View Full Version : Headgasket

10-17-2012, 12:43 PM
I would like to know what you think is the best head gasket to run on a scout "41" and why.

10-17-2012, 01:22 PM
I can't help you with the head gasket, but I would like your opinion of the '41 Scout. I may have an opportunity to get one that is pretty complete but needs a going through from front to back. Are they as good handling, and enjoyable as I've heard? I've only had Chiefs so I'm a total neophyte about Scouts.

10-17-2012, 03:01 PM
Although I don't have a 1941 scout, I do have and ride a 1940 scout and don't see why there would be a difference between them engine wise. I was blowing out head gaskets until I changed to copper but after another 40K am having some difficulties with them now. I like the copper for the higher compression but think it adds to my problem of stripping out the head bolts. The standard gaskets seem to be a little thicker and a bit more forgiving but they never seemed to last more than 8-10K (Peaches has over 65k on her since her). I have plans on rebuilding the engine this winter and may go back to the standard just to see what happens.

Tom Lovejoy
10-18-2012, 12:06 AM
Same thing don't have a 41 scout, they have more weight than the earlier scout's and I have read their performance was less because of it. But the Indian 45 has made me a real fan, I think you might like it Eric. Though I must say, I have never ridden a Chief - but I love my Bit's of Sport Scout, mostly a 40. I have also put close to 60,000 miles on mine in 24 years of riding. I have used standard head gaskits and have never had a problem with them, valve guides on the other hand are a different story. I was gitting about 12 - 14 thousand miles, between valve jobs and my valve guides would be chewed up bad. Worn oblong, maybe as much as 120 thous! it was really surprising to me. It appears after several attempt's over the years to correct the problem, it has been corrected.
When ever I used to check my valve tappets, there would be black stuff all over. I thought it was from combustion - but it was my valve guides getting chewed to pieces. Finally after the last valve job, now when I check the tappets - nothing but clean oil :-) With basically stock motor and gearing, I do have Bonniville cams - I can run freeway 55 to 60 all day, the Scout seems to like it. I used to have a 36 tooth on the rear and I could run 70 very well on the freeway. In fact I liked it better than the stock gearing , except in hill's or mountains. On the flat's, I loved it. I too have pulled the threads on my cylinders, several times. Corrected that problem years ago now, but it was a pain. You git all ampt up, wanting to go for a ride and pull the threads. What a drag - been there done that, more than once. Give the Sport Scout a try Eric, their a grand machine! :-)

10-18-2012, 09:04 AM
Thanks Tom. Nothing better than a first hand account. I always remember hearing that a 1941 Sport Scout was Steve McQueen's favorite bike, and considering his motorcycle and race car experience, I thought that was a good recommendation. Most of my experience is with Harleys but I think my '40 Chief with 18" rims out handles any rigid frame H-D. I would have to believe a SS with 18"s would be even better. . . . Sounds like I'm getting the hook.

Tom Lovejoy
10-19-2012, 12:23 AM
One thing I would mention about the heads and or head gaskits. I am no mechanic in any way, but I do know a few that are indeed qualified. I was always told with the aluminum heads, torque to specified pounds. Start and warm machine thoroughly then turn off and let cool completely. Only then retorque to desired amount of pounds and go for a ride. Only reason I say that, is I have also known folks who swear, you git it good and hot and retorque hot. Alot of our machines have been over torqued many many times in their lives. Check your cylinders good, the bolt holes + threads.
Its real frustrating you git it about ready to run and you pull the threads and you are not going riding on that day - as I said I have done that a couple times. Also if the holes/ threads look abused, probably better to just do em all and git it over with and then no more problems there anyway. I tried fixing one at a time or so, just lead to more poblems down the road. While the cylinders are off check em over good - if their off that is. I don't know why I have not had any trouble with head gaskits, maybe just lucky? I was also told to put the bolts in and tighten just snug with no washers. You want to make sure you have crush depth, think that's what he called it. The bolts should pull down snug and not be hitting the cylinders on the fins. Lot's of cylinders have damage from that - bolts were to long and they end up pushing against the fins at the end of the hole. Also that will screw up your torque values all over the place.
The guy who passed that info to me is one of my all time favorite folks and he is as good as they come with Sport Scouts and I think pretty much any Indian, but Sport Scouts are his favorite. Lee Standley is his name 93 years old and in failing health, but still hanging in there and mentally still really sharp !! Hope I passed the info correct, might be old news to you, but I thought worth mentioning. Eric - I hope ya git it, some guys don't care for the Scout's. But I love em and mine has always surpassed my expectations. Wish ya the best with it, can't wait to hear about it - also hope to hear of progress on your Flying Merkle, awesome stuff there! One other thing - again I have never ridden a Chief - yet, maybe when I do. Then I will be on the hunt for a Chief :-)