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  #1  
Old 14th May 2010
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Default Got back from dealer they say bike unsafe failed inspection

I brought it in for state inspection and for the timing and valves which was presumably causing popping and no power. Firstly they didn't even fix the problem. They said it was the accel pump causing all this, and I told them to do the timing and pushrods, and they claimed they did that. It looks like they just sped it up by hand without doing it accurate at all i.e. not looking up the marks or using a light. Shoot I could've done that.

They also said it was too dangerous to test ride because of the rear brake is wobbly; a pin is missing from the clutch lever; the turn signals don't work; and the forks are leaking. Although I did bring it to them with working signals but they do not work now in fact. I guess if I were them I'd fail it for state inspection too; for the signals and the fact that there's no front brake switch.
I never noticed the missing pin in holding the clutch lever.

After riding 200 feet and still popping I turned around and brought it back. They put in a new condensor right in the parking lot after doing the timing again, and I was riding. But not before the connector broke off in the contact to the ignition coil (or could they have done it by mistake testing the wires while I wasn't looking) I had to wrap it around the contact point bare wire right in their parking lot.

They were saying the coil is wired @$$ backwards. WHich makes sense because it's becoming clear everything the guy I bought it off did is just sht work. I thought 81 was electronic yet the thing has points?

Anyway why are the signals not working? I replaced the flasher and they don't work.

Also here's a pic of the coil. It looks like there's a wire going to the headlight (which has some kind of switch on it) also to the horn and the other presumably from the battery. They're saying that's a no-no.



Anyone know are these brake calipers for an 81 ? How are they supposed to go on? It looks like they can wiggle a little and the nut that holds them in place is stuck on the screw and they just turn and turn i.e. I can't get them off but they just spin in caliper.








Here is a pic of the forks. They look fine to me. I don't think they're going to leak onto the front brakes, like they say, any time soon.




Last edited by Stick_Man; 14th May 2010 at 15:36.. Reason: sp
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  #2  
Old 14th May 2010
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Those allen head screws in the calipers will just turn. There's a back nut to them. As far as the inspection and repair, don't take it to the dealer. Find an indy shop that is licensed to inspect bikes (I'm sure you have a few around you, just make some phone calls). Those guys aren't nearly as stringent as dealerships.
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  #3  
Old 14th May 2010
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Well, it looks like you have quite a bit of work to do before you can go riding. Rework the wiring from start to finish for starters. That coil wiring sure doesn't sound right. Flashers, front brake lights, etc - gotta go through all the wiring.

Forks leaking is no biggy, just get new seals and replace them while your changing fork oil.

I don't know what would cause the brake to wobble. Guess just have to go through it step by step with service manual.

From a previous thread I remember you want to ride not fix your bike. Can you reconsider this purchase and get your money back from the PO? Because it looks like this bike is going to be needing a lot of work.
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Old 14th May 2010
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Trust me brother i feel your pain, i bought an 82 off a guy who did the worst half ass set up but if i can be off assistance in your ignition problem i would say one thing, From your ignition coils, if yours is like mine, you should have one pink wire going from the positive of your coil to the tachometer, then another white wire going from the positive of your rear coil to the shut off switch on the hand controls. As far as the points on an 81 goes i dont think thats right, that is an aftermarket set up or something. mine came with an aftermarket Dyna S ignition set up on it and the guy half assed it all, he used a vamp tap for wiring the Pink wire from the tach into a split which is a no no if you ask me because the vamp taps are not sealed from the elements and they are not the best of connection.

If i were you id look into replacing the points but thats just me. I am having an issue with my Dyna S right now tho, not sure if its the shitty mis matched plug wires the guy used, the fouled plugs he gave me, or the half ass wiring he did on the ignition. But its all gonna be done right when im finished, re wiring the ignition, brand new screamin eagle plug wires, brand new harley 4 r plugs and it should be running like a champ, if the front cylinder keeps losing power after all that im going to hit my head against a wall till i find the extra cash for a new ignition lol.
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Old 14th May 2010
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it looks like the guy was running power off of the hot lead for the coil to run other things,which you definitley dont want to do.improper voltage to the coil from something else drawing from it will give you problems.and your gonna have to pull that headlight out and see what surprizes you have in there.I rewired my 80 and the connectors in there tie everything together,signals ignition switches lights,ign and so on.I used a Clymer manual to decipher mine,alot of guys dont like this manual but i love it,and the wiring diagrams in the back cover a wide range of years and are year and color specific and very easy to read.
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Old 14th May 2010
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I take mine to a local oil change place. They don't even ride it. The check the headlight, horn, and do a visual on the brakes.
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Old 14th May 2010
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Those brake calipers are supposed to be loose and rattly. The nuts are in a hole that was originally hex shaped. It has been rounded out. To get the thing off you use a long flat blade screwdriver. Slip the blade into the hole with the nut to keep the nut from turning, then unscrew the bolt while holding the screwdriver.

