Riders Of Vision

General => TechTalk => Carburetors => Topic started by: mshowe on June 29, 2016, 11:58:39 AM

Title: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: mshowe on June 29, 2016, 11:58:39 AM
Owned my '83 since it was new.  Getting tired of not being able to ride it (reliably) for over 5 years.  So, after taking to a mechanic - where it performed almost flawlessly, I decided to remove the carbs myself. 

I've posted this before, but i'd lose a cylinder after doing a wheelie.  At first, I thought it was electrical.  I believe to have ruled that out, so what I believe is happening is float was/is getting stuck  -perhaps, in either the wheelie or as front tire came back down to earth.  I am attaching a couple of questions that perhaps could confirm that.  I found a piece of the float "Flaking" off on one side.

So, now that I have these puppies off, I suppose I should rebuild them?  Or should I just clean, put back together, and hope my problem is fixed.  Think it's ok to have that piece of the float "Flake off"?  I believe i've read that floats are very hard to come by??  I am not 100% confident doing it myself.  Any advice here (either encouraging me or offering to do it for me) is welcomed!

Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: Walt_M. on June 29, 2016, 01:00:53 PM
I wouldn't be too worried about that little bit off the float as they are virtually impossible to come by. First question,  have you disconnected the rev limiter? It kills the front cylinder when it fails. If the answer is no, squirt some carb cleaner around and put them back. Now you will have to synchronize the carbs but you shouldn't have the dead cylinder problem.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: mshowe on June 29, 2016, 02:31:35 PM
Thank you for your reply.

I have cut the revlimiter wire, sometime in the past, in an attempt to fix this problem.  It didn't change anything about my predicament.  Is your answer the same?  Think I should do some carburetor cleaner and put it back together then?

Do you think that flake could have hung the float up?

Thanks!
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: fret not on June 30, 2016, 01:11:11 AM
Highly unlikely for debris from the float to obstruct the float valve, as it would have to flow uphill to do that.  The important thing is to set the fuel level in the float chamber, and this can be checked with clear tubing attached to the drain vent and held up to the top of the carb  body.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: Walt_M. on June 30, 2016, 05:28:02 AM
Since you have disconnected the rev limiter and you have the carburetors off and partly disassembled, go ahead and give them a thorough cleaning. Just be very careful. There are few replacement parts available if you break anything.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: Rikugun on June 30, 2016, 08:34:05 AM
This reminds me of my brother's gas powered tree pruner. Sitting on the ground it starts and accepts the gas well. When you lift it up to cut a branch, the engine falters and dies.   :(

Just spraying some carb cleaner in the general vicinity will likely do little. On the other hand, to do a thorough cleaning and rebuild with no experience (I'm making an assumption based on the post title) may result in irreparable damage. Breaking a float pin carrier post for instance, is not uncommon when driving the pin free. I'd tread lightly here. If it runs well other than doing wheelies there is an obvious solution. If it is happening at other times, consider having the carbs professionally cleaned. Even then, YMMV dramatically depending on the experience of the person performing the work.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: mshowe on June 30, 2016, 10:39:17 AM
I really appreciate all of the replies. 

Here's the good news, I was able to re-assemble everything and put the carbs back onto the bike and it started.  :)

The bad news, the problem still persists.  I am having a problem finding where the rear carb overflow hose attaches.  Not comforting having a hose dangling that used to be connected to something.  I must be blind.

If it ran ok when not doing a wheelie, I'd "not do wheelies".  Although, it doesn't.  In the past, when it happened to run correctly - I could initiate the problem by doing a wheelie.  I always thought it was electrical, especially after I put on a new R/R and Ricks/Stator and it ran like a top for a year or so.  There were a number of corroded connections, etc, that were remedied.   But then, after I took it into the shop (and it performed ok for them - and when I picked it up - sure enough it ran fine) after I got it back it didn't run for me.  At that time, I was getting fuel running out the overflow.  That's when I thought it had been a carb issue - and perhaps the overflow hose had been plugged or something.  I know, I am reaching.

