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  #1  
Old 21st March 2007
German61xlch German61xlch is offline
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Default Magneto Kick Start problems

Hello, a new member from Germany needs some help. After riding a PanHead for 10 years I decided to switch to a 61 XLCH, and I wish I would have done it earlier. Its a far better motorcycling compared to my old Rigid Frame Bike.
But here is the bad news: Even after 3 years riding it incl. engine rebuilt and other trouble, I still have starting problems. Especially in cold weather it needs sometimes 20-30 jump kicks to start up. I found out the sparks are pritty small while kicking. When it runs - everything is perfect.

I did check the magneto again and again, I did send it to a special shop, they checked it for money too. But nothing is to be found.
The engine tune up should be perfect as the ignition timing. Now I am gonna adding the manual magneto retard system, which was original from 1964.

Does anybody have other suggestion how could I improve the ignition and the starting procedure?

Thanks,
Andreas
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  #2  
Old 21st March 2007
Matt Matt is offline
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After 3 years you should know the drill so unless you're flooding it and fouling the plugs consistently OR underchoking it, adding the retard sounds like the right thing to do. I'd never try to start mine advanced. Does starter fluid spray (ether) help? Thefrenchowl is the resident guru with magneto bikes. Welcome to the forum!
Matt
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  #3  
Old 21st March 2007
eric123 eric123 is offline
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Does the mag still put out a weak spark after it was at the shop? The plate for retarding the mag is nice to have. Makes starting that much easier. If you are running the original carb, i would throw that piece of shit away and try a CV, SU, or S & S...
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  #4  
Old 21st March 2007
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flathead45 flathead45 is offline
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old mags have a problem with their permanent magnets, they get weak, weak magnets don't throw a hot enuff spark at slow speeds like kickin speed

some times shops forget that. see if the dude that rebuilt it checked the power of the magnets
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  #5  
Old 21st March 2007
MDT MDT is offline
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I have a big mallory condensor that clamps to the outside of my magneto. (It's too big to fit inside). I think it helps me start. Also I need to assume that you are not flooding it and everything else is ok. I say try different things, other than what you are doing. Whatever you are doing that takes 30 kicks, don't do that any more. Teeny bit of throttle, wide open, 2 kicks with the ignition off then turn it on. Try anything other than what you are doing now. Word of encouragement, if it's a stock motor you will find its sweet spot. If it's a stroker like mine, 30 kicks is a good day. (just kidding) Whatever you do, don't show any sign of weakness. Mag sportsters love to get the best of you.
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  #6  
Old 22nd March 2007
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OutlawTexan67 OutlawTexan67 is offline
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Your Ironhead is a little to old for me I dont know much about them but welcome to the forum from all us Ironheads.Where are you here in Germany?I have been living in Bayern for the last 18 years.
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Old 22nd March 2007
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Hi, German61xlch and welcome here...

What carb have you got on your 61?

Original L&L Linkert model DC is a pretty good carb and should be easy to live with, unlike later Tillotsons which are an aquired taste ( I personnaly love them...)

Usually, 2 or 3 kicks with full choke should make the engine kick back through the carb, that's when you know there's enough fuel in there, then 1/4 choke or none depending on state of tune and the bike should start.

30 or more kicks = problem somewhere and I can tell you from my own 20 years experience with mostly non-retard Fairbanks-Morse, they are rarely the source of the problem... although they need to be set up right, no more than 15 thou points opening, good condenser, good old copper plug leads and the engine needs the full 45 deg advance to run right, don't be tempted to reduce it in the hope it'll start easier, it won't...

Check your plugs after say 10 kicks, are they flooded or bone dry, my guess they will be bone dry, then check carb, iddle should be set slightly rich otherwise, no chance to kick it...

Also check state of valves and seats, worn guides will also make it hard to start...

Talk to you later when I know what you're running...

Patrick

Last edited by thefrenchowl; 22nd March 2007 at 01:14..
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  #8  
Old 22nd March 2007
Dakin Engineering Dakin Engineering is offline
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I'm not an Ironhead, but a bro told me to check the bushings on the mag shaft. If it floats around.....

Sam
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  #9  
Old 22nd March 2007
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aint got a clue but welcome pics pics pics
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  #10  
Old 22nd March 2007
j0nes j0nes is offline
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Default

My bike also takes 20-30 kicks to start when it's cold. I'm still learning about the bike though.

Anyway, I have the manual retard on my magneto. The problem is I don't know which direction to turn it yet. I took it all apart, so I haven't really had a chance to experiment. Should I turn it towards the motor? Here's a pic of mine.



What is the best way to set that screw you see? It limits the advance/retard you can get.

I bought my bike with a Super B on it, but I got another carb and it's no better with it on. I don't know what kind of carb it is yet? I'm so busy with work I don't get to do all the reading I'd like to. Does someone eant to save me some research and tell me what carb this is?



Any advice would help at this point.
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