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Big B 12-07-2006 10:08 PM

124in. Engine Build (page 1)

As a preface...this may show you some terms and tools needed, but it is nearly impossible to note everything, Nor is it possible to document each check of fits made. This is a GENERAL overview...and maybe it will either help you get the knowledge you need before you actually attempt it....or dissuade you from tearing into the project. it is only meant as an order of the process, not an actual manual to follow.

Ok guys....this is what you are dealing with...a box full. This is a 124 S&S super sidewinder plus motor, unassembled and carbed. This picture shows the box of goodies you have to deal with.

Next, using some gun brushes to remove any polishing residue left behind in the right case half as well as cleaning out oil pump passage, if not you might as well just throw some sand in your oil tank and buy a new motor. Parts must be deburred where needed, and cleaned immaculately. I use about a case of brake kleen for each motor...and all passages are blown out with air. Special attention is paid to threaded holes, which should be chased with the thread chaser....and also alignment stud holes...bolting the case halves together. You don't want aluminum chips or polishing rouge in there giving false torque readings.

Now with the cleaned case half....wiped dry and blown out with air...ready to install the flywheels. As you see there is a Timken bearing race...outside....

This is the inside of the same left case...another Timken race....these are coated with some assembly lube prior to installation.

Now for the Timken bearing spacer. This comes as part of a matched bearing set...that is designed to keep the bearings apart at the proper distance...for the machining done where the races are installed.

Late style flywheels used in these motors, the gear tooth look is an adaptation from the factory I believe, but its purpose is to count the flywheel rotation...hence the name of the sensor used, the crank position sensor. In this motor, I'll be using a crane hi-4 and carb, so that feature really wont be incorporated.

The installation of the first Timken bearing, Using petroleum jelly or assembly lube to ease installation.The tool itself is a JIMS machine tool, with a 5 speed tranny sprocket tool (also Jim's) being used to run the bearing on the crankshaft. I am just using the flywheel's packaging as a stand here. One
thing to remember, when something like this is dropped or damaged, you shouldn't proceed any farther! You really don't get to make mistakes like that, patience, and cleanliness will save allot of future headaches.

With the first bearing installed, and the tool removed. then the bearing spacer is slipped over the crankshaft.

The left case half, set down on that first bearing, in preparation of installing the second bearing.

Now slip the bearing on the shaft....


Use the same tool rig, and press that bearing on. also coat the bearings well with assembly lube, after the installation...

This shows the crankshaft spacer and seal installed, I use a variation of the same tool to press the seal in around the spacer. (also coated with oil to not cut the seal) do not tap the seal in against the case half and flywheel...if you don't have a tool rigged up to press it in off the crank, wait till the cases are together, then install the seal. You don't wanna tap the flywheels out of true here, use a little finesse.

Here I have flipped the case over and set it down in the same packaging. The case  half is wiped clean with acetone or lacquer thinner around the sealing edge, and a thin coat of hylomar is applied. Threebond, or clear rtv silicone can also be used. I have just always used hylomar. Case halves MUST be clean and dry, and checked for burrs, otherwise you just have a leak waiting to happen.

The next shot shows the pinion bearing, this is a precise fit piece and requires a bore gauge and laps to size the race in the case. However since this is new stuff from S&S, usually it only requires checking the fits and verifying the pinion bearing was shipped, and sized correctly. Parts aren't always interchangeable and this is one part worth getting right. So if you have a problem here, consult the manual, or the Harley manual or you will pay later. But it would take a book itself to describe this fit in its entirety, so I'll move on. The pinion bearing is slipped over the pinion shaft, and the retaining ring installed, with any sharp edges filed, and turned out. Installation is done with some retaining ring pliers available from snap-on or the auto parts store, same pliers used on exhaust flange rings. There have been quite a few bearing styles and thrust washer setups used here, but S&S tends to stick to this 94 and up style arrangement, not using thrust washers. As you can see from the straight pinion bearing, it is the timkins on the left case actually holding the flywheels in the case...this side just "rides" the two woodruff key slots in the pinion shaft...and check them for burrs before the right side case is installed. they will be a bitch to get to later.

