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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 99 SV650. I bought it as a race bike and recently cleaned out the carbs. Yesterday I sealed the ever leaking plastic clutch cover of the 1st gen and today i started it up(after replacing the main fuse for the third time this week) to see how the leak was doing. Immediately it started dripping again, but not from the cover, from the connection at the exhaust. It smells like fuel and looks like oil. I've read a little about it being caused by stuck floats/needles, but i just cleaned the carbs. Could anyone give me some input please? This is my first bike and Im really hoping to get this bike running well. Here are some pics:
 

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If *I* were to guess, I'd say head gasket. That appears to be a mix of oil and water... it can't run very well.

Pull the plugs and see what they look like.
 

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Keep an eye on the site glass. If it looks milky then you're mixing oil and water in the head gasket. Go to a local parts store and rent a compression test kit and see what it reads. That can point you to one cyclinder or the other for the problem if its the head gasket. Being a ex race bike you can figure it spent its life at and above 8k rpm's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Pull the plugs and see what they look like.
I pulled the plugs and they were pretty toasted. Looks like it was running rich. The rear one did have some oil-like substance on it.

Go to a local parts store and rent a compression test kit and see what it reads
Ran a compression test and found the front cylinder at 220psi and the rear at 210psi. Neither of which I think are too bad. I drained the coolant and it looked alright. I also took a look at the oil level and it looks higher than it was the day before, but looks pretty clean...If I have to repalce the head gaskets I will, but if I'm taking the engine out I might as well check everything since I have no idea how many miles are on it (PO never asked original owner about mileage). If this was your guys bike, would you do a complete engine teardown? Or at least check all clearances and replace gaskets (which probably requires a teardown anyways) Thanks for the help guys
 

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Your compression is within spec. Leads me to think its not the head gasket. Possibly the valve guide seals. That would allow oil to get to the combustion chamber.
 

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Well that pic of the white ooze coming from the exhaust pipe definitely looks like water... If it's not a head gasket (which seems unlikely from the compression test and the oil not being milky) makes me wonder where that water would be coming from.

Did you pull the air filter and see what's in the airbox?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Did you pull the air filter and see what's in the airbox?
Airbox is clean. I took the carbs of and cleaned/rebuilt them and adjusted the float height. Haven't reinstalled them yet. If theres a problem with the heads or valves i dont want to have to take them off again. When i removed the boots for the plugs the front one came out so easy i doubt if it was even on the plug. Is it possible the leak could be unburnt fuel with oil?
 

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The only other thing I can think of is a batch of really nasty fuel or water got into the tank somehow. Both plugs looked the same?
 

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All engines produce water when they burn gasoline. You might just be seeing condensation leaking out. I'd be more worried about needing to replace the main fuse three times! You might have a weak spark that is related to the fuse problem which will cause incomplete combustion. Or your carbs might be flooding. Does it start properly and run well?

If it is only running on one cylinder it will blow LOTS of gas out the pipe for sure. Are both pipes getting hot? An infrared temperature gun works great for answering such a question. Shoot them both and compare the temperatures and you might find your problem. If one carb is flooding it won't run that cylinder very well...and the excess fuel can end up in the oil....which can raise the level. If it is gaining oil, I'd look for something along these lines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
All engines produce water when they burn gasoline. You might just be seeing condensation leaking out. I'd be more worried about needing to replace the main fuse three times! You might have a weak spark that is related to the fuse problem which will cause incomplete combustion. Or your carbs might be flooding. Does it start properly and run well?

If it is only running on one cylinder it will blow LOTS of gas out the pipe for sure. Are both pipes getting hot? An infrared temperature gun works great for answering such a question. Shoot them both and compare the temperatures and you might find your problem. If one carb is flooding it won't run that cylinder very well...and the excess fuel can end up in the oil....which can raise the level. If it is gaining oil, I'd look for something along these lines.
That's defiantly something to think about because the fluid that was leaking smells a lot like gasoline. When I cleaned the carbs, there was a lot of dirt that was on the screen of the piece that the float needle fits into, its possible that a piece got through and caused the needle to stick open and flood the carb. I got a carb repair kit so hopefully this will be a solution. I'd really not like to replace the head gasket. Ever since the main fuse blew, I've had problems with starting sometimes. The motor would go for a second and then stop like it was stuck. I have to press the button a couple times before it will crank. It does start and run though. The last time I rode it, before I noticed the leak, it was feeling pretty rough, almost like it was sputtering. It still had power but it just wasn't smooth like before.
 

