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Git-R-Done!
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Discussion Starter #1
So up until tonight, I have been loving my bike. But tonight, it died on me - like totally, and I'm not sure what's up. I was going down the freeway, running a little low on gas, and it started cutting out on me. So, I flipped it to reserve. No more than a mile down the road, it started cutting out again (WAY too soon to really be out of gas in my estimation). I exited off the freeway, and as I got to the the intersection on the offramp, there were 2 loud backfires, and then the bike died.

I was thinking it was out of gas, and some incredibly kind samaritan who passed me came back by with some gas. "I'm saved!" I'm thinking. So I put the gas in, turn the key, and hit the start button. The bike turned and turned, but never fired - not even once. I was thinking maybe it was flooded, so I waited, and tried again - nothing. So I'm thinking 'maybe I'm not getting any spark.' Took a plug wire off, turned it over - yep, there's spark.

So at this point, it's getting late, and I need to get home. My girlfriend came and took me home, and I had to leave the bike in a convenience store parking lot, after pushing it a half mile. My only thought at this time is that maybe something got clogged in the fuel system..?

On an interesting side note, I noticed that my headlight seems to have gone out too. My g/f mentioned that maybe it was the alternator (or moto equivalent) - is that the stator? Is there a chance it could be that?

Any advice, wisdom, or plain old opinions you can offer are greatly appreciated.


AZ Kev
 

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What year is your bike? Mine's an 85 and I have a PRI on my petcock to get fuel to the carbs if it runs out of gas. If your's don't it will take a while to get gas to the carbs.
The loud backfires were most likely from the carbs leaning out from having little or no fuel. When you get back to your bike, try to start it, and if it don't start, you might try using the choke to see if that helps get fuel to them any faster.
I'm not sure if that will help or not. Someone on here will chime in shortly.
As for the headlight it generally won't come on till after the bike starts. Mine won't come on till after it's running.
 

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Was the gas already in the can when you got it? If it's old, it surely won't help things. Your reserve tank screen might be clogged or damaged, too. Do you have in-line filters? If not, it is possible that crud from the tank got past a damaged screen and clogged up a jet.
 

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Git-R-Done!
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the suggestions and ideas all.

FlacoLove, you described EXACTLY what I experienced, so I am hopeful that maybe that is what is wrong with mine. It would definitely be the easiest - and cheapest - fix of those I am thinking of! Just out of curiosity, how did you go about figuring out that's what it was? To be honest, I might have spent a lot of time on other things - fuel system, ignition switch, etc. - before I even thought of that

I am planning on stopping after work to see if I can get it running to get it home. I'll keep everyone posted.


AZ Kev
 

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Git-R-Done!
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Discussion Starter #7
Ok - so I ran over to where the bike is on my lunch hour and checked the battery connections and ground cable. Everything seems to be good as far as that all goes. Now I am wondering if I am getting gas to the carbs or not - if maybe something in the tank didn't get into the fuel lines and plug them up or something.

Is there an easy way to test whether or not I am getting gas to them? I am having the bike towed home this afternoon, so I will be able to get more into it tonight and this weekend. Just wondering where to look next. And given that it is getting spark to the plugs (checked that last night), thinking fuel now maybe...

Still up for any other suggestions of course : ) Thanks all!


AZ Kev
 

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Believe it to not this happens to me routinely. And for the life of me I can’t figure out what the problem is. From what I can tell this is a problem that accurse when going from ON to RESURVE. I have been stranded three times with this exact problem and what I do is make sure the fuel valve is dead center on the ON position and it typically fires right up. See what happens and let me know if you find the problem. Thanks
 

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Git-R-Done!
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Wow - that's interesting Frank. I will be sure to give that a try and let you know. I thought it might be something like that last night, so I did mess around with the petcock/fuel valve a couple of times, turning it from reserve to on and back again. But I will take your advice and see to it that it is dead center, and maybe even try making some small adjustments.

