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Ahhhh, good times.

So, the god of ironhell has given me the finger again. Got a call from my local indie that was recommended to me from another board. I had the bitch towed over there because she took a shit on the side of the road about a week ago.

What we're getting now is flames spitting alternately through the rear head, the carb and the pipes. Lots of popping and spitting. We've replaced the carb and seals to test and see if that was the issue. Same response. Re-set the points and timing to no avail. He tested compression and got 50 on the rear head and 80 on the front head. (I'd like to personally run this test again to see if it's accurate. She was running perfectly about 10 minutes before it all went south.) After a short ride the new plugs are black.

The indie says that the plugs are a gas issue and not an oil issue and said that the next step is a top end tear-down/rebuild. He's concerned with the valve seating and cams. Also says that more than likely (?) the bearings in the bottom end will need replacing as well. It's only got 21,500 miles on it.

So he said that a top end rebuild (if that's all we need to do) will run about $1,000 and a full rebuild about $6,500. FUCK!


Here's the long story:

Picked her up (72 XLCH) mid December as a project bike to fuck around with. Put about 900 miles on her in about a month and a half to see what engine issues I needed to deal with. She's got 21,500 on her now. Replaced the carb with and S&S Super E with Thunderjet. Just took the Dyna S out and went back to points until I can update the electrical system to deal with an electronc ignition. Was giving me tons of shit starting until I went back to points.

Was purring like a bitch in heat until I was coming home a few weeks ago and she started to miss slightly. No big deal, at first. It started getting worse and worse over a period of about 7 miles that it was missing badly and shaking and backfiring. Finally got to the point I was really worried that I was doing damage so I pulled into an auto parts store to see what I could figure out.

Pulled the plugs and they looked pretty ok, but just to be safe and rule that out I put in new ones. She started but continued to miss. I pulled the cover off to look at the points, which only have about 50 miles on them, and they looked pretty much new. Checked the gap (.18) and it was right on.

I did notice, however, that the plate seemed to have rotated counterclockwise as the timing marks were out of alignment and the locking screw had made some chatter marks on the plate. A-ha! I re-set the plate and tightened it all back down. Pretty simple. Uh, nope.

I made it home, about 4 miles further. Kicking, missing and backfiring all the way. I was really glad just to make it home. I was pissed so I took a couple of days away from her crustiness. Went down to see what I could figure out quickly (had about 30 minutes before work). She started on the second kick but I had to keep the rpms up around 2000 to keep her running and even then it was rough and sporadic. After she warmed up for about 5 minutes I let her idle which she did roughly for about a minute before she shut herself off. There was some black smoke coming out of the pipes for a short while after she shut off that smelled pretty foul.

I ended up replacing the condenser and bingo, she ran again like a champ. UNTIL.. I was buzzing up the highway last week and she missed about 5 times and then immediately started backfiring, spitting and finally just shut off on the side of the highway. Whick brings me back to the feedback I got from the indie. See above...

WTF? Any suggestions or thoughts?
 

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Sounds like your trouble started when you lost your timing mark. Have you pulled the timing plug and re-set it?
 

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SltyDog said:
Ahhhh, good times.

So, the god of ironhell has given me the finger again. Got a call from my local indie that was recommended to me from another board. I had the bitch towed over there because she took a shit on the side of the road about a week ago.

What we're getting now is flames spitting alternately through the rear head, the carb and the pipes. Lots of popping and spitting. We've replaced the carb and seals to test and see if that was the issue. Same response. Re-set the points and timing to no avail. He tested compression and got 50 on the rear head and 80 on the front head. (I'd like to personally run this test again to see if it's accurate. She was running perfectly about 10 minutes before it all went south.) After a short ride the new plugs are black.

The indie says that the plugs are a gas issue and not an oil issue and said that the next step is a top end tear-down/rebuild. He's concerned with the valve seating and cams. Also says that more than likely (?) the bearings in the bottom end will need replacing as well. It's only got 21,500 miles on it.

So he said that a top end rebuild (if that's all we need to do) will run about $1,000 and a full rebuild about $6,500. FUCK!

Here's the long story:

Picked her up (72 XLCH) mid December as a project bike to fuck around with. Put about 900 miles on her in about a month and a half to see what engine issues I needed to deal with. She's got 21,500 on her now. Replaced the carb with and S&S Super E with Thunderjet. Just took the Dyna S out and went back to points until I can update the electrical system to deal with an electronc ignition. Was giving me tons of shit starting until I went back to points.

