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  #1  
Old 25th June 2014
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Default Just Bought A Used Sportster - Checklists For Making It Right

You just bought a used Sportster... You want to get everything right to enjoy your new ride...

I'm starting this thread so those who have been down the road before can put up some checklists for you to use in getting your new ride in safe and proper running order to enjoy the wind, without constantly being sidetracked with problems and issues...

Individual how-to's for various maintenance or fixes are located in the separate sections, but it would be nice to have some overview checklists so the new owner can quickly run down each section of the bike and check for issues...

I hope others will tag on their own checklists for every different section and aspect of the bike... This way, new owners can thoroughly check over their newly acquired used Sportster and make them reliable, safe and performing to the max...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

If you are planning to do your own service, a Factory Service Manual (FSM) is a mandatory tool - It is essential. Even if you're not planning to do major maintenance, it's a good idea to have the FSM for your individual model. It will be helpful for reference and may be needed by a friend who is helping you out doing service on your bike.

For many basic checks and services, having a simple $100 bike/atv lift is extremely handy.

Checks Around Your Tires

.Check your tire pressures - As a general rule, 30F/36R Solo - 40R 2-up
__ Plus 4 in each tire when heavily loaded - Also check Mfr rec.
__ Tire pressure should only be checked cold (overnight cold)
.Lift the bike - Check each tire for dry rot or any damage
.Check your wheels for any damage (other than small nicks)
.For spoked wheels, check for truing both round and run-out
.If replacing tires, be sure to replace/repack tapered bearings
.Check your swingarm bearings
.Check your belt tension - Check the FSM for the procedure


Checks at Your Handlebars

.Check your handlebar mounts - make sure they are tight
__ If changing handlebars, also change to polyurethane riser bushings
.Check/Relube your clutch and throttle cables
.Check/Replace your brake fluid - Maybe drain complete system


Checks for Loose Nuts & Bolts

.Check all the nuts & bolts - You might be surprised how many are loose
__ Check your FSM and set the torques correctly
.Check foot mounts - Mid, Front, Rear & Hiway Bars - Adjust/Tighten as needed
.Check your shock mounts - Top & bottom


IXL 2 Relax
>>>> My Build & Ride Reports Are Here <<<<

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An XLForum collection of technical info & advice
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Last edited by IXL2Relax; 12th July 2018 at 15:01..
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  #2  
Old 27th June 2014
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Default

I'll stick to the Evo engine models for my checklists - I'm just not sure enough of my information to include the ironheads - I hope someone else will step up and add the IH checklist information somewhere in this thread...

Some more checks on a newly purchased used Sportster
------------------------------------------------------

Check your engine size - Like this:

.Lift bike - Put in 5th gear - Remove spark plugs - Place a long plastic straw in the spark plug hole
__ Rotate tire to move cylinder to bottom dead center
.Check cylinder diagonal dimension - From far bottom of cylinder to lip of spark plug hole
__ ( 883=5.5" ) while ( 1200=5.875 ) --- See this thread: http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=740426


Check Your Ignition Module
Look to see if it's original parts (original locations listed) or identify upgraded/modified

86-90 - Module behind triangle cover - Hardwired or 4-pin connector
91-93 - Module behind triangle cover - 7-pin Cannon connector
94-97 - Module behind triangle cover - 8-pin Cannon connector
98-03 - Module located in nose cone (self-contained) - prone to heat failures
04-06 - Pickup in nosecone - Remove Seat - Module located by Fuse Area
07-09 - Pickups on engine - Remove Seat - EFI Engine Control Module located on Fender
10-?? - Pickups on engine - Remove Seat - EFI Engine Control Module located on Down Tube


Check your electrical connections

.Check all electrical connections for tightness, corrosion or breakage
.Start at the battery - especially check all ground connections
__ Pull cables to test for bad wires - Check for corrosion - Wrench tight
.Check Coil condition - No cracks - Connections Tight - SP wires tight fit
.Check Spark Plug Wires - Good condition - Check for strong spark - Remove one plug
__ Put plug in SP wire - Ground to cylinder - Crank to examine spark - Repeat for other plug
.Check Ignition Switch - Switch on and wiggle key - No flickering lights
.Check turn signal bulbs - remove & apply anti-corrosion dielectric grease to base
.Check turn signal mounts are tight
.Check headlight bulb - remove & apply anti-corrosion dielectric grease to base
.Check all sensors on engine - tight connections - not melted or damaged

IXL 2 Relax
>>>> My Build & Ride Reports Are Here <<<<

Reference the Sportsterpedia
An XLForum collection of technical info & advice

Last edited by IXL2Relax; 12th July 2018 at 15:01..
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  #3  
Old 2nd July 2014
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If it's got a carb and you want to get it running right, you'll need to clean it, adjust it, and maybe replace some parts...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FOR CV40 Carbs - If it's a 1988 to 2006 model it probably has a CV carb... or maybe someone installed a CV40 Carb on another model year... You want to get it running as well as possible with the air cleaner and pipes you have installed - or maybe you changed one or both...

