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

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  #1  
Old 23rd March 2014
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Default WTF Happened

OK so I'm out on a ride today taking it easy with the wife on the back, when I hear a rattle like a hot air popper under my seat. I know this isn't good so I got off to the side as fast as I could and shut the engine down. I noticed right away I had oil running out of the rear cylinder exhaust. So I called for a trailer and started dismantling the bike with my tool kit.

This is what I found and has me puzzled because of the speed of the damage done.


give me your thoughts.
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  #2  
Old 23rd March 2014
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After getting home I took more apart. Here is the carnage. So where the did the piston go.. surely not all out the exhaust. I did find a big chunk of the piston dome. right there between the wheels next to the rods.

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  #3  
Old 23rd March 2014
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That is a night mare
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  #4  
Old 23rd March 2014
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Holy shit Batman!! Talk about an eye opener! Think your piston is where the Malaysian airliner wound up. Obviously a serious piston fragmentation problem, lots of possible causes. Intake air leak causing lean condition, lots of detonation from bad gas, too much timing, etc. Usually, a lean condition burns a hole in the top of the piston. Could be a faulty piston that came apart. Any details of the motor such as last rebuild, any performance mods will help in diagnose. I'm sure others with more Ironhead engine experience will chime in soon. Sorry to see this happen since it will require a complete teardown to get rid of all the junk in the motor.

Eric
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Old 23rd March 2014
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It's all wadded up in the cases, time for a full teardown, that piston broke up on ya.
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Old 23rd March 2014
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Wow that is a big problem is that melted alloy on the bottom of the rod .That is going to be a total rebuild .I hate to see a fellow rider face such utter carnage .Time to start saving hope you can get her up and running again soon man .Tough break for It looks like the oil drain hole in the bottom of the picture may have been leaking outward maybe it wasn't getting enough oil to lube that piston and it self destructed
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Old 23rd March 2014
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I'm gonna guess you run straight pipes, you should have heard that piston slapping for quite some time before that happened.
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Old 23rd March 2014
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Default

I took off the front head and cylinder looked it over. No signs of any part failure there. No signs of detonation on the piston, but a lot of oil and some bits of the rings embedded in the dome. After removing the barrel I noticed the piston skirt was chewed up from churning debris. and after further looking the front rod looks to be bent??? WTF this is on the good piston.
I know I am going to have to remove the rest of the engine and split the cases at this point minimum to clean out the debris, but what caused it that's my question.
As some may remember I just recently took it down bored the cylinders and installed new pistons. The pistons were V-Twin 10:1 replacements and I figured they would hold up fine. guess I was wrong.
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Old 23rd March 2014
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Man Shane, That is awful! No NO2 bottle on the bike?? JK

Heat had to come from somewhere. How was the Break in?
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Old 23rd March 2014
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Tiawan Ted strikes again.
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