Was purring like a bitch in heat until I was coming home a few weeks ago and she started to miss slightly. No big deal, at first. It started getting worse and worse over a period of about 7 miles that it was missing badly and shaking and backfiring. Finally got to the point I was really worried that I was doing damage so I pulled into an auto parts store to see what I could figure out.

Pulled the plugs and they looked pretty ok, but just to be safe and rule that out I put in new ones. She started but continued to miss. I pulled the cover off to look at the points, which only have about 50 miles on them, and they looked pretty much new. Checked the gap (.18) and it was right on.

I did notice, however, that the plate seemed to have rotated counterclockwise as the timing marks were out of alignment and the locking screw had made some chatter marks on the plate. A-ha! I re-set the plate and tightened it all back down. Pretty simple. Uh, nope.

I made it home, about 4 miles further. Kicking, missing and backfiring all the way. I was really glad just to make it home. I was pissed so I took a couple of days away from her crustiness. Went down to see what I could figure out quickly (had about 30 minutes before work). She started on the second kick but I had to keep the rpms up around 2000 to keep her running and even then it was rough and sporadic. After she warmed up for about 5 minutes I let her idle which she did roughly for about a minute before she shut herself off. There was some black smoke coming out of the pipes for a short while after she shut off that smelled pretty foul.

I ended up replacing the condenser and bingo, she ran again like a champ. UNTIL.. I was buzzing up the highway last week and she missed about 5 times and then immediately started backfiring, spitting and finally just shut off on the side of the highway. Whick brings me back to the feedback I got from the indie. See above...

WTF? Any suggestions or thoughts?
not to sound like an ass but are you getting KY Jelly with that 65 large quote...holy SHIT!! your compression is way the fuck off...sounds like she was majorly overheated...timing to retarded will make it run hotter then a bitch...might of had a intake leak also contributing to that back firing 22K on the motor rebuild it...tear it apart yourself have the dealership service the crankshaft balance and trueing with new pins and rod bearings will be around 1 large...send it over here I can give ya complete rebuild new cams crank serviced heads serviced top end rebuilt for around 3000-4000 depending on the overall condition of the motor...I'll even throw in new points and condenser...
 

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My bike acted like that and it turned out my electrical took a dump. It all started with a bad coil wire and got ugly from there....Did you check all your ignition connections, etc?
SltyDog said:
Ahhhh, good times.

So, the god of ironhell has given me the finger again. Got a call from my local indie that was recommended to me from another board. I had the bitch towed over there because she took a shit on the side of the road about a week ago.

What we're getting now is flames spitting alternately through the rear head, the carb and the pipes. Lots of popping and spitting. We've replaced the carb and seals to test and see if that was the issue. Same response. Re-set the points and timing to no avail. He tested compression and got 50 on the rear head and 80 on the front head. (I'd like to personally run this test again to see if it's accurate. She was running perfectly about 10 minutes before it all went south.) After a short ride the new plugs are black.

The indie says that the plugs are a gas issue and not an oil issue and said that the next step is a top end tear-down/rebuild. He's concerned with the valve seating and cams. Also says that more than likely (?) the bearings in the bottom end will need replacing as well. It's only got 21,500 miles on it.

So he said that a top end rebuild (if that's all we need to do) will run about $1,000 and a full rebuild about $6,500. FUCK!

Here's the long story:

Picked her up (72 XLCH) mid December as a project bike to fuck around with. Put about 900 miles on her in about a month and a half to see what engine issues I needed to deal with. She's got 21,500 on her now. Replaced the carb with and S&S Super E with Thunderjet. Just took the Dyna S out and went back to points until I can update the electrical system to deal with an electronc ignition. Was giving me tons of shit starting until I went back to points.

Was purring like a bitch in heat until I was coming home a few weeks ago and she started to miss slightly. No big deal, at first. It started getting worse and worse over a period of about 7 miles that it was missing badly and shaking and backfiring. Finally got to the point I was really worried that I was doing damage so I pulled into an auto parts store to see what I could figure out.

Pulled the plugs and they looked pretty ok, but just to be safe and rule that out I put in new ones. She started but continued to miss. I pulled the cover off to look at the points, which only have about 50 miles on them, and they looked pretty much new. Checked the gap (.18) and it was right on.

I did notice, however, that the plate seemed to have rotated counterclockwise as the timing marks were out of alignment and the locking screw had made some chatter marks on the plate. A-ha! I re-set the plate and tightened it all back down. Pretty simple. Uh, nope.

