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  1. #1
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    Default Need some advice --> 1981 Ironhead

    So the bike idles great, but feels as though I have no power. weather I am in 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th gear when I get to the upper RPM range it feels like the bike just plateaus. like im just spinning the wheels and getting no where. This is my first "old" bike and I am not sure if this is how the bike is suppose to feel, thus I do not know if I should be looking for a problem.

    I feel like the bike should have more "go" behind it, but I am very familiar with what it feels like to be wrong. If I am not clear on the issue I can do my best to re-explain. Thanks gals and guys !
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 05032883-9F3F-43C5-AD53-6AF69FFD5DFC.jpg  

  2. #2
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    Make sure your timing is advancing ....

  3. #3

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    Air, fuel, compression, and spark, at the right time. Same ol' recipe.
    I'm with D., above. Pipes have retarded timing written all over them.
    Check compression, timing, and fuel delivery, and then carb set-up and jetting. Same ol' same ol'.
    That bike in good nick (did the Brits used to say that?) should FLY. Even a less than fresh ironhead should turn 6000+rpm.

    Jim

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    I have no clue how to check timing. I found this on the internet, is it a good source for checking timing? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKVh4pbyh2A

  5. #5

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    How you check the timing depends on what kind of ignition system you have. Determine that, and those here should be able to advise.

    Jim

  6. #6

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    When you say bike is just spinning do you mean your rpm is increasing and you are not moving faster? If so clutch issue

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatman View Post
    When you say bike is just spinning do you mean your rpm is increasing and you are not moving faster? If so clutch issue
    More like the power and has come to a flatspot

  8. #8
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    Turns out I have an electronic ignition. A Daytona vt-I 1010 to be precise. Any good instructions for a beginner for adjusting timing or at least checking???

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    it sounds like you need to readjust your clutch to me

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    Quote Originally Posted by MFC View Post
    Turns out I have an electronic ignition. A Daytona vt-I 1010 to be precise. Any good instructions for a beginner for adjusting timing or at least checking???
    http://www.daytona-twintec.com/downl...structions.pdf

    Start at the beginning

    Let us know how it goes

  11. #11
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    So I pulled the plugs and followed the directions on the instructions. All went the way the directions said it would.
    From 35Degrees BTDC (single dot centered in the inspection hole) I held the center bolt thing counter clockwise ... then rotated the vt-I clockwise just until the light went off. I haven’t started the bike up yet... but if it’s wrong what sounds am I listening for at idle? Also here is a pic of my plugs... front looks normal (I think) and rear looks fouled.. this means my fuel/air mix is fucked? Or would this possibly be a result of bad timing??Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #12
    SamHain
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    Was the gap in the rear plug like that or did you drop it?

  13. #13
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    It was like that

  14. #14
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    Iím pretty confused.... my maintenance manual is telling me that 1980 and later flywheel marks are like this
    Click image for larger version. 

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    However when I look at the markings I see the this

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Which one is BTDC?

  15. #15
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    Whatever my manual says and what’s in the flywheel doesn’t matter... I used the straw trick on the front cylinder to measure BTDC saw the mark (the dot) then rotated the flywheel again until the line mark and made sure the piston was at the top of the cylinder ... thus the Dot is before top dead center... not sure the degree...
    anyway I have the timing set pursuant to the directs for the VT-I..
    what should I do about the plug?? The rear plug was bent to a small gap... I’m guessing the previous owner did that on purpose ???
    When I look close at the center electrode it does have a caramel color to it .. not that fouled... the ground electrode is pretty black tho , especially compared to the front plug.

  16. #16

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    On your '81, the dot should be the 35 degree advance timing mark, and the line is TDC. You can verify by feeling the location of the front piston with a soda straw or piece of wire through the sparkplug hole. The last guy may not have checked the gap on the plugs before installing them. Gaps should always be checked and set.
    On a single carb HD motor in good condition, the front cylinder will always run slightly leaner than the rear cylinder. So I'm not surprised that your plugs look like they do. (Although they may look better when run with proper gaps.)
    Before moving your timing plate, it's a good idea to match mark it, so after you have timed it, you can tell if it is advanced or retarded compared to where it was. That is good info for diagnosis and tuning.

    Jim

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatChibs View Post
    it sounds like you need to readjust your clutch to me
    Me too...........

  18. #18
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    Forget about the dots only use the line........... All the dot's will do is confuse you.....

  19. #19
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    The instructions I’m following says to adjust the timing at 35 degrees before top dead center. The line is top dead center. Should I be adjusting the timing at TDC ?? I was under the impression it’s supposed to fire at 35 / 40 degrees BTDC. Am I wrong ??

  20. #20
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    The first bike I assembled kind of showed the same signs. It took me a while to figure it out. The gas tank wasn't vented. I know its something we all know but its easy to over look.

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