First 71 Ironhead Rebuild - Harley Davidson Forums: Harley Davidson Motorcycle Forum
 5Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 5
First 71 Ironhead Rebuild

New to this site, so Hi everyone!
I'm buying my first bike this Friday, and it is a '71 Ironhead. I'm getting it for a steal from an old deadhead, and needless to say I am ridiculously excited. I have a couple of questions/concerns.
My first being that the owner said it is stuck in first gear, how common of a problem is this? and what should I look at first in order to diagnose the issue?
Second, realistically how much am I looking at spending if I want to do a full rebuild?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMAG1057.jpg
Views:	39
Size:	1.40 MB
ID:	591570  
Pmck7 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 04:33 AM
Frozen Member
 
naknekpete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: The only state bigger than Texas
Posts: 1,901
That looks like a fun project. I wouldnt say that the trans being stuck in gear is a common problem, but if thats true and youre talking a full rebuild I hope youre mechanically inclined! The cams on those are usually the biggest problem so I would plan on going through those while youre at it, and look for cracked bosses on the case under the cams. As to the trans problem, I dont know, youre just going to have to open it up and look but the problem is probably in the shifting mechanism. The gearsets are pretty tough.


As to cost,that mostly depends on how much you do and how much you do yourself as opposed to paying someone else to do it. I rebuilt a basket case 73 around 1990 and put about $3500 to $4000 into it including paint, but I also made some major changes and swapped for a lot of parts.

Good luck and take lots of pictures and notes. We love a good build thread on here. You should have no problem getting lots of advice, particularly on help spending your money!
naknekpete is online now  
post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 06:49 AM
Senior Member
 
Breeze3at's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Middle Georgia
Posts: 3,799
Garage
Welcome to the forum. That 46 yr. old Sportster has probably had more hands on it than a $2 Tijuana hooker, so there's no telling what quality of "modifications/repairs" have been made. It could be a great bike for you. One thing for sure, you will know a LOT about ironheads when you're done.

I'm a no hyphen (-) American.
Pete / Breeze .380
Breeze3at is online now  
 
post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 5
naknekpete Thanks for the tips! I am pretty excited about this project, I am pretty mechanically inclined, but this will be the first bike project I personally own. I will probably be posting with more questions tomorrow when I pick it up, and I will definitely post updates along the way. I probably won't do a full rebuild from the get go simply because I would like to get it running first, as well as needing to save up some fund s for the rebuild. I figured it would be pretty expensive.

Breeze3at I figured so, but that's part of why I wanted this bike. I love a challenge, and I love the idea of the history behind this bike. The other part is exactly what you said, I want to learn more about Ironheads. Pretty dang excited about this project.
Pmck7 is offline  
post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 03:09 PM
Frozen Member
 
naknekpete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: The only state bigger than Texas
Posts: 1,901
Let me give you the first tip then- Breeze is right, she's old and obviously highly modified already. IMO the way to tackle a project of that age is to take the motor out of the frame and get everything done on it including the trans and primary. Take the top end down too and check the bores and pistons/rings, wrist pins and crank slop. No telling their condition but theyre likely worn and if it sat outside for long that didnt help anything. Having the motor out and on a bench will make all that a lot easier. You dont have to rebuild it all but you should at least inspect it before you move on. It will probably save you money in the long run too, and really isnt very expensive depending on what you need/do.

You might get lucky and everything but the shifter is pristine inside but at its age I really doubt it, and if you patchwork the motor & trans work thats all you will be doing in between pushes home. At the same time you might as well strip the frame and get all the welds inspected and the frame re-coated. Mine was a hardtail so that probably contributed to it but there were multiple cracked welds all over.

The rest is just parts and personal preferences of style. It looks fairly complete so besides a seat and whatever you want to do about paint you may not even need or want to change much. If you make that initial investment everything else is easily accessible too.

One other little tip- this might have already been done but unless it has, when you take the forks off the frame, ball bearings will go everywhere. Use em for slingshot ammo and put Timkens in the neck.
candyman1340 likes this.
naknekpete is online now  
post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 5
Thanks for that, I was trying to figure out what I should do first when I get it home tomorrow. Looks like I'll be taking the motor out and inspecting everything.
It has a seat already, the guy just took it off to keep it out of the rain so I'm set there. One thing I will definitely need for parts is a speedometer, the guy said since its so old it passes inspection without one? I live in NY and I think it's been outside most of the winter so I most likely have my hands full.
Pmck7 is offline  
post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 09:09 PM
Frozen Member
 
naknekpete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: The only state bigger than Texas
Posts: 1,901
I had to replace my speedometer too, had a hard time finding one until I finally did in a shop in Ventura CA, but I had to register it as "milage not accurate" or something to that effect. That was before the days of the internet though so it might be easier to find one now.
naknekpete is online now  
post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 09:34 PM
Senior Member
 
candyman1340's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: New England
Posts: 11,325
Garage
If you take the motor apart ,you may want to have the valve seats replaced, 94 octane or higher leaded gas was recommended
naknekpete likes this.
candyman1340 is online now  
post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 12:13 AM
Frozen Member
 
naknekpete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: The only state bigger than Texas
Posts: 1,901
Just thinkin about this thread- I really hope I dont dissuade you, but you need to know going in that this is not just a quick cheap "fix her up and ride" project. This baby needs some deep loving by someone dedicated to doing it right, otherwise she'll just end up gathering yet more rust in your back yard.
tommytailspin and Breeze3at like this.
naknekpete is online now  
post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 5
So is it legal to ride without a speedometer?

So I should use 94 octane or higher all the time in it?

No dissuading here, naknekpete. Picking her up this afternoon and I'm in it for the long haul. After talking to yall I've decided to throw out any hopes I had to ride it right away and do the rebuild first. I'm hoping to be riding this bike for a very long time, and you've convinced me its worth investing in fixing it up right first. Even if my bank account might hate me for it
Pmck7 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Harley Davidson Forums: Harley Davidson Motorcycle Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome