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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

Long time Triumph owner, first time Harley owner.

I recently bought a 2009 HD Sportster for the low because the engine wouldn’t turn over due to a broken flywheel. I was told it would cost less to just swap the entire engine instead of replacing the flywheel (if I could find a reasonably priced one with relatively low mileage). So far 1200cc engines on eBay run anywhere from $1,500-$2,500 depending on the year and mileage.

Any advice as to what some others would do, who maybe have ran into the same problem. I have attached photos below that the seller provided. Thanks!
 

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2004 fatboy, 2014 SGS and 2019 heritage
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You can get a used crankshaft for 200 to 500 dollars, if you can do the work yourself you will be into for around 1K, this includes the gaskets, and if you are willing to use all the other parts, otherwise you would be better off buying a used engine and hope it is in good shape.
 

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1998 Harley Davidson FXDL low rider " Dynasor"
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I would not buy an ebay engine. As you are buying a probably no return item, description based on sellers word, cost of return be prohibitive. You have never heard it run. Depending on what u paid for bike, and your not in love with it. You could make more money parting it out. Then buy a runner. Gl whichever way you go. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would not buy an ebay engine. As you are buying a probably no return item, description based on sellers word, cost of return be prohibitive. You have never heard it run. Depending on what u paid for bike, and your not in love with it. You could make more money parting it out. Then buy a runner. Gl whichever way you go. Just my 2 cents.
I was offered a bench tested engine with a 30-day guarantee from a parts seller online. The posting also includes a video which sounds pretty good. Only issue is, i'm not too sure what to make of the compression numbers. They seem a little high at 230/220. Do you have any advice on this? Thanks for your response!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You can get a used crankshaft for 200 to 500 dollars, if you can do the work yourself you will be into for around 1K, this includes the gaskets, and if you are willing to use all the other parts, otherwise you would be better off buying a used engine and hope it is in good shape.
Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, I'm located in manhattan and have no access to a garage/work station to do the work myself and so will have to resort to a mechanic to do the engine swap for me (approx. 8-10 hrs at 125 which is quite expensive). I have been looking online and compression numbers for these engines seem to be all over the place. Most come with 30-day return guarantees and include videos, though do you recommend a certain mileage range/compression number range?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Its going to cost Way Less to Replace rather than Repair.
Thanks for the reply. Seems like I am going to swap the engine. I have been looking online and compression numbers for these engines seem to be all over the place. Most come with 30-day return guarantees and include videos, though do you recommend a certain mileage range/compression number range?
 

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1998 Harley Davidson FXDL low rider " Dynasor"
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Yep I found 200- 225 how many miles "they say is on engine" I think 1k labor approx is high. If you bought bike cheap enough, I guess. There may and will be other things needing repair. I be very wary not to go down black hole of money without checking everthing else first. You don't want to buy it twice.
 

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Installing a new crank would include a top end rebuild while the engine is apart. Doing a rubber mount Sportster is quite the work, splitting the cases and special H-D tools required. There's even a special fixture to use with a cherry picker to get the engine out and into the frame !
That being said I would consider just doing an engine swap. That would probably require a different title depending on the state the bike is in.
 
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1998 Harley Davidson FXDL low rider " Dynasor"
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Thats alot of special tools and knowledge. To me, if the cost far outweighs the end result. Is it worth it? Maybe if you paid $500 for the bike. For sure there will be other issues as it is not rideable now to know. Risk vs reward.
 

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Thats alot of special tools and knowledge. To me, if the cost far outweighs the end result. Is it worth it? Maybe if you paid $500 for the bike. For sure there will be other issues as it is not rideable now to know. Risk vs reward.
Personally I wouldn't have touched that Sportster with the OP's wallet even if I had it ! Rubber mount Sportys are pretty bullet proof for the most part BUT when it comes to complete drivetrain rebuild it's cost and labor prohibitive ! Hell ya gotta split the case to just work on the trans, no more trap door !
 
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1998 Harley Davidson FXDL low rider " Dynasor"
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I didn't know that either, major PIA. I had a 72 sporty I absolutely hated, at least it had the trap door. Once I got done pouring Benjamin's in it I sold it. Oh the AMF days...
 
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