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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
No, not me (I wish)......

I have a machine shop not far from here that I've used for a number of years.
It's actually a Harley-oriented Speed Shop - but the guy is fascinated by the DOHC 450's, much to my joy, and does all my machine work for me. I use him so much he even had some special jigs machined to hold those pesky roly-poly 450 heads in place on the bench (wish he'd made me some !!).
He is knowledgeable about the torsion bars, having done so many of my rebuilds. You'd need to ship the torsion bars and valve spring stuff with your head, as he needs to reassemble them to vacuum test for leakage.

Times are hard, and he needs more work. I know how hard it is to find a shop to do our old bikes, so I thought I'd throw this out there.

He can do valve jobs on our bikes that have 6 or 7mm valve stems. Later Harleys use 7mm valve stems, and as luck would have it, that's the same as a 450. To do other specs, he'd have to "tool up", and it would take a lot of requests to warrant that kind of expense - but you can talk to him about it......he can also do valve guides, if they're the right size for his stuff.

He can also do bore jobs, smallest diameter he can handle is 55.6 mm - so I think 350/360/450 would all fall in that category. He would, of course, need the new pistons/rings in hand.

He charges me anywhere from $40-$60 per hole to bore, depending on how many passes it would take (a 3mm overbore would take numerous passes) - that includes honing to finish.
He charges me about $35 per valve for re-facing seats and lapping.
Don't know if those are special prices for me, you'd need to call him first.
You would be responsible for shipping in both directions.

Anyway, he does terrific work, and I take all my rebuilds to him.
His name is Jim McMahon (no, not the quarterback), the shop is called "Heads 1'st", in Westville, IN, about 15 minutes from me.
Phone is 219-786-4100, email is [email protected]

Now he also does porting and flow testing, dyno work, etc. - but only set up for flowing Harley stuff.

So if you need valve work or boring and can't find or don't trust anyone in your area, give Jim a call.
I NEED him to stay in business, because I don't have anyone else around here that I trust either......

Mods, could you make this a sticky??
 

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Hi Bill,
I think this is good info for me.
I have a single cylinder Honda XR200 head that needs a new exhaust seat installed after having the old one removed.I found a local machinist here who i dropped a single cylinder off to him to bore-out .5mm w/ the piston.This was the first meeting w/ him over a week ago;he also doesn't p-up his ph. much or return messages.The man has a Full time job and tries to do Full time machine work at home in his nice shop(in his 'spare time') but I guess there's only so many hrs. in a day :roll:. Too much work for one man to do part-time..
I wonder if the machinist you recommended would be able to replace a valve seat ?
 

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I just had Jim do my cylinder boring and head (with new ss steel valves) and I couldn't be happier!

He is a professional machinist, a very conscientious perfectionist and definitely knows his way around the 450 motor. As you can imagine, he stays very busy. His work is done on a first in, first out basis so you should expect a wait.

Jim works as a machinist by day and does night and weekend motor machining as his second job out of his well equipped home shop. If you send him work during the fall (midget racing season), your work may get bumped if a midget blows a motor and needs to be rebuilt.

I currently have 62 miles on the motor with the head and cylinders Jim worked. The bike starts easily, idles well, and pulls like it never has before! I've had other machinists do 450 work but I will now use Jim exclusively.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Don't think I'd call it a "home shop"...........
I'm guessing about 2,000 square feet, packed with every freakin' machine shop tool imaginable, and nowhere near his home.
He also rides a really cool modified Sportster that's awesome.
 

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Bill,
I just tried calling Jim McMahon at the ph. number you listed and what I got was a fast beeping,much faster than a busy signal,do you think his contact ph.# has changed since 2011'?

Bill,
I looked-up Jim's Co. online and found that his correct ph.# is: 219-785-4100
 

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I just tried calling Jim McMahon at the ph. number you listed and what I got was a fast beeping,much faster than a busy signal,do you think his contact ph.# has changed since 2011'?
The beeping was his fax machine. Sometimes he forgets to unplug it and plug the telephone back in.
 

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Keeping the updates recent - I sent my head and block to Jim early this year.

He's very clear up front about work costs and incredibly honest. He won't perform work he doesn't think is necessary (e.g. decking an already acceptably flat surface) unless you request him to.

Turn around time was a couple of weeks. I had him cut new valve seats and grind valves, he vacuum checked them, as well as honed cylinders and fit new rings to my existing pistons.

Very happy with the work, would send more work his way in a heartbeat.
 
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