Twin Cam Engine Tear Down

Q: I have a 2000 FLSTC that I had originally begun the Twin Cam engine tear down in preparation for Stage I porting, a Big Bore Upgrade and a Gear Drive Conversion. After having an accident and surgery that required me to lose over a months pay AND a negative Tax Return, I am unable to do all three. I have already removed the Heads and Jugs but have not removed the engine nor the pistons. My question is, and I am fairly sure I know the answer, but, is it possible for me to simply re-compress the rings, replace the Cylinder O-Ring and reinstall the Jugs? The Cylinder Bores still have a great cross hatch pattern, the rings are not jagged or chipped. I haven’t even touched the Pistons or rings and as I said, they appear to be in great condition. The bike has 36000 miles on it, and has been well maintained. I’m screwed, right?
Thanks for your site. It’s awesome!

A: Definitely not “screwed. You need a top end gasket kit (H.D, or James). A service manual may also be helpful. Especially for torque specs/torque sequences. Be sure to stagger the gaps of your piston rings. Use loctite and assembly lube where applicable. Everything should go back together nicely.

Member Follow-up: You just made my day!

I never reuse nuts, bolts, washers, gaskets, or seals. I learned that a long time ago when building my first small-block 350. I have never re-used pistons or rings either however, I did that because I almost always over bored the blocks. That is not the case with my Harley. The more I look at the mechanics and design of the HD engine, the more I see it as such a simple and yet very effective design. I was going to order the ARP Stainless Fastener Kit as well as Cometic Head Gaskets and the top end and gasket kit. I’m just glad I can at least get her back together in time for summer riding season here in Texas which pretty much is 300 days a year, starting in mid to late March. Thanks again. Some of the best money I have ever spent was on a factory manual from Harley and my membership for FMH!
Have a great day!

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