The Sportster and Buell Motorcycle Forum - The XLFORUM®

Go Back   The Sportster and Buell Motorcycle Forum - The XLFORUM® > SPORTSTER MOTORCYCLE FORUM > Sportster Motorcycle Era Specific and Model Specific > Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985)
XLF Blogs XLF Arcade XLF Disclaimer/Privacy Statement/Terms Of Use


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

Active Threads
0 Horseshoe Oil tanks repo China?
Last Post: Iron Mike
Posted On: 2 Minutes Ago
Replies: 11
Views: 1,706
0 Keep & Kill
Last Post: Crusty
Posted On: 18 Minutes Ago
Replies: 33,503
Views: 2,035,707
0 VP fuel
Last Post: hbkeith
Posted On: 46 Minutes Ago
Replies: 0
Views: 1
0 Hottie of the day, no nudity.
Last Post: Stairman
Posted On: 49 Minutes Ago
Replies: 41,522
Views: 5,764,991
0 HD used a lot of spoked wheels .. why?
Last Post: conv90
Posted On: 1 Hour Ago
Replies: 22
Views: 575
0 Roads I'd like to ride.
Last Post: Steve9
Posted On: 1 Hour Ago
Replies: 4,010
Views: 532,635
0 KT - 2023 - Chasing Adrenaline
Last Post: sportsterpaul
Posted On: 1 Hour Ago
Replies: 9
Views: 1,415
0 Plug identification
Last Post: Andy56
Posted On: 2 Hours Ago
Replies: 6
Views: 376
0 Official XL Forum Random Image Thread (NO NUDITY!)
Last Post: maltesefalcon
Posted On: 2 Hours Ago
Replies: 56,746
Views: 9,865,602
0 Boring 883 Cylinders to 1200
Last Post: bweever
Posted On: 4 Hours Ago
Replies: 24
Views: 1,356
0 Left Sidecover Won't Fit
Last Post: Toejam503
Posted On: 4 Hours Ago
Replies: 11
Views: 339
0 Food porn
Last Post: Stairman
Posted On: 5 Hours Ago
Replies: 3,107
Views: 854,998
0 How many miles do you have on your rubbermount?
Last Post: Captain Johnny
Posted On: 6 Hours Ago
Replies: 525
Views: 132,497
0 Rear dual flange hub question
Last Post: conv90
Posted On: 7 Hours Ago
Replies: 3
Views: 166
0 What did you do for your sporty Today?
Last Post: Nibelungen
Posted On: 7 Hours Ago
Replies: 8,093
Views: 1,576,527
0 Iree's late night cafe
Last Post: Ireeman
Posted On: 13 Hours Ago
Replies: 2,466
Views: 513,412
0 Mushrooms...Hate or Love poll
Last Post: Ireeman
Posted On: 14 Hours Ago
Replies: 219
Views: 16,572
0 75 Ironhead cafe racer reboot
Last Post: sifty
Posted On: 19 Hours Ago
Replies: 81
Views: 4,504
0 HAMMERPerf 90" In the Works
Last Post: sportsterpaul
Posted On: 21 Hours Ago
Replies: 1,645
Views: 271,419
0 Show your favorite pic of your bike. just one
Last Post: CT XR rider
Posted On: 22 Hours Ago
Replies: 4,876
Views: 2,036,324
0 Backfire
Last Post: sungod
Posted On: 1 Day Ago
Replies: 61
Views: 1,987
0 Transmission Improvements?
Last Post: Turbo Sporty 48
Posted On: 1 Day Ago
Replies: 0
Views: 97
0 A Different Chinese Harley
Last Post: rejeanprimeau
Posted On: 1 Day Ago
Replies: 3
Views: 419
0 Let's play a game
Last Post: Ferrous Head
Posted On: 1 Day Ago
Replies: 42
Views: 1,590
0 1997 Sportster S Questions
Last Post: cdirk
Posted On: 1 Day Ago
Replies: 32
Views: 1,066
0 This is gonna hurt.
Last Post: Ireeman
Posted On: 1 Day Ago
Replies: 10,158
Views: 2,562,092
0 video & pics
Last Post: rejeanprimeau
Posted On: 1 Day Ago
Replies: 2,451
Views: 272,516
0 Poll: If you had to have a stock sporty, what would it be?
Posted On: 1 Day Ago
Replies: 620
Views: 241,851
0 Tank Art
Last Post: brucstoudt
Posted On: 1 Day Ago
Replies: 37
Views: 2,040
0 How much weight comes off with weld-on hardtail kits?
Last Post: Toejam503
Posted On: 2 Days Ago
Replies: 32
Views: 1,032
Members Birthdays
77xlch, buell_fxr (77), Danny (66), Wino (54), mucas859a (49), no_chrome (48), USMC_Davii (46), dijitaldna (41), 08nightmare
Closed Thread
Share Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 29th March 2009
IronMick's Avatar
IronMick IronMick is offline
Rider Of The Iron Steed
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: N6C 1N3
Posts: 32,839
Sportster/Buell Model: XLH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1978
Reputation: 1644826
IronMick has a reputation beyond reputeIronMick has a reputation beyond reputeIronMick has a reputation beyond reputeIronMick has a reputation beyond reputeIronMick has a reputation beyond reputeIronMick has a reputation beyond reputeIronMick has a reputation beyond reputeIronMick has a reputation beyond reputeIronMick has a reputation beyond reputeIronMick has a reputation beyond reputeIronMick has a reputation beyond repute
Lightbulb Technical Stickys Index - TuneUps, ReBuilds, Etc, Etc, Etc

