Ignition problem.

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HARLEYMAN53
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Ignition problem.

#1

Post by HARLEYMAN53 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:32 pm

I have a problem with my Panhead -53. When i get it started it will only run for a couple of seconds and then die! I cant find anything wrong but something is.Battery i fully loaded, i have spark, gas, compression. The push rods are adjusted, still wont idle. This have come to be such a big trouble that a decided to take the engine apart! Why? Because the timing mark on the flywheel didn't end up at the same place after the engine was turning for, let´s say 10 sec! When i rechecked the timing, the mark was out of sight in the left side timing mark hole! It was to late. So i thought that the crank pin, pinion or the drive shaft had come of the flywheels so that´s why my timing mark was moving. But it wasn't! The flywheel assembly was fine. I have not yet come to find the problem bus i am still working on it.
When it comes to mind i can tell you that i am running a original cat eye dash that i have modified a little bit. It´s from an UL model. The bike has run great before all problems came to life, but only fore at short time. This is continuing like bad NIGHTMARE!! :twisted:
I have on my own fully restored the engine after the 1948 Harley Davidson book. I wonted to do this as a project to test my skills as a mechanic. Never in my life had i done a overhaul as furrow! But the inner cam bushing was to loose so it started to rotate and cracked my block! I spent 2 years fixing the crack and i bought a new right side case to fit with the left one if the fix wouldn't hold but that had a crack to! Well, i got it to work fine after a separation from my family and out of a job. So i decided to ride the bike to an annual swap a couple of km from my town. It went fine on till i stopped for gas! I couldn't start the bitch! The heat had done it´s job on the pistons and it was stuck! I spent 4 hours waiting for the engine to cool down and at last i could start her up. I did a compression test when i came home and it told me to get new set of rings and re bore the cylinders! +060
So now my engine is assembled for i think the 3 time whit in 6 years and very little riding time. This has been a steady learning process for me. I have been under going a back tumor surgery, a shoulder surgery and a family break up at the same time, plus that i am studying to be a nurse. i am learning my 4 year old daughter to rebuild a Panhead engine and she is very good at assembling the oil pump on her own. All of this has come to me buying more parts, so a also have one -48 block and a -48 right side!
So what problems do you boys have??
//harleyman



jdpan
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Re: Ignition problem.

#2

Post by jdpan » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:11 pm

Make sure your gas caps are vented.

HARLEYMAN53
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Re: Ignition problem.

#3

Post by HARLEYMAN53 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:16 pm

Oh, they are!

Cotten
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Re: Ignition problem.

#4

Post by Cotten » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:46 pm

Harleyman53!

Ignition timing that constantly changes is a symptom of excessive side-play of the idler gear in the gearcase that drives the timer.
It can only be measured through the tappet block hole, and you may have to custom-cut an oversized spacer to correct it.

But you may have an intake leak also; Never does only one thing go wrong at a time.

....Cotten

HARLEYMAN53
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Re: Ignition problem.

#5

Post by HARLEYMAN53 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:52 pm

Hey mr. Cutton.
I have made custom spacers for all axles in the gear case. i have no idea what it can be that make this problem so consistent.I am starting to think it´s an electrical problem. I will go over the whole electrical system and maybe do a new one. Going to try a stand alone battery + cable to the breaker point and coil to see what happens. The gear on the distributor have i taken off and done a new spacer for it, so that´s no problem.

Thank´s Cutton

HARLEYMAN53
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Re: Ignition problem.

#6

Post by HARLEYMAN53 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:53 pm

And i am sorry for spelling your name wrong, twice... :oops:

Hauula Pan
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Re: Ignition problem.

#7

Post by Hauula Pan » Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:30 pm

Usually if the bike starts up & runs & dies and you still have spark its time to look at the fuel side of things. If its not a venting issue, "ie" non vented caps then I'd be checking the carb. for a float problem, clogged jet, also check your tank & fuel lines, make sure you have fuel flowing. The dreaded intake leak is always a nightmare, but usually if you have one bad enough for the bike to die it wouldn't start in the first place. I doubt its electrical since you say you always have plenty of spark. Question - when the bike dies does it start right back up after just a few minutes? If it does I'd for sure be checking the carb. & double check for venting issues with the tanks. If it doesn't and like you said your timing is off each time then I'd be looking at the cam chest and also pull the timer & check the shaft & drive gear for wear. Sometimes when you can't figure out what the problem is you need to start looking for what its not. If you figure out its not a fuel issue then its narrowed down to electrical or air. eliminate what its not & you'll eventually be left with what it is. Good luck.

