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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  
Old 1 Week Ago
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IronMick IronMick is offline
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The problem with valve seals is the lack of lubrication to the exhaust valves. Some engines can get away with it, some can not. On my 1978 I could not ride at a steady 70 MPH for more than about 5 miles and then I would hear the clatter - an exhaust stuck.

I would pull off to the roadside, wait for a few minutes, then ride off again. I got lucky. I dismantled the top end, removed the seals and it was fine after that.

IMO it is OK to install them on the intake valves, although I would not, but it is courting disaster to install them on the exhaust valves. It is not at all necessary to install them in either location.

The history is that...
  • they were not installed from the factory
  • they are not necessary
  • some have got away with it
  • some have not
  • there is no good reason to install them
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  #12  
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11B40 11B40 is offline
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Thank you Mick. It is a reasonable solution to a non-existent problem.
Dave
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  #13  
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oldschool oldschool is offline
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Before i put valve seals in my 84 XLX with 32K original miles and never ben apart and no leaks or noises and runs great i used a quart of oil in about 2 hundred miles, now with seals i use almost a quart in a thousand miles. So no need for valve seals i guess. LOL
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  #14  
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Len PA Len PA is offline
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oldschool, were valve seals the only thing you did to solve the oil consumption problem or was it part of a top end rebuild?
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  #15  
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ryder rick ryder rick is offline
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A little oil consumption is not a problem, except for the EPA
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  #16  
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Len PA Len PA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryder rick View Post
A little oil consumption is not a problem, except for the EPA
+1, a little is fine, in fact my original owners manual says oil consumption will range from 1 quart for 250 to 500 miles depending on how you ride. On my 1971 (original owner) I am using 1 quart for 200 miles. Will find out why this spring when we tear it down and look at the top end.
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  #17  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Len PA View Post
oldschool, were valve seals the only thing you did to solve the oil consumption problem or was it part of a top end rebuild?
All that has ben done is r&r the rocker box and install seals that is it = again 32 K miles and the motor has never ben apart except for this and my oil consumption is over like i said app. 1 quart in 1 K now. NO sticky valves runs perfect.

Last edited by oldschool; 6 Days Ago at 21:05.. Reason: add on
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  #18  
Old 6 Days Ago
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Don't try to fix it if it ain't broke.

If you are not killing mosquitoes, ride it like you stole it.
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  #19  
Old 6 Days Ago
needspeed needspeed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryder rick View Post
Don't try to fix it if it ain't broke.
That's good advice if it's not broke.

The OP is using a quart of oil in 200 miles.

It's broke.

Burning it, leaking it, pushing it out the breather, or out the chain oiler or some combination of the four. Something's not right.
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  #20  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMick View Post
The problem with valve seals is the lack of lubrication to the exhaust valves. Some engines can get away with it, some can not. On my 1978 I could not ride at a steady 70 MPH for more than about 5 miles and then I would hear the clatter - an exhaust stuck.

I would pull off to the roadside, wait for a few minutes, then ride off again. I got lucky. I dismantled the top end, removed the seals and it was fine after that.

IMO it is OK to install them on the intake valves, although I would not, but it is courting disaster to install them on the exhaust valves. It is not at all necessary to install them in either location.

The history is that...
  • they were not installed from the factory
  • they are not necessary
  • some have got away with it
  • some have not
  • there is no good reason to install them

I had that problem at 18,000 miles in 1977 and everyone said "ALL SPORTSTERS DO THAT"

Well, they shouldn't.......

Spoke with Warner Riley and he said to use CASTROL GTX 20/50...you won't have that problem again...

I asked.....are you SURE??

Yeah...but if you have doubts....do you know anyone with a built Jap 4 banger....

Yeah..Lee Cone....1975 Z-1000 with Yoshimuria 1300 kit with cams, head work, 4/1 pipe and a 10 sec flat 1/4 mile.....no oil cooler..and it is his daily transportation.....

OK...just ask him what he runs and do that...

Castrol GTX 20/50

182,000 miles later have never stuck an exhaust valve again
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