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  1. #1
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    Default 72 shovel hard time starting cold

    Iíve got my 72 that I had rebuilt about a year ago. Rides great, just a complete bitch to start cold. I usually give it a few squirts and a couple primes before turning on. Seems like I still havenít dialed it though because it always wants more gas, a lot more than Iíve ever heard anyone needing. Just seems weird to me.

    Could poorly adjusted push rods cause this? Reason I ask is because Iím also getting a small amount of oil splatter from what looks like it could be the pushrods (also looks like it could be from the ignition wire hole on the nose cone). Any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks.

    Oil is all over rear header, kicker cover, and frame area below trans.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

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    Each one of these motors is different, but cold cranking should be the most straightforward. You did not mention the type of carb or ignition.

    Could the valve adjustment cause this? Yes, I've seen two different scenarios: solid tappets adjusted too tight, or hydraulic tappets mistakenly adjusted like solids. In the first instance, the valves don't seal because they are being held slightly off their seats. In the second and more odd example, the valve lift is minimal, because most of the cam lift is being taken up by the collapsing tappet.

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBinNC View Post
    Each one of these motors is different, but cold cranking should be the most straightforward. You did not mention the type of carb or ignition.

    Could the valve adjustment cause this? Yes, I've seen two different scenarios: solid tappets adjusted too tight, or hydraulic tappets mistakenly adjusted like solids. In the first instance, the valves don't seal because they are being held slightly off their seats. In the second and more odd example, the valve lift is minimal, because most of the cam lift is being taken up by the collapsing tappet.

    Jim
    Hey Jim, I’ve got a super E and a dyna s ignition. I feel like it has become more difficult over the past month for whatever reason. Not to say that it was much easier at the beginning of summer, but noticeably more difficult recently. I adjusted my pushrods in March I want to say, they have solid lifters. I’ve heard mixed reviews on hydraulic style lifters, curious what your thoughts are on them?

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    I say points will solve your problems.................... I doubt it's your valve adjustment........ And fix your oil leak..........

    Also you really need to get that almost kink out of your fuel line............. That will be a problem in the future...............

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    the oil spray on the rear exhaust is more likely coming from either the rocker caps, the feed pipe to the rockers or the rocker gasket,... oil dont go up when it leaks so i'd rule out it coming from the points wire or oil pump,
    put up a pic of the top end not too close but not from a mile away....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    I say points will solve your problems.................... I doubt it's your valve adjustment........ And fix your oil leak..........

    Also you really need to get that almost kink out of your fuel line............. That will be a problem in the future...............
    Yea, That was my second guess. The way I timed it when I installed the dyna s was by setting TDC on fly wheel then rotated the points plate SLOWLY, until I saw spark. Screwed it down and it fired up. Maybe not the best way, but I don’t know how else with electronic iggy. Seems like a good call though, because sometimes I’ll try to get in to compression stroke and it fires my foot up unexpectedly. Tells me timing is off a little.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firstripholdmybeer View Post
    Hey Jim, I’ve got a super E and a dyna s ignition. I feel like it has become more difficult over the past month for whatever reason. Not to say that it was much easier at the beginning of summer, but noticeably more difficult recently. I adjusted my pushrods in March I want to say, they have solid lifters. I’ve heard mixed reviews on hydraulic style lifters, curious what your thoughts are on them?
    I think that the Dyna S is THE best ignition for kick-start Harleys (I've even got one in my evo that I kick regularly). But, you do have to service the mechanical advance unit regularly (maybe annually). A worn or rusty advance unit, or one with a broken spring will make starting more difficult. And as the plugs get dirty, kick starting becomes more difficult.

    The Super E is a known quantity, and once properly jetted and set up, need little or no maintenance.

    I like solid tappets for shovels for their reliability and relatively modest cost. Annual or semiannual adjustments are usually all that is necessary. The factory hydraulic tappets were OK for stock or mild cams, but they are all quite old now. The US made replacements were fine, but any of the foreign made ones are iffy. The modern hydraulic tappet conversions are really expensive, and some are just not very good. So, for me at this point in time, solids it is.

    Jim

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    Timing your Dyna S PROPERLY is very easy. About what you did before, but use the advance mark on the flywheel (and be sure to identify it correctly). Then, with the switch on, turn the ignition rotor counterclockwise with your fingers and look for spark. The timing is correct when the plugs fire at the instant that the ignition rotor hits its full advance stop. Adjust the plate accordingly.

    Jim

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    A Dyna S setup is FAR superior to a points setup. Period. Unless, of course, you just like fiddling with shit all the time.

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    A Dyna S setup is FAR superior to a points setup. Period. Unless, of course, you just like fiddling with shit all the time.
    I NEVER ever have had to readjust any of my points kick or other wise bikes. You have to do it right the first time........ It's not that hard.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    I NEVER ever have had to readjust any of my points kick or other wise bikes. You have to do it right the first time........ It's not that hard.....
    So you've never replaced a set of points/condenser????????????????????? I'm impressed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman96 View Post
    So you've never replaced a set of points/condenser????????????????????? I'm impressed.
    I was answering this part of your post..... {Unless, of course, you just like fiddling with shit all the time.} Heck the dyna ignitions go out that much from what I have read. Now some people might get lucky and it last longer.........

