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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys I was looking for some of your opions/wisdom to help me out a bit. The story is a went a little goofy (damn ebay) and bought a lot of chrome parts (wheels swing arm calipers rotors switch housings fork sliders etc.) I have my shop manual and a good place to work. However I would still have to put out for some of the tools involved. I have a little experience with bikes but not too much…(Just pipes and air cleaner, bags, and fluid changes) in fact this would be my very first “BIG” project. I purchased all this stuff to keep me occupied in the winter but I am afraid that if I start yaking stuff off that I won’t have it together in the spring or I will have problems throughout the next riding season. Also does doing the work your self versus the dealer affect the re-sale value? Thanks a lot, Jim
 

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(wheels swing arm calipers rotors switch housings fork sliders etc.)
Nothing is really hard about changing the items you have mentioned. But something to keep in mind is that all those items are items that you depend on to keep you alive. It is one thing it you have no real experience and want to learn so you replace a horn or lights or even handlebars but brakes, fork sliders, swing arm, wheels etc... are all things that MUST be done right. I don't know your abilities, only you know them. Do you think this is stuff that you would bet your life on that you can get it right the first time?

Just something to think about.
 

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If you have the basic mechanics tools, wrenches, torque wrench, scokets etc it seems to me all you would need is a lift, a belt tension tool and an alignment tool (which is easy enough to make). READ that service manual for pulling wheels and doing break work and even removal and installation of the swing arm. If you understand what they are saying you are in the game. If its warm inyour place and you want to get it done, I would make my mind up to do it.
 

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Road Captain
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Do it yourself........

Buy the tools (some of the more expensive items can be rented), you'll need them later.

Buy a note tablet. Make very good notes and a few hand drawn diagrams.

Buy zip lock bags and permenant markers. Mark and bag things as you remove them.

Stand back and glow in the satisfaction that you did it......
 

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Knower of Stuff
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Well I am a do my self guy. With that I will say, buy all the correct tools required.
If you are a competent mechnic, the shop manual and the correct tools should make the jobs easy.
Tools are usually cheaper than taking it to a dealer and you will have them for the next job or your buds bike.
The correct tools save time and damaged parts. It is so easy to screw something up without the correct tools.
As far as resale valeue , not affected if you do quality work.
 

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Who, me?
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If you feel that it is something that you want to do, then stretch your wings and go for it. If it means that you're gonna get ticked and miss out on riding, then I say let your wallet do the work. Do-it-yourself for some people is another level of satisfaction with bike ownership. Others see it as a distraction to the pleasure of driving.

Looks like you have the interest and the projects don't seem too "heavy". If I were to give advice, I would put together a list and make them seperate, smaller projects and prioritize them. Get something easy done first (better to backtrack small steps then trying to piece together a stock tranny) to get momentum and then tackle the larger projects - don't start a new one until the one before it is complete. If you get sidetracked or whatever you at least have some of the work done/or you don't have much to backtrack.
 

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I agree with points made by others. As mentioned by springer, safety should always be kept in mind as you service your bike.
If you have any doubts whatsoever about the work you have performed, you can always take it to the dealer and have them check it out.
I would suggest following the HD service manual closely, taking your time, making sure you have all the nec tools before you start, and complete one project and then test ride the bike thorougly before moving on to the next project.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everybody for the fantastic response! I am really eager (but also a little nervous) to try to work on the bike ( I have been reading the shop manual every night before bed). I just wanted some veteran input to see if it was possible for me to do this or was I way out of my league… based on what I have been reading from all of you it seems like this is very realistic for me to do.
I was going to put together a list and make them seperate, smaller projects and prioritize them (as per low Rider’s advice). I was going to use my digital camera for documenting where things are before I start, flow chart the hartley instructions on a large sheet for quick reference and also use the “bag and tag” method for all parts coming off. Does this seem like a good method? Am I leaving anything out?
 

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Who, me?
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So long as you can (1) complete the project, or (2) trace back your steps you are all set - build in whatever "process" you deem necessary. Don't worry, you'll find what works for you.

One thing that RK said that should be taken to heart is testing, testing, TESTING. That's not done enough and it can really come back to bite you (literally).
 

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Unlike occ, things do not get put together with a dead blow hammer.

If something won't go on without force, then there is something wrong.
 

