Board index Flathead Power-Technical Questions, Answers, and Suggestions Big Twin Flatties Will Not Start Without A Small Burst Of Staring Fluid

Will Not Start Without A Small Burst Of Staring Fluid

Pa Site Admin

Posts: 6217
Location: Ohio USA

My buddies 1939 1200 flathead will not start without a small burst of starting fluid. In the beginning it, after a rebuild, started just fine on plain gasoline, Recently it will not start without a small burst of starting fluid. After it starts it runs fine. Any suggestions as to why it acts this way now ?


Posts: 170
Location: Carver, MN

The first two things I would look at are valve adjustment and points gap. Either can be subject to initial wear which can leave the engine with reduced compression if the valves don't close fully, or reduced point gap if the fiber wore a bit more than normal at first.

Pa Site Admin

Posts: 6217
Location: Ohio USA

Thanks for your input Lee. I will relate that suggestion to him.


Posts: 3472
Location: Central Illinois, USA
Good grief, Pa!

Bubble-test the manifold.
http://virtualindian.org/11techleaktest.html

...Cotten

Pa Site Admin

Posts: 6217
Location: Ohio USA

I will link him to your page Cotten. Is it possible he developed a manifold leak in the first 100 miles already ?


Posts: 3472
Location: Central Illinois, USA
Anything is possible, Pa!

The whole point of the test is to eliminate the variable.
If a proper test doesn't give bubbles, then you go on to other things.

....Cotten


Posts: 23
thanks for the link Cotton!

Pa Site Admin

Posts: 6217
Location: Ohio USA

Problem solved !! My buddy is way way up in age and his memory is failing on a day by day basis. He has restored and ridden vintage Harley and Indian motorcycles all of his life. The problem with starting was he kept trying to start the bike with the timer at full advance. When he realized this, he retarded the timer and the engine fire right up on one kick. :lol:


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