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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #61  
Old 14th August 2017
JimmyBones JimmyBones is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrous Head View Post
With 2000 miles on the clock I wouldn't be happy at all with anything under 150 PSI.Yes, the engine will run with on only 100 PSI. And it will still run with just 90.
But they are the kinds of figures I see with "knackered" engines.

Unless you have a set of fairly radical cams in there I would now be doing a leak down test. If you have done the compression test correctly and the top end has only 2000 miles on it and you have stock or close to stock cams in there, somethings not "as it should be".

I would expect this engine to be sadly lacking in torque in the lower rev range. While a subjective "seat of the pants" feel might be OK I believe a dyno would confirm this.

The engine will run OK with just 110-15 PSI but you will be missing out on some of the Ironheads best attributes. It's steam engine like ability to generate torque from very low revs. It's why we like them so much.

Some people will tell you it doesn't matter all that much. But consider this:
a good (not perfect) Ironhead will show at least 160 PSI after a rebuild. At 110 you have lost around 1/3rd of your cranking pressure. That's a serious loss in HP terms.

If it were my engine I would be addressing this. If it has radical cams I would ether ditch them or raise my compression ratio in some way. (The latter actually appeals more to me) ):
Hey man don't be talkin' that smack about my crappy ironhead! haha

No I hear ya man. A few guys I know who have ironheads have all told me they get around 120 only. I don't have a dyno, and hell I don't know if I am even really doing the test exactly right lol But I will say this: (and yeah yeah I know, "here comes another guy talking about how he knows the best ironhead mechanic in the universe") But I do know the best ironhead mechanic in the universe! haha I know an old timer by the name of Hoss. We live in central IL. He's a pretty renowned mechanic and actually has people bring stuff from all over the country. This isn't a lie. And no he don't have a fancy website, gimmick or any mentions in HD history. However I will tell you that he has literally built and fixed 100's if not 1000's (DID HE SAY 1000's!?) Yes he said 1000's of ironhead motors!! I do know this for a fact, he used to build ironhead drag bikes. He fixed that creepy kid's ironhead down the street even! haha

No really tho,Hoss is 100% real and he does know what he's doing. He knows literally everything about the ironhead and has literally every tool in the manual, machine to fix and build motors and the know how to make your shit right haha. I told him the readings previously, and I know some are gonna say him and I are full of crap, but he told me anything over 100 and you shouldn't ask for much more.

When I did my tests the bike was warm, but not 30 minutes screaming hot. just warm. Maybe like 15 minutes, 12 miles. No highway speeds. Plugs out. Compression line in one hole, hit the starter and hold the throttle open until the gage stops.

I will also say that I have 8.4-1 piston ratios. Not much smaller I know, but maybe the reading would be lower?

Anyway, bike seems to run good. I do agree maybe the low rev torque is a little soft. But I'll say this. I ride with two guys that have shovels and i'm ALWAYS out in front with my head on a swivel looking back to see if they're still with me haha That's in town or on the highway!

Thanks for the info tho, I really do appreciate your outlook on the subject. Like I said before, it's always good to hear other peoples opinions and to listen to their knowledge. It'll only make us better craftsmen
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  #62  
Old 14th August 2017
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Ferrous Head Ferrous Head is online now
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I don't mean to be critical of anyone. But I see/hear/read a fact and I react to it.
In the same way if he told me he had fuel dripping out of the left side of his tank I would suggest he do something about it.

And I know a lot of people won't do what I do. Nor would I expect them to.
Most of what I do is for race engines, not everyday run around street engines.

As for break ins, I do have a procedure. But it takes me about a day and the bike doesn't get ridden during that period.

After that it hits the track at full bore, I have no way of doing 500 mile "break ins".
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