Author Topic: new owner, a couple of questions  (Read 1078 times)

vision_chris

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new owner, a couple of questions
« on: May 09, 2005, 04:56:04 PM »
Hi, I just bought my first street bike, an '83 vision with just over 6,000 miles on it.  I've had some problems with the fuse box, so I took it out and replaced it with in-line blade fuses.  
The only problem it seems to have is that if you keep that fuel-position thingy in the normal spot (pointed all the way down), it runs like crap.  The guy I bought from said to just keep it pointed to the right (it says PRM).  So I keep it there and it works ok, but it goes through a tank of gas in no time.  The previous owner said he thought it was a petcock problem?  Does anyone have any suggestions for me, a guy who knows absolutely nothing about mechanics at all?  
One other question, is it hard to replace the original headlight? It's way too dim, even with the bright on, for me to feel safe on the highway at night. Thanks for any help or suggestions!  
By the way, its a great bike and I get lots of compliments :)
Chris

h2olawyer

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Re: new owner, a couple of questions
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2005, 05:28:48 PM »
Hi Chris & welcome to the ROV forum.  Congrats on finding such a low mileage 83.  Many of us with 82s are locating 83 parts and putting them on our bikes.

If you've done some looking around, you'll find there is another Visionary going through petcock hell right now.  83 petcocks are rare and there aren't any rebuild kits for them.  However, the O ring(s) in them are replaceable and that may solve your problem.

The position you have it set at to run well is Prime.  In that position, fuel flows freely through the petcock.  In the run position, the petcock requires vacuum to let the fuel flow.  Your problem could be a vacuum leak somewhere on the bike or another possibility is a poorly functioning fuel pump.

I put a Sylvania SilverStar headlight in mine and it works much better than the stock bulb.  Others have different & more powerful bulbs in theirs.

Good luck & enjoy your V!

H2O
If you have an accident on a motorcycle, it's always your fault. Tough call, but it has to be that way. You're in the right, and dead -on a bike. The principle is not to have any accident. If you're involved in an an accident, it's because you did not anticipate. Then, by default, you failed.

dchakrab

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Re: new owner, a couple of questions
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2005, 06:54:53 PM »
As the Visionary going through petcock hell, let me tell you, it's extremely annoying, with warm weather just starting to hit Chicago.

I also have almost no knowledge of engines or bikes, so I'm trying the best I can. My current plan is to attempt to seal the petcock completely (is yours leaking out onto the floor, like mine?) so it basically just gets gas from the tank and passes it into the tube to the carbs. Then I have an inline flow valve on that line, so I can turn the gas on or off.

I'd guess yours runs in Prime, but is flooding the carbs, so you're losing a lot of gas. Check to make sure the return line from the carbs (that's the tube that connects to the top left side of the petcock, which is on the lower edge of your tank on the left side of the bike) is connected.

Inline flow valves are a very cheap fix, if your petcock's not leaking out gas directly. I got them from McMaster Carr's site (shipped immediately, got them the next day, incredible service).

Let me know if you're ordering, since it can be hard to find the right part (pipe diameters aren't measured in standard units, so a 1/4 inch valve is actually about a half inch across...I found this out the hard way). You need two inline flow valves, a couple of lengths of rubber tubing, and two barbs for each of the valves. Barbs are things that screw on each end of a valve and let you slip a hose over them. Total cost should be under $20 shipped...probably $15ish.

If your petcock is actually leaking gas directly (just look at it when you have gas in the tank...is it dripping gas, slowly or quickly? Can you tell where the leak is coming from?) then you'll probably have to try what I'm about to try...sealing the entire assembly somehow, possibly with liquid gasket sealant. The stuff's cheap, but I don't know for sure if it'll work or not.

Otherwise, I don't know...maybe find a cheap welder and just mod the tank so you can stick on a different model petcock?

 -Dave.

