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  #1  
Old 11th November 2022
sifty sifty is offline
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Default 75 Ironhead cafe racer reboot

Hi all.
Haven't been in here for several years, glad to see it's still a useful source of ironhead knowledge.

I built my '75 café racer some years ago, pretty happy with it and have been using it over summer since, but the oil leaks have finally worn me down (sick of people telling me my bike's on fire at intersections, and making rainbows on the ground when it's raining)...

Anyway, decided to sort things today so started pulling her down...


It leaks from the pushrod tubes, there's no boot on the solenoid, and I'm pretty sure the seal has gone between engine and primary, as it fills with several litres of oil if left for a while. I actually have most parts to fix this (I think) plus an engine stand so plan is to get the engine out and address the issues...

Oily old job getting it apart but getting there...


Hopefully logging progress here will help motivate me to get things done...
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  #2  
Old 11th November 2022
joe s joe s is online now
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Cool tank and tailpiece. Dunstal? Looking forward to see how this project unfurls. Thanks for posting.
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  #3  
Old 11th November 2022
The Doctor71 The Doctor71 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sifty View Post
..... and I'm pretty sure the seal has gone between engine and primary, as it fills with several litres of oil if left for a while.....
If I might give you a heads up..... the oil transfer valve p/n 25075-55 might also be a major contributor to the primary filling up with oil.

No guarantees, but I observed my '71 xlch had a similar problem for 10+ years..... and me scratching my head WHY, for just as many years. Finally tripped over the oil transfer valve, replaced the defective oil transfer valve, and voila no more primary filling up. My '71 motor still wet sumps, but migration of oil from the crankcase to primary has stopped.

That said, I get it. I don't know YOUR bike and I'm just Monday morning quarterbacking your brief statement with no other observations or history from your bike. Proceed accordingly & with suitable caution.
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  #4  
Old 11th November 2022
paulc paulc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sifty View Post
Hi all. Haven't been in here for several years, glad to see it's still a useful source of ironhead knowledge.........
Good to see you post again sifty, hope all is good in New Zealand

[QUOTE=...... Looking forward to see how this project unfurls. Thanks for posting.[/QUOTE]

sifty built this bike several years ago and posted a detailed build thread as he went. I think this is it: http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1592463

Quote:
Originally Posted by sifty View Post
..........I'm pretty sure the seal has gone between engine and primary, as it fill with several litres of oil if left for a while......
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Doctor71 View Post
If I might give you a heads up..... the oil transfer valve p/n 25075-55 might also be a major contributor to the primary filling up with oil.......
+1 TheDoctor71. A 75 engine would have the oil transfer valve unless somebody has chosen to block it off. If it's working correctly then when parked some oil will slowly but surely transfer from engine to primary. It can be a fair amount if parked for a while. Then when started it will transfer back again. If transfer valve is faulty you can get oil transferring from engine to primary whilst running, which it shouldn't do. I had an issue with that, a new transfer valve fixed it.
What you are describing sounds normal to me as long as the oil transfers back again after running for a while. Good info from Dr Dick can be found here:
http://xlforum.net/forums/showpost.p...8&postcount=40
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  #5  
Old 11th November 2022
sifty sifty is offline
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Thanks Paul good to be back, still got your yellow one?

Glad that build thread still works, last time I looked all the images had gone cos photobucket had thrown a wobbly. I had small children when I started and now I'm in my 50s and have 2 girls at high school, yikes...

Yes I 'think' it's a seal that's failed rather than the transfer valve, as it fills with several litres that has to be drained before I can change gear properly. Looked into it years ago but never did anything. With the engine out it's a chance to fix a few things.

Also on the list are:
- fit kick starter
- upgrade starter solenoid
- replace points with electronic ignition
- fit twin disc front end
- replace control levers and switches
- anything else I find.

Likely to be a staged process, hope to have the basics/leaks fixed for the Burt Munro rally in Feb, rest of the tasks can happen over winter...
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  #6  
Old 11th November 2022
sifty sifty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe s View Post
Cool tank and tailpiece. Dunstal? Looking forward to see how this project unfurls. Thanks for posting.
Hi Joe.
Fiberglass tail piece and Suzuki T500 Titan tank. Get a lot of people doing double-takes when they see it as they're not sure what they're looking at...
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Old 11th November 2022
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rocketnorton rocketnorton is offline
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recognized the tank, having had a 71 t500 back in hs days
looks good on there
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Old 11th November 2022
Chuckthebeatertruck Chuckthebeatertruck is offline
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It can often be difficult to diagnose the difference between a shot transfer valve and a failed main shaft seal.

Basically, the bike can/should sump to about the center line of the main shaft. If it is filling past that -- you have a clue. Similarly, if you take the primary cover off when it is sumped, but don't see the transfer "weep" a little when you have the primary cover off -- there's a decent chance the valve isn't working. In essence; there should be oil in the crankcase that wants to escape into the primary.

If, however, the oil disappears from the primary and returns to "normal" after a few minutes of running - you have an utterly normal bike that simply sumps more than others.

However, if the primary STAYS filled with oil after running then yes, the main shaft seal is a likely culprit. If it fills up whilst running -- then yes a shaft seal.


With regard to your braking -- harley dual discs are heavier and less effective than if you go with a single 11.5" and GMA 2 piston caliper.

I've done up more than one high performance twin disc for ironheads and they do work -- but the GMA gives the same if not better performance and is half the weight. I can easily chirp the front on my wife's '67 which is set up with the single 11.5 and a GMA.

The cost of the GMA caliper and a good disc is awfully similar to making some used parts work well. The GMA caliper is a direct replacement for the "banana" caliper.


As for solenoid boot -- there are two styles. The OE style is a simple cup; the current AM style has a lip. Try to use the lip style. But, remember that as much tends to leak THROUGH the starter as from the solenoid. There are ways to fix this -- but the easiest is to simply keep the oil level in the primary at the corrrect level. If you do have a seal issue; this is difficult and if there is too much oil in the primary it has a nasty tendency to find ways to leak out the starter housing bits. If all that checks out -- make 100% sure your transmission/primary cavity is vented well.

For push rod tubes -- this is a fun one.

1) make sure your push rod tubes are correct for the seals you are using. Cork seals use different tubes than o ring. Either works on the ENDS, but cork works best in the middle.

2) make sure you have the tubes assembeled correctly. The FSM and parts book show the lower tube upside down. The "funnel" needs to point up == not down.

3) you will notice the center cork "drags" and prevents the tubes from telescoping cleanly. Fit the cork over the inner tube and take it over to your bench grinder. Using the fine stone; gently remove about 1/32 (1/16 overall) in diameter. This will allow the cork to slip much more easily but still seal as it swells with oil. This one is often overlooked and often a cause of oily mist coming out of the tube.


Good luck!
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  #9  
Old 11th November 2022
sifty sifty is offline
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^ This is why I come here.

Tremendous information, much appreciated...
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  #10  
Old 11th November 2022
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brucstoudt brucstoudt is online now
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main shaft seal,or motor sprocket shaft seal? Chuck.

Last edited by brucstoudt; 11th November 2022 at 22:54.. Reason: Chuck
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