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  #1  
Old 02-25-2008, 07:01 PM
Bipestuff Bipestuff is offline
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Default A little help for a "new" 1973 Sporster XLCH

Hello to all!

This is my first post as I'm new to the forum. I've been reading and learning a lot, but have a few questions if you would be kind enough to provide your responses. If these are repeats, sorry, but I have not been able to find the answers yet.

I obtained my 1973 Ironhead from a family member that bought it new. He recently passed, and I wanted to keep the bike "in the family". It has not been ridden in some time, and not run for over a year. I bought a Clymer repair manual, and am somewhat a handyman for typical repairs such as fluid changes, brakes, simple tuning, etc. I've owned bikes, but this is my first Harley, and I haven't ridden in a few years, but am excited to get it out again.

I've been able to get the bike running, and it seems to start and run fairly well. It needs an oil change and a few other things such as work on the front disk brake. The brake works, but does not seem to want to "relax" all the way, and is binding on the disk. I assume I will need to get a brake kit, take it apart and clean the piston, etc. and install new seals. I also plan to buy a new brake line and of course change out the fluid.

Once I get the fluids changed and the brake working, I also need to figure out why the front brake switch is not working. I figure it needs a new switch, so I may just order a new one. I have to take the handbrake assembly apart and check it out. Any suggestions on that is appreciated.

So here's a few questions if you're able to help - thanks in advance!

1) What type of oil should I use in the main? The dealer said the 20-50 synthetic (Screamin' Eagle) would be a good choice
2) What type of oil should I use in the transmission?
3) What type of brake fluid? The manual says DOT 5, but should I stick with OEM fluid?
4) The tires need to be replaced, any suggestions for brands or where to have them replaced? Should I use a local HD dealer or find a custom shop or other? I live in the Raleigh, NC area.
5) I could use a right side mirror, any idea where to get one to match the original, or just get two new ones at a reasonable price?
6) How about a helmet, I need a new one. Any suggestions for a place to get one? Or should I just go to the dealer so I can try it on and such. I'm thinking a shorty would be a good choice, I'm sure there's many opinions on that. NC has new laws regarding helmets so I need to get one "approved" in NC, DOT and all.

That's enough for now, should get me started. I appreciate any help and I look forward to using this forum - it seems to be a good one!

Any other suggestions on getting an older bike road ready is appreciated.

Tom


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  #2  
Old 02-25-2008, 09:11 PM
83_XLX_in_FL 83_XLX_in_FL is offline
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Default RE: A little help for a "new" 1973 Sporster XLCH

Well, my advice isnt gonna be a lot but hey, I am somewhat new to H-D myself. Things that help me a lot-

Factory service manual is the best thing going in my opinion. I got one for mine and the clymer was used to catch a primary leak afterwards.

Factory parts manual if you can get ahold of one. Mine has made checking which parts I need so easy, as my '83 is an odd year.

Tire wise, I dont think it matters who puts them on too much. I got my tire done cheaper by taking the front wheel off and taking it over to him, so I am not paying him for the busywork that comes with removal/reinstallation

Oil wise, I have read some test results that say screaming eagle isnt all that. Amsoil makes some kick-*** products but havent personally dealt with it in a H-D yet. Thats where I was going to look for oil. primary drive on mine uses same oil as engine.

If you can get a reprint or an old owners manual, it would probably explain most of what you are asking. I know a LOT of people absolutely despise eBay, but I have done plenty of buying and selling there of old International Harvester, Ford, and now H-D parts too with good success... Scope out whats on there ya might get lucky!
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  #3  
Old 02-25-2008, 09:15 PM
83_XLX_in_FL 83_XLX_in_FL is offline
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Default RE: A little help for a "new" 1973 Sporster XLCH

Oh i missed 2 things-

Brake fluid- DOT 4 i think is what mine specs. Unless things have changed, DOT 5 is a different type of fluid (different chemicals) and cannot be mixed with DOT 4. as your system is getting rebuilt, use whatever ya want I suppose. flush it very well and I think to go to DOT 5 there was a flush you need to do. Cannot have too good of brake fluid that I know of!