Wes, idiggplants started this organized Sticky list. Thanks very much Wes for this!

Here is a collection of informative posts made by many of us here in the ironhead forum. If you have a question about your bike, or need to fix something, your probably not the first. To avoid common threads from popping up day after day, and to keep especially informative posts a few clicks away, this collection of threads has been organized for your use. After you've read them and still have a question, feel free to start a new thread. who knows, once you've solved your problem, you might just see it here. If you notice a thread listed here that has great information, but no pictures, why not take a few pics while your doing the repairs/inspection? It could make future reader's repairs a bit easier.

Many thanks go to all of the original thread starters, video makers, and problem solvers. This site wouldn't be what it is without them.

XLForum community of IronHead owners, our bikes, and how we feel

A Forum is a Conversation

5,000-mile Ironhead ride

Piniongears Stories...My beginning on 2 wheels

What is the best '70's Ironhead to restore

Another Reason I Love My Ironhead

IronHead Community

Me, myself, I..... 30 years ago!!! - Pics from back in the day

How Long Have you Had Your IronHead

What's your IronHead Worth

here's how us poorboys do it - Using The Living/Dining/Etc Room For The Workshop

Stupid things you've done with/to your ironhead!

IronHead History and Historical Stuff

Early H-D Factory Service Manuals

Early Riders Hand Books

Tom Sifton Life Story, and Original 1981 Catalog <- This link is broken, will fix it later


Tom Sifton Cam Specs - Excerpts from the Original 1981 Catalog
Tom Sifton Cam Specs - Excerpts from the Original 1981 Catalog

Sifton on Valve Springs & Baisley on Cylinder heads

John Pierce ColorWrite - Paint for and how to paint American motorcycle restorations

HD VIN Numbers, including 1979 Exception Information

IronHead Web Sites - A collection of our favorite websites with ironhead content. As if the Xlforum wasn't enough!

what to look for when buying an ironhead

Tips For De-hibernating Your IronHead - A guide to bringing your bike back from its winter hibernation. Also a useful guide for ironheads which have been sitting neglected for a long time.

Tips From Gar - A collection of tips from an extremely helpful and knowledgeable member in one place.

un storage - Tips from Gar on getting a bike out of long term or neglected storage.

Recommended IronHead Mechanics - A group effort at a list of Mechanics who work on our iron. Feel free to add your favorite or to warn others from wasting money at the same spot you did.

Where To Find IronHead Parts

Is there a List of Harley or Harley Sportster Salvage yards

Ironhead fitment chart - A helpful chart showing the major changes in parts for various year ironheads.

A Photo Catalog of Ironhead Parts

Regular Maintenance Topics

IronHead Maintenance Schedules - A maintenance guide provided by our fearless leader Ironmick

Oil Change 101

Winterize Your IronHead! - A guide for storing your bike for its winter hibernation or any other extended amount of time.

Problem Solving

Tools to Lend Out to Forum Members

Special Tools - Homemade Tool Thread

Engine building- with minimum tools

Procedure to create homemade cork gaskets - Exactly what it says it is.

Old Timers Maintenance Tricks

How to weld Cast Iron fins back on

Stuck / broken bolt removal 101

helicoil pictorial - that timer hole 8-32

Torque Chart


How I clean steel motorcycle gas tanks

Tank Sealing with POR

Old Guy, years gone by shots

Rebuilding an Entire Bike

77 Ground Up Rebuild - An extremely detailed picture loaded thread from bare frame to complete bike.

And yet another '77 ground up rebuild. - Another frame up rebuild of our favorite harley model.

getting this 78 back to the way it should be.

Ironhead 59 XLH Refurb

Magneto Sportster's Original Paint 1965 XLCH Project

Ignition Timing

gapping points and static timing video - A great video demonstrating how to static time(no timing light) your bike as well as gapping your points.

