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Sportster Motorcycle General Discussion and Problems For discussing problems about your Sportster motorcycle that don't fit anywhere else.

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  #1  
Old 13th August 2020
heathkeenan heathkeenan is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 5
Sportster/Buell Model: Sportster
Sportster/Buell Year: 1970
Reputation: 10
heathkeenan is an unknown quantity at this point
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. 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 13th August 2020
Tipofthelake Tipofthelake is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 79
Sportster/Buell Model: XLS 1000
Sportster/Buell Year: 1979
Sportster/Buell Model #2: XLCH
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 1973
Other Motorcycle Model: Electraglide
Other Motorcycle Year: 2007
Reputation: 17975
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What carburetor? Points or electronic ignition?

If the gas is still overflowing then something is up with the float, the valve, or both. You could try rocking the bike quickly side to side after turning on the petcock to see if it just needs a little help getting moving, but I would say reduce the height setting a bit if that doesn't help.

What is your kicking procedure? I turn on the petcock, full choke, no ignition, hold the throttle wide open and give 2 good prime kicks, 3 if one isn't up to snuff. Then half choke, find tdc, ignition on, and kick it like it owes you money. If you're not sure the idle is set high enough (which will make kicking a bear) just take the slack out of the throttle by twisting it, then give it a tiny bit more before kicking. Just don't keep moving the throttle though or you'll flood it. If you flood it you've got to let off the throttle, choke off, and kick it 3-4 times to clear it and start over.

Also, with a freshly rebuilt and empty (to start) carb you might consider giving a few extra prime kicks when you first start.
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  #3  
Old 13th August 2020
Tipofthelake Tipofthelake is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 79
Sportster/Buell Model: XLS 1000
Sportster/Buell Year: 1979
Sportster/Buell Model #2: XLCH
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 1973
Other Motorcycle Model: Electraglide
Other Motorcycle Year: 2007
Reputation: 17975
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Default

Ok, I'm guessing after glancing through the manual that you've got a bendix. If the rebuild kits are anything like the keihin kits the float valve may be an issue, and may have a spring loaded nub on top of it that can make setting the float a pain. If you still have the old one and it is passable try putting it back in instead. If not try holding the carb so that the float is hanging down closer to vertically rather than flat on the bench when setting it so that the valve just seats.
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  #4  
Old 14th August 2020
heathkeenan heathkeenan is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2015
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Sportster/Buell Model: Sportster
Sportster/Buell Year: 1970
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Default 1970 Sportster that won't start

Thank you sir!! I will try this tomorrow morning and let you know.

I'm sure I have the spring right but di you have any pictures you can share that could help?

Thanks again!!
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  #5  
Old 14th August 2020
Tipofthelake Tipofthelake is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 79
Sportster/Buell Model: XLS 1000
Sportster/Buell Year: 1979
Sportster/Buell Model #2: XLCH
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 1973
Other Motorcycle Model: Electraglide
Other Motorcycle Year: 2007
Reputation: 17975
Tipofthelake is a name known to allTipofthelake is a name known to allTipofthelake is a name known to allTipofthelake is a name known to allTipofthelake is a name known to allTipofthelake is a name known to allTipofthelake is a name known to allTipofthelake is a name known to allTipofthelake is a name known to allTipofthelake is a name known to allTipofthelake is a name known to all
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I'm afraid not as I am only vaguely familiar with that carb. I will say that you should post this question in the ironhead subforum as that is where the people who have the experience to help you are usually active. Good luck.
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