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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just finished swapping out all the cam cover bolts, clutch cover bolts, and a ton of engine bolts with chrome hardware... What a pain. Not sure I would do it again or if it really made a difference.

My question is, what's the difference or advantage of using Stainless steel hardware instead of chromed? Will stainless hardware change colors over time? :hmm:

Greg
 

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glz said:
I just finished swapping out all the cam cover bolts, clutch cover bolts, and a ton of engine bolts with chrome hardware... What a pain. Not sure I would do it again or if it really made a difference.

My question is, what's the difference or advantage of using Stainless steel hardware instead of chromed? Will stainless hardware change colors over time? :hmm:

Greg
Stainless doesn't corrode, but it does go dull. Chrome will wipe clean, SS bolts would have to come out to get the heads polished. I just did the same job, what a pain in the ass, looks good though don't it? :D
 

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glz said:
yep, Looks great today... just don't want to have to take them out again, ever...

:eek:
I ride all year in England, I polish the bike like a mirror then dump 2 or three cans of SS100 on it! Then I don't clean her for a coupla months, then do the same again. It looks like hell but in the spring there she is still gleaming under all the crud.
 

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ss100? what's that?
 

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What was so difficult about it? I was thinking of doing it too but now you guys are scaring me. Also, what kind of sockets did you use to avoid marring the chrome?
 

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ss100 = S100 cleaner ;)

Heads up on the SS bolts. I would strongly suggest you consider the "galling" effect that occurs with SS hardware. Without threadlock or antisieze you run the risk of having the bolt "weld" itself to the treads in the block. Just something to think about.
 

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V-Man said:
What was so difficult about it? ... Also, what kind of sockets did you use to avoid marring the chrome?
Most of the cam cover bolts are obstructed by either the frame or the battery box. Many of the clutch cover fasteners are blocked by the exhaust manifold. To install the clutch cover fasteners, you will need to remove the "secondary volume" and the slip on mufflers. To do the cam cover bolts, you'll need to remove the airbox and battery.

To do this job correctly (and by this I mean using Loctite and a torque wrench) about the only tool that works is a set of metric, long shaft, ball-end sockets. SK Handtool make a good set, and I believe that they are available through Sears. I'm pretty sure that other professional tool companies (Snap-On, MAC, etc.) will have something similar. The ball-end is needed because you usually can't get a straight shot at the top of the fastener, the long shaft because you will often be threading it through either the frame or the holes in the bottom of the battery box. And you'll need a 3/8" socket end if you want to be able to use your torque wrench to set final tension. The SK Facom set is pretty expensive (~$80) - but worth it, because they are lifetime tools, and useful for a variety of V-Rod related tasks.



I would also definitely recommend buying the manual before tackling either of these tasks. Replacing the clutch cover and alternator cover fasteners should be done following a specific sequence (i.e. a special "star" pattern). If you just "wing it", I believe there is a good chance you will end up with incorrect torque and leaking fluids. Its not a particularly difficult task (heck - I managed it..); but it is a job where you need to read, and follow, the directions.
 

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vroddrew said:
Most of the cam cover bolts are obstructed by either the frame or the battery box. Many of the clutch cover fasteners are blocked by the exhaust manifold. To install the clutch cover fasteners, you will need to remove the "secondary volume" and the slip on mufflers. To do the cam cover bolts, you'll need to remove the airbox and battery.

To do this job correctly (and by this I mean using Loctite and a torque wrench) about the only tool that works is a set of metric, long shaft, ball-end sockets. SK Handtool make a good set, and I believe that they are available through Sears. I'm pretty sure that other professional tool companies (Snap-On, MAC, etc.) will have something similar. The ball-end is needed because you usually can't get a straight shot at the top of the fastener, the long shaft because you will often be threading it through either the frame or the holes in the bottom of the battery box. And you'll need a 3/8" socket end if you want to be able to use your torque wrench to set final tension. The SK Facom set is pretty expensive (~$80) - but worth it, because they are lifetime tools, and useful for a variety of V-Rod related tasks.



