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

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  #11  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
Beary Beary is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrous Head View Post
Here's where your in luck.

The Sportster engine has what's known as a "cassette style" gearbox. The gearbox can be removed without splitting the cases.

Granted, you have to pull the primary drive and clutch but if you have ever worked on a typical Japanese 4 cylinder engine with horizontally split cases you'll see the benefits.

There is going to be some small amount of debris in there already. It might not be much and it depends on just how good a job you want to do.

because of the location it's going to be awkward at best to drill this and put a heli in. You might need a right angle drive drill - I don't know, I've never attempted an in situ repair there.

But also, this damage is indicative of someone who wasn't all that fussed about looking after this bike. I would suspect you may find a fair bit of damage or at least maintenance required elsewhere.

I suspect this is a candidate for engine out and on the bench work. At the very least you need to do a full survey of what you have.
Thanks, this is what I'm looking for. I bought this bike knowing it needed a lot of work. But, it's a lot more than what if first appeared. I'm mechanical by nature, I have my aircraft mechanics license. But at some point the cost of resurrection can get ridiculous.

I might be able to helicoil the oil tank, but I haven't seen helicoils that would fix the holes in the trans case because they are quite large. I imagine the previous bolts sawed the holes larger and larger with each thumping stroke as the problem was ignored. Not saying they don't make a helicoil that would work, but I would question there ability to hold that steel bracket firm with the weight of oil and battery on it. If I have have to take the engine off the frame, I might as well see about welding a patch or plate.

I'm not sure how to approach the bike yet. I change the transmission oil yesterday just so I know what is in the bike. The good news is that little bit oil that drained looked ok. That bad news is that the bike is leaking oil now. In just a few hours. Now I'm worried about a crack in the case. Can the stock engine leak that much that quickly? While I did find a few small shavings on the plug, it was a lot less than I expected from an engine in this shape.

I'm willing to put some money in this bike and have some fun with it. But, at some point I could find a nice Ironhead that doesn't need any work. Of course that is not the point, I own 3 Harleys. I don't need another bike. This is just a fun project for my son and I. At the moment, the front brake is a rusted mess that I had to remove just so I could move the bike. The gas tank probably has some rust. So, just getting to a point of just starting it just to see if runs is very challenging.

I did take the cover off the carburetor and it actually looks good. The K&N filter has never been clean is 100,000 miles.

Just venting really. But, this bike is pushing me out of my comfort range. I'm likely going to have to take the cam cover off because there is a piece broke off on the lip of the points cover area. The only issue is that the points are exposed to the environment. I guess we could always keep duct tape over it while riding. But fix it is no small task. At the very least it will require welding and a donator cam cover. Then there is the complexity of removing the cover. I thought about just getting a new cover, there is always one on Ebay. But then I read that replacing the cover will require a lot of cam work. I'm not sure I have those kinds of skills.

So yet, on and on I keep peeling the onion and my eyes are watering.

Beary
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  #12  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Randy seems to think this is a 73 XLH. I haven't seem an indication of what this bike really is.

Very easy to tell if it's an early Ironhed. The VIN on the engine is self evident. For example if this is a 1965 XLCH he VIN will start with 65XLCH. Couldn't be simplere.

If it's a 70 on the last two numbers of the VIN will give you the year. H0 is 1970 and H^ being 1979. (First two give you model as in 3A CH and 4A CH.



Without seeing the bike myself I would still make this observation.

These bikes were "cheap" when new. They got used and abused. After 10 or 15 years they were just "old bikes' passed from hand to hand at rock bottom prices. And what this meant was that for the most part the bikes were abused.

They can be brought back to life. But yes, your right to think carefully about the time/costs involved.

Because cheap Ironheads can be found that require very little work for a few pennies more.

And people won't pay big bucks for a fully restored 1973 XLH. Some bikes have to be a labor of love.

If it is a 1965 XLCH then your costs can probably be recovered if you do most of the work yourself. Mind you, if it's a 1965 CH you won't be that keen on selling it when your finished.

As a learning exercise I think Ironheads make great projects. These are simple engines, comparable to a 350 Chevy. And while a 125 cc two stroke is much simpler ((and cheaper) when finished the Ironhead will surprise and delight you. The two stroke not so much.

Oh. Pulling the cam cover and re-timing the cams (one always falls out no matter how careful you are) is not a big deal.

If you are thinking about taking this on, buy a parts manual for your year. These are great. They have exploded diagrams showing every part of the engine and bike. Also invest in the relevant FSM.

If you can pull the heads of a Chevy you can work on an Ironhead.
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  #13  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
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if you pull the trans you might be able to repair those holes from the inside while still in frame. Or pull trans clean and weld in holes then re drill and tap.
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The oval holes in the transmission case are about 3/8 inch. What kind of experience should I look in a welder?

Beary
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might check into installing timeserts instead of helicoils, sounds like the hole is about right for them.
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  #16  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randy3934 View Post
might check into installing timeserts instead of helicoils, sounds like the hole is about right for them.
I think this might work.

I have to drill the holes to get them round, so I'm struggling with the idea of doing the work without removing the transmission. I think I have a pretty clear shot with a drill after everything is removed.

One idea that came to me is overfilling filling the transmission and then draining with intent of flushing out the debris from the drilling and tapping the holes.

Comments;

Barry
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  #17  
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The transmission shares it's oil supply with the primary drive. So a lot of oil can be pored in there.

But no, that's not something I would ever do.
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  #18  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrous Head View Post
The transmission shares it's oil supply with the primary drive. So a lot of oil can be pored in there.

But no, that's not something I would ever do.
OK, thanks. I don't see an easy way to do this.

I'm scared to pull the off the primary cover and clutch because every time I remove something, I expose another problem.

Beary
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I would do whatever necessary to remove the drilling/tapping debris.

Draining would not give me confidence.

There is a wealth of knowledge here. Hopefully the bug bits you and you go all in.

As Ferrous said, you need to figure how much that scooter is going to need and if it's worthwhile to you.

One of the highly experienced members on here picked up a "case" recently.

Due to his knowledge and having some stuff on hand he turned a bike that had crankshaft issues into a fair deal for him.

If I had gotten that bike, it would have cost me far more than the scooter was worth to fix it.
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  #20  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beary View Post
OK, thanks. I don't see an easy way to do this.

I'm scared to pull the off the primary cover and clutch because every time I remove something, I expose another problem.

Beary
Just keep riding it, the problems will expose themselves!

Pull the primary/trans and fix it right. There is no excuse to shortcut.
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