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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm weighing out the cost of adding kickstarter to my my '74 Ironhead electric start. All I have is the sprocket (in picture). Are there kits out there to stay away from or certain kits that are nice? What should I expect to spend and what parts do I need aside from the arm and pedal. Here are a couple of pics....

On a side note, this is my first Harley, and I finally get it. I'm really happy with the way it's ending up, but when I step back and look at the right side of the engine all I can think of is the fish on Super Mario Bros...the first one. It's driving me fuckin nuts cause it's such a pretty engine.....
 

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I used to vtwin kit before and had no problems with it, but if you can find oem harley parts, especially the gears, i would go for that if possible. one problem i had on both of my ironheads I added a kicker too was having to modify the kicker cover to bolt on properly without binding up the kick shaft and also for chain clearnace.
 

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I used the J&P kit and it has held up well even after dropping the bike on the kicker arm and bending it. If you know someone that can machine parts for you then you could save some money and use your sprocket cover.
 

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First, you need to know if the clutch basket has ever had a kicker ratchet gear installed. Yeah, you have to pull the clutch basket, primary chain and front sprocket, to install. Unless you are a machinest, you will also need a kicker/sprocket cover, with provisions for the kicker shaft and return spring boss. JP does make a decent kit, but I would stay away from used stuff, unless it is in perfect condition. Usually not. You also have to shim the kicker gear, to mesh with the ratchet set up, or your knee will never forgive you. Make sure you get the set, for the right year, because the earlier one, will not fit the later ones. I think they change around 70 or 71. See the order book for yourself. Installing the ratchet gear plate on the clutch hub, is not for the faint hearted, again, unless you are a machinest. The electric start hubs do not have the rivet holes for the plate, and it has to be perfectly centered, or again, your knee will hate you. Then, after you have the holes in place, you will need a good rivet tool, and a support plate, to keep the rivet in place, while you brad over with the rivet punch. I still have not covered the whole process, you will also have to shim the slider bushing for the kicker gear, and completely disassemble the clutch to install the ratchet drive plate. Other than that, it is easy. Just remember, that if you don't get it right, your knee will suffer the damage. Just ask anybody who rides a ironhead about "sportster knee". If they don't know about it, they have not used a kicker very much.
 

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I used a kit from sport specialties. As always shovithead explains things great. But for me I needed pictures to go along with the FM. A real good picture run through can be found here: http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/showthread.php?t=727978.
Thanks, Old Vegas, I try. One thing about me, is this. If you run into problems, that the video don't explain, or show, you, or anyone on here can PM me, or send a email with JJ member in the subject line, and I will be happy to help with any small problems. The videos are always better than my post, but my post can get you the answers you need, when the video leaves you hanging. Like a good factory service manual, is a little lacking in detail, I can fill in the missing answers. My purpose on here, is to keep all sportster riders, from spending time in the emergency room, with distended kneecaps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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watch out for the kicker shaft from v twin i have had to re machine the shoulder where it goes into the primary. the face of shoulder is not square to the shaft and causes binding.
 

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My plan was to pay somebody to do it anyway, but thanks for the advice, the pics prove to me that it's worth it to NOT take this on.
Cool, but I am a total freaking novice and this was not a hard install at all. You don't have to go through the countersink process as that guy did in that thread.
 

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Cool, but I am a total freaking novice and this was not a hard install at all. You don't have to go through the countersink process as that guy did in that thread.
mint because im a novice at this shit and i am just starting to do the conversion now. Im going to pull the clutch basket tonight and begin to install. i feel pretty confident that i can do this. only worried about shimming kicker gear like shovit head said.

I have found mostly new oem harley stuff. mixed with a couple used peices that look good to me.
 

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hey shovithead, maybe a stupid question but im not really clear on how to check the crank shaft end play. i am going to order the .007 shim and oil seal. or do I not check endplay and install the shim??
 

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The J&P kit is mfg by V-Twin, I did one years ago for a buddy with a 78 XLH, worked out fine BUT I haven't seen the quality firsthand lately. Make sure if you buy it for a self install you make damn sure it's not one of the cheap Chinese knock off kits, their gear hardness is shit and it will fail in short order (stay away from eGay). If you are having a shop install it (since your planning to pay someone to do it), I suggest you tell them what your looking for (a quality kit) and have THEM order it. If you think it will be cheaper if you bring your own parts your wrong...cause the labor rate usually goes up, especially if it's a substandard kit and there's fitment problems (rightfully so)...You don't bring your own eggs to the Diner. Good luck
 

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I'm dredging this up, rather than starting a new thread. I've done just the opposite adding a e start to a Kick only Sportster (76 ) due to F'd up knee(s) My question is, I'd like to do this again to an older 1961 engine. Is this possible? Not sure what the first year electric start was an option, and if newer parts will work on this vintage engine? Any info and insight would be appreciated.
 
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The 61 could be done, but some serious machine work will be necessary, or the replacement of the LH case, which includes new motor numbers, and a new title. It would be cheaper to buy a new bike with e start capabilities, than try to machine a e start hump on the LH case. 67 was the first e start IH, and they are pretty easy to find, and not very expensive either.
 
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