I would also definitely recommend buying the manual before tackling either of these tasks. Replacing the clutch cover and alternator cover fasteners should be done following a specific sequence (i.e. a special "star" pattern). If you just "wing it", I believe there is a good chance you will end up with incorrect torque and leaking fluids. Its not a particularly difficult task (heck - I managed it..); but it is a job where you need to read, and follow, the directions.
Couldn't have put it better myself, like the man sez, not a difficult job but not one to undertake if you're not confident you know what you're doing.
:notworth:
S100 is an anti corrosion spray made in Germany by a company called Smartparts. I've tried many such products in 30 years of daily riding & this is far & away the best. It can be used in two ways, the recommended is to apply lightly & rub in with a soft cloth. This works well in summer, it leaves an invisible film which is slightly tacky to the touch. You have to touch it to know it's there & it protects the shine on chrome & aliminium for weeks.
If you lay on about 10 coats letting them dry in between it turns light grey & sticky, it looks a pig's ear but it really works for winter riding.
It is designed to protect against specific contaminants like carbon dust (from brakes) road salt (we get plenty of this) & airborne pollutants. :D
It's been the most popular of it's type in Europe for many years, & is available here at all Harley dealers.
I just looked at the can & it sez Daytona Beach salt spray tested (whatever that means) so it must be available on the other side of the duck pond.
 

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Thanks vroddrew, I have ball-end sockets and manuals, I do all the work on the bike myself. I'd rather screw it up and do it again than let a stealer touch it. One problem with all metal tools is they will mar chrome surfaces at a certain torque. For example I found no way of tightening front turn signal relo kit to specs w/o marring the chrome. There's a company that makes sockets with plastic inserts (don't remember the name) to prevent this but I don't believe they make hex sockets.
 

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V-Man said:
One problem with all metal tools is they will mar chrome surfaces at a certain torque..
We're getting towards the thin end of the wedge here... I know what you mean about the tool scratching the chrome. The problem is, of course, that anything soft enough that it won't scratch the chrome, will also most likely disintegrate fairly quickly when cinching down fasteners, and moreover will interfere with getting a reliable torque number.

I have found that some of my newly installed fasteners developed a little surface rust a few months after installation. It seemed most pronounced on those where it was possible for water to collect inside the head (duh!) It cleans up pretty easily with a dab of chrome polish - usually I'll take a piece of clean shop towel wrapped around the next-smallest sized hex wrench and use that to clean out the rust. I'll have to try the S100 protector mentioned above.

But beyond the surface rust, I really haven't found that installation really marred the appearance of the fasteners. A good quality ball-end hex wrench - with a close tolerance between the head of the tool, and the inside of the fastener should minimize the possibility of cam-out (or whatever they call it on hex-fasteners.) The bearing surface of most of the chrome bits is inside the head, so you'd need to get pretty close, and with a magnifying glass, to even see any scratches. One fastener where this definitely NOT true is the cam tensioner bolt - but from what I've heard, this is a pretty complex job to replace, so I'm going to leave that one alone.

The bottom line on this is: How much do you want shiny fasteners on your engine? Its an extremely subtle detail, especially on things like the cam covers, that 99% of non-V-Rod owners would never even notice. If you've got the tools and the know-how (and it sounds like you do) its a fun afternoon project and a good way to get up close and personal with your bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
vroddrew said:
The bottom line on this is: How much do you want shiny fasteners on your engine? Its an extremely subtle detail, especially on things like the cam covers, that 99% of non-V-Rod owners would never even notice. If you've got the tools and the know-how (and it sounds like you do) its a fun afternoon project and a good way to get up close and personal with your bike.
I agree on most of what you say... Only alot more work than an afternoon and fun is not the first word that comes to mind. Was about 8 hours of work for me, after pulling a ton of hardware off to gain access to some of the harder parts to reach, I don't think I would ever try this again unless I have the engine already pulled from the bike.

Greg
 

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Be careful with replacing the side cover bolts. They should be torqued evenly to spec. I have heard of the gaskets starting to leak if the bolts aren't torqued evenly.
 