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Do it yourself! I would and it sounds as if you are above my level on the whole wrenching thing!

Why on earth are you already thinking about selling your bike? It's just me I guess, but I bought my bike to use it, to ride it and enjoy it. If I ever decide to get a new one and have to sell the one I have to make the deal, a thousand bucks one way or the other isn't gonna amount to anything.
Now get out in that garage and get to work!!
 

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hogg831 said:
Do it yourself........

Buy the tools (some of the more expensive items can be rented), you'll need them later.

Buy a note tablet. Make very good notes and a few hand drawn diagrams.

Buy zip lock bags and permenant markers. Mark and bag things as you remove them.

Stand back and glow in the satisfaction that you did it......
All very good points. Something that helps me out, instead of hand drawn diagrams, is a digital camera. I like to take pictures of the whole process, that way I can go back and review the pics to verify that things are in the right order.
 

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Also, you said you have the service manual. I would advise you to pick up a parts manual for you bike. Very good diagrams in exploded view to help with assembly.
 

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EASY DOES IT
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FLSTFI-2005 said:
Unlike occ, things do not get put together with a dead blow hammer.

If something won't go on without force, then there is something wrong.
Oh well...there goes any chance of my puttin' it together...:duh?:
 

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Do it yourself, because your chances of finding an H-D dealer willing to install a bunch of parts you gleaned from E-Bay are slim and none.
 

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0043--Licensed to Doof!
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Put it up yourself! If after you are up and running, and there are doubts, take it to a dealer and ask him to check it out. If he asks who did the install, you can tell him "some guy". You'll learn your bike inside and out this way. Also, join your local HOG chapter, I bet there are pleanty of guys there who could lend advise or a hand now and again!
 

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TomB said:
Do it yourself, because your chances of finding an H-D dealer willing to install a bunch of parts you gleaned from E-Bay are slim and none.
That and he probably bought it on ebay to save money in the first place. The dealer would otherwise be happy to screw him out of the difference he saved :harhar:
 

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Total Nutcase
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Do it yourself. If you get in any jams, take a few pics and post them here and everyone will try to help you out. I think the biggest problem I run into when doing my own work is stuck fasteners. It's real easy to get heavy handed and strip a torx bolt or something. Turns a small job into a pain in the rear. Other than being careful with that, get a service manual and study the job you plan to do. Get the right tools and have fun. For me, wrenching is almost as much fun as riding.

One thing I would also mention. The reason I do my own wrenching is because I never have any extra money. I can't afford to pay $60/hour if there is any chance I can do it myself. What do I do about it? Find an independant shop (or buddy up to the wrench at your HD dealer) and just be honest. Buy some small stuff from the guy and tell them about your project. I tell them I am low on bucks but offer to pay for advice if I get stuck. Never fails, they are always willing to help a bro out.
 

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fourty three and seven...
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springer- said:
Nothing is really hard about changing the items you have mentioned. But something to keep in mind is that all those items are items that you depend on to keep you alive. It is one thing it you have no real experience and want to learn so you replace a horn or lights or even handlebars but brakes, fork sliders, swing arm, wheels etc... are all things that MUST be done right. I don't know your abilities, only you know them. Do you think this is stuff that you would bet your life on that you can get it right the first time?

Just something to think about.
Springer is a wise man.....Listen to him.

How good are you with fixing stuff? Think back to the days when you fixed the lawn mower as a kid....did you learn from your mistakes?

When you changed the plugs on your car, did you get it right or was there trauma?

When you performed your first oil change, did you strip the drain bolt or "double gasket" the oil filter

Do you have fun and feel success when you assemble a mechanical device or is it not fun, frustrating or painful?

Some folks have a way with nuts and bolts, others "not have way" If you are mechanically inclined, Changing parts should not be a big deal.

As Springer said, many of the parts you are thinking about changing are significant to the overall safety and handling of the machine. An error could cause personal injury, property damage or death. Not the place to learn about righty tighty, lefty lucy.
 

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There is middle ground also. In between the Dealer and you there are many Independent bike shops (indies) around that would be willing to help for a price much lower than what a dealer will charge.

Consider doing the simpler things your self. Then let a indie do the complicated stuff. Read the instructions/shop manuals. If it is deemed to complex or requires special tools farm out the process to a indie shop.
 
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