Before beginning to open up the cam compartment, it is important to disconnect your battery ground cable and to drain your motor oil. When the motor work is complete, it is important to start with fresh, clean oil. Also, draining the motor oil before disassembly will result in less oil running out of the Harley cams compartment as you work. Especially on Softail models where the oil tank is higher than the cam compartment.
The pushrods need to be removed with the corresponding cylinder at top dead center. This is important to do, even if the rocker boxes are being removed for pushrod removal or replacement.
Remove the spark plugs, jack the rear wheel and shift the transmission into high gear. Now, you will be able to turn the motor to achieve top dead center for each cylinder. If pushrods are to be cut, it is best to use bolt cutters. A cutting disc cuts well but creates a lot of debris. If the motorcycle has a stock air cleaner backing plate, it can be removed for easier access to the pushrods.
Remove the tappet covers and all four tappets. If tappets are to be reused, it is very important that they are returned to the same location.
With the Harley cam cover removed, remove the Harley cams and crank bolts. Unload the primary and secondary tensioners and retain them with a pin. Now, the gears, outer chain, spacer, and chain guide can all be removed. De-torque the cam plate hardware evenly and remove the cam plate. Remove the oil pump assembly and pick- up oring.
Finally, remove the bearing retainer and press out the Harley cams & cam plate bearings. Here, Mike also takes the time to demonstrate how to remove the cam plate plunger and spring. This is very important to clean & inspect if the motor has seen catastrophic damage.
Next, we will be removing and replacing the inner cam bearings.