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vroddrew said:
The bottom line on this is: How much do you want shiny fasteners on your engine? Its an extremely subtle detail, especially on things like the cam covers, that 99% of non-V-Rod owners would never even notice. If you've got the tools and the know-how (and it sounds like you do) its a fun afternoon project and a good way to get up close and personal with your bike.
Well I don't really think that anyone notices each induvidual chrome screw but when all the screws as a whole are chrome, it gives your bike a subtle look. Each mod when it comes to chrome is just a part of the whole look of the bike.
 

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With all the shiny stuff on the stock 02/03 A's, the lack of shinny fasteners sure sticks out... The fasteners and swing arm bolt sure caught my eye fast...

Soooo.... What is it SS or Chrome

SS dose not rust... but you loss the shine... after what 2-3 seasons?
Can you clear coat the heads before the install?

Chrome gives you the bling... but it will rust...
I believe you can only slow the process... especially on fasteners

So how do you make the choice? What should I do?
 

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WHICH COST MORE? :sinister: I alway buy the Most Expensive! ;)
 

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vroddrew said:
Most of the cam cover bolts are obstructed by either the frame or the battery box. Many of the clutch cover fasteners are blocked by the exhaust manifold. To install the clutch cover fasteners, you will need to remove the "secondary volume" and the slip on mufflers. To do the cam cover bolts, you'll need to remove the airbox and battery.

To do this job correctly (and by this I mean using Loctite and a torque wrench) about the only tool that works is a set of metric, long shaft, ball-end sockets. SK Handtool make a good set, and I believe that they are available through Sears. I'm pretty sure that other professional tool companies (Snap-On, MAC, etc.) will have something similar. The ball-end is needed because you usually can't get a straight shot at the top of the fastener, the long shaft because you will often be threading it through either the frame or the holes in the bottom of the battery box. And you'll need a 3/8" socket end if you want to be able to use your torque wrench to set final tension. The SK Facom set is pretty expensive (~$80) - but worth it, because they are lifetime tools, and useful for a variety of V-Rod related tasks.



I would also definitely recommend buying the manual before tackling either of these tasks. Replacing the clutch cover and alternator cover fasteners should be done following a specific sequence (i.e. a special "star" pattern). If you just "wing it", I believe there is a good chance you will end up with incorrect torque and leaking fluids. Its not a particularly difficult task (heck - I managed it..); but it is a job where you need to read, and follow, the directions.

Quick question....Will those ball-end sockets work to remove the large clutch cover without having to remove the header exhaust pipes? I was going to replace my cover this weekend and it appears there's only one bolt that would be difficult to get to. I was also going to replace my alternator cover which is slightly bubbled but does not leak. After reading the numerous posts on those covers leaking, I'm rethinking my position.
 

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Chrome or stainless will look better than the cheaply plated stock crap.
They seem to stick just as much as stainless, based on the posts of others and my own experience with the items that I've loosened.
Chromed ones are first polished then plated and polished again which does give them a more pleasing visual appearance than stainless.
Stainless does dull with age and if you've got a bike with polished cases rather than chrome then the look is homogenous and pleasing, chromed fasteners would look as out of place as do the original junk IMHO.
The stainless will look good longer if you would take the time and polish them prior to installation. Rouge wheel, ScotchBrite or BearTex wheel, mounted on a bench grinder and lightly polish the heads will smooth the texture and improve the look and remove surface impurities from manufacture which will speed the dulling. The polishing also makes it easier to keep looking good.
Always use a dab, just a dab, of an anti-sieze compound at installation to prevent galling in the aluminum.
Some have mentioned Loctite, BE CAREFUL, you could end up with more trouble than it's worth if you get the wrong grade. While they make anti-sieze compund as well, if you use a thread locker only use the blue, removable type. I've seen grown men cry because they've used "Stud & Bearing Mount" or "Cylindrical part locking" grades and spin the heads off fasteners later when trying to remove them.
 
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