For helmets- I deal with the helmet shop in Daytona Beach, FL. But I live 25 miles from bike week so its convenient for me. They have a lot to choose from and online ordering, if nothing else browse and see what ya like! http://www.helmetshop.com/index.asp
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  #4  
Old 02-25-2008, 10:40 PM
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pococj pococj is offline
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Default RE: A little help for a "new" 1973 Sporster XLCH

Quote:
ORIGINAL: Bipestuff

(Snip some)

I've been able to get the bike running, and it seems to start and run fairly well. It needs an oil change and a few other things such as work on the front disk brake. The brake works, but does not seem to want to "relax" all the way, and is binding on the disk. I assume I will need to get a brake kit, take it apart and clean the piston, etc. and install new seals. I also plan to buy a new brake line and of course change out the fluid.

Once I get the fluids changed and the brake working, I also need to figure out why the front brake switch is not working. I figure it needs a new switch, so I may just order a new one. I have to take the handbrake assembly apart and check it out. Any suggestions on that is appreciated.

So here's a few questions if you're able to help - thanks in advance!

1) What type of oil should I use in the main? The dealer said the 20-50 synthetic (Screamin' Eagle) would be a good choice
2) What type of oil should I use in the transmission?
3) What type of brake fluid? The manual says DOT 5, but should I stick with OEM fluid?
4) The tires need to be replaced, any suggestions for brands or where to have them replaced? Should I use a local HD dealer or find a custom shop or other? I live in the Raleigh, NC area.
5) I could use a right side mirror, any idea where to get one to match the original, or just get two new ones at a reasonable price?
6) How about a helmet, I need a new one. Any suggestions for a place to get one? Or should I just go to the dealer so I can try it on and such. I'm thinking a shorty would be a good choice, I'm sure there's many opinions on that. NC has new laws regarding helmets so I need to get one "approved" in NC, DOT and all.

That's enough for now, should get me started. I appreciate any help and I look forward to using this forum - it seems to be a good one!

Any other suggestions on getting an older bike road ready is appreciated.

Tom

(Snip again)
Get thee a factory manual.

Rebuild both the master cylinder and the caliper. Check the rotor for runout. Do a wheel bearing job while you're at that end of the bike.

Front brake switch is likely ka-put. They aren't known for longevity.

1. Unless this motor has been recently rebuilt, I'd not use any synthetic . You may end up with something resembling a seive. The sysnthetic will do what it's s'posed to do, and clean all the crud that's on existing seals; then they will leak. OTOH, it will ID what seals are shot! Use a good 20w-50 "dino" oil. Castrol, Havoline, etc.

2. There is a valve between the primary/transmission and the engine. Oil will interchange, so you have to use the same oil in the primary/tranny as you do in the engine.

3. Brake fluid: Gotta love Harley! My factory manual says DOT 5 in the list of specs. Then in the brake section it says for 1973 to use hydraulic fluid for brakes. For 1974 it says to use DOT 5. So having been given the official factory mumbo-jumbo runaround, I always used DOT 5. Any DOT 5 is fine; no need to pay the HD tax on brake fluid. Do not use DOT 4.

4. Tires - name brand that are the correct size. I have always had good luck with Dunlops or Avons, while others swear by Metzeler. Pull the wheels and take 'em in to have the tires replaced. No sense paying the bucks for the mech to do the grunt labor.

5. Mirrors - J&P has a plethora (always wanted to use that word!) so take your pick. Other catalog joints have tons of 'em, too.

6. Helmet laws suck, and so do the politicians who pass the laws. HD helmets are overpriced. I used to work in Louisiana so I had to wear a skid-lid. Bough
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  #5  
Old 02-25-2008, 10:43 PM
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pococj pococj is offline
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Default RE: A little help for a "new" 1973 Sporster XLCH

Just noticed it still has the original seat! Man, is your butt gonna h-u-r-t!!!! It's also missing a battery box cover (side, not top), and please, please, please get rid of that cover over the front brake caliper!
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  #6  
Old 02-25-2008, 10:54 PM
Nomad X Nomad X is offline
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Default RE: A little help for a "new" 1973 Sporster XLCH

Welcome to HDF. Nice a$$ old Amf sporty,hard to find in that kind of shape.
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:30 AM
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83XLX 83XLX is offline
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Default RE: A little help for a "new" 1973 Sporster XLCH

Quote:
ORIGINAL: pococj
Get thee a factory manual.

