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  1. #21
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    Is the bike in question the Blue tanked one in your pictures?

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomrotten View Post
    LOL

    Ironhead is not a good business oppurtunity lol. The parts can be but building one is like playing Russian roullette with a fully loaded revolver lol. Just playing but if you dont know your way around a Ironhead motor your asking for a huge headache.

    It sounds to me like a grounding problem or a charging problem is plugueing those guys with single fire ignitions going to your local shop. Not saying the shop is doing it but sometimes its easy money to just swap a unit out. Money made on a part and money made on a install.
    It could also be a old ignition thats been runnig for past 20 plus years and electronic do wear out. Most times you know your ignition is crap when it just doesnt spark anymore. Like I posted most times ignitions cut out is due to charging or battery. That could simply be the battery cable or another wire or connection is loose.

    Best yet if your building a bar hopper most times those are the most abused motor. They get hammered because your drunk and showing off so making sure it is solid is important. I can also say that unless you have opened the motor yourself there is no way of knowing if the trans is OEM or not.
    I have had guys long ago tell me that they have a stock motor its never been opened please order parts for a clutch or what not for me and I get the phone call of a frantic guy saying the clutch parts you ordered or the that or this you ordered me is wrong why wont it fit.
    This is why I ask guys 20 questions well talking with them on the phone or in person. I am seeing just how much they really know about their motor or Ironheads/Sportsters in general.
    If I feel they havent really opened her up or their knowlege of the motors in general is not spot on I require that I get a visual for myself.
    Nothing is a bigger bummer then a guy coming to me last minute for goodness I have to special order in. Then getting a call on a friday at 12pm saying the part is wrong and I am suppose to leave in the morning how can you help me. It hurts my heart seeing a 6'5" 250 lb bearded biker sobbing because his Ironhead is not going to make the run.

    A few things that would be helpful to answer your questions
    1. Pictures of your motor and project.
    2. What is it you want the bike to do. A bar hopper to me is such a wide open statement.
    3. If I am guessing it sounds like you want a rocket ship because you keep going to ported head.
    Expect to open your wallet because you need to make sure everything from the bottom to the top is rock solid.
    4. Ironhead cams do not need shims
    LOL...You got to the bottom of it. Ok...here is the deal. A good friend of mine started building a Buell chop at the same time I started this one. Him and everyone else started ragging on me every time we get together....especially if we're drinking. I've got one friend that has a 06 night train that will pull the front wheel thru 3rd. I don't expect to beat him. The 74 was a deal I couldn't pass up. I have always started out to build on a budget, but wind up spending some cake on them after I fall in love with them. This one is no exception. It is starting to get to me when they rag on me about this Ironhead. I don't need to beat'em, just want to surprise the "ney sayers". Don't want to have to work on it all the time, but not afraid of a carb or valve adjustment on occasion . I want this 74 to have as much reliable horse power as possible. If that makes since for an Ironhead. I'll spend the money, but only want to spend it once. Want to start with a good set up.

    Yes, to answer your question, it is the 74 that is just in fabrication stage. It has a 19 on the front, but I have a 21 going on it. If you look in my pics there are two. The blue 74 with apes is a suicide shift we built for a good friend of mine.

  3. #23
    dazegoneby
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    .040 pistons ,,,,,,, ,, oversize,,1,15/16 intake valves,,,1,3/4 exhaust valves, s/s super carb,s/s python pipes,,,unknown size veglia cams,,took a 77 sportster to 140mph,,,this was 1980,,31 years ago ,,musta been overstock compression on pistons,,,, reliable cept the electric starter shit would crap out, on a regular basis,,was my ride for 10 years
    Last edited by dazegoneby; 08-16-2011 at 12:39 PM.

  4. #24
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    We're not sure whats done to it but this is my buddy's old mans and it beat everything on the 1/8th except for a 6 second snowmobile

  5. #25
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    You mentioned the words reliable and work on it.
    You my friend own a Ironhead and if you want reliable and not to work on it then best thing is to build it run it down the road well runnig video then moth balling it.
    The more preformance the more you will be spinnig wrenches if you want to keep her going. If you want reliable and not to work on it then you may want to sell that steed and pick up a 2003 or newer Sporty and start with that.
    I can tell you without paying someone to do the work your going to be into the motor just in parts a minimum of 1500 on the cheap(used stuff) and that is not counting the labor to do the work, the research or the machinework..
    When going the used route for parts reliabilty drops.
    A simple Cams, Pistons, Carb, ignitionand exhaust combo will tilt the pocket book at 1100.00 in parts alone. I just redid the valves, guides and seats no porting on a set of heads and the cost was about 200 a head. kick in flowing them and it gets expensive.
    Some guys money isn a thing. You have to look at do you want it to growel or bark. To growel your probable looking at 1100 to 1600 if your doing the work to growel. To make it bark 3000 plus and that is resourceful.

