PDA

View Full Version : Ironhead running like shit



hedcase
05-21-2013, 7:15 PM
Just got the IH towed home after a failed attempt to get a full-day round trip out of her.

Here's what's going on. Little history on the bike, 82 Ironhead, points, shorty S&S super E carb. Mileage 20K +, top end rebuild a while back from PO.

I had issues in the past with the carb pissing gas out the overfow. I took the carb apart and cleaned it several times figuring it was just the float getting stuck being I had a new tank put on the bike. I dropped a new inline fuel filter in and put it back together and all has been running fine. Had the carb tuned up and rejetted by local shop and put it away for the winter.

The bike has never been able to run/idle without the enrichment level pulled up almost mid-way. Rode it about 30miles out to a bike show, parked for about 2 hours and went to ride home and the new problems started up. I couldn't get smooth throttle response at all. The thing just wants to surge and chug along. I pulled off the road and took the plugs out and they were covered in carbon. Jet black and figured they might be fouled. We dropped some new plugs in and got the bike to start, but when you roll on the throttle, there's no smooth rev. This is my first non-efi bike so I'm looking for some places to start. I was thinking it could be a carb issue, since it seems odd that the bike won't run without the enrichment lever pulled up. Also considering points/coil as a possible culprit.

Any help is much appreciated. Here's a pic of the bike broke down:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v630/hedcaseGLI/photo-3_zps87c90ffe.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/hedcaseGLI/media/photo-3_zps87c90ffe.jpg.html)

MegaDON666
05-21-2013, 7:41 PM
When it starts to run like shit out of nowhere and bad idle, I always switch out the points and condensor, and check the wiring.

Also, when its fully warmed up, have you tried to turn the choke off? I would think its fouling the plugs.

cb550Matt
05-21-2013, 7:45 PM
The choke is only supposed to be on for like 20 seconds or so when cold .. is your jetting right?

butcherchop2
05-21-2013, 7:58 PM
if you have to ride with the choke on you jetting is a way off or you have intake or valve guide leaks. so first off get some intake seals & the o-rings that go between the carb- spacer & intake, than go to the S&S web site & find the recomended jets & adjustments for a starting point & also check your auto advance unit behind the points

xllance
05-22-2013, 4:10 AM
Float level ? Air / fuel screw adjusted correctly ? I hate to say it really, but are you running a carb brace ? How's your spark ? Is it a nice fat blue one or a faint yellow spark ? Is the coil getting hot ? Check the coil and wires for corrosion at the terminals.

roush360r
05-22-2013, 10:43 AM
well if you gotta run with the enrichner up its pry cause its lean so you should start by checking for intake leaks and carb settings. but points and condensor are cheap, if you havent replaced them you might as well. i just ordered a spare set since mine burned up. it was 20$

eroticjesus
05-22-2013, 11:06 AM
It has been my experience that easily 90% of issues with a running Ironhead are intake leaks.

Spray some WD40 at the intake, if the idle changes, or smoke blows you have a leak.

hedcase
05-22-2013, 12:00 PM
Good shit guys, I'll order up some fresh gaskets/seals and run down the list. As well some new points/condenser.

The shop I had it into last summer supposedly jetted it properly for me, but it's never been able to keep running without that enrichment lever pulled up. It's an old dog and needs to be ran-through with some fresh essential parts. We'll see how that goes over the next couple weeks.

brooklynbomber
05-22-2013, 12:40 PM
you run it with the choke on all the time? I may not go back to that bike shop if that's "jetted correctly"

farmall
05-22-2013, 1:05 PM
I may not go back to that bike shop if that's "jetted correctly"

I'd run away like Rosie O'Donnel was chasing me with a spiked strapon! :eek: x 10

Verify all jets are actually clear and of course eliminate any intake leaks by resealing.

Points and condenser are cheap at auto stores. I get 'em in pairs so I always have a spare handy without spending the gas money to go to the store.

Arisaka
05-22-2013, 1:42 PM
Almost certainly an intake leak if you have to run it with the choke on. Does the Super E have an adjustable main jet? The rough running sounds to me like you should probably reset the ignition timing and adjust pushrods just to rule them out. Easy jobs. Wonder if your fuel filter is one of those that is meant for a car with a fuel pump? It may not flow enough for the bike carb. Got clear fuel lines?

hedcase
05-22-2013, 3:00 PM
Yeah, I never had it out for a ride longer than a few miles until last weekend so I thought that after some riding I might be able to lower the enricher but no dice. I had them tune it up at the end of summer and then I put some stabil in there and let it sit all winter so it's taken until now to realize it's not tuned right.

