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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 29th August 2017
Hotsauce Hotsauce is offline
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Location: Katy, a Suburb of Houston
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Sportster/Buell Model: Ironhead 1000
Sportster/Buell Year: 1980
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Sportster/Buell Year #2: 2003
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Default Hurricane Harvey (Bikes Under Water)

Hello everyone. I live in Houston where Harvey is just tearing everything up. I was evacuated out of my house today and am under the belief that both my bikes (1980 XHL 1000 and 2003 XLH883) will end up under water. The '80 was running and the '03 had the heads pulled to get broken exhaust studs drilled. (Studs were crossthreaded and I was unaware when I bought it.) What I'm hoping you can tell me is if pulling the plugs and changing ALL fluids should be good enough, or what I'll need to do to get those bikes back on the road after their time under water. Should be freshwater and they are in a garage and the water shouldn't have too much junk in it. Thanks for the info in advance.
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  #2  
Old 29th August 2017
VaFish VaFish is offline
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Only way to know will be wait and see.

I've seen dirt bikes that went underwater simply get dried out, remove the plugs and crank it over to get the water out of the engine, fresh oil, start them up and let them run a bit to warm up, then change oil again. repeat until the oil stops getting milky looking.

But I'm not sure how Harley electrics hold up to soaking in water.
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  #3  
Old 29th August 2017
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ChefRex ChefRex is online now
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Drain all fluids before anything, pull the plugs, invest in WD40, disconnect all of the connectors and after WD40 give a shot of dielectric grease.
Hopefully you had the battery disconnected on the 03, that will help, the more you can dry out before powering anything up the better.
The bikes may not be the most important thing you are dealing with when you get back but the sooner the better.


Good luck to you, stay safe, things can be replaced, life can't.
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  #4  
Old 29th August 2017
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ChefRex ChefRex is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VaFish View Post
Only way to know will be wait and see.

I've seen dirt bikes that went underwater simply get dried out, remove the plugs and crank it over to get the water out of the engine, fresh oil, start them up and let them run a bit to warm up, then change oil again. repeat until the oil stops getting milky looking.

But I'm not sure how Harley electrics hold up to soaking in water.
If you drop the fluids first you don't mix the oil with the water, once you make an emulsion of the two it is much harder to get it out, as you say keep changing the oil repetitively.
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  #5  
Old 29th August 2017
Hotsauce Hotsauce is offline
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Location: Katy, a Suburb of Houston
Posts: 24
Sportster/Buell Model: Ironhead 1000
Sportster/Buell Year: 1980
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 883 Evo
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 2003
Reputation: 10
Hotsauce is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Yeah I'm kind of at a loss. I was hoping to get both bikes going and give one to my Dad so he and I could start riding but this is dampening those plans. I'm thinking maybe I'll drain all fluids and try and dry the electronics with a hair drier and see. I appreciate the info though!

-Brad
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  #6  
Old 29th August 2017
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bustert bustert is offline
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the key is how quick you can get to it. been through this three time and to tell the truth, cleaning the shop and tool boxes was the worst part of it.
i had fans, welding machines, power tools and machinery like mowers and such and fifth wheel trailer.
if you can service quickly, and dry them out you should be able to salvage all. my best friend was two big dehumidifiers which removed water from the building and zero issue with mold. now i hear there is a coon-ass version: a window unit on a crate will do the same which basically is a dehumidifier. the evaporator chills the air and drops the water to a bucket (do not forget the drainage) and the condenser heat helps pull out more moisture as hot air holds more than cold.
the only thing i lost was MY FAULT!!! i did a forest gump on a tiller engine, serviced, got called away and came back and for got the oil, oh well, stupid is what stupid does. i did notice right away after starting and stopped it, damage done, run only a few hours later and bit the dust, aluminum rod galled.

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  #7  
Old 29th August 2017
Hotsauce Hotsauce is offline
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Location: Katy, a Suburb of Houston
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Sportster/Buell Model: Ironhead 1000
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Sportster/Buell Year #2: 2003
Reputation: 10
Hotsauce is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefRex View Post
Hopefully you had the battery disconnected on the 03, that will help, the more you can dry out before powering anything up the better.
The bikes may not be the most important thing you are dealing with when you get back but the sooner the better
Unfortunately I didn't have the battery disconnected. I don't know when I'll be able to get back home or work on them, but I am a single dude with no kids so they are a high priority.
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  #8  
Old 29th August 2017
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ChefRex ChefRex is online now
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I would still disconnect first thing.
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  #9  
Old 30th August 2017
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Hippysmack Hippysmack is offline
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If you can post on this forum, then you are OK and that is the most important thing. Sorry to hear about all the devastation down your way. Prayers to you and all the good folks having to deal with it.
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  #10  
Old 30th August 2017
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bustert bustert is offline
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i will say this about texans (from odessa) is that you are setting a fine example. if only the katrina crowd followed your conduct things would have gone smoother. i hope they stop dumping water from the reservoirs soon, so far, power was lost for two hours but that water could cause issues where my family members live.
i sure wish the old saying "one ruckus, one ranger" could apply but it is a long road and we do wish you well, lost my place with carmen, spin-off tornado and it hurts to see others going through it too.
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