Two things cause the nuts to wear out the hole. One if tightening them too much. They need just 10 ft lbs plus a little [not much!] blue locktite. They do not need to be cranked tight!!

The other is a little more complex. If you try to re-install the wheel with the caliper in place, even if you spread the pads, there is a large chance that the rotor will contact the pads with force during the install and jam the piston. Then the piston will work some, but will become stuck. There will be a lot of subsequent vibration. The bolts and nuts will rattle around much more than usual and wear out the holes.

Always remove the caliper when re-installing the rear wheel.

You cannot wire the coil backwards. It works either way. There was discussion some months ago about how theoretically one way is better than the other. Controversial.

Many 79-on electronic ignitions were replaced by points because the EIs did not work reliably.

You need to have the factory manual or the Haynes manual for the full color wire diagram. Then you can trace the turn signal and other wireing.

IMO you took it to the dealership much too soon. And now you have the experience that so many of us have - the dealers do not know how to fix these bikes. They were out and out wrong about both the brake rotor and the coil.

It is clear that they really do not want that bike in their shop. None of the others, Honda, Yamaha, etc want to work on old bikes either - it is not just HD. None of them have mechanics, just technicians. And none of them are trained to work on these bikes.

When you do bring it to an indie shop for inspection, make sure there is not a spec of rust visible anywhere. Like on that rear brake caliper - rust on the bolts, nipples, etc. If the rest of the bike is like that they would see that and think "O my god, what a piece of sh1t this is". No mechanic would risk his reputation and his license by putting his signature on the safety certificate.

You have to sit back, relax, forget entirely about riding, treat that bike like a child who you love, and who needs a lot of attention.
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Old 14th May 2010
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Ditto on the backwards wiring. Just can't happen. But there are too many wires coming off of it, there should only be one wire on each side. Take a deep breath, do some research, ask questions, you'll get these problems hashed out. The reality is that these are small problems and can be fixed by you, and you'll know it's right.
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Old 14th May 2010
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+1 on coil can be wired either direction. I begin to doubt your mechanic's competence/honesty for telling you otherwise.

Like Mick says, dealerships don't want your problem child in their shop. Too much work to make a buck out of it, and it requires real mechanicing. They would rather be spending their time doing oil changes on Evos etc.

That is why you are best off doing your own work on these old bikes. A factory manual and parts catalogue and a bit of help from this forum and it is not too hard.

Quick trick with the fork seals is to take a piece of cotton rag, tear it into a narrow strip and wind it around the fork tube under the rubber boot. Soaks up the oil coming out long enough to pass inspection.

And those extra wires off the coil need removing and extensions running back to their own circuit breaker under the seat someplace.

Farting and popping could be lean mixture, could be jets, could be plugged carb or fuel lines or leaking manifold. Or it could be a worn out auto advance unit.

Check how many ohms that coil has across its windings. There are two different coils, one for points and one for electronic ignition. Maybe you got the wrong one.

Keep on it. A bit of patience and perseverance and you can get this old girl on the road yourself.
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  #10  
Old 14th May 2010
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I really feel you're frustration as I often get over zealous when at such a place and over hear the BS and disinformation. It all ends abruptly when they get fully informed with minimal effort on my part. After a few redressings the techy mechanics stay mute. Best advise is to study, become better at doing everything and as the song goes - "I get by with a little help from my friends".


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stick_Man View Post
I brought it in for state inspection and for the timing and valves which was presumably causing popping and no power. Firstly they didn't even fix the problem. They said it was the accel pump causing all this, and I told them to do the timing and pushrods, and they claimed they did that. It looks like they just sped it up by hand without doing it accurate at all i.e. not looking up the marks or using a light. Shoot I could've done that.
It is probably best to read the Red Sticky containing the detailed means to set your own pushrods and timing.

