1998 Evo rebuild advice - Road Glide Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-25-2013, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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1998 Evo rebuild advice

I have a 98 RG with 76,000 miles on the original motor. It is getting a bit tired and using about a quart every 500 miles. It doesn't leak any oil, and doesn't smoke a great amount, but it does use oil.

I am considering doing a partial rebuild, specifically the top end, new pistons, etc., and am seeking guidance on what other things I should look at. I do mostly touring, so would replacement of the stock cam make a difference there?

I've watched some of the rebuild videos from Tatro's on youtube, but any additional advice or guidance would be welcome. Funds are somewhat limited at the moment, so I plan on doing most of the disassembly and reassembly work myself.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-25-2013, 06:30 PM
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Here's a quick list... not sure if the engine has had any upgrades or what, but this is what I would do at minimum.

- Bore the cylinders .010" over. 76k, probably too much taper for the .005" oversize.
- Have the heads inspected or just commit to a good valve job and new seals.
** Better yet, have the shop mill the heads .050", clean up the ports a little and install a 1.90" intake valve, very nice performance improvement and affordable upgrade!
- Put in a mild performance cam.
- DO pull the cam out and if the inner bearing is the original INA pull it out and replace with a Torrington B138. If you already have a Torrington, inspect the bearing itself and look at the cam journal, if it looks good the inner bearing is probably OK. Don't lose the shims.
- Probably need a new set of lifters too at that mileage. Early Evo lifters can be problematic, the '98 era lifters were big axle from the factory as I recall, and much better than the older ones. Could also have been replaced since 1998 anyway... I always replaced evo tappets about every 40k miles to be safe...
- Pray before you remove the heads...
- Inspect the studs and do not screw with em if they are fine!
- When you reinstall the heads and torque the head bolts, follow the factory specs, don't just torque em to 42ftlbs like James and many mfgr's recommend... I have learned the hard way...
- I prefer Harley's gaskets for the most part, but do NOT use the Harley old style base gaskets, throw them away... Use Cometic coated metal base gaskets.
** Alternatively Cometic top end kit is fine... but I think some of their o-rings are under size... James gaskets have sucked since Drag took over.

2012 fltrx
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-25-2013, 06:46 PM
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Put in a EV 27 cam also. Great for Touring and surprising power increase over stock.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-25-2013, 07:58 PM
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Unless you're looking at upgrading for performance, I'd look into the harley refurbish program. They rework all the parts and replace anything that isn't in spec. And they repaint it. It's at least worth a look IMO...

-GOODMAN

08 SHARK
96 HERITAGE
96 WIDE GLIDE
94 ROAD KING

IF EVERYTHING IS UNDER CONTROL, YOU'RE GOING TOO SLOW!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-25-2013, 09:59 PM
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Unless you're looking at upgrading for performance, I'd look into the harley refurbish program. They rework all the parts and replace anything that isn't in spec. And they repaint it. It's at least worth a look IMO...
Yeah but, it's not cheap and re-ringing a motor that's in good shape is pretty inexpensive. The bottom end on an Evo is damned near bullet proof when treated well. Easy to achieve 200k miles.

Bore work ($150) and new H-D pistons & rings ($120-140/pair), top end gasket kit $100. Heads milled and valves reworked and new seals ($650-800).

I dunno, no brainer for me to NOT exchange. I like having a little patina on the motor. it's a 1998 and still on the road is a badge of honor. ;-) Long time ago I repainted my '86 evo cases in the frame after repainting the cylinders and heads off the bike.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-25-2013, 10:18 PM
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I had a 94 Evo with 160k on it, started to use Lucas oil stabilizer about the same mileage you have. Smoking decreased and so did oil usage. Oil pressure at idle was better too.3 quarts to one Lucas. It took about 2 oil changes before I really noticed the difference.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-25-2013, 11:29 PM
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Yeah but, it's not cheap and re-ringing a motor that's in good shape is pretty inexpensive. The bottom end on an Evo is damned near bullet proof when treated well. Easy to achieve 200k miles.

Bore work ($150) and new H-D pistons & rings ($120-140/pair), top end gasket kit $100. Heads milled and valves reworked and new seals ($650-800).

