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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the middle of rebuilding my first engine. It's a 1960 IH. I'm getting ready to replace the cams and through reading the manual I'm getting ready to check the end play. Now I read on here that you shouldn't use cam shims because they just end up chewed up in your oil. I have about 5 on various cams now from the PO, I just left them how I found them, one is already fuct, planned on replacing it. There also on both sides of the cam, case side and cover side. So if using the shims is a no no, whats the sense in removing the tappet guide blocks and checking the endplay? Thanks for the guidance.
 

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I'm no ironhead expert but, what's even worse than chewed up shims is hammered and destroyed cam bushings, covers, and tapper blocks. I just fixed one on a friend of mine's that had not enough shims there fore lots of endplay. Cost him a new set of JIMS blocks and tappets. The roller exploded in the case and it could of been much worse those needle bearings are unforgiving on the cam gears and oil pump when they come apart. Please shim it to spec. You are planning on changing the oil right?
 

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shim the cams to spec. and follow your manual. If done properly, the shims will last. The torn up shims are usually from people not following the cam shimming instructions correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was actually going off a Harley bulletin from the early 80s that was telling dealer mechanics to stop with the shims, not just opinion on the board. If I were to shim it do you only shim on the cover side? My manual only says measure play and shim accordingly. The PO has shims on both sides.
 

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I was actually going off a Harley bulletin from the early 80s that was telling dealer mechanics to stop with the shims, not just opinion on the board. If I were to shim it do you only shim on the cover side? My manual only says measure play and shim accordingly. The PO has shims on both sides.
No. All shims should go on the engine case side. The thick dog bone shims go up against the cases, then the loose shims between the dog bones and the cams. I buy a couple of shim packs when i do one and try to use one thick shim rather than two thinner ones stacked to get the right endplay. Also, if you need one thick and one thin, put the thicker one against the cam and the thinner one up against the dog bone. NEVER go to tight on any endplay shiming, whether it be cams or transmission mainshafts.
 

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Also when checking end play use THE GASKET YOU INTEND TO RUN and have the cover torqued to spec as this effects the measurement.
 

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Yes, definetely shim as mentioned above: dogbone w/bevel(chamfer) facing out, shims, cam, gasket, and cover. Always lean towards the loose spec. rather than the tight side as mentioned if there is any question.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm leaning towards the shims, but I'm wondering why Harley would send out a Service Bulletin saying to stop using them?:confused:
 

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I think if the cams have a fair amount of slop, it'd be good to shim them. It's the .005 shims that get smashed to hell and end up cruising around your oiling system.
 

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Use the manual. The reason for the bulletin in the 80s was Harley changed the gear cutting process resulting in quieter cams that didn't benefit as much from shimming. I always shim them to the loose end of the middle if that makes any sense. Too tight is far worse than too loose. Oh and shims between 8 ring and cams.
 

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I'm leaning towards the shims, but I'm wondering why Harley would send out a Service Bulletin saying to stop using them?:confused:
Your bike is a 60' and the bulletin came out in the 80's. I am sure twenty year old bikes were not the main focus of that bulletin. Also, AMF took over harley in the 70's and harley was back at the reins in the 80's. Maybe that had something to do with things? AMF had some issues with quality control during their time at the helm, and saying to just eliminate the shims was probably cheaper and easier than actually fixing the problem correctly. That's what big companies do to save money. I wouldn't worry about the bulletin too much. just buy new shims and install them correctly and you'll be fine.
 

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and i dont think they were too worried about warrantys on a soon to be defunct engine back then...hell they were selling all sorts of bike with problems without much responsibility...as for the shims i like to shoot for the loose side using .15 and .007 shims. usually it can be done. also look for american made... i know j&p {puke} has them
 
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