That would make sense too, as it seems it might be a fuel issue now. I appreciate the suggestion. That's one of the things I love about this forum too - just finding out that I'm not the only one experiencing these "anomalies"! Lol : )


AZ Kev
 

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Ok - so I ran over to where the bike is on my lunch hour and checked the battery connections and ground cable. Everything seems to be good as far as that all goes. Now I am wondering if I am getting gas to the carbs or not - if maybe something in the tank didn't get into the fuel lines and plug them up or something.

Is there an easy way to test whether or not I am getting gas to them?
I am having the bike towed home this afternoon, so I will be able to get more into it tonight and this weekend. Just wondering where to look next. And given that it is getting spark to the plugs (checked that last night), thinking fuel now maybe...

Still up for any other suggestions of course : ) Thanks all!


AZ Kev
Open the drain screw on the 5 sided jet cover on the bottom of the carbs to see if there is any gas in them.

With the problem occuring so quickly, perhaps the vacuum hose to the petcock has broken or developed a big leak.

Check the petcock to make sure it is flowing fuel to the two outside nipples when vacuum is applied to the center nipple.
Maybe the pick-up tubes or screens are blocked.
Also possible the petcock vacuum diaphram has developed a leak.
 

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I don't know if this could cause a sudden stop like you have described, but you might also want to check the carb vent tube while you're at it. Both carbs vent into tubes, they are joined into one, and that goes up the the right ear. If that tube bottoms out in the air filter housing, the carbs get starved for fuel. You can cut the tip of the tube to a 45 degree slash cut so that it never fully bottoms out.
 

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Git-R-Done!
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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Bazooka, I will definitely check that out. I'm glad I checked back here, as I am getting ready to head home now and dive into it to see if I can get it figured out. I really hope so too, as the weather is supposed to be gorgeous here in Phoenix this weekend - highs in the mid 80's. And I know this weather won't last.

I appreciate the tip. I plan on getting back on here later this afternoon or evening - either to celebrate my success, or describe the latest headache! Lol


AZ Kev
 

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Git-R-Done!
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Discussion Starter #13
UPDATE : starts, but won't stay running

Ok guys, here's the latest :

Got home today, took my battery off the charger, put it in the bike, gave her full throttle and saw if it would start. I heard a hit or 2, then another, and it started. Running rougher than hell, and would not stay running - would fall down to 0 RPMs and die if I let them slip below 3000 or so.

Started it up again, and let it run for awhile at 3000, thinking it was just REALLY flooded. After a couple of rounds of this, it will run at about 1800, but only if I keep it there. Even then, after about 30 seconds, it starts to bog and die.

Is there any chance the bike is just super flooded, or am I looking at some carb rebuild type fun probably? Also, I looked for that vent hose you mentioned bazooka, but didn't not see one going into the air cleaner - even took the assembly off to make sure I wasn't missing it. Am I missing something?

I am going to run and grab some new plugs on the far out chance that one or 2 might be fouled. After I do that, I'll check back in. Almost there.... almost.


AZ Kev
 

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Ok guys, here's the latest :

Got home today, took my battery off the charger, put it in the bike, gave her full throttle and saw if it would start. I heard a hit or 2, then another, and it started. Running rougher than hell, and would not stay running - would fall down to 0 RPMs and die if I let them slip below 3000 or so.

Started it up again, and let it run for awhile at 3000, thinking it was just REALLY flooded. After a couple of rounds of this, it will run at about 1800, but only if I keep it there. Even then, after about 30 seconds, it starts to bog and die.

Is there any chance the bike is just super flooded, or am I looking at some carb rebuild type fun probably? Also, I looked for that vent hose you mentioned bazooka, but didn't not see one going into the air cleaner - even took the assembly off to make sure I wasn't missing it. Am I missing something?

I am going to run and grab some new plugs on the far out chance that one or 2 might be fouled. After I do that, I'll check back in. Almost there.... almost.