I have never replaced the pickup coils, although I have an extra.  I am getting spark.  Should I test the pickups?   Can I test the pickups?

If anyone is close to NW Iowa, I'll trailer this puppy to you and pay you for your time.  :)

Thoughts?  Be nice.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: fret not on July 01, 2016, 01:20:21 AM
Generally, if you are getting spark that isn't the problem.  Must have spark, compression, and fuel.  If you have all those things then it could be erratic delivery of spark (timing) or intermittent delivery of fuel.  Another possibility is a failing safety lock out switch on the side stand or clutch.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: Rikugun on July 01, 2016, 06:45:40 AM
Quote
If it ran ok when not doing a wheelie, I'd "not do wheelies".  Although, it doesn't.  In the past, when it happened to run correctly - I could initiate the problem by doing a wheelie.

The problem was described as having ONLY happened when the bike was doing a wheelie. Now we know it happened at other times. This is helpful but still not much to go on. Since intermittent problems are notoriously difficult to diagnose, take a step back and describe all the conditions under which it occurs.

What lead you to think doing a wheelie would initiate the problem or was that happenstance? Is it hot or cold out when it happens? Is the engine hot or cold? With tank full or not? Any non-stock electrical accessories on at the time? Does it idle when acting up? What are the symptoms exactly and do they vary? How long before it's running better again? Does that recovery time vary? Did it ever happen prior to the electrical work? List all the work performed thus far to correct the issue and how confident are you that work was performed correctly?
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: mshowe on July 01, 2016, 03:24:50 PM
The times and which this has occurred has changed a bit over time.  When it started, several years ago, it would come and go.  There's no correlation to whether it's cold/warm or how long it's been running.

The fact that when it would run fine, and a wheelie (which we can all agree causes a change in the bikes attitude and shaking to the entire bike when the front wheel settles back down), shouldn't necessarily confuse us of the root problem.  The problem would be "in waiting" regardless of how it occurs.  I suppose it could occur going over a very rough railroad track.

This is the way the bike is all of the time, now.  I couldn't believe it when I did take it into the shop last year and he said it ran fine.  I thought, "Well, he doesn't really know how it's supposed to run I guess".  I went up there (40 minutes away), and sure enough, it ran fine.  I am tempted to load it into the truck and drive it around - if one believes in gremlins.  :)

It does have spark, it has new gas and appears to be getting gas, seems to have compression - although I don't have a method of checking how much.  I think I'll take it back into that mechanic, who seems pretty accustomed to working on older stuff - although he said he's never worked on a vision.  I sort of trust his depth of experience. 

I am going to try and add some video.  Thanks for everyone's comments.  They are appreciated.

Here is a video of a start.  It's been setting 1 or two days. 

https://www.facebook.com/seanh.rgi/videos/10207972694208479/
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: Rikugun on July 02, 2016, 06:59:00 AM
I just watched the video and would agree it sounds like running on one cylinder. Do the test again and from the time it starts, feel the front and rear exhausts close to the head. It's important now to find out which one isn't running. Does one stay cold while the other gradually gets warm then hot? Or, do they both get temperature but one significantly more than the other indicating one running and the other intermittent.

The more information you can supply your technician, the better armed he'll be to diagnose the problem.

What makes you think the offending cylinder has spark under these conditions? If you can prove it does then it's likely fuel. If not, then ignition is also a culprit. How long before it runs good again? Does it come back suddenly or gradual?
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: mshowe on July 05, 2016, 12:43:02 PM
I appears to be the front cylinder not "working".  I can remove the plug wire from the front and back.  It runs the same (as when both plug wires are on) - after removing the front wire.  When I remove the rear wire, it doesn't start.

To answer your prior question: it never starts running correctly.

