December 26, 2011

Motorcycle Cannonball Diaries Update. Fuel Issues With My 1926 Harley J

I have until September 2012 to get my motorcycle, myself, spare parts and plans ready for the second Motorcycle Cannonball classic motorcycle endurance ride across the US. The first was for pre-1916 motorcycles, this next one is for pre-1930s.

My 1926 Harley as purchased. Check out the crazy horn on the gas tank and British license plate on front fender.

I am confident the 1926 Harley J I am planning on riding is a good choice to base my project on. A previous owner already added newer style drop center rims and a 1929 Harley front brake. At Wheels Through Time we got the bike running and sorted this past summer and then stripped it down as a racer (prior to knowing about the Motorcycle Cannonball). So once back home I began reinstalling all the parts for it to be a good street machine. This included the lights, front fender, rear section of the back fender, mirror, rack, etc. I even insured and trucked it down to the local Department of Motorcycle Vehicles and legally got it registered for the street.

1926 Harley J classic motorcycle - I have to get it ready for cross country ride.

About a month ago I tried to start the old Harley, which was quite easy to kick over this summer, but had been sitting for a while. No matter what I did it would not fire off. So eventually I sprayed some starter fluid into the carb and the first kick fired it off and ran for a second or three. I do not like to use starter fluid but do occasionally. This told me the bike can run but doesn’t due to a gas delivery issue.

I removed, disassembled and inspected the carb before reinstalling it on the manifold. The new Rubber Ducky float we had installed in the summer looked and worked fine. Still it would not fire. So I pulled it apart and inspected it a second time. Same results.  

I was getting pretty frustrated and running out of ideas. Then I wondered, if the carburetor is OK, could the gas itself be the problem. I drained the smaller left side tank and added fresh from the pump gas ans the bike fired up on the fourth or fifth kick. Sure it ran a bit weak at first and belched lots of smoke out the exhaust, but it ran! I let it run until the engine got up to operating temperature and shut it off.

Smoking and burning out all the junk inside the engine of my 1926 Harley V-twin

Now that I know what the problem is I feel much more confident in the machine. Once the weather improves a bit I’d like to take the bike out for a nice long winter ride to blow out all the residue of the bad gas and to flush the system with fresh. Then I’ll add some Stabil to the fuel for the winter hibernation.


Filed under Buzz Kanter Classic Motorcycle Blog, Cannonball Motorcycle Diaries, Carburetors, Classic Motorcycle Maintenance by Buzz Kanter

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September 29, 2011

VINTAGE HARLEY TECH: Cleaning Linkert Carburetor Gas Filter

Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to buy a wonderful 1936 Harley EL, a classic Harley so rare I never thought I would own one. I got lucky and I know it. So I am taking the best care of this old Knucklehead I can as I enjoy riding it and want it to perform at its best.

Linkert Carburetor on Classic Harley Knucklehead Motorcycle

Last week I removed the bottom of the gas filter on the Linkert and was amazed at all the crap that had accumulated in the bottom over the years. Today’s gas is bad enough we don’t want to also add dirt and grit to it. I carefully cleaned the filter and screen and reassembled it as best I could considering the More on VINTAGE HARLEY TECH: Cleaning Linkert Carburetor Gas Filter

Filed under Buzz Kanter Classic Motorcycle Blog, Carburetors, Classic Motorcycle Maintenance by Buzz Kanter

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February 20, 2011

Linkert Carburetor Rebuild Video – Mr. Big’s Blog

Well guys, just for grins I thought I would video a Linkert carb rebuild for the viewers here at Classic American Iron Magazine. When I first joined the forum, I didn’t know a Linkert carb from a monkey’s butt. Now I’m fairly certain I know a monkey’s butt when I see one so I’m far from being an expert.

In any case, I’m sure there are newbies to vintage motorcycles like myself that could benefit from some basic guidelines to working on these neat little carburetors. Part one below will cover available literature, teardown, cleaning and fuel bowl setup. Part two will cover throttle shaft bushing replacement, final assembly and tuning.

Filed under Carburetors, Mr. Big's Blog, Random Ideas by Mr. Big

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