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View Full Version : Best carb for an ironhead???


alabamakid
13th February 2005, 06:11
I have a Bendix/Zenith that came in a box of stuff with my 73...My question is: What, in your opinion, is the best carb for these old motors?

I want a good balance between reliability and performance.

Should I just spend the $40 on a rebuild kit and go?...

stevo
13th February 2005, 06:34
The problem with old carbs ....is simply that they are old an often worn out..

We got onto some NEW bendix's the other day and sold one to a guy with a shovel and it ran great...

What I've done a few times is to fit late model EVO cv's and ignition system to shovels and they work exremely well...

I havn't tried it on an iron head as I don't see many.... but I seeno reason that the same success I've had on shovels wouldn't be just as good on an ironhead..

Mikuni makes an adapter to go from a flange mount to a spigot mount....

Nu Viking
13th February 2005, 06:51
Some guys arround here have had good luck with putting CV carbs on shovelheads to improve gas mileage . Why not look for a Kehine butterfly carb from a four speed Evo sporty. put on aN andrews highflow accelarator pump kit and bigger primary jet and this carb well suprize you. The bigger primary jet eleminates the Cough that is associated ith the Kehine carbs

Briank
13th February 2005, 11:01
I have just fitted a cv from a late Sportster to my 76 XLCH.
The fitting was straight forward with an adaptor flange and changing the jets, pilot 45 main 170 and to say it's changed the bike is an understatement, instead of having to kick it a dozen times she starts first or second kick now. Much easier to live with.

Brian

alabamakid
13th February 2005, 21:09
CVs a minute ago.

I saw that they require a 2 cable set up to insure that the throttle doesn't stick open.

I'll be running an internal throttle set up....don't know if that'll work out...

74FeHeadXLH
14th February 2005, 00:00
I've know a couple people have good results with fitting a CV carb on an Ironhead, J&P Cycles has an adaptor kit just for it...also consider an S & S Super "E" shorty, htey work real good on Iron's as well...that's what I run on mine...although one could aquire a take-off CV for very cheap $$...and I do agree with Stevo about the old carbs just being old and worn out, even rebuild kits usually don't remedy the prob's with these old units, just too much "slop" in 'em...hope you find what works for ya...Mike 74xlh

74FeHeadXLH
14th February 2005, 00:04
CVs a minute ago.

I saw that they require a 2 cable set up to insure that the throttle doesn't stick open.

I'll be running an internal throttle set up....don't know if that'll work out...
that's nothing that a nicely fashioned return spring would'nt fix to eliminate the return cable...just a little creative engineering, there are no real rules with these old bikes...if they don't sell it, then just make it

alabamakid
14th February 2005, 02:20
I'll have to look into that, I did find some quite cheap...hmmm.....

willprevale
14th February 2005, 02:53
CVs a minute ago. I saw that they require a 2 cable set up to insure that the throttle doesn't stick open.
Not required at all. The return spring will do the job like it has for years. Many guys remove the return cable to clean up the bars.

Briank
14th February 2005, 10:28
twin throtle cable?, no I just use one and the carb works fine.

Brian
76 XLCH

Max Throttle
14th February 2005, 11:07
i took off a kiehin carb and put on a new in the box bendix on my old ironhead and it runs much better, the CV conversion sounds like the way to go though, or the S&S

XLFREAK
14th February 2005, 17:58
Originally Posted by alabamakid
CVs a minute ago.

I saw that they require a 2 cable set up to insure that the throttle doesn't stick open.

I'll be running an internal throttle set up....don't know if that'll work out...

that's nothing that a nicely fashioned return spring would'nt fix to eliminate the return cable...just a little creative engineering, there are no real rules with these old bikes...if they don't sell it, then just make it
__________________
Then again, if your cable breaks (like mine did today on the FLHT) --as long as you have your allen wrench set with you, you can swap the return cable over to the other side, and let the spring do the return duties, and you can get home at greater than idle :)

alabamakid
14th February 2005, 21:11
now someone explain what all this conversion entails :yikes

bamf_shadow
16th February 2005, 20:06
I run a S&S Super E Shorty on my 76. I really think it works well. I plan on installing the Yost tube for it, I hear that is the best upgrade. Good luck!

HrdlyDangrs
16th February 2005, 20:37
For my money the S&S 'E' Carb is the only carb to run on Harley Ironheads. The S&S carb was designed and perfected for the Harley Twins. Once you dial them in, they're spot-on reliable.

