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  1. #1
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    Default Sporty chopper primary chain tensioned, no start.

    engine is from a 1995 sporty 1200 xlh

    Background info of issue:

    I had my primary cover off recently and I never got the primary chain tensioned correctly because my adjustment window was seized shut. The bike was running pretty good (would be able to shift through gears) except for the suspected loose primary chain. Heres where I think I slipped up : I tried to adjust the primary chain while the bike was idling in neutral just by listening to it, the adjustment was very minimal because I wasn't confident in what I was doing. I tightened the lock nut on the tensioner and got halfway down the street before the bike died, I was in second gear and the bike would rev but it wouldn't go anywhere and then it just shut off. I put it back in neutral and rolled it back. The bike would still turn on, but when I gave it gas it wouldn't fire right and then would eventually die. I torched the bolts on the adjustment window and eventually got it off, got it off the ground, pulled the plugs, cycled through to 5th gear and adjusted the chain with about 0.5in of slack maybe a SLIGHT bit less. put back together and tried to start it again but wouldn't turn over.

    - I wasn't aware that the primary chain being tight/loose should have anything to do with how the engine fires or would prevent the engine from starting, possibly a seperate issue?

    -when I removed the inspection window after I had tensioned it at idle the chain was not far off the standard tension

    Any advice/insight is greatly appreciated. thanks.

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    I don't see how a small primary chain adjustment could make a no run scenario...

    Is it possible you disturbed a battery cable when removing the cover? Sounds far out but my sporty has exhibited those symptoms with a loose or failing battery.

    Perhaps you may have adjusted the clutch improperly after reinstalling the cover.

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    I agree check all your electrical connections to coil, key switch, battery (pos and beg). Unless your primary chain and clutch basket seized, should be no reason it affects that in that way. Is it dragging badly somehow?

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    Here's a video that shows the primary shoe ...

    .../// https://youtu.be/7qLqJsuHiG4 \\...

    Brief yourself with how it's made .... Might be some help if you have a need to do a shoe replacement...

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    Also , don' t get your fingers near that running chain. I would not adjust it running

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbetty View Post
    I don't see how a small primary chain adjustment could make a no run scenario...

    Is it possible you disturbed a battery cable when removing the cover? Sounds far out but my sporty has exhibited those symptoms with a loose or failing battery.

    Perhaps you may have adjusted the clutch improperly after reinstalling the cover.
    I don't think I knocked my battery cables loose, but it is possible my battery is shot. but as long as the battery has enough power for the bike to turn on, shouldn't it run fine?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScubaSheen View Post
    but as long as the battery has enough power for the bike to turn on, shouldn't it run fine?
    Plain and simple answer......... No............

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    Detailed answer.....drastically different amp draws. Harley starters work hard.

    I replace old power and ground cables with welding cable and copper lugs from my local welding supply and cover exposed lug areas with heat shrink. Battery side lug hole inside diameter is 1/4". I get those off Ebay.

    Charge battery, measure resting voltage and if good either have it load tested at your local auto store or buy a load tester (which can be used on cars, trucks etc too).

    I anti-seize ground cable bolts on the motorcycle side. (Never on the battery bolts as anti-seize is conductive.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    Detailed answer.....drastically different amp draws. Harley starters work hard.

    I replace old power and ground cables with welding cable and copper lugs from my local welding supply and cover exposed lug areas with heat shrink. Battery side lug hole inside diameter is 1/4". I get those off Ebay.

    Charge battery, measure resting voltage and if good either have it load tested at your local auto store or buy a load tester (which can be used on cars, trucks etc too).

    I anti-seize ground cable bolts on the motorcycle side. (Never on the battery bolts as anti-seize is conductive.)
    Thanks for the help!

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