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Me & a couple Shovel buddies were talkin' over the weekend about the all familiar vibration in the handlebars. Someone suggested putting buck-shot in the handlebars to dampen the vibes. I'm seriously considering it but thought i'd throw it out here for some feedback. Hate to waste a perfectly good box of shells for nuthin!
 

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It works,I've heard many variations including rolls of coins,lead fishing weights etc.
There are some products out just for this porpose like bar snakes.
 

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Adding shot to the bars will dampen the vibes simply by adding weight. Same reason an alloy gun kicks harder than a steel frame. Things like bar snakes and dampening plugs really only work at certain frequencies.
The rubber mounts in the risers will make the biggest difference. Many people replace those bushings with denser or harder bushings that last longer, problem is they transfer more vibration. Same reason that the tabs break off of shovel oil tanks and battery boxes. People put denser rubber mounts on there to keep things from jiggling around and all they are doing is putting more stress on them. There are rubber materials out now that last much longer than what they had in the 70's that won't break down like the originals but still have similar dampening characteristics. Natural rubbers are very succeptible to environmentals like UV and oils whereas neoprene will resist these things, atl least that's how I understand it. I have a set of rubber bushings in the risers and can't complain about vibrations. I think the red polyurethane bushings are too stiff.
 

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There are a number of things that will assist in lowering vibration on your cherished Shovelhead:

1. Proper adjustment of chains, front and rear. Get one of the rear chain adjustment rollers. They work wonders in reducing vibration. $$

2. How about a good carburetor? I lost some of my vibration when I installed a CV.

3. Single fire ignition: Any brand as long as it has multi-spark, no weights and a tach driver wire. This will go a long way toward losing vibration. $$

4. Are your exhaust pipes really tight? I mean REALLY tight? Many sets will flex and cause undue vibration. I have 3/4 inch stainless steel rod for a dual exhaust muffler mount down in the rear of the frame. The original was 3/8
rod and you could see the mufflers vibrate when you revved the engine.

5. Mufflers? Why not? Now's the time. EPA's a comin' and also, IMHO, open exhausts cause a hell of a lot of vibration, believe it or not.

6. Rubber-mounted tanks. You can do it wirh large rubber washers at the top and bottom front and adding one of those double-threaded oil tank mounts at the rear with a bracket. It moves the tanks out about 1/2 to 3/4 inch but it really does the job. No more cracked tanks, either.

7. Oh, by the way.....I know this one will not be popular.........heh heh........but low compression in a Shovelhead will also dampen vibration. Go figure but it works. Face it, 9:1 strokers won't run as smooth as a stock motor. Sorry.

8. Last but not least, balancing the crank or replacing it with one that is balanced. $$$$$$$$


I did all of the above in the last 15 years and now I can see out of the mirrors at 75 mph.

It worked for me. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
newultraclassic said:
There are a number of things that will assist in lowering vibration on your cherished Shovelhead:

1. Proper adjustment of chains, front and rear. Get one of the rear chain adjustment rollers. They work wonders in reducing vibration. $$

2. How about a good carburetor? I lost some of my vibration when I installed a CV.

3. Single fire ignition: Any brand as long as it has multi-spark, no weights and a tach driver wire. This will go a long way toward losing vibration. $$

4. Are your exhaust pipes really tight? I mean REALLY tight? Many sets will flex and cause undue vibration. I have 3/4 inch stainless steel rod for a dual exhaust muffler mount down in the rear of the frame. The original was 3/8
rod and you could see the mufflers vibrate when you revved the engine.

5. Mufflers? Why not? Now's the time. EPA's a comin' and also, IMHO, open exhausts cause a hell of a lot of vibration, believe it or not.

6. Rubber-mounted tanks. You can do it wirh large rubber washers at the top and bottom front and adding one of those double-threaded oil tank mounts at the rear with a bracket. It moves the tanks out about 1/2 to 3/4 inch but it really does the job. No more cracked tanks, either.

7. Oh, by the way.....I know this one will not be popular.........heh heh........but low compression in a Shovelhead will also dampen vibration. Go figure but it works. Face it, 9:1 strokers won't run as smooth as a stock motor. Sorry.

8. Last but not least, balancing the crank or replacing it with one that is balanced. $$$$$$$$


I did all of the above in the last 15 years and now I can see out of the mirrors at 75 mph.

It worked for me. :)
Speakin' of chain adjustment...can you really get an accurate adjustment tightening the Primary Chain through the inspection plate/cover? Some people suggest pulling the Primary Cover. What are your views on THIS?
Thanks, T.
 

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Tony S said:
Speakin' of chain adjustment...can you really get an accurate adjustment tightening the Primary Chain through the inspection plate/cover? Some people suggest pulling the Primary Cover. What are your views on THIS?
Thanks, T.
Sure you can. There is always one tight spot and, if you wish you can locate it with a turn or two of the engine. Generally I don't tighten the front chain that tight anyway. The roller takeup unit for the rear chain will certainly help. They are still available but pricey......$$$.

