atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6754: Started work on the motorcycle

Yesterday was a busy day; today I am wiped out and dragging my butt around. I'm not kidding; until about 7:45 PM the most ambitious thing I'd managed to do was today's blog post. Otherwise I was laying on the gravity chair on the patio; laying in bed; or sitting in my rocking chair. I did manage to play a little WoW today but my heart really wasn't in it.

But my wife wanted Chinese food, and because there are no places around here that deliver I told her that if she ordered and paid for it, I'd go pick it up.

Had some food after that, then laid down for a little bit; but did not fall asleep, so I got back up, put on a grunge shirt, and hied meself out to the garage.

Took the seat and tank off the motorcycle. The air filter does not look dirty but I'll clean it, anyway, before I put it back in. I drained all the fuel out of the tank, and decided that was enough because I really needed to find the service manual to figure out how to get the carbs off the thing for a thorough cleaning.

Could not find the manual. TL;DR on that one was that it had been put into my closet in my old bedroom--a good, safe place for it--so after I had exhausted all other alternatives I found it there.

The troubleshooting section of the manual is spectacularly useless, though. It goes right to the worst-case scenario and then tapers off from there:
1. Tappet clearance out of adjustment.
2. Poor seating of valves.
3. Defective valve guides.
4. Defective signal generator.
5. Spark plug gaps too wide.
6. Defective ignition coil.
7. Carburator balancing out of adjustment.
8. Float-chamber fuel level out of adjustment in carburators.
9. Clogged jets.
Seriously. Instead of going to the simple to the complex to the "fuck it, buy a new bike", it's like the guy who wrote the manual just wrote down everything he could think of that would cause a poor idle, and didn't bother to sort it when he was finished.

Really, though, this manual was written for professional motorcycle mechanics, so the troubleshooting guide is meant to jog the mechanic's brain with things he might not have thought of.

Looking over the cutaway diagrams for the carbs and the theory of operation, though, I think I know what I have to do. The thing starts and runs fine with the choke open, but once the engine is warm enough not to need the choke, it stops running because the air/fuel mix with the choke on is wrong for a warm engine.

My aim, then, is to pull the carbs out, give them a thorough cleaning, and then put them back in and try it out. Put in fresh 93 octane gasoline with a good shot of carb cleaner in it, and then give that a try.

If that fixes the problem, then I might just take it somewhere, to get the carbs balanced and everything adjusted to spec by a professional. Wouldn't that be a kick? It'd cost a few shekels, but having the clutch and throttle and brakes and chain all adjusted by someone who knows what he's about would probably go a very, very long way towards making the thing fun to ride again.

* * *

I say "choke" but it is in fact a "cold start enrichment device". A choke is a butterfly valve similar to the throttle valve that closes (or is closed) when the engine is cold, in order to increase intake vacuum and therefore draw more fuel through the jets. A "cold start enrichment device", however, is a valve that opens another path for fuel to be drawn into the airstream.

* * *

Anyway, I'm not expecting to tear the carbs all the way down. I'm going to open them up, blast out the appropriate passages with carb cleaner (bought two cans at Menards) inspect and repeat as needed until I know they'll work right. Then reassemble and reinstall. Whee!

* * *

But while removing the gas tank, I discovered that there are some damaged wires right there. When I bought the thing from Og he had to remove a mouse nest from the air box; the mice that built that nest apparently had a time with these wires, as well. I'm going to have to de-loom them, see what I can do about fixing this, and then re-loom them. Argh etc.

* * *

Anyway I'm going to hit the hay early tonight. I'm hoping that means I'll be able to get up in the morning and work on the bike a bit--just an hour or two--before work. We'll see. I'm going to listen to my body and sleep as much as is necessary; Wed-Fri last week I was dragging my ass during work hours and Friday didn't seem like it would ever end.

Tomorrow I have a meeting at 9 AM--teleconference--so I've got to be here at the computer at 9 to do that. But the day after that meeting is over will be mine, until about 1:30-ish. So, that works.

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