Sportster engine question

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by CalgaryBikeBum, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. CalgaryBikeBum

    CalgaryBikeBum Active Member

    Good Morning. A friend of mine has a sportster which she is bringing to my shop this weekend because it needs some work. Sounds like either a cylinder/piston problem or head problem. Either way I will fix it up for her but i have done limited work on Sportsters. She has a factory manual which is great. Its a 1999 883 and she has a limited budget and was quite happy with the power and bike overall. I have found a set of 1996 jugs,pistons, heads and cams (doubtful we need cams but time will tell) with only 300 km (180 miles) on them and just wanted some advice to make sure 1996 and 1999 are compatible. Until I get my hands on it and tear the top end off I won't know whats really wrong. Thanks for the help.:)
  2. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Parts should fit fine the main parts of the sportster stayed the same from 1994 - 2003 so most parts can be swapped from one to the other

  3. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    Should not be any problems, I would use cosmetic gaskets :s

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member


    Are you going to just swap out the pistons and jugs Without new rings? Careful you don't mix them from the original cyls. if not doing a new cross-hatch job., and rings....

    You'll love the simplesity of the sporty over the BIG bikes.... Much easier to do all the work on the upper end..

    Now if you Really want to put a Smile on her face, put in a set of wiseco 10.5/1 pistons at 1200 (3.5") and lap the valves... Make that 883 into a little Monster!!!

    Then tell her to Hang On....


    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

  6. CalgaryBikeBum

    CalgaryBikeBum Active Member

    Thanks for all the help guys. She didn't have alot of money and she was really happy with the 883 until it lost power. I am pulling rear cylinder apart tonight to find out whats going on. Those used parts came with rings but I was going to change the rings as Bubbie says unless everything is marked dont want to mix them up. Also these parts supposedly have almost no miles but they have been sitting for alot of years. She just wants to ride and keep it running for another year or two until she can afford something bigger. I have done a few big twins and done moderate amounts of work on Sportsters but I will figure it out. Mostly wasn't sure if parts would work. Yes I was going to use Cometic gaskets. That's what I used on my latest build and so far completely drip free. I will let you guys know what I find. Thanks again. :)