How do you crank your beast

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panomania
Posts: 84
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How do you crank your beast

#1

Post by panomania » Sun Nov 27, 2005 2:19 pm

CRANKING SURVEY. What sequence do you use hot and cold? Dist. advanced, retarded or somewhere in the middle? Full choke, no choke or somewhere in the middle? Give it throttle or not?

My 48 cranks fine if kicking a few dozen times doesnt bother you. This kick starting is new to me so I havent yet figured out the best sequence. Any suggestions appreciated. (48 pan, s&s 80 inch stock bore kit, s&s super-e, andrews a-grind camshaft, stock dist.) No intake leaks, valves adjusted fine, runs great... thanks, panomania



Cotten
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Re: How do you crank your beast

#2

Post by Cotten » Mon Nov 28, 2005 3:41 am

Primary assumptions: No intake leaks. Proper valve adjustments. Proper points gap, plugs, etc., etc.
If all things are in order, then a cold motor can be started first kick with the spark retarded halfway or more, after three prime kicks with the ignition off and the throttle full open, choked if below ~70F, then returned to just cracked open for the first "hot" kick (ignition on).
Amazingly enough, this seems to work for 45s. 61s, 74s, and 80s, and even Indians!
This ain't my original thought; it was the way I was taught.

The Old Dad

Re: How do you crank your beast

#3

Post by The Old Dad » Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:45 pm

The '59 Harley owner's manual says to retard the spark fully, turn the throttle 1/4 on, put the choke fully on, and then kick twice with the ignition off. Then open the choke to 1/4 on if in mild weather, or 3/4 in cold, turn the ignition on, and "..start with vigorous strokes of the starter pedal." This is when the bike has not been started for awhile, ie the motor's cold. If my battery is up, and I've got gas in the tank it will usually start on that final kick, or the next one. This spring when the bike has not been started for months, I will give it 3 dead kicks instead of two before turning the ignition on. ----The Ol Dad

Zup
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Re: How do you crank your beast

#4

Post by Zup » Mon Nov 28, 2005 5:07 pm

I've got a 56 Pan & am running the stock Linkert carb.
I keep the points, timing & carb adjusted, and it would always (unless I screwed up the sequence) start for me cold by:fully retarding the spark, putting the choke on full, holding the throttle wide open and kick it through twice with the key off. Then turn the key on, hold the throttle 1/2 open Kick it & be ready to open the choke to 1/2 as soon as it fired. Then fully advance the spark. (I didn't have a spark control, just swing it from stop to stop)
Warm starts are: fully retard the spark, hold the throttle 1/2 open turn the key on & fire it up (first kick) The only time I'd change that procedure, was when it had cooled down in between 'warm' & 'cold', then I would fully retard the spark (always) put the choke on 1/2 way hold the throttle at 1/4 open turn the key on & fire it (first kick 'most' of the time).
Now with an accelerator pump like you've got, it changes because you can add extra fuel just by twisting the wick. so full choke, one squirt, then 2nd squirt while kicking once with key off (& fully retarded) then turn the key on & squirt while giving the 2nd kick. A warm start should work to just: retard, then squirt while kicking.
Whatever combo you're trying... get in the habit of educating yourself to what's going on, by pulling the plugs after more than 5 kicks, then look & smell for gas. If the plug looks anything like wet (or damp) & you smell gas (heavy) from the cylinders... then take the cue & go lighter on the choking. If you don't smell any gas and the plugs are dry... give it more choke. Guessing at what's going on in there will drive you nuts, just look & see and go from there. And keep those points & timing adjusted.
OLD HARD TAILS & YOUNG HARD BELLIES... WHAT LIFES ALL ABOUT!!!

kell
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Re: How do you crank your beast

#5

Post by kell » Mon Nov 28, 2005 11:01 pm

"Squirt while kicking"... hmmm.
But seriously, I have a hell of a time starting my 52 pan when cold. It has a Mallory dist, Super E, and I just put new double-plug STD heads on. Still tight from a full rebuild the previous owner did, probably not a lot of miles on it. (If you're wondering why put new heads on a rebuilt bike, the builder fud up the valves somehow). I suspect the richener on the S&S puts too much gas in, but I will have to take the advice of the previous post and check the plugs next time to find out for sure. I saw something in a catalog somewhere that replaces the full-on/full-off only richener control with one that screws in and out to any position. If anybody has one on their S&S: is it easy to install, and how do you like it?

