resurrecting older sportster

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by hillcountryflt, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. hillcountryflt

    hillcountryflt Member

    Over the July 4 weekend I will be returning with a 1988 883 (no known major engine mods). The bike has been setting up for about 5-7 years. Previous owner quit riding after developing allergy to UV rays and he just stored the bike (I am currently riding/working on a shovel that I got from him that was put up at the same time). Bike was running fine when shutdown.
    In addition to changing fluids, battery, tires and pouring some marvel mystery oil down each spark plug hole, what would be some other suggestions to minimize issues on first start and to minimize "start-up" costs for this bike.
    I plan to pull the plugs, squirt some Marvel down each cylinder and let it set for a while (day or two), then I was going to put it in gear with rear wheel elevated and try to turn the wheel to see if the pistons are frozen or not.
  2. R. Lewis

    R. Lewis Senior Member Retired Moderators

    I would pull the fuel tank and flush it out. And ,if its carbed, pull it and rebuild.
  3. hillcountryflt

    hillcountryflt Member

    Agree on the carb and fuel line suggestions. Have not performed a carb rebuild yet (just installed a CV on my shovel, but did not have to rebuild it).
    clutch, transmission area is where I have the least experience. On the shovel, my indy "broke" the clutch plates loose. Not certain if that would apply here on this bike.
    On this bike, I plan to tackle more of the "get-it-going" tasks than I did with the shovel, if it seems practical.
  4. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Sounds like you have a solid plan, do you have a Manual? Check back and let us know how it goes, I bought one new in 88 it was candy cobalt blue good machine :D
  5. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    First year of the cv carb on the sportster will probably need a good rebuild get a proper kit for the rebuild
    a good service manual is essential
    one problem area on that age of sportster is that the rubber mount under the battery try gets deformed after a while and does not support the battery too well and as the tray is mounted to the oil tank it can pull on the mounts and split the oil tank
    for the wee bit of money it costs id replace all 4 rubber mounts 3 on the oil tank and 1 under the battery tray as these 2 are bolted together and use the 4 mounts as a single unit to isolate the battery and oil tank


    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    Good point with what Brian said, but to go a bit further. Rubber parts do not age do look at the tires, brake hoses (bleed the fluid to see what condition the seals are, if fluid is black that is from the seals and hoses decomposing from the inside as ethylene glycol based brake fluid when mixed with water (moisture) and air is corrosive to metal and paint...
  7. Cleftwynd

    Cleftwynd Banned

    It is also worth making sure the brake calipers do not stick, after a long storage sometimes they can develop a corrosion lip at the seal and will tend to be sticky, causing excessive heat and or premature brake wear/failure.

  8. hillcountryflt

    hillcountryflt Member

    Will this bike use DOT 5 or 4 for brake fluid. I was surprised that the shovel did not need any break work (as of yet) after its long sleep. Front was empty, back was full. Simply filled the front and tied down the brake lever and it came back to life after a while.
    Lots of good tips. Will be looking for some rubber mounts (at least I know the engine doesn't have any on this year) for the battery and oil tank, a CV rebuild kit, fuel lines and probably oil lines (or do I have oil lines on this like I do on my shovel). Tires were a given. These were nearly new when the bike was put up (about 500 miles on them) but they will be hard as a rock.
    I noticed it shares the same oil filter with my shovel, so that is nice
    Will pick up a service manual. My after market manual for my shovel actually supports this generation of sportster to some degree, but the HD manuals are a must. Mine for the shovel has frequently been my "light" reading for the night.
  9. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Should be dot4, check the master cover:p
  10. hillcountryflt

    hillcountryflt Member

    OK - got the 883 in my hands. Been spending some time just cleaning it up. I poured Marvel Mystery Oil down each spark plug hole and let it sit for several days. Today, I pulled the plugs, put it in gear and turned the rear wheel. Oil spurted out of the back cylinder. None out of the spark plug hole on the front cylinder, but then I realized it was coming out of the exhaust. This does not seem right.
    Other challenge - unlike the shovel I bought from the same guy, this one he left the fuel tank about 3/4 full. Appears he did run it out of the fuel line and carb prior to shut up. Ordering a new valvecock as the other is not letting anything flow through it and the filter is destroyed. Lots of varnish in the valve cock.
    At least I have her looking a lot better.