    Swapping out points once every two years or so isn't, fiddling with shit all the time.

    And that's if you ride it a lot, If you don't ride it much yes I never have to change my points.

    Have a good one............

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    I was answering this part of your post..... {Unless, of course, you just like fiddling with shit all the time.} Heck the dyna ignitions go out that much from what I have read. Now some people might get lucky and it last longer.........

    Swapping out points once every two years or so isn't, fiddling with shit all the time.

    And that's if you ride it a lot, If you don't ride it much yes I never have to change my points.

    Have a good one............
    Dude, there is nothing wrong with points, but to say that they are superior to a Dyna S is just ignorant. The Dyna is the epitome of simple and reliable. Points start breaking down from the first time you start the engine, the Dyna doesn't change. Can they go bad? Sure, anything can, but in 30 years I can't recall ever seeing it happen first hand. How many have you seen go bad first hand? I've personally had a set of points and a condenser put me on the side of the road, once each, respectively.

    Fortunately I had a tyrap in the bag and replaced the missing points cam with it, readjusted, and rode home. With the condenser, the wire broke loose internally but I was only a mile from the house and hobbled it back. Points are good, Dyna's are better... period.

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    Thanks for all the info. I’m moving soon so I’ll have to double check jetting once I do that. Very good info on the tappet/rod topic. I’ll stick with solids because I do agree with the simplicity. I’ve also heard the hydraulics need adjusting more depending on which ones you have.

    As for the dyna S, I have no doubt that that’s what I want in my motor. I was hesitant at first until seeing a couple people on here say they’d had em in a couple of their bikes for 30+ years without any issues. Thanks for mentioning that bit about the mechanical advance though Jim, I would’ve never know or thought about that thing until I was stranded haha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman96 View Post
    Points are good, Dyna's are better... period.
    That's your opinion I say they are not better.......... Just as good????? Could be........

    I have NEVER had a set of points or condenser let me down anywhere in a car or other wise..........

    Run what you want that's fine with me............
    Last edited by Tattooo; 09-22-2021 at 10:44 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman96 View Post
    but to say that they are superior to a Dyna S is just ignorant.

    LOL Where did I say that?????????? Show me???????????

    Your the one that used the word superior...............
    Last edited by Tattooo; 09-22-2021 at 10:45 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firstripholdmybeer View Post
    Thanks for all the info. I’m moving soon so I’ll have to double check jetting once I do that. Very good info on the tappet/rod topic. I’ll stick with solids because I do agree with the simplicity. I’ve also heard the hydraulics need adjusting more depending on which ones you have.

    As for the dyna S, I have no doubt that that’s what I want in my motor. I was hesitant at first until seeing a couple people on here say they’d had em in a couple of their bikes for 30+ years without any issues. Thanks for mentioning that bit about the mechanical advance though Jim, I would’ve never know or thought about that thing until I was stranded haha.
    You will be very happy with the Dyna. We all ran them on our street bikes, and even in the nitro bike (Pro Drag) back throughout the 1990's. They just work. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firstripholdmybeer View Post
    I’ll stick with solids because I do agree with the simplicity. I’ve also heard the hydraulics need adjusting more depending on which ones you have.
    Stick with what you have. I have solids in my Ironhead and they work; I have hydraulics in my Shovelhead and they work. Solids are noisy at first if you can hear them over the pipes, and should be checked/adjusted more often, but it’s easy enough to do. Very simple and hard to fuck up. Hydraulics are quieter, can be easier on the valve train, and require little adjustment once set. They are harder to adjust, though , and easier to do wrong. Cost more too. Personally, I wouldn’t spend money switching unless you had to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman96 View Post
    You will be very happy with the Dyna. We all ran them on our street bikes, and even in the nitro bike (Pro Drag) back throughout the 1990's. They just work. Good luck.
    Yep, we ran two Dyna S, stacked, on our Pro Drag fuel bike, up to '06 (when I retired from that fun).

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBinNC View Post
    Yep, we ran two Dyna S, stacked, on our Pro Drag fuel bike, up to '06 (when I retired from that fun).

    Jim
    Oh yea on a drag bike that's the way to go for sure in the modern era of drag bikes............. I'd even bet your drag bikes had a rev limiter in the later years......
    But he doesn't have a drag bike........ Did you ever run points back in the day??????????

    I didn't say I didn't like Dyna I was just trying to give him suggestions to help him fix his bike........ Just like you do.........

    This was my first post you guys need to read it again.....

    {I say points will solve your problems.................... I doubt it's your valve adjustment........ And fix your oil leak..........

    Also you really need to get that almost kink out of your fuel line............. That will be a problem in the future...............}

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