  6. #26
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    Forgot one big factor. If your a skinny light fucker it is a advantage lol

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hendrixbilt View Post
    Excellent info! Exactly why I came here to ask questions. Had not thought about the transmission. Definitely has OEM gears, but don't know the shape. Still haven't rode it. We just got the fabrication done. Powder coat is almost done. This is going to be a bar hopper from hell! Not very much hwy riding if any. I have a 21 front and a 48 rear. This should give me a good low to mid range. My friend runs a 19/52 and sounds like he's spinning 7k rpm at 55 mph. Don't want that.

    I definitely want to start with some mild head work, but not to mild. I want to match the cams with the head work. I already have the updated charging system with a good battery. The jury is still out on the Dual fire verses single fire. We installed 2 single fires in my friends IH, and it ran great until it got hot. Then it would start missing. Let it cool down and then it would run fine. We talked to a local bike shop owner and he said he's been replacing a lot of single fires because of this trouble. I have always had good luck with singles fires myself.

    What is the most radical cams I could use without any machine work on the cases? Something that can be installed and shimmed by me. What kind of head work would be required to match those cams? I've seen Zippers performance specs and set ups on everything except Ironheads. As many Ironheads that are still out there, It sounds like a good business opportunity for someone.

    Thanks again,
    Bill
    You guys must be running the wrong ohm coils or something. I got the complete ultima kit with their single fire coil and wires, and I've been running it in 100* weather all over the place, and I don't treat my bike nicely. My single fire ultima system works flawlessly.

  8. #28
    garbage
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    Always go single fire. Always.

  9. #29
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    I have a single fire Ultima on my IH and its been awesome. People who say otherwise don't know what they're talking about.

    -Chris

  10. #30
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    I have a 74 also, an XLCH. You CAN make an ironhead fast AND reliable. It takes abit of dough, but when done you will have a reliable, fast bike that is in my opinion cooler then any evo. My recipe is a balanced lower end with JIMS shafts, S&S rods and Wiseco 10-1 pistons. The PO had Jerry Branch port the heads and install his big valves with iron guides and hardened seats. I'm runnin Andrews R5 cams, the only head setup you need with these are to install the Andrews lower collars, they will give you .060 more spring travel. My Baisley roller tipped rockers are on the way and I'm runnin a Super E with a home made stainless 2-1. 32 inch primaries into a reverse cone megaphone with stainless wool baffling. I havent run it with the Super E yet, but with the R5's and a CV from a BT, the thing RIPPED. The heads will be dual plugged this winter and the single fire ignition put in.. I have it down to about 420 lbs now, should have NO problem showin the tail light to many.

  11. #31
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    No Replacement for Displacement.......

    [IMG][/IMG]

  12. #32
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    fdny, I remember this from XLforum. Still the baddest sounding Sportster of ANY kind Ive heard.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by splattergod View Post
    I have never heard this and i was just about to order a ultima single fire unit for mine. Whats the deal with ironheads not responding well to singlefire ignitions?
    I have a ultima single fire in my 80 IH and it runs great, I have tons of motor in it, it will smoke any 1200 evo out there, just wish I had 5 gears and it would be untouchable, Have an ss carb with the air bleed drilled out thing screams down the road. buy it you will get better gas milage and it will not skip a beat.

  14. #34
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    Holy shit that fucker sounds good! I wonder if that is a stroker. It says no replacement for displacement. Wonder what CC's that engine is.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomrotten View Post
    You mentioned the words reliable and work on it.
    You my friend own a Ironhead and if you want reliable and not to work on it then best thing is to build it run it down the road well runnig video then moth balling it.
    The more preformance the more you will be spinnig wrenches if you want to keep her going. If you want reliable and not to work on it then you may want to sell that steed and pick up a 2003 or newer Sporty and start with that.
    I can tell you without paying someone to do the work your going to be into the motor just in parts a minimum of 1500 on the cheap(used stuff) and that is not counting the labor to do the work, the research or the machinework..
    When going the used route for parts reliabilty drops.
    A simple Cams, Pistons, Carb, ignitionand exhaust combo will tilt the pocket book at 1100.00 in parts alone. I just redid the valves, guides and seats no porting on a set of heads and the cost was about 200 a head. kick in flowing them and it gets expensive.
    Some guys money isn a thing. You have to look at do you want it to growel or bark. To growel your probable looking at 1100 to 1600 if your doing the work to growel. To make it bark 3000 plus and that is resourceful.
    Just wanted to say thanks for the info on my Ironhead. You were right on so many things. Someone had been into the transmisson. That trans would have come apart, for sure. I had Boston Mike out of Sandford, Fl. go through the bottom end. Well worth the money. He straighted out many years of half asses and patches.That lttle bit of info saved me lots of future hassle. He installed a 75-76 shifter shaft while he was in it. I also had him install a good set of "P" cams. Not the cams I was really wanting, but I picked them up for like $60.00, so they'll work for now. I can always change them out later. So now I have a good solid platform to work off of. I went ahead and got a single fire and upgraded charging system. I have a CV carb that is probably going on it for now. Trying to get some free time to put it back together now. I want to run it for a while like that and see what I have before I go into the top end. I can do that in the frame.

