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This article is one of a series which describes how to disassemble, work on, and reassemble the Road Star engine. This particular article covers preparation of your workspace, parts storage, parts labeling, bolt organization, and instructions for disassembling basic items prior to beginning the detailed engine tear down. See the Complete Engine Tear Down, Orientation article in this series for details of other aspects of engine details.
Be sure you refer to the service manual through all phases of this project.
Preparing Your Workspace
Clean, convenient storage is a must, to keep organized. If you plan to completely disassemble the engine, you'll need at least 30 to 35 feet of shelving--or the equivalent in boxes.
If you're like me, once you begin tearing things apart, you won't want to stop, mid-stream, to get organized. So get everything ready beforehand.
Of course, you'll also need a garage of some sort. I just can't imagine doing this project outside, or without electrical power. This is quite a few hours of work, so make sure you can be reasonably comfortable--not too hot, not too cold, not dark, not dank.
Unless you’re only doing part of the complete engine tear down, your work area should be at least 200 sq-ft of floor space. This is roughly the area of a parking space in a generous parking lot.
Be sure your work area can be well ventilated. Oil, gasoline, and solvent gases are not good for you or the bike.
Keep your work area clean and well ordered. Also, keep parts covered and protected from dust and excess humidity.
Orderliness is important. Don't count on memory or photos, alone, to remember what goes where. Store parts in a way that you can relate to:
- In a long row, like a LIFO system--last in - first out... Or in this case, a LOFO system--last off - first on.
- By subassembly, with each shelf area labeled for each subassembly. This is the method I used. I labeled my shelf areas as follows:
- Cylinders including valve train and heads
- Clutch, Generator, Cams, Transfer case including oil tank and final drive parts
- Misc including starter, floorboard, linkage, and cables