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

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  #21  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
Ferrous Head's Avatar
Ferrous Head Ferrous Head is offline
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Mike, Thanks for the pics of the rods. I've never seen that before.

I can't imagine :

A. An experienced builder putting them in the wrong way around and

B. An experienced builder not rolling the engine over by hand and discovering the problem before attempting to start it. And

C. The person who started this engine the first time KNEW something was badly wrong. Passing it on to someone else like that is criminal.

I used to cost my labor out at 50 cents an hour for my projects. But my labor costs were exceeding my parts costs by so much I had to drop it to 10 cents just to keep the balance 50/50.

Did I mention IH parts here in Oz are EXTREMELY expensive ? Typically 3 times as much as you pay. A $50 USD part will run me $150 AUD between the exchange rate, shipping and taxes.

Also, maybe we have a similar thing with time here. What your doing in 8 hours now takes me a week.

Oh. One good thing about being here in Oz. In terms of time, I'm about 10 hours in fron of you. Like when you get up at 7 in the morning I'm already sitting down for dinner at the end of the day.

So, I'll give you a warning when the world ends. You'll have a another 10 hours to enjoy your life !
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  #22  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
Iron Mike Iron Mike is offline
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Ferrous someone sure was persistent when turning it over. I know the PO didn’t have the means to do the flywheels, but I’m sure he would have attempted to complete the build from bases upward. He probably had the cam chest done, popped the cyls on and hit the electric button. Then again, adjusting the valve would have been an issue. I think the PO still may have the few other sets of cyls at his house, I think I’m going to stop by and see what they look like. I still have some contact with him and I’d like to hear the real story. I only came in contact with him every few years over our “friendship” and I always asked “how’s the IH? in casual conversation. I always though it was odd that he always seemed to have just purchased another set of cyls.
I don’t have any ill feelings towards him whatsoever. Like I said, I have been hearing about this bike over the years and finally got my hands on it through some friends. The PO was doing only what he new, which obviously was not much about Sportsters, and was continually trying. I can’t fault him for that at all. He never once blamed the bike, he just knew in the back of his mind that he was struggling to get it back running over the years, but pride(?) didn’t let him ask for help. I would have helped him out for nothing.
In fact I think I’ll ride it over to his place tomorrow and let him take it out for a bit!!
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  #23  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
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I'm not blaming the owner. Perhaps he installed the bottom end after someone else did the wheels for him.
And you don't know what you don't know I guess. And if he didn't really know what he was doing he might have put it all together and managed to get it to fire up straight away.

And of course had the rods not been in backwards you probably wouldn't have got the bike so cheap.

So, you win, sort of.

And I have done my fair share of dumb things over the years. I even used to work on other peoples engines. so I'm the next best thing to an idiot.

You can get really lucky with these deals or you can discover all you bought was a few good parts. Sometimes it's impossible to tell. I bought a 70 that went under water in Texas a few years back. But the owner never told me that. I worked it out when the bike finally showed up and I could see the high water mark inside the primary cover.

Broke even on it but it was a real waste of time.
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  #24  
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Lifestyle choices/hobbies aint cheap. Now a days .

Main stream has made that so.

I liked the read also < pragmatic part > ., There are some desert jewels still around.
Loving the cold front.

Locale pricing . Good thing.
Nice build.
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  #25  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Mike View Post
Ferrous someone sure was persistent when turning it over. I know the PO didn’t have the means to do the flywheels, but I’m sure he would have attempted to complete the build from bases upward. He probably had the cam chest done, popped the cyls on and hit the electric button. Then again, adjusting the valve would have been an issue. I think the PO still may have the few other sets of cyls at his house, I think I’m going to stop by and see what they look like. I still have some contact with him and I’d like to hear the real story. I only came in contact with him every few years over our “friendship” and I always asked “how’s the IH? in casual conversation. I always though it was odd that he always seemed to have just purchased another set of cyls.
I don’t have any ill feelings towards him whatsoever. Like I said, I have been hearing about this bike over the years and finally got my hands on it through some friends. The PO was doing only what he new, which obviously was not much about Sportsters, and was continually trying. I can’t fault him for that at all. He never once blamed the bike, he just knew in the back of his mind that he was struggling to get it back running over the years, but pride(?) didn’t let him ask for help. I would have helped him out for nothing.
In fact I think I’ll ride it over to his place tomorrow and let him take it out for a bit!!
Should be some kinda interesting bits from the PO now that everything has settled

Worked out fine due to the right guy getting the bike.
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  #26  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Repairing an old unused machine.....excellent. I have only done one bike (74' Kawasaki H1) that someone gave me.....I have done many 4 wheeled things however. It is a challenge and a lot of fun to bring an abandoned vehicle back to life. I look at it from the aspect that the "labor" involved is the "fun" I get out of doing it. Hopefully I don't get more money into the project than I can get out of it.....that has happened once (68' MGBGT). I know better now.
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  #27  
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This hearkens back to my very first bike, a 79 IH. I was young and eager and didn't know the first thing about turning a wrench but still thought a classic Sportster (well, it was only 10 years old at the time) was the way to go. And after 3 years and almost doubling the purchase price in shop bills to try and keep it on the road, I sold it off cheap to a friend of a friend who had it running reliably in less than two weeks because he knew how to wrench. That hard lesson is what drove me to learn how to work on my own bikes and cars after that.
Glad this one fell in to the right hands!
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  #28  
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well, if I bought a $700 sportster I would expect to have to go through everything.
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  #29  
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But your always hoping that the rotating assembly at least is good to go.
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  #30  
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I bought a $500 XL I had to replace the left case, frame, swing arm, rear axle, tires, fuel tank, brakes, chain & sprockets, Pistons, valves, cams, oil pump, trans gears (of course), mainshaft, carb, exhaust, rebuilt crank, I think the clutch and the primary chain was good...
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