Here's a checklist for you to follow in getting a start on tuning your CV40 Carb to get the most out of what you got...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Following an organized and thorough PreOp and Parked checklist will help you
understand what you observe when you actually begin the operational testing
of the carb during rides...

Here's my suggested list (for 1200s, although 883s should be mostly the same
except maybe the initial jetting) - Even if you've done some of these, being
orderly and thorough, doing everything on the checklist will have benefits,
especially if you've made changes since your last efforts at tuning...

-- BEFORE THE CARB --
PreOp Fuel & Air Supply Check

.Check your vacuum lines for good connection & no cracks
.Check your VOES - that it switches with vacuum - later check switching point
.Check your gas tank for debris - remove & clean if needed
.Check your petcock for leaks - Make sure vacuum petcocks open on vacuum
.Check gas line & connectors for wear/breaks/pinches - Pull from carb & check flow rate
.Check Accelerator pump - Twist throttle, see squirting directly at main needle

-- DISASSEMBLE CARB --
PreOp Internal Carb Check

.Clean carb - Spray *ALL* ports, passages & jets - Get everything clean to start
.Check your float bowl - clean passages - remove any debris - set/check float level
.I prefer eliminating any non-Keihin parts (ie., dynojet kits, etc.)
__ (DynoJet Kits may have changed jets, needle, spring, drilled diaphragm, etc.)
.Check/Clean Emulsion Tube
.Pull Needle Jet - Make sure it's clean & properly installed (Long Side Up)
.Start with 175 or 180 Main Jet (not critical until WOT settings)
.Start with 42 or 45 Idle Jet - Do not start with 46 or more - change later if needed
.Use a standard needle in slide (no washers to start)
.Use stock spring & needle cage (spider)
.Check Diaphragm condition - no tears - seats properly on install
.Check Slide moves smoothly up & down with no burrs or catches
.Be sure you have removed each part, cleaned the ports & reinstalled correctly

PreOp External Carb Adjustments

.Minimize Throttle Plate opening - Should sit just between Idle Port & Transfer Ports
.Check Idle Mixture Screw (IMS) screw/spring/washer/o-ring condition - clean port
.Check IMS seat (Has the screw needle tip deformed the hole?)
.Set initial IMS to 2-1/2 turns out from lite seat

-- REINSTALL CARB & A/C --
Operational Checks While Parked

Installation Checks
.Check intake seals on manifold (at heads) - replace now while it's apart
.Check intake seal between manifold & carb - replace now
__ Use light oil on seal to help slide carb into place
.Check that mounting carb does not disturb its position in manifold
.Use external head breather system to eliminate oil in Air Cleaner

Idle Circuit
.Read the sticky threads about carb tuning - Sticky index listed below
.Adjust Idle Screw and Idle Mixture Screw so bike idles well (throttle plate closed as far as possible)
.Check carburetor:manifold:heads for air intake leaks - Unlit propane torch will raise idle

Transfer Circuit
.Check Response to Blipping the Throttle (while parked) - should be clean & responsive

Operational Check of Other Conditions

.Check engine compression - Keep record for later comparison - Minimum 150psi
__ Remove Spark Plugs & A/C - Connect gauge (12mm) - Hold Slide Open & Open Throttle - Crank Engine
.Check engine timing


These settings & checks will get you to a clean starting point.
Read the sticky threads about plug reading for mid and wot adjustments...

Additional References:
Carb Tuning (and Jetting) Sticky Index
http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=642408

Plug Reading 101
http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=920271

CV Carb - Transfer Ports
http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1635658


IXL 2 Relax
>>>> My Build & Ride Reports Are Here <<<<

Reference the Sportsterpedia
An XLForum collection of technical info & advice

Last edited by IXL2Relax; 12th July 2018 at 15:02..
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  #4  
Old 2nd July 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IXL2Relax View Post
If it's a 1988 to 2005 model it probably has a CV carb...
Maybe someone installed a CV Carb on another model year...