    This has been one of the smartest thing I did, when it comes to this Ironhead. I went back tonight and re-read this thread, I read info I didn't see the first time. Mile High Murdercycle posted an Andrews cam spec sheet that I just now saw. I would have never found that anywhere else. There is a post by "fehd" who sounds like he has pretty solid ironhead that is all about performance. I like it.

    I just painted the motor tonight and am looking to start putting this bike together in the next month. I'll take some pictures and post them if anyone is interested.

    Thanks again

  16. #36
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    Well I have to agree with most of what has been said here.
    I started with what was supposed to be a runner only to find out my engine had many issues all outlined here http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19820

    After a lot of research I decided on the following. Wiseco 10:1 forged pistons, there is lots of discussion about double plugging or power grooving but either way the hemispherical heads in an ironhead hide the flame from some of the air/fuel mixture so addressing this issue will net more horsepower and better fuel efficiency.

    If you're going to build horsepower you MUST address all areas of the engine or you will be plagued with failures and reliability, Mike Sorensen of Sorensen Performance, a local Shovelhead guru has the bottom end of my IH, everything will be rebuilt and the rotating assembly balanced when I get it back, I can't recommend this enough, the IH will vibrate anyway, an unbalance bottom end will just rob horsepower and eventually will cause reliability issues.

    I also CAN'T stress the importance of the IH transmission, ANDREWS can solve most of your issues in this regard but lets not forget the clutch, I chose a Barnett Scorpion and also thanks to Mike Gattone I upgraded the ball and ramp to a hydraulic set up. The IH stock clutch is fine for 40-50HP but will show its limitations soon after that.

    I chose the R5 cams from Andrews as the best I could get without too much head work, I will of course be porting a polishing to improve increase flow. YMMV

    I LOVE the look of drag pipes but a two into one thats tunable like the SuperTrapp in my opinion is the way to go.

    I also got rid of the generator all together and went with POWERAYTHOR alternator, its smaller and has an integral regulator, I do not want charging issues to plague me, also on the idea USE GOOD WIRES!!!! 30 year old crap is just that CRAP! While your at it install a decent starter, smaller with more torque, you're going to need it, I also am installing a kick on my bike too, I have no idea if I will actually be able to kick it (im not installing any decompression valves) but I like the looks of a kick so I'm hoping my fat ass will be able to kick it.

    I wish I had time to test several ignition systems, I'm tempted to go with points for the simplicity but I am also looking at electronics for reliability, the Jury is still out.

    Use the best parts you can find, be prepared to spend some DYNO time to get it dialed in, spend now or spend later, it's way easier to buy good parts now and touch everything on the engine than it is to half ass it now and deal with failures later. If you think a grand or two is gonna do it I wish you luck, think triple that unless you can TIG, machine, test, and assemble everything yourself.

    Good Luck with your build I am subscribing to this thread to see how you get along.

  17. #37
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    Hey guys love the thread! I am an IH first timer and have had most of my questions answered right here. I have an 84 IH with alternator. What would be the smartest way to go about upgrading the charging system?

  18. #38
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    What are you trying to upgrade? If it works just leave it alone. If it doesnt work be prepared to spend some dough. A stator failure isn't that big a deal, but if your rotor is gone that's a few hundred just to hold it in your hand.

  19. #39
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    Sure you can go real fast on an IH, for about half a mile and it'll only cost you a few hundy per yard.

  20. #40
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    I have an 80 which I'm trying to sell, switched to back to points. Use a 5 ohm dyna coil. Top end is like .3 over and have a super e with a v stack on it. (It came right off a shovel so it runs a bit rich), but the v stack helped over the normal teardrop and filter. It kills in the low end, hits a flatspot (definitely the jetting) then will accelerate to the point it shakes like Michael j fox and scares the shit out of me. (It's a rigid). I couldn't be happier with an 80 ironhead

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