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no bearing, no thrust washer, wrong primary case?, xlh

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  #1  
Old 7th December 2019
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Sportster/Buell Model: Ironhead Sportster XLH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1977
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 883 Custom with 1200 kit
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 2005
Other Motorcycle Model: Softail Heritage 103"
Other Motorcycle Year: 2016
Reputation: 10
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Default 77 XLH Starting issues no needle bearing in primary?

I recently bought a 77 XLH sportster and it started and ran great for a couple weeks.

All of a sudden the starter stopped catching and just wizzing or making an awful sound. the starter armature gear was chewed up as well as the gear on the inside. I replaced the starter and gear, no change (just ate up the new starter). Then I assumed it was the bendix, no dice. Then i swapped the solenoid spring, no luck. Then the needle bearing and washer on the starter side, nope. Then i realized it was missing 2 parts. the needle bearing on the primary side and the thrust washer. I thought for sure this would be the answer.. NOPE!

Come to find the bearing is larger than the hole. WTF! Is it possible someone replaced the primary cover with one from an XLCH? And if so, how the hell did the bike start and run fine for weeks before taking a shit?

Do i just need to try harder to make this bearing fit, or is reaming necessary? How hard are these things to seat? Anyone run into this problem and actually figure it out? Seems like there are a couple of years old dead end threads on the subject, and I'm at the end of my rope with this thing.. Help
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Old 7th December 2019
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You could try putting bearing in the freezer over night are at least 4 or 5 hrs.
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Old 7th December 2019
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part number is the same 9063 needle bearing ,chain cover
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  #4  
Old 7th December 2019
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Its probably an aftermarket cover or the MoCo had a part shortage that day.
Or the Bean Counters decided they would save $1.97 per unit by installing partially finished covers for kick only models.
Does it have a factory # on the inside of the cover or a company logo?
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  #5  
Old 8th December 2019
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Sportster/Buell Model: Ironhead Sportster XLH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1977
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 883 Custom with 1200 kit
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 2005
Other Motorcycle Model: Softail Heritage 103"
Other Motorcycle Year: 2016
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Tried that, still seems pretty tight. How much will a bearing shrink in the freezer? Looks like about 1.5mm or more larger than the case opening
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Old 8th December 2019
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Sportster/Buell Model: Ironhead Sportster XLH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1977
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 883 Custom with 1200 kit
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 2005
Other Motorcycle Model: Softail Heritage 103"
Other Motorcycle Year: 2016
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Pretty sure I have the right part.

J&P Cycles Part Number: 381-317 for 77 XLH
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  #7  
Old 8th December 2019
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Sportster/Buell Model: Ironhead Sportster XLH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1977
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 883 Custom with 1200 kit
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 2005
Other Motorcycle Model: Softail Heritage 103"
Other Motorcycle Year: 2016
Reputation: 10
MadMike_1126 is an unknown quantity at this point
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryder rick View Post
Its probably an aftermarket cover or the MoCo had a part shortage that day.
Or the Bean Counters decided they would save $1.97 per unit by installing partially finished covers for kick only models.
Does it have a factory # on the inside of the cover or a company logo?
I'm thinking you're right about that case. Planning to pop it off and go through it all again with a buddy next weekend, but I will look for a part number and follow up. thanks
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Old 16th December 2019
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Sportster/Buell Model: Ironhead Sportster XLH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1977
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 883 Custom with 1200 kit
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 2005
Other Motorcycle Model: Softail Heritage 103"
Other Motorcycle Year: 2016
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Default 77 ironhead starting / no needle bearing Issue Solved!

So i brought the bike to my buddy's shop who has a lathe and we were able to get this fixed up. Here's what we did to make it work:

First made a punch and hammered in the frozen needle bearing. Put the starter back together and tried to start, but it acted like the battery was dead. Was only showing around 5v when hitting the start button. Tried another battery, same thing. That's when i realized the bearing really was too tight for the space on the primary case and it was binding up and preventing the starter pinion gear from spinning. We pulled it back apart and shaved around 1000th from the bearing race and pinion shaft nut on the lathe. Fit like a glove after that. Re-charged my battery, and viola!!
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Old 16th December 2019
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Congrats on getting her fired up hope she shows you some love now after all that fore play.

Last edited by ezmerf; 16th December 2019 at 18:25.. Reason: misread thouhgt he shaved the case
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Old 16th December 2019
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Sportster/Buell Model: Ironhead Sportster XLH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1977
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 883 Custom with 1200 kit
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 2005
Other Motorcycle Model: Softail Heritage 103"
Other Motorcycle Year: 2016
Reputation: 10
MadMike_1126 is an unknown quantity at this point
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezmerf View Post
Congrats on getting her fired up hope she shows you some love now after all that fore play.
For sure man. This one is super fun between my legs!
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