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View Full Version : Ironhead Help 1973 Iron Head Puking oil from Vent tube.


fyrsgt54
23rd October 2009, 19:43
I have a 1973 sportster Bobber. The story begins like this. I was riding one night with a friend when we heard a noise like the chain hitting something. after further inspection we found that when the bike was strutted the clearance was to little. So I took it to a guy who cut and welded and chanelin the tank so the chain can ride in it. the other day I finnally got the tank back dieing to ride i got in a hurry. I hooked up the old lines put oil in her fired her up and went for a ride. Went to my friends house to show off the custom tank. All ok until I fired it up in his yard oil puked from the air vent by the alternator. I called a friend who said to hit the vent with a hammer the ball inside was stuck this seemed to work . I rode back home parked it for the night. The next morning in my yard same thing. I had some time and tools I thought maybe I will just pull off this side case a replace the check ball. OOOOOPS My major bad . Out came all my cam gears alot more oil And guess what YEA no freakin check ball. I paniced ran to a shop near by They laughed and said the check ball is in the oil pump. If I take the oil pump off they can fix it fast and cheap. Ok so after many more hours cut knuckels kicking a swearing It seems I have to pull the motor to get the pump out. HELP I have No manual and Not alot of cash well really Im broke. Can I do this myself ? Do I pull the motor? How do I get my baby back together and on the road. Thank you for reading .

Gone
23rd October 2009, 20:03
first off, welcome. second, GET A FACTORY MANUAL. you do have to remove the engine to get the oil pump off, but not to get the check valve off, its right behind the pressure switch. but first you have to do this, GET A FACTORY MANUAL!!!! and DO NOT take it to a shop that says you have to take the oil pump off to get to the check valve, you dont. and i want to add, check out the stickys on this forum, it will give you insite on what makes your bike tick. and i know i mentioned it before, but get a FSM and a factory parts catalog, they are worth much more then the cost when it comes time to wrench your bike. where are you located?

fyrsgt54
23rd October 2009, 20:06
Yea I have stopped for now until I can find a manual. every time I do something it gets worse . Thanks for the reply.

skixx55
23rd October 2009, 20:15
You don't have to remove the pump to get at the check valve (ball and spring) at the front end of the pump you will see a large hex fitting (not oil line) remove this and the ball and spring are easy to access, clean the ball and seat and that should do it. some times when replacing the ball it will help to tap it with a long punch to help reseat it (before installing spring) but it's usually not neccesary, check through the stickies on the ironhead page look for oil pump rebuild and there is a pic of a dissassembled pump laid ouy as it ccme apart and you will be able to see the ball and spring, Cheers

GA_Ironhead
23rd October 2009, 20:37
You don't need to pull the pump to replace/clean the check ball and spring. You can do it yourself. You do need the H-D Factory Service Manual and Parts Catalog though. It will save you $$ and aggravation.

Go here: http://www.sunnymeadcycles.com/HDtwins.html

You NEED items 19 and 20. Do not delay. Go now.

NAYYY

P.S. The archives are full of good information. The ball valve R/R procedure is probably detailed in one of these threads. http://www.google.com/custom?hl=en&safe=active&client=pub-2703004910810092&cof=FORID%3A1%3BGL%3A1%3BL%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fxlforum. net%2Fvbportal%2Fforums%2Fimages%2Fmisc%2Fnavbits_ start.gif%3BLH%3A41%3BLW%3A150%3BLBGC%3AFF6600%3BB GC%3A%23000000%3BT%3A%23ffffff%3BLC%3A%23ff6600%3B VLC%3A%23336633%3BGALT%3A%23FF6600%3BGFNT%3A%23ff6 633%3BGIMP%3A%23ff6633%3B&domains=XLFORUM.NET&num=30&ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859-1&q=ironhead+wet+sump+ball&btnG=Search&sitesearch=XLFORUM.NET

IronMick
23rd October 2009, 20:42
...
I hooked up the old lines put oil in her fired her up and went for a ride. Went to my friends house to show off the custom tank. All ok until I fired it up in his yard oil puked from the air vent by the alternator. I called a friend who said to hit the vent with a hammer the ball inside was stuck this seemed to work . I rode back home parked it for the night.

