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  #41  
Old 5th April 2020
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slowcycle slowcycle is offline
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Yes, I have to open the choke and rotate the mag as soon as she runs.
I also have my Idle open 1/2 turn for a short time as she warms up.
I put a small knurled knob on the idle screw for finger adjustment.
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  #42  
Old 5th April 2020
needspeed needspeed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xlch68cd View Post
.. I only have a second or two to do so, your saying in advancing it, it should keep it running, do I then put it to open choke, I'm currently only at half when it starts up.
Since about 1967, sportsters (with the exception of mag bikes) have ignitions that automatically advance the timing after the RPMs raise above idle. By design they are retarded when idling and at cranking speed.
So It shouldn't be a necessity to advance the mag to keep it running. It never was when I had a mag bike.

Something else is causing it to quit. As a starting point I would have the idle mixture screw backed out at least 2 full turns. Probably a little rich there but it should start and run. It can be adjusted again after you get this all sorted out.

That's the one on top closest to the engine. I have found that Bendix carbs don't need any choke after it starts.
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  #43  
Old 5th April 2020
xlch68cd xlch68cd is offline
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Thanks @needspeed, I was actually going to do that tommorow when I get back at her.
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  #44  
Old 5th April 2020
Iron Mike Iron Mike is offline
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Turn your idle speed up.

If you have a fixed mag, set your timing carefully and leave it fixed.
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  #45  
Old 5th April 2020
GA_Ironhead GA_Ironhead is offline
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Like others have said, probably not rich enough or idle speed too low. Retarded shouldn't matter. Seems air/fuel related.
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  #46  
Old 9th April 2020
drumbrake drumbrake is offline
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68 XLCH,

If this is your first Harley and first kick start bike a 68 XLCH will give you a hell of an education.
I would suggest getting a factory service manual part #99484-69 That will cover most of your bike especially the timing. The bendix carb is covered for sure in manual #99484-78 I am sure there are others. It might take you a while to find used ones online but if you are going to keep this bike you will use them.

At the bottom of this page you will see a Google custom search bar. It searches all of the content on this website. There is more than enough information already on this website to give you a pretty good idea how your bike works. Expect to spend hours and hours, there is that much info here.

The first thing I noticed while reading this thread is you mentioned the accelerator pump was leaking after pumping the throttle.
If the shop you took it to went over the carb correctly that shouldn't be happening.
It makes me doubt that the shop really knows how to work on that particular bike.
That motorcycle would have come with a Tillotson carburetor, a Bendix carb could have easily been put on it. Make certain it is a Bendix, Tillotson and Bendix are two completely different animals.
If it is a Bendix that's fine they are actually a little more forgiving.
First get the carb rebuilt and set correctly, it shouldn't leak gas.

The cold will make the bike start harder, and if the magneto isn't set up or working correctly it will make it worse.

It sounds like you have an adjustable timing plate under your magneto just no control or cable from the handlebar to operate it. That isn't a big deal.
There are two types of round plate from the factory and I have seen mix-matches of aftermarket parts.
If it is set up correctly you shouldn't have to loosen anything to retard and advance the timing.
The early model relied on a screw to set the change between retard and full advance.
The newer style like yours should have has a roll pin in it that limits the travel of the magneto. It's all on this website you have to search around.
It's also in the factory service manual.

Turning the magneto clockwise looking at the top retards the timing. Counterclockwise advances it.
Moving the back of the magneto towards the engine will retard it.

None of the factory magnetos had automatic timing advance.
It was either totally fixed or manually turned by the operator.

Once you get the carb fixed you will have to get a handle on how the timing works or you will have nothing but grief.
The handlebar control isn't necessary (although it is easier) and it isn't a split second thing to advance the timing once it starts. It will run on retard, just don't drive it that way.

I never felt using the accelerator pump was a very reliable way of priming the engine.
Full choke and 3/4 to full throttle with the kill button pushed and a few good kicks. How many kicks depends on the air temp the engine temp and the bike itself. You learn that from trial and error.

You said you got it to start then it dies out. To me it seems like it is running out of gas. Maybe try 3/4 choke on your starting kicks then open the choke to 1/2 once it seems like it will stay running.

It was mentioned in an earlier post but is very important, when you kick the kicker down make sure you go all the way down and hold it there until the bike either starts or does nothing.
The ratchet is disconnected when the pedal is all the way down.
I have seen so many guys kick down and immediately let the kicker up. The engine decides to back fire and they get smacked on the bottom of the foot.

Every motorcycle I have ever started I have straddled the bike. Sportsters, Shovelheads, Sprints with the kicker on the left side, other foreign bikes.
It works best for me. I like the idea of having one foot on the ground.
I am around 200 lbs and never have trouble with kick speed.

One tip with kicker ratchets slipping, once you get the engine "wound up" and ready to kick always keep a little pressure on the kicker.
I have seen people wind up to compression get the kicker engaged then do a little hop to get the momentum for their kick.
If you let that pedal up even a little bit the ratchet teeth start to disengage and when you come down with full force they could slip instead of re-engaging and there goes your knee.

