Question about 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster
You might want to check your advance mechanism, and make sure it is resetting all the way. The springs wear out sometimes. Or the weights no longer want to come back because of corrosion, or oblong holes, or worn pivot pins. Having too much advance will fire the plug before the piston gets close enough to the top, so the flywheel inertia can push it over and the gas can then expand. You also have to really give it a major effort kick to get the flywheel turning fast enough. It is a balance between kick back, and bottoming out and have the start arm start to travel towards the front of the bike. This is called "Sportster Knee". If the Rachet slips and you bottom out, it nearly breaks your knee. I don't know what the Start timing is supposed to be, since they have changed it over the span of years in my manual, and it does not cover your year. I would imagine it would need to be close to, but not past, TDC. maybe a few degrees advanced, say 4 or 5 degrees. The more towards TDC, the easier it will start while kicking. On the other hand, you will be moving the Max Advance as well as you adjust this. you will lose upper end performance if you go too far.
Posted on Dec 30, 2013
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
Been a long time since I've worked on one of those but the '72 model Sporty has mechanical brakes on the rear. There is a rod that runs from the rear brake pedal back to the rear brake lever on the brake backing plate. The rear brake light switch was a mechanical pull or push type switch. I seem to remember the '72 as being a pull type with a spring that connected in the brake rod and when the rear brake pedal was depressed, it pulled the switch making the brake light come on.
Posted on Apr 06, 2010
SOURCE: 1973 Ironhead. white smoke from
Not uncommon on the Ironhead. As long as it's just a little white smoke for a short while. Probably some oil ran down the valve stem. You can do a compression test or a leakdown test to check the rings.
Posted on Oct 04, 2010
SOURCE: i own a 1976 hd
Pull one of your spark plug wires off and put another spark plug in it. Ground the plug against the head. Turn the switch on and then back off while watching the plug. You should see a single spark. If your bike is still set up with the original points type ignition system, you may simply need a new set of points installed in it. You also need to check the mechanical advance unit behind the breaker plate that the points are mounted to. Make sure you mark the position of the breaker plate before you take it out in a manner so that you can reinstall it back in the exact same position. To test the coil, disconnect the two small wires on either end of the coil. Using a digital volt ohm meter, set the meter's function selector switch to R X 1. Put one of the meter's probes on each of the small terminals, Your meter should read between 5 and 6 ohms. Reconnect the white or blue wire to the coil. Turn the ignition switch on and check the voltage. You should have battery voltage at the coil.
Posted on Jul 02, 2011
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