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  #1  
Old 14th April 2021
Dukegonzo Dukegonzo is offline
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Default New here - compression test produced meh results.

Hey everybody,

So theres a lot to unpack here.

Proud new owner of a 73' XLCH. She loves to start right up after a brief prime, usually after 1 or 2 kicks with ignition on. Took it for my first decent ride yesterday and there a lot of flat spots in the mid - high range. Not running a tach so I'm not exactly sure where I was rpm wise.

Decided to do a compression test today and read 100 front and 95 back (tested while warm.)

PO supposedly set points, timing, and pushrods right before selling to me... but as with all PO's ... who knows.

The bike had been sitting for years and years before being "gifted" to PO who got it running and sold to me. One owner title. Is it possible rings just haven't reseated themselves yet?

I'm assuming I should adjust pushrods and cam timing myself to verify their accuracy.

Carb backfires if first kick doesn't start up.

Grey smoke if I snap the throttle back.

Found a small exhaust leak at both headers.

Lemme know if anyone has any tips or insight on how I should move forward. If I end up needed to bore cylinders can I pull jugs in frame?

OH also - during the ride I found myself fighting some very serious vibration in the handlebars, I should order new rubbers for sure?

Sorry for the novel.

Duke

Last edited by Dukegonzo; 14th April 2021 at 04:15.. Reason: left stuff out
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  #2  
Old 14th April 2021
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sungod sungod is offline
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Default Ironhead

I like you bought a 73 xlh barn find.I wanted a project and had fun building it.
73 has two versions early and late so see if you can identify yours. It will matter if a rebore is necessary.Easy check: Early has 6 point head bolts late has 12 point. Just my opinion but I would recheck everything! Pushrod adjustment, points,timing,replace plugs and clean fuel filter,rebuild the carb adding new intake manifold o rings.Lube chain,cables,change all oils including brake fluid.The top end can be rebuilt in the frame.Take nothing for granted.End of Chapter 1.

Last edited by sungod; 14th April 2021 at 13:35.. Reason: more info
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  #3  
Old 14th April 2021
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For the handle bar vibration, start with new riser bushings, and if that doesn’t cure it, you can pack the bars with sand...
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Old 14th April 2021
Dukegonzo Dukegonzo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sungod View Post
I like you bought a 73 xlh barn find.I wanted a project and had fun building it.
73 has two versions early and late so see if you can identify yours. It will matter if a rebore is necessary.Easy check: Early has 6 point head bolts late has 12 point. Just my opinion but I would recheck everything! Pushrod adjustment, points,timing,replace plugs and clean fuel filter,rebuild the carb adding new intake manifold o rings.Lube chain,cables,change all oils including brake fluid.The top end can be rebuilt in the frame.Take nothing for granted.End of Chapter 1.

Will verify if its early or late 73' model later today. What difference does it make when rebore is necessary? Great suggestions, will attempt to knock out as many of them today as possible!
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Old 14th April 2021
Dukegonzo Dukegonzo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodah man View Post
For the handle bar vibration, start with new riser bushings, and if that doesn’t cure it, you can pack the bars with sand...
Ordered some poly bushing last night, will start there. Thank you
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Old 14th April 2021
kitabel kitabel is offline
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reseated?
How would that happen, and why?
Never mind the cam timing, it's not adjustable. Either good or not.
Drag pipes?
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Old 14th April 2021
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Default 1973

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dukegonzo View Post
Will verify if its early or late 73' model later today. What difference does it make when re bore is necessary? Great suggestions, will attempt to knock out as many of them today as possible!
Early 73 jugs can only re bore to a max of .040.
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  #8  
Old 14th April 2021
Dukegonzo Dukegonzo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitabel View Post
reseated?
How would that happen, and why?
Never mind the cam timing, it's not adjustable. Either good or not.
Drag pipes?
It was my understanding that similar to new rings having a break in period, if rings sit for a while it may take a few miles for them to re-seal to the cylinder walls. Maybe that is completely off I honestly don't know.
Stock pipes.
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  #9  
Old 14th April 2021
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Default ironhead 73

After the pushrod adjustment is done try the compression test again.Hot engine,Plugs pulled, Fuel valve off,Throttle full open.See if anything changes.You didn't mention smoking out the exhaust so my first thought is the rings are seating and valve seals/guides are working to some degree.Go easy.
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Old 14th April 2021
Dukegonzo Dukegonzo is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sungod View Post
After the pushrod adjustment is done try the compression test again.Hot engine,Plugs pulled, Fuel valve off,Throttle full open.See if anything changes.You didn't mention smoking out the exhaust so my first thought is the rings are seating and valve seals/guides are working to some degree.Go easy.
Few things - pushrod adjustment complete, and no intake leak that I found from spraying starter fluid all over the place lol.

I did very briefly mention above smoke from exhaust. Grey smoke when I crack the throttle open quickly. No smoke when idling or riding, just when I crack it open quickly.
Will take new compression test shortly.

*EDIT* - Also I verified that is in fact the late 73' model.
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