As for running internal throttle cables....I believe most new custom carbs require a push-pull set-up for safety. I can't remember right now, but I believe I've seen a internal push-pull set-up on the market.....a true spiral system like the old Panheads and Early Sportster.....maybe thru Arlen Ness

Course you could just run the pull cable and install a heavy return spring on the linkage. But that would be up to you. Last thing you want is a stuck open carb.....TRUST ME!! :eek:

74FeHeadXLH
16th February 2005, 21:16
now someone explain what all this conversion entails :yikes
as far as I can see all that's entailed is getting the right adaptor you need for your application, and to work out throttle cables. Maybe next time you're at your indy shop, pick up a 2005 V-Twin catalog...I'm settin here right now looking at 5 different adaptors that at least one of them will work for ya...the one on pg. 1221 is actually made by Keihin to do exactly what you want to do, pg's. 1226-1228 features throttle cables , oh yea pg.1214 has multi-use adaptors, point is what you're lookin for is readily available....also do a thread search on CV carbs, flathead45 also put I think 2 links on 2 companies other than V-Twin (one was J&P cycles) who also carry these kinds of adaptors...good luck with the overall Sporty Chopper project...as said before GO FOR IT man...post pix too as I'm interested in stuff like this....Mike 74xlh :smoke

alabamakid
16th February 2005, 21:56
cool...I have a v-twin catalog at home, I'll look when I get there...

wildrigid1
17th February 2005, 00:12
An S&S super B .And hold on LoL

donniesmithironhead
21st February 2005, 18:30
ok guys, sorry to jump in in the middle of this discussion but I am pulling my hair out trying to get a straight answer. I am fed up wih my carb on my ironhead and desperately want to run an S&S super E for past good experiences. I go to order one and they say it doesn't fit anymore due to the fuel line hitting the magneto. I called S&S and they confirmed that it would not fit. So I am bummed and looking for another
alternative. But now I look through these forums and quite a few of you are running a super E. How are you getting away with it? Is there something I'm missing? Are the ones you are running a couple of years old? Any help would be greatly appreciated, especialy with warm weather right around the corner! Thank you in advance for any reply guys.

dwardy
21st February 2005, 19:06
Keep your eyes open HERE. (http://search-desc.ebay.com/S-S-super-E_Motorcycle-Parts_W0QQcatrefZC2QQcoactionZcompareQQcoentrypage ZsearchQQcopagenumZ1QQfromZR10QQfsooZ1QQfsopZ1QQft rtZ1QQftrvZ1QQftsZ2QQsacatZ10063QQsatitleZSQ26SQ20 superQ20EQQsojsZ1)
Perhaps THIS (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=4529421807&category=35574) is the one you want.

HrdlyDangrs
21st February 2005, 21:24
ok guys, sorry to jump in in the middle of this discussion but I am pulling my hair out trying to get a straight answer. I am fed up wih my carb on my ironhead and desperately want to run an S&S super E for past good experiences. I go to order one and they say it doesn't fit anymore due to the fuel line hitting the magneto. I called S&S and they confirmed that it would not fit. So I am bummed and looking for another
alternative. But now I look through these forums and quite a few of you are running a super E. How are you getting away with it? Is there something I'm missing? Are the ones you are running a couple of years old? Any help would be greatly appreciated, especialy with warm weather right around the corner! Thank you in advance for any reply guys.

Most of the Ironheads on this forum have their distibutors/points in the cam cover. So we don't have any clearance problems.

If S&S has changed the gas inlet on their new Super 'E' carbs, then you'll have to either modify it (if that's possible) or get a good used early S&S carb that will clear the Magneto.

In addition to E'bay, start searching the many independent custom shops in your area. I'm sure with the many S&S carbs made over the years you'll turn up one that was made to fit the early Sportys w/magneto.

Do a 'Google' or general websearch. They're out there for sure and they can be rebuilt by you or S&S themselves. Try typing in the words S&S carb magneto harley sportster. See what comes up.

Also go on other harley related websites and put a 'Wanted' post on them. See what turns up. Course E'bay might be good too.

Just make it plain that you are looking for an S&S 'E' style carb to fit an early 1960's Magneto XLCH motor

You've got time before Spring. Now get moving and do some homework.

Let us know what happens.

HrdlyDangrs
21st February 2005, 21:38
By the way, give 'Sporty Specialties' a call or e'mail them.

Their e'mail is www.sportyspecialties.com or call 714-879-0500 in California.

They've got a lot of early Sporty parts.

Gone
21st February 2005, 21:42
I have ran the S&S B and now the S&S Super E. I really like the E and will stike with it. You do not need to run the return cable. It will return fine without it.
The Jets are easy to change and once you get it right, hold on !!!!

donniesmithironhead
23rd February 2005, 22:05
Hey thanks for the advice. I have been on the phone quite a bit the last two days. No solid leads yet but something is bound to turn up. I'll let you know, thanks again

geraldxlch
1st March 2005, 00:21
I wish to pass on to all you ironheads that the S&S E carb will fit a magneto fired motor. The fuel inlet that comes on the S&S E goes straight down so there is very little room to bend the fuel hose at a right angle on top of the mag. A stop at the auto parts store and $4.50 will get you an inlet that is at a right angle to the original one. This points the inlet across the top of the mag, so no problem with kinks in the fuel line trying to bend it up to fit the original inlet. See my bike in the gallery for S&S E with a magneto. Once the carb is jetted properly you can forget about it, it's problem free.