The next morning in my yard same thing. I had some time and tools I thought maybe I will just pull off this side case a replace the check ball. OOOOOPS My major bad . Out came all my cam gears alot more oil And guess what YEA no freakin check ball.

I paniced ran to a shop near by They laughed and said the check ball is in the oil pump. If I take the oil pump off they can fix it fast and cheap. Ok so after many more hours cut knuckels kicking a swearing It seems I have to pull the motor to get the pump out.

HELP I have No manual and Not alot of cash well really Im broke. Can I do this myself ? Do I pull the motor? How do I get my baby back together and on the road...

This is called "wet sumping". Do a search on the forum for wet sumping. It is a simple facct of life with ironheads and other HD bikes, and is not a problem that usually needs to be fixed.

To get the cam gears back in find the technical stickys [red posts at the top] and study any that have to do with cams; i think there are 3 of them. You will see good pics and learn techniques that you need to know.

What year is your bike? Are you sure you need to pull the engine to get the pump out? Older ones do, newer ones do not.

Hitting the vent with a hammer was so wrong. Your friends do not know the right stuff. There is no ball in the vent, as you now know.

Anyway, do not try to fix the oil puking problem. It is not important. First get the bike back together and running, changing as few things as possible. Then consider fixing the oil puke, but only if it really is a problem.

fyrsgt54
23rd October 2009, 21:30
All great advice thanks for all your support . I need it Lol

fyrsgt54
24th October 2009, 02:19
Ok now Im really confused the oil pump on my bike is like yall said but the front where the check ball would go has a metal plug in it like someone has bypassed this. I was looking at the pics I could find online and it appears to have an inlet in the back and the outlet on the front. But why would my outlet be plugged. I do have an oil cooler on it. Which at this point I can only assume would be after market .

fyrsgt54
24th October 2009, 02:25
[QUOTE=fehd;2240815]first off, welcome. second, GET A FACTORY MANUAL. you do have to remove the engine to get the oil pump off, but not to get the check valve off, its right behind the pressure switch. but first you have to do this, GET A FACTORY MANUAL!!!! and DO NOT take it to a shop that says you have to take the oil pump off to get to the check valve, you dont. and i want to add, check out the stickys on this forum, it will give you insite on what makes your bike tick. and i know i mentioned it before, but get a FSM and a factory parts catalog, they are worth much more then the cost when it comes time to wrench your bike. where are you located?[/QU



Im from Ft Myers Florida . Thanks for the reply

IronMick
24th October 2009, 02:29
... the oil pump on my bike is like yall said but the front where the check ball would go has a metal plug in it like someone has bypassed this...

Is the plug where the oil pressure switch should be?

fyrsgt54
24th October 2009, 02:40
I think so the front of the pump has a nexed Nipple that I could put a wrench on I think the check ball is behind this nipple. On the front of this nipple I saw a hose nipple on the other ones. whre the hose would go on I have a thread plug .

bustert
24th October 2009, 02:44
several ways to deal with the check ball.
1. recut the seat
2. take a punch and using a steel ball of the correct size, peen the ball into the seat to make it conform with the ball (seat is aluminum)
3. best way i have found is to use a teflon ball instead of steel. after awhile, the ball conforms to the seat and it will seal nicely. you could use a viton ball but do not use a rubber or neoprene ball as it could soften too much.

IronMick
24th October 2009, 02:45
I am not familiar with that oil pump, other than reading the manuals. But i do not see any indication that there should be a hose there, just the oil pressure switch,

Behind the switch is the oil pump nipple, then the check valve spring, then the ball valve [according to the service manual]. You just have to remove these parts. Spray the area very clean first with some Brake&Parts cleaner or similar spray can solvent.

fyrsgt54
24th October 2009, 02:48
Ok sweet you are problably correct because it just looked like a hose was to go there just from the pics I saw online thank you again You just clammed me down again.

IronMick
24th October 2009, 02:55
... Anyway, do not try to fix the oil puking problem. It is not important. First get the bike back together and running, changing as few things as possible. Then consider fixing the oil puke, but only if it really is a problem.

