Author Topic: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice  (Read 922 times)

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Offline JamLazyAss

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Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« on: August 08, 2020, 05:55:34 PM »
My 52 has been sitting in the garage for exactly one year.
It hasn't been started nor did I try to start it due to medical BS.

I first tried a few days ago. I turned on the petcock and gas flowed everywhere.
Took the bowl off and found the float pin (I don't know the proper term) fell out from the float fingers.
I corrected that and the problem appears to be corrected.
All old gas was drained from the carb (linkert M74-B) and tanks.
Fresh gas was put in the tanks.

I have spark at the plugs.
I can't get it to start. Doesn't even try.
I gave it a couple quick shots of starter fluid, same thing.

Does anyone have a suggestion? What am I missing?

I never had a problem with this bike/motor.
It appears that the time has come to sell it, but I have to figure this out first.

Thanks.
JamLazyAss (Jack)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2020, 08:33:52 PM by JamLazyAss »
I'm not a proctologist, but I know an asshole when I see one...

Offline Hossamania

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advise
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2020, 08:34:35 PM »
Is the spark a good strong blue color? Could timing have changed somehow? A valve hanging open killing compression? I've seen failed condensers do weird things.
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Offline drifter

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2020, 11:35:34 AM »
I haven't had my hands on a M74 B for a long time but if it has a drain plug on the bottom of the float bowl, unscrew it and confirm that fuel is indeed flowing to the carb at a good rate.  When the spark plugs were out did you hold your finger over the hole while cranking it to confirm compression?  As you know the engine needs air, fuel, compression and spark at the proper times to run, which one is wrong?  If you didn't drain the carb float bowl when it was parked the gas may have gummed up the jets etc. when it dried, might have to clean the carb for the new gas to get through.  Since it 'ran when parked' there shouldn't be much wrong with it.  As Hossamania suggested, if the spark is weak it may not ignite the air fuel mix in the cylinder under pressure, check and clean the points and all electrical connections related to the ignition.   Good luck.

Offline JohnnyCashPan

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2020, 03:37:29 AM »
You sprayed starter fluid in the carb and still nothing?  Verify your battery is charged; fire present at the plugs.  Check to see your clutch isn't slipping.  I watched a guy with an open primary kick himself sober.  Clutch basket barely moved, discs were glazed.
Old, slow and fat...

Offline JamLazyAss

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2020, 10:23:11 AM »
Just installed a new battery over the weekend.
Spark looks good at the plugs.
No, it didn't even try to fire with starter fluid.

I hope to get back at it this week but it's so effin hot in the garage.
We'll see.
I'm not a proctologist, but I know an asshole when I see one...

Offline Excalibur

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2020, 02:43:26 AM »
Agree with Drifter on cleaning the points. They dull off from sitting.

Offline fleetmechanic

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2020, 06:34:23 PM »

When you do get it to start be very careful about putting it in gear.  The clutch plates may well be glued together from tranny oil leakage.  I see this on just about any 4 speed with a "dry" clutch that's been sitting awhile.

Offline drifter

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2020, 11:26:50 AM »
If you haven't got it running yet, some furry critter may have turned the exhaust pipe into a cozy house with lots of grass etc. stuffed in there blocking exhaust flow, it won't run well if it can't breathe.   

Offline JamLazyAss

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2020, 02:48:40 PM »
Aug 26

Put new plugs in it today.
Checked compression. About 105.
Verified spark at both plugs.
Lightly sanded points.

Sprayed some starting fluid.

Still get nothing.

This has been a perfectly running bike before I parked it.  :banghead:
I'm not a proctologist, but I know an asshole when I see one...

Offline Hossamania

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2020, 03:12:19 PM »
New condenser?
When borrowing money from a friend, decide which you need most.

Offline fbn ent

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2020, 03:22:23 PM »
Umm...So, how much for this doesn't run '52?   

Sorry, had to ask  :teeth:
'02 FLTRI - 103" / '84 FLH - 88"
Hinton, Alberta

Offline JamLazyAss

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2020, 03:42:10 PM »
Umm...So, how much for this doesn't run '52?   

Sorry, had to ask  :teeth:

I'll probably try the condenser next.

Unfortunately it probably is going to go up for sale after I find the problem.
Pushing 70 and the doctors tell me it's time.
I'm not a proctologist, but I know an asshole when I see one...

Offline fbn ent

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2020, 03:48:12 PM »
 :cry:
'02 FLTRI - 103" / '84 FLH - 88"
Hinton, Alberta

Offline Hossamania

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2020, 03:57:28 PM »
Umm...So, how much for this doesn't run '52?   

Sorry, had to ask  :teeth:

I'll probably try the condenser next.

Unfortunately it probably is going to go up for sale after I find the problem.
Pushing 70 and the doctors tell me it's time.

And by doctors, you mean your knees?
When borrowing money from a friend, decide which you need most.

Offline JamLazyAss

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2020, 04:15:18 PM »
Nah. lol
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Offline twincamzz

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2020, 04:49:05 PM »
.
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Offline Brrrap

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2020, 01:09:38 PM »
Jam, Sad to hear all of this. If I were still back in NY, I would have loved to swing by to get the 'ol pan going. Good luck man.
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Offline JamLazyAss

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2020, 01:35:59 PM »
Thanks Bob.
I'm not a proctologist, but I know an asshole when I see one...

Offline Herb

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2020, 07:51:00 PM »
If you have good spark the condenser is not a problem. If you spray starting fluid in the carb and dont even get a pop I would look to see if there is something that is plugging the intake since it has been setting. Even if something was plugging your exhaust it should at least pop. At 105 compression I would not look for a stuck valve. Even with timing off it should pop with either. Are you checking spark at the plug electrode and not just the wire? Have you pulled a plug to verify if they are wet (getting fuel to them)

Offline Reddog74usa

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2020, 09:05:19 AM »
I'm with Hoss on this one and have also seen weird stuff with condensers. Damn shame your gonna sell the Pan. I always like that bike and is one of the nicest ones I've seen. Perfect lines. Try the condenser. I have one if ya need it. Oh yeah, I have seen them have spark and not start then put in a new condenser and WHAPPOW she started right up.
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Offline Hossamania

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2020, 02:32:57 PM »
Agreed, the spark can be erratic with a bad condenser, it will spark, but timing  can be way off.
When borrowing money from a friend, decide which you need most.

Offline Deye76

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Re: Panhead Won't Start - Need Advice
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2020, 11:46:19 AM »
i have experienced bad condensers right out of the box. New doesn't mean good anymore.
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