If you remove your primary cover, be sure to disconnect the battery.
 

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Mirrors???

Who uses mirrors on a shovel?
 

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Tony S said:
Me & a couple Shovel buddies were talkin' over the weekend about the all familiar vibration in the handlebars. Someone suggested putting buck-shot in the handlebars to dampen the vibes. I'm seriously considering it but thought i'd throw it out here for some feedback. Hate to waste a perfectly good box of shells for nuthin!
It's a Shovelhead. They vibrate. That's a fact of life. My advice... live with it. Taking away that vibration is like taking away the exhaust note of a Harley... you're killing the bike's personality, IMHO. :) If you don't like the vibration, buy a Twincam or a rice burner.

Mirrors? The blurry image in the mirrors is just another thing that make a Harley a Harley. Even when the image is blurry, you can still see well enough to tell if something is coming up behind you. Riders have accepted blurry mirrors for many decades. That's good enough for me, on my Shovel or my Sportster. :)
 

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newultraclassic said:
There are a number of things that will assist in lowering vibration on your cherished Shovelhead:

1. Proper adjustment of chains, front and rear. Get one of the rear chain adjustment rollers. They work wonders in reducing vibration. $$

2. How about a good carburetor? I lost some of my vibration when I installed a CV.

3. Single fire ignition: Any brand as long as it has multi-spark, no weights and a tach driver wire. This will go a long way toward losing vibration. $$

4. Are your exhaust pipes really tight? I mean REALLY tight? Many sets will flex and cause undue vibration. I have 3/4 inch stainless steel rod for a dual exhaust muffler mount down in the rear of the frame. The original was 3/8
rod and you could see the mufflers vibrate when you revved the engine.

5. Mufflers? Why not? Now's the time. EPA's a comin' and also, IMHO, open exhausts cause a hell of a lot of vibration, believe it or not.

6. Rubber-mounted tanks. You can do it wirh large rubber washers at the top and bottom front and adding one of those double-threaded oil tank mounts at the rear with a bracket. It moves the tanks out about 1/2 to 3/4 inch but it really does the job. No more cracked tanks, either.

7. Oh, by the way.....I know this one will not be popular.........heh heh........but low compression in a Shovelhead will also dampen vibration. Go figure but it works. Face it, 9:1 strokers won't run as smooth as a stock motor. Sorry.

8. Last but not least, balancing the crank or replacing it with one that is balanced. $$$$$$$$


I did all of the above in the last 15 years and now I can see out of the mirrors at 75 mph.

It worked for me. :)
Lots of good advice in there.........Bill
 

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newultraclassic said:
There are a number of things that will assist in lowering vibration on your cherished Shovelhead:

1. Proper adjustment of chains, front and rear. Get one of the rear chain adjustment rollers. They work wonders in reducing vibration. $$

2. How about a good carburetor? I lost some of my vibration when I installed a CV.

3. Single fire ignition: Any brand as long as it has multi-spark, no weights and a tach driver wire. This will go a long way toward losing vibration. $$

4. Are your exhaust pipes really tight? I mean REALLY tight? Many sets will flex and cause undue vibration. I have 3/4 inch stainless steel rod for a dual exhaust muffler mount down in the rear of the frame. The original was 3/8
rod and you could see the mufflers vibrate when you revved the engine.

5. Mufflers? Why not? Now's the time. EPA's a comin' and also, IMHO, open exhausts cause a hell of a lot of vibration, believe it or not.

6. Rubber-mounted tanks. You can do it wirh large rubber washers at the top and bottom front and adding one of those double-threaded oil tank mounts at the rear with a bracket. It moves the tanks out about 1/2 to 3/4 inch but it really does the job. No more cracked tanks, either.

7. Oh, by the way.....I know this one will not be popular.........heh heh........but low compression in a Shovelhead will also dampen vibration. Go figure but it works. Face it, 9:1 strokers won't run as smooth as a stock motor. Sorry.

8. Last but not least, balancing the crank or replacing it with one that is balanced. $$$$$$$$


I did all of the above in the last 15 years and now I can see out of the mirrors at 75 mph.

It worked for me. :)
NUC, if I were to consider having my crank balanced on my '76 Shovelhead, who or where is a good place to have this done? I'm not trying to make this like a Metric to lose that feel and sound, but I would like to tame it down just a bit.

I need to eventually split the cases anyway because of a very small leak coming from a couple of the lower crank alignment pin bolt heads. So while it's down I'll have it gone over. The case has not been apart since new and the miles are approximately 60K.

I've appreciated the help from this forum during my restoration so I'm hoping for some more of that good advice.

Thanks.

