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i figured ide build a sportster just because they look to be cheap to build and easy to find. so i am searching all over craigslist one day with some cash in my pocket and found this rebuild 73' ironhead engine. and 2 days later i bought it. so here it is. im obviously not gona be done anytime soon but atleast i got started.


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Re: INTRO and my first build (ironhead)

welcome follow the rules an you will be fine,,, Is that a early 73 or a late 73?? The heads are from a latter model, for sure just wondering if the whole top end was replaced (which you can do as long as you use the cyls an heads ) with a newer one,, those heads are not 73 vintage,, due to the aircleaner mount bosses,,, Thanks an welcome
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: INTRO and my first build (ironhead)

well i dono i just know that the engine was built by someone that works at a place called renegade cycles in texas. the whole thing was taken apart (down to the cases) and sandblasted and painted and redone. but i dont know how to check if it was assembled right so im gonna try to get the contact info of the guy who built it.
 

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Re: INTRO and my first build (ironhead)

check with the builder but i bet he put a newer top end on it ,,, You can mix an match 72 early 73 due to the heads,,as long as they are 72 early 73 parts, like i said you can use a newer top end as in 74 an up as long as its the heads an cyl, 72 early 73 can only be bored to .30 .40 over due to thin cyl walls, have seen some at 30 over start to go through,, Good used ones are hard to find to to most of them being way to over bored, or just trashed,, whats your vin start with on the engine,, a 4A or a 3A 4A is a XLCH an a 3A is a XLH The last two numbers will tell you what year it is, as in H3 is a 73 H4 is a 74 an etc,, Hope this helps you
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i have a question, (sorry if this is a dumb question) but should i try to save up and build the roller first or try to get this engine running? i know this is a really noobish question but i have no idea where to go from here. so any advice or tips? all help is welcome, and by the way i have the original service manual for this engine so i shouldnt have a problem getting it running and im a decent welder for making mounting tabs and such. (i got a cheap mig welder that ive been using). its really just a matter of which is more important.
 

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Well, if it was just rebuilt, the engine shouldn't need much work to get running. I'd say start collecting parts to get a roller. having a great running engine is useless if it doesn't make a wheel spin when all's said and done.
 

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if it were me, i'd tear the motor down and inspect every part. the bike is 37 years old. seems every old bike i buy was just "rebuilt". no telling what was rebuilt or how well the work was done. i'd be more convinced to run a motor that was never opened than one someone had their hands in. :(
even my last one, a 69 xlch 900. was told it was rebuilt , stroked, and even bored too 1k cc!! motor was nicely painted, had new gaskets too! knew when i bought it tho to expect a butcher job. knowing 900cc jugs can't be bored to 1kcc... someone's not telling the truth.. opened it up to find brand new head work, .020 slugs and bore (about 5k miles on them) and non original rods/wheels . the rods had 1/4 inch of side play!! even worse, cases that were not welded/repaired correctly!

best to find problems, and hack jobs now than while cruising at 75 on the interstate. or just as bad, when u put all that hard work and $$ into it only to ride it a week and have it grenade itself over a elchepo primary adjuster. PLUS. there's no better way to really know your machine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ive been looking at frames lately and have been wandering which one is the best for the money. ive been looking at paughco, kraft/tech, and flyrite frames. just wandering if i could get any info on these. i really like the kraft frame but any info? any one used one of these frames?
 

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My 73 is in a Paughco frame but its an older one I hear good an not so good things about their frames now,,,, Check my pics their in the show your sportster Thread
 

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if i was to make this a kick only project do i need to put a starter housing on the engine or can i jsut make a plate to put on it instead of a starter? sorry about all the questions but havent found much in search
all you need to do is make a plate to fit over the starter housing hole. block her off! its that easy.
 
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