This picture shows the piston skirt cooling jets used in the SSW+ series motor...another adaptation from the twin cam, and the reason this motor will run 20/30 degrees hotter than a standard evo (aside from polish, and size). These are gonna cool the piston skirts. Keeping a cooler engine temp, at the tradeoff of higher oil tank temps. run an oil cooler.

O-rings are lubed with motor oil, and the cooling jets are installed with locktite. They are torx screws, and I have never been able to find a proper flatten out the o-rings and snug the screws up good, not the kind of thing you want falling off inside your motor. Blue loctite here. Now the right case is ready to be slipped over the pinion shaft and bearing. This case half I apply dry, since the other has the hylomar sealant. After slipping the right case is on I douse the pinion bearing good with assembly lube.

After slipping the case on I rotate it a bit left and right to make sure the hylomar is evenly dispersed before I start slipping the alignment studs and bolts in. Note that at this time, the flywheels have only been flipped over once. You want these to stay trued and don't want to jar them at all. Again, a little finesse is needed. Later you'll be glad.

Next just points out the end location of that pinion bearing retaining ring after right side case installation.

This illustration shows the actual torque sequence, and case hardware location. Locations G,F,B,E are alignment studs...they are 3/8, even though the threads are 5/16 fine...lube these before installation. They generally require tapping in, and keep the case halves aligned properly. note that the torque sequence does not follow the lettering pattern.

This just shows the motor finally up in the stand, and tightening the case studs and hardware. I usually do this in steps, following the sequence.... recommended torque is 12 ft-lbs for the center bolt, and 18 ft-lbs for the I usually halve each spec and go around the sequence twice...and also check the studs' torques on the other side of the case... I use red loctite on the 5/16 bolts and alignment studs and blue on the center stud.

Here are the alternators mounting holes...4 circled (actually only three visible in purple hold the stator. Use red loctite on these screws.The hole circled in green is for a set screw to hold the stator plug in place. When installing the alternator...just run this screw in flush, or it may pierce the plug and short the two wires together. This is actually kind of a common mistake.

Here's the Jim's machine tool for removal of a cam bearing, because these cases were polished with the bearing installed, I always replace the bearing for fear of polishing compound. Always replace with the Torrington bearing OEM# 9058. This is the superior bearing that fits 58-99 model motors, and it should be replaced with any cam change.

This shot simply shows the installed location.

Here we have the tool tapped into the bearing, and the pulling of the bearing.

My installation tool, and old camshaft with the gear removed, and the rear thrust shoulder and lobe ground down slightly. I just slip the bearing on the end of the cam shaft(NUMBERS OUT), and tap it till it hits the cases shoulder in the journal.

This basically shows the hole for the tappet screen, it is installed flange down in the hole, with the spring placed over top of the screen. This screen filter the top end oil supply...exiting the pump, and before the lifters. It should be periodically cleaned at oil changes...and is the first place to look when your top end starts making any kind of noise...teflon tape scraps, and dried silicone sealant will often end up here. So I always check it after a motor has been first run. I also prime this hole repeatedly at startup. A gauge can be installed in this hole...with CCI fitting # 270062. I have also labeled the oil pressure switch hole, or sending unit hole, or top end supply hole (retro pans, shovels)...this can be plugged, or a gauge could also be located here. This hole is directly in line from the tappet screen, and after this hole...the oil turns right, off to the tappet blocks and lifters.

Here we have the oil pump, and its drive gear. Also shown is the pinion shaft hardware and woodruff keys, for the slots shown earlier. Often these keys need some assistance falling into their slots, a slight tap. once the rear key is in its keyway...

Now slip the oil pump drive/worm gear over the key, as noted in the previous picture. There is a chamfer in one end of the worm gear. This chamfer is pointed IN against the pinion shaft boss. The gear MUST slide freely back and forth, then the black spacer is installed, .also a free slipping piece. There should be no bind whatsoever, as the spacer doesn't occupy all the space between the pinion gear, and the worm gear... It will slightly walk when the motor is running....

