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Old 09-20-2018, 11:44 AM   #1
WillPhelps52
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Default Fresh Build Panhead Break-in

This is my first "rebuilt" panhead engine. It was rebuilt by Steve McBath, up in NJ. The engine looked awesome!

I moved to NC before finishing the rest of the bike. I had a local shop clean up some of my mistakes, disassemble and paint the bike, and put it back together. They had it for about 10 months and I just got it back. They said they test rode it and everything was good. Just take it easy with it and come back at 500 miles.

First ride, 14 miles and all was good. Second ride, half way through I noticed my oil pressure said zero. The bike sounded good, but I headed right home. I also noticed oil leaking out of my front pan cover.

I assume the guy did NOT do the heat cycle thing. I've never done one myself, so I searched the JJ archives for some help. I saw a couple of Triumph posts, but didn't see anything that I could use.

Can someone point me to a post or article that explains which bolts to torque, which order, how many foot pounds, etc. Thanks.
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Old 09-20-2018, 12:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: Fresh Build Panhead Break-in

Here's the leak. Does it look like the pan or the head?
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Old 09-20-2018, 02:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Fresh Build Panhead Break-in

That's the pan top piddling. Without sounding like a moron, have you called Steve? He's going to feel most comfortable standing behind his work if he knows what's going on every step of the way. Tell him what's going on and let him talk you through it.

Second, on a hot H-D, seeing little or no oil pressure is not necessarily problematic... they work on volume, not pressure. Remember, the crank is riding in roller bearings.
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Old 09-20-2018, 02:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Fresh Build Panhead Break-in

My pan oil pressure was always zero when it was more than 15 mins into a ride.. as Gov said it's all about volume!
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Old 09-20-2018, 04:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Fresh Build Panhead Break-in

To make the point clear on the oil pressure. I never ignore a zero reading, unless I have seen the oil pressure at cold start and it is showing pressure. Most HD's with decent pumps, run about 10psi on the road, but it depends on oil type and weight. The idiot light pressure switch, is a 3psi unit, that loses contact at below 3 psi. So, with a light, you will think you have pressure until it goes to under 3. Which is not much, but enough to keep the open bearings fed with oil. This is the reason any good mechanic will tell you not to idle your bike real low. The lower the idle, the less oil gets to the crankshaft. And remember, you have a leak on the pan gasket, so you must be getting oil up top, and that is the last place it goes before it sumps an pumps back to the tank. Most Pans and Shovels leak on the front of the front rocker and the rear of the rear rocker. Because that is the low spot and where all the oil drains to before hitting the drain port. It can be fixed with a good sealant. I use Hondabond. but there are even aftermarket equals that do the same thing. Just not regular silicone, no matter what it says on the package about oil resistant.
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Old 09-21-2018, 12:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Fresh Build Panhead Break-in

yeh that looks like the rocker cover.

has Shovithead says, if it's getting oil up there, well thats a good sign. actually 2 good signs.
1 that the oil is getting there and 2 that you still have oil in the engine and not been dripping away
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Old 09-21-2018, 02:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Fresh Build Panhead Break-in

yeah ….before u pull the heads to re seal the pans , tighten the pan bolts snug without over torqueing … too much will cause the gasket to push out like a hernia !.....
The head bolts should be retorqued after 200 or so miles ..500 would be stretching it a bit. Usually the motor builder would want to do the retorquing of the head bolts ….also some special tools are required to do that [ crows foot attachment for torque wrench ]

Last edited by blewcrab; 09-21-2018 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 09-21-2018, 03:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Fresh Build Panhead Break-in

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Originally Posted by blewcrab View Post
.also some special tools are required to do that [ crows foot attachment for torque wrench ]
On that note....here's what I use.
socket welded on an extension and a nut on the opposite end and face.
I have 2 of these, one with a 6 point socket and one with 12 point, because there's occasions where the 6 won't go in as the arm extension hits the fins.

Then you use a torque calculator where you input the length of extension, angle to the torque wrench and torque wrench length to handle - all that will give you the new torque setting that compensates for all the extensions in place.

Been doing it like this for quite some time, never had problems. Even made longer ones when to torque bikes with enclosed primary so to clear the primary where starter solenoid is.



Just an idea for future readers. Sharing is caring
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Old 09-21-2018, 06:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Fresh Build Panhead Break-in

If you use the crows foot or extension at 90 degrees to the torque wrench the actual torque is used , no calculations needed.
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Old 09-22-2018, 02:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: Fresh Build Panhead Break-in

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Originally Posted by joe49 View Post
If you use the crows foot or extension at 90 degrees to the torque wrench the actual torque is used , no calculations needed.
Ditto on that. And with a standard length dogbone( my description of the crows foot, because a crows foot, is a open end wrench model) the calculations are so low, it is inconsequential in the amount it changes. Seems it was about 3 to 4 foot pounds more, in a straight line. Correct me if I am wrong. My wife does.
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:57 AM   #11
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Default Re: Fresh Build Panhead Break-in

I still call them crows foot. But Snap-on calls them torque adapters.
https://store.snapon.com/Hand-Tools-C700010.aspx
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Old 09-22-2018, 02:03 PM   #12
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Default Re: Fresh Build Panhead Break-in

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe49 View Post
If you use the crows foot or extension at 90 degrees to the torque wrench the actual torque is used , no calculations needed.
Surely there has to be some calculation here because you are decreasing the effort needed to achieve the same torque.

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Old 09-22-2018, 02:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: Fresh Build Panhead Break-in

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Originally Posted by Dan Boy View Post
Surely there has to be some calculation here because you are decreasing the effort needed to achieve the same torque.