King
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Re: How do you crank your beast

#6

Post by King » Tue Nov 29, 2005 5:41 pm

Hi Kell

My 51 is setup with single plug SDT heads and a Bendix carb but other wise is stock, 6V, manual advance etc. I fully retard, give two squirts of the accl pump, two kicks then go hot, throttle 1/4 open, choke full open. Usually on the first hot kick somthing happens either it runs, or backfires thru the carb, or fires a couple of times and quits. The last two I take to mean not enough juice and repeat the process. Usually two times through the "kick and squirt" and she's running. It's been my observation that Pans like to be wet to start no matter what carb is on them. With the original Linkert I would choke and kick till I saw gas come out the side vent and then go hot, choke full open, throttle cracked ~1/4.
Of couse the longer it sits the worse it gits. In the two or three times I get it out per month in the winter starting can be a real bear. In the summer when I ride almost every day I have very few starting problems. But, I've found that a well charged battery is truly essential no matter what.
Is the bike 6 or 12 volt and do the dual plugs make a difference? What type of cam are you running (my next decission)?

King

59pan
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Re: How do you crank your beast

#7

Post by 59pan » Tue Nov 29, 2005 10:53 pm

I have a 59 flh but with low compression pistons, a Bendix and an electronic distributor. I keep it tuned and timed. Here's my procedure if the bike is stone cold:
Gas on
4 hits off the accelerator pump
2 kicks- key off
Key on - kick 12 to 50 times
Get off and sit down beer drinking optional but preferred
Wait 5 minutes
Kick once and off I go.

If the bike is warm:
Walk up to it and yell "Run you M***** F*****!" and off I go.

kell
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Re: How do you crank your beast

#8

Post by kell » Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:05 am

King: My pan has a 12 volt system. I run it now with two 1.2 ohm coils with the primaries in series and a half-ohm ballast resistor for 2.9 ohms resistance. That's what the Mallory distributor likes, according to the instructions. I'm not really sure how much difference the double plugs make, since I've only just got the bike back together and rode for a couple of hours. I've also tried running single-plug by disconnecting the plug wire from one of the plugs in each cylinder and grounding it, so that the remaining plug gets the full zap from its coil. Can't tell much difference. But from what I've read double-plugging helps prevent pinging.
As for the cam, I dunno what's in there. The previous owner seemed to know very little about what the rebuilder did. For instance, he told me it has S&S flywheels, but the timing marks are stock, not the S&S timing marks. After I got the bike it broke a rocker, and then later the adjuster bolt broke, both on the forward exhaust. Could be too tall a cam? You can put a knuckle cam in a pan according to Clymer, but the lift would be way too high. Maybe the builder did something like that. With the new heads, it shouldn't be a problem anymore (knock on wood) since they take up to .550 lift, but I still want to check it out and maybe put a new cam in. I looked at the various stock grinds Andrews offers, but can't remember just now which one I was considering.

King
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Re: How do you crank your beast

#9

Post by King » Wed Nov 30, 2005 8:04 pm

Kell
Thanks for the info on your dual plugs. Sounds like a good set-up. You will probably be getting more bang for the buck, literally, with improved gas mileage due to a better burn. I don't know if any one has tried to get one set to fire a couple of degrees off the first set but that could really make a diference.
Regarding cams. I have been looking at the Andrews J grind or possibly the AB. But it dawned on me this morning that with the STD heads we are no longer Panheads but internally Shovelheads. So other than being able to take more lift I don't know how that affects one's cam choice. I'll try to put that question to STD and see if they have any advise.
What I'm looking for in performance boost is in the mid range for hwy cruising in the 50-70 mph area. Also, as I cross the Blue Ridge on the way to work a bit more grunt on the grades would be appreciated.
I'll let you know what I find out, but in the mean time if anybody has had experience with cams/STD heads it would be good to hear from you.

King

57Kicker
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Re: How do you crank your beast

#10

Post by 57Kicker » Thu Dec 01, 2005 6:08 am

I know I'm gonna sound kinda lame here...but I just aquired a '57FLH with a suicide shift (not sure jocky or ratchet) and it is, of course, a kicker.

Q#1. How do you adjust the timing to retard it. Or is it obvious by twisting the distributor left or right?
Q#2. Should the distributor have a cover on it? Seems to me it should.

This ride is ready to roll but I think I need some advise if you would help. I have been riding for 20+ years and have had several breeds but never a HOG. This is my first.
I've read lots of usful info in this forum and will definately be keeping tabs on it as I have lots of questions and need lots of advise. I appreciate any input. :

King
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Re: How do you crank your beast

#11

Post by King » Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:45 pm

Kicker

Aint' nothing lame around here. On your 57 motor the "distributor" is actually just a circuit breaker as Harley used the "wasted spark" ignition where both plugs fire at the same time, one to actually do the job the other during the opposite cylinder's exhaust stroke. Yes the breaker requires a cover, rain and road gunge will short it out it real fast. J&P and a host of other suppliers carry them for about $12. To retard, twist the breaker clockwise and to advance counterclockwise. It should be in the fully advanced position when you do the timing set-up.
Is your foot clutch truly "suicide"? Although most folks refer to any foot clutch as "suicide" a true suicide clutch is allways in the engaged position when your foot is off it. Usually that set up uses a single pedal (like the rear brake pedal). The stock clutch uses a "rocker" it has both toe and heel pedals and is engaged when the toe is down and disingaged when the heel is down. It has a series of friction washers and a star spring that "theoretically" allow it to stay in any position you set it (engaged or disengaged). I say "theoretically", since it is very possible for the thing to slip and engage leaving you crow-hopping into the nearest , car, truck, tree or wall. When I want both feet on the ground I make sure I'm in neutral.
If your shifter is low and behind the seat you have a jocky if it is on the left tank it is the stock unit.

