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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 11th June 2021
79Harleydavidson 79Harleydavidson is offline
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Default Breather

Ok so Im unsure if this is a being over anal or if I need to look more. I run standard 20w50 Cam2 motor oil. I got the oil level good, and fired the bike up yesterday. I still have yet to do a beat run on it but ran it a few times around my neighborhood (big ol figure 8) just putted around and watched the breather. While driving it seemed to be running great. Nothing "puking" so to speak. As soon as I got in the driveway which mind you is a downhill, It sat idling and I watched with every puff just drops of oil come out. With that , should i just route a hose up the front forks so the vent still works and oil drains down? Should I be running a thicker oil as well? Ive typically ran 20-50 vs the 50 or 60 weight especially for spring and fall up here. if I pull the genny, can I see the reed valve and should I check if the oil drain hole is blocked up as well? Other than that the blue smoke on the rear cylinder cleared up and she ran like she did before my array of issues started this year. Thanks again for all the help guys.
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  #2  
Old 11th June 2021
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Are you using the upper or lower breather port? If you're using the lower port the oil will go out the breather hose before it has a chance to go back through the drain hole. One way to deal with this (IronMick's idea I believe) is to run that hose all the way to the end of your exhaust bracket - that way any oil that drips out won't end up on your rear tire.

In Late 82 they upped the size of the oil slinger washer to 1-3/4", so that might be something to consider doing. Stock 79 washer is only 1-5/8".

Yes you can see the breather valve if you remove the generator, but even the FSM doesn't have a way to test it so I don't think it would help you much.

I wouldn't point the hose up if you're using the lower port. Oil will pool at the low point and stop the airflow. The outlet of the lower breather port is below the oil drain hole, so there's no way for that oil to get back into the gearcase.
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Old 11th June 2021
79Harleydavidson 79Harleydavidson is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMek View Post
Are you using the upper or lower breather port? If you're using the lower port the oil will go out the breather hose before it has a chance to go back through the drain hole. One way to deal with this (IronMick's idea I believe) is to run that hose all the way to the end of your exhaust bracket - that way any oil that drips out won't end up on your rear tire.

In Late 82 they upped the size of the oil slinger washer to 1-3/4", so that might be something to consider doing. Stock 79 washer is only 1-5/8".

Yes you can see the breather valve if you remove the generator, but even the FSM doesn't have a way to test it so I don't think it would help you much.

I wouldn't point the hose up if you're using the lower port. Oil will pool at the low point and stop the airflow. The outlet of the lower breather port is below the oil drain hole, so there's no way for that oil to get back into the gearcase.
Ill look into the washer change as you were talking about. Mine is a 79. Im not sure what you mean lower port. Im talking about the port on the upper case where the generator is located. Ill have to look for Mics post about the breather routed to the back as well.
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Old 11th June 2021
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There are two connections for the breather, one at 6 o'clock and one at 10 o'clock as viewed from the right side of the bike. Originally the 10 o'clock port would have been routed into the air cleaner and the 6 o'clock port would have been plugged, but a lot of people switched them for looks.

Edit: Photo from the Sportsterpedia showing both connections.
http://sportsterpedia.com/lib/exe/fe...2_by_83xlx.jpg

Last edited by BigMek; 11th June 2021 at 20:54.. Reason: Added photo link
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Old 11th June 2021
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Great stuff here...
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Old 12th June 2021
79Harleydavidson 79Harleydavidson is offline
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Ok so i took her for a ride, and as it sits and idles you hear almost a squeek sound coming from the port, oil still coming out, no blue smoke out of the tail pipes if i cover the hole shes def pumping air. Once it cools off im gunna pull the genny and check the washer and make sure its ok and not getting loose as wrll. Im getting to that im stumped point.
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  #7  
Old 12th June 2021
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Supposedly you can skeet a little WD-40 in the breather hole (those with a reed valve only) to clear it out.
Here is the IH breather valve page in the Sportsterpedia.
http://www.sportsterpedia.com/doku.p...k:ih:engmech07

Unless the stainless steel reed is broke, it may just have junk under it keeping it from working right.
It should pump at pulses .... especially at idle. It's not good to cover the hole.
The reed is suppose to close on upstroke and open on downstroke.
The motor should have a slight vacuum in the crankcase due to the reed working properly.
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Old 12th June 2021
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just how full is your oil tank?
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  #9  
Old 12th June 2021
79Harleydavidson 79Harleydavidson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randy3934 View Post
just how full is your oil tank?
The tank is about a quarter way up over the lower index. After ive ran it a few times and rechecked to make sure its not overfull.
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Old 12th June 2021
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That squeak you are hearing is common, it is the reason the valve is called a foo-foo. It is an indication that the valve itself is crudded up somewhat and needs to be cleaned. I have treated it exactly as Hippysmack recommends, with a squirt of WD-40.
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