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1979 hd sportster xlh electric start. Started it and after ten minutes just died. Has no power at all now?

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79, is that an alternator or generator? I had a 77 XL, it had the generator. Try charging the battery up then see if it starts, if not you'll have to check the connections at the battery, also load test the battery, make sure it;s good. Just my opinion, but if it's 50 or above, never let you air cooled bike idle that long, you could overheat it and and cause major problems even cylinder failure.

Posted on May 23, 2017


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: 1982 harley davidson sportster XLH . Lost

You need to tear the motor down, sounds as if the pistons seized or you broke a connecting rod, or bearings went out.

In any case you need to have someone that knows what they are doing check it out for you.

Posted on Nov 08, 2009

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SOURCE: I have a 1967 Harley XLH Sportster. I rebuilt the

"Backfiring" is a pretty broad term depending on where you live. Some people refer to backfiring as popping from the exhaust while others refer to it as the engine spitting through the carburetor.

I'll assume that you're talking about popping out the exhaust pipe. If it does this after you rev the engine and it backfires on the way back down to idle, this is typical of an exhaust system sucking air. The mixture is extremely rich under these circumstances and will not ignite. But, if your exhaust system is sucking air, it combines with the fuel air mixture already there and bring it to an explosive mixture thus the backfire.

You can check you valves but I've always found that if the valves on an Ironhead are too tight, it's extremely difficult to get it started due to the low compression on that cylinder.

Check you ignition timing and points setting. Also, what kind of condition is your mechanical advance in the distributor in? I'm assuming this is an XLH model and not the magneto equipped XLCH.

What type of carburetor is on the engine? Hopefully not the original Tillotson that it came with. If it's an S&S, the low jet should be a 28 and the main jet a 66 to 70.

Posted on Jun 11, 2010

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SOURCE: 2000 HD Sportster XLH - makes "clicking" sound trying to start

Ok, If you are absolutely sure the battery is good, there are several possibilites. If the battery is over a year old, take it to an automotive parts store and ask them if they can load test it. They'll usually do this at no charge.

If the battery is good, the first problem could be in the starter relay. Look at the end of the starter from the right side of the bike. You'll see a plate on the end that is roughly shaped like a pentagon. Just above that plate is a plug with a single wire. Unplug this wire and use either a test light or a digital volt ohm meter to check for voltage when you press the starter button. If you do NOT have voltage and the clicking you are hearing is coming from under the seat, you probably need a starter relay.

If you have 12 volts on that wire, you're problem is in the starter. Disconnect the negative cable from your battery. Now, take the three small screws out of the back of the starter that holds the pentagon shaped plate on. Underneath the plate is a plunger and a spring. Remove these parts and look at the copper contacts on either side of the solenoid and on the plunger. If they are burned badly, you need to replace them. You can get the parts through an aftermarket supplier and they are not very difficult to replace. Usually, it can be done without removing the starter. Simply replace the contacts and a new plunger comes with the parts kit. Reassemble the starter, reconnect the battery cable, and you should be ready to go.

Good Luck

Posted on Jul 05, 2010

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SOURCE: i have a 75 sportster xlh 1000 kick start and

There's a quick test to see if your starter is the problem or something else is causing it. First, it's very important that your bike is in neutral to do this test. If not, the bike is going to lurch forward.

Remove the rubber cover over the end of your starter solenoid. Use and old screwdriver or something and short between the small terminal and the large terminal that the cable from your battery connects to. The starter should kick in and turn the engine over. If it does, the starter is good and your problem is electrical.

If it's electical, there are two places it could be. Underneath the battery tray, there is a starter relay. Again, the bike must be in neutral. Turn the ignition switch on and while holding the starter relay, push the starter button. Do you feel a click? If so, this confirms the wiring between the relay and start button is alright.

Now, you'll need a test light or a volt meter for the next check. On the small terminal of the starter solenoid. connect the test light or the Positive lead of a volt meter, the negative lead of the meter to a good ground. Put the meter function switch in DC volts. 20 volt range. Turn on the ignition and press the starter button. The test light should light up or the meter should read battery voltage. If it does not, your starter relay is bad. If it does, your solenoid needs a repair kit installed in it.

A repair kit is available from aftermarket sources. Most any bike shop can order them for you and they aren't expensive. Disconnect the battery and all the wires on the end on the solenoid. Remove the nuts that were under the wires on all three terminals. Take the two small screws out of either side of the solenoid end cap and remove the cap. Replace the cap with the new parts and the new cap. Be careful when tightening the two screws and the nuts on the terminals as the bakelite end cap cracks very easily. Just snug on the nuts and screws. Reconnect the wires and your starter should work.

If not, let me know.

Good Luck

Posted on Aug 18, 2010

  • 4565 Answers

SOURCE: where is the oil filter

I don't think the '79 model had an oil filter. The '80 & '81 model had a bracket that had a filter between the rear cylinder and the oil tank. The 78 and earlier models had the drop in filter in the tank. I think you can put one on if you change the front engine brackets to '82 to early '84 models.

Good Luck

Posted on Sep 12, 2010

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You need to tear the motor down, sounds as if the pistons seized or you broke a connecting rod, or bearings went out.

In any case you need to have someone that knows what they are doing check it out for you.

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