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Latest post Tue, Jul 18 2017 9:58 PM by Shughes4. 12 replies.
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  • Tue, Jul 11 2017 1:36 PM

    • Shughes4
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    1980 Ironhead Problems, any advice?

    can't get my ironhead to crank over.

    Things i've done:  Replaced the handlebar controls, starter relay, and bought a new generator (its in the mail).

    From what i understand, and i'm new to harley.. so bare with me. - is that by jumping the starter solinoid, and testing it to fire, its a problem above the starter, or alongside it.. not after it. (starter engages, but doesn't crank - can hear the bolt trying)

    I don't get spark.  (i've removed the plugs and walked it to watch for compressions to test for motor lockup, no lockup has occured)

    The start and run buttons work fine with the key in the ignition, so its not the switch itsself.

    I polarized the generator, and tried to start it afterwards, and heard a low pitched whine, like a straining generator motor (or a weak one).. and came to this conclusion.

    I removed the electronic ignition cover plate, and saw no damage, wear or otherwise (although, one of the post studs for the cover had broken - i've ordered 2 replacements)  The coil itself looks dirty, but not beaten.  The plug wires are a joke, purchasing new ones is on the top of my list for the next parts run.

    I've cleaned out the gas tank excessively (has a faulty cap which allowed vapor to sit inside the tank and create rust, will replace once it runs)

    Other than that i can't think of any reason the bike wouldn't start.  The timing on the bike is functional, and no engine problems have really occured.. Perhaps if you consider the generator part of the motor, then yes.. but otherwise, no.

    If you have any ideas or just want to tell me how i'm wrong, i completely welcome constructive criticism.. where needed.

    1980 Harley Sportster XLH1000 /1000cc Ironhead

  • Tue, Jul 11 2017 1:41 PM In reply to

    • Shughes4
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    Re: 1980 Ironhead Problems, any advice?

    Trying to post pictures, but i suck at this.



     

    1980 Harley Sportster XLH1000 /1000cc Ironhead

  • Tue, Jul 11 2017 1:42 PM In reply to

    • Shughes4
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    Re: 1980 Ironhead Problems, any advice?

     

    1980 Harley Sportster XLH1000 /1000cc Ironhead

  • Tue, Jul 11 2017 3:54 PM In reply to

    • Ironhead
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    Re: 1980 Ironhead Problems, any advice?

    Shughes - first, welcome to the forums - what part of the country are you from?

    A little more history may help - is this a new bike to you or something that just recently happened?

    When you had the plugs out did you verify the engine would turn over (i.e. put in gear and have someone help you push it to verify the drive train works)?

    how old / new is the battery?  have you had it load tested?

    The first tool out of the box should be the "book"  Geeked

  • Tue, Jul 11 2017 10:29 PM In reply to

    • Shughes4
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    Re: 1980 Ironhead Problems, any advice?

    Right, I should buy the manual, but i've managed to obtain the PDFs through various sources.  I havent spent time reading them yet. (suppose that's a good thing to do), i prefer to use technical manuals when i've exhausted reasonable or easy ways to diagnose problems.  I've mostly exhausted my knowhow, and i'm completely new to troubleshooting harley... so its a little different to me, but kinda the same.

    The bike is new to me, i'm the 3rd owner.  I know the other 2 owners and ask the regularly about issues that arrise... i'm met with somewhat vague answers.  (riders, not necessarily mechanics - which is why i got it for 1000$ cash and a new set of boots.

    I've removed the spark plugs and pushed it to see if it would move.

    I have not tried push starting it, nor would without some spark.

    I purchased a generator to see if replacing the whining part would eliminate some of the problem.

    1980 Harley Sportster XLH1000 /1000cc Ironhead

  • Tue, Jul 11 2017 10:31 PM In reply to

    • Shughes4
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    Edit.

    Have pushed it to cycle the pistons, there is no lockup.. travel of the pistons is fine. 

    the inside of the combustion chamber has seen better days.

    After i get it working and running, i plan a complete tear down and cleaning/ polishing etx.

     

    1980 Harley Sportster XLH1000 /1000cc Ironhead

  • Tue, Jul 11 2017 10:34 PM In reply to

    • Shughes4
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    Battery is brand new

    Battery is new, charged.. and has no problems.

