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

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  #1  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
Greasyman Greasyman is offline
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Default '74 hard to start, won't idle

Bike will start and rev but quickly dies and won't idle. Is also finicky about starting, likes one twist of the throttle and no choke.

Wondering what my plan of attack should be. Is it more likely to be the carb or ignition?

Bike has sat for long time, probably over a year, so maybe it has a gummed up carb (Bendix).

Ignition is Dyna S, so unless someone messed with it it's probably ok.

Plugs are new.

Bike is quite clean. Was one owner and well cared for until owner died. I bought it from a guy who owned it briefly and messed with it a bit. I've had it for a few months, it's been sitting all this time and now I'm trying to get it to run properly.

What can I do about a gummed up carb? I've never had that problem. Will running some Gumout thru it help, or will I have to take the carb apart to clean it?
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Default

From the Stickys...

Cleaning a Carb
http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=185361

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Default

Your bike must idle well in order to start well.

Sounds like you need to chase the boogers out of that carb.

Just cleaning the low speed jet may fix it.
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Default

OK. Here's another can of worms.

For $59 you can buy a "fake" S&S Super E off Ebay.

It bolts straight on and if you pick the correct option when you buy one it will already be jetted for your bike.

If it works well you have two choices. Stick with the new "fake" or rebuild your old one.

But bolting on a new correctly jetted carb will tell you if the problem is somewhere else.
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My favorite carb cleaning method, dismantle, soak in berryman's for a day or night, pour a pot of boiling water through every hole and orifice in the carb body, dry and reassemble.
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And in addition adjust your pushrods, take the fuel tap off and make sure the gauze filter and fuel line is clean, adjust your float bowl level properly after cleaning the carb.
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