As far as kicking back half way down it could be the timing issue or you are not far enough into the compression stroke before you try your kick.

And as others have mentioned kicking a magneto Sportster isn't for the light hearted. Kick it like a mule.
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  #47  
Old 13th April 2020
60 XLCH 60 XLCH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drumbrake View Post
68 XLCH,

If this is your first Harley and first kick start bike a 68 XLCH will give you a hell of an education.
I would suggest getting a factory service manual part #99484-69 That will cover most of your bike especially the timing. The bendix carb is covered for sure in manual #99484-78 I am sure there are others. It might take you a while to find used ones online but if you are going to keep this bike you will use them.

At the bottom of this page you will see a Google custom search bar. It searches all of the content on this website. There is more than enough information already on this website to give you a pretty good idea how your bike works. Expect to spend hours and hours, there is that much info here.

The first thing I noticed while reading this thread is you mentioned the accelerator pump was leaking after pumping the throttle.
If the shop you took it to went over the carb correctly that shouldn't be happening.
It makes me doubt that the shop really knows how to work on that particular bike.
That motorcycle would have come with a Tillotson carburetor, a Bendix carb could have easily been put on it. Make certain it is a Bendix, Tillotson and Bendix are two completely different animals.
If it is a Bendix that's fine they are actually a little more forgiving.
First get the carb rebuilt and set correctly, it shouldn't leak gas.

The cold will make the bike start harder, and if the magneto isn't set up or working correctly it will make it worse.

It sounds like you have an adjustable timing plate under your magneto just no control or cable from the handlebar to operate it. That isn't a big deal.
There are two types of round plate from the factory and I have seen mix-matches of aftermarket parts.
If it is set up correctly you shouldn't have to loosen anything to retard and advance the timing.
The early model relied on a screw to set the change between retard and full advance.
The newer style like yours should have has a roll pin in it that limits the travel of the magneto. It's all on this website you have to search around.
It's also in the factory service manual.

Turning the magneto clockwise looking at the top retards the timing. Counterclockwise advances it.
Moving the back of the magneto towards the engine will retard it.

None of the factory magnetos had automatic timing advance.
It was either totally fixed or manually turned by the operator.

Once you get the carb fixed you will have to get a handle on how the timing works or you will have nothing but grief.
The handlebar control isn't necessary (although it is easier) and it isn't a split second thing to advance the timing once it starts. It will run on retard, just don't drive it that way.

I never felt using the accelerator pump was a very reliable way of priming the engine.
Full choke and 3/4 to full throttle with the kill button pushed and a few good kicks. How many kicks depends on the air temp the engine temp and the bike itself. You learn that from trial and error.

You said you got it to start then it dies out. To me it seems like it is running out of gas. Maybe try 3/4 choke on your starting kicks then open the choke to 1/2 once it seems like it will stay running.

It was mentioned in an earlier post but is very important, when you kick the kicker down make sure you go all the way down and hold it there until the bike either starts or does nothing.
The ratchet is disconnected when the pedal is all the way down.
I have seen so many guys kick down and immediately let the kicker up. The engine decides to back fire and they get smacked on the bottom of the foot.

Every motorcycle I have ever started I have straddled the bike. Sportsters, Shovelheads, Sprints with the kicker on the left side, other foreign bikes.
It works best for me. I like the idea of having one foot on the ground.
I am around 200 lbs and never have trouble with kick speed.

One tip with kicker ratchets slipping, once you get the engine "wound up" and ready to kick always keep a little pressure on the kicker.
I have seen people wind up to compression get the kicker engaged then do a little hop to get the momentum for their kick.
If you let that pedal up even a little bit the ratchet teeth start to disengage and when you come down with full force they could slip instead of re-engaging and there goes your knee.

As far as kicking back half way down it could be the timing issue or you are not far enough into the compression stroke before you try your kick.

And as others have mentioned kicking a magneto Sportster isn't for the light hearted. Kick it like a mule.
Man, sounds like everything I've been through since owning mine for 43 years. Your dead on, on so many accounts. Been there, done dat.
Take this info to heart.
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  #48  
Old 13th April 2020
60 XLCH 60 XLCH is offline
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My mag is moveable, key swith is on the mag. I keep it advanced with a spring. Bendix carb. Here is my starting sequence when cold.
Turn fuel on
Turn key on mag to on
Retard mag
Turn idle adj. screw on Bendix up half a turn
Choke open
Pump throttle 2-3 times. Listen for fuel squirting in. I can also feel this in the throttle with resistance when its pumping fuel.
Close choke half-way
If temps are cold, I usually use my right foot, left knee on seat. If warm out, I'll straddle it.
Cycle through with kicker til I "feel" for the right compression stroke kick and lay into er. While doing that, I assume its drawing gas into the combustion chamber. It will usually sputter on the first kick. If no sputter on first, it will on the second.
Open choke and kick'er again and it usually fires right up and stays running. No additional choke needed.
Then I advance magneto, hook spring up to keep it advanced, and adjust idle as needed.
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