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I have a 1985 fxrs 1340 has big cams and some other mild upgrades I was told by a local shop that the evolution engine in the first two years being 1984-85 had flat top pistons with higher compression the stock starter seems to barely turn engine over making it almost impossible to start in weather under 65 degrees the technician informed me that a high torque starter would solve the problem by being able to spin motor over faster....also I have researched some high torque starters and I am kind of confused over the Prestolite vs the hitachi style starters can anyone elaborate on this topic gonna order a high torque starter but want to make sure I buy correct one thanks
 

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I have an All ballz high KV starter. Combined with a lithium battery witch has a slightly higher voltage the starter will crank like an animal. See if they make a starter for your ride. The starter alone should be enough but if you want crazy power go for the lithium battery also. Even the battery alone will make it crank far better
 

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I have a 1985 fxrs 1340 has big cams and some other mild upgrades I was told by a local shop that the evolution engine in the first two years being 1984-85 had flat top pistons with higher compression the stock starter seems to barely turn engine over making it almost impossible to start in weather under 65 degrees the technician informed me that a high torque starter would solve the problem by being able to spin motor over faster....also I have researched some high torque starters and I am kind of confused over the Prestolite vs the hitachi style starters can anyone elaborate on this topic gonna order a high torque starter but want to make sure I buy correct one thanks
1. All factory Evo engines came with flat top pistons.
2. That '85 starter system is weak at best but should have enough grunt to easily spin a little 80".
3. There are only a couple companies that manufacture (but lots of resellers) high torque starters for your bike. Cycle Tech comes to mind as one of the better resellers.
4. I suggest you take a good look at the entire starting system and service and/or upgrade whatever looks weak.
5. If you really want to do something, upgrade the primary drive to a later style and get not only a better starter system, but a much better clutch basket/hub as well.
 

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Have a look at the Drag Specialties OLD Catalogue. Your bike doesn't fit just about anything for modern Harleys. If nothing else, you can look at the pictures and maybe figure out what you are looking for. Plenty of illustrations. Does mine look like that, or that? That's where you are. Years ago, there was a whole pile of big fat HD parts catalogues, wish books. Drag Specialties, Custom Chrome, Chrome Specialties, Tedds, V-Twin Mfg., etc.. Used to be you could get several new books every year.

There might even be a certain dude or dudette at your local dealer that deals with really old bikes. Maybe you can find an Indy shop that has some old wrench with actual experience with older bikes.

This will give you some place to start.

 

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FWIW, bad experience with Ultima's hi-torque/whatever they call it starter. This was in a high comp TC application. No direct experience with Prestolite motorcycle starters, but long ago in other applications Prestolite was solid. Great experience with Denso too, if Denso is an option for you.
 

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FWIW, bad experience with Ultima's hi-torque/whatever they call it starter. This was in a high comp TC application. No direct experience with Prestolite motorcycle starters, but long ago in other applications Prestolite was solid. Great experience with Denso too, if Denso is an option for you.
Was that the stater I gave you under the pretenses that there were no give-backs and I wasn't responsible for anything?

I had that starter on my big block FXR and hated it. Had to wrestle it into place and it would drain a battery just by being in proximity with it. Best thing I ever done was give it to you.
 

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You could always consider adding a set of manual compression releases. They are pretty easy to install and usually do what you want them to do. Also, with that level of motor mods, chances are good that you have an aftermarket ignition system. There could be some adjustments that would make it easier to crank that baby.

Judging by the fact that you just joined, I'm guessing this is your first Harley. If so, you are in the process of learning how much you don't know about these bikes. Buying an old (or any) bike, most information about it's prior history is usually sketchy at best. Bought on looks, with a few buzz words thrown in for good measure. You'll never know for sure what you have until the time comes you or somebody else will have to open it up for repairs, upgrades, or just to have a look.
 

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prestolite was on early fxr's. like my 82,,, they are rated at 1kv... stock evo is 1.2kv iirc...

your bike should have a hitachi,,, unless someone went backwards,,, an easy way to identify it is,, the hitachi end comes to just about even with the edge of the transmission,, prestolite is about 1" longer,, and nearly touches the rear exhaust pipe...

my money is on missing ground strap from the frame to the rear lower primary.. these are almost always left off when someone removes the inner primary..

as far as putting a high amp starter on,,, better make sure the cables, and battery are up for it,,, the standard battery is only 315cca.. the stock starter when working perfectly 1.2kv,,, pulls 160-180amps...

is the relay putting battery voltage to the trigger wire on the selenoid? small wire on the selenoid...

you can spend a fortune,, replacing parts,,, having compression releases installed,,, high kg starters etc..

what I am saying is,, diagnostics, have someone who actually knows what is what,, and how to troubleshoot these old starting systems,,, a lot of electrical components as well as mechanical parts within the starter system.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You could always consider adding a set of manual compression releases. They are pretty easy to install and usually do what you want them to do. Also, with that level of motor mods, chances are good that you have an aftermarket ignition system. There could be some adjustments that would make it easier to crank that baby.

