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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,

Picked up a nice 2001 with 26,000kms. The only issue it's not running. The original owner attempted to drain the fuel while winterizing about 2 years and may have "reconnected something incorrectly". The bike turns over but doesn't start. Prior to this it was running well.

Today I poked around a bit. The battery is dead, so I'll replace that. There was some fuel in the tank so I siphoned as much as I could.

My game plan for now is take the tank off and inspect the fuel lines. I'm hoping it might be as simple as getting them fitted properly. I'm hoping to use both the shop manual and the clymer manual.

What should I do about the old fuel in the tank? Can I dilute it with a bit of new fuel or should I attempt to dump all of it?

All thoughts/opinions welcome!
 

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Hey folks,

Picked up a nice 2001 with 26,000kms. The only issue it's not running. The original owner attempted to drain the fuel while winterizing about 2 years and may have "reconnected something incorrectly". The bike turns over but doesn't start. Prior to this it was running well.

Today I poked around a bit. The battery is dead, so I'll replace that. There was some fuel in the tank so I siphoned as much as I could.

My game plan for now is take the tank off and inspect the fuel lines. I'm hoping it might be as simple as getting them fitted properly. I'm hoping to use both the shop manual and the clymer manual.

What should I do about the old fuel in the tank? Can I dilute it with a bit of new fuel or should I attempt to dump all of it?

All thoughts/opinions welcome!
I’d assume there’s a drain bolt on the bowl of the carbs. I’d back it out and let all the fuel flow out and maybe pour a little more in to let it flush the old out. If it still won’t start make sure you’re getting fire. I have a gen 2 so I don’t know much about the carbs but I’m sure someone else will chime in.


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Welcome to SVR. Review some of my threads where I was trying to get my Gen1 running with loads of help from the SVR braintrust: Dammit, I Was Wrong...Not Solved! and Good Saturday Gone Bad---long post. You pointed out it had been sitting for a long time with fuel. Gasoline tends to gunk up over time, especially the ethanol crap. The tank and carbs are probably filled with gunk. The tank may also have rust in it. That was my problem all along.

I suggest you pull the carbs and do a thorough cleaning following ziptech's method on an old SVR post Dangers of a Lo-Carb Diet. You'll need a carb rebuild kit for this.

I would also drain the tank and flush with phosphoric acid. To drain it completely you need to pull the tank off the bike, remove the petcock and fuel sensor, and shake like crazy until you hear no more sloshing.

Also, after you put everything back together you should fill the tank with fresh non-ethanol gas and a shot of Seafoam. The things I suggest are not difficult. But it can be tedious. If you follow the information found on SVR and use your manuals, you'll be riding in no time.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Howdy, ya'll.

I managed to spend a couple of hours on the bike this weekend.

The fuel lines were connected correctly, as far as I can tell. There still a bit of the old fuel sloshing around in the tank but I figure diluting it with new fuel and Seafoam should do the trick. Or should I drain it fully?

Is there a way to get to the carb drain screw without taking the whole carb out? @Geo Smith, I know you're suggesting I pull the carbs, but I'd like to eliminate the simple things first... If I stick the fuel line into a jerry can or something and see if it starts? Eliminate the fuel valve and gunked up tank this way. I'm a little intimidated by the carbs at this point in time. Can I shoot some carb cleaned into the carbs?

What do you think?




58461
 

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I have not drained the carb bowls without removing the carbs. Someone like @Straticus will have a better answer. I suggest draining the little bit of fuel left in the tank into a clear bow. Let it sit for a few hours (or longer), and see if it has any rust residue in it. If it does, you're never going to run right until you clean the carbs and line the tank. I let my bowl sit over night, letting most of the fuel evaporate. Then I wiped it with a paper towel and found red sediment.

The tank is easy to drain if you have an extra length of vacuum hose and an alligator clip (or clothes pin, or anything else to kink the line).
  1. Hook the length of vacuum line to the vacuum outlet on the petcock.
  2. Run the fuel hose from the petcock into a container (preferably clear).
  3. Suck on the vacuum hose (yes with your mouth).
  4. Quickly kink the vacuum hose with the alligator clip.
  5. If done properly, the fuel will flow into your container.
  6. Lower the gas tank gently without disturbing your hose set up.
  7. Wait until all of the gas has been drained.
After doing this I found red sentiment in the gas, even though my clear external fuel filter showed no signs of rust. Following @bmetz99 instructions, I flushed the tank with phosphoric acid. This is what I found in the tank.
58462


Your problem may not be as bad as mine. In fact, you may not have a tank rust problem at all. The above instructions are simply a non-invasive step you can take to rule out rust.
 

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I've not drained the float bowls with the Carbs in. The drain screws are a real pain to get to on this kind of V-Twin :(

I do have a long necked JIS Screwdriver so might be able to do it if required,


but can't remember if it is a standard JIS screw :/
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Alrighty.. in this case --can I try a shot of carb cleaner + some fuel in a jerry can to see if it fires up? Am I going to do damage?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No damage. Just soak it with cleaner. Also, add some Seafoam to the gas can.
Do I just spray the cleaner through the carb opening on top?