I dunno, no brainer for me to NOT exchange. I like having a little patina on the motor. it's a 1998 and still on the road is a badge of honor. ;-) Long time ago I repainted my '86 evo cases in the frame after repainting the cylinders and heads off the bike.
I didn't say it was cheap. I simply said it's worth a look. I don't know this guys level of skill....he could do it himself and save a bunch of money. Chances are, he's gonna pay someone to do it and spend it anyway.

If it were mine, I'd build a better motor out of it. And, I'd replace the bearings and the lifters, bump the compression a little with the pistons, have a little head work done including compression releases and get a decent cam in it. The stock carb would now be an S&S. But, it's not mine.

I, too, like a little patina on the motor. That's why I rebuilt my 94 road king myself. If this guy really wants to do it as cheap as possible...just pull the heads and replace all the valve seal components. That'll most likely take of it.

-GOODMAN

08 SHARK
96 HERITAGE
96 WIDE GLIDE
94 ROAD KING

IF EVERYTHING IS UNDER CONTROL, YOU'RE GOING TOO SLOW!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2013, 12:48 AM
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I didn't say it was cheap. I simply said it's worth a look. I don't know this guys level of skill....he could do it himself and save a bunch of money. Chances are, he's gonna pay someone to do it and spend it anyway.

If it were mine, I'd build a better motor out of it. And, I'd replace the bearings and the lifters, bump the compression a little with the pistons, have a little head work done including compression releases and get a decent cam in it. The stock carb would now be an S&S. But, it's not mine.

I, too, like a little patina on the motor. That's why I rebuilt my 94 road king myself. If this guy really wants to do it as cheap as possible...just pull the heads and replace all the valve seal components. That'll most likely take of it.
Fair enough! ;-) Good points, and we agree on everything but the S&S carb part. It's not a deal breaker, but i find them wanting more attention than I want to give them on a daily basis. My assumption based on his query was that he was doing most of the work. But who knows.

2012 fltrx
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2013, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks to all of you who offered advice in response to my post. I have been riding for the last 33 years, beginning with imported bikes I could afford, then moving on to air-cooled BMWs, water-cooled BMWs, then back to air-cooled BMWs, then to a water cooled import cruiser and, at present, with the RG.

While I have done various types of repair work over the years, including some motor work, there are certain things I know enough not to attempt, such as synching carbs on an airhead BMW. I do, however, believe I would be capable of taking apart and putting back together the top end. I would likely send the heads out and have someone bore the cylinders, but would attempt the reassembly myself.

Funds are defintely a factor, as I am self employed in a profession somewhat dependant upon the real estate market, and things are only now beginning to show some improvement from the 2008 crash. The cost estimates provided by Rageglide are most helpful, as well as the recommendations regarding gaskets. I think that a motor restored to its original condition will provide more than enough power for my purposes.

In addition to the work on the heads, items I anticipate replacing would include the pistons, rings, gaskets, etc. While I have the motor apart, however, it sounds as if lifters should be added to the list. Also, pushrods, perhaps, and if so, what is the advantage of adjustable pushrods? Should I consider higher compression pistons or stick with stock?

Thanks for your patience with the questions of a newbie, and thanks again to all those who took the time to respond to my post.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2013, 11:25 AM
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No need for high top pistons if you mill the heads. I have never used high tops in an evo, I've always used flat top pistons and modified the heads. You can have excellent results doing either one.

If you mill the heads you will need to go to adjustable pushrods or buy a custom length set. If you don't mill the heads, you can reuse the solid pushrods.

Advantages of adjustables: No need to disassemble the top rocker covers to remove the cam or replace lifters, or leaking pushrod tube orings. Allows using cams with smaller base circle (high lift cams), can also adjust them longer so they are almost a Solid for hot rodded motors.

Disadvantages of adjustables: they can loosen up if not properly tightened, but it's rare and usually happens shortly after being installed

Plan to replace the inner cam bearing. You dont' want to have an inner cam bearing failure as it can be a death bell. Rent or borrow the removal and installing tools.

Buy new lifters, Harley standard lifters will be fine for an Evo. ~$100 for the set.

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