible. Now I'm starting to run her harder and harder. I get the confidence to do this from Cotten's "rev her up" and "run her full tilt" advice posted on the forum.....

And yes, yesterday my throttle cable broke where she slips into the hole at the fitting on the throttle shaft lever. Luckily I had enough play in the throttle cable to reinsert what was left at the end of the cable and get enough into the hole to get the anchoring screw into the remaining cable meat. So far she's holding......

Anyway, it was nice getting back into Hydra-glide.net on coming back. It's amazing how there's always something to be learned at many different levels from these machines and the individuals who keep them running.....JackMO

Post by 51Hog on May 1, 2006, 8:03pm

Hi Jack,
Congratulations on the Swedish girlfriend and glad you had fun bicycling up and down all of those hills. (If it doesn't use fuel, I don't want it.) LOL
I really like Europe. Go to Spain almost every year. Unfortunately, with the Euros, Europe--At least Spain---Has gotten more expensive to live than the good old USA. The wages haven't gone up much either--In Spain--.
Glad your $60.00 rebuild is going well also.
Dale

Post by billy on May 2, 2006, 8:03am

jackmo-

"I did everything by look and feel without taking any measurements whatsoever....."

What ? no fussin-n-cussin ? It just ain't natural.. ;D ;D ;D ;D

Post by Cotten on May 2, 2006, 1:27pm

I said what?

...Cotten
PS: I'm almost tempted to use a damned smiley, but I don't see one that looks shocked.

Post by jackmoghrabi on May 2, 2006, 4:09pm

Thanks for the comeback everyone....

I do have several questions that come to mind which are as follows:

Anybody have any idea what the cost is to ship a bike to Europe these days? Is it cheaper to tear the bike down and ship it in a box as "machinery pieces". Has anyone had any experience in any of this? Customs, registration etc? Basically, my '63 is the only machine I really care about. If I eventually move there (I'm going back out there for all of June thru the first half of August) taking the pan with me is all I really care about. I don't even need my 1960 Triumph TR3 (I've restored it but it is still in primer black--needs paint) which I don't even drive that much 'cause I'd always rather be on the pan. Likely I'll sell the TR3.

My bike definitely runs wonderful although it is not perfect. I still have a lot of oil leaks that need to be isolated and taken care of and I do understand getting to all the oil leaks takes time, patience and careful scrutiny. I've made a few comments before about my new rear cylinder base gasket that spits oil out the left side.
I have about four or five other leaks also. But all the leaks are manageable (I go through one quart of oil a week riding the bike everyday (50 to 80 miles I gather). I know that is excessive and I do need to wrench more and ride her less to get the leaks fixed.
I just have difficulty doing that though. I'd always rather be running her than taking care of something not critical.
Is it possible to have a truly leak-free Panhead? Does anyone really have a Panhead that doesn't leak somewhere? Testimony to that effect would be nice and particularly what it took to get there......

At any rate, my bike seems to like the fresh infusion of oil everyweek anyway....And I don't mind the oil, either on the bike, on the ground or on my hands and clothes....Wiping her off every couple of days is not so bad. I wipe her off as I go. I've always got a wad of napkins from the coffee shop stuck under the seat for wiping off the oil. This way I'm always looking at her up close and hopefully keeping a close eye on things although that doesn't mean you're not going to miss something anyway as we all know.....

Everything on my bike is repaired, rebuilt or just cleaned. When a bracket breaks I just get her welded back up. My approach has been to keep things simple and basic. Stay stock and repair instead of buying new. This does give my bike a distinctive unrestored "patina" that I hear carries some degree of "weight" in the "collector market" though I don't really care about that anyway.
Don't mean to be so winded everyone. Any thoughts always appreciated (helps me keep my head on straight). JackMO

Post by fourthgear on May 2, 2006, 5:12pm

Jack.
I do not think you will find a Pan that doesn't drip a little oil now and then ( unless its out of oil ) , if anything it will drip from the primary/breather side , not to mention that damn oil filter canister, rear chain oiler etc. ya see what I mean. There are places it shouldn't leak and one of them is your base gasket.
Never been to Switzerland , seen photo's of it, looks like a cool place.

Post by Mbskeam on May 3, 2006, 5:18am

I do not think you will find a Pan that doesn't drip a little oil now and then ( unless its out of oil )
why I outta........
when I do find a weep I have to tell myself its only a bike......
my 99 has more oil down the side from the crappy breather system,way more than the pan ever has.........
almost starting to get that Rat bike look

mbskeam

(been to busy ridin to fix it)
Hey Everyone,

They ain't leakin' oil, they're marking their spot, just like they're 'spose to.

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