At this point, the pump is cleaned and wiped with acetone on its mating surfaces as is the engine case. A little assembly lube is applied into the cases bushing, and a dab of sealant on the gasket corners to help hold them in place. The pump is then slid into the case.

This shows the drive gear's location, as the pump is slid onto the engine. It must be in place during this, there's no room to install it after the pump. Then this gear and pump shaft are spun into alignment, and the pump shaft key is slipped into its keyway...with the small snap ring installed. Here again, if you "spring" the snap ring...get another. It's not worth it!

Here we have the oil pump, and its drive gear. Also shown is the pinion shaft hardware and woodruff keys, for the slots shown earlier. Often these keys need some assistance falling into their slots, a slight tap. once the rear key is in its keyway...

A slight film of loctite is put on the pinion shaft's taper, the final woodruff key is in its slot....the pinion gear is slipped on, and the pinion nut is tightened with red loctite # 271 to 50 ft-lbs.

This shot shows the JIM'S Machine pinion nut socket..

This shows the pinion shaft/gear locking tool I use, two 1/4 x 20 screws hold it into place.

Picture 35 shows the same. Jim's Machine tool # 2237.

The last of the cam chest parts/hardware before installation. All parts are cleaned, and checked for any burrs.The breather's journal is checked for any burrs, and some assembly lube applied...and the breather slipped in. The cam bearing gets some Vaseline, and the dog eared thrust washer is placed against the case rear wall in front of the bearing...with the "slant pointing rearward and the dog ears pointing out resting on two shoulders in the case. (also visible in picture # 38) the thrust washer is slipped over the camshaft end, and slipped thru the thrust washer...into the bearing.

The breather in place, with the cam also installed...pinion shaft (flywheels) are rotated to a position where all timing marks line up as circled. Thanks LSCTommy...for the assistance. LOL. The breather gear shim is placed over the boss in the center of the gear.

With the camshaft end play being checked. I install a used gasket and torque the cam cover to about 12 ft lbs. A spoke or the ignition rotor screw is threaded into the cam end, and pushed and pulled both ways while a feeler gauge is used to check end play .007-.014 should work good here. Breather and cam shims are available in diff thickness'. get it right. Breather gear endplay .010-.015 will work, check it the same way, or use a straightedge across the used gasket, and a feeler gauge there.

Here LSCTommy verifying the same. The cam can also be moved to and fro by reaching into the lifter block hole and grabbing a cam lobe. At this point I pour 5/6 oz of oil into the flywheel cavity...replace the cam cover gasket with the real gasket, and torque the cam cover on with blue loctite..12 ft-lbs, criss cross pattern. This shows your tappets (lifters), tappet blocks, and also the cover for the crank position sensor.

Outside of case front left...I coat this gasket with clear silicone, and install screws with blue loctite, lightly snug them up...the tappets get a gob of thick assembly lube or aid them in staying in the journals when the blocks are installed (just keeps them from sliding out) the blocks are checked for burrs, cleaned, and the flanges wiped with acetone. Also shown is Jim's machine tappet block alignment tool.

Here we have the blocks after being slipped into position with alignment tool installed in rear lifter block.

A close up of the alignment tool. Case flanges were wiped clean, again with acetone. Kevlar gaskets installed dry (they are marked front and well as the blocks themselves). Cam lobes were coated with assembly lube and the blocks and lifters installed. Kind of a quick balancing act to slip the blocks in, without the lifters sliding out. But the screws are installed with blue loctite...three per block, and I usually torque to about 6 ft lbs, the tool snugged in for alignment. Then tighten the tool up, torque the 3 screws to 10 ft lbs...remove tool and install the 4th screw...torque it to 12/13 ft lbs, and then final torque the other 3 to the same. Go to the other lifter block and repeat the same exact procedure, lifter fit in guide journal should not exceed .002 to .003.

