Wednesday, August 20, 2008

One small step for the bike...

...One giant leap for my confidence.

Over the weekend, after numerous attempts at simply hitting the starter button with no luck, I decided to get back to basics. Once again I tore the carburetors off the bike, checked them over again. Dr. Clymer, my guide through this whole process, recommended the troubleshooting method of: check the fuel line, check the floats, check the ignition, etc.

The fuel line was delivering, and I checked the spark at the plug. Both checked out, so maybe it's that middle step I was missing. But the bowls filled up, so the floats were working, right?

Digging a little further, the slides/needles seemed to be problematic, sticking even. Plus the choke wasn't working.

After applying some changes, I mounted them back on the bike and tried again. And unfortunately, again. Still no luck.

Then last night (Tuesday), I gave it one more go. Choke full-on, a little prodding, and finally a chug. More prodding and another chug. Soon gas was flowing through what I'm referring to as the carb "chamber" and firing away in the cylinder. And she took off.

Firing away in the garage it appeared I did mount the exhaust correctly (sigh of relief), and it almost kept running at idle. Of course I only had enough gas as the fuel line would hold, so I couldn't run it for long. Plus the pipes were getting HOT, with the exception of the one attached to cylinder #3.

So while not road-ready yet, I'm at least more hopeful about this whole project. Tonight should yield a few more tests and tell me where I'm at and how close I am to making the Fall Run.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I was on a roll.

The bike seemed "complete." I got the pieces all together, everything mounted up, all ready to roll. Even after fighting to revive a dead battery, I decided to go all out and get a new battery (what a concept). The next step was to add gas and press the go button.

So I added gas. Then more gas. And yet, it still didn't start.

For one thing it appears that I partially botched the Kreem job. The petcock was only allowing a small trickle of fuel. It appears too much of the fancy liquid liner formed a blockage at the opening, making the delivery of gas difficult. But that wasn't the worst.

I seem to have more than one pinhole leaks in the walls of the tank.


So taking a page from Jason, I concocted a fuel IV as a temporary replacement for the gas tank. I recharged the quickly draining battery and I tried to start it again.

It drank up the gas I fed it (this is good news right?), but never gave a "chug" from any of the 4 cylinders.

I tried it again, and it kept drinking up that expensive go-juice. But never an explosion in the chamber. I thought to myself, the gas has to be going somewhere? But the plugs were still dry, no overflow, no puddle sitting on the crankcase, nothing.

Finally after the Xth attempt, I realized that it takes more to fill those float bowls than I thought. And it stopped drinking up the fuel.

So that's the problem: it wasn't drinking the fuel at all, it was just filling up the bowls.

Back to the drawing board, I guess.