What else is there?
Well, it's cold out, looks like the clouds are pregnant with snow and I'm about the hook the ol' girl up to the trickle charger and cover it up for the season. But maybe I'll cast one last line and see what happens... I bought this 89 with 14,000 miles on it in October. Since then I have put hours and hours into it, but still can't get it to start without great acrobatics. To get it to start I have to give the big black idle speed knob a turn or two in (more on this later) then perform several sessions of holding the throttle all the way open and cranking with no choke. After that I can let go of the throttle and crank it. It will start for a second or two then die. Repeat as needed for 5 minutes or so until it starts. Cannot start with any choke at all. When it starts, it's running only on the back cyl. Now, if I let it warm up a while, then take it off the center stand and put it on the kickstand, after a minute or so the front cyl. will start sputtering and then kick in eventually. Once warm will be racing around 2,500 to 3,000 rpm so I have to back off the idle knob down to 1,100, (which is why I have to turn it back up to start later). Starts fine warm. So I'm having a very hard cold start, probably greatly exacerbated by trying to start on only one jug. So here's what I've done...
1. Had carbs out 3 times, am no longer afraid of them, they are clean as a whistle. All jets are factory size and clear; jet needles are factory size with no shims, all diaphragms look ok, have had mixture screws out, choke plungers out, coasting enricher plungers out and blew air through the holes . Have run two tanks of a strong seafoam mix through them. Couldn't get the floats out because a screw stripped for one side and on the other I couldn't get the little holding pin out to remove the float and look at the needle... so I haven't put eyes on either float needle, BUT the floats move freely, and if I tilt the carb where they close by gravity and then try to blow into the hose where the gas flows in, I can't, it seems to be a perfect seal. Tilt it back upright and I can blow through fine.
2. Have measured the gas that comes out of the carbs from each drain, seems approximately the same amount from each carb, and the level seems correct when using the clear hose on the drain nipple to measure.
3. On the bike I've used all new clamps and spraying carb cleaner on the boots no longer affects idle so I think I'm air tight. Factory intake is in place with K&N filters in the ears. Carbs are synced (at normal operating temp), with both vac lines securely capped. Mixture screws 2 1/2 turns out.
4. Fresh air system removed and reeds securely capped, big hose to surge tank securely capped and carb vent hose cut at 45 degrees and not bottomed out in right ear.
5. New AGM battery and NGK iridiums - performed coil mod - getting apx 12.3 volts to the coils with ignition on. All spark plugs showing blue spark when cranked against the engine. Ran in the dark garage and see no sparks jumping to ground from the plug wires while running.
6. I discovered previously that gas was seeping through the petcock vacuum hose and ordered a rebuild kit, only to fine that the PO had already removed the guts from the petcock, so it was no longer vac operated. I left it like that but replaced the gasket material to stop the leaking. If I drain the carbs then come to the bike the next morning, and let some gas in for a moment then close the petcock again, I get the same results, so it doesnít look like a bad float needle flooding out the cyl.
7. Left goats belly in place but debaffled mufflers.
The bike runs great out on the road once warmed up except for a lot of popping in the exhaust. Basically it's the hard starting that's got me. I don't want to be the last guy in the parking lot at night cranking away praying it will start before the battery gives out. I can't think of anything else to check. It seems to have symptoms of being rich (any choke kills it), but why would that be? If anything, with the K&Ns and factory jets I'd expect it to be on the lean side. Anytime Iíve pulled the plugs they were damp at least. I've looked into the surge tank with a flashlight and I don't see any obstructions. Anything I'm overlooking?