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Lucky

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Re: new owner, a couple of questions
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2005, 07:22:04 PM »
this is the biggest problem 83 owners face right now, we haven't found a suitable way to repair, or replace our petcocks. they are different than the 82's have more hook ups, and even physicly mount differently. no other bikes use them either...

there are ways around this. what dchakrab is trying to do is repair his, even though his knowlage of mechanics is limited. he is not having good results though.

one option: make an adapter plate to mount an 82 petcock to the 83 tank & either seal off the return from the carb, or plumb a return into the underside sadle of the tank.

second option: use aftermarket cut-off valves used for lawn mowers & such. an approch used by some here, so it works.

a good solution would be if we had someone who is good at metal fabrication create an adapter plate that already has the return line plumbed in & will mount an 82 petcock.  blake has a handle on project to make machined parts for us, so this may be feasable, but not an immediate solution for anyone...  

if your bike runs poorly with the petcock on any position other than prime, then the petcock has a vacuume leak.

--Lucky
1982/3 XZ550 Touring Vison, Gold on Black

vision_chris

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Re: new owner, a couple of questions
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2005, 08:02:26 PM »
Thanks for all the advice... I have a friend who's an auto mechanic, I think I'll show him some of this info, have him take a look-see and see if we can't jury rig it... it'd be nice not to have to fill the tank up every 30 miles.

By the way, what's the capacity on the tank on an '83?

Rob_OS23

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Re: new owner, a couple of questions
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2005, 08:10:28 PM »
If this adapter plate would really help a lot of people(including me someday in the future, if mine ever has problems), I may be able to help. ?I know NOTHING about metal fabrication, but I know a guy who is really amazing with this stuff, but I cannot be counted on to deliver info, as I know nothing about this type of stuff. ?If someone could make an accurate drawing, maybe in cad or something(like I said, I don't know) he should be able to make them. ?Basically what i am saying is, draw up whatever it is you would give to a metal guy, post it, I'll get a copy, show it to him, and hopefully he can do it. ?

Here is a really ignorant question....Although they don't exist, what would be in an 83 petcock rebuild kit that we cant get? ?Can we not have those parts made?
Also, I have been looking for a better head light.  I checked out that Sylvania SilverStar, is there a specifice one I am looking for?
« Last Edit: May 09, 2005, 08:27:21 PM by Rob_OS23 »

dchakrab

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Re: new owner, a couple of questions
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2005, 08:34:45 PM »

An '83 petcock rebuild kit would have replacement diaphragms, O-rings, etc...basically, all the rubber parts in the petcock. Then you'd clean your old petcock's metal and plastic parts, throw out the old rubber parts, and replace everything with the parts from the rebuild kit, resulting in a good-as-new petcock, with no leaks.

The problem there is that you'd need someone who works with rubber to make the parts...I was wondering about that myself. Wouldn't it be possible to make the diaphragms, for example, by taking the valves from two '82 kits and mounting them on a rubber sheet, and then cutting to size and punching holes as needed?

If ALL of you guys need this, I'll look into it next time I'm in india (possibly this summer, otherwise winter)...I'm certain I can find someone who could make me a few, but it'll take a huge amount of time, effort, and trial and error, since I won't have the bike there...I'd have to rig some way to test the petcock assembly without a tank.

Note: The aftermarket lawnmower valve approach doesn't work if you've got a petcock that's leaking gas out into the world...it'll only work to stop your petcock from leaking gas into the fuel lines when it shoudn't.

I'm currently waiting for my gasket sealant to dry, and trying to figure out how to get this horrible black stuff off my fingers (oh, and off my keyboard, now). Then I'll go back for round two, though working at night without a light might persuade me to put it off till tomorrow morning.

 -Dave.

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Project Manager at the Chicago Technology Coop, focusing on nonprofit web development.

kwells

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Re: new owner, a couple of questions
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2005, 06:55:54 PM »
just realized that I was running my 82 on PRM. Could smell gas in the exhaust and assumed it was just not properly adjusted.  Wonder what sort of difference I'll see.

K
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