I made it home, about 4 miles further. Kicking, missing and backfiring all the way. I was really glad just to make it home. I was pissed so I took a couple of days away from her crustiness. Went down to see what I could figure out quickly (had about 30 minutes before work). She started on the second kick but I had to keep the rpms up around 2000 to keep her running and even then it was rough and sporadic. After she warmed up for about 5 minutes I let her idle which she did roughly for about a minute before she shut herself off. There was some black smoke coming out of the pipes for a short while after she shut off that smelled pretty foul.

I ended up replacing the condenser and bingo, she ran again like a champ. UNTIL.. I was buzzing up the highway last week and she missed about 5 times and then immediately started backfiring, spitting and finally just shut off on the side of the highway. Whick brings me back to the feedback I got from the indie. See above...

WTF? Any suggestions or thoughts?
 

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Pull the points cover, then remove the breaker plateand check the advance wieghts. sounds like the mech advance is gummed up. My shovel did the same thing. Good Luck.
 

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My .02

Go through the electrical system fully before any teardown. Coil, condenser, plug wire, Hell, even a loose wire and yer fucked.

$6,500 is too much to pay for an entire ironhead bike in tip-top shape, IMO.

BTW, 22.5k is mucho miles on any v-twin, period.

'Endeavor to persevere'

MC
 

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you guys can check all the electrical you want...I think everybody here missed the part where he said he has only 50 psi in a cylinder and 80 in another...HMMM....if it were myne it would of been tore down I guarantee the rings are seized to the pistons due to shrinkage from over heating....electrical has nothing to do with a compression drop...another possibility is a hung up valve....she needs a overhaul...when you get the top end off check the side shake on the rods if they are within factory limits you won't need to service the crankshaft...if they wobble like a bitch it looks like a major...good luck and keep us updated...later Chaz
 

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Right on Chaz, I did miss the compression part. $6500 for major is nutzo, Can buy new motor for that.
 

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You can run a leak down test on the engine and find out what kind of shape it's in. It'll also tell you if your loosing compression through the rings, intake valve or exhaust valve.
It's pretty rare to have to go into the bottom end of a Harley engine. If it's in bad shape, you usually have a bad knock.
I've got to agree with checking the advance weights, I've seen them make a bike run real strange.
And if you want to spend $6500.00 on an overhaul send it to me. I'll even pay the freight both ways. LOL That's a pretty expensive overhaul.
BTW, your compression should be 100 psi or better, but......... And if you have a gas issue, why do you need to pull the topend? Just fix the fuel system.
 

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I just read your little story again you stated you switched your carburator....I got a feeling it was a O-ring or band seal failure?? It is very possible that your intake was leaking causing the heating of the motor on any event it is not good....no matter what you look to fix the problem is little to late your compression is way the hell off...you should be running atleast a 125 PSI in each cylinder on that ole gal...here's what I would do if I were you save your time and hassle looking for the problem pull the top end you are going to have to do it anyway due to your weak compression...when you pull the intake off take note of the orings there, it is possibly a egg shaped clamp(s) allowing it to suck air straight through the o-ring you will see it, it will be visible...throw them away the clamps...when you re-use shit over and over it get distorted from being tightened hell for 13 bux is cheap insurance on clamps...I've been through this shit so I am telling you from experience...a few bux now saves alot of bux latter which is where you are right now...
 

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Chaz seems to have the right ideeer. When i got my ironhead, "all it needed" was top end assembly. wrong. i took it to the local Ironhead guru, and he is making a pretty penny off of me, but we noticed ALL the issues.
first- the oil-scraper in the case (if thats what its called) was non-existant.
second- the cylinders were BOTH off center .03"
third- flywheels were fucked, and had no crank
fourth- heads were NOT flat where they bolt to the jugs
i could go on for a while
basically, every component of my engine AND tranny either needed repair or replacement. the bike was free to me (thats another story!) and the way that i saw it, $3200 wasn't too bad of a price to get my bike on the road and KNOW that it is right, with ZEEEERO miles.
 

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6500 would buy you a new bike...
think about it 6500 for a top end is more than outragous.


most places to look have been made but one not to forget during your hunt... coil.
i have had coils that will run... then just stop. then in a few minutes fire right up... sometimes not. i dont think its the only problem especially if you only have 50 psi one cylinder (would Definatly re-check that) just somthing not to forget... like stated earlier i would check the electrical and weights first...
i try to always start at the cheapest simplest place...

butche
 
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