Installing the Cylinder Head Oil Cooling Return Lines
One of the main differences between the XR1200 and other Sportsters (or Harleys for that matter) is the oil cooling lines to the heads.  These oil lines run up to the heads on the right (throttle body) side of the engine, and exit from the heads on the left (spark plug) side of the heads.  The oil return lines need to be inserted into the heads as the heads are being lowered into place on the cylinders.  The oil feed lines are installed after the head is torgued down.  (And, it is easier to install the throttle body before the oil feed lines are attached.)
Prepping the Fittings

The fittings for the oil return lines have o-rings inserted in a groove within the fittings.  The o-rings are hard to see without a light, but they can be removed with a scribe or pointed tool, and replaced using a small pair of needle nosed pliers.  I replaced these rings to help prevent later oil leaks at these fittings.  These o-rings should be liberally oiled to let the oil lines slip into them without distorting or tearing them.

Replacing Oil O-Ring

Here is the front oil return line.  The front line is a metal tube.  In order to install (and remove) the head, there is a nut at the base of the V of the cylinders that needs to be removed.  Once this is unbolted, the tube can be eased slightly out to the side of the engine to let the tube be flexed as it is inserted or removed from the head.

Front Hard Line

The rear return oil line is a little easier to work with.  It is rubber and can be flexed.  While it still needs to be inserted before the head is lowered into place, it can be a little easier to align.  Obviously, the hose end and fitting need to be oiled to let it insert easily.

Rear Return Line

Once the return oil lines are inserted into the heads and the heads positioned, one can move on to torquing down the heads.

The feed lines for the cooling oil to the heads enters each head just in front of the throttle body flanges.  The oil feed lines are connected after the heads are torqued down and the  intake manifold is installed.

With the heads torqued down, it can be easier to install the throttle body before  installing the rockers arms.  The extra clearance is pretty nice to have.

These small clips hold the hoses into place in the fittings.  I'm showing a new clip, but you can see the three shiny points where the clip inserts into the fitting.  These detents hold the collar of the hose ends.  HD has a special tool to release the fittings, but the clips can be retracted using a thin pointed tool.  The clips may not need to be replaced, but they should be inspected to make sure they weren't bent back during disassembly and still retain the hose ends.

Replacing Retention Clip

After oiling the hose end and the o-ring in the fitting, I inserted the fitting into the head and lowered the front head down onto the oil dowel pins in the top of the cylinder.  With the head gasket and pushrods positioned, the head will drop into place.  You can not get this oil tube into place unless you insert it before the head is positioned.  A set of hands from a helper is a big assistance.

Front Line Inserted

Click on the following link to move on to the next step in the process:

Torquing the Head Bolts

Click on the Overview link to drop back to a list of the engine build pages.

The XR1200 Engine (unplugged) - Overview

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