From:Dan F
Subject:RE: RE: KJ Repair Tips - continued Date:Fri Jan 23 17:43:44 2015
Response to:5498
Very interesting and helpful. Email sent .

Copper crush gaskets - intake manifold and exhaust

Restoration Supply ( GAS-044 work nicely for the intake manifold (Thanks Evan).

I ordered a set of GAS-025 for the exhaust - seems like they will work, but I'll let you know for sure after I get the engine back in the chassis. I'm currently trying to get years of baked grease/oil off the exhaust pipes, and this is being somewhat of a challenge...

On my last ride in early winter 2013, I pulled up to my garage, left the bike running while I went around to open the garage door. I looked at my KJ, and oil was pouring out the back of the engine onto the ground. I ran over and immediately hit the kill button, then pushed it inside.

It turned out that one of the pressure plate bolts had backed out, dug a gouge in the lower crankcase, then on the next revolution, broken the head off as it poked a hole in the back of the crankcase. Ouch.

I was lucky - I was able to get the stub of the bolt out of the flywheel without any problem.

Evan Kunes suggested that I use Unbrako flat head screws - 10-24 x 3/4". These are grade 8 with class 1A threads. I ordered them from MSC Industrial Supply.

They sell in boxes of 100, but when I whined that I really only needed 8 of them, the nice saleslady found that they had 2,756 in stock, and offered to sell me the broken box of 56. (P.S. If you need some, I'll mail you a set of 8)

The old screws were only 1/2" long, and the new 3/4" screws wouldn't go all the way in. This was odd, as the flywheel is over 1" thick. I ran a tap in the holes, and it broke up some glop that I suspect was dried-up Loc-Tite, and then the 3/4" screws would easily go all the way in. Evan tack welds his screws to the flywheel to make sure they never come out, but I opted for red Loc-Tite.

I took the lower crankcase to Arno's Custom Machine and Welding in Hyattsville, MD 301-779-0438. Arno does a lot of Henderson and Indian 4 crankcase repair, as well as Harley case repair, cylinder and head broken fin repair, etc. He did a very nice welding job on my lower crankcase - very hard to tell it had been repaired!

The inside of lower crankcase was painted with Red Glyptal, and I needed some to paint the repaired area. My buddy George Downes (one of those dreaded Indian guys) has a quart, and he allowed me to use a smidgen of it. Glyptal ( coatings ("paints") are commonly used on the windings of electric motors and generators (they were formerly part of General Electric), and the Red 1201 ( is tough stuff - great for coating our porous aluminum lower crankcases. Note: I just tore down my 1954 Harley KH engine, and guess what? - the previous owner had Glyptal'd the flywheel area of those cases.

Glyptal used to be pretty hard to find, but today you can get it on Amazon.

Finally, I got a gasket set from Tom Fickau ( Tom's been serving in Kuwait for more than a year, but now he's back, and slowly catching up.

Tom's gaskets are great, but I ran into an odd problem. When I tightened down the oil pump cover, the gears wouldn't turn. WTF? After some head scratching, I remembered that the late Carl Vandre had customized my oil pump. When I got it, my KJ had a DeLuxe lower case, oil pump, suction line, and screen/elbow. Carl welded a dipstick tube on my pan (very handy), replaced the elbow and suction line. He didn't have a KJ oil pump, but he married a set of KJ gears to a DeLuxe body.

This custom rig needed a custom gasket that was thicker than the stock gasket. I used a pair of feeler gauges, and determined that .007 was the correct thickness. Commonly available gasket material is 1/64" (.0156), which left way too much clearance between the gears and the cover.

I went down to Piedmont Press & Graphics ( in my hometown of Warrenton, VA , and asked for some coated stock (paper) that was .008" thick. They looked at me like I had two heads, until the old guy there spoke up. "65 cover", he announced. Someone went and got a few sheets, and then he pulled out his paper caliper, and sure enuf, it measured between .008 and .0085 Old guys are awesome!

The feeler gauges won't crush, but the paper will, and the "65 lb Cougar Cover" stock made the proper thickness gasket material.

I scanned Tom's gasket on my computer, then printed it directly on the 65# Cougar cover stock. I picked up a Stanley Hobby knife $3.97 at Home Cheapo(R) along with a pack of 5 replacement blades ($1.49). This knife made cutting the gasket to shape rather easy.

I punched the holes with a set of hole punches that Brent Dugan (an Indian and Harley Hummer guy) had given me. (These aren't it, but similar -

Punching the holes with the gasket laid on a piece of 1-by pine board took some practice - the exact hammer swing was a little elusive - too soft didn't make the hole, and too hard distorted the hole, but I prevailed.

The oil pump gears turn freely with minimum end-play, so I should get a nice supply of oil.

It'll be a few more weeks before I get the engine back in the frame, and everything buttoned up for a nice chilly February ride - but I thought I'd write this stuff down while I was thinking about it. I hope something in here helps someone with something!