Building a 1933 Harley-Davidson VL: Final Steps to Prep the Cases for Rebuilding


Now that all my repairs were completed, there were just a few more things to do before the cases could be sent to the machine shop for rebuilding.  I started with chasing the threads on all the tapped holes.  This is easy to do, provided that you have all the different size taps available.  Then it's just a matter of carefully running the tap down each hole.


Once all the threads had been chased, all the holes were cleaned with wire brushes attached to a hand drill.  This removed any chips made by the tap and cleared out any remaining gunk that had built up over the years.


Then it was off to a nice warm soapy bath and more cleaning with bristle brushes.


Finally the cases were blown dry with compressed air to complete the cleaning process.  Now it was time to coat the inside of the cases with Glyptal.

Glyptal is an enamel based sealer used inside of engine cases to, you guessed it, seal the porous case walls to help prevent oil from leaking through.  It also has the added benefit of smoothing out the castings which keeps the oil moving around inside the case more efficiently.  Of course you don't want to get it everywhere, so I taped up all holes and outside surfaces first.


The Glyptal smells a bit like your old lady's nail polish, so you'll want to make sure your painting in a well ventilated area.  I applied it to the cases with a 1" paint brush and carefully worked it into all the nooks and crannies.  Once I had a good even coat, each case half was baked for two hours at 275 degrees Fahrenheit, per the manufacturers instructions.  The result was a nice smooth coat of burgundy enamel.


Lastly, both case halves went back into the warm soapy bath for another scrub before being dried with compressed air.  Then they were bolted back on the engine stand and sent off to the machine shop.

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