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

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bendix, carb, idle tube, leak, spitting gas

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  #11  
Old 15th July 2019
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Kenny, as Rick suggested, check valve / push-rod adjustment, I would try setting them on the loose side.
I have seen this a lot with BIG cams where there is a lot of overlap, and tight valves where compression is lost up the intake.

Good luck
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  #12  
Old 15th July 2019
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Ironhead Push Rod Adjustment
http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=44143
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  #13  
Old 16th July 2019
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IronMick, Thanks for that thread and video link. Both very well done. Well, I took a video of my actual bike and posted here. I know idle is high on it right now and will play around with carb adjustment again once I figure out the spitting gas issue. Also, sorry about the nasty grinding sounds you hear on the video ... it doesn't sound like that at all in person, was just the way my phone picked it up for some reason. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZF-ryNuZ4A


Update on the issue. I went through all the valve adjustments today. They actually seemed to be pretty darn good. Nothing was overly loose or tight. I tweaked them just ever so slightly to recommended so that intake slightly tighter than exhaust. This was really just very slight adjustments from where they were before ... like 1/4 flat to loosen the rear exhaust and about full flat to tighten the front intake.

This time, after I got it all buttoned up, started it up and I was pretty excited. No gas spitting anymore!!! Let her heat up and then started playing with the carb to see if I could find that sweet spot. Seemed like the very small adjustments to the valves might of done the trick at first. Shut it down and took a little break for about 5 minutes.

Came back and started it up again to play around with the carb some more. This time it is still hot, hasn't cooled down at all. Started it up and dang it ... actually seems to be spitting gas worse now! So it seems that it is ok when cold, gets worse once it heats up. Also seems to be blowing a little bit of smoke and when I took the plugs out to do the valves they were little bit black and oily but wiped right off. Maybe I didn't do the valves well or lock nut loose or something and have to give that another try. I didn't get into checking the points or static timing yet. I don't have a dang Allen wrench big enough to get inspection plug out.

Thoughts?
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  #14  
Old 16th July 2019
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Kenny if it is good cold, I would go back and look at push-rod adjustment again. ( I run my push-rods on the loose side due to heat in traffic )
If push-rods are loose then I would do a hot and cold compression test and then a leak-down.

Also if the idle is low they tend to do this because of the shared intake runner making them pulse.

IN MY OPINION !!! a sporty should never idle below 800 rpm because these engines rely on oil volume not pressure. The oil actually cools the engine as well as lubricate it.
I know they sound cool when idling low but it's not good for the engine.
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I always set idle to 1000 RPM so that is my opinion number
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  #16  
Old 16th July 2019
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You can idle the motor slower than 900rpm, BUT you will be flirting with disaster.

I learned the hard way and this is why I preach it, no one ever warned me. And I was trying to be nice to it and "warm it up". 20 years ago I ruined brand new pistons in 20 minutes with it sitting in the driveway chugging away making that cool potato sound.

A high idle will not hurt it one bit but a slow idle will ruin good pistons in one short spell.
And yes a high idle will help cool it off with lots of oil.
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  #17  
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Thanks for all the tips .. I am definitely going to go back and check valve adjustment. Will let you know how it goes. Unfortunately, I don't have a tachometer so I am setting idle by ear. In the video, I had it cranked up from what I thought was a good adjustment. If I had to take a shot in the dark, I would guess the idle is at least 1050 1100 in the video. Hey, that would be a cool thread .. post your video and guess the RPM, haha.
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  #18  
Old 18th July 2019
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So I am getting ready to go out and try again on the valve adjustment. I just read through entire thread Mick posted and now I see what I likely did wrong. When I was turning the rear wheel to position the valves, I went past the open position and backed it up on 1 or two of them. I didn't catch that part of it the first time I read through. This time, if I pass the open position I will keep going around until it is open again. WHen turning the wheel to open the valves, there seems to be a sweet spot at the open position, slightly past that and it seems that the springs push back down pretty good. In other words, if you go slightly past open and let go of the rear wheel, it will turn on its own. I definitely think I am on the right track with valve adjustment since I could see a difference in amount of gas spitting from the carb after my first attempt. Hopefully this is my only problem though. Let you know how it goes.
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