    1980 Harley Sportster XLH1000 /1000cc Ironhead

  • Tue, Jul 11 2017 10:40 PM In reply to

    • Shughes4
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    Ironhead

    I am from Texas.  The temperature is just right.  I don't talk about myself much anymore, but I have always loved bikes.

     

    1980 Harley Sportster XLH1000 /1000cc Ironhead

  • Wed, Jul 12 2017 6:15 AM In reply to

    • FX
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    Re: Ironhead

    If you are jumping it at the solenoid, bendix is kicking in, but starter not turning, then I would suspect bad solenoid/starter. Sounds like the bike sat for a long time. I would go through it completely, brake system to front forks...

    FX

    Don't force it, get a bigger hammer.

  • Tue, Jul 18 2017 12:11 PM In reply to

    • Shughes4
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    Re: Ironhead

    Have done a complete rewire.
    Have taken a wire brush to all existing grounds and connections throught the bike.
    Have replaced Generator.
    Have replaced switches
    Have replaced starter relay.
    Have replaced spark plugs.
    Have replaced replacement battery with new"er" battery.  since then charged and double checked - just in case, and Still.... No change.

    Have not replaced circuits 50amp,15amp x3., Oil Sensor switch, Headlight, Spark Plug Wires (i know, should have happend already, i'm tired).  Have not replaced Coil or Starter or Solenoid.  (solenoid tested out good), Coil is more expensive than a starter, and i have bought the starter). 

    The Bike is drained of oil. (currently)

    When replacing a missing Electronic Ignition timer cover stud post, i noticed that it had not simply gone missing.. but had infact sheered off within the Camcover.   i'll avoid removing it until its absolutely necessary on the restoration process. (the cam cover and chain sprocket covers are already damaged, and replacements will be necessary before travel - but not before getting it "started")

    When starting this project I was sure it was going to be a harder one. The wiring problems were easily overcome, but its pretty annoying that it might come down to a faulty starter, when it sounded good to start with. 

    I mean, its not even cranking.. like.. wth.   MY brain should have been sending off alarms.. hope it fixes it.  I'll keep the post going with progress and pictures of the process - if i can ever upload.

    1980 Harley Sportster XLH1000 /1000cc Ironhead

  • Tue, Jul 18 2017 12:34 PM In reply to

    • FX
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    Re: Ironhead

    You just wrote something interesting, 'new-er battery'. take it in and have it 'load tested'...It doesn't matter what voltage it reads, ya gotta load test it. It's hard to trouble shoot a problem when all else is not right, and checked out.

    FX

    Don't force it, get a bigger hammer.

  • Tue, Jul 18 2017 3:40 PM In reply to

    • Ironhead
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    Re: Ironhead

    Shughes - after you have verified the battery, I would suggest going back to basics

    your + cable should go from the battery to the solenoid - the other side of the solenoid should go to the starter.

    there should be a smaller post on the solenoid to receive current from the starter relay

    make sure the starter has a good ground (car booster cable from - post to one of the bolts going through the starter)

    jump a hot wire from + side ofbattery to the smaller post identified above

    If it doesn't whirl over, it is the solenoid or starter - if it does whirl over, remove the ground booster cable and re-try then keep moving backwards through the system until you find the problem.

    an Ohm meter can help with this as you follow your wiring through the wiring diagram.

     

    on mu '77 XLT I added an extra ground strap from the starter to the frame to help avoid having the current going through alunimum.

     

    hope this helps

    The first tool out of the box should be the "book"  Geeked

  • Tue, Jul 18 2017 9:58 PM In reply to

    • Shughes4
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    Re: Ironhead

    Correct, I literally replaced everything.  I can, and WILL make a secondary ground immediately.  Thanks for the tip.

    I'm happy to use an Ohm, but i'm not use to doing any electrical with a probe.

    All of my wiring issues have been sorted.  I'm quite literally waiting on parts in the mail (to save on spending, and i'm not in a humungous hurry.. but i am..)   The secondary wire will be added immediately in the AM.

    1980 Harley Sportster XLH1000 /1000cc Ironhead

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