Checked a few things- Spark is blue, no corrosion on coil or plug wires as they are brand new wires. I checked the gap on the points and it looked good. I'm gonna grab a new condenser + points and replace those just in case. Fired the bike back up and sprayed WD40 around the intake to try and get some reaction from the motor with no results. I'm going to replace the intake seals anyway to rule that out. The fuel filter is a new EMGO. I'll also check the flow from the petcock just to be safe.

Will reset the timing next once I get the new points and condenser installed.

I know fuck-all about carbs so I'm reading up on some information before I check the jets out. I've been avoiding tearing into this bike for a while being that I have an EFI bike that I ride most often. Being broke down on the side of the road just reaffirmed for me that like any toy, you ought to know it inside and out if you're going to use it.

Thanks again for the ideas guys

alexfuckingp
05-22-2013, 3:26 PM
Do the basics before you go tearing the whole thing down and miss the riding season.

Had a similar problem with my 66 sporty two days ago. I know i have an intake leak so o rings are in the bill. But adjusted the pushrods on mine, front cylinder intake had vertical movement of 0.050 definitely no good. helped a bit but still ran like shit. Found out my problem was my pipes (had just modified them). Couldn't see your pipes from your pic but if they are shotguns think about this. Ironheads absolutely LOVE backpressure, mine ran like complete shit after i cut off the old mufflers and replaced them with longer pipes. However even with more length and bends there still wasn't enough back pressure, bike chugged along in the low to mid range didn't even want to get into high. Welded some washers to bolts, a hole in each pipe and baffles worked like a charm, screams like a raped ape now.

Also keep in mind the ambient air temperature and humidity have a lot to due with carb tuning. The bikes performance will change throughout the year.

Motorradfahrer
05-22-2013, 3:38 PM
Do you have two fuel filters on your bike? Some guys run the internal/pet-cock filter in the tank and an external fuel filter on the line leading to the carb. If so, get rid of the external fuel filter; it's redundant.

You should be able to adjust your accelerator pump to get your throttle to get better response when you open it up.

Keep us updated on your progress.

Arisaka
05-22-2013, 5:19 PM
I'm not too familiar with S&S carbs, but you know, another thing that may be going on: If at some point you open up the carb, the main discharge tube (main jet screws into the bottom) may have a rubber O-ring around the tip (Bendix carbs do, so do many others). If this O-ring is chewed up it will wreak all kinds of shit. I've had it happen on Ironheads, generators, weedwackers, etc. I had a Coleman generator with the same symptom, would only run (like shit) with the choke on. That O-ring was the culprit. It can't suck fuel reliably with the ripped O-ring, so you need to run the choke to cut some air out. Then the thing basically erratically dumps gas into your intake. I hope this is your problem. I'm really starting to think that this is not an ignition problem, those O-rings rip upon installation pretty commonly especially if the person trying to shove the bowl on isn't careful. Here's a link to a diagram, part number 28 is what I'm talking about: http://www.motorcyclepartsareus.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/ctxt/images/BC0112C0267_img_3.jpg

Eta: I may be on crack, I don't know if this carb runs an O-ring.... Can't see one in the diagram

andri
05-23-2013, 7:55 AM
If you could find out what size jets you'r carb has, it might help us get on track.
Just remove the bowl and read the jets. A good opportunity to see if they are clogged.

We need to get to the bottom of this issue

hedcase
05-23-2013, 11:10 AM
Alright, took the carb off the bike, and removed the intake manifold and seals. The int. jet is a .0295, and the main jet is a .066. Arisaka- I didn't see any o-ring on the int. jet. I also removed the inline EMGO fuel filter as the petcock has one built in - good call Motorradfahrer If these jets are proper, I'm going to try putting it back together and dial the carb in via the S&S tutorial.

The intake seals, upon inspection look fine. The rubber still feels cushy and fresh but there could have still been a leak regardless and I'm going to replace these anyway. Below is a shot of the carb parts, seals and jets. Also a shot of the exhaust. I'm not sure what brand the exhaust is, but upon inspection of the baffles, it looks like there's a wadded up newspaper in there of metal mesh! Oh, gotta love these old bikes.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v630/hedcaseGLI/carb_zps3442f406.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/hedcaseGLI/media/carb_zps3442f406.jpg.html)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v630/hedcaseGLI/exhaust_zps1b6d2d83.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/hedcaseGLI/media/exhaust_zps1b6d2d83.jpg.html)

andri
05-23-2013, 2:17 PM
Well that jetting sure does not sound lean.

Here's a chart of jetting guidlines for different carbs/engine sizes:

http://www.nightrider.com/biketech/hdcarb_S&S_jetting.htm

Are the jets clogged by any chance?