Setting The Ignition Timing on Your IronHead - A nice guide with pointers on timing your bike with a timing light.

Timing with timing light - troubles

Setting The Points on Your IronHead - How to set your points.

Ironhead timing symptoms - See Especially Post #17

My Harley is retarded - auto advance rebuild (&pics) - Inspection and replacement of the mechanical advance.

77 advance unit inspection/dissasembly/ W pics

Service Bulletin M-705

Magneto Ignition

Setting Timing, 1964 & Earlier Mag

Static Timing early Sportster with Circuit Breaker

Ironhead Magneto upgrade questions

magneto questions

Early Sportster Magneto Setup Instructions

mag troubleshoot

Mick's 1969XLCH Refurbish - Magneto


vrod battery in ironheads

IronHead Wire Diagrams Etc

1974 XLCH Kick and Electric Start Wiring

My COLOR Wiring Diagram '77 XLCR

another minimalistic wiring diagram

Ironhead XLCH Wiring gauge

Ironhead Charging System Checkout - If your having problems with keeping a charge, dead batteries, or anything else electrical, this is a great guide for diagnosing your problem.

Ironhead Voltage Drop Testing

DR DICK's crash course on charging system diagnosis & repair

Generator Refurbish

1977 generator brush inspection (with details and pics)

Replacement generators

Alternator/Generator Conversion

Testing Generator with Growler

Some of you wanted to see the new charging system - Another Alternator/Generator Conversion

franks electric reg Pics

PDF of the Delco-Remy service bulletin 1R-119A for the mechanical regulator on 1977 and earlier Ironheads, mentioned on page 5-41 of the FSM

Are all electronic ignition coils pretty much interchangable? - Excellent thread on motorcycle electrical theory. All points and concepts are explained well.

Spark Plugs

Detailed instructions for rebuilding your horn, (with pictures)

Step by Step: How I made my no-hood/triple tree oil pressure idiot light. (Pic heavy)

Starter / Solenoid

Start System Testing

Solenoid click or chatter

Ironhead How to Bench Test a Solenoid, pic & vid

Ironhead Refurbish and Bench Test Starter Motor

Ironhead Re-installing Starter Brushes & Holder

Ironhead 81-on starter SOLENOID rebuild guide w/picts

Starter Soleniod / Pinion Gear on 76 Sportster

'76 XLCH Electric start conversion questions.

Engine, How Tos

Cylinder Compression And Leakage Tests For Your Ironhead - Tests that allow you to diagnose cylinder and valve problems before tearing down your top end.

Ironhead Push Rod Adjustment

cam cover removal

How to Install Cam Gears in your IronHead

Checking Cam Gear End Play

no cam shims apon re-assembly??

Ironhead Cam Cover & Bushings Discussion ...

Replacing Ironhead cam bushings

Changing out cam on a couple of questions appreciated.

Removing and Replacing Ironhead Cam Bearings

install pinion gear without 96830-51 tool

Replacing valve guides

Step by step - Fitting a rocker box pressure Guage - A how to on installing an oil pressure guage on your rocker box

Ironhead 71' Motor Mounts - How to install all engine mounts, top and bottom, including the special washers

CCing my combustion chambers

Easy method of installing a motor

cracked case suggestions

Helicoiling the primary drain plug

Rebuilding an Ironhead Crank

Sportster ironhead 1974 complete balancing job,how I do it…

balancing the bottom end

Engine Balancing

Factory Engine Balance Method

Engine, Information

Harley Davidson VIN Character Identification

pictorial guide for identifying heads

Identifying Cylinder Heads

cylinder/head bolt spacing

Cylinder Fitment Question

Ironhead Early Sportster Engine Identification 1969 & earlier

S&S FlyWheel & Stroker Information

Ironhead Oil Transfer Valve

Engine breather 101 / Crankcase Vent 101

oil leaking into primary

While waiting on the paint to dry-and we thought it was the ballcheck Some Important Ideas About Wet Sumping

The Foo-Foo Valve Revealed - Information about the cam vent device on newer model ironhead.

Crankcase Breathing Cycle

IronHead Noise - Using a Stethoscope

break in period - Nice info and different opinions on what is sufficient to break in a new ironhead engine.

Revised, Ironhead Engine Builders -only- Heat Cycle/ Breakin Poll - See especially posts #9 and #10

Crankpin bearing wear and rod slop

pinionshaft race and bearing/heads up

Engine building- with minimum tools

Engine, Hi-Tech

Ironhead 84 cubic inch 900 motor teardown pics

Ironhead Ultima - Map Development

Early Sportster XLCH 4.625" Stroker Dyno Runs

Best head casting for porting Question

S&S FlyWheel & Stroker Information

Oil Sytem

Let's study the 77-85 oil pump, parts, and changes and when.