Picture 43 has a few things to make note of. The blue circled notches in the cylinders spigots...are relief's for the piston cooling jets. The *NOTE and green arrows show that the wrist pin notches cut thru the rings path. Support rings are used once the wrist pins and  spring clips are installed to breech this gap, and the rings installed above the support rail. There is a dot pressed into the rail that should point down, and into the keep the rings end located away from the gap. This means that on this motor, the pistons wrist pin cant be pulled or installed with the piston still in the cylinder, as on many other designs. Ring end gap should also be turned away from intake and exhaust ports and staggered to reduce hot spots. Yellow circle shows cam side marking, purple circle shows S&S markings for front and rear, and P/N. follow the ring installation guide for rings, chamfer or dots up...and end gaps.

The rear cylinder slipped over the compressed rings, snap on makes the only compressor I have found that works...and not very well on these cylinders I might add. the rear is installed first usually if I remember seems to cause less flywheel rotation, a major hassle with these cylinders. cylinder spigot holes are checked for burrs, and pistons should be checked for fit. again follow your specs as to cast or forged fitment. clean and dry again on the cylinders flange, and case deck. blue Kevlar's for this motor...although I have seen that vary as well.

The cylinder to head alignment dowels, tap or press them in lightly. no orings are used on this motor's alignment dowels/head gaskets.

Now all dowels are installed, surfaces wiped clean, oil is wiped onto the cylinder walls (don't want dry walls rusting, or a totally dry start-up), and head gaskets are slipped over the studs.

Your head bolts, all the same size on the SSW+. Motor oil is put on the threads/under the head of the bolt, and on the ensure a good torque reading. also the washers have a chamfer often, this NEEDS to go against the bolt head.

Head torque specs and sequence. Like most aluminum motors, you are stretching the head bolts...not really torqueing them. At the last step. (the 90 degrees)

Running in the head bolts to begin torqueing.

The electric compression releases. The release is shown on the left. The right release has the S&S two piece tool used for installation slipped over to show how the tool is used, with the wire hanging out. Antiseize on the threads, note the regular spark plug compression washers for sealing. Torque as a spark plug. They are basically solenoids, meaning an electric current triggers a mechanical plunger.

With the releases installed, and the wires routed towards the intake. Slip the flame resistant covering over the wires. Lube the rubber caps with brake fluid dot 5 and slip the caps over the release. These releases are different than manual...or maybe I should say the head is. When open, they route the gasses into the exhaust port, so you don't really hear the common SSHHHH doubt the EPA prefers it also.

The pushrod tubes...large oring on the right goes up in the head, metal ring left slips down into the lifter block, with the o-ring beside it on top of it. Then the tubes are held in place, and the pushrods slipped down thru the head, thru the tube, into the lifter. With time saver pushrods this can be done later, after the rocker boxes and arms are installed. There's really no reason to buy them now, if you ever need to put them in, cut these with bolt cutters and slip em in then. These are good chrome moly rods, no reason to replace them till needed. Pushrods have 4 diff lengths...from longest to shortest...front exhaust, rear exhaust, front intake, rear intake.

Picture 53 shows the tool I use to turn over the motor to lower the cam lobes for rocker box installation, again unnecessary with time savers.

Rocker arm support blocks and arms, mostly self explanatory. Again clean all parts, lube shafts with assembly lube, and check for burrs that might cause sealing problems. Round hole in the center gets an o-ring...with one directly below it in the rocker box's bottom.

Picture 55 shows checking the rocker arm end play, evidently .006 on this one. This is a pretty loose spec., just needs some clearance and too loose it'll be a "ticker".

The pushrods are in their respective places, lower boxes being installed along with the rocker arm support blocks. Torque sequence and specs should be problems there. (twin cam boxes basically) This is done with the camshaft lobes aT their lowest point... I do one cylinder at a time, then spin the motor for the other cylinder.

Ignition rotor blue loctited on, and crane HI-4E installed.

All box bolts and support blocks torqued, Surfaced cleaned and gaskets installed for the tops installation.

Torqueing the rocker box tops down...again simply follow loctite. Each bolt gets a small rubber coated washer below the bolts steel washer. Go around the rocker box in sequences up to the desired torque. Criss cross pattern, dont tighten one corner all at one time.

