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Author Topic: 30 Simple Steps  (Read 3467 times)


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30 Simple Steps
« on: September 03, 2007, 11:40:55 am »
I've just completed my first routine maintenance. All it took was about 10 hours (!) and 30 simple steps:


I did not check the timing gear backlash since I have not yet received the replacement gasket. I'll brave that later this autumn.



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Re: 30 Simple Steps
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2007, 09:40:02 pm »
Good thing you don't work for a job shop!
After 44 years of working on all sorts of mechanical things it only takes me five hours to do the routine maintanice. See there is some hope!

To make you feel better when I do my routine maintenance on my vehicles I need to buy 32 gallons of oil. Good thing I'm retired or I wouldn't have any time for the wife.

Wait a minute!!!  Maybe I do need a job.

I wouldn't worry too much about the backlash thing if you don't hear a lot of noise when getting on and off the throttle.

Brother Rhett

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Re: 30 Simple Steps
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2007, 02:26:43 pm »
Matt - thanks for sharing your tips and experience with the community. Those write-ups of yours are handy!

Gapl -  :D marriages aside, I think I'd need a job just pay for 32 gallons of oil!
What wouldn't you not do if you didn't know you wouldn't fail?


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Re: 30 Simple Steps
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2007, 04:03:22 pm »

To make you feel better when I do my routine maintenance on my vehicles I need to buy 32 gallons of oil. Good thing I'm retired or I wouldn't have any time for the wif

32 gal of oil?  You must live on a farm with tractors and all. 

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: 30 Simple Steps Marvelous
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2007, 12:49:31 pm »
I have taken the liberty of posting Matts (Thumper) 30 steps of maintenance for the Electra. I hope he doesn't object (if so I will remove them), but I thought they were so good that all should be able to see them easily

2006 US Market Electra X Maintenance Notes

 Use this data at your own risk. The author assumes no liability for any injury or damage incurred by the reader. This document is intended for informational use only.

 This document is intended to share information with RE Bullet Electra X owners.


 I           Routine Maintenance
II           Torque Cylinder Heads and Adjust Valves
III          Adjust Drive Chain Tension
IV         Starter Solenoid Problem

I Routine Maintenance

       Note: Check fasteners as you go along. Check the fasteners for whatever area you are working on.

 1)     Check condition of spark plug

2)     Torque cylinder head and adjust valves (see next section, II, for detailed steps)

3)     Adjust decompression release:

o       With feeler gauge still in the exhaust valve and piston still at TDC compression, loosen the lock nut on the decompression cable at the tappet cover and screw it in enough to give the flat side of the cam room to fit back under the “top hat”.

o       Replace cover (and gasket). Make sure o-ring is still inside the cover nut.

o       Check the effect to see it for yourself: pull decompression lever and see that the feeler gauge is gripped tightly. Now release it.

o       Now go ahead and adjust cable for about 1/8” to ¼” freeplay at the lever.

o       ALTERNATE METHOD – following Service Manual procedures: They say to adjust the freeplay until you just feel it affecting the feeler gauge (just like your test effect above). I do not like this. You have just adjusted your valve and now you are affecting it with the decompression release! I think they meant to say: adjust it until you just feel it affecting the feeler gauge – then back it off a few threads so as not to affect valve clearance.

4)     Run bike to thoroughly warm engine, primary and gearbox

5)     Drain engine oil: unscrew dipstick, remove all three drain plugs, clean screens as needed, wipe off dirt from plug area, inspect crush washers (replace as needed).

6)     Remove oil filter: 13mm acorn nut and crush washer (if you don’t see the washer, it fell into the oil!), outer cover, spring, metal washer, small o-ring, large metal washer, large o-ring. Lay them out on a clean towel. It might help to use ultra thin needle nose pliers to pluck the components out. It took me awhile to ‘persuade’ them to come out. Lube filter and install components in reverse order. Note: You might want to replace the old filter temporarily back inside the housing just to see how far back in it goes; then make sure the new one goes in just as deep. My new filter would not go in far enough. It turned out I had been sent the wrong filter. Luckily, I had another spare that did fit. Allow oil to fully drain. (refill is below)

7)     Check gearbox oil: fully loosen the hex bolt under the clutch cable. It’s the one with the copper crush washer. Make sure oil oozes out. If it doesn’t, top-up gearbox oil until it does ooze out.