I put some fuel + Seafoam into a bottle and hooked it up to the fuel like. It started very briefly for maybe 5 seconds and died again. I felt the fuel spray out of the top of the carbs when I was cranking it. So it's likely a carburator issue just like you said initially. Unless there's anything else I can try it's pretty much take the carb apart and clean it, right?
 

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Do I just spray the cleaner through the carb opening on top?

I put some fuel + Seafoam into a bottle and hooked it up to the fuel like. It started very briefly for maybe 5 seconds and died again. I felt the fuel spray out of the top of the carbs when I was cranking it. So it's likely a carburator issue just like you said initially. Unless there's anything else I can try it's pretty much take the carb apart and clean it, right?
Yes, it sounds like the same issue I was having. Get a couple of carb rebuild kits from Amazon or Ebay. Download the factory service manual, if you have not done so already. Then follow ziptech's procedure to the letter. Here is the link.

Dangers of a Lo-Carb Diet

The pics are missing, but you'll manage. It is quite comprehensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, it sounds like the same issue I was having. Get a couple of carb rebuild kits from Amazon or Ebay. Download the factory service manual, if you have not done so already. Then follow ziptech's procedure to the letter. Here is the link.

Dangers of a Lo-Carb Diet

The pics are missing, but you'll manage. It is quite comprehensive.
Thanks, I'll go read that. Unfortunately I'm leaving to see the inlaws for a few weeks, so I won't be able to get back to this till late august. I do have the service manual, so I guess I"m gonna go do a lot of reading. I also remember seeing a YouTube video on carb disassembly/rebuild. YouTube has been quite intstrumental in my learnings!

As a last resort, should I give the carb opening a shot of a cleaner or do you think it'll be a waste of time?
 

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Some people have had luck with running Seafoam-treated gas through the carbs (by starting or even just with the starter motor), then letting it sit for a few days. This worked for me until the rust from my tank contaminated my carbs again.

And yes, it can't hurt spraying them down with cleaner a bit. But, keep in mind, the cleaner is made to evaporate rapidly. So it won't "work itself in" much.

Amusingly, I brought my service manuals on my vacation and read them on the beach. My trip happened to fall during the time I was still fighting to get her running. Have a safe trip and good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
How does the fuel pump work? Specifically when does it know to create vacuum to open up the fuel valve?

The reason I ask, is that I removed the tank, and fed the fuel line into a bottle of gas.. which I'm now thinking just flooded the carbs (because pretty much half liter of fuel just drained into the carbs).

Anyway, my neighbour came by when he heard me trying to crank the engine and ask me what the states of the spark plugs was; something I never considered. We took out the easy plug (does the other one really require the rad to come out?) and it was fouled. I dried it off. Removed the bottle of gas (so no fuel delivery other than what was in the carbs)...and see the video. Sounds promising right?


 

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when does it know to create vacuum to open up the fuel valve?
The engine creates the vacuum by turning over. This draws fuel from the pump into the carbs. See the arrows in the image straticus posted? To avoid overflowing it, I would run your fuel line from your bottle of gas to the input of your fuel pump.
does the other one really require the rad to come out?
When I pull my front plug, I remove my horn (1 bolt), and unbolt my radiator (3 bolts). No need to undo the hoses or to remove the radiator. It's tight. But, by pulling the rad out of the way with one hand, and dropping in the spark plug socket with the other, I can remove the plug. I use a magnetized plug socket, a 2" extension, and a 3/8" ratchet. It fits right in, but it is tight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Oooh boy.

I've been feeding fuel down the vacuum hose (in red). Should be the green one right? That explains the flooding 🤦‍♂️

58525
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok... so I hooked up my bottle to the actual fuel line. Doesn't start.

Hooked up my bottle to the vacuum line, gave it 1-2-3-missisipi to drain a bit. It starts, but dies in 2 secs (like the video above).

Disconnected the output hose from the fuel pump, cranked the engine. The pump is spitting fuel ergo the fuel pump works.

So looking at the vacuum hose, does it go into the cylinder directly? If it does, then I'm bypassing the carb.

The lack of start with the actual fuel line indicates that gas isn't being delivered so the problem is between the fuel pump and cylinder, likely at the carb?
 

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So looking at the vacuum hose, does it go into the cylinder directly? If it does, then I'm bypassing the carb.

The lack of start with the actual fuel line indicates that gas isn't being delivered so the problem is between the fuel pump and cylinder, likely at the carb?
That would be my guess. The vacuum line at the base of each carb dumps directly into the cylinder. Looks like your carbs ain't squirtin'. Yours is doing the same as mine. Read up on carb rebuilding while visiting your in-laws.
 
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