Rebuild both the master cylinder and the caliper. Check the rotor for runout. Do a wheel bearing job while you're at that end of the bike.

Front brake switch is likely ka-put. They aren't known for longevity.

1. Unless this motor has been recently rebuilt, I'd not use any synthetic . You may end up with something resembling a seive. The sysnthetic will do what it's s'posed to do, and clean all the crud that's on existing seals; then they will leak. OTOH, it will ID what seals are shot! Use a good 20w-50 "dino" oil. Castrol, Havoline, etc.

2. There is a valve between the primary/transmission and the engine. Oil will interchange, so you have to use the same oil in the primary/tranny as you do in the engine.

3. Brake fluid: Gotta love Harley! My factory manual says DOT 5 in the list of specs. Then in the brake section it says for 1973 to use hydraulic fluid for brakes. For 1974 it says to use DOT 5. So having been given the official factory mumbo-jumbo runaround, I always used DOT 5. Any DOT 5 is fine; no need to pay the HD tax on brake fluid. Do not use DOT 4.

4. Tires - name brand that are the correct size. I have always had good luck with Dunlops or Avons, while others swear by Metzeler. Pull the wheels and take 'em in to have the tires replaced. No sense paying the bucks for the mech to do the grunt labor.

5. Mirrors - J&P has a plethora (always wanted to use that word!) so take your pick. Other catalog joints have tons of 'em, too.

6. Helmet laws suck, and so do the politicians who pass the laws. HD helmets are overpriced. I used to work in Louisiana so I had to wear a skid-lid. Bought one online from J&P for less than $50.

Good luck in getting this baby back in the wind.
These are the right answers. I'll add that I've had good luck with Continental "Blitz" tires - they work well and are fairly cheap. I tried synthetic oil in mine and it leaked like a sieve.

Nice old stock bike - If I were you, I'd make it a drop-dead beautiful STOCK Sportster. Don't customize it, and you'll be glad you didn't in a few years. If you do decide to customize it, keep the original parts and buy "donor" parts on eBay to hack up and paint.......
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Old 02-26-2008, 04:02 PM
Bipestuff Bipestuff is offline
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Default RE: A little help for a "new" 1973 Sporster XLCH

Thanks to all for your advice and information. I did buy a Clymer manual, and I'm told the original manual has been found! I'm actually going to visit family this weekend and plan to pick it up. I want to do as much work on the bike myself as I can. I think I'll use the advice about taking the wheels off to get new tires put on, save some $$ and I need to adjust the rear wheel for chain slack anyway.

One other thing, any suggestions on oil for the front fork? I thought I'd change that out while I've got it tore down.

Thanks again and I hope to see you all out on the road soon!

Tom
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Old 02-27-2008, 07:12 AM
Skinner Skinner is offline
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Default RE: A little help for a "new" 1973 Sporster XLCH

Quote:
ORIGINAL: Bipestuff

One other thing, any suggestions on oil for the front fork? I thought I'd change that out while I've got it tore down.

Thanks again and I hope to see you all out on the road soon!

Tom
Any 20 wt fork oil will do.

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Old 03-01-2008, 10:32 AM
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Harley Bass Harley Bass is offline
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Default RE: A little help for a "new" 1973 Sporster XLCH

Great to see another 73 XLCH. I'm about through with restoring my 73 Sportster. Sure wish I had found this site sooner, maybe we could have worked out a deal for that original seat. It looks in excellent shape and I wouldn't change it. Replaced mine with a Mustang, same style but without original pattern.
On my bike I've had the engine rebuilt, frame powder coated, all original chrome re-plated (even though repacement parts are available and cheaper, wanted to stay all original). Found a guy here who paints for all the dealersto paint my tank and fenders. He made a cool silver metalflake and did a great job writing "Sportster" on the tank in sort of a burn't orange.
Your going to need an oil filter. This model was made without one, believe it or not. You can get the kit from J&P Cycle. It replaces your left front motor mount below the Generator. Chrome spin on type, looks pretty cool. I would also run a straight 50 dinoin it. Yours must be a late 73. Noticed you have blinkers. My 73 doesn't have blinkers. And enjoy that right side shift, thats old school.
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:32 AM
 
 
 
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