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XLFREAK
4th March 2005, 03:28
ive got a 62 xlch, magneto .... its hard as hell to start, especially when its cold outside, like it doesnt even start after 15 minutes of kicking. once it starts it runs great. like a raped ape. i messed with the magneto a little bit, but if i retard it too far so its easy to start, it pops through the carb when i run it. using #5 plugs( ngk actually) is this just a trait of an ironhead, or can i make it easier to start? :tour

HrdlyDangrs
4th March 2005, 04:28
Timing and Point gap are the two things you want to make sure are always in spec. Also, make sure the condensor is working and all electrical connections are tight.

It is possible that the magnetos magnet is weak. You can send out the magneto to Joe Hunt in California and he'll install stronger magnets and tune-up your mag. Go to www.huntmagnetos.com for more info.

Also important that your carb is set-up right. This will become evident after the umpteenth time you kick the motor over. Also make sure you use the best plug wires you can get like Accel 8mm. Try a set of Accel Spark plugs in your motor. The Champions are good, but the Accels foul less. Also try a one size hotter plug.

All these things are important on any motorcycle, but doubly so for the Sportster XLCH Magneto bikes.

My 68 XLCH was a true 1-2 kick motor, so long as I gave it a couple primer kicks and the Points/Timing were on the money.

But the Sportster Magneto bikes are inherently tuff to start...especially in the cold weather when the 50-60 wt oil thickens and makes kicking the motor over a living hell!! On a cold day with the sun out, face the engine (carb side/0il tank side) in the sun. Let it sit there for 20 minutes. This will warm up the oil a little and aid kicking effort, which in turns allow the motor and magneto to spin faster when you kick it over....easier on the leg/knee!!

tprJJ49707
4th March 2005, 15:12
Consider dual-plugging the heads...the domed piston fills the chamber, and the spark cannot "jump over the roof" for clean ignition.

Gas is not nearly as good as when she smelled new in '62...

Dual plugging claims to smooth idle, make plugs last longer, and more importantly ease starting.

www.flowheadworks.com click on ironhead motor and check 'em out.

They are doing my heads as we speak.

IronMick
5th March 2005, 04:55
In cold weather aim a fan driven electric space heater at it for 10 minutes before trying to start.

Takingabreak
5th March 2005, 07:10
Hi.

You did not say what Carburator you are running, a lot of the stock ones of this era did not have an accellerator pump, thus they were quite hard to start, and low volativity fuel (Premium with 10% alcohal) is even harded to get to flash off.

I would get a small can of starting spray(Eyther) and give it a small shot into the air cleaner for cold starts. Just a little can go a long way here, you don't want to drown it.

XLFREAK
5th March 2005, 17:44
hey a fellow oregonian :clap
im running a mikuni, but i dont have a clue how to tell what it is. i know it has an accelerator pump on it. should i still try the starter fluid?

HrdlyDangrs
5th March 2005, 18:07
Easy on the starting Fluid...it'll wash out the cylinders and cause rapid ring wear...also has a tendency to backfire a ball of flame....not good.

Check for air leaks around your carb manifold also.

My opinion, shitcan the Mikuni.....I never liked them and the one I had originally on my 68 XLCH Mag bike was a bitch to start. I'd go S&S

If your timimg and points and condensor are spec and the mag is putting out a good spark and your wires are newer 8mm (min) and spark plugs new (shitcan the NGK's and go with ACCELLS)

Start proceedure.....2 Primer kicks...no throttle....turn ignition on.....kick it once and it should fire up!! If your kicking fifteen times you've flooded and fouled the plugs....it won't start!! Pull the plugs and drop in a set of 'NEW' ones. Conversely, if the your not getting enough fuel and your knee will give out long before you get the bitch started!!

Double check and reset all settings as described...remember, the Magneto makes its own Spark.

Takingabreak
6th March 2005, 08:55
Hi again.

Harleydangr is quite right, S*** can that carb.

BUT, I am not a big fan of the S&S either, I know that many guys swear by them, I just feel that the newer CV carb works better in our area.
It works better for the Mountains and hills we all run around.

Just rememnber to avoid the 1988 CV, it does not have a accellerator pump.

I did assume you checked for vacuum leaks, if I am in error, please check the maniflod seals.

About starter spray, try to think of it like salt is to soup, a little is good, too much, and well, that is bad.I did say to use just a little, and only cold.
But If you have a accerator pump that works, it is unnessasry.

And since we are in Oregon, be sure to buy your gas at Chevron.(We have no state agentcy that checks for fuel quality, Chevron does it's own checking, and is the only company that does)

Try to use HarleyDangr's suggested starting methed first, but I would get a cv carb as my next project.

willprevale
6th March 2005, 13:27
I'll go with Hrdly. Your sporty doesn't have to be a hard starter. Once you get the right combo down pat, it should remain consistent. As carbs go, I prefer the CV.

HrdlyDangrs
6th March 2005, 16:56
Any carb will work ok if you get it set up right. And yes, the CV carbs is actually a very forgiving one due to their design.

I'm not saying anything bad about them per say, its just that my experience with the S&S carbs has only been positive. I just prefer them overall.

Also like the 'Lectron' carb which doesn't use any jets at all. It uses a simple flat sided slide with a tapering needle which meters a given amount of fuel thru its orifice as it is raised according to the throttle position. Also has a cool Clear acrylic fuel bowl so you can see the gas coming into the carb. Comes with a couple different needle sizes which you would select according to you engines's CC's. These are similiar to the old Lake Fuel injectors the early fifties/sixties Drag bikes would use.

XLFREAK
6th March 2005, 20:16
ok so she has started easier the last few days, but its been warmer. but NOW... the clucth was slipping the other day. there wasnt any free play in the lever... now theres 1/8th " play and it worked fine, but it seems that once the bike gets warmer, it starts to slip again. now ive adjusted the clucth at the clutch release mechanism. im wondering now that maybe ill have to tighten the clutch springs.

Chris B.
15th July 2005, 19:46
we pointed a torpedo heater in the general direction for about 15 minutes last march, after warming the cylinders a bit it was not too bad.

Couple twists on the throttle, then hold it open slightly, vroom... Let run for a couple minutes, then release down to an idle. Some of them actually have a lever on the carb to hold up the RPM's until warm. If your trying to start it at idle, good luck and get some ice packs, you'll need them.

Chris B.
15th July 2005, 19:47
ok so she has started easier the last few days, but its been warmer. but NOW... the clucth was slipping the other day. there wasnt any free play in the lever... now theres 1/8th " play and it worked fine, but it seems that once the bike gets warmer, it starts to slip again. now ive adjusted the clucth at the clutch release mechanism. im wondering now that maybe ill have to tighten the clutch springs.

there are a couple good threads on this... search threads for clutch slipping. The most logical I have found is them glazing up once in awhile. Can I guess it starts to slip around 2500 rpms???