HARLEYMAN53
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Re: Ignition problem.

#8

Post by HARLEYMAN53 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:21 pm

Hauula Pan wrote:Usually if the bike starts up & runs & dies and you still have spark its time to look at the fuel side of things. If its not a venting issue, "ie" non vented caps then I'd be checking the carb. for a float problem, clogged jet, also check your tank & fuel lines, make sure you have fuel flowing. The dreaded intake leak is always a nightmare, but usually if you have one bad enough for the bike to die it wouldn't start in the first place. I doubt its electrical since you say you always have plenty of spark. Question - when the bike dies does it start right back up after just a few minutes? If it does I'd for sure be checking the carb. & double check for venting issues with the tanks. If it doesn't and like you said your timing is off each time then I'd be looking at the cam chest and also pull the timer & check the shaft & drive gear for wear. Sometimes when you can't figure out what the problem is you need to start looking for what its not. If you figure out its not a fuel issue then its narrowed down to electrical or air. eliminate what its not & you'll eventually be left with what it is. Good luck.
So much help but no luck!
I am going to check for leek in the intake. All other´s will be taken for consideration as time goes by. The engine would not start again right after it just died!I´d had to recheck all problematics first. Rods, distributer, timing mark, gas. It went as far that i teared the engine apart! Now i am going deep under cover! Going to check everything times 10. I don´t no what i´m missing here?
The M74B is in very good condition, float and everything else is tuned the way i suppose to, by the book. Plugs get wet an so do the intake..

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Re: Ignition problem.

#9

Post by jdpan » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:35 pm

Can you get your hands on a known working coil? A flakey coil can be a real head scratcher to diagnose and can cause all kinds of screwy crap.

HARLEYMAN53
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Re: Ignition problem.

#10

Post by HARLEYMAN53 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:36 pm

jdpan wrote:Can you get your hands on a known working coil? A flakey coil can be a real head scratcher to diagnose and can cause all kinds of screwy crap.
The coil is new, tried 2 so that´s out the door. The points are new. The breaker base is isolated.
//HM

tschukojr
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Re: Ignition problem.

#11

Post by tschukojr » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:06 pm

harley man , just looked at your album, thats a very ,very nice bike, you'll fix it eventually, in the pic with the springer on i see the timer ( distibutor)-- is that a stock timer, it dos'nt really look like a stock timer by the cover , or is just me---- dose your bike do anything when it won't start, like cough, kick back, pop, burp or fart , or is it just dead on its wheels------tony schuko-- ( 50fl)

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Re: Ignition problem.

#12

Post by steve_wood » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:12 pm

Harleyman,

I gotta agree with Hauula Pan - sounds like a fuel flow problem.

- Any sediment in the gas tank?

- good fuel flow when you disconnect the fuel line from the carb and open the petcock?

- what happens when you leave the choke on after the engine starts - does it run better or worse?

- what happens when you make the idle mix richer - any effect?

HARLEYMAN53
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Re: Ignition problem.

#13

Post by HARLEYMAN53 » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:13 pm

steve_wood wrote:Harleyman,

I gotta agree with Hauula Pan - sounds like a fuel flow problem.

- Any sediment in the gas tank?

- good fuel flow when you disconnect the fuel line from the carb and open the petcock?

- what happens when you leave the choke on after the engine starts - does it run better or worse?

- what happens when you make the idle mix richer - any effect?
Okay!
Thank´s for the answers boys. I can not guaranty that the distributor i stock, on the engine from the factory! But it´s been on the motor for 11 years sins i bought the bike in 2005. It did kick and fart! But a friend of mine from Texas told me "it´s better to fart and waste it than burp and taste it". And it did shout from the carb. I did have gas poring from the tank out the gas line. Haven't got a chance to idling the engine with full choke since it wont run for that long. It´s not like it dies with a on even idle, it just die like NOW! Every thing that has been done with this engine/bike, i have done my self, only not the cylinder bore and honing. I have been so accurate that i am missing my own mistake. But it will come to me, it always does.

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Re: Ignition problem.

#14

Post by Cotten » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:41 pm

HARLEYMAN53 wrote: ..... I can not guaranty that the distributor i stock, on the engine from the factory! ...
HARLEYMAN53!

If it is indeed a real distributor, then there is no chance it came on a production 1953 H-D!
(Indian offered a distributor option that year, but it would not fit a Pan.)

Do we now we think the timing is staying put?

....Cotten

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Re: Ignition problem.

#15

Post by panhead » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:32 pm

HARLEYMAN,

How old is your fuel?

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