While doing the push rods you can easily verify the points are set correctly especially the part where the narrow lobe is opening the points when the front cylinder is on its compresion. If installed 180 degrees out of position you will suffer power loss and serious popping or cannon fire.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Stick_Man View Post
They also said it was too dangerous to test ride because of the rear brake is wobbly; a pin is missing from the clutch lever; the turn signals don't work; and the forks are leaking. Although I did bring it to them with working signals but they do not work now in fact. I guess if I were them I'd fail it for state inspection too; for the signals and the fact that there's no front brake switch.
I never noticed the missing pin in holding the clutch lever.
All brakes on these Ironheads wobble some - not a safety issue.

Are you referring to the hinge pin/bolt on the clutch lever? It is hard to use if not secured propely - just place a new one in, lube up the barrel and cable well with grease/oil. Also good idea to infuse the entire cable sheath with oil as described in the sticky or by hanging it up with a gravity fed bag of oil - fixed to the cable while still on the bike.

Flashers work when the lamp's filaments are good and the connecting wires are intact especially the ground side of the bulbs/socket(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stick_Man View Post
After riding 200 feet and still popping I turned around and brought it back. They put in a new condensor right in the parking lot after doing the timing again, and I was riding. But not before the connector broke off in the contact to the ignition coil (or could they have done it by mistake testing the wires while I wasn't looking) I had to wrap it around the contact point bear wire right in their parking lot.
When doing the repairs at home solder these connections even if crimped well. You won't regret it later on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stick_Man View Post
They were saying the coil is wired @$$ backwards. WHich makes sense because it's becoming clear everything the guy I bought it off did is just sht work. I thought 81 was electronic yet the thing has points?
Hmm... actually you can not wire the dual fire coils backwards as they are not polarized - in other words the front input terminal is just the other end of the back output or grounding terminal - it make no difference which is used first as the +12 volts.

You are correct in that the points is a devolution from the OEM electronic ignition module.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stick_Man View Post
Anyway why are the signals not working? I replaced the flasher and they don't work.
All the flasher needs is a set of balanced filaments - front and rear - and solid connections from the power side along with clean non corroded ground points for each socket.

Use a volt meter or continuity tester to see where the pusating signal stops. Usually the socket connector in the head light pot or a poor ground near the socket and light mount area.

Although the ground strap joing the top of the handle bar bracket to the lower steering head can fall off and never be noticed unless you look up from the under side of the area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stick_Man View Post
Also here's a pic of the coil. It looks like there's a wire going to the headlight (which has some kind of switch on it) also to the horn and the other presumably from the battery. They're saying that's a no-no.
While it is certainly not typical, I will admit it would not be an issue if it was receiving power from the ignition switch directly and acting as more as a junction point.

Afterall - all voltage comes from the same source.

Usually one wants a functioning "KILL" switch in which case the input wire to the coil is singular and from this fused switch alone. However if you put a 15amp fuse in then you could use it as a tap point for other devices without adverse effects on the coil's operation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stick_Man View Post
Anyone know are these brake calipers for an 81 ? How are they supposed to go on? It looks like they can wiggle a little and the nut that holds them in place is stuck on the screw and they just turn and turn i.e. I can't get them off but they just spin in caliper.
Yes they are good for your year of bike - as far as I can see.

The nut on the inside just needs to be anchored before undoing the hex socket on the outer side.

This is best done by driving in one slot type screwdriver from the backside on top of the hex nut's falt side. If really bad use two to jam it in place then work on the socket side with an Allen wrench or hex socket and 'L' bar.

Don't be hafraid to hammer in the jamming device really tight as you're first attempt is always you're best one. Yes it deforms the recessed aluminium part but it is how you get it off.

Once off you can always fix up the worn holding part of the inside nut.

The wobble can be removed by finding some furrules that will slide over the bolt and fit the oversized aluminium hole(s). I drill out the aluminium holes and made my own furrules out of SS making sure they were really snug into the aluminium and just right sized for the bolt's shank.

Now they are better than new and do not rattle either.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Stick_Man View Post
Here is a pic of the forks. They look fine to me. I don't think they're going to leak onto the front brakes, like they say, any time soon.
I agree. Keep an eye on them - wipe them down often and replace the seals when ever you change the oil or dismantle the front end - maybe never.

All the best with the repairs or upgrades and as recommended use a low tech inspection place for less irrelevant bantering and hassel.

Cheers;
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