Part 2 - Assembly - In this How to video, Todd walks you through the installation on a S&S Cycles Hooligan 1200cc conversion kit with oversized cams on a 2003 Harley-Davidson Sportster 883cc engine. If you missed part one the disassembly of the motor make sure to watch that first. These kits work on 2000-2018 Harley-Davidson Sportsters and come in silver or black. If you missed part one the disassembly of this series be sure to watch that first.
This kit can be installed on your motor with in a day spent in the garage. This episode covers from the cam installation to getting the new pistons back on your rods. So, break out the tool box and follow along. See how "There's no big mystery going on in there!" This step by step and does not skip anything, and will help you understand how easy it is to install this kit, beef up your motor and add some real horsepower to it.
Note: Disregard the cam portion of this video if you are only doing a big bore conversion kit install.
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00:01 - NEW CAMS... Awe yeah!
00:46 - Note what year motor you have, you may need a different pinion gear.
01:46 - Checking cam lobe to crank case clearance on each cam.
03:45 - Rotate the engine so that the fly wheel is in the correct position to set the timing marks of the cams.
04:16 - Identifying each cam and what position it goes in.
05:05 - Installing the cams correctly and lining up the timing marks.
07:24 - Verification of the timing marks on the cams.
08:12 - Changing the seal on the cam cover.
10:25 - Reinstalling the cam cover, always use a new gasket.
12:16 - Shiny new fasteners!
16:31 - Sequence on how to tighten the cam cover bolts.
18:49 - Rotate the motor to test that there is no binding in the cams or any problems once the cam cover is installed.
19:28 - Reinstalling the timing pickup cup and ignition.
21:17 - Installing the new lifters.
25:32 - Preparing the new cylinders and pistons. Make sure to inventory your parts. 27:00 - Separate rings and determine where they will be installed on pistons.
28:41 - Determining the ring end gaps and how to check the rings.
34:34 - Installing the rings onto the pistons.
37:47 - Check the pin and the upper rod bushing fitment.
38:15 - Installing the circlip on one side of piston.
39:36 - Clean up any leftover gasket material on the crank case.
40:25 - Installing the pistons onto the rods.
43:45 - To be continued... to part three
You can read the full transcription of this video here:
Here's our new cams provided with the Hooligan kit. Guess what gang? I'm going to consult the instruction sheet, just to be sure we're doing things right here.
One other thing, the new cams, it looks like they got cosmoline on them. That's to keep them from corroding while they're in the box being shipped around the countryside. We're going to go ahead and clean these off, figure out which ones are which and get them installed and show you how to line up the timing marks. After studying the instructions for a few minutes, I've realized that depending on what year you're working on, you want to pay attention to your pinion gear that's on your crankshaft. These cams that come with the Hooligan kit, they don't say it on the box but I looked it up. They're going to be the 482 cam from S&S.
According to my information here since this is a 2003, I don't have to mess with my pinion gear, yay. I could just put my cams in and be done with it. If you do have a '91 to '99 or an '86 to '87 or certain models, you just got to pay attention. There's a neat little picture there of the different style pinion gears that they have available. If you're doing these cams in this particular motor, they're going to want you to change the pinion gear to a different one. Well, we got lucky, we don't have to mess with that. The next thing I looked at was checking, what's this picture to?
Okay, number three, cam lobe. Check bearing or bushing and crankcase. Spin the cam 360 to check for lobe to crankcase interference. I distinctly remember the last time I used some cams, they were supposed to be bolt-in but they weren't and I had to clearance the crankcase. Well, that one looks like it's pretty good. There's my lobe to the crankcase. She's a close, but it can't move up and down once everything's together. That one looks pretty good. This one, and-- You know what? I think we will go ahead and install it and we'll rotate the rods and we'll look at it then, just to be sure.
We'll take this stuff out of here. This will turn that and then we'll be able to make sure that we're not having any contact. It seems to turn, no problem. All right, number two looks good. Let's check this one. All right, that one looks good. The last one. She's a tight one but we'll be all right. What I've done after I got done pulling this one out, is I rotated the engine so that the timing mark on the flywheel is in this location because that's what it shows in the picture book that came with the cams. Let's go ahead and put our stuff back in there, we're done rotating the engine around for now.
