Conversion: Rocker Arm Support Plate Removal

To start from the beginning of this build, check out  13′ FLSTFB Conversion to CVO 110!

So the next step is to dig into the mechanical (fun) parts of the job. Up until now, it’s been just “busy work”. As you’ll see in the following photo’s, I’ll begin by removing the Rocker Box Covers. This is easily performed using a 7/16″ socket and a “Dog Bone” style extension for the bolts that are close to the backbone of the bike. I used “Snap On” tools (part #FRDH141) 2″ extension” to break the bolts free, then I used a 3/16″ Ball Hex Allen on an extended 1/4″ drive ratchet to remove them. Harley Davidson’s R&D followed by manufacturing of these particular bolts makes it easy to use multiple tools to get the job done quickly, however a quality wrench will perform the same function, be it, much slower. After removal of the covers, we’ll discard the gasket as the kit comes complete with all the essential gaskets (except the primary cover gasket, which we’ll address at a later time). Next, we removed the spark plugs with a standard 5/8″ spark plug socket.

With the Rocker Box Covers removed, I begin by turning the engine over so that the rear head push rods are setting on the camshaft base circles. This is when both valves are closed and no tension is being applied to either the intake or exhaust push rods. Because I have not yet removed the Primary Cover, I perform this step by shifting the transmission into sixth gear and with the rear wheel raised off of the lift, I rotate the rear wheel backwards. I can tell when the base circles are in the correct geometry by visually observing the movement of the valve springs and can see when both valves are fully closed. There’s another method to locate the base circles, which I’ll explain a little later on in the tear down.

Now we can release the tension on the push rod tube covers by depressing the spring cap (using the special tool#340050), and using a small flat blade screwdriver inserted into the cast loop, slightly twist the retainer in a clockwise direction (for right handed folks) until the base of the retainer pops free and can be removed.

Georges Garage Tool #340050

Once completed, the tube covers can be collapsed but not yet removed.

Push Rod Covers released.

Now I’ll provide an alternate method of finding the cam base circles. You can still spin the rear wheel backward and periodically check the tension on the, now partially exposed push rods, by reaching below the collapsed push rod covers and spinning the push rods themselves. If there is pressure on the rods, it will be very difficult to spin them between your fingers. Yes, it can be done, but if no tension is on the rods, they will spin freely.

With the tension off of the rods, we can begin further disassembly. First remove the Breather Baffle assembly.
Breather Baffle Assembly

Next, in quarter turn increments, remove the 4 bolts from the Rocker Arm Support Plate. Lift the Support Plate assembly off the the cylinder head as a unit.

Now the push rods are removable. It is imperative that all components be tagged for function, location and orientation. This cannot be overstated! There are subtle differences between the rods and they must be returned to their original location. With the rods removed, we can now remove our collapsed rod covers. Be sure to remove the o-rings (3 each: 1 yellow, 2 brown) for each tube. They may have come off the tubes and remain in the head or lifter cover plate.

Next job will be to remove the lifter covers.

Remove the four 3/16″ Allen head screws. You may find that the covers are stuck to the crank case. Patience, accompanied by many blows of a soft faced mallet will yield results. They may seem like they will not release, but in time, they will. Do not pry on the covers. This will likely mar or scratch the covers and or crank case. Trust me, they will come free with a mallet! Once free, remove the gasket which will most likely be glued to the crank case. See the figure below as the next step will be to remove the anti-roll pin. It just lies adjacent to the two lifters on their respective flat spots. Take note of the orientation of each lifter as you remove them. A magnet such as the one on the end of a pocket screwdriver, is sufficient to pull them from their bores. Note: The lifters are replaced with new parts from the upgrade kit.

The next step, one that is most important, is to cover these openings. Dropping items into these holes will result in a complete engine tear down in order to retrieve them. Something as simple as a rag over the top can prevent major frustration and expense because our piston wrist pin cir-clip fell through this hole. Same holds true with tools. A 1/4″ drive socket will easily fall into these bores.

Next will be the removal of Cylinder Heads, Cylinders and Pistons.

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