The S&S E can also be used with a single cable, someone mentioned that the spring works fine, and indeed it does.

Hope this helps any of you who are considering this modification.

Stay in the wind...geraldxlch

HrdlyDangrs
1st March 2005, 14:31
I figured there wasn't that much differance, but I no longer have my early S&S Carb any more so I had nothing to compare my new one with.

Good Tech Info. How about getting a pic of the bottom of the carb mod and post it here.

You would think S&S would put that info out to the Sporty owners in their brochure. Those guys are pretty good otherwise.

geraldxlch
2nd March 2005, 03:59
For fitting the S&S E carb with OEM magneto (I'm not sure if Joe Hunt and Morris magnetos are the same height, they probably are) use this type of fitting.
See photo in Ironhead Gallery geraldxlch

one possible source:
http://www.pegasusautoracing.com

tnichols
3rd March 2005, 19:59
I run a CV on my 1970 XLCH. It has a distributor. The only clearence problem was with the fuel petcock. I had to replace it with a shorter one. I also converted the CV from a pull open to a push open so I could use the stock inside the handle bars solid cable. Its a real clean installation. Single cable, no return spring.

Tom
1970 XLCH

tprJJ49707
4th March 2005, 15:28
There is a guy on ebay selling flange to press onto CV to fit sporty manifold.

He always has several listed, search: "Harley CV carb flange shovelhead/sportster" 29.95, easy install. The guy offers baseline jetting as he has performed many conversions. He states it will run like its fuel injected...

www.sportster.org has a nice article under ironhead tech concerning the application.

Gone
7th March 2005, 17:00
Anyone know the cable lenght right off hand, I am changing to a Super E from Kehin and have to go with the double cable set up. (71" Ironhead)

loncharc
27th May 2006, 22:04
I checked out the pix of your bike (geraldxlch). Looks like you were successful with the fuel inlet. What was your solution? Can you send me some pix of the fuel inlet, or give some solid advice. I've searched local parts suppliers, hardware stores, plumbing suppliers and haven't been able to find anything will make a tight 90 degree bend while still clearing the magneto cap. I've tried the 6AN fitting with no luck, and haven't been able to bend up copper tubing without crimping.

Gone
29th May 2006, 03:41
and haven't been able to bend up copper tubing without crimping.

Try filling the tubing with salt. When you are done bending, rinse the salt out...

gmhsc
29th May 2006, 04:09
I had a super e on my 68 till my brother wanted it back and to clear the mag with the fuel line i found a preformed hose for a omc outboard (i am a ob tech) that fit it fine. Now i have a bendix on it and i like it better than the s&s. Its adjustable on high and low jets.

72 Ironhead XLH
29th May 2006, 04:44
Just have to add that I still have the Tillotson ,all adjustable jetting, 40 micron filter ,and it does great.works at any angle, no float to hang up.threw the Bendix away cause it wouldn`t stop leaking.

Gone
31st May 2006, 17:51
I've know a couple people have good results with fitting a CV carb on an Ironhead, J&P Cycles has an adaptor kit just for it...also consider an S & S Super "E" shorty, htey work real good on Iron's as well...that's what I run on mine...although one could aquire a take-off CV for very cheap $$...and I do agree with Stevo about the old carbs just being old and worn out, even rebuild kits usually don't remedy the prob's with these old units, just too much "slop" in 'em...hope you find what works for ya...Mike 74xlh

I'm fixing to do the CV conversion on my `83. I saw the Micky/CV adapters < I know that they are only like $10 - $12 bucks > but didn't really want to rubber mount my carb that way. I found a guy on E-Bay that actually machines an adapter that press fits < It IS a great fit also > on the CV and lets the CV bolt straight to the old intake. This looks much better than the rubber mount. Nice and custom. They aren't cheap, $35.00, but they do look good.

I'm going to put it on this weekend so I'll re-post to let ya'll know how it works.. Total cost, $35 for the adapter, $50 for a take off CV from a 1200 sportster and the dab of J-B weld to make it secure....

Here's the link if anyone is interested.... NOTE: The pics appear to show a machined BRASS adapter but they are aluminum.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4645182680&ssPageName=MERC_VIC_ReBay_Pr3_PcY_BIN_IT

I figure maybe one of the machinist on the list might be able to copy this idea ;-)

loncharc
1st June 2006, 21:33
Actually, tried that only with sand instead. Might need to put some heat to it... I haven't given up yet, but thanks for the tip.

eric123
3rd June 2006, 02:21
SU is a great carb...

Gone
6th June 2006, 05:08
I'm fixing to do the CV conversion on my `83. I saw the Micky/CV adapters < I know that they are only like $10 - $12 bucks > but didn't really want to rubber mount my carb that way.

Well, got my CV put on this past weekend and except for a few setbacks, had to remove and rebuild it, the bike has never run better. Idles smoother, responds quicker....NOW I've got to figure out how to raise my tanks as they sit low and kind of bind the throttle cables.... Darned fat-bob tanks :doh