Hope this helps

King

57Kicker
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Re: How do you crank your beast

#12

Post by 57Kicker » Fri Dec 02, 2005 6:41 am

King

Thanks for the input. I now know I have a "true" suicide shift (one pedal, left foot) with a "jocky shifter".
I got a mental image of the "crow hop" description and thought it was a funny, but accurate description of the out come of what could happen. Glad I've practiced landing on one foot all these years, just in case!
What your saying is the jocky shift set up is not original? Can anyone tell me how it came to be called a "jocky shifter"?
Now I know I am a little off topic for this thread so I will at least end it back "on topic"....What I am looking at REALLY resembles a distributor without a cap on it. Front, right side of the motor. Is this what we refer to as a curciut breaker? Not a distributor.
This is the thing to "retard" for any start of my kicker?

Man...please wish me luck!
GOODBYE SNOW! HELLO SPRING!

kell
Posts: 404
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Re: How do you crank your beast

#13

Post by kell » Fri Dec 02, 2005 7:07 pm

Hey Kick
They call it a jockey because if you're watching somebody shift one it looks like a jockey hitting his horse. Same arm position.
That thing on the right front of the engine has points and a condenser, right? In that respect it's a distributor. The only reason it's not technically correct to call it a distributor is that it doesn't have a rotor or some other mechanism to "distribute" the spark from one plug to another. When the points break, the spark goes to both plugs (cylinders). One set of points, one coil, one spark -- to both cylinders at once, whether they have any use for it or not. And one will be on its compression stroke while the other is on its exhaust stroke, meaning every time your ignition system sparks there will be one spark plug firing fuel and one spark plug just firing for no use on exhaust stroke. It's called "dual fire". You can get a distributor (there's that word again) on the aftermarket that will break for two separate circuits, firing your cylinders separately. This is called "single fire". And it's pricey.
For the stock setup like you got you time on the front cylinder. I suggest you get a copy of a good manual like Clymer which has the info you need like points gap and how to set the timing very simply without starting the engine or using a timing light. There are also past postings here about stuff like that.

King
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Re: How do you crank your beast

#14

Post by King » Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:15 pm

Kicker

As Kell said the jockey shifter got its name because when you reach back to shift it looks like a jockey flogging his nag down the home stretch at Pamlico Downs.
From your description I would suspect your bike is not very stock. By 57 Harley had gone from the hand shift/foot clutch to the hand clutch/foot shift. My 51 was the last year of the hand shift but you could still get it for some time after that as it was preferred by a lot of police (and me too) for in-town work. Does your left tank have a couple of bolt holes on the side? They would be for the hand shift gate that held the shifter arm.
Getting back to your distributor. The stock engine would have had a circuit breaker. It consists of a rotating cam which opens and shuts the breaker points (yours might have either one or two sets of points, one set being stock in 57), connected to the points is a condenser. All the thing does is open the points to trigger the coil which produces spark at the plugs. Only one low tension (6 volt) wire goes to the circuit breaker from the coil. It is a possibility that you have a magneto not a circuit breaker. The magneto will have two high tension wires going directly to the spark plugs and looks more like a distributor than the circuit breaker. But what ever it is it needs to be weather tight.
Retarding to start. With my stock set of controls the right hand handlebar grip operates the retard/advance of the circuit breaker. So I twist the grip to turn the breaker clockwise to retard for starting. You may have to turn the breaker directly if it is not connected to the bars. With my Pan it better be retarded (at least half) when you kick or the backfire will make you an accidental astronaut with you butt blown off the saddle ending up somewhere between the moon and New York City. Once it starts, you move it to full advance to run and basically leave it there. Other than starting, the advance/retard control has little function today. But back in the days of low test gas it was used to get rid of pinging when you grunted up a hill. I, being sort of a cantankerous old flatel emission, also like to pull up to a crowd of Harley Botiquers on Evos and retard it so the potato-potato goes to p-puh p-puh and sort of give them the eye. There is another trick that was popular with the straight pipes with cow bells welded on the end bunch in the fifties, where a combination of timing and carburetion would produce the mother of all backfires. But best leave that alone it's not good for the bike and probably will get your face pushed in.
On a more serious note. If you intend to do a lot of riding on your bike I would convert the suicide clutch to a true rocker.
Hope you get up and running soon, one more Pan on the streets adds a lot more class to the world.

Just noticed I screwed up. It should read the the left hand grip advances/retards the breaker not the right hand grip.

King

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