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Building The Thunder: Episode 3 — Wrenching (Pt. 1)

Ted DuPuis' Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic

Now that you’ve gotten to know Ted and learned more about his Harley build, it’s time to get to work. Dynojet is proud to sponsor the build of Ted's Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic, featuring a Power Vision.

He’s started to make upgrades to his bike, and we’ll cover the first part of his wrenching here.

Ted recommended using these tools before making major modifications:

  • Torque wrench
  • Feeler gauges
  • Piston ring expander
  • Piston ring filing tool
  • Piston ring compressor

In this episode of Building The Thunder, Ted has started to disassemble the necessary parts and make the upgrades.

“One note I had was that Harley didn't seem to have much consistency with hardware,” Ted wrote. “By that I mean there's use of allen heads, torx, and standard hex bolts. Although the work was easy I ended up needing a wide variety of basic tools to do the job. I think every drawer in my toolbox got opened at some point, and standard sets didn't necessarily do the job, at least not well. For example the left side allen head bolts for the intake manifold needed a particular size allen key to get to (a socket wouldn't have worked).”

While Harley-Davidson makes several specialty tools for upgrades, Ted found he only needed the cam bearing tool. 

“None of the assembly work is hard, but there is a lot to do and so taking your time to do it carefully and right is slow going,” Ted wrote. “I had never filed piston rings before but it's a simple enough job to do. I ended up getting the ring clearances essentially in the middle of the tolerance band (they say to aim for the loose side if you're racing, which I'm not). Harley has interesting torque specs and sequences on basically everything, all called out in the manual. How necessary those are is a good question, but it seems like with an air cooled engine that has a lot of thermal gradients and changes that it makes sense. There are a lot of areas where you're supposed to make clearance measurements, but I didn't find any of them to be problematic or requiring of adjustment.”

Part 2 of this video is coming soon! Read more about Ted’s upgrades here.