AZ Kev
I can't believe no one has mentioned pouring some seafoam in the tank yet,i think this is definitely a time it might help.It wouldn't hurt to open the drain screws on the carbs ,take the fuel lines loose and run some gumout through them it may clean the needle and seats.You already have it half licked but it seems as if your carbs are nasty,or maybe your tank.

All this and no mention of seafoam ,simply amazing.:wow:
 

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Git-R-Done!
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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Denny. I have actually been running a little seafoam about every second or third tank. Of course, running it low on gas could have dredged up a bunch of crap from the bottom of the tank too.

I am getting ready to go throw the new plugs in, and might just take your advice about running some gumout (or seafoam if i don't have any) through the carbs. Fingers and toes crossed - thanks for the help all : )

AZ Kev
 

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Here is a diagram of where the vent hose goes.
http://www.vn750.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=1757&cat=503

If the vent hose end is exposed to wind passing over it at speed, rough running and stumbling occurs.
(After an ear shave the hose end requires a filter to cover it to prevent air pressure fluctuations into the carb bowls.)

The trouble you are having getting the engine to keep running while sitting still do not seem to me to be related to the vent hose.
You still need to find the vent hose and plug it into the back of the "ear".
 

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Just wanted to chime in a bit. Dont really know enough about the problem your having but with all that cranking, you need to keep your battery charged up. I have had problems where the battery was low enough it would cause my bike not to start but seemed the motor turned over ok. A more experianced person told me this when i was having trouble. If you get your fuel thing fixed but the bike wont start cuz that batts a bit to low, could miss lead you to think that you didnt fix the origanal problem.
 

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Ok guys, here's the latest :

Got home today, took my battery off the charger, put it in the bike, gave her full throttle and saw if it would start. I heard a hit or 2, then another, and it started. Running rougher than hell, and would not stay running - would fall down to 0 RPMs and die if I let them slip below 3000 or so.

Started it up again, and let it run for awhile at 3000, thinking it was just REALLY flooded. After a couple of rounds of this, it will run at about 1800, but only if I keep it there. Even then, after about 30 seconds, it starts to bog and die.

Is there any chance the bike is just super flooded, or am I looking at some carb rebuild type fun probably? Also, I looked for that vent hose you mentioned bazooka, but didn't not see one going into the air cleaner - even took the assembly off to make sure I wasn't missing it. Am I missing something?

I am going to run and grab some new plugs on the far out chance that one or 2 might be fouled. After I do that, I'll check back in. Almost there.... almost.


AZ Kev

I had an issue like this last week.. My bike would backfire a lot and had a hard time staying lit without giving her gas.. I looked at the plugs and they looked fine but I changed them anyway.. after I did that it's been running much better.. Good luck
 

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Git-R-Done!
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Discussion Starter #19
So I put the plugs in, and though it fired up a bit easier, still would not quite stay running. As far as the battery goes, I actually have 2 now so I can charge one while using the other to work with. I too had some problems starting the bike awhile back, and someone gave me the suggestion to get a battery charger to be able to make sure the battery is fully charged.

I remember having read something on here awhile back about draining the carbs and putting seafoam in them to sit overnight. So I did just that. I am hoping that after I drain them tomorrow and replace the fuel hoses, the bike will start and stay running. The real bummer, and perplexing thing, is that the bike was running awesome right up to just before it croaked. I will also check that diagram to see where the hose goes, as I just could not find it earlier.

As always, much appreciation and gratitude to all for chiming in : )


AZ Kev
 

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Git-R-Done!
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Discussion Starter #20
One more thing : OlHoss, I had the right side air canister completely off today, and did not see any vent hose. There is a square shaped opening on the inside (the side closest to the bike) of the canister, and as far as I remember, there has never been any kind of hose there. Should there be? I am fairly certain that there hasn't been one there since I owned it, and it has run fine.

Maybe I'm looking at the wrong thing. I'll see if I can post some decent pics tomorrow.


AZ Kev
 
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