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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  
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ProLibertate ProLibertate is offline
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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 Week Ago at 16:47..
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  #32  
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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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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.

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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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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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  #36  
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Thanks for your input, Ferrous Head.

I drained the oil just shortly after purchasing the bike, as well as removing the oil tank and cleaning it out with some diesel fuel. I know Valvoline doesn't appear to be highly thought of by many people on this forum, but I put some Valvoline 20W-50 4-Stroke conventional in there. I noticed some fine particles in the used oil (like a very fine glitter), but nothing substantial or alarming.

I'm still kind of baffled by the black plugs. If the bike was running as rich as it appears to be, why am I able to consistently start it within the second or third kick? Why would it act like it's starved for fuel and only run with the enrichener on when going down just two pilot jet sizes? It just doesn't add up in my book.

Right now I'm at a standstill. I need a wrench or socket large enough to remove the clutch hub nut. Is it absolutely necessary to purchase a clutch hub puller, or can you make do without it? I'm still on the fence about whether I should remove the transmission access cover, just for peace of mind. I'd hate to purchase new gaskets and get things put back together, only to discover I've got to get back in there to do transmission repair, you know? The weather's starting to turn here, and we're expecting snow within the week, so my riding days are numbered; I might as well take advantage of the down time so I can hit the ground running next year! I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little disillusioned by the fact the bike's not ready to ride, as it was pitched to me... but I have no intention of selling it. If I let it slip through my fingers, I'll probably never have a chance to own another.

Last edited by ProLibertate; 1 Week Ago at 17:36..
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  #37  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrous Head View Post
Having said that I sold my 66 CH last year for $18,000 AUD Cash in hand.
Impressive! That's what they sell for in concours condition here in the States.

Last edited by ProLibertate; 1 Week Ago at 17:30..
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  #38  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProLibertate View Post
... I need a wrench or socket large enough to remove the clutch hub nut. Is it absolutely necessary to purchase a clutch hub puller, or can you make do without it? . ..
The clutch hub has 6 evenly spaced studs so a 3 position steering wheel puller works perfectly. If you're careful a 2 claw puller can work. Put nuts on 2 of the studs and put the puller jaws on them but be sure you don't bend the studs. You'll have to devise a way for the puller to push on the shaft without damaging the seal in the end of the clutch gear. If the hub has been off before sometimes you can get it off without a puller. You need a 1-1/2" socket.

With the stock chain you usually can't get the clutch basket off without taking the engine sprocket off at the same time. That may not be necessary with your belt.
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  #39  
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Quote:
I noticed some fine particles in the used oil (like a very fine glitter)
Ok, that worries me a little bit.

There's basically 3 types of glitter. There's a beautiful gold glitter, a shiny silver glitter and a dull gray fleck.

The gold is bronze which is used in bushes and shifter forks. The shiny silver is steel as in bearing surfaces, shafts and gears. The dull (ish) grey is aluminum which will be from a casting somewhere. Always a good idea to check with a magnet as the steel shavings will worry you the most.

So, depending on the color of those particles you can get an idea of where the problem lies.

Now, on a freshly built engine you can sometimes get particles as the newly machines parts mate. And of course not all mechanics clean parts as thoroughly as they should.

So maybe, this was the "break in" oil and your seeing that. But if that's the case there should have been "bugger all" in terms of quantity.

In terms of oil that's a whole can of worms on this (and others) site.

The MOST important part about oil is that you change it regularly. Modern engines can go 10,000 miles before a change. These don't. USe any oil you like and just change it regularly.

An engine that's running a bit rich will always start easier than an engine that's running "correctly" or, heaven forbid, lean. That's why they have enrichners or chokes, to create that lean condidtion.
For everything to work correctly both the idle circuit and the intermediate circuit have to be correct. Idle means just that. At idle revs it supply's all of the fuel for the engine. The intermediate starts supply fuel the minute you crack the throttle. It combikes with the idle circuit to supply fuel. The intermediate circuit on round slide carbs depends on the cut away of the slide as well as the intermediate jet in conjunction with the taper of the needle.

It's a delicate balancing act to get the A/F ratio right under all the varying conditions the carb sees. But the intermediate circuit 9the one most often ignored) actually controls fuel metering in the rev range we most commonly use,1500-4,000 rpm.

Now on top of all of this the ignition has to be working properly or you will see either a very lean condition or a rich condition.

The point at which your ignition fires has to be at a point where maximum fuel burn can occur. To early and the flame will consume every last bit of oxygen available as well as producing maximum pressure before it's required. (not at TDC)

Now, here's a kicker. The FSM calls for the ignition point to be at 40 degrees (or 45 for 900's). And everyone takes that as a given.
And it works well for a stock engine.

Depending on a lot of things, cams, engine size, port work, compression ratio etc that figure may no longer be correct. If you do manage to make the engine work better what you have done is to improve the combustion process. ie, the process will complete faster moving the point where maximum pressure is made to an earlier point. The burning may well occur faster and add to that effect. So the ignition timing point will change. ie you may have to retard the ignition timing.

That's a long ramble, sorry, I get carried away.

And it may not affect you at all.

But the baseline is that you need both the ignition system and the carb to work as intended to get complete, clean combustion.

When I start to diagnose engines that have a problem I have learned it's best to do so in a systematic way.

We all know we need the three basics, compression, carburation and ignition for an engine to run.

I ALWAYS start with compression.

It's the easiest to trouble shoot. A simple tool and procedure tells you so much about an engine with just that one test. If the test shows no problems you have just ruled out 1/3 of the possible problems.

Depending on what symptoms I have or have been given I might check the ignition next.

But these days if it sounds at all like a carb problem I just substitute a known good carb. If that has no effect I no longer have to guess where my problem is. I KNOW where my problem is.

These days it's a no brainer to substitute a carb. On Ebay you cn buy a "Fake" S&S Shorty E that will work. Probably better then your Mikuni, but I digress again.

They sell for $59. That's a VERY cheap tool to rule out carb problems. Buy a $59 compression gauge and you can rule out two of the three problem areas on an Ironhead.

It's divide and conquer tactics.
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Oh. The 66 CH I sold was very nice.

Turn key bike.

I built it from the ground up. Started with a set of NOS cases. Most of the bike was NOS OEM parts I had saved for years.

And the guy who bought it from me knew I built my own race engines. He's seen me race.

Had I died before selling it someone would have hit the jackpot.
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