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I did mine last month. I never did engine work before. It was a PITA, but I finished it and it works. Its not really difficult, all the instructions are available online.

It will go alot smoother if you get someone to help, that's done it before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
cool, what specialized tools did you need

I have a decent tool collection, but do I need a 'torque wrench' or anything like that??
 

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jason_21218 said:
I have a decent tool collection, but do I need a 'torque wrench' or anything like that??
Yes, for the head and rocker cover you must torque them as indicated. $25 Craftsman 3/8" beam type works great. I used a cheap Harbor Freight clicker type and wound up snapping two of the bolts. You'll need an appropriate adapter to use hex bits on the torque wrench or a set of hex-bit sockets.

If you're gapping the rings on the pistons you should probably have some sort of caliper. If you are installing the pistons in the cylinder yourself, you'll also need a ring compressor. I paid extra to have mine gappped and installed for me. I still needed to borrow a compressor when I accidentally pulled one of the pistons out of its cylinder.

A yost manifold wrench is highly recommended, $10 + shipping. The bolts holding the manifold to the heads on the right side don't have much clearance.

You may need a low profile socket on the rear cylinder, depending on how much clearance you have between the rear head and the top of the frame. The beam torque wrench won't fit. This was one of the places I used the clicker torque wrench and snapped the bolt.

I was also instructed to get a compression tester that plugs into the spark plug holes.

Get the factory manual and the parts manual. My '03 factory manual had some typos in the diagrams. The conversion guide I used noted one of the typos. I lost two daysto another typo cause I had the vacuum connected to the petock incorrectly.
 

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toddlerp said:
How significant is the power increase when going from an 883 to the 1200? Just curious.
Depends what you have worked and how much money you're willing to spend. NHRS claims they've topped 100hp. My conversion is mild by their standards (883/1212 conversion 10:1 compression, no head work).

This gives a basic idea of some of the options
 

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I did mine last year, i'm pretty good at wrenchin and just can't see giving all that money to a mech, and found it to be pretty easy. i read every thing i could find about it first, and got all my questions answered before touching the engine. TheTick nailed it on tools needed. my advice: get the service manual and follow it closely. separate nuts and bolts and the corresponding parts into labeled bags or boxes as you remove them. label EACH pushrod as you don't want them anywhere but where they came from. and most importantly, take your time and get it right the first time. the results will be worth it. Good luck and have fun!
 

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1200 conversion

I just finished one...same one you did...with no head work. I didn't do the cams, though...I'm getting top end clang like you wouldn't believe. Could this be because I didn't do the cams?
 

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significant

toddlerp said:
How significant is the power increase when going from an 883 to the 1200? Just curious.
I've never ridden an 883 converted to 1200, but I owned an 883 and have spent some time on a 1200. The difference between the 883 and 1200 is substantial and immediately noticeable. It isn't the kind of difference that you'll second guess down the road or that will fade away in your memory. The 1200 is MUCH stronger and you'll notice it every time you turn the throttle.
 

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I just finished one...same one you did...with no head work. I didn't do the cams, though...I'm getting top end clang like you wouldn't believe. Could this be because I didn't do the cams?

What pistons did you use?
Have you checked the compression?
How long have you run it since putting it together?
 

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toddlerp said:
How significant is the power increase when going from an 883 to the 1200? Just curious.
I had the plain vanilla conversion done on my '97. Wiseco 9.5:1 dished pistons,
no cam or head work. With a good 2:1 pipe and air cleaner combo you should
see a 50 % incr in HP and 65 % incr in TQ. It is quite substantial.
On my bike I went from 43 HP to 60 HP and TQ was 47 to 80. None of my
buddies with factory 1200's could catch me from the dig. 883 gearing is a
big plus for this set up.
I ran like this for a few years before I had the heads and cams done.
 
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