8)     Unclip both connecters from the alternator wires coming out of the primary case. (one clip with yellow wires; one with green and white wires.) Remove shift lever (10mm) and foot peg (14mm). Remove allen bolts and drain. Carefully remove cover. Check tension at top of chain for 5-6mm freeplay. Adjust with 11mm as needed. Remove gasket, noting how it goes over the alternator wire. Carefully wipe it clean and dry. Wipe inside of case clean. Pre-fit allen bolts back in through gasket to help hold it in place. Reinstall cover, tightening allen bolts in cross-hatch pattern. Make sure to do one final check of all bolts. Refill with 14.2 ounces 15w40. Reconnect alternator harness clips.

9)     Fill engine oil with no more than 1.75 quarts. After maintenance, verify correct oil level after thoroughly warming engine. If you attempt to put in the specified 2.37 quarts it will overflow.

10)  Check clutch freeplay at lever and adjust as needed. Lubricate at lever, wiping off  excess grease and old dirt. If needed, fully lubricate clutch cable.

11)  Check level of brake fluid in reservoir. Lubricate at lever, wiping off  excess grease and old dirt.

12)  Lube rear brake grease fittings on both sides. Mine on the right side pulled right out. It was difficult to screw it back in. By applying pressure to the foot brake lever, I was able to screw the fitting back in. Lube rest of rear brake linkage, wiping off excess.

13)  Clean and re-oil air filter – or replace – or whatever is appropriate for your model. If cleaning a K&N-like filter, allow 24 hours to dry before re-oiling.

14)  Check throttle freeplay. Check for smooth throttle movement. If needed, lubricate throttle and throttle cable.

15)  Check battery electrolyte level: remove front battery flap and bracket/holder (2 screws). Pull battery forward enough to see fluid level. Reinstall battery and vinyl cover.

16)  Check rear drive chain tension at top for 1 to 1 ¼ inches. Check in several spots. Adjust at tight spot as needed. See section III below for detailed steps. Clean off chain as you feel necessary. (I use WD-40 with chain on bike and then wipe it off). Lube chain and wipe off excess.

17)  Check fork oil level: Unscrew cap, use small (1/8 to 3/16) dowel to verify 14.5 to 15 inches. I had to add fork oil. If you have to add it, add small (1/2 ounce) amounts until you get the correct level. Otherwise it’ll overfill and you’ll have to drain it at the bottom like I did! When replacing threaded caps, you might have to pry the rubber grommet (that cables go through) out of the way to gain enough room.

18)  Check steering head bearings: Turn, pull, push and otherwise firmly twist handle bars. Steering stem should turn smoothly and there should be no ‘slop’.

19)  Check wheel alignment. I used a metal pipe. Also check to make sure both drive chain lobed cam adjusters are set to precisely the same settings. (More info down in section III).

20)  Check spokes for tightness. Check in same place on each spoke. Check by tapping spoke with a spoke wrench and listen for nice ting-tang, ting-tang, ting-tang on each pair. Flat sounds jump out at you and indicate a loose spoke. Front wheel spokes might sound overall a bit different than rear spokes. Allow your ear to adjust to the ‘right’ sound.

21)  Check fuel filter and replace as needed. Unscrew petcock bowl and clean as needed. Inspect petcock screen. Replace bowl.

22)  Examine exhaust and exhaust brackets. Ensure all are tight and firmly secured.

23)  Examine tires. Check tire pressure.

24)  Lube: footpegs, shift lever, kick start lever, side stand.

25)  Armor-All: Fuel line and filter, starter solenoid and cables, battery flap and fuse holders, ignition wire and spark plug cap, starter motor cable, horn wires, brake hose, exposed cables: throttle, clutch, decompression lever, electrical wires, crankcase breathers, alternator wires (coming out of primary), speedo cable and fender grommet, foot peg rubbers, brake pedal pad, kick start rubber,  turn signals, brake light lens, fork boots, leather saddle bags (remove to get to buckles), seat, grips, mirrors, instrument grommets, switch gear and plastic ignition nut.

26)  Clean spokes and wheel rims. Clean left side of rear tire. Armor-All tires.

27)  Check any remaining fasteners not already checked.

28)  Wipe painted bike surfaces clean.

29)  Polish aluminum.

30)  Place holder: don’t forget to re-lube and reinstall your air filter if you let it dry for 24 hours.

II Torque Cylinder Heads and Adjust Valves

At just over 1000 miles, my Electra X shows oil weeping around the cylinder head gasket (not the base gasket). It was time to torque the head cylinder nuts and check the valves while I had the valve covers off.

