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FL54
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Joined: 08/12/2018
Posts: 17

Greetings all. New to the metric world but longtime vintage Harley owner so no stranger to wrenching on old iron. I recently acquired a 1963 R50 that while started occasionally, has been sitting for a few years. I did the basic changing of fluids and took it to a local Indy that checked the bike over and adjusted valves, replaced wires plugs, rebuilt carbs etc. the biggest problem is the carb bodies themselves. Idle air mixture screws on both were stripped and repaired with JBWeld and re tapped.
The bike starts pretty well when cold but won't idle until warmed up. If it dies during warm up, it's a bear to restart. Once it's warm it rides fine but I don't ever have the confidence in it that it will restart. In reading previous posts, I've replaced the coil and am currently awaiting the delivery of a service manual. In previous posts, I've also read the importance of thoroughly cleaning the magneto which I plan on doing one I have the manual in hand. I also need to supplement my metric tool set as I just have the basic sockets and box wrenches. All advice greatly appreciated as I don't have real confidence in taking the bike on the road. Thanks in advance.

312Icarus
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Joined: 07/15/2016
Posts: 348
Welcome...Consider, since the

Welcome...Consider, since the bike has been sitting a lot and is over 50 years old, doing a complete slinger service. A big job, but doing it saves thousands in a new rebuilt crank. (do a bit of a search on the importance of slinger service on these engines.)

As for the starting problem. Consider replacing the coil with a new modern one. Old coils break down and hard hot starting is a symptom. Also, the carb issue is pretty simple. A good and thorough cleaning and adjustment is in order and really all you have to do. (Look carefully at the floats, as they all eventually leak, there are new plastic ones from Vech that work great). The biggest problem with these Bings is deterioration from sitting with fuel in them, especially ethanol based fuel. New jets (idle and Main) are cheap, along with new float needles, and if you really need them new slide needles. The reality is you just have play with them for a while until you get a “feel” for their adjustment regimen on your particular machine.

Good luck and keep in touch.

Icarus

FL54
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Joined: 08/12/2018
Posts: 17
Thanks Icarus for your reply.

Thanks Icarus for your reply. A little more background is probably in order. Bike was stored with an empty fuel tank and the carbs were cleaned by the Indy and rebuilt. The main problem is the carb bodies themselves. Even with the repair, the left idle air screw had to be locktighted in as I was afraid it would vibrate out. (I had already lost one that way previously). Indy told me he had replaced all jets and gaskets on both carbs.
I replaced the coil with one from vech and the symptoms still remain. As previously stated I'm going to disassemble and clean the magneto and reset points and timing when the service manual arrives. With that done, we'll see if that solves the problem but I'm leaning towards a fuel issue. Once the bike warms up, it's a pleasure to ride but again, I'm never confident it will start after being shut down.
I'm aware of the importance of cleaning the oil slingers. I know that it's not always indicative of the mileage, but the odometer reads just over 14k miles and the speedometer works fine so I'm guessing the odometer is accurate. I'm going to postpone the slinger service for now as this one of several bikes that I own and I don't foresee putting a lot of miles on it.

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