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Old 12-21-2013, 02:05 PM   #1
Britome OP
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A little grace for a brother who has an issue...

I hope this is ok to do as I'm here a lot with my 1200GSA. I've worked on it so much that I have nothing to do to it over the winter. So, I bought a hyper project bike. A 78 harley that hasn't been run in years. Supposedly the engine was rebuilt before and as far as I can see, things have looked good.

Today I was grinding down fender tabs on the lower forks and like a dumbass, I didn't have my spark plug in the front cylinder. Aluminum dust and shavings were everywhere. I tried to suck out what might have been in there with an adaptation on the end of my shop vac. I need some advice.

Should I...
1) ignore it and assume it will be fine.
2) blow air thru the plug hole hoping to dislodge what might me in there
3) try to swab it our with something
4) take off the rocker boxes and inspect and clean?

If option 4, can I do that with the engine still in the bike? The top frame tube is higher than stock. I really appreciate your insights.

I could have given the same symptoms and said it was my GS but I thought honesty the best policy. I've met incredibly mechanically wise people here. Any counsel would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 12-21-2013, 02:15 PM   #2
duffs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Britome View Post
I hope this is ok to do as I'm here a lot with my 1200GSA. I've worked on it so much that I have nothing to do to it over the winter. So, I bought a hyper project bike. A 78 harley that hasn't been run in years. Supposedly the engine was rebuilt before and as far as I can see, things have looked good.

Today I was grinding down fender tabs on the lower forks and like a dumbass, I didn't have my spark plug in the front cylinder. Aluminum dust and shavings were everywhere. I tried to suck out what might have been in there with an adaptation on the end of my shop vac. I need some advice.

Should I...
1) ignore it and assume it will be fine.
2) blow air thru the plug hole hoping to dislodge what might me in there
3) try to swab it our with something
4) take off the rocker boxes and inspect and clean?

If option 4, can I do that with the engine still in the bike? The top frame tube is higher than stock. I really appreciate your insights.

I could have given the same symptoms and said it was my GS but I thought honesty the best policy. I've met incredibly mechanically wise people here. Any counsel would be greatly appreciated.

Open it up and *make sure* there are no filings in there. Don’t trust the shop vac, it certainly will not have removed every bit.

Source: Dad is a certified VW diesel engine mechanic and when growing up I helped him rebuild many engines from a 600cc Citroën 2cv boxer to a 2.7l Maserati v6...
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Old 12-21-2013, 02:22 PM   #3
EltonAvenue
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Personally l'd ignore it & hope for the best....but then again l'm a lazy bastard!

Hope that helps.
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Old 12-21-2013, 02:27 PM   #4
Anorak
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Well, I'd remove the head and clean it out. It's an AMF Shovel, there was probably worse stuff in it when it was new. It looks like it's going to be a nice ride.
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Old 12-21-2013, 02:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Anorak View Post
Well, I'd remove the head and clean it out. It's an AMF Shovel, there was probably worse stuff in it when it was new. It looks like it's going to be a nice ride.
Haha good point... although the filings will give everything in the cylinder a fetching pitted finish...
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Old 12-21-2013, 02:42 PM   #6
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Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
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Old 12-21-2013, 02:44 PM   #7
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Take the head off and clean it out. It's a Harley; no overhead cams, low compression, and virtually no oil left in the rocker cover. The hardest part of the job will be wiggling the little intake manifold back onto the gaskets and lining up the push rods before torquing the head bolts. Super simple home mechanic stuff.

This is an easy bike to learn on. Have fun!
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:29 PM   #8
Britome OP
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You guys are awesome. Thx. I also appreciate the lack of snobbishness that some dudes have toward Harley's.

I think I'm leaning toward taking the rocker box off. It could also give me a better sense of the condition of the engine.
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:38 PM   #9
TURBOBOB50
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Talking

Just pull the whole top end apart & drop a pair of Wiseco's into that bad boy.
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:45 PM   #10
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Open it could be the best... What about filling the head with heavy oil and vacuum it with a syringe (horse size!) and a transparent tube? You could see what your are pumping out... Should smoke almost as much as stock!! :/)
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:49 PM   #11
Britome OP
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Originally Posted by Prmurat View Post
Open it could be the best... What about filling the head with heavy oil and vacuum it with a syringe (horse size!) and a transparent tube? You could see what your are pumping out... Should smoke almost as much as stock!! :/)

Fascinating idea but I've decided... I'm taking it apart tomorrow.

Can't believe I'm getting frustrated. The whole point of this bike was to have a project. The garage adventure just took another turn.
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:51 PM   #12
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Good lawd.
That Lil bit o dust won't hurt nothing.
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:53 PM   #13
Britome OP
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Good lawd.
That Lil bit o dust won't hurt nothing.
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Are you serious, Clarke?
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:56 PM   #14
jbcaddy
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if you take it apart, there will be nothing to find. If you do not take it apart, there will be lots of metal bits and grit from grinding that will destroy the bore and piston quickly when you start it up.
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:29 PM   #15
farmrjohn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcaddy View Post
if you take it apart, there will be nothing to find. If you do not take it apart, there will be lots of metal bits and grit from grinding that will destroy the bore and piston quickly when you start it up.
Isn't that one of the Laws of the Shop?
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