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  #1  
Old 6 Days Ago
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Default Valve Adjustment ?

1983 XLH Sportster, stock engine configuration.

I'm looking at things that need inspection/adjustment during this Winter downtime, and the only adjustment for valve clearance I can find is the tappet adjustment. Is that correct???

My previous H-D Sportster was an XR-1000, which used an eccentric lobe on the rocker arm shaft to directly adjust rocker to valve clearance. The XR uses a solid one piece pushrod. No 'tappet adjustment'.

The XL tappet adjustment seems...bizarre...

Edit: I've read the FSM and Iron Mick's thread on adjustment. It just seems rather odd to adjust the tappets to 0 clearance ("twirl clearance")...
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Last edited by ferretface; 6 Days Ago at 18:45..
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  #2  
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You could say the XR 1000 has ""rocker adjustment"" to get the same analogy at ""tappet adjustment""...

Nought wrong with either, just different locations...

And same procedure, unlock sommat, insert feeler/feel sommat, adjust sommat, retighten sommat...

; O )

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Yep, the lifter has a screw cup with a locking nut, that’s your only adjustment.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodah man View Post
Yep, the lifter has a screw cup with a locking nut, that’s your only adjustment.
OK. Now, I'm reading in Mick's thread that the nut should be backed off one flat from zero clearance. Sounds good.

http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=44143

Does anyone have a loose Ironhead tappet adjuster nut that they can measure (or just screw on a known bolt) the thread size??? The FSM and/or parts books don't say the thread. Like, is it 3/8-24 or 7/16-20 or even some odd National Extra Fine thread???
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Not very common. Tappet adjuster thread = 9/32-32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by needspeed View Post
Not very common. Tappet adjuster thread = 9/32-32
Wow. That's between 1/4" and 5/16" diameter. I didn't think the pushrod would be that thin.

OK, that means one complete turn would equal .031". One flat would be 1/6 of a turn which would be .005". So that would be the theoretical valve clearance for the Ironhead.

The XR valve clearance is .002"-.003". It's comparing apples to oranges because of iron vs aluminum but I think it's interesting that they are that close.

Thank you for the thread measurement!
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Back in the old days We used to adjust the lifter so that the pushrod would spin freely but you could not feel any up and down motion. That was on the solid lifter ironheads, is that what you have?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopalong48 View Post
Back in the old days We used to adjust the lifter so that the pushrod would spin freely but you could not feel any up and down motion. That was on the solid lifter ironheads, is that what you have?
Yes. If you read that thread, it explains the backing off one flat tip.
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The backing off idea originated with a local mechanic here. He was also founder and president of the local Sportsters club. A really good guy.
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remember that clearance changes with engine temp.
free spin no up/down cold engine was they way it was usually done.
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