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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
Old 12th July 2012
kizzletruck kizzletruck is offline
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Default Uh oh.. I hope I didn't do serious damage.. ('71 XLCH)

It was really strange the way it acted. I have this bike tuned to the point where it will start on the first kick, and if it has been a real long time (weeks), the second kick. I had been riding pretty much all day. I know the bike was probably in need of some sort of work as it used some oil - I am thinking it needs a set of valves/guides/seats at the minimum. I'll try to describe what happened the best I can.

The bike did not pop and crack at all when this happened. It seemed as though someone had a chain hooked to the back of me and the bike would not go no matter how much throttle I gave it... And it progressively got worse and worse over the course of about 1500-2000 feet. Finally I decided to just let off and pull over thinking it may have overheated for some reason. Once I let go of the throttle, the bike idled down fast and died. Would not re start for quite some time, and when it did, the only way it would run would be to pump the throttle. And even so it made some pretty good racket so I let it sit. Called the roommate and he came and towed me home.

The bike has new points and condensor, adjusted to .018. Carb has been rebuilt (S&S Super E). I adjusted the pushrods about a month ago, and then checked the adjustment the day before I went on the ride.. Adjusted them as per spec (tighten the lifters while the valves are closed until the push rod does not spin and back off til you can turn freely with a finger). The intake O-rings and manifold were tight. I did not check them in the last month or so, but I have now pulled the motor from the bike, and the manifold is tight.

I am figuring there is some sort of internal damage due to the racket I heard when I was able to get the bike re started (and I shut it down right away). I was thinking it could also be a part in the generator that has let loose, but am not sure yet as I have not had time to tear into the engine. (BTW, this motor was supposed to have been rebuilt within the last 3500 miles, according to the previous owner).. Stuck and troubled...
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  #2  
Old 12th July 2012
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Since the motor is out of the frame, you might as well tear it down and see what you'll get.

That decision to pull, might have been hasty. As you stated, it could be a generator issue, or a host of other ancillary problems.

It's difficult to describe a sound, but what do you think it was?
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  #3  
Old 12th July 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kizzletruck View Post
It was really strange the way it acted. I have this bike tuned to the point where it will start on the first kick, and if it has been a real long time (weeks), the second kick. I had been riding pretty much all day. I know the bike was probably in need of some sort of work as it used some oil - I am thinking it needs a set of valves/guides/seats at the minimum. I'll try to describe what happened the best I can.

The bike did not pop and crack at all when this happened. It seemed as though someone had a chain hooked to the back of me and the bike would not go no matter how much throttle I gave it... And it progressively got worse and worse over the course of about 1500-2000 feet. Finally I decided to just let off and pull over thinking it may have overheated for some reason. Once I let go of the throttle, the bike idled down fast and died. Would not re start for quite some time, and when it did, the only way it would run would be to pump the throttle. And even so it made some pretty good racket so I let it sit. Called the roommate and he came and towed me home.

The bike has new points and condensor, adjusted to .018. Carb has been rebuilt (S&S Super E). I adjusted the pushrods about a month ago, and then checked the adjustment the day before I went on the ride.. Adjusted them as per spec (tighten the lifters while the valves are closed until the push rod does not spin and back off til you can turn freely with a finger). The intake O-rings and manifold were tight. I did not check them in the last month or so, but I have now pulled the motor from the bike, and the manifold is tight.

I am figuring there is some sort of internal damage due to the racket I heard when I was able to get the bike re started (and I shut it down right away). I was thinking it could also be a part in the generator that has let loose, but am not sure yet as I have not had time to tear into the engine. (BTW, this motor was supposed to have been rebuilt within the last 3500 miles, according to the previous owner).. Stuck and troubled...
Hope it's nothing serious, but that statement right there has been the cause of more than one rebuilds for a new owner.......
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  #4  
Old 12th July 2012
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Ironhead Dave Ironhead Dave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kizzletruck View Post
It seemed as though someone had a chain hooked to the back of me and the bike would not go no matter how much throttle I gave it... And it progressively got worse and worse over the course of about 1500-2000 feet.
Did it act like the motor was under load and bogging down or did it rev freely and not go anywhere?
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  #5  
Old 12th July 2012
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Rear brake stuck on?
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  #6  
Old 12th July 2012
kizzletruck kizzletruck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironhead Dave View Post
Did it act like the motor was under load and bogging down or did it rev freely and not go anywhere?
That is exactly what it acted like - Like it was under a load, and the load kept increasing and bogging the motor down more and more. So I just decided to pull it over. When I restarted it (when it restarted after a while of kicking), the only way it would stay running was when I kept it revved. It would not idle down, nor would it rev way up... Maybe up to a couple thousand RPM's then it would flatline there. Made some pretty loud rattling, so I just shut it down right away and hung it up.

It may have been premature pulling the motor, but I figure I am probably better off knowing the condition of the interior myself than trusting it to a second hand person who was 'told' it was rebuilt.

Maybe this weekend or next week since I am off all week I'll try to get it torn down. It's not like it is going to take long. Lol.
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  #7  
Old 12th July 2012
kizzletruck kizzletruck is offline
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Originally Posted by IronMick View Post
Rear brake stuck on?
Hope not, I towed it seven miles home and pushed it up the driveway with ease.. Lol, so I don't think so.
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  #8  
Old 12th July 2012
kizzletruck kizzletruck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hcrashster View Post
Since the motor is out of the frame, you might as well tear it down and see what you'll get.

That decision to pull, might have been hasty. As you stated, it could be a generator issue, or a host of other ancillary problems.

It's difficult to describe a sound, but what do you think it was?
I am thinking it is a top end problem, or generator.. Hoping it was not the oil pump that went, and caused everything else to go. My oil pressure light did not come on, so I am not thinking that is what it was - but you never know I guess. I'll pull the top end and take a look at that as well as the generator.

The motor apparently was bored .030 over when it was 'rebuilt', so this will at least give me an opportunity to look at that as well.
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  #9  
Old 12th July 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kizzletruck View Post
I am thinking it is a top end problem, or generator.. Hoping it was not the oil pump that went, and caused everything else to go. My oil pressure light did not come on, so I am not thinking that is what it was - but you never know I guess. I'll pull the top end and take a look at that as well as the generator.

The motor apparently was bored .030 over when it was 'rebuilt', so this will at least give me an opportunity to look at that as well.

Mine did the same thing; cruising along fine, then stumbled, etc. Problem was in one cylinder; valve (exhaust), rings, guide.

It too had been using more oil than normal, so I was going to look at it soon anyway.
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  #10  
Old 12th July 2012
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Sounds like you have a points ignition. Check that the advance mechanism hasn't cr@pped out. Should be free moving, but not so loose that it's flopping around in there.
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