We'll put our rags back in there to keep unwanted items out of that area. In order to identify which of these three goes in which hole, you just look at the cam, the marks, the timing marks. Number one is going to have one dot. Number two, it's going to have three dots and it's the big one, so it's not so difficult to figure out where that one goes. Number three cam is going to have three dots on it. That's because it has to line up with two different gears, number two and number four. Number four is going to have two dots on it. They're nice, they give you one at the tooth and one there, so it makes it a little easier for you.
The other thing is, we've got our mark lined up there. On this one, this mark here is going to line up with that one. This one's going to line up with this cam and this one's going to line up with this cam. You can't put this in first because these two have to go in first because this gear won't let those go in second. We'll start by putting this one in. We should probably also put a little bit of lubberdubber on that new cam to the bushing. Even though it's pretty oily there, it still won't hurt anything. Let me grab an oil can here. I've put my number one in, I'm going to put my number three in and then I'm going to try figure out where I need to have these in order for all the marks to line up.
I'm also putting just a little bit of oil on the new cam before I put it in the bushing. We'll also put some oil on the gears after we get it all together. We'll squirt a little oil on the gears. This one is going to be single mark facing this way, single mark, double mark facing that way. Once again, this one has three marks on it. This is the hard part. This mark is going to line up with the flywheel and there's our line on our flywheel. Let's just get an idea of where we need everything to be and then we'll get it together. You'll see that these won't mesh until they are lined up. There's that one. Here's this one, it needs to be right about there and that one needs to be right about there.
Let's see where we are on the inside. How did we do? Dot to dot, dot to line, dot to dot. That's all there is to it. We have one last one to put in. A little oil on her. We've got-- this one should be pretty darn easy. Bam. There it is, lined up. You can compare it to your picture with your instructions and you'll see all the places they line up and the fact that we have all the cams in their correct locations.
Kind of hard to put them in the wrong place because you'd have stuff that wouldn't line up. We'll verify it one more time. That looks good, good, good. Bam, not so difficult, is it? Now we're just about ready to put our gasket back on, put our cover home, we're going to put a new seal on the cover along with our new gasket. We'll button up this part and then we can move along and start putting our new pistons, rings and cylinders on. Whoo. Before we put our cam cover back on, we're going to go ahead and change the seal right there that seals the cam from oil from leaking into here. I went ahead and pulled this out so I can get to it.
Normally, I would use this handy dandy seal puller, but I'm seeing that that's probably not going to be the best plan of action because I really won't have a whole lot of leverage. I think I'm going to go ahead and use this small pry bar. What I'm going to do is I'm going to turn it over. I'm just going to use this tool right here from the backside, being careful of the bushing. Look at that. There she goes. Look at her. There she is. That worked just fine. That little spring thingy came out. Now, we'll go ahead and clean it out. We'll go ahead and put our seal in with the closed side facing up.
I've got this kit right here that you can buy at your favorite inexpensive tool store, seal driver kit, also works well for bearings. A great little kit to have, not very expensive. This one here looks like it'll be the right size. Yes, that should work pretty good. Make sure your seal is even all the way around before you start driving it. You don't want one side to go in first and not the other side and then it gets all caddywhompus. That's not good. You can put different sizes on the handle for different seals, bearings, races, yadda yadda.
It looks like it's pretty even. Just like that, there's the seal, new seal installed in the cover. We're ready to put it back on the engine with a new gasket. Let's head over there now. All right, we are ready to put the cam cover back on. I gave it a quick blow down with some brake clean, kind of wiped the gasket surface off to make sure it was clean and dry. We've got a new gasket here. I'm going to be using a James Gasket. Be sure that your gasket is correct for your model because there is some differences in the slots and the configuration of a Sportster gasket, the package on this one says," 2000 and up," so we know that's right. The Harley gasket is kinda much thinner and has metal in it. This gasket is going to work just fine, no problem there.