It appears the front cylinder is getting spark by holding spark plug against cylinder and turning it over. 

when looking down at the cylinders with breather off, you can pump the throttle and it appears to shoot gas into the cylinder.

so, because cutting the revlimiter wire (which I did) - deals with the front cylinder - I am planning to revisit that wire and make sure I have the black with yellow tracer cut.  I may try re-connecting.  It's probably not as simple as it having spark on the front cylinder negate that it could be revlimiter wire?  If that makes sense.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: Walt_M. on July 05, 2016, 05:31:39 PM
It is not the rev limiter. That kills the spark to the front cylinder and you said you have spark. You said you can see gas when you work the throttle. That is from the accelerator pump and independent of jetting. I think you have some crud in your pilot or main or both. Just for grins though, have you ever changed your sparkplug leads and caps, try swapping coils. Sometimes a little spark in open air is not enough to fire in the cylinder.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: mshowe on July 05, 2016, 05:44:32 PM
Thanks for your reply.  Through the years, I've accumulated (I suspect like many of you) some extra parts.  Last year, or the year before, I did pickup some used coils and wires.  I replaced them both in an attempt to fix this problem.  The behavior was the same.

Since I've already had the carburetors off - I guess I could do it again, how successful - ya think -  would I be at identifying and cleaning the pilot, main - or both?  Or, does that require a rebuild kit?  Would I be able to visually see the blockage?

I did run some carb cleaner through what I could see.  That didn't change the behavior, but I really don't know what I am doing.  Having said that, I don't think I did any harm either as I am pretty careful.

What about vacuum?  Could I have a blockage that would cause the same affect?

Thanks again for the advice!
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: fret not on July 06, 2016, 02:01:03 AM
Is the fuel pump healthy?

It may seem daunting to take the carbs apart for the first time but I suspect this may be where your problem lies.  The jets have rather small orifices and it doesn't take much to block them.

Be very careful disassembling the threaded parts from the carb bodies, as sometimes they get frozen together.  If you break off a jet in the removal process you can pretty well scrap that carb body.  I have a couple sets of '82 carbs that have broken jets, and I thought I was being careful. 
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: Prophet Of Doom on July 06, 2016, 03:05:46 AM
You need to zone in on the problem else you will just run round in circles.


Do you have a spare TCI? Swap it over.  Same problem? it's not the TCI
Now swap the TCI inputs AND outputs left to right.  Same problem it's carbs.  Problem moves to the other cylinder it's electrical.

Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: mshowe on July 06, 2016, 12:36:35 PM
I do have a couple of TCI's.  Same results.  I don't understand "Now swap the TCI inputs AND outputs left to right".

As always, I appreciate everyone's input!
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: QBS on July 06, 2016, 01:54:38 PM
Just viewed the video.  Reminds me of dirty carbs.  A blocked main jet or two, would make it run like the video.  Starts and runs only on the low speed circuit.   Again, which cylinder is running cold or cool to the touch?

If you decide to clean the carbs: the floats do not get disturbed with jet removal and, if I'm correct, the carb top can be safely ultrasonically cleaned with the float in place.  Your situation may provide you an opportunity to re jet the carbs and get desirable drivability benefits.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: mshowe on July 06, 2016, 03:07:23 PM
Ok gents.  According to the picture in http://ridersofvision.net/rovforum/index.php?topic=8633.0

I removed the "Main Jet" (easiest to get to now that carbs are back on).  When I remove the front screw, gas pours out.  When I remove the rear screw, some weeping but not pouring.  Normal behavior?  I had pet cock in both on and prim positions with same behavior.

Now what?
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: QBS on July 06, 2016, 11:25:28 PM
No.  Sounds like a fuel delivery problem in the rear carb, possibly float valve related.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: mshowe on July 07, 2016, 11:40:53 AM
QBS, thanks for your reply.