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Be careful of a hydralock. You can kill a rod bearing. Have you drained the tank and put fresh gas in it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Be careful of a hydralock. You can kill a rod bearing. Have you drained the tank and put fresh gas in it?
It never had old gas in it. I had the tank cleaned and sealed and then added brand new fresh gas. It ran fine with it too. I only noticed this leak recently. I'm not sure how the dirt got in the gas line, I have an inline filter. The petcock was the only thing new that I added recently. Before, I ran the bike off a fuel bottle. The petcock screen is torn, so its possible that, if dirt did manage to get into the tank, that it passed through the petcock and the fuel pump, but I figured the inline filter would have stopped it. I need to get a new petcock. Whats a hydralock?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Oh, tasty. Haha. So I rebuilt the carbs today and got new spark plugs. Got new o-rings, needle valve seats and needles, and new jets (137.5 mains and 17.5 pilots). Put them on the bike and... There was no more leak! But now it's running rough. The throttle was sticking for a few seconds after I turn the tube and the bike would even blip the revs by itself while idling. It also stalled once. I adjusted the a/f screws to the factory 3 turns out. I wasn't too sure if I did it correctly though. Then once it was on the bike and running badly, I adjusted the rear butterfly valve and the bike started running smoother, it still sputters a little but not nearly as much, and the revs arent sticking and the throttle is responsive. It just backfires like crazy. Im thinking that maybe I should turn my idle up. Has to be a lot of unburnt gas that is collecting in the exhaust. I think that a carb balance and some a/f screw tuning will probably solve this issue. Does anyone have some more experienced input? Thanks again guys
 

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The idle should be set at 1300rpms on a warm motor.
You don't need to adjust the idle to fix another problem.
 

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Oh, tasty. Haha. So I rebuilt the carbs today and got new spark plugs. Got new o-rings, needle valve seats and needles, and new jets (137.5 mains and 17.5 pilots). Put them on the bike and... There was no more leak! But now it's running rough. The throttle was sticking for a few seconds after I turn the tube and the bike would even blip the revs by itself while idling. It also stalled once. I adjusted the a/f screws to the factory 3 turns out. I wasn't too sure if I did it correctly though. Then once it was on the bike and running badly, I adjusted the rear butterfly valve and the bike started running smoother, it still sputters a little but not nearly as much, and the revs arent sticking and the throttle is responsive. It just backfires like crazy. Im thinking that maybe I should turn my idle up. Has to be a lot of unburnt gas that is collecting in the exhaust. I think that a carb balance and some a/f screw tuning will probably solve this issue. Does anyone have some more experienced input? Thanks again guys
Sync the carbs. The hanging idle is a first sign that its coming out of sync.
 

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Are the valve guides replaceable?
Sorry, missed this question. Yes, you can replace them if needed. And, you also mentioned checking the valve adjustment....did you make this happen? Tight valves can make them pop and carry on, and being an ex-racer it might have been run hard. What am I saying...of COURSE it has been flogged! That was its' purpose.:)

But now, with kinder and gentler ownership it would like its' valves set to the loose side of specs if possible. If they are OK, at least you can check that possibility off the list.

Sounds like you are getting the carbs squared away. Good job! Agree that they are needing synching, and you then can play with the idle screw adjustments. With the larger pilots (17.5's are larger than what came out, yes?) you might not need more than 2-2.5 turns. Once you get them synched, try turning them in 1/4 turn at a time until it slows down noticeably. Then go back 1/8 turn open and you'll be good to go.

You said you weren't sure you did the screws right? Turn them in until they gently seat. Don't crush them in there....just fingertip on the screwdriver tight. Then count the turns back out. Often times, I'll then double check the settings by re-seating and counting the turns, add them and divide by two....then set the screws to that average. Going back and forth trying to find the smoothest setting can be trying. But, it is fun!:)
 
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