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

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  #31  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
73HEAD 73HEAD is offline
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Default weights

hi fellows. any secrets to pulling the weights apart. ( correct procedure } thanks
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  #32  
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73HEAD 73HEAD is offline
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Default good on ya

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4th of July View Post

YeeeeeHaaaaa!

Set static timing last night and points. Runs like a friggin top! Thanks for your help. Love this group, help me every time. Always been a loner, never liked the group activity stuff, but that doesn't apply here. REAL friends, even though we'll never meet in person. Solid anyway.

I tell ya, really needed a boost tonight, recently got divorced and lost girlfriend too, but never mind that, the Ironhead Sporty is running good

OK, I learned a few things here which many of you guys already know. I have worked on 70's Nova's and older bikes to a certain extent, but had never set points & timing on Ironhead before. My last 76 Ironhead had electronic ignition. Here's what I picked up in case it helps anybody else:

1. Timing & Point gap is critical on these old bikes. Just a little bit off can make all the difference in how bike runs or even if it runs at all.
2. There is a good video on YouTube re: Ironhead Points & Timing, about 10 minutes and easy to find.
3. You CAN use a test light with + hooked right to + on points and - to ground. When points open, light will come ON, BUT ignition has to be ON. This seems to be very accurate since bike seems to be now running perfect AND you are hooking directly to points, as opposed to upstream location in the ignition circuit.
4. The lobes, small vs. large are easy enough to identify IF you know what you are looking for. See previous photos on this thread. Small lobe is easy to miss, only about 1/16th inch, compared to large lobe (about 3/8 inch). I must have been on large lobe when setting timing 1st try, would not even start.
5. While you can set gap on either lobe, I'd recommend small lobe since once points are clearly open, they won't open more as flywheel is rotated. If on large lobe the points may only be partially open which would throw off your setting for gap.
6. Getting the vertical timing mark centered in the timing hole is tricky. You have to rotate the flywheel (via back tire), in minute increments or you will miss it. At 1st I thought it was not there.
7. If you do this right you may not even need to mess with the timing light. Don't think I will, at least at this point since it seems to be running great. Why fix it?
8. At one point, after cleaning points with abrasive and before setting timing I noticed some backfiring and test light did not come on when points began to open. Then cleaned them off with some alcohol and swab and light began to come on, may have caused the backfiring as well. So if you clean them with abrasive, make sure you get the debris off.
9. Bought a new aftermarket plate that already had points & condenser installed, very cheap. However, that plate fit a bit too snug and made it difficult to rotate. I'd recommend sticking with original plate, buying points & condenser separately.

Bottom-line is this is fairly easy once you know what you're doing, BUT the points and timing apparently are a very sensitive area with these old bikes so you have to do it carefully to get it right, and keep everything in adjustment. Did not have to mess with any of this on electronic ignition 76 that I used to have. Sill kinda miss that bike.


Hope this helps somebody else. Thanks again guys. All good comments. Really appreciate it. Know what I'm doing with this now. And, I can always find another girlfriend. ��
very nice bike
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  #33  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
The Doctor71 The Doctor71 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73HEAD View Post
any secrets to pulling the weights apart. ( correct procedure }
Correct ?? Dunno about correct, but I use a dental pick.

Slide the dental pick around the top of each post and slightly under the ear of the spring. The spring will disengage from the post.

Go slow, be patient & you should not damage the springs.
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  #34  
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73HEAD 73HEAD is offline
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thanks doc, ill have a go.
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  #35  
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Buy an extra couple of sets of advance springs and keep a pair of spares on the bike in case of emergency. Could make the difference between going home on your bike or in a tow truck.
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  #36  
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Quote: I tell ya, really needed a boost tonight, recently got divorced and lost girlfriend too, but never mind that, the Ironhead Sporty is running good


"A woman is only a woman, but a good Cigar is a Smoke"

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  #37  
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good on ya doodah man. i dig your imput. thanks bro. i decided to put in a hi 4. its in the shop now. cheers
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