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  #1  
Old 7th May 2017
Flynnstigatr Flynnstigatr is offline
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Default Ironhead noise (I know, I know)

Howdy everyone. New to The thread and relatively new to ironheads. I've got an 85 XLS and she's been running pretty rough lately. I bought her in order to learn how to tinker with motors seeing as how they are notorious for raising hell as well as blood pressures. That being said, I've noticed a lot of vibration as well as a knocking sound when I come to a stop and the engine returns to idling speed. I adjusted the pushrods hoping that that was the issue. It seemed to help for a while, but now the vibration is way worse and there is a hollow popping sound coming from the exhaust. Thinking there may be a cylinder clearance issue because there was some oil on the front spark plug. Here's a link to a video of the sounds. If anyone has any suggestions to get me on track it would be much appreciated.

Video: https://youtu.be/2olhMn5mjOA
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  #2  
Old 7th May 2017
MXHD55U MXHD55U is offline
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hard to hear the engine mechanical noises wiht the drag pipes.
Vibrations: 1)find every fastner associated with engine mounting,check them for tightness
2) check the primary chain for correct tension.

Popping sound: look at a spark plug and see if it is black and sooty. Probably sooty judging by the interior of the exhaust. Your mixture is probably way too rich and it is getting a secondary burn in the exhaust when hot
You'll need to deal with the pipes if you want it too run well. Now you know why they are called drag pipes, it's a drag what they do to your engines performance
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  #3  
Old 7th May 2017
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Dupe thread here mods.

http://xlforum.net/forums/s....php?t=2018764

It takes a experienced biker to put a screwdriver to his ear and locate the source of the noise exactly.
You being new. You will freak out on all the noise you hear.

Check primary chain tension.
Check for missing roller lifter bearings < adjusting pushrods will never be dead nuts when bearings are missing on the roller lifter wheel >
The above sentence requires pulling the cam cover. But checks like pushrod adjustment getting loose again after dry cycling the engine over can tell you if that needs to be done.

Video did not sound too bad. But I am on laptop speakers. Rubber dry rot on intake manifold rubbers could be a issue for the backfire, maybe.

We are talking about a decades old machine that has a unknown history here.

Edit: White smoke will show out of exhaust if piston is not seating. I rode with a dude who went through a case of oil between Cheyenne Wyoming and Sturgis South Dakota. He welded his piston to the cylinder using his carb air filter as a leg rest . Fun and games unfubaring that before we headed to sturgis. We did not have the correct tools or parts to fix that right. Just good enough to get to sturgis to get better tools and parts.
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Old 7th May 2017
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Dup thread merged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flynnstigatr View Post
Let's see it then:

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Old 9th May 2017
Flynnstigatr Flynnstigatr is offline
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Thanks for all of the advice so far. Update: I checked the primary chain and it ended up being quite loose. Tightened it up and she ran well again for some miles until she got hot. I noticed some light white smoke from the front exhaust pipe any time I came to a stop. On the way home she started running very rough. Lots of vibration in 4th gear and not a lot of power. Could this be an indicator that some top end work needs to be done? Also when I killed it in my driveway, the bike didn't want to shut off right away and some smoke puffed out of the carb breather after it sputtered to a stop.
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Old 9th May 2017
doodah man doodah man is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flynnstigatr View Post
...Also when I killed it in my driveway, the bike didn't want to shut off right away and some smoke puffed out of the carb breather after it sputtered to a stop.
this is dieseling, and it says check your ignition timing to me. pull the spark plugs and see if they have deposits of any sort on them, if they do get new ones and see if things improve with the timing adjustment. often the dieseling can be from red hot carbon deposits built up in the combustion chamber - when you kill the ignition, it runs on as the pistons still cycle and pull in fuel which is ignited by the hot carbon.
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Old 9th May 2017
doodah man doodah man is offline
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have a read...
http://xlforum.net/forums/s....php?t=1117590
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Old 9th May 2017
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Put on some earbuds and listened to your motor again.

It sounds like a coin changer/sorter machine. Kinda like the the dry clutches on my belt drive no oil primary on my jockey shift softail when I engage the clutch.

All I can say is tinny noises are better than deep knocking grinding noises. Unfortunately. I cannot tell you where the ching ching noise and small knocking noises are coming from on a laptop.

I gotta be physically present on this one. Doodah is a guru on ironheads. He has been there, done that. Many many times over the years. Maybe some other member will have previous recognition of the noise your motor is making while listening online.

I unfortunately, cannot.

Edit> Time to buy or borrow from a auto parts store a compressor check gauge and do a compression check on that 1985 I think. Maybe a leak down test also.

Link

Last edited by rokytnji; 9th May 2017 at 16:56..
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Old 9th May 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Folkie View Post
... Let's see it then:

Please note that a well tuned IronHead does not make any noise. Rather it is a symphony of sounds and, when well set up, you can hear all of them - the valve train, the intake, the exhaust. Listen to this one, especially when the camera is close to the cylinders ...

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Old 10th May 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flynnstigatr View Post
...Also when I killed it in my driveway, the bike didn't want to shut off right away and some smoke puffed out of the carb breather after it sputtered to a stop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by doodah man View Post
this is dieseling, and it says check your ignition timing to me....
Sure sounds like dieseling to me, too.
Caused by:
-high idle speed
-bad/low octane gas
-burning too much oil which diesels easily compared to the gasoline
-overheated motor/heads
-anything glowing hot in the combustion chamber e.g.: carbon deposits from burning oil, wrong plugs

From your first video it sounds like the motor has an uneven miss at idle, too. You checked pushrods... I think you should not ride it until you get a chance to work through all the common maintenance/health check-ups like full tune up, check compression.
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