Time to adjust the pushrods. Find TDC for that cyl at a time. These lifter came with a limited travel kit, so adjustment is a bit different than most evo lifters. With a cylinders cam lobes at their lowest (TDC...piston at its highest...comp stroke) the rods are lengthened 4/5 turns from zero lash. Walk away for 15 minutes and see if the lifter bleed down, allowing the pushrods to spin within your fingers. If they do, lengthen them another turn or so, walk away again... Do this until they DON'T bleed down. This means you have the lifter collapsed fully, and you have pushed/raised the valve off its seat...and the valve is held open. So you wont be able to spin the pushrod. This has to be done cold, if you try to adjust on the bike you are riding. Anyway...once fully collapsed, and not bleeding down...slowly SHORTEN/COLLAPSE the pushrod. All of a sudden it is gonna JERK free (meaning the valve hit the seat, and stopped moving, thereby the rod gets loose all of a sudden). Take note of this, and go 4 to 6 more flats SHORTER. pick a them all the same. Use your 3 wrenches and tighten the jam nut snug right there. This is kind of a dexterity challenge and if you slip or lose count of the flats, you will have to start over on that rod...lengthening it till it raises the valve off its seat. If you lose your place...forget it...start over. A flat is ONE SIDE OF A BOLT...hence 6 flats on a bolt or nut. Install the pushrod tube top spring clips...done. Rotate the motor forward after you have done one the TDC of the other cylinder. do the same entire procedure again.

The bolts installed very loosely for the intake manifold, and the manifold slipped over them. Lube the seals with oil or antiseize so they wont dry out.

This picture shows installation of the carb and manifold. The manifold is left loosely bolted until the carb mount bolts are in their holes for proper alignment. Then shimmed and left loose as the manifold is pulled into place with its flange mounting bolts. Tighten till the flanges are solidly resting on the head....sequentially. Not one bolt at a time...all are tightened together uniformly.

Picture 63 shows the cover in place and the exhaust gaskets installed in the heads. Done...except for the plumbing which often varies with the installation.

These two links should cover the plumbing for the breathing arrangements, and priming of the oil pump...initial starting...timing...and carb settings.

additional literature and service manuals

and consult your Harley manual.

*This engine build wasn't done to incorporate every facet of assembling this motor...I think if you should attempt know the vast amount of checks and procedures left out for fear of writing a 200 page book that looks like a service manual and the S&S literature combined. I could write pages on pinion shaft/race fitment alone. But maybe it gives you a better understanding of the workings of your motor, and at least a comprehensive naming of some parts for forum questions. So it is what it is...a very narrow view of one particular motor...a 124 S&S. When you price bore gauges for cyl and pinion fitment, and specialty tools shown and not'll find that it isn't a cost effective set of tools for a single motor.


Mr Scary 03-17-2007 06:25 PM

Very Nice Brad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Concrete Guy 03-17-2007 07:39 PM

Terrific thread there Gypsy!! I really appreciate you taking the time to do this for us!

SPOGSHD 03-18-2007 03:01 AM

This site just keeps getting better, thanks for taking the time to do this, for me who just rides them, its nice to get some insite on how things go together and work. There are a lot of helpfull people around this site.

LSCTommy 03-18-2007 05:37 AM

Nice job Brad. Very nice job. This is a great tutorial.
You put a lot of time and effort into compiling all of the pictures and describing the process.

CENJIM 03-18-2007 10:29 AM

I know who to call if I ever have a question related to motorcycles!
Thanks for all you've done for the members here, Brad!

jlemlek55 03-18-2007 12:59 PM

thabk you for taking the time for tutorial

lkptpete 03-19-2007 01:36 PM

Awsome article Brad
WOW! I'm about to contribute to CC again. The value of info like this... If everyone on here could pony up just $10.00 or so once a year... You'd all be getting a great value AND BigB would be able to afford all the redundant goodies so we would never go down...


Barefoot Choppa 03-24-2007 07:26 AM

Wow!!! How the hell did I miss this one? Great job Brad!!!:D

chuck dogman 03-26-2007 05:10 PM

wow that articalwas just what i was looking for.thank you.even the harley shop could not explain . ajusting valve lash on the 124 thanks again chuck.

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