Oil Pump ReBuild - exactly what it says

Ironhead Oilpump assembly - some information here is not shown in any manual

Ironhead Oil pump check ball seating

A Few Things to Remember ...

No oil to topend !!!!

a pictorial guide to rebuilding the kidney tank cap

Oil Line Routing

need a little help on oil line routing please

Timing the Oil Pump

clean out oil tank?

Primary, Clutch and Transmission

Transmission Assembly, Tutorial w/Pics

about the trans...

end plays & gear spacing

Ironhead Trans/Year InterchangeabilityQuestion Much good detail on trans rebuild

Problems with recently rebuilt transmission

Mick's Transmission/Shifter Refurb

Ironhead trans corner reinforcement 54-72

Andrews Products Trans Parts Catolog

Ironhead how to blueprint your shifter

1975, 1976 gear shift fix

'76 Right Shift conversion

Compensating Sprocket Removal

IronHead Clutch Adjustment Procedure

Ironhead 85 clutch adjustment woes

Ironhead Clutch adjustment 1969

how to adjust dry clutch

How to keep a dry clutch dry?

Early Sportster Main Shafts and Clutch Rods (Dry Clutch)

A repair to rescue a broken clutch cable.

The clutch actuator

Building a Heavy Duty Clutch

Late 1984-1985 Clutch Removal/Installation

4 speed alternator magnet shield

4-speed -- busted rotor magnets -- a different take, with pics

Late 84 -85 clutch shell magnets Fix ..

Kick Starter

giving kicker slip the boot, by DR DICK

Proper way to Kick...safely

Kicker Install on a 74 XLH

Kicker Kit Installation Tips

'77 & '78 Kick Support

Ironhead 77/78 Sprocket Cover Support Mod for 23T ...

ok, the kicker shaft support from hell

kicker starter misses sometimes

Ironhead Sprocket cover kick starter damage repair kit


Drag pipes

Birth Of An Anti-Reversion Cone (for Dragpipes)

Ironhead 65 XLCH XLR Exhaust Lollipop Cure

Carb, Intake, Air Filter

Intake And Exhaust Leaks Tests - Tests for common problems for what seems like a suddenly out of tune carb.

How Intake Seals Work to Prevent Leaks

Best Carb for an IronHead

Cleaning a Carb

Setting The Pilot Screw on Your IronHead - Initial adjustment of the idle air fuel mixture on your carburetor.

Ironhead Dismantle and Inspect the Petcock

Keihin carburetor rebuild series - YouTube

How to tune Keihin carbs - links

Question on a HD Keihin Carb# 27155-76A

Replacing The Carb Fuel Line Fitting

Here is the word on Tilly’s from the inestimable Dr. Dick

Mikuni VM Tuning Guide

First StartUp w/Mikuni VM38-9

I love my Mikuni VM38-9 because ...

VM38-9 Throttle Cable Spec's

The Final Install of the Mikuni with Enclosed Cable

Rebuilded Bendix - now it's flooding..

ReBuilding the Bendix Carb

Bendix Carb

Setting the Bendix

Webber Carb on a 900

Ironhead 40mm CV Carb Swap Today

Instructions for S&S Super E & G Shorty Carbs - document #51-1012

S&S Shorty Carburetor Adjustments

super e rebuild..a slideshow

ALRIGHT, a little super b school please

Bountyman's S&S Carb Tuning

Cleaning an old S&S GAL carb

S&S GAL, GBL instruction Cut Sheet

SU Eliminator II Tuning Instructions


Ironhead rear hub thread

There’s shade tree brakes; then there’s the dark side of shade tree

Ironhead how to rivet your rear sprocket

Rear brake spring installation (drum brake)

Brake shoe removal/installation tool

Drivetrain, Frame, Front End, and Wheels


IKON Shocks Review

Homemade Shock Bushings

86 To 03 HD Forward Controls, Modified To Fit 1980

Old Style Iron Head Frames 1952 to 1978

Front End Refurbish - Steering Head Bearings

showa front fork seal installation tips?

steering head & swingarm bearings and races

Guide to Swingarm Bearing Replacement

Swingarm Bearing Preload Question

Wheel Lacing tricks

Ironhead help truing wheel up... spoke rim adjustment

Changing wheel bearings

Ironhead 77xl changing and repacking wheel bearings

old wheels with different bead area? - Discussion about issues that come up with certain style rims.
IronHead Forever!

Visit Mick's WebSite
[And Check Out My Autobiog]

Last edited by IronMick; 8th February 2022 at 22:47..
Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 22:51.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
XL Forum® - Linson Media LLC