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  1. #1
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    Default What do I do with this bike?

    I got a free 79 sportster off a relative. He bought the bike off some guy with intentions of doing a build but never got around to touching it and now he's having a kid and the wife wants him to clean out the garage (bummer). I had high expectations at first but I've lost a lot of motivation after taking it apart. The guy that owned this bike before really did a lot of dumb stuff and it needs a whole lot more work than I thought.

    There's some crappy repair work on some of the covers and some blemishes on the case, so I'm not doing a nice build like I planned. The oil looked like glitter and after I took the engine apart it's obvious that thing saw some shrapnel. One of those figure 8 lookin crank shims was broken and I could only find half of it. I guess the other half turned in to glitter...

    Anyways, should I try to part it out and sell it, toss it back together and sell it, or put it back together and get it running and sell it? I don't have too much interest in keeping it at this point.

  2. #2

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    Got a title? If so sell the frame and title - part out the rest or sell it as a roller - Do NOT spend any money on it

    Not a lot of love for basket sportys especially 79s

  3. #3
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    A 79 is a bastard year......... Part it out.....

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    3rd on the parting of the bike. 79 is arguably the worst year ironhead. or sportster in general.

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    Just curious what makes 79 a bad year for the ironhead?

    My 79 FLH has been a bitch getting the right parts for rebuilding my transmission, I guess because it's a transition year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldergiraffe View Post

    Just curious what makes 79 a bad year for the ironhead?
    Mostly has to do with the one year only exhaust pipes...
    79 was the first year that they used the new frame (79-81) on all models, it was left-over frames from the XLCR two year run... (77-78)

    It had the option of running a kick starter making for the Master Cylinder being high up on the sprocket, hence the need for special pipes to clear...
    In 80 that kick starter became history and the M/C got moved down on the sprocket cover allowing for using pipes from the 57 to 78 models....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldergiraffe View Post
    Just curious what makes 79 a bad year for the ironhead?

    My 79 FLH has been a bitch getting the right parts for rebuilding my transmission, I guess because it's a transition year.

    The FLH really didn't change that much...... Just the trans 1/2 a year and more CCs.......

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    Wait what?

    You only found HALF of one of the cam thrust plates? Wow.

    .

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    Quote Originally Posted by bohica2xo View Post
    Wait what?

    You only found HALF of one of the cam thrust plates? Wow.

    .
    Haha yup

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    Damn. Dr Destructo owned that bike.

    Looks like the part-out advice is sound. As other have asked, do you have a title?

  11. #11
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    Or "slap" it back together (without spending any money) and sell it as a project bike, leave the motor out and apart of course, then you avoid the endless parade of deal seekers phoning you and showing up on your door step, one easy deal.

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    There got to be a lot of chewing went on in the cam chest for that dog-bone thrust washer to have disappeared....

    How does the cam, pinion, oil pump, gen. idle gears look....
    Wonder where it went off too... If it got chew up into little bitty pieces... Went though the pump back to the oil tank, and perhaps make a trip back into the motor for more chewing...!!!

    BTW....
    The oil pump is of the Geo-Roto design... It can't handle chunks of hard metal going though it....
    Last edited by Dragstews; 04-24-2016 at 1:37 PM.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragstews View Post
    Mostly has to do with the one year only exhaust pipes...
    79 was the first year that they used the new frame (79-81) on all models, it was left-over frames from the XLCR two year run... (77-78)

    It had the option of running a kick starter making for the Master Cylinder being high up on the sprocket, hence the need for special pipes to clear...
    In 80 that kick starter became history and the M/C got moved down on the sprocket cover allowing for using pipes from the 57 to 78 models....
    Yep.. Add to this, it was also the first year for the 'semi' electronic ignition, which was nothing good to add to the reputation of the bastard '79. Mix in the AMF quality control issues that year, and you get a bad rep all around for the '79 Ironhead. But... I love mine!! And the high rear pipe and M/C actually makes it easier to ride MX style while standing on the pegs, which I have to do every time I ride our right-of-way that gets me to and from my rural house.
    In 1979 I was 21 years old, and it was my dream bike at that time. Didn't want to sell my monster truck, hot rod, and dirt bikes to buy a new one then, had a POS FrankenIron at the time. Got my '79 about 4 or 5 years ago. After almost 40 years, I figure most of the bugs have been exterminated from it. Funny tho, after all the other Ironheads I've had, this one is the best one.
    It don't matter what year it is tho, shrapnel ain't biased, it will grenade any engine.

  14. #14
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    To everyone asking yes I have a clear title on this bike. And also here's some more pics since people are interested in carnage. The cylinders don't seem THAT bad. Obviously some scarring but not as bad as I'd think. You can see some chips taken out of the case and heads in a couple places though. Also that last pic,,, I have no idea what's going on there. Looks like someone put some shitty weld and took a grinder to that giant gear on the clutch. There's some other weird ass repairs and shit on this bike but I won't bother going through all of it. My favorite was that there were 1 and 1/2 kick stands on the bike... one up front on the forward controls then the stock one still on the frame with the foot hacked off...







  15. #15
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    Also... now accepting offers for anything on this bike. It's pretty much a full bike but in boxes. I'll make classified listings or somethin later

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    Sad thing about most ironheads is they have met up with typical non mechanics. They're all almost economically unfeasible to rebuild. Even the best ironheads are nothing more than a bunch of parts that almost fit. I love my ironheads but they have cost me a lot more than they are worth. As far as a '79, other than the wonky master cyl mount and exhaust arrangement they are still a good platform for a little chopper project. To drop a lot of cash you have to love her, just like investing in a nice set of titties for your favorite girlfriend. If you don't want to rebuild it you should send on to a builder who does.

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    Yeah Kevin I agree. I have no real attachment or passion for this Sportster. Better to make it useful for someone who can treat it right

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