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Old 07-23-2008, 09:20 AM   #1
jshurak
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Default Sportster overheating

My bike overheated and stalled the other night. I wasn't beating on it or anything. The engine was super hot. Like, lick you finger, touch the engine and hear a sizzle hot. It stalled and wouldn't start after that. I let it cool and it rode fine.

It started heating up again a day or so later. Didn't stall this time, but I was cautious to get it back to the house right away. The oil look fine, maybe a bit low so i topped it off.

Any ideas? Its about 19,500 miles. Should I get the 20,000 check up now?
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:37 AM   #2
pushrod
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Unless you're sitting and letting the engine idle and thus get real hot, you might be running lean. Less likely is your timing is off.

Is the engine running normally otherwise? Is it backfiring through the carb (after it's warmed up)?

Mind you, air-cooled engines can get really hot, and one symptom is that the engine starts pinging when it gets too hot.

Best thing to do is to get it to a mechanic soon.
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:41 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pushrod View Post
Unless you're sitting and letting the engine idle and thus get real hot, you might be running lean. Less likely is your timing is off.

Is the engine running normally otherwise? Is it backfiring through the carb (after it's warmed up)?

Mind you, air-cooled engines can get really hot, and one symptom is that the engine starts pinging when it gets too hot.

Best thing to do is to get it to a mechanic soon.
I let it idle when warming up....maybe a minute or two. The only other idling is at traffic lights.

The engine is running normally, haven't had any backfiring. And I haven't heard any pinging.

I plan on taking it in.
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:57 AM   #4
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Even if you find out what's going on and fix it, your engine might benefit from an add-on oil cooler. Talk to your dealer about it when you take it in.
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:16 AM   #5
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pushrod, By timing, do you mean the main drive chain?
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:31 AM   #6
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No, the timing for the ignition. That has noting to do with the "main drive chain".
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:08 AM   #7
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Two things: ditto Sachi's comment on the oil cooler. We put one on my friend's Sportster and it took about 30 degrees off the oil temp. It was the Jag unit that mounts on the frame. Easy to install, good looking unit. It has a bypass valve if it's cold out. Item 2 is synthetic oil. It will lower the temps, and it will withstand higher temps than dino oil. Of course if something is out of whack causing it to overheat, fix that! You should run in the 190 to 220 range in 80 degree weather. More than that is out of spec.
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Old 07-26-2008, 06:06 PM   #8
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How long are you sitting in traffic and how hot is the temp(outside?)
And let me guess is the rear cylinder? Do you have a temp gauge and fan? If so what does the tempature read at? and if you have a fan is it coming on? How do you know its really overheating does it stop running?
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth_Moore View Post
Two things: ditto Sachi's comment on the oil cooler. We put one on my friend's Sportster and it took about 30 degrees off the oil temp.
+1 depending on your riding conditions the oil cooler may be an essential upgrade.
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