Not trying to nit-pick, but I believe you should include the 2006 models as well, they still have carbs.
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Old 2nd July 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edgeofinsanity View Post
Not trying to nit-pick, but I believe you should include the 2006 models as well, they still have carbs.
Thanks for the heads-up - I corrected that...

I hope others will review what I posted and point out corrections as needed...

I think there may only be a day left before it prevents me from making any further changes... (I HATE THAT!)...

I also hope others are thinking about what else a new owner might need to check to get a stable and reliable ride from their used Sportster... Post up those thoughts so others can benefit from them...

IXL 2 Relax
>>>> My Build & Ride Reports Are Here <<<<

Reference the Sportsterpedia
An XLForum collection of technical info & advice

Last edited by IXL2Relax; 13th July 2017 at 06:02..
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  #6  
Old 19th August 2014
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Another note about manuals:

Get yourself a Parts Manual - It will easily pay for itself in providing a clear understanding of how things go together. As SEMJPM mentions in another thread - 'The Parts Book gives exploded parts views which are helpful in seeing how things come apart and go back together.'

As to service manuals other than the Factory version: vlmuke posted - 'FSMs are written for techs and are more complete with better pictures and diagrams. As someone who has been off and on in the vehicle repair field for past 23 yrs trust me FSM are well worth the money. It will save your butt one day and pay for itself then. Haynes and Clymer manuals are written for the DIYer and usually encompass several years into one manual and have to be generally written and sometimes miss intricate details for your particular year. Let's say there was a part change on your year that wasn't in other years the clymer manual may miss that.'

Of course, the forum members can provide great insight into whatever you are working on. But, it's much easier to get to the solution if you already have the service and parts manuals for a basis of knowledge so that your question is to the point. The members can then point you to info in the manual that will be helpful or tell you of their experience beyond the manual.

With the 1000's of threads on the XLForums, if you're good at searches, you'll find someone has already been down the road you're travelling. You can also just read through the sticky threads at the top of these forums and you'll be way ahead in your understanding of your new Sportster.

Air intake, Carburetor, EFI, Fuel, and Exhaust Forum

Electrical and Ignition Forum

Service Bulletins Forum


IXL 2 Relax
>>>> My Build & Ride Reports Are Here <<<<

Reference the Sportsterpedia
An XLForum collection of technical info & advice

Last edited by IXL2Relax; 13th July 2017 at 06:02..
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Old 9th March 2015
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I mentioned the VOES unit earlier in the carb section because it is connected to the carb vacuum port - but the VOES unit is often misunderstood - This chart gives a good overview of it's function which is directly related to the ignition module and the two timing advance curves it can use.


See this thread for the full details of testing the VOES and/or making adjustments:
http://xlforum.net/forums/s....php?t=1863153


IXL 2 Relax
>>>> My Build & Ride Reports Are Here <<<<

Reference the Sportsterpedia
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Last edited by IXL2Relax; 13th July 2017 at 06:03..
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Old 9th March 2015
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In the electrical checks; pull the fuses and relay(s) and check/ clean the blades
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Another addition regarding the carb:

It's a good idea to replace the mounting screws used for the float bowl and for the diaphragm cover - they come with standard metal Phillips head screws... Replace these with Stainless Hex Socket Head Screws... Get some lock washers & flat washers in stainless for them as well...

Both sets of screws are 4mm Dia X .70 Thread Spacing... The socket head screws take a 3mm hex wrench...

You'll need (4) screws that are 16mm in length for the float bowl...

You'll need (3) screws that are 16mm in length and (1) screw that is 20mm in length for the Diaphragm Cover... If you choose to use Button Head Socket Screws for the top cover, they use a 2.5mm hex wrench...


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An XLForum collection of technical info & advice

Last edited by IXL2Relax; 13th July 2017 at 06:03..
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OK - This is kind of a reverse checklist - What not to have in your carb - that is, how to identify that someone installed DynoJet Parts in there....

Check the Needle
Stock is Nail-shaped - DJ has grooves & a clip

Check the Diaphragm Spring:
Stock is 6.0" - DJ is 5.75"

Check the Slide Vacuum Port Hole (not the center hole)
Stock is .097" - DJ is .136" (Is the hole smaller or larger than 7/64" drill bit)

Check the Emulsion Tube
Stock has Holes=4x3Lo+2x2Hi - DJ has only 2Lo Holes

Check the Main Jet - If the emulsion tube is DJ, the main jet is likely
not going to be compatible with the Keihin Emulsion Tube.

The DJ kit is sold under other names (including Screamin' Eagle) as well...


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Last edited by IXL2Relax; 13th July 2017 at 06:03..
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