PLEASE HELP! 2003 XLH 883 Sportster Cams


Hi All,

Well I am in a really big mess. I need some serious help in getting my bike back up and running. Here's the problem. I asked the local HD parts guy for the gaskets to replace all of the fluids in my bike. He produed 2 gaskets and 2 O rings. I opened up the Primary drive chain cover inspected cleaned and replaced the old gasket and adjusted the drive train for slack. Then I moved to the other side of the bike and removed the cover for the gasket I got. I didn't know this was the locations of the cam gears. When I pulled off the cover and saw them I almost lost my mind. You would think a parts person might ask or warn a person that he needs to make take caution in taking this cover off. I have never worked on a Harley before so I thought it would not be a problem. However, it is a BIG problem as I don't have a service manual to reference nor can I purchase one at this time. Sooooo I am in DESPERATE need of a true Harley wrench who can explain to me how I 1. line up the cams (does #1 cylinder need to be Top Dead center) and 2. how do you get them back under the push rods? I have worked on rice burners and other bikes but new to Harley and I DO WANT TO LEARN HOW TO Wrench it for myself. I love working on it, but until I get this resolved my beautiful machine will be sitting in the guarage. I would appreciate any help I can get!

Thanks in advance,
Charlie :wall
:wall no they came out. Didn't know that the #2 cam was attached to the casing and the other 3 are against the piston wall. So when the cover comes off so does the #2 and that was enough pressure to bring the #3 with it. So unless someone else will come along and give me detailed instructions on how to get this back together I am going to have to wait until I get me a Service Manual! Argh! Unfortunately I am planning on changing out the jugs and pistons to make me a 1200cc out of her next month. I didn't want to have to wait that long to put it back together so I could get some riding time in before that happens. Well I said I wanted to become a wrench and I guess I am learning about my bike the hard way.
anyway thanks for the information and I will check back to see if there is some kind soul out there feeling my pain that can give me the specifics on how to do it without the manual. Otherwise it looks like a blue Christmas for me :cry ! Thanks Hobbit for the reply!

Keep ridin,
You certainly got yourself in a spot. I would strongly suggest that you do not attempt any more repairs/service until you get the manual. What did you torque the covers on the other side to?

In any event, it gets a bit involved typing and explaining the proper way to put it back together, this link should help.