Progress! Orleans combusts! - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-28-2007, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Progress! Orleans combusts!

Anybody else tired of trying to problem this stupid bike with me? Geez, Louise, it just can't be this hard.

Okay, here's where I'm at:
Pulled the carbs yesterday, put in new fuel lines, checked all connections, semi-sync'd, etc.
Reinstalled airbox, wiring harness, etc., etc. ,etc. today, and decided that I'd go ahead and mount the tank and see if I could get fuel flow from the petcock. Last week, following someone's post, I pulled the spring from behind the diaphragm in the petcock, as well as the o-ring at the piston. So it's now a gravity-fed fuel system.

Charged the battery,turned the key, hit the starter, and got a nice loud backfire from the right side exhaust (front cyl). DEcided I'd better let O. catch fire in the driveway, so went out and hooked her up to the car battery. I continued to get occasional explosions (all but one form the right side), and once after a backfire - just once - the engine caught and turned over a little (and I had witnesses!). However, I flooded the cyls periodically during this process, and finally gave up.

I'm guessing the backfiring was from trying to run it too rich? I pulled the plugs and they looked pretty dry, but all smelled of gasoline.

Anybody got anything else I could try to get this thing working? I am now completely out of options.

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post #2 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-28-2007, 07:24 PM
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If the battery was just charged. why would you hook it up to a car battery?
I would think the higher amps would not be kind to the bikes skinny wires and toy like electronics.
You did not say if you used any choke, if you know you are getting a spark at each cylnder, or if both were running when the bike briefly ran.

Sorry, but have not been following your problems here, but I would make sure I was getting a good spark and If you got it to run for a short time it sounds like you still have carburation issues.


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post #3 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-28-2007, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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'Cause I was worried about draining the battery, so thought I'd borrow so juice from the car. Maybe not the best idea, but I wanted to rule out the possibility that the no-start was because the battery had drained in the first couple of efforts.

May well be the carbs, but I have no idea what now. They were clean, the gaskets were good, I did do a pre-install sync, boots are on tight, cables are on ok... I'm honestly not sure what else to check on them. Or anything, really.

(got spark at all four plugs, too, sorry)

Last edited by Crobins365; 10-28-2007 at 08:56 PM. Reason: response to spark question
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post #4 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-28-2007, 10:17 PM
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Now I am concerned that your ignition timing may be off.

Can you double check it?


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post #5 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-28-2007, 10:53 PM
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mine did the same thing when I first tried starting it but that was before i pulled the carbs for cleaning (stuck floats). so since you have already cleaned them i dunno. only the smell of fuel on the plugs? not wet at all?
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post #6 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-28-2007, 11:53 PM
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I spoke with a Kaw mechanic in Pensacola, FL.

You may connect the bike's battery to a car or truck battery--as long as the car or truck has a 12-volt system and is not running.

Apparently, you're either running rich, not getting enough spark--or both.

Diagnose it backwards from there.

If one or more of the plugs smelled like gasoline, then that would suggest (to me, anyway) that most likely you are not getting enough spark.

Do keep us posted on your progress!!!.....

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Last edited by theauhawk; 10-29-2007 at 12:01 AM.
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post #7 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 01:35 AM
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Concur with the AUHawks mech, as long as you do not have a short you'll only pull the amps needed and won't have to worry about burning wires. You just have to rem. not to hold the start button to long.

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post #8 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 06:53 AM Thread Starter
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Yep, knew that about the car, so it was definitely off. Just wanted to leech off it for a little while.

Jon, I checked the timing on the front cyl - it's fine (chain lines up/cams out at TDC per Clymer's). So I figured I could at least get the front cyl to fire, even if the rear were off a little. But no such luck.

Maybe I'll double-check the plugs that I got. Ya'll know how fond I am of my local NAPA employees - it's always possible that they gave me incompatible plugs and I made the mistake of not double-checking. (And, no, they didn't look wet to me - I'd have thought after all that mess they'd be dripping so I pulled them to clean 'em. No need.)

The fact that I got it to backfire a few times does suggest that some fuel is getting into the cyl, right? Which would be a step in the right direction compared to where I was last week?
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post #9 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 09:25 AM
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Sounds like things are getting closer to firing up for Orleans!
I would expect that you would have, but I'll ask anyhow.... did you check the gap on the plugs?

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post #10 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 09:55 AM
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Wow, sounds like your almost there. It's one hell of a project you've taken on, and it's almost done!...
Go Cindy, Go Cindy, Go Cindy, Go, Go!
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