Judging by the fact that you just joined, I'm guessing this is your first Harley. If so, you are in the process of learning how much you don't know about these bikes. Buying an old (or any) bike, most information about it's prior history is usually sketchy at best. Bought on looks, with a few buzz words thrown in for good measure. You'll never know for sure what you have until the time comes you or somebody else will have to open it up for repairs, upgrades, or just to have a look.

it was my grandfathers bike it has big cams and big bore kit and a new ultima single fire programmable ignition....this is my first Harley im just learning as I go ….I am trying to find a machine shop to drill and tap for manual compression releases but now luck so far im in Indiana and trying to find a local shop is like pulling teeth but as far as the sized of cams and all the specifics my dad and uncles are unsure and since my grandfather passed away last years I cant go to the source I bought this bike because it was his not for looks or anything just that it was a part of him and I can have him with me everytime I ride
 

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Discussion Starter #10
it was my grandfathers bike it has big cams and big bore kit and a new ultima single fire programmable ignition....this is my first Harley im just learning as I go ….I am trying to find a machine shop to drill and tap for manual compression releases but now luck so far im in Indiana and trying to find a local shop is like pulling teeth but as far as the sized of cams and all the specifics my dad and uncles are unsure and since my grandfather passed away last years I cant go to the source I bought this bike because it was his not for looks or anything just that it was a part of him and I can have him with me everytime I ride
 

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....this is my first Harley im just learning as I go …
Not ragging on ya, this is how everybody starts. My first Harley was an 85 also. But that was almost 25 years ago. It was a lot more up to date back then. You're going to find that there aren't many people dealing with old iron. Most dealers won't even give you the time of day. Won't be able to just go out and get any hard part you need or want.

The good thing about yours is it's a rubber mount, that's what the R in FXRS means. They now have almost a cult following. Lots of people say they are still the best handling of all Harleys. There's lots of them out there, you're going to make a lot of friends through your bike. When you see one, find out where he (or she) has work done, where he gets his parts. You'll be able to recognize them at a glance, all Harleys won't get lumped in the same pile. When one comes up for sale, it usually gets snapped up pretty quick, as a parts bike if nothing else.

Be careful though, keeping one of these things happy and on the road can be pretty demanding in both time and money. If you have a picture of Grumpy sitting on the bike, blow it up, frame it, and hang it on the wall, next to a picture of you sitting on the bike in the same pose. You'll still have the memories of him with it when you get ready to move on.

I don't know if you can get a real MOCO shop manual for your bike. There might be something on line. Even a Chilton's or Clymer manual would be better than nothing. You gotta have something or your going to have to pay somebody else to do your work. Tools too. Need tools, Basic to start, specialized when needed and you can justify the expense.

.....I am trying to find a machine shop to drill and tap for manual compression releases …
If you can find the instructions, any competent machine shop should be able to follow them. Some releases come with them, some are posted somewhere on line. Computers and Al Gore's internet have made it a lot easier dealing with something like this. But, how's that saying go? "Some disassembly required". Are you ready to pull the heads? A good shop that you trust can be a real find, until you are ready to go for it yourself.
 

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it was my grandfathers bike it has big cams and big bore kit and a new ultima single fire programmable ignition....this is my first Harley im just learning as I go ….I am trying to find a machine shop to drill and tap for manual compression releases but now luck so far im in Indiana and trying to find a local shop is like pulling teeth but as far as the sized of cams and all the specifics my dad and uncles are unsure and since my grandfather passed away last years I cant go to the source I bought this bike because it was his not for looks or anything just that it was a part of him and I can have him with me everytime I ride

Most harley machine shops can install compression releases. Hillside does great work and is as local as your UPS drop off point.

Compression Release Installer
 

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Was that the stater I gave you under the pretenses that there were no give-backs and I wasn't responsible for anything?

I had that starter on my big block FXR and hated it. Had to wrestle it into place and it would drain a battery just by being in proximity with it. Best thing I ever done was give it to you.
I believe that's in my attic. I attempted to pass it on a couple times with full disclosure and couldn't give it away. I think it would look great on one of your bikes - or maybe as a coffee table conversation piece. No - I was referring to an Ultima I put in the 124. I don't recall the model but it was supposed to be heavy duty - angled something? - and made for big/high-comp motors. Learned the gear/spring part of it is the same as the stock unit. It failed twice. This was a few years ago and I got good at replacing/repairing the starter. I ended up taking the starter to a local rebuild shop that specializes in custom and antique vehicles. They rebuilt it with a heavier-duty assembly and it's been fine since. Ultima CS didn't seem to care.
 

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84 to 85 had flattop pistons with NO valve notches. The newer Evos had valve notches. Do you have any idea what the cranking compression is on your engine? Give you a good idea what kind of starter you need. My 84 Evo had to be changed over to notched pistons years ago.
 
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