 Remove fuel line at petcock
Remove the rear gas tank mounting bolt (14mm). It is the short one.
Remove the front gas tank mounting bolt (14mm). It is the long one.
Remove gas tank
Remove spark plug
Remove valve covers (5mm allen). I tapped upward with hammer and screwdriver to carefully dislodge. I used a knife for final separation.
Remove cam cover (13mm)
Placed piston at TDC compression. Used dowel carefully to monitor piston rise and checked rods for spin.
Tightened cylinder base nut (10mm)
Torqued 6 cylinder head nuts to 24 ft/lbs:
Front left (ex)
Right rear (in)
Left rear (in)
Front right (ex)
Left center (near spark plug)
Right center (behind oil lines)
All had a small amount of tightening after breaking free.

Check valves at push rods: spin freely; minimal or no up/down or side/side movement. Note that the pushrods themselves are not visible. The adjusters and locknuts attached to the lower end of the pushrod – protruding into the top of the cam case – are what you twirl and adjust. (13mm attached to pushrod, 10mm locknut, 8mm adjusting screw that butts against the tappet). You might want to remove the 11mm stud (that holds the cover on) in order to get better access.
Check valves at rocker arms: Intake and Exhaust:  .1 mm cold.

 Follow-up Notes: Adjust valves to .1mm cold (a loose .004 and a very tight .005 – or .005 does not fit). At this setting of .1mm I tested the feel of the ‘twirl’ resistance and movement – up/down/side-to-side. This way I can set it using the twirl method in a pinch (as the Owner’s Manual specifies).

 Replace cam cover and gasket: using the kick starter, turn the engine over and with the other hand raise the decompression “top hat” about 1/8 – ¼ inch. This will allow the cam in the cover to slide under it when you refit it.
 Replaced valve covers, spark plug and gas tank (front, rear – thread lock, and fuel line).

III Drive Chain Adjustment

Make a note of the current position of both the left and right side lobed cam adjusters. Pay particular attention to any manufacturer punch marks in the sides of the lobed cam adjusters. Both adjusters should be adjusted the same relative to those marks.
Remove the cotter pin from the axle nut
Loosen the axle crown nut
Loosen the larger axle nut immediately being the crown nut
Loosen the brake stay (anchor) nut located just below the brake rod and to the left of the axle nuts
Loosen up the rear brake (rod) adjuster nut
Verify that the adjusters are still where they were initially noted and that loosening things did not allow them to move. Rotate each lobed cam adjuster one position and verify that they are both the same distance between the punch-mark and the adjustment pint/stud.
Check chain tension at the top rung for about 1 inch of play or slackness.
Tighten fasteners: Large inner axle nut, crown nut*, cotter pin, brake-rod adjuster, brake stay (anchor) nut
 Check your rear brake adjustment. Check your cam marks one final time
*If you find that after you have tightened the large inner axle nut or the crown nut, the axle seems loose (e.g., the wheel assembly wiggles, the axle turns freely): Take off both nuts. Put the crown nut on (without the large axle nut behind it) and tighten it down to help draw the axle through towards you. At this point you should notice the difference. Take the crown nut off; replace and tighten the large inner nut and finally replace the crown nut once again.

 Although it’s recommended that you lube a warm chain, I usually end up doing the lubrication after adjusting my chain (cold).

 IV Starter Solenoid Problem

There is a noted problem on Electra X models where the left sidecover rubs the starter solenoid.

I read a post on Hitchcock’s bulletin board where it wore through the rubber, resulted in a short and caused the starter to run and run and run – even with kill switch on and ignition off!

 I rotated my solenoid almost 180 degrees to provide some insulating airspace. But as a secondary measure I glued some rubber trim onto the edge of the sidecover.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2007, 11:21:52 am by Royal Enfield 1 »
Best Regards,
Kevin Mahoney
Classic Motorworks


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Re: 30 Simple Steps
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2007, 10:54:50 am »



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Re: 30 Simple Steps
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2007, 11:09:44 pm »
12)  Clean spokes and wheel rims. Clean left side of rear tire. Armor-All tires.

I would recommend NOT using Armor All on the tires--potential hazard in making them too slickery.


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Re: 30 Simple Steps
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2007, 09:55:12 pm »
or the seat ;D


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Re: 30 Simple Steps
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2007, 10:34:45 pm »
There are much better, less destructive things to put on a vehicle, than ArmorAll.
.That stuff destroys rubber, or plastic.
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Re: 30 Simple Steps
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2007, 04:15:51 pm »
Maybe that's just a generic term he uses....where I come from when we say we are going to Armor All something it just means we're going to make it shine not really meaning using that specific product.

Kinda like me going to the drive thru and asking for a Coke and they then ask me what kind and I say Pepsi's fine. It's just a catch all I guess.

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