Ok, so verify your marks one last time before you put your cover on. It doesn't hurt. Just make sure. Okay. Dot to dot, dot to line. Dot to dot, dot to dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot. Okay. Everything's cool there. We also want to go ahead and put some oil where are the gears are meshing with each other, like a saw, not too much so that it gets everywhere but just enough so when she rotates, you've got some oil on those teeth.
We're just going to put a little bit of oil on here where they go into the bushings. On the cover. Oh, that's not what I wanted to happen. That's okay. We'll be all right. We'll wipe that off. Okay, so we've got some oil on here. I also decided we're gonna go ahead and use some shiny fasteners. Who doesn't like shiny fasteners? We've got all these awesome Colony kits on the Web site. I opted-- I'm going to be doing cam cover. I'm going to do these pins. I'm going to do the lifter blocks. I'm going to the rocker boxes. I got a primary cover kit, they also stock a complete engine kit, so if you have your motor completely torn down and you're rebuilding it and you want to put shiny fasteners on it, Colony is the way to go.
All these kits are available on the website. You may remember that we did this. So, what we're gonna do is we're going to use this as a guide. Once we open up our kit, so we get them in the right places on a stock, Harley fastener, the washer's captive. In other words, it can't come off of the screw fastener. On the Colony kit for these, the fasteners come loose in the package. There is, if you look at this style of washers, you're going to see one side is rounded and one side is flat. I'm going to go ahead and put all the rounded sides facing the head of the fastener. You want the flat side on the cover like a saw.
The best plan of action was to go ahead and replace them one at a time in here so that as I'm doing it because there's three different lengths on these. Now I have this nice little guide as I go along and just put them in and not have to think about which one goes where, because two of them are long, but one's longer than the other and you don't want to put the longer than the other one hole. Okay, great. I also scrounged around my toolbox and found me a worm drive hose clamp to replace these funky Harley ones. The first thing we're gonna do is we're gonna go ahead and put the cam chest breather hose that connects to the old tank back onto the fitting on the backside of the cover after we clean the oil off of this again.
That's the fitting right here, just going to this house, this is kind of a fiddly little thing here. You're just gonna plug her in, not the easiest thing to do. There she goes. We've got our hose on there. One other thing we want to do is we want to put just a little bit of oil on the seal to help it. The camshaft. All right, go get our gasket on there. I know this is kind of a fiddly thing, Harley putting that silly hose on there like that. One last time, we'll wipe the oil that keeps leaking out of the pump here.
New gasket. There's one dowel that locate our gasket. Isn't that nice? I guess I'll be okay. I'm probably going to start with these rear ones because see how it's drooping down just a skosh. I'm gonna go ahead and get all my fasteners in before I tighten anything. Okay. Ready to put the cover on. Let's see how this goes. Oh, that was pretty good. She's seated. We can go ahead and start putting our screws in using our guide. Just as I thought, the gasket's drooping down on that hole. I pulled it out ever so slightly to-- There she goes. We weren't going to bore you with me putting 11 fasteners in a cam cover, they're all installed.
If you look at the instructions, there's a sequence of tightening on those and it does say to torque them 280 to 110-inch pounds. I'm going to torque them by hand and I'll tell you why. Got a steel fastener and aluminum, had an incident a number of years ago with an inch-pound torque wrench on a cam plate for twin cam and ripped the threads right out. I can feel what 100 inch-pounds feels like. I don't need an inch-pound torque wrench. If you'd like to use one in your garage, go for it. If you pull the threads out, don't be calling me. One other thing I want to mention, too, about chrome fasteners.
If you're installing one and it feels hard going, there is a likely chance that there may be a buildup of chrome on the threads of the fastener. No-fault of the manufacturers, it's generally the Chrome shop. You want to stop, regroup, maybe run it, the fastener through a dye and then try it again. You just got to cut the chrome off the threads. I had one fastener like that and we did that when you weren't looking. But at any rate, all the fasteners are in, I am going to use the guide that's in the instructions for the sequence of tightening. They're saying number one is this one, click.
