Author Topic: Shovel motor build advice....  (Read 3451 times)

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Offline yarddogg77

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Shovel motor build advice....
« on: February 12, 2020, 09:01:25 AM »
Well, pretty soon I'll be rebuilding my shovel motor. I'm looking for advice here. I noticed when the bike was running that it had no power in the mid to upper RPM range. I would like to change that. I have no idea what is currently in the motor, but it seems to me that the PO may have tried to build a torque monster out of an 80"  :emoGroan:

I'm pretty sure it has some ridiculous high compression pistons, because even with a high torque starter and a good AGM battery, it will not kick over if the battery drains even a little bit. I've also read on here that with the large CC in the hemi heads of these bikes, they are prone to run hotter and have less upper RPM power. I just want a good reliable street worthy engine and hopefully more power on top if I can get it. I also neede to send off the flywheels and have them balanced.

So what are the piston and cam recommendations for an 80" shovel motor in a hot climate? Where is a good place to send my flywheels? I won't be getting to this right away, I'm a few months off, but I need to learn this motor better.
My shop has a grass floor and really high ceiling... Yard - Dogg

Offline Racepres

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2020, 09:57:47 AM »

 I need to learn this motor better.

Gonna need to start by Disassembly!!!!
Too many variables to "Guess" and Only someone who really knows can diagnose by simply Listening...maybe learn a bit of something by riding... but... Not that much!!!!
 
Do a Compression and leak-down to decide if it is even required...
Bust them wrenches out.....

Offline jeffscycle

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2020, 10:13:18 AM »
   As mentioned, see if you can get a cold cranking pressure #, I've never been impressed by Shovel era "hi-torque" starters, but hopefully it has equally as good cables. If there is high comp pistons with say a Andrews #1 cam, that can kind of explain cranking issues, but it should be a stump puller though the mid range at least. Also hopefully the ignition is modern, meaning single fire & a heathy coil, old points & coil isn't going to cut it. As for the crank, if it didn't feel like excessive vibration, and you check run out & BDC rod play, you may not need to go there. But if your compelled to do the crank, Dark horse would be a easy choice, but lots of us folks here do them still.
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Offline yarddogg77

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2020, 10:14:30 AM »
I have to tear it apart anyway because the flywheels are out of balance. In fact, when I crank it over it seems to hit a wall, feels like bindage. I'm concerned the flywheel is so far out, that maybe the main shaft is binding in the cam side, or the pistons may be twisting around in there. It's bad. Anyway. I'm just wondering what compression to shoot for, 8:1, 9:1? I know I will favor a higher lift cam as opposed to a long duration. Just doing some pre brainstorming. Also, is there a good 2-1 performance pipe set that will work with hard bags on an FLH?
My shop has a grass floor and really high ceiling... Yard - Dogg

Offline yarddogg77

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2020, 10:30:02 AM »
Wow, I just called Darkhorse to get a price quote, just for a balancing they want $495, and worst case scenario to rebuild the rods and all that they want up to $870. Not thanks. I could probably buy a new rebuilt flywheel set for less than that. there must be another way.
My shop has a grass floor and really high ceiling... Yard - Dogg

Offline Racepres

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2020, 10:36:53 AM »
Wow, I just called Darkhorse to get a price quote, just for a balancing they want $495, and worst case scenario to rebuild the rods and all that they want up to $870. Not thanks. I could probably buy a new rebuilt flywheel set for less than that. there must be another way.

Since we have no clue where yer located... hard to help with "Who"
Pull the plugs and crank er over... if the wheels are that far out of true... you will Know [balance has nothing to do with it]
Now stick finger in spark plug hole ... should blow 'er out with authority.... Next

Offline turboprop

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2020, 03:51:31 PM »
Wow, I just called Darkhorse to get a price quote, just for a balancing they want $495, and worst case scenario to rebuild the rods and all that they want up to $870. Not thanks. I could probably buy a new rebuilt flywheel set for less than that. there must be another way.

IMO you called the wrong place. Darkhorse is THEY place for the pressed together cranks in TC and newer engines. Just about every bike shop with a grey beard can true and balance those bolt together flywheels. I would expect the cost of true and balance to be around $250 -ish plus any hardware that is needed.

Cam and piston options have been discussed at length in the shovel section. I suggest you look around in there for a bit. Odds are the information is already there.
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Offline yarddogg77

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2020, 05:26:32 PM »
Compression has nothing to do with the horrible vibration this motor has. Next....
My shop has a grass floor and really high ceiling... Yard - Dogg

Offline Racepres

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2020, 05:55:11 PM »
Compression has nothing to do with the horrible vibration this motor has. Next....

Unless only one cylinder has any!!!!!!

Online Ohio HD

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2020, 05:56:20 PM »
Compression has nothing to do with the horrible vibration this motor has. Next....

Unless only one cylinder has any!!!!!!

 :up:
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Offline yarddogg77

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2020, 06:00:02 PM »
Compression has nothing to do with the horrible vibration this motor has. Next....

