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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 Days Ago
ProLibertate ProLibertate is offline
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Posts: 48
Sportster/Buell Model: XLCH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1966
Sportster/Buell Model #2: XL1200
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 1998
Other Motorcycle Model: Bonneville SE
Other Motorcycle Year: 2012
Reputation: 26166
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I don't know, buddy... the case does have a serial beginning with "66XLCH", so I believe it to be original (or at the very least from the same era).

I'm tempted to drill and tap the case for a new inspection plug, but I don't know I'd want to attempt it without splitting the case.

I know the belt looks new, but it's actually kind of chewed up on the back-side (not visible). There's at least 3/16" of play in the clutch basket, so I'm thinking the oil got in from the rear? I didn't see any sort of a gasket on the basket cover, but there was some black residue on there like PermaSeal or some other gasket maker was used. Sure enough, when I went to remove the clutch plates this morning, they were all stuck together and required a fair amount of force to separate. Some of the pad material has worn through to the metal backing, and so I don't think they're salvageable.

Last edited by ProLibertate; 1 Day Ago at 16:47..
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  #32  
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Sportster/Buell Model: XLB, XLCH, Sporton
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If the plates are that worn the whole belt drive setup is not new. Probably just a new belt.

OK, I think I remember you saying you got oil out of the primary ?

Mostly people run belts dry. To do that you need to seal the transmission off from the primary. You also need to feed oil to the left side c.s bearing but that's not hard.

You can run the belts wet.

So, no idea why anyone would weld that hole shut. And the worn clutch hub and plates doesn't bode too well for other bits.

It would probably pay to pull the gearbox and check the trap door main bearing but then if your going that far you might as well go through the gearbox.

Weird, because the bike LOOKS like it's been put together with love and care. And it sounded like a fresh build on a big bore engine.

The clutch plate would worry me enough to contemplate pulling the heads to see what I really had.
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  #33  
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ProLibertate ProLibertate is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: XLCH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1966
Sportster/Buell Model #2: XL1200
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 1998
Other Motorcycle Model: Bonneville SE
Other Motorcycle Year: 2012
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It's just a couple small areas where the clutch material had pulled away.

Here's what I think happened... the fella' that rebuilt the engine passed away before he ever got the bike on the road, and it sat for years and years, allowing the oil-soaked clutch plates to virtually fuse together. I think the guy I bought it from did the finish work required to get it "road worthy", and rode it a few times around the block, destroying the clutch and possibly components in the gear box by forcing the shifter. Considering the amount of force required to pull the plates apart (they might as well have been super glued), and the fact that attempting to shift without first disengaging the clutch is a catastrophe just waiting to happen, I'm not surprised by the current state of things.

I have every intention of removing the gear box. I've got this far... I figure there's no turning back now. Running the primary dry seems like a good way to avoid oil getting in to the clutch basket, but I'm confused... I though the transmission was fed via a cross-over port on the primary? If you run the primary dry, how do you supply the gear box with oil?

I probably had the equivalent of $5,500 in the Softail I traded for the XLCH. I'm sure I couldn't get anywhere close to that for the bike the way it sits, and I'd be foolish to give it away. I guess I'm committed now, for better or worse.

Last edited by ProLibertate; 1 Day Ago at 16:49..
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  #34  
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OK. But that sounds better.

I was thinking the clutch plates were WORN down to the metal.

If the previous owner never managed to free the plates he never rode it very far. It's quite possible to do clutchless shifts but really hard to take off from a standing start.
So the blued pipes may well be the good sign I thought they were.

And in that case, leave the gearbox alone. Buy some new clutch drive plates and put the clutch back together.

Drain the oil in the engine. Look for signs of assembly lube in the oil, Generally black drops, maybe a tablespoon or so in the oil. If it's there, you'll see it.

Buy some "break in" oil. It's a little more expensive than typical engine oil but it has the necessary zinc. Break the engine in properly. That means 5 heat cycles each progressively longer (doubling the time from 1 to 16 minutes. Allow the engine to cool back down to ambient temperature between runs. Just a fast idle. The full procedure normally takes me a day.
After that, dump the break in oil and add your choice of fresh oil.

It's quite OK if the engine is running too rich at this point All your doing is putting the engine through the heat cycles.

Once you have new plates in there you will be able to take the bike for a short ride. If the PI (Previews Idiot) hasn't managed to bend a shift fork (and that actually kind of hard to do) the box will be OK.

If the bike has been built the way I suspect it has you may find it pretty docile under 3-4 grand. You may not. But it will tell you a lot, that first ride.

Don't worry about setting up a dry primary at the moment. It is certainly possible to keep the oil out of the clutch.
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  #35  
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Sportster/Buell Model: XLB, XLCH, Sporton
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There's no way this 66 is worth $15,000. Maybe 8 or 9, possibly more depending on finding out what you really have.

Having said that I sold my 66 CH last year for $18,000 AUD Cash in hand. That's about $15,000 USD. Now that's here in Oz and they are rare items here. But the engine was stock bore and stroke. Although it did have an S&S rotating assembly in it.

So, don't be giving that bike away just yet.
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