FAQ  •  Register  •  Login

Unbelieveable Starting Problem and Solution

Moderators: Curt!, Pa

<<

42Flathead80

Posts: 12

Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:04 pm

Post Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:08 pm

Unbelieveable Starting Problem and Solution

I just finished my electricstart 42 flathead I started in 1990 (marriage, divorce, changed jobs twice, moved out of state, etc.). It wouldn't crank. Now I am no newbie to Harleys. I have owned as many as four at one time, probably twenty in my lifetime. Most were built by me from parts. I am also building a cafe racer KHK on the backburner. So when I went through the carb about half a dozen times, tuned it several times, replaced the starter (0.8kW Accel Ultra Tork which is a joke - but it was cheap even though the seller told me it was a 1.4 kW), took everything apart at least twice, and it still wouldn't start even after verifying spark, fuel, and timing. I opened the plugs from 0.025 to 0.030 with no change. Three weeks into trying to start this puppy, and today, I happened to forget to replace the distributor cap and it started instantly. I put the cap back on and it wouldn't start. Wow! I knew it was going to be something very simple, but I never expected this.

Close inspection showed the point terminal was barely touching the cap when it was in place. One screwdriver and a repositioned terminal, and starting was a breeze. It runs beautifully, and there is nothing like the sound of a new flattie through drag pipes. The starting system operates flawlessly. I used a non-electric start 65 inner primary, 65 output shaft with re-tapered end, used rod bearings in a hogged out old race, and machined inner for one of the original BDL belt drives with idler. Much hogging of aluminum, and a lot of fitting for the solenoid. I used a tin outer just because I liked the looks of it. Had a lot of trouble getting it all to fit and work together, but right now I feel it was worth it. :wink:

It has a 4 speed tranny, 5 gal tanks, swingarm Paugho frame, lowered shocks, disc brakes front and rear, and a late model battery fit into an old saddle tank. I had to modify the clutch arm drastically, and fitting the drag pipes to clear everything including the kick starter was a trial, but it all works. It also has turn signals, horn, etc. for safety reasons. :idea:

Then I painted it Seafoam Green!

Now I get to go through the NC title trials. In case you don't live in NC, we have the worst title system for rejuvenating old titleless bikes in the USA. I will use the MCO from Paugho to start the process. It isn't going to be fun. :?

Jim :mrgreen:
Last edited by 42Flathead80 on Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4758

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:52 pm

Re: Unbelieveable Cranking Problem and Solution

Bike sounds real interesting. Please put up some pics of it. Pa
<<

42Flathead80

Posts: 12

Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:04 pm

Post Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:30 pm

Pictures

This is my idea of a rider.

This shows the throttle cable modification for Harley cable on a Mikuni 38mm. Runs beautifully (now).
MVC-122X.JPG
MVC-122X.JPG (123.87 KiB) Viewed 5351 times


My new chrome starter (???).
MVC-115X.JPG
MVC-115X.JPG (166.17 KiB) Viewed 5351 times


Other side.
MVC-120X.JPG
MVC-120X.JPG (166.58 KiB) Viewed 5348 times


Cateye dash off temporarily.
MVC-120X.JPG
MVC-120X.JPG (166.58 KiB) Viewed 5348 times


Seafoam Green doesn't look too bad, heh?

Jim
<<

45Brit

Posts: 1437

Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:29 am

Post Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:35 am

Re: Unbelieveable Cranking Problem and Solution

front pipes for flathead engines in non-standard frames, I know that one :shock:

Image

then again, panheads and BT flatheads have the 'flat pipe' as standard, and 45s have that flattened side-leg under the footboards, so no surprises really
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...
<<

42Flathead80

Posts: 12

Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:04 pm

Post Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:14 am

Re: Unbelieveable Starting Problem and Solution

Cool looking old 45. That oil tank looks familiar! :mrgreen:

Jim
Last edited by 42Flathead80 on Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
<<

panic

Post Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:09 am

Re: Unbelieveable Cranking Problem and Solution

I'll just ignore this.
Last edited by panic on Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
<<

42Flathead80

Posts: 12

Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:04 pm

Post Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:10 am

It Wouldn't "Crank" - uh, "Start"

Thanks panic. :mrgreen:

Jim
Last edited by 42Flathead80 on Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
<<

Sidewinder

Posts: 89

Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:04 pm

Location: Norway

Post Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:08 pm

Re: Unbelieveable Cranking Problem and Solution

45Brit wrote:then again, panheads and BT flatheads have the 'flat pipe' as standard, and 45s have that flattened side-leg under the footboards, so no surprises really


Panheads do have a "flat-pipe", BTSV do not.
Torstein
<<

45Brit

Posts: 1437

Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:29 am

Post Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:40 pm

Re: Unbelieveable Starting Problem and Solution

42Flathead80 wrote:Cool looking old 45. That oil tank looks familiar! :mrgreen:

Jim


the oil tank is, as best I can guess, Matchless or AJS. It's been hanging in my shed for more years than enough. The chrome box on the mudguard is a repro knuckle-head type toolbox which has found various odd locations, it's now been moved the the left side ( behind the clutch and below the battery )

I'd always understood that a BT flathead has the flat pipe, like a panhead. Then again, I've never seen one in the metal, they are extremely rare in UK. They certainly have the exhaust exiting between the front downtubes and emerging behind and below the footboards

http://www.flathead-bobbers.com/flathea ... 74Shop.php

; so, what shape is it?
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...
<<

Frankenstein

User avatar

Posts: 1561

Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 12:01 am

Location: Interlaken, NY USA

Post Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:04 am

Re: Unbelieveable Starting Problem and Solution

Looks like this:
Image
The photo doesn't do justice to all the small kinks and flattenings done to the pipe to make it fit, but they're there.
DD
<<

45Brit

Posts: 1437

Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:29 am

Post Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:48 am

Re: Unbelieveable Starting Problem and Solution

ok, so not a 'flat pipe' like a panhead, but still a dog-leg shape with various dings to make it fit? That's about what I had thought it must be. I did look at making it a big curve outside the front footrest bar, like 42flathead80's bike, but decided against it ( mainly ) for reasons of ground clearance.

I like that green colour, by the way
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Return to Big Twin Flatties

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 1 guest

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2012 phpBB Group.