Unless only one cylinder has any!!!!!!
True, I'm just messing with you, it was firing on both and I have checked compression, they were strong. I think the flywheels are so far out of true it may even be binding things a bit when it cranks over. I will double check because it's free, but I'm sure it's not that.  :agree:
My shop has a grass floor and really high ceiling... Yard - Dogg

Offline yarddogg77

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2020, 06:09:41 PM »
I did put on a new Ultima Single Fire ignition system. I definitely had it on top dead center and that's how I learned I had a Harley flywheel set due to the timing marks. The ignition as easy, you just install it wire it up, and with the bike on TDC just rotate the ignition unit until the little light shuts off, then screw it down. I know I got that right. You know I think I will check the compression again, and maybe the intake boots too. Could be something simple huh?

What else might cause this? A flat cam lobe, or maybe a bad lifter? I didn't hear any lifter noise.
My shop has a grass floor and really high ceiling... Yard - Dogg

Online Reddog74usa

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2020, 06:19:33 PM »
I went off the road on a turn as I was goin way way way to fast and hit a mound of dirt. Man I hit it just right and got some good air. I came down like a cat lookin good till I had to jump over the second mound of dirt which I didn't hit square and hit it on the side so again I got some real good air but had to get off the bike as it went down on it's side. Me and the bike just had some scrapes n bruises but that engine never ran right after that crash and had a vibration that would shake the fillins out of yer teeth. It was so bad I wondered how it was stayin together so it may be it was wrecked at some point causing the engine to come to an abrupt stop resulting in the flywheels twerking.
RIDE IT LIKE YA STOLE IT

Offline yarddogg77

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2020, 06:25:02 PM »
That's something I've been pondering. The night I got the bike I do not recall that engine shaking so bad. I was running it up at 80- 85 on the way home and I remember it felt pretty good. The PO ran the ignition wire right behind the rear pipe along with the starter cable and a few other things. It had a Hi4 Crane ignition. On the way home that ignition wire burned up so at times it would violently cut out jarring the bike. I've been wondering if that might have knocked the flywheels out of true. It was running like "Potty mouth" by the time I got home because of the ignition wire being smoked. It didn't start after that, so that's when I tore it down. At first I planned to fix the wiring, then I found more Miskey Mouse work, so I decided to just tear it down to the frame. The motor has shook ever since. Terrible vibration. Pisses me off.
My shop has a grass floor and really high ceiling... Yard - Dogg

Offline capn

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2020, 02:52:20 AM »
There is a guy on ebay that sells rebuilt shovel cranks.Out of Florida.

Offline Hillside Motorcycle

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2020, 04:24:31 AM »
We build/balance those cranks, using S&S Master Crankshaft Tooling.
Smooth as "buttah" once completed.
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Offline 72fl

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2020, 04:34:09 AM »
That's something I've been pondering. The night I got the bike I do not recall that engine shaking so bad. I was running it up at 80- 85 on the way home and I remember it felt pretty good. The PO ran the ignition wire right behind the rear pipe along with the starter cable and a few other things. It had a Hi4 Crane ignition. On the way home that ignition wire burned up so at times it would violently cut out jarring the bike. I've been wondering if that might have knocked the flywheels out of true. It was running like "Potty mouth" by the time I got home because of the ignition wire being smoked. It didn't start after that, so that's when I tore it down. At first I planned to fix the wiring, then I found more Miskey Mouse work, so I decided to just tear it down to the frame. The motor has shook ever since. Terrible vibration. Pisses me off.

Yard I gotta ask are you sure it's not a Timing Issue just because of what you said about running great until wire burned up. I find it real hard to think that the flywheels are rubbing when starting.

Offline Racepres

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2020, 06:30:48 AM »

That's something I've been pondering. The night I got the bike I do not recall that engine shaking so bad. I was running it up at 80- 85 on the way home and I remember it felt pretty good. The PO ran the ignition wire right behind the rear pipe along with the starter cable and a few other things. It had a Hi4 Crane ignition. On the way home that ignition wire burned up so at times it would violently cut out jarring the bike. I've been wondering if that might have knocked the flywheels out of true. It was running like "Potty mouth" by the time I got home because of the ignition wire being smoked. It didn't start after that, so that's when I tore it down. At first I planned to fix the wiring, then I found more Miskey Mouse work, so I decided to just tear it down to the frame. The motor has shook ever since. Terrible vibration. Pisses me off.
"Torn down to the frame" introduces plenty of Ammunition for Vibration... alignment, motor mounts ad infinitum!!!
That and I have had many different Ignition and mechanical failures at extreme RPM's and Never yet had an affect on flywheel True... This includes a piston "bumping" the head at about 6 grand!!!!!
Yard I gotta ask are you sure it's not a Timing Issue just because of what you said about running great until wire burned up. I find it real hard to think that the flywheels are rubbing when starting.
Especially with this statement...

The ignition as easy, you just install it wire it up, and with the bike on TDC just rotate the ignition unit until the little light shuts off, then screw it down.

TDC of the Compression Stroke

Offline yarddogg77

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2020, 07:35:19 AM »
The bike is put together just fine, engine tranny alignment good, everything is tight. It is not a loose bolt vibration. It is a hard vibration related directly the engine RPM which could only be cause by the weight of the flywheels. Even if it was running on 1 cylinder I don't believe it would feel the way it does. Judging by the things I found when I started working on the bike, the PO probably took a short cut or screwed something up with the flywheels.