Two is this one. Click. That's my calibrated elbow. Three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11. There you have it. New cams in, new seal, new gasket, cam cover's done. Look how nice those shiny fasteners look, don't they look good? We're going to go ahead and rotate the engine, make sure everything's spinning freely with the new cams in there. Oh, look at that. That's nice. Nothing going wrong there. No binding. Everything feels beautiful. We're going to go ahead and put our rags back in there again. Once again, don't want any foreign objects going into our crankcase where our rods are cause that would be bad.
Now that we've got the cam cover all buttoned up, we can go ahead and put this pickup back into the end of the cam. Once again, it's a good idea to put this up first without the screw. There's this notch which coincides with the cam that we showed you earlier. So you can basically put it up there and kind of move it.Oh, there it is, right there. I can feel, and then hold it with one hand and start your screw with the other hand. [music]
I would guess, if it's not in that spot, it's going to be all cattywampus. [silence] Tight enough, don't need to overdo it. We're just going to pull this wire back through, put our ignition unit back in there. Since my mark is long gone, we'll be timing it later. You can see on that plate, the round circle from this part. I'm going to go ahead and put it there and then that'll be a good starting point for when we get everything all back together and we're setting the ignition timing.
I'm just going to reinstall these. I'm just going to snug them up. I'm not going to tighten them down all the way right now. I guess the moral of that story is, if you want to mark where it was before, scribe it instead of using a sharpie. That's that. You don't have to worry about that just yet. We got the cam cover all buttoned up, we can go ahead and put the lifters in now. Kit comes with new lifters. Got them out of the package here ready to rock. I am going to use the oil can and I'm going to squirt some oil down to the hole so it goes on the cam lobes like a saw.
When we're putting the lifters in, you want that roller pin to be facing out because this roller rolls on the cam lobe. If you put it this way, that's not going to work. Also, there's these flats for our pins. When this goes in, pin goes in here, rods against that flat and keeps this from rotating. Probably also wouldn't hurt to put a little oil on the lifters. Some people like to suck these things in a pan of oil to pump them up. I really don't have a problem with letting the engine pump it up. Once the engine starts after it's rebuilt, you'll just hear a little lifter ticking until they pump up and then it'll be fine.
We've lubed up the cam lobes, we've lubed up the lifters. We've got some new Colony, anti-rotation, shiny ones. We're going to use those. Once again, going with our chrome theme on the fasteners. Same program as the other ones, rounded side, flat side. Also, there's some holes on the lifters on this engine. It really doesn't matter which way they face. The lifter is just going to drop down into the hole like a saw.
We're going to put the anti-rotation pin in there. It feels like my lifters just turned just a scotch when I dropped it in the hole. I'm going to get a pick or magnet and pull it back up out of there. Bada bang. Yes, she was turned over so slightly. You'll know if it's not in there. It got turned when I dropped it down in there. That looks good. See now the pin is starting.
Simple as that.
There’s another one in the hole.
That's so good.
All right, we're going to go ahead and get the cylinders and pistons unpackaged in preparation for checking the ring in gap. Make sure you inventory your parts. Here goes the pin, the piston, the cylinder and we need some clips. There they are. I can tell we're going to have to clean that out. It feels like they've got something on it for packaging purposes and to keep it from corroding. We're going to clean those out before we get going here. Let's get something on the workbench because we like everything to be nice and clean. Anytime you're doing engine work, you want to keep things clean.
Lots of cardboard in there. Look at that. These are some locating dowels. Here's the other ones for that one. Those are going to get installed in those holes there, you'll see.
From experience, I'm going to guess and we'll look at the instructions in a sec. Shiny one's probably are going to go on the top. I like to set my rings-- Usually, most rings come in a package that you unfold and I mark them but I'm guessing these are all loose. That's going to be the top. That was probably going to be the middle and these will be the bottom. We'll go ahead and separate them into piles like a saw and then we'll look at the instructions and see if I was right.