:yes: :yes: :yes:
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'76 FLH Electra Glide Project
'55 Chevy Nomad Gasser 540 ci / 660 hp

http://www.picturetrail.com/dan_lockwood
 

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Newultraclassic where can I find out more about the rubber tank mounts?
Is that using a late model flatsiden tank or a regular fat bob tank?
Do you have to do any mods to the frame, I don't do anything to my old scooter that I can't undo or that will permintly change it. I sure would like to rubber mount my tanks though.
 

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ima noone said:
Newultraclassic where can I find out more about the rubber tank mounts?
Is that using a late model flatsiden tank or a regular fat bob tank?
Do you have to do any mods to the frame, I don't do anything to my old scooter that I can't undo or that will permintly change it. I sure would like to rubber mount my tanks though.

I used large flat rubber wshers for the froint top and bottom of the three-point mounts on my fat-bob tanks.

On the rear I used a ruibber battery mount (the type with a 1/4" stud sticking out from each side) on each side with a small "L" bracket inbetween the rearmost frame mount hole (for the spring solo seat frame). This runs forward an inch or so and is bolted to the fuel tank on each side at the threaded hole. It spreads the tanks about an 1" wider but it actually works and it looks fine. You can move the tanks in and out 1/4" by pressing on them. It has prevented any cracking.


I don't do any modifications to the frame at all. Just use existing holes.

.
 

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Dan_Lockwood said:
NUC, if I were to consider having my crank balanced on my '76 Shovelhead, who or where is a good place to have this done? I'm not trying to make this like a Metric to lose that feel and sound, but I would like to tame it down just a bit.

I need to eventually split the cases anyway because of a very small leak coming from a couple of the lower crank alignment pin bolt heads. So while it's down I'll have it gone over. The case has not been apart since new and the miles are approximately 60K.

I've appreciated the help from this forum during my restoration so I'm hoping for some more of that good advice.

Thanks. <snip>

I honestly do not know who does balancing, at least for a reasonable price. If the price is too high, you could consider getting a set of the Shovelhead replacement flywheels like I did. They are balanced for the Shovelhead but they are lighter, with 1993 Evo. Part Numbers on them. There are ads in the back of the AIM but I know nothing about any of them.

Another reason that this is good is that the connecting rods on the Evos have a bend in them where they connect to to the crankpin. This provides a force vector for the connecting rod and smooths out the pulsations.

I paid about $495 for my crank from HD and they probably still have them, although they miight be a bit more. If you have to spend $300 for so to get a balance job you might be just as well off to replace the whole unit with one that is factory balanced for the Shovelhead pistons. (I think they have to disassemble the wheels to do it right and this might bring up the issue of condition of your crankpn and bearings for extra $$$$. )

I changed the whole unit because my wheels were ruined by an errant mechanic on a previous rebuild before I got the machine. It looked like he had used a 10 pound sledge hammer to tap them straight and he didn't make it. Ha.

Another thought might be to change for a set of regular Evo wheels, maybe used. They would not be that far off and would probably be smoother than what you have.
 

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Dan_Lockwood said:
NUC, if I were to consider having my crank balanced on my '76 Shovelhead, who or where is a good place to have this done? I'm not trying to make this like a Metric to lose that feel and sound, but I would like to tame it down just a bit.

I need to eventually split the cases anyway because of a very small leak coming from a couple of the lower crank alignment pin bolt heads. So while it's down I'll have it gone over. The case has not been apart since new and the miles are approximately 60K.

I've appreciated the help from this forum during my restoration so I'm hoping for some more of that good advice.

Thanks.

:yes: :yes: :yes:
__________________
'76 FLH Electra Glide Project
'55 Chevy Nomad Gasser 540 ci / 660 hp

http://www.picturetrail.com/dan_lockwood
Get in touch with Truett and Osborn. Just got a 120" Merch wheel back from them, looks like they did a nice job. Dynamic balancing is under $170. I have been building a bunch of big block Ultima's that are dynamically balanced, no more vibration than a stock 80 incher..........Bill
 

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nauipro said:
Get in touch with Truett and Osborn. Just got a 120" Merch wheel back from them, looks like they did a nice job. Dynamic balancing is under $170. I have been building a bunch of big block Ultima's that are dynamically balanced, no more vibration than a stock 80 incher..........Bill

That sounds like a fair price. I'd give them a call.
 

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I second the vote for Truett & Osborn. Been around a long time and they

know Shovel's in and out. I found out about them when I lived in

Tulsa. When I moved to Florida and needed a Top End redone on my

Shovel I shipped them the heads and barrels.

They did a great job at a fair price. It took about 2 mos turn around

during the winter so be prepared if they're busy.
 

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Contact me if you want, I can furnish crankshafts in any stroke, balance ect.
My favorite for the shovel would be a built up crank using Jims wheels and a set of rebuilt Evo rods, however the stock components can be redone.
 
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