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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 14th August 2020
heathkeenan heathkeenan is offline
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Unhappy 1970 XLCH Project Not starting

Hey guys, I need help. I put this bike together as a project bike and now I can't get it to start. When I turn the petcock on fuel comes out of the overflow hole every time (ZENITH CARB). I've tested the float, it floats. I've set the float to 3/16" drill bit as required, still leaks. I've taken the cup off to see if the jet turns off the gas when the float is up and it does. Put it all back together, it leaks. I have verified that when I turn the throttle there is gas in the carb.

I've also tried to spray starter fluid in the carb, bike won't turn over. I have verified a spark at both spark plugs. I have adjusted the valves, verified the timing at the cams where all the marks line up.

If anyone lives near Palmdale, CA I could use some help!!

Otherwise, any suggestions would be really appreciated.

Thank you!!
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  #2  
Old 15th August 2020
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Ferrous Head Ferrous Head is offline
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Back to basics.
Engine needs 3 things to run.
Compression,
Correct air and fuel delivery (carburation)
A spark at the right time.

I Always begin with a compression test. Always.

Why ? because it rules out several problems at once. Are the cams times correctly ? Are the pushrods adjusted correctly ? are the rings not seating ? Is a piston holed ? Are the valves sticking/not seating ? Major head gasket leaks ?

This one simple test rules out so many things and the tool costs around $40. Or borrow your mates.

IF it passes muster on a compression test using Aerostart (starting fluid) will generally tell you if the problem is electrical or in the carby.

But that needs to be done corretly too.
With a leaking carb on there the engine may be flooded. Turn the tap OFF and turn the engine over 1015 times with the throttle held wide open.

Now open the throttle fully and give it a two second spray.
Close the throttle and kick it through with the ignition on 2-3 times.

The engine SHOULD run for a couple seconds.

If it only pops and coughs you have a timing issue.

I have done this routine at the race track for so many guys over so many years it staggers me.
At the track I can do it in about 5 minutes flat.

And it always gives me an answer. Or at least I know exactly where to look for the answer.
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  #3  
Old 15th August 2020
Tipofthelake Tipofthelake is offline
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As I mentioned in your other thread the first thing I would deal with is getting the carb not to overflow so as to eliminate the mess and fire hazard. As a follow up to that, how do you have the carb set up (jets, turns on the screws, etc. Hopefully someone who knows that carburetor can chime in with help on that.

Is this your first kickstart bike?
When you're kicking the bike (should be able to fill the carb and then turn the petcock off so as to avoid just dumping gas everywhere) what is your procedure?
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  #4  
Old 15th August 2020
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randy3934 randy3934 is offline
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did you install the float spring correctly?
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  #5  
Old 15th August 2020
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Fuel leaking from the carb does point to a problem with the needle and seat.

But unless it's flooded the engine the bike should still have been able to start with the Aerostart.
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  #6  
Old 15th August 2020
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I believe you can also borrow a compression test kit from Autozone or O'reilly.

Double-check your timing isn't off by one revolution.
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  #7  
Old 15th August 2020
XL1275 XL1275 is offline
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Getting spark is one thing, getting spark at the proper time is another.
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