This instruction sheet I was just referring to while we're working here is for the piston rings. When I got to the little chart here, that tells you what ring in gap they're looking for, we'll show you how we're going to do that in a second. It's got some crazy chart that says, application, street high performance. Top ring, four times, 0.0045. I was like, I'm pretty seasoned. Do I want to figure out, find my bore size, take it times that to get my ringing gap? No, I want a specific number. So I said, “Let's try looking at the other instruction sheet that came with the kit.”
This one says, "Piston's in cylinder kit." What did I find? Oh, really nice looking picture that you can probably see a whole lot better picture of that, that you could probably see from all the way over there. When I get to the next page, suggested ring in gaps. This is what I'm used to seeing in the field, working at a shop, putting big bore kits on, day after day after day. It basically tells you top ring, minimum gap, 16,000s, maximum, 22,000s. Second ring, 16 to 26. Oil control ring, 10 to 50. 50? That's a lot.
Now that we have a real number, I got my feeler gauges out. We're going to take the top ring, shiny one, and you're just going to place it in the bore. I like to put it in at an angle like that and then turn it. What you do next is you take your piston and you square up the ring in the bore. So in other words, we want that ring to be sitting in the bore even to do the measurement. We're looking for 16,000s minimum. We're going to take our 16-thousandths feeler gauge, that's 0.016 and we're going to put it in the end of the gap that's on the ring here and we're going to check it and 16 goes. That's good. We can continue to go up a size and figure out what it is. You know what, let's go ahead and do that just for the heck of it. We're just going to go up one size at a time to see what our actual ring in gap is. 17 goes, 18 goes but real tight.
I'd be safe to say that the ring end gap on the top ring on this cylinder is going to be 17-thousandths. That falls well within our spec of 16 to 22. Good to go. No grinding required.
Take your ring out, put your next ring in. I started with a 16 on the second ring, the one that goes in the second groove on the piston and she's the same as the other one, 17. I'm pretty happy with that. That's perfectly fine. Upon further inspection of the second ring, I noticed there is a very slight bevel on it, which corresponds to Figure 3. According to it says, "If ring has no dot but does have an inside diameter bevel, the bevel goes to the top."
In other words, when this gets installed on the piston, that little bevel is going to face up towards the top of the piston. Once again, verifying the top ring is in fact square at the end. Well, it's not really square but it doesn't have a bevel or a dot. Oil control rings, same program, square it up. Once again, they want to see on the oil coil control ring a minimum of 10, but it goes up to 50. That's a pretty big gap once again, so I can see it's way more than 10. I don't need to get my 10 out. We'll start with our 17 because we already have it out. It's way more than 17.
I don't think there's going to be any need to change any of the end gaps on these rings, but it is very important that you do check them maybe on a different job you're doing. It's much bigger than that. If you don't have any ring in gap, you're going to have a problem. If you have way too much ring in gap, you might have a problem. Basically, back in the day when I was doing shovel heads, I liked to see 15-thousandths. We're getting up there. We're at 30 and it's still too big. What do we got going on here? Let's see. What's our biggest? Well, hell, ring in only goes up to 35. How are we going to check 50-thousandths? Let's try this one. We have a winner.
No. Actually it's maybe just a little bit more. What we'll do is we'll add a smaller one to this one. That's how we're going to check it. If it's larger than what we have in our feeler gauge, we're going to put two of them together. Now, that's 40-thousandths, if we add five and 35, that's pretty simple math there. Just verifying that it is not 50. I'm pretty happy with that one. I'll just go ahead and repeat the same steps for the other cylinder. Check your ring end gap, important. We're going to go ahead and move along to getting the pistons installed on the rods and then we'll put the rings on. We can put the rings on before we put them on either way, it really doesn't matter.
It's probably easier to go ahead and put them on, on the bench and then put the pistons on, put our circle ups on. Then, after that, we'll use our ring compressor and we'll get these cylinders installed on there. We'll go ahead and get the oil control ring on there. You'll put this expander ring on first down to the bottom groove and then one each of these. Either way around. There is a tool for doing this. It does make life a lot easier. You got to be careful with these rings. That thing's all cattywampus. There she goes. One other thing I want to show you too real quick here. As you're doing this all control ring you'll notice the way that end butts together. You don't want it to be like that or like that. You want it to be like that.
