Question about Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster Motorcycles

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I am trying to find the timing mark on an 82 XLH Ironhead sportster I was told to put the bike in 4th gear and rotate the rear wheel until the mark appears. 2 things bike turns over and pistons move but when I rotate the tire they do not move. 2nd is the front piston all the way to the top at top dead center

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Ok raise the rear wheel off the ground and put the transmission in high gear. Take the spark plugs out of the engine. Now, when you turn the tire in the normal direction of rotation, the engine should turn. If it doesn't, the clutch is slipping badly.

Remove the timing plug on the left side of the crankcases. Now, using a COMMON PLASTIC DRINKING STRAW, stick the straw down into the FRONT cylinder spark plug hole. Do not use anything other than a plastic drinking straw. If you use something made of metal, you may damage the piston. Something wood may break and you'll have to pull the head to get it out. Bump the engine using the rear wheel until the front cylinder piston comes as high as it will come in the cylinder.

Look in the hole and you should see the Top Dead Center timing mark. If you don't see it, move the engine slightly forward or backward until you do. Now that you've found the TDC mark, bump the engine BACKWARDS until you see another mark. This should the the Front Cylinder Advanced Timing mark. I think the piston should be something like 7/16" down in the cylinder at this point.

According to my manual, the TDC mark is a straight up and down line. The Front cylinder advanced mark is a "o" near the top of the timing hole and the Rear Cylinder advanced timing mark is "oo" mark near the bottom of the hole. The "oo" is commonly called the "lazy eight mark".

Hope this helps,
Good Luck
Steve

Posted on Jun 05, 2010

Testimonial: "Thank you a ton Steve I have been restoring this bike for just over a year and a half now and have been so anxious to get it running. Your information has been very helpful thanks again"

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1977 sportster xlh 1000 starter


Hi Anonymous, it sounds the like starter drive/clutch has gone south, it has components inside, that when spinning, centrifugal forces cause them to grab or lock into permanently fixed counterparts. The gear only spins one way and locks the other way. If you have one that spins both ways it has failed and needs to be replaced. Please visit the web site below for more help and good luck. Harley Davidson Manuals Mark Workshop

Oct 24, 2013 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

Aligning crankshaft marks


Camshaft timing procedure for 1982 harley davidson xlh 1000 cc
On the pinion gear there is a timing mark.
This mark will line up with the rear cylinder intake cam.
There are 3 marks on this cam.
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One other mark will line up with rear exhaust cam and the front mark on the rear intake cam will line up with a mark on the front cylinder intake cam.
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http://www.downloadninjas.info/harley-davidson/1986-2003-harley-davidson-sportster-xl-xlh-service-manual/


http://www.downloadninjas.info/harley-davidson/2006-harley-davidson-sportster-xlh-service-manual/

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1 Answer

Manual for 1981 ironhead xlh 1000 sportster


Hi Anonymous, it's too bad you can't find the very first and best tool you ever bought for your Harley Davidson. Despair not, for a mere $6.50 you may be able to download another one from the website below and good luck. Harley Davidson Manuals Mark Workshop

Sep 12, 2012 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

Need to set timing marks on 85 hd sportster 1000cc


Ok, let's start by identifying the timing mark you need to look for. Raise the bike up and get the rear wheel off the ground, shift the transmission into fourth gear, remove the spark plugs, and the timing plug. You'll need a common everyday drinking straw, use nothing else. We are going to insert the straw into the front cylinder spark plug hole to bring the piston to top dead center. The drinking straw is made of plastic and will bend without breaking or damaging anything. A pencil or metal object may break leaving a piece in the cylinder in which case you'll have to pull the head to get it out or a metal object that could damage the piston.

Now, with the straw in front cylinder spark plug hole, bump the rear wheel in the normal direction of rotation. When the drinking straw starts to rise, continue bumping the rear wheel until the straw stops rising and possibly starts to go back down. Look into the timing hole and see if you see a mark, best as I can remember, it's a vertical line. If not, bump the rear tire backwards and forwards just a bit until you find it. This is the Top Dead Center timing mark. The mark you want to use to time your engine is the Front Cylinder Advanced Timing mark. Slowly start bumping the rear wheel in the reverse direction. The drinking straw will begin to go back down. Once the drinking straw has gone down about a half inch, you should see a "dot" on the crank at the lower part of the hole. This is the timing mark you'll be looking for.

With that known, shift the bikes transmission back to neutral and lower the bike. Connect a timing light to the front cylinder and the battery. You can get a clear timing sight glass and put it in the hole but I've found that they don't work well. A device called a "Clean Time" is best, just push it into the hole so that it has a slight wiping effect on the flywheel. Or, you could use nothing at all in the hole. To use nothing in the hole, insert the timing plug loosely. Start the engine, bring it to about 2500 RPM, and take the plug out of the hole and shine the light in the hole quickly. Beware that with nothing in the hole, even at low RPM or engine cranking speed, there is a tremendous amount of pressure being blown out of the timing hole. DO NOT GET YOUR EYES OR FACE IN FRONT OF THE HOLE WITH THE ENGINE RUNNING OR TURNING WITH THE STARTER. It can blow oil in your eyes and that ain't exactly a pleasant feeling. Be careful.