Dan.
Jason McElroy and I hashed this out once.

You're right. I took the same position you did; the hypotenuse must be longer than the long leg.

Jason brought me back into line: how long is the longest wrench and adapter and how many pounds are you off by?

The difference is so inconsequential with the length of tool you'll use on a bike that it doesn't matter. It's not "right," but the negligible difference isn't worth worrying over.
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Old 09-22-2018, 03:02 PM   #14
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Default Re: Fresh Build Panhead Break-in

it is more important to have all the head bolts torqued at the same value than it is to have them at dead nutz on ! …. I swear in the old days I would torque by feel , I didn't even know what a torque wrench looked like …..and guess what ...never had a problem !
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Old 09-23-2018, 04:55 AM   #15
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Default Re: Fresh Build Panhead Break-in

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it is more important to have all the head bolts torqued at the same value than it is to have them at dead nutz on ! …. I swear in the old days I would torque by feel , I didn't even know what a torque wrench looked like …..and guess what ...never had a problem !
Same here. I used a "horseshoe" wrench and a rubber mallet when I did my first few topends. Then moved to a bar style torque wrench. Those were the hardest, because if you had to use them upside down, you could not see the pointer. haha.

On the dogbone style, and adding to the length, it has to actually increase the length, to make the number change. And somewhere there is a calculated scale to show the numbers by length from center to center of the additional extension used. I can say that doing heavy equipment diesel motors with torque much beyond anything we use on these motorcycle heads, that over the 40 years I built diesel motors, I bet half or more of the "old school" mechanics I worked with, used a impact wrench to do what we use a torque wrench to do. I am not saying to do this, even if you could, but it worked and I rarely saw one fail. So, my point is, that this is a minor detail, unless you are so precise that you just can't stand to be off one pound on the calculation. In that case, I hope that anyone this precise, has their torque wrench calibrated a minimum of once a year. Because they lose precision, every time you use them. I have had the same Mac torque wrench for about 30 years, and I have more invested in calibrations than in the original cost. And I am not one to think that 61 ft/lb is to much , or that 59 ft /lb is not enough. To be perfectly honest, when I am building a high compression motor(shovel or sportster), I do them at 65 ft/lb. or more, depending on the original specs. (see XL torque specs to see what I am talking about) But, I am not trying to start a argument here, just telling my personal story of this thread.
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Last edited by shovithead; 09-23-2018 at 04:57 AM. Reason: moredetailisbetterthanlessdetail
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Old 09-23-2018, 09:27 AM   #16
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Default Re: Fresh Build Panhead Break-in

On the V-22 Osprey, there are some places that just don't have access for using a torque wrench. We would use what is described in the Manual as a "Mechanic's torque".
EVERY torque operation on the Aircraft is witnessed and logged by an Inspector.


A Mechanic's torque is nothing more than "seat of the pants" torque, the feel you have developed over years of wrenching.
It seems to work.
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Old 09-23-2018, 10:11 AM   #17
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Default Re: Fresh Build Panhead Break-in

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Same here. I used a "horseshoe" wrench and a rubber mallet when I did my first few topends. Then moved to a bar style torque wrench. Those were the hardest, because if you had to use them upside down, you could not see the pointer. haha.
I still have my horseshoe wrench.

Just flip the engine upside down and you can easily read your beam torque wrench.

What I did with my beam torque wrench was transfer the torque needed to the back side of the gauge and used a engraver to permanently mark that value. Then you could see it easily when it was applied to the head bolts.
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Old 09-27-2018, 06:00 PM   #18
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Default Re: Fresh Build Panhead Break-in

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On the V-22 Osprey...
Thanks for the video. I worked at Curtiss-Wright back in the '80s when they were first developing actuators for this.
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Old 09-27-2018, 06:04 PM   #19
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Default Re: Fresh Build Panhead Break-in

Thanks, everybody, for your feedback and suggestions. I called the engine builder back in NJ. I think I'm going to take it to him and let him check it out.

I am going to wash the the bike up and make sure the oil tank is filled. And start it to see if the oil pressure has returned or not. I'll also see if I can identify the exact position of the leak.
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Old 09-27-2018, 08:51 PM   #20
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Default Re: Fresh Build Panhead Break-in

Crikey- you're going to pack your junk and head to NJ for this?

Oil Pressure Gauge- I'm with the other guys. Pressure gauges suck- they break, they leak, plus you'll just stare at it and worry all the time when the engine is hot. Get a stock sending unit and a light if you really are concerned. If you are worried, check for oil returning from the motor, then be done with it.

Rocker box leak- if it bothers you, get "REAL" silicone gaskets. I won't say it twice, and you can thank me later. In fact get an extra set b/c your buddy will invariably call on a Friday night before an event when he/she has to pull the heads, and then you'll have a set on hand. But obviously you have to pull the heads, carb, intake, pushrods, tanks (maybe), fuel lines, new head gaskets, and so on. Otherwise let it leak like most of the other panheads out there.

Torque specs and procedures- are all in factory manuals. unless you are good and practiced at torquing by hand, use a torque wrench even if it's just so you are consistent. There's a number of solutions for those hard to reach spots- at least two have been pointed out already. I use whats in the pic in the hyperlink, and some simple math to adjust the torque at the wrench to account for the added length (for example 35ft/lb equates to 23ft/lb when I factor in the wrench, so long as the torque wrench is in a straight line with the bolt\nut being torqued). That combo will get me in and around almost every obstacle (timer, carb, pushrods, etc) and is basically infinitely adjustable. The nut/bolt thing is welded together and they are different sizes so they don't fall through the wrench or socket, and I don't have to have a 3rd hand to hold it in place.
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