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

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  #1  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Greasyman Greasyman is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: XLH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1974
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Default Buying and installing starter solenoid for '74.

I cracked the plastic on my solenoid trying to tighten the positive cable today.

I've already removed the oil tank. Do I need to access the solenoid by opening the primary, or can I just pull it out to the right side of the bike?

I've had my '74 for only a short time, and this will be the first part I've bought for it.

I see solenoids between $20 and $60. Do you think there's much difference between them, or is the main difference price?

Anyone have any favorite venders, or venders they try to stay away from? How about dealerships, how do they compare to online venders?
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  #2  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Greasyman Greasyman is offline
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53 views and no opinions? All I want to know is do I have to take apart anything in the primary. I suppose I could figure it out myself, but it's always easier to have some experienced advice, so I don't take apart stuff I didn't need to take apart.

Other question is simply what opinions do you have of some of the venders? I don't know if there's a forum rule against talking about them since they might be sponsors and it could create some friction, but I figured I'd ask and a moderator could tell me I shouldn't do that if it was against the rules.

The car forum I frequent allows discussion of venders, good or bad, they even let you criticize venders who are sponsors, unless you get really unreasonable.

I'd just like some advice like, "I usually use X, they're fast and smooth and I've never had any problems with them", or, "The guys at W are always cool on the phone, but once it took three weeks for me to get something, and another time they sent the wrong part, maybe they should smoke a little less weed", just that sort of thing... unless it's not allowed.
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stikflote stikflote is offline
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I cant tell you were to buy one from ,but if its just the plastic thats cracked i would have thought it will still work,
that will give you time to find a new one
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No need to get into the primary side for that. Be careful taking it out, there's a spring in there and a mounting spacer. Don't loose the spring. I would suggest replacing the gasket to prevent leaks. As for what brand, stay away from made in China.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greasyman View Post
I cracked the plastic on my solenoid trying to tighten the positive cable today.

I've already removed the oil tank. Do I need to access the solenoid by opening the primary, or can I just pull it out to the right side of the bike?

I've had my '74 for only a short time, and this will be the first part I've bought for it.

I see solenoids between $20 and $60. Do you think there's much difference between them, or is the main difference price?

Anyone have any favorite venders, or venders they try to stay away from? How about dealerships, how do they compare to online venders?
Yes, it is easy to crack that plastic cap. I tighten the bolts to "firm plus maybe a little more" when re-installing the cap. You can get a rebuild kit which contains a new cap plus other parts that wear out. You may be able to get a new complete unit for not much more than the kit.

Show links to the ones that you find to get comments about which may be a better one.

As mentioned, it will continue to work with the cracked cap, but best to replace it.

Removing the solenoid to repair/replace is a bit tedious, but is a regular maintenance project as it gets dirty in there and parts simply wear out. It can be done entirely from the right hand side. No need to open the primary for this. It was not necessary to remove the oil tank if it is the stock tank.

Removing it is a bit tedious as the oil lines are in the way. I use a 1/4" drive x ~6" extension to access the bolt heads - a 3/8" drive is too thick to get in the space. That is too steel bolts going into soft aluminum so they must go in straight on re-install.

When re-installing stick the spacer in place with some grease or light glue or whatever works.

Here is how to bench test it. There is a procedure in the FSM to test it while installed but I never had any success with that test...

Ironhead How to Bench Test a Solenoid, pic & vid
http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1525907
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Thanks for the help. The plastic is cracked in a way that allowed the positive lug to come out, so I think it's easiest to just replace the whole thing. It might have had a problems anyway. The positive cable was loose on there, though the nut on the lug seemed tight. That's how I broke it, trying to give it that one last little turn that would finally tighten up the cable.

I'm going to call the two local dealers I know of and see if they have any in stock at a reasonable price. If not, I'll order from one of the well known venders. It's no big deal, even the most expensive ones aren't that much $. The bike isn't running now anyway, so if I have to wait a few days it doesn't really matter. I'll find something else to do to it in the meantime, like see if I can get my front brake working.
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I've never removed just the solenoid, but here's what the FSM says:

__________________________________________________ ___________
Remove solenoid as follows:

Remove battery cover and disconnect battery ground wire from battery terminal post. Remove solenoid cover (1) and disconnect wires from starter solenoid terminals held by nuts and lockwashers (2 and 3).

Remove primary chain housing cover.

WARNING -- Whenever primary chain cover is removed, first disconnect battery negative cable to prevent accidental starter operation and possible injury.

Depress retainer cup (4), remove pin (5) from hole in plunger shaft (11). Remove spring (6).

Remove solenoid attaching bolts and lockwashers (7) and spacer bar (8). Remove solenoid (13) with boot (9), gasket (10), plunger (11), plunger spring (12).
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It is NOT necessary to remove the primary chain cover to uninstall the solenoid on any pre-1981 Sportsters. There is lots of other stuff that has to come off so it is tedious.
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