If you can't see the timing mark, rotate the timing plate on the other side of the engine just slightly one way or the other until you find the mark. If you have an adjustable timing light, turn the adjustment to see if the timing is advanced, When you move the plate on the other side of the bike, turning it clockwise advances the timing. It's best to have two people and remember to turn the timing plate slowly and in small increments.

Good Luck
Steve

Mar 15, 2011 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

Does the t.d.c mark have to be in the inspection window when replacing the cams/gears when re-building the engine I can't get the timing mark to line up exactly?


Nice bike. I have an XLCH1000
If the marks don't quite line up. ensure it is TDC and not the rear piston, it will be a few degrees out!
Placing the cover back on is fun, When timed place the cover on as far as you can get it then turn ther rear wheel by hand and press the cover on. It is a bit fiddly!

Feb 10, 2011 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

My bike dosent change gears its stuck in nutral its a 79 ironhead i just cant figure it out


Rock the bike backwards and forwards while trying to shift the gears. If the lever moves up and down but the transmission does not shift, the shifter shaft in the transmission may be broken. When doing this test, make sure the final drive chain is on the bike.

Good Luck
Steve

Jul 21, 2010 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

2 Answers

Need to set the timing on my electric ignition


To set the timing on your engine, you'll need a way to lift the bike off the ground and an electronic timing light.

Raise the rear wheel of the bike off the ground and secure it. Remove the spark plugs from the engine. Put the transmission in high gear. Remove the timing plug from the engine case.

Bump the rear wheel in the direction of normal rotation. Using a plastic drinking straw (nothing else or you're asking for trouble) inserted into the front cylinder spark plug hole, bring the piston to top dead center. Once you think you're there, look into the timing hole. You'll should see a staight vertical line. If not, bump the rear wheel a bit to the rear or forward until you find it. This is the TDC front cylinder mark.

Now, slowly bump the rear wheel in the reverse direction until you see another mark on the flywheel. This should be a "dot" as best as I can remember and the piston should be about 7/16" down in the bore from TDC. This is your "Front Cylinder Advanced Timing Mark". This is where you're going to set your timing.

Now, shift the transmission back to neutral. Reinstall the spark plugs. You can purchase a clear plastic "viewing glass" to put into the timing hole or you can start the engine with the timing plug in the hole and remove it when you get the engine going. Shine the timing light into the hole and look for the timing mark. Do not stand directly in front of the hole as oil will be blown out without the "viewing glass". If you're using the glass, sometimes you can't see the timing mark. Protect your timing light by wrapping it in some of that clear plastic wrapping material.

If the timing is off, remove the timing cavity cover on the right side of the engine. Loosen the two standoff screws and move the plate very slightly. Clockwise advances the timing moving the mark towards the rear of the timing hole. Counterclockwise retards the timing and moves the timing mark towards the front of the hole.

Jun 23, 2010 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

Adjustment on 1000cc values 1983 harley davidson sportster


To adjust the valves on your Ironhead Sportster, first collapse all the pushrod tubes, remove the spark plugs, and get the rear wheel off the ground. Put the transmission in fourth gear. Now, use the rear wheel to turn the engine.

To adjust the valves, bring the front cylinder to Top Dead Center. Use a common plastic drinking straw down in the spark plug hole to make sure the piston is at Top Center. Make sure both tappets for the front cylinder are all the way down. Now, loosen the lock nut slightly and turn the adjuster to make the tappet longer. You want to make it just long enough so that you can't turn it with your fingers. Gradually back down on the tappet until you can turn the pushrod with your fingers. Lock the locknut down when done. Now do the other tappet.

Once you've done the front cylinder, turn the engine using the rear wheel until the rear piston comes to Top Center. Always turn the engine in the normal direction of rotation. Adjust the two tappet the same way as you did the front cylinder tappets.

When finished, put the transmission in neutral, lower the rear wheel, put the plugs back in, and close up the pushrod tubes.

These tappets set to Zero Backlash, none. Therefore this must be done on a completely cold engine. When the engine starts up and as it warms up, the cylinders and head "grow" due to the heat expansion properties of the metal. As they grow, you pick up valve lash and the valves will clatter a bit. This is where the old saying came from, "You can tell it's a Harley from a mile away by the way the engine sounds. You can tell it's an Ironhead from a half mile away from the valve clatter". If you get the valves too tight, when the weather cools down in the winter, you could wind up with a valve standing open just enough to make the bike impossible to start due to low starting compression. It's better to have the valves a bit loose and have them clatter than have them too tight making the engine difficult to start.

Good Luck,
Steve

Apr 24, 2010 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

1975 ironhead 1000, starting issues.


SOUNDS LIKE VALVES -ADJUSTMENT,SEATING OR TIMING
GOOD LUCK
I HOPE THIS HELPS, IF SO PLEASE MARK AS USEFUL
RIDE-SAFE
BIKE-DOC

Jan 07, 2010 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

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