Can anyone corroborate QBS?
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: Prophet Of Doom on July 07, 2016, 03:30:40 PM
Can anyone corroborate QBS?
Absolutely - both carbs should gush fuel if you remove the mains.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: QBS on July 08, 2016, 02:23:22 PM
A way to evaluate fuel flow and flush out float valves without carb removal:  Remove tank.  Remove fuel line from each carb.   Open carb drain screws.  Acquire a large volume syringe such as turkey baster.  Attache a 6"-12" piece of fuel line type of tubing to output end of turkey baster.  Fill turkey baster with fuel or, for extra points, carb cleaner.  Attache turkey baster fuel line to one of the carb fuel line attachment spigots.  Push in the turkey baster plunger to forcibly inject fuel through the float needle valve and into the float bowl.  Observe fuel output from the carb drain.  Draw your own conclusions regarding injection resistance and drain output.  Best case scenario is little injection resistance and large drain fuel flow.

New idea.  I have never done this.  The same evaluation process as described above, but with less control and evaluation precision: Leave the bike assembled, open one of the carb drain screws, start the engine and observe the drain fuel flow.  Do the same thing with the other carb.  The rate of flow should be the same from each carb.  For extra environmental correctness points establish some sort of fuel catch/recovery procedure.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: ArrrGeee on July 09, 2016, 11:41:06 PM
please don't do that, you'll burn yourself and your house down.

your carbs are dirty and need to be cleaned properly and rebuilt.
carb kits are available on ebay for reasonable money now and you
can clean them yourself somewhat reasonably.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/YAMAHA-XZ550-CARB-REPAIR-KITS-2-REPAIR-KITS-INCLUDED-CI-XZ550CR-/161841845141?hash=item25ae869395:g:KHkAAOSwuTxWCirA&vxp=mtr


you need a 5 gallon bucket, a large bottle of Pine-Sol, a bottle of lemon juice
and 3 gallons of boiling water.
teardown and strip the carbs, leave the gaskets, put it all in a clean dry 5 gallon bucket.
next pour in the bottle of lysol   correction: I meant Pine sol
and the bottle of lemon juice followed by the 3 gallons of water,.
let everything soak for 30 minutes, using tongs or rubber gloves pull the main pieces out
and have a look are they clean yet ?  if not looking perfect give them another 15 to 30 minutes.

pull them out and using compressed air, blow everything out and dry.

reassemble with the new parts and in your case I would try to find a float, that one in the picture is damaged
and will make a difference imho.
set your float level properly, put them back on the bike, syncronize and set the mixture screws
and it will run like a new bike.
trust me I've done this exact procedure many times and it does work if done correctly.

good luck and let us know how it all came out.

-Ron

http://ingredients.thecloroxcompany.com/images/products/large/originalpinesolmultisurfacecleaner.png

Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: mshowe on July 12, 2016, 04:38:00 PM

I do have the carbs back off.  It does appear the obstruction is in the float valve.  At first I could get air to come through one fuel line and out into the bowl (well, if it were assembled).  After some time, I did start to get it coming through the other fuel line input.  I'd like to take the valve out, but as warned, the pin holding the float seems very snug and very breakable (at the posts). 

so, seems at least off the bike, fuel may have a chance to flow.   Are float valves part of a rebuild kit?  Someone give me a link to a reputable kit as I see a pretty large variance in pricing.    Someone mentioned a different jet.  A link for that and whether you think I should mess with it would be appreciated.

Thank you.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: Prophet Of Doom on July 12, 2016, 09:14:29 PM
The float pin is a bit intimidating, here are some comments on removing it http://ridersofvision.net/rovforum/index.php?topic=15456.msg142088#msg142088

Float valves were not part of the rebuild kit I was given.  They are available from Yamaha though and often on ebay.  Usually though, they just need a clean and a new o-ring which is available from any industrial seal supplier if you take in your old one.  They have a spring inside so make sure the end that the float hits moves in and out freely.  The pointy end can usually be cleaned up to a shine with a pencil eraser.  Carb cleaner should take care of the inside parts.  Ask for petroleum AND alcohol resistance for the o-ring.

I would stay clear of playing with jets unless you are confident in your tuning abilities.  The stock ones work OK enough if everything else is in good shape.  If they are damaged, replacements are available from most bike shops, or JetsRUs.com amongst other places as they are common Mikuni items.


Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: mshowe on July 13, 2016, 02:06:30 PM
I am getting plenty of flow out the main after my last cleaning.  The running behavior is still the same.  I know it's the front cylinder.  It appears to be getting good spark.  The plugs are new and gapped correctly.

So, here's what I am considering.  Taking it to the shop, or, if someone has a confident idea of what - in the carburator that I should focus on  -  I may consider getting a rebuild kit.  I've done a pretty thorough cleaning of it; although, it didn't "appear" to be that dirty.  I did not do the pine-sol dip.  I'd like to get more corroboration on that before I do it.

Any chance it's electrical - coil pickup, etc.  Perhaps the fact that it's "getting spark" is a very gross measurement.

I'd be interested in what a number of you think, and I'll make a decision/proceed from there based upon the feedback.   

Thanks for your patience.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: Walt_M. on July 13, 2016, 04:01:54 PM
Have you run a compression test? Fairly easy to do and may show you more. When I put my Vision back on the road in 2003, I thoroughly cleaned the carbs and reinstalled at least 3 times. I was beginning to hate them. But I didn't have to touch them again until the ethanol and redkote killed them.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: mshowe on July 13, 2016, 04:25:30 PM


It has life!!!!!

Someone, several posts ago, asked about when the problem occurs, how long has it been running, etc.

Well, before I decided to take it in (and of course awaiting some additional thoughts before I did so) - it was idling pretty nicely.  So I just let it idle.  After about 10 minutes or so, I hit the throttle, and the bloody thing runs nicely.  Front cylinder running, runs great.

So, would that eliminate carbs? 

Thoughts?  I am soooooo happy that at least I see my old vision back and there is hope.  BTW, I didn't do a wheelie, but I suppose if I did so  - I could initiate the problem.   

Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: Walt_M. on July 13, 2016, 05:16:57 PM
So I assume you rode it. I got my FZR conversion running pretty much like that but I haven't put it under any load. BTW, if your carbs are functioning, they can be made to run fine. My conversion is only a last resort for those whose carburetors are fubar. If your carbs aren't broken and you can't get it to run right, you probably won't be able to get the FZR conversion to run right either.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: mshowe on July 13, 2016, 11:52:19 PM
Yes, I rode it.

I'd like a few comments from the experts here, given the latest information, to see if anyone else has experienced this and what they found to be the problem.

Thank you.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: fret not on July 14, 2016, 02:41:48 AM
Considering your problem is intermittent I think it is more likely to be electrical.  Like an intermittent connection, which could be a worn through spot on a wire, a loose connector, a failing ignition switch, a loose ground on a coil, etc.

There are a lot of wires on these bikes and they have been out in the world for more than 30 years.  One possibility is the ignition box.  If you have access to a known good one you could change them for a test.  If you need a new one the Ingitech folks in Slovak Republic would be my choice to ask.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: mshowe on August 01, 2016, 12:31:30 PM

I did end up putting another of my TCI units on it.  My problem disappeared.  Wow, wish I would have tried that a couple years ago.   As Fret Nut said, I suspect I disturbed some corrosion on the TCI, TCI Connectors (or worse), some other wire during the switch out. 

Been enjoying riding the old-girl the last couple of weeks.  I'd like to put more than 11,700 miles on it the next 30 years - which will put me at 89 years of age.  :)

After it get's nice and warm, my throttle roll seems to be worse than I remember, however. 

Thanks to everyone for walking through this with me.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: Walt_M. on August 01, 2016, 03:43:51 PM
Good to hear you got it sorted.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: davecut on August 01, 2016, 04:27:52 PM
Please tell me what is pine-sol its not available in UK. Do you know what the UK equivalent is. Dave.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: fret not on August 02, 2016, 01:19:52 AM
Pine-Sol is a pine oil based cleaning solution, usually found in the washing detergent and soap area of the super market.
Title: Re: I have no idea what I am doing, sorta
Post by: Rikugun on August 02, 2016, 07:32:40 AM
Try UK ebay
http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_nkw=pine+sol (http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_nkw=pine+sol)