Great responses. In the same order:
1- So this seems straight forward and I read up on gasket thicknesses in the Palmer book. New gaskets in hand from 45 Restoration, will check them out before attempting the work.
2- Removing the side cover, talk to me. Can this be done without disturbing the cams? I would be willing to go the extra distance to remove it and replace that gasket as well, couldn't hurt, but it looks to me like I will have a hand full of cams if that cover comes off. Please explain.
3- OK that is a winter project not anything we are going to tackle right now. I was hoping the seal was similar to the transmission clutch side seal, I could just pull it off and put a new one in. Again what you describe is winter project, and yes I may go all the way. Friend of mine loves to tell me how much faster the bike would be stroked!?!??!
4- Understood, oil out.
Dont worry about the cams, they might fall out, but if you follow your instruction manual you will see that there is only one way to align the cams correctly ( according to stripes on the cams). I just say its better to do complete engine, because doing some gaskets is fine, but since you will have to take the cover off to align returnpump its little extra effort to also check the rest of the engine for tolerances on all the bushings, sideplay and rollerbearings.. better have them nice n good than rambling loosely around your engine..
The camcover might take some work to take of, its kept in place by 11 screws if I am not mistaken, you will have to take off the generator aswell to properly get into it. The camgear cover is also held by 2 or 3 " pins" that are rather tight. The book states you need a mallet ( leather hammer) to GENTLY slam the cover off. I have seen too many crankcases and covers destroyed by morons trying to be smartass with a screwdriver... You WILL destroy the aluminum. Use leather or rubber hammer only!!! and just tap around every side untill it pops loose.. Then you will have a hand full of camgears, that you will haveto place back according to the book. There is a whole chapter on how to do that, just follow instructions and you cannot fail.
Once you are at it, dont forget to clean out the metal mesh filter that sits in bottom of crankcase right at the shaft of return pump. Dont forget to put it back either!!! Its all really simple and doable if you just follow the book and dont need to
replace all bushings and rollers etc.. if its just cleaning procedure you should take one weekend tops..
Also about the cams, it works best with your cilinders taken off the engine, otherwise there is always one valve pusing in, and then its a B*tch to get the camgears in, and even more to get them properly alligned to the busings in the sidecover..