Broke down by the road

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Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 2:58 am

Broke down by the road


Post by kell » Sat Jul 31, 2004 4:51 pm

Away from home, started running on front cylinder only. Friendly guy let me stash the bike in his garage until Monday.
Checked ignition and coils, it's not them (switched coils and transistors back and forth between cylinders, still running only on front cyl). Changing plugs makes no difference.
Then I checked pushrods, rear cylinder pushrods were tight -- no spin. Could I have burned up an exhaust valve?
Have to go back on Monday and decide whether to take the rear head off.

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Re: Broke down by the road


Post by Jack_Hester » Sat Jul 31, 2004 8:18 pm

Kell -

Before you pull the head, loosen and reset the valves. Had a Sportster in my shop one time, that the new owner wanted to sell because it extremely hard to get cranked. Said it ran excellent when warmed up. I reset his pushrods, as each one was still holding it's valve open, even at it's lowest point. I have no idea how he got it cranked. Kickstart only. Check yours. You may have not run it far enough to do damage.


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Location: Maine USA

Re: Broke down by the road


Post by haggis » Sun Aug 01, 2004 12:32 pm

Kell, sorry to hear about your day man!
You did check the pushrods at their lowest point right?
Hopefully they are just out of adjustment...good luck Haggis

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Re: Broke down by the road


Post by kell » Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:36 pm

I tried resetting the pushrods, and it made no difference.
If I can't get it running I will store it at a local garage, take the head off and hitch to the nearest shop that does Harley heads.

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Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:47 am

Re: Broke down by the road


Post by 57Kicker » Wed Aug 04, 2004 2:49 am

Hope this isn't too late... I had a similar problem and pulled the heads before a buddy suggested changing the condenser. I did get the heads off before he told me, but at least what I saw was good. Like new valves, pistons, sleeves, guides! Quick leak test for the valves and guides...carefully pour gas in the intake and exhaust ports then let sit on edge. Look for signs of wetness around valve seat. Works for me.

Any how I reinstalled the heads with new gaskets, replaced the condenser ($4.95) and ...presto ! potato-potato-potato!cured.

good luck and let us know what you find

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