I just want to repeat what i said before, because i am not at all convinced that there is a serious oil puking problem with your bike.

fyrsgt54
24th October 2009, 05:12
Yea I am at work tonite but I will check her out tommorrow and get back with yall Thank you again.

Gone
24th October 2009, 15:22
[QUOTE=fehd;2240815]first off, welcome. second, GET A FACTORY MANUAL. you do have to remove the engine to get the oil pump off, but not to get the check valve off, its right behind the pressure switch. but first you have to do this, GET A FACTORY MANUAL!!!! and DO NOT take it to a shop that says you have to take the oil pump off to get to the check valve, you dont. and i want to add, check out the stickys on this forum, it will give you insite on what makes your bike tick. and i know i mentioned it before, but get a FSM and a factory parts catalog, they are worth much more then the cost when it comes time to wrench your bike. where are you located?[/QU



Im from Ft Myers Florida . Thanks for the reply

check out the stickies here for a good shop by you, i go to Ft Myers alot, my Uncle lives there, im sure you can find a good shop that knows Ironheads. Check with Ivan Roach Coach on here, i kknow hes from south FL. hes pretty much a hardcore, but knows his shit.

ryder rick
24th October 2009, 20:54
All of this and you may have just got the hoses on the oil tank wrong or over filled it....

Got that manual yet?

fyrsgt54
24th October 2009, 21:34
Not yet Im working on It though . Just cant find one I can afford yet . But I am not even going to look at that thing again unlit I can hunt one down. Seems every nut i wrench I just dig a deeper hole. Any tips on pulling the motor . God I wish I signed up on here first. lol

runingmouse
24th October 2009, 21:58
Do a search on removing engine. This has been done before. Maybe the Stickys. Check PM sent.

http://www.xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/showthread.php?t=586767&highlight=motor+removal

GA_Ironhead
25th October 2009, 02:54
Not yet Im working on It though . Just cant find one I can afford yet . ...

$17 for a FSM and a FPM is too much???

bilzanyte
25th October 2009, 05:12
Those FSM discs from Sunnymeade are great, and have the parts manuals included. Get these and all will be well. (someone has already posted their website). Oh! and welcome aboard!

fyrsgt54
27th October 2009, 02:04
Ok so I got a copy of the FSM finally sweet . And thank you again friend. After reading I think I can manage removing the engine not easy but step by step I just got to stay focussed. My question is about the Cam Gears the book doesn't say any thing about reinstalling them to the correct time. Nothing about positions just about getting the oil pump in time , then pretty much put the gears in . This doesn't seem right to me. I mean how else will it be timed correct. Any Ideas or pics . Thanks yall I wouldn't be able to do this job without the forum.

IronMick
27th October 2009, 03:38
Ok so I got a copy of the FSM ... My question is about the Cam Gears the book doesn't say any thing about reinstalling them ...

You just have to find the right pages in the manual. There is a pic showing the cam marks lined up. It is in the section on gearcase.

fyrsgt54
28th October 2009, 00:09
Ok the ENGINE IS OUT woooooooooo. And I just have two words IRONHEAD HEAVY lol. anyway Im well on my way just gotta get the founds together and she'll be set. I am going to rebuild the oil pump ,get some new cam shims ,oil lines and thats really all I got right now. Any ideas while the motors out. And remember founds r low lol. Thanks again for the support.

boilermaker
28th October 2009, 00:14
Ok the ENGINE IS OUT woooooooooo. And I just have two words IRONHEAD HEAVY lol. anyway Im well on my way just gotta get the founds together and she'll be set. I am going to rebuild the oil pump ,get some new cam shims ,oil lines and thats really all I got right now. Any ideas while the motors out. And remember founds r low lol. Thanks again for the support.

Common agreement on here is to forget about the cam shims.There is a factory bulletin about not using them Due to breakage of shims

Hopper
28th October 2009, 00:20
. So I took it to a guy who cut and welded and chanelin the tank so the chain can ride in it. the other day I finnally got the tank back dieing to ride i got in a hurry. I hooked up the old lines put oil in her fired her up and went for a ride. .