You'll see when we get it on there, it'll make better sense. We've got the expander ring, one of those on the bottom, and now we're going to put one on the top. We'll go this way with it. She went in the wrong group. Start over. There you have it. Now we were ready to put the second groove ring on. Once again, we've got that bevel that's going to face up.
There it is. There's a tool that they make that I forgot to bring today. What it does is you put it in the end here and you kind of squeeze it and it opens this up very carefully and then you can just put it right on. Since I don't have the tool and you might not have one too, we're doing it the old fashioned way where we're just carefully spinning it by hand, so it goes over the piston and into the groove like so. That one's ready to go on the engine. We'll go ahead and do the other one, but one other thing that we want to look at very quickly is there's an arrow on the top of the piston. It says, "Forward."
Both of the pistons when they get installed on the engine are going to be facing this way. Here's our piston pin and our clips. What I find is much easier to do with the clips is to go ahead and install one in the piston and then go ahead and put the piston on the engine so you already have one installed and then you'll slide your pin in, it'll hit that clip, and then you put your second clip in. The other thing I like to do is always check the fit of the-- Look at that. She's nice. It goes right in very nicely. On a high mileage engine, you also want to check this pin fit to this. If it has considerable play, then it may be time to renew the upper rod bushing.
Since this is not a high mileage engine, we don't have to worry about that. You'll notice there's a little groove in here and that's basically for removing the clips. When you put it in there, you don't want the open ends in that location. Now, there's also a special tool for putting these in. I can't expect everyone in their home garage to have all these darn special tools, so we're going to go ahead and do it the old way and just put it in by hand. We're going to show you an easy way to go ahead and get the first clip in if you don't have the special tool. Once again, we don't want that in gap to be right there where that is or it's difficult to remove it the next time.
I'm going to push that into the hole straight, see how it's going straight in. Then once you get it past there, you can kind of turn it and you can see that it's starting to go in the groove on the top but not on the bottom. What you do is you just take the pin and put it in the other side and then when you push on that clip, you'll hear it click in a second. Bam. I used the pin to center it and now it's clicked into the groove.
We're ready to put the pistons on to the rods. Before we put the pistons back on, you need to make sure that you've removed all the old gasket material from the crankcase and I already done the other side. It's okay to use a razor blade and a little tip for you. You want to hold that razor blade at a 90 degree angle and then you won't damage the aluminum or make any grooves in it. There's a little bit of gasket material left on there. You just want to scrape away at it 90 degree.
Don't get it down in the crankcase, that's what the blue towels are for. You want that gasket surface. You can see it there. You want to get that old junk off of there in preparation for putting the new gaskets on. We've finished cleaning all the gaskets off, it's all nice and clean. I wipe those out real quick and the next thing we want to do is we want to put a little oil on these before we put the pin in there, like a saw. Don't worry about that, it's going to drip out any second. It's not a big deal. Once again, faces forward. Go ahead and get our pin started on one side.
If it goes in too far, you won't be able to get it on. You're just going to hold that like a dart and you're going to wiggle it around till it goes in like a dart. Also it's a good idea to have something like this on there, stud protectors, you don't want the pistons riding against the stud like so. We'll use those while we put this clip in and when we get to that one, we'll move them. I should have some more on there but I don't. Once again, forward, start your pin. The other one went on a lot easier than that, didn't it. There it is. Wait a minute. There she goes. Look at her go. We'll just put a towel around that for now. Next thing we're going to do is we're going to put the clips in.
Once again, there is a special tool for this job, makes life very easy. We don't have any special tool. We're going to do it the old-school way. Hopefully, it won't go sailing across the shop. I almost got it all the way in by hand but once again, if you have the tool, it makes your life so much easier. There she goes. Half of it and, there she is. Get her in there any way you can. Careful, being careful. Then, you want to always verify it is all the way in the groove. Generally, I'll check one last time before I put the cylinder on. We got that one in there. Now we're ready to do the other one.