I will definitely check the timing again, but it was on TDC compression, it will start and run and it does fire on both cylinders, sounds right when idling and rev. It never spits or sputters or coughs, or cuts out with the new ignition. It's gotta be the flywheel. I have to finish work on a truck, then I will check the runout, cam, and intake seals.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 07:47:59 AM by yarddogg77 »
My shop has a grass floor and really high ceiling... Yard - Dogg

Offline Burnout

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2020, 12:12:26 PM »
I did put on a new Ultima Single Fire ignition system. I definitely had it on top dead center and that's how I learned I had a Harley flywheel set due to the timing marks. #1 The ignition as easy, you just install it wire it up, and with the bike on TDC just rotate the ignition unit until the little light shuts off, then screw it down. I know I got that right. #2 You know I think I will check the compression again #3, and maybe the intake boots too #4. Could be something simple huh?

What else might cause this? A flat cam lobe, or maybe a bad lifter? I didn't hear any lifter noise. #5

#1 Timing marks don't ID a crank anyone can put whatever timing marks they want on the flywheels.
Some cranks can be ID'd by a part # that can be read through the timing plug.
You can tell if you have steel or cast iron flywheels through the hole.

#2 That timing procedure just allows you to get the motor started.
You should not assume a finished timing setting and ride the bike as such. (although many do)
The only way to set the timing is with a light. PERIOD

#3 A compression test will tell you how the cylinders compare to each other.
And can help with other issues, too high, too low.

#4 Use a can of spray cleaner to dribble some spray on the manifold joints, and watch for a change in idle speed.
Quick and easy test for seal leaks.

#5 Use a heat gun to check the head temps and exhaust temps to verify cylinder balance.
Also -
You mentioned that you thought the crank was taco'd.
If it was I would expect a significant amount of debris in the oil.
Cut open the oil filter and see if it is shedding metal.
No point in disassembling a good motor......
If you do find metal look in the cam chest first for problems.

Finale -
You can't say balance and Harley Davidson in the same sentence without some level of sarcasm.
Guys say they have a smooth motor, I ask at what RPM?   :koolaid:
Even a little bitty low compression 74" incher with the big heavy flywheels will shake.
Vibes are just part of the package.
If you want something smooth you need a I-6 motor with 7 main bearings.
All twins shake, a boxer(BMW) probably the least.
And a Triumph or a XS650 probably the worst, with a Harley somewhere in the middle.

They don't call me Ironhead Rick just because I'm "hard headed"

Offline yarddogg77

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2020, 03:53:46 PM »
You know something. I did not use a timing light. Mine was stolen a while back. I did research the timing marks to learn which crank I had and found it is a Harley crank in an S&S case, I know I had TDC. I think I will go buy a timing light and check the other stuff too. I can't be building an engine right now anyway, had shoulder surgery almost 4 months ago. The build would be buddy beer intensive. A few more days on the truck and I will give that bike some attention.

The shake I'm referring to is very intense at cruising speeds and above. Idle feels like a normal shake, if not smoother.
My shop has a grass floor and really high ceiling... Yard - Dogg

Offline 76shuvlinoff

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2020, 05:22:22 PM »
Quote
The shake I'm referring to is very intense at cruising speeds and above. Idle feels like a normal shake, if not smoothe

 As I recall my 76 factory mill was like that when I sat it on a upside down milk crate 16 years ago and replaced it with an S&S 93" long block. It's still on that milk crate.
Being defenseless does not make you more safe.

Offline yarddogg77

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2020, 07:22:25 PM »
You know, I've been sitting here watching you tube videos from machinists about building various Harley motors and it seems that I would almost need a machine shop to do most of the work. Maybe I'll just buy running engines from now on. I was feeling a bit discouraged second guessing myself about my twin cam 95" build, but I think it will be alright.There is one step I missed, but it shouldn't be an issue.
My shop has a grass floor and really high ceiling... Yard - Dogg

Offline Racepres

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2020, 06:39:35 AM »
You know, I've been sitting here watching you tube videos from machinists about building various Harley motors and it seems that I would almost need a machine shop to do most of the work. Maybe I'll just buy running engines from now on. I was feeling a bit discouraged second guessing myself about my twin cam 95" build, but I think it will be alright.There is one step I missed, but it shouldn't be an issue.

Any old Indy worth a "Potty mouth", can check and some of 'em even correct, flywheel true!!!
Yank 'er apart and have a Good Indy drop it between centers!!!!
As alluded to previously... Balance is a Variable, and Not absolute... some shops differ from others in the "Factor"

Offline Racepres

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Re: Shovel motor build advice....
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2020, 10:12:05 AM »
We build/balance those cranks, using S&S Master Crankshaft Tooling.
Smooth as "buttah" once completed.
How much for a total rebuild and balance if needed? For the flywheels, not the whole motor.
You are equipped to remove the flywheels from the case... but Not check between centers for true????