I'd be checking that oil tank real careful for welding slag and other crud that might have gotten in your oil and caused your oil pump problems when it went through the pump.

IronMick
28th October 2009, 02:40
IMO forget the cam shims.

fyrsgt54
28th October 2009, 14:01
wow ok so everyone agrees forget the shims Right? Beacuse if thats the case I could possibly get her back on the road by tonite. :) WOOOOOOOOOOOOO HEll yea . Thank you every one Yall Are great.

fyrsgt54
30th October 2009, 01:39
Well heres the deal , I brought my side case and motor by a local shop and the guy found a crack behind the primary bearing in the case. so now I had to get a new ( used) right side cover. So after all that I just threw up the white flag and asked them if they would just put her back together. Heres what they said they would do Rebuild and install my oilpump,install the cam gears with new side cover , new sprocket gasket couple new oil lines ,and put a new ground wire on the points. All this for 450.00 just gotta bring the Iron home and put it back in the bike. So what do yall think deal or no deal.

fyrsgt54
30th October 2009, 01:42
Oh yea by the way spot on about the shims they said the same thing as well not to even bother with them.

IronMick
30th October 2009, 01:47
The shop rate at my indie is $70.00 per hour. Working on old Iron is time consuming. It adds up quickly. So how much are the parts? and how many hours will he put in for the rest?

Gone
30th October 2009, 02:24
does that include putting the cases back together also? if so that seems reasonable. i enjoy doin ALL the work on my bike, but the bottom end i left to the indie. at least on this one..

fyrsgt54
30th October 2009, 03:05
Yea I am more upset about not doing my own work I think. But at least I know It will be right. And yea the price is for every thing all I will have to do is reinstall the motor in the bike . I think hes even cleaning it up for me. I did get the chance to go through the whole job with him . the shop was slow so hes was showing me how to pretty much do every thing when I just told him to go ahead and do the job.

GA_Ironhead
30th October 2009, 13:05
Yea I am more upset about not doing my own work I think. But at least I know It will be right. ...

Not to be a naysayer, but there's lots of folks here who took their IH to an "expert", and got anything but an expert job. If you have someone who does good work and knows their way around an IH, count yourself lucky. The number gets smaller every day. :(

fyrsgt54
30th October 2009, 14:26
Yea I hope I found that guy we will see. I will keep yall posted and try to figure out how to get some pics on here. thanks for all your help everyone. Next time I hope to show yall a pic of me riding .

GA_Ironhead
30th October 2009, 21:41
If he turns out to be good, post their contact info in the sticky thread, or warn others to steer clear, for future reference: Recommended IronHead Mechanics (http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/showthread.php?t=118141) - A group effort at a list of Mechanics who work on our iron. Feel free to add you favorite or to warn others from wasting money at the same spot you did.

fyrsgt54
4th November 2009, 00:50
Ok heres an update . Not good news the shop working on my motor called me today. Turns out that the used right side case we had is not the right one. So Im looking for a right side case cover for a 73 Iron head . Does anybody out there have a used one or know somewhere I could find one. I cant afford a new one right now. Thanks for your help.

66xlch
4th November 2009, 01:03
Ok heres an update . Not good news the shop working on my motor called me today. Turns out that the used right side case we had is not the right one. So Im looking for a right side case cover for a 73 Iron head . Does anybody out there have a used one or know somewhere I could find one. I cant afford a new one right now. Thanks for your help.

Do you mean the cam cover, or the engine case? Cam covers are easy and cheap, cases, not so much.

BTW, when you put the motor back in, if it still sumps, check the oil tank for leaks at the return/vent hose fittings. Alot of tanks have these fittings at the bottom, and have tubes inside to run them up to the airspace. If your welder dropped a small berry and it burned a hole in one of the tubes, it would fill the cam chest with oil, and seem to be sumping. I have seen it twice with custom oil tanks. One was a tiny hole, and took at least overnight to "sump".

fyrsgt54
4th November 2009, 13:34
Im sorry, yea I need the cam cover. I did check inside the tank with a flash light he did come close with the welds but I dont see any visible holes. Thank you for the tip.