'97 Fat Boy Lost Compression in Front Cylinder

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by Skoty, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. Skoty

    Skoty Member

    12
    0
    0
    I got a '97 Fat Boy several years back while working in Florida. Moved back to CA and left the bike with my dad. I thought he would ride it occasionally, so never added fuel stabilizer. (Too may toys in his stable for my lowly 80" Evo to see the light of day)

    I finally got a garage to hold the bike and planned to have it shipped. Pops took the bike out for a spin and apparently something in the engine broke off/loose and required a rebuild.

    Work order lists: Bore Cyls., Replaced pistons & cam, crank bearing, rebuilt heads, R+R eng out of frame.

    Then the bike shipped. I was warned that it would "glug when you goose it."

    When it arrived, the bike would sputter when I would give it a lot of gas: accelerating to freeway speeds or attempting to maintain freeway speeds up hill.

    Assuming the old gas might have carried some crud to the carb, I ran Carb cleaner through the fuel for two full tanks. I thought I was feeling improvement, less "glugging."

    Then the other day as I was getting on the freeway, I heard a couple loud taps from in front of my knee and suddenly lost all power. I could feel puffs of air blowing against my knee with every stroke.

    Towed my newly reunited baby home and joined this forum. I think I can trace the leak to the Head Gasket.

    I am out of work right now, so I have more time than money! I'd love to learn how to wrench myself not just for the $, but also for the satisfaction.

    How hard is the job of replacement? What else might need to be done? How much will the right tools set me back?

    Thanks from a green HD owner-
    Skoty:newsmile04:
     
  2. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    5,279
    133
    158
    First bit of money to spend would be on a service manual
    you will also need a set of spanners a set of allen keys and a 3/8" square drive socket set
    with a wee bit of patience you should be able to strip it enough to replace the head gasket you will need 12 point socket to fit the head bolts and a torque wrench to get everything right on reassembly

    Brian
     
  3. Skoty

    Skoty Member

    12
    0
    0
    Haha "spanners." I miss Scotland! Visited 10 years ago. I hope to get back there. I can't imagine how good the riding is!!!

    Thanks for the info, I think I have most everything, but the 12 point sockets and a torque wrench. I've seen a number of torque wrench types. Any preferences?
     
  4. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    5,279
    133
    158
    As i am here in Scotland it may be different stuff that is available but i like the clicker type as when i am putting the whole body into getting it tight i hear and feel the click
    as i seem to have been collecting tools for about 40 years i usually have something that fits most fasteners i come up against
    but if you look at the head bolts on the spark plug side you will see the head bolts that need the 12 point socket

    Brian
     
  5. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    18,544
    153
    399
    Fin has you covered here, A repair manual will be a big plus as you need to use the proper torque sequences removing the rocker boxes as well as re torquing all the necessary parts:s
     
  6. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    4,633
    83
    101
    Top end. Not a big deal. My guess is whoever did the work for your Dad did not torque the head bolt correctly.

    Anyway. Like Fin said above, get the HD Factory Service Manual for your bike. Box of tools from Sears Hardware if you need some. A couple of Torx 27 bits.

    You can do the top end with the engine on the frame, but it is way easier on a bench or on the floor by itself. And while you have the top end off, open the nose cone and replace the INA inner roller bearing with a Torrington. A set of adjustable PRs will make future stuff easier. And replace the lifters even if these are new.

    Have to have the jugs hone and cross-hatched again. New rings. Valve job on the heads.

    Back together with a quality FULL synthetic VTwin 20W50 engine oil. Use assemble lube. Do the break in Glider has in the Self-Help section to seat the rings.

    Ride it.

    TQ
     
  7. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    5,279
    133
    158
    One thing that springs to mind but i do not have a service manual for a 97 but on the 92 93 and 94 manuals the first thing to do is to refit the o rings prior to fitting the head gasket however newer replacement head gaskets eliminate the o ring and will blow the head gasket if the o rings are present

    Brian
     
  8. Skoty

    Skoty Member

    12
    0
    0
    Do you mean that I should do both jugs? Is that best to keep them even?

    Changing out push rods, lifters, honing, cross hatching...sounds like a fair amount of cash. Go all HD parts or is there another option?

    I've seen big bore kits to bump displacement up and horsepower. Is that worth looking into ($750-1000+)? I don't want to spend too much, but would rather pay a little more now if it will save in the long run.

    Thanks!!!
     
  9. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    4,633
    83
    101
    Definitely do both. I would suggest all HD parts. Here is what I would estimate assuming you do the work:

    Rings - $40
    Valve job - $150
    Jugs - $150
    PR - $150
    Lifters - $100
    Top end gasket set - $100

    These are estimates. You would have to get the real numbers from HD.

    TQ
     
  10. Skoty

    Skoty Member

    12
    0
    0
    Thanks TQ!!!