Shacknasty
05-23-2013, 9:09 PM
You've gotten a lot of great advice. Follow the consensus of a good tune-up: pushrod adjustment, verify fuel flow, timing, seal up intake and exhaust, etc. Check out this guide when it's time to tune yer carb...

http://www.sscycle.com/carbquickguide/

Don't know if you've seen this video on pushrod adjustment...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_S2qbld6m-c

Just for comparison, I run a 66 and a 265 on my '82 Ironhead and it runs a little rich here close to sea level. The best way to verify intake seals is to make a block-off plate with an air fitting that is bolted to the manifold in place of the carb. (I made one out of an old plastic cutting board.) Close both intake valves. Apply 5 to 10 psi, spray with soapy water and watch for bubbles.

bikesandshit
05-23-2013, 9:36 PM
Can someone that is good with wiring help me? I need help with starter and starter realy?

JohnnyBGoode
05-23-2013, 10:20 PM
I'd go with a pushrod adjustment, points, but what's with the phillips screw driver intake clamp bolts? man you need threaded with the 3/8 nut on it to drive it down on it! Can't crank on a screwdriver as hard. Do your heads have the oring slot around the intake? I see your intake manifold doesn't have it, I never had much luck with just bands on mine, I run bands and o rings.. clamps nice.

xllance
05-23-2013, 10:57 PM
Can someone that is good with wiring help me? I need help with starter and starter realy?

You need to start your own thread.

xllance
05-23-2013, 11:00 PM
I'd go with a pushrod adjustment, points, but what's with the phillips screw driver intake clamp bolts? man you need threaded with the 3/8 nut on it to drive it down on it! Can't crank on a screwdriver as hard. Do your heads have the oring slot around the intake? I see your intake manifold doesn't have it, I never had much luck with just bands on mine, I run bands and o rings.. clamps nice.

Johnny you mean you run the O-rings under the rubber bands ? I've never tried that. But yeah that clamp and rubber band combo looks like trouble. I prefer the O-rings with a coating of RTV then the two piece clamps.

hedcase
05-23-2013, 11:49 PM
Thanks for all of the help guys! I've got an intake seal kit coming, new condenser and points and will adjust timing, pushrods and give the carb a good cleaning. If I have to resurrect this thread from the dead... you'll know it didn't work! Thanks again.

JohnnyBGoode
05-24-2013, 8:25 AM
Well post back with results for sure, I had a condenser take a shit on me once, popped and farted all the way home, but I still got there.

JohnnyBGoode
05-24-2013, 8:26 AM
Johnny you mean you run the O-rings under the rubber bands ? I've never tried that. But yeah that clamp and rubber band combo looks like trouble. I prefer the O-rings with a coating of RTV then the two piece clamps.

Yup, I fought intake leaks all the damn time, if I saw even a hint of white on one plug, even if it was dark I knew I had a leak, and those o rings and bands work great.. Make sure your heads are lined up with your intake good first, I measure a lot to ensure it's proper.

FreeReign
03-23-2014, 12:19 PM
dude wtf no update?
also have you tried hotter plugs?

53rigid
03-24-2014, 8:42 AM
Can someone that is good with wiring help me? I need help with starter and starter realy?

might want to start your own thread and not hijack this one.... Plus, do a search for wiring diagrams. there are a shit ton of them out there....

Gilhelm
03-21-2015, 5:24 PM
Hey guys! Now I own this 82 Ironehead..here's the story..

put 1,000 trouble free, awesome miles on her last summer.
This spring, she is back to shits ville! Runs best with enrich lever up, smoke, and bogs or dies when goosed.

I know my jets are good...what happened over winter?

Just cleaned and checked carb. Tried to check for intake leaks but that looks pretty good too... eep!

oh also, new plugs, wires, and ignition. New oil pressure switch (to fix a leak). All those items worked A+ last summer...

Stay24k
03-21-2015, 11:14 PM
What ignition are you running?

Gilhelm
03-22-2015, 10:22 AM
What ignition are you running?

Stock!
Running it a bit harder, I did find I have exhaust leaks at the header...but that wouldnt cause such a power drop....

Gilhelm
03-22-2015, 10:23 AM
Oh, the "new" ignition I put in is teh actual key switch....old one was terrible. That fix went great, got me through teh second half of last summer trouble free.

JaredTowne
03-22-2015, 4:45 PM
if it sat. drag some paper through the points, make sure they are clean. I have never had luck checking for intake leaks with spray.. I always take a propane torch and open it up (without lighting it) and gassing around the intake. be careful to direct it away from the air cleaner, otherwise its not gonna tell ya anything.

Gilhelm
03-23-2015, 8:45 AM
thnx jared, will try...