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putting a right cylinder head on the left side of my 1986 GL

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:33 pm
by bob42
I have a good left cylinder head and rocker arm assembly that I'm putting onto the right side. As the camshaft driven pulley will be toward the rear of the bile instead of the front, can I install a different rocker arm assembly onto this head? Thanks for any information anyone can give me about this.

bob42

Re: putting a right cylinder head on the left side of my 198

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:42 pm
by virgilmobile
I've never done this on a 1200 but the 1000 bare heads (left and right) were cast identical.
Perhaps using the "old" cam on the "new"head?

Re: putting a right cylinder head on the left side of my 198

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:27 pm
by bob42
Thanks for the reply. Yup - the heads can go on either side. My problem was that I didn't know if the cam could be reversed to put the pulley on the other end so it would face frontward. More research showed me that the original camshaft holder has to stay with the head as they are machined together, but the camshafts need to stay on the original side, the left and right camshafts are apparently slightly different, they have different part numbers. At least I HOPE that's correct, as that's what I'm doing; I pulled a right side camshaft from a spare parts engine I have and as soon as my gaskets and seals get here I'll be putting it together that way.

Re: putting a right cylinder head on the left side of my 198

Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:11 pm
by virgilmobile
Take pictures,list the parts you use and post them for future reference.
This is some valuable info.
Keep us posted on your progress.

Re: putting a right cylinder head on the left side of my 198

Posted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:52 am
by bob42
Got my gaskets and seals - installed the left head and cam holder (from the left side of another engine I have) on the right side of the engine, installed a right cam (L and R cams are apparently different), reinstalled the radiator, etc., installed the head pipes. Started the engine and ran it until it reached operating temperature - hallelujah - no steam! Installed the muffler system, restarted the bike - LOTS of steam. Ran it for a half hour or so - kept steaming. Removed the mufflers and restarted it - no steam again. Did this several times with the same results; with only the head pipes installed it's fine; with the mufflers install it puts out LOTS of steam. Scratching my head and looking baffled hasn't put any light on the subject - any ideas?

I tried to attach a picture but haven't figured out how.

Re: putting a right cylinder head on the left side of my 198

Posted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:00 am
by virgilmobile
Could the mufflers be saturated with the stuff that is turning to steam?
Does the steam have a distinctive odor.?

Re: putting a right cylinder head on the left side of my 198

Posted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:58 am
by RhinoWing
I'm not sure if this is related, but it's worth a try. I'm having a steam issue too. I bought a replacement engine with cylinder heads fitted with new copper gaskets. When starting this engine for the first time the bike started heating up and when the fan kicked in it started idling very erratically and white smoke(steam) blew out the right hand exhaust. Coolant then leaked out the connection between the headers and the mufflers. On removing the cylinder head I found that the bigger of the o rings on the oil restrictor is missing. I replaced the o ring and new cylinder head gasket. After a few minutes the white steam disappeared and no coolant leaks. But as Murphy's law would have it, the same thing started happening to the other side. Took the head off and.............no o ring. Will replace this o ring tonight and see what happens.

Kevin


Ride like the Wing!!!!!!

Re: putting a right cylinder head on the left side of my 198

Posted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:13 am
by bob42
Thanks for the reply Kevin. Your issue sounds pretty mysterious too! I did replace both o-rings on the oil restrictor; also, when I first started 'chasing' my steam problem, I removed the muffler to find out which side the problem was on - got lots of steam from the right head pipe so knew my problem was on the right side. I now get steam from NEITHER head pipe; just lots of steam from the tail pipes when I install the mufflers.

Re: putting a right cylinder head on the left side of my 198

Posted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:25 am
by bob42
I did get a slight antifreeze smell at first - probably from residual stuff in the mufflers? Don't get any smell now; I have only clear water in the bike at present.

Re: putting a right cylinder head on the left side of my 198

Posted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:03 am
by WingAdmin
Perhaps duct tape a hair dryer to the muffler and let it run overnight, to dry out any residual coolant/moisture? Sure sounds like there's something still in the muffler baffles.

Either that, or just hook it up and let it run until they're good and hot and aren't steaming anymore.

Oh, and: Adding pictures to your message

Re: putting a right cylinder head on the left side of my 198

Posted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:30 am
by bob42
Thanks - I did let it run for over an hour with no letup of steam; I like the hair drier idea; I'll try that and let you know how I make out.

Re: putting a right cylinder head on the left side of my 198

Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:48 pm
by bob42
Hi again wingadmin - I did connect my heat gun to the mufflers - it did blow out quite a bit of steam for an hour or so. Reconnected the mufflers this morning - still blew out quite a bit of steam for a while, then slowly blew out less and less until finally - NO STEAM! I wouldn't have thought there could possibly be enough moisture in the exhaust to take that much effort to get it out but obviously there was, so thanks again for 're heading me in that direction'.
Bob

Re: putting a right cylinder head on the left side of my 198

Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:55 pm
by WingAdmin
bob42 wrote:Hi again wingadmin - I did connect my heat gun to the mufflers - it did blow out quite a bit of steam for an hour or so. Reconnected the mufflers this morning - still blew out quite a bit of steam for a while, then slowly blew out less and less until finally - NO STEAM! I wouldn't have thought there could possibly be enough moisture in the exhaust to take that much effort to get it out but obviously there was, so thanks again for 're heading me in that direction'.
Bob
There's a lot of stuff that can hold moisture in there. It would have eventually dried it out riding around. Good to hear that you've got it sorted!