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

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  #11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrous Head View Post

Don't know about fouling one but if a plug lead falls off, surprise ! The engine just continues to run on the other plug.
try not to let a plug lead fall off on a Morris magneto single fire unit.it will fry it resulting in no spark.that's right from Dave Shaw himself.
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  #12  
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Yes, that's very much a good warning.

I had a lead fall out while on a dyno run once. To my shock and horror my passenger, Rod, who was with us, picked it up and stuck it back in.

While he was doing that we got a clear demonstration of why he uses a lightning bolt in his logo. The 4 inch fat blue/white spark that jumped from the end of the lead to the cap shocked and stunned all of us. Shocked and stunned.

What happened in my case was the spark tracked across the cap between the two springs while the plug lead was off.

Normally plug leads don't fall out of the caps. But this is a front mounted magneto and the leads are at danger of coming out. The are coming out horizontally, not vertically, so gravity helps them come out, not stay in.

Perfect solution is supplied by Enfield Racing who make a cap that uses "plug" type terminals. That is, they are the same as a spark plug top. You use spark plug boots to plug into them and they will not come off.
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If you're not concerned with being "quick", flat tops will work in a hemispherical chamber. I know it's not an Ironhead, but I've got a stroker big bore Shovel/Pan with Evo flat top pistons, 5.7:1 C.R. IIRC. It's dual plugged and has a custom ground cam. It doesn't make a lot of HP, but it does make a bunch of torque over a wide RPM range. Bike weighs about 1300lbs empty, 1600lbs-1700lbs loaded (2 person sidehack). It will cruise at 75-80mph all day long.
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  #14  
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A big bore stroker will automatically generate more compression. If you don't do something to address it your not going to run pump gas or even Avgas in it.

And yes, a big bore stroker will make more torque than a stock bore/stroke engine.

But if you just put flat top pistons in a stock 1000 engine it won't make enough torque to get out of it's own way.

Well, just my opinion of course.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrous Head View Post
If you don't do something to address it .
That's where camshaft selection comes in. 5.7:1cr, 185psi cranking pressure. Cam only has 2degs of overlap, greater than stock lift, and relatively short duration. Lobes look like they're for a Small Block Chevy. LOL! Plenty of torque, no HP, falls flat on it's face above 5000rpm..

Efficiency isn't all that bad, 28mpg on the highway. Stock bore/stroke/cammed/9.5:1cr engine got about 32mpg.

1957 Sportsters only had 7.5:1cr.
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Going for high compression in a Hemi head will leave you with a pretty krap combustion chamber shape.

I know one of the "famous" drag racer's from the 60's went down in comp and went quicker on the strip.

And this really just highlights how important it is to build and engine with a plan in mind. When we were eighteen years old bolting on a bigger carb was the sureo=ire way to go faster.

Or so we thought.

I have a 1957 Sportster piston and it's very obvious they were much lower comp. They look much like the XLR pistons, only with a lower dome.

I had Nick Arias make me a set of pistons like the 57 but with a higher dome and set up for 4.5 inch stroke.

But I haven't gotten around to trying them as yet.

Big bug bear with hemi heads is juggling valve to piton clearance when going for "Big Cams". The big cutaways for the valves leaves "pockets" for gases and you have to put a lot of metal into the piston dome to start with or they get too thin there.

Thing is, by 1968 everyone else in the world had seen the light. They all knew a redesign of the combustion chamber was in order. A four valve pentroof even would have not gone astray. But to stick with the two valve Hemi long after that was ...... well, HD thinking I guess.

Oh, what could have been.
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  #17  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrous Head View Post
Yes, that's very much a good warning.

I had a lead fall out while on a dyno run once. To my shock and horror my passenger, Rod, who was with us, picked it up and stuck it back in.

While he was doing that we got a clear demonstration of why he uses a lightning bolt in his logo. The 4 inch fat blue/white spark that jumped from the end of the lead to the cap shocked and stunned all of us. Shocked and stunned.

What happened in my case was the spark tracked across the cap between the two springs while the plug lead was off.

Normally plug leads don't fall out of the caps. But this is a front mounted magneto and the leads are at danger of coming out. The are coming out horizontally, not vertically, so gravity helps them come out, not stay in.

Perfect solution is supplied by Enfield Racing who make a cap that uses "plug" type terminals. That is, they are the same as a spark plug top. You use spark plug boots to plug into them and they will not come off.
If I understand you correctly, the lead fell out of the mag. So, handling the lead is totally safe. It's the same as pulling a plug lead out of a car distributor cap, or pulling the lead out of the coil. In both cases, you are left holding the lead which is ground. So when you go to reattach the lead, there is no reason for you to be shocked, because the potential is in the mag, and as you move the ground (plug lead) to the mag, the spark will jump from the mag to the plug lead and to ground naturally with no need to go through you.

We always used this method to find a cylinder that is misfiring. We just pull one plug lead at a time out of the distributor cap and listen. If no change, that is the misfiring cylinder. Done it for many years and never shocked once. Of course, if you pull the other end of the lead, it will knock you on your ass. Same with coil lead. Pull it from coil and it's safe, pull that same lead out of the distributor cap and it's gonna bite you.

I test neon transformers the same way. Attach a lead from the mid point neutral and move it towards either high voltage stud and it will throw a 2" arc if it's good. You can easily see if one side of the secondary coil is open or partially shorted by observation of the arc. If you grab a lead attached to one of the Secondary studs depending on the rating on the transformer (larger ones are 14,000 V) you can get hit with as much as 14,000 volts (or 7,000 at the mid point neutral).

So, never hold the source, always hold the lead that is going to ground and you are safe. Holding insulation of course, don't hold the actual wire end
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  #18  
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I suspect we've all done the "pull a ire" trick to check or just ook at how good the spark is.

But in the heat of the moment your brain also remembers the time you missed when trying to stop that old Briggs and Stratton engine and got zapped.

What we were really shocked about was the gap the spark jumped. On my lawnmower it's lucky if it's 1/4 inch.

In my mind I know Rod knows how to handle plug leads and he has a healthy respect for ignition systems. (Think he got hit with a CDI once).

Now we know why there was a safety gap in the old FB's.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrous Head View Post
I suspect we've all done the "pull a ire" trick to check or just ook at how good the spark is.

But in the heat of the moment your brain also remembers the time you missed when trying to stop that old Briggs and Stratton engine and got zapped.

What we were really shocked about was the gap the spark jumped. On my lawnmower it's lucky if it's 1/4 inch.

In my mind I know Rod knows how to handle plug leads and he has a healthy respect for ignition systems. (Think he got hit with a CDI once).

Now we know why there was a safety gap in the old FB's.
Yup, and since a coil can develop around 20,000 volts, they definitely can demand respect.
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i always wondered about that 3/8'' safety gap mentioned in the f.s.m.i got tired of kicking that F-M mag with my stroker motor.glad i switched to Morris magneto in the 80's
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