Twin Cam Engine Tear Down

Q: I have a 2000 FLSTC that I had originally begun the Twin Cam engine tear down in preparation for Stage I porting, a Big Bore Upgrade and a Gear Drive Conversion. After having an accident and surgery that required me to lose over a months pay AND a negative Tax Return, I am unable to do all three. I have already removed the Heads and Jugs but have not removed the engine nor the pistons. My question is, and I am fairly sure I know the answer, but, is it possible for me to simply re-compress the rings, replace the Cylinder O-Ring and reinstall the Jugs? The Cylinder Bores still have a great cross hatch pattern, the rings are not jagged or chipped. I haven’t even touched the Pistons or rings and as I said, they appear to be in great condition. The bike has 36000 miles on it, and has been well maintained. I’m screwed, right?
Thanks for your site. It’s awesome!

A: Definitely not “screwed. You need a top end gasket kit (H.D, or James). A service manual may also be helpful. Especially for torque specs/torque sequences. Be sure to stagger the gaps of your piston rings. Use loctite and assembly lube where applicable. Everything should go back together nicely.

Member Follow-up: You just made my day!

I never reuse nuts, bolts, washers, gaskets, or seals. I learned that a long time ago when building my first small-block 350. I have never re-used pistons or rings either however, I did that because I almost always over bored the blocks. That is not the case with my Harley. The more I look at the mechanics and design of the HD engine, the more I see it as such a simple and yet very effective design. I was going to order the ARP Stainless Fastener Kit as well as Cometic Head Gaskets and the top end and gasket kit. I’m just glad I can at least get her back together in time for summer riding season here in Texas which pretty much is 300 days a year, starting in mid to late March. Thanks again. Some of the best money I have ever spent was on a factory manual from Harley and my membership for FMH!
Have a great day!

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2 Responses to “Twin Cam Engine Tear Down”
  1. Len

    A shop manual specific to your bike is essential for anyone who plans on working on their own bike. Be sure to buy the HD manual not some after market manual that covers 10 model years LOL