Friday, August 22, 2008

Rebel Yell

I got to spend about 1.5hrs on the bike last night so I checked the Kreem in the tank (which was completely dry) and tested for leaks. Then I tested the "balancing" tubes and one was clogged, but after about 10 minutes and piece of wire I was able to get a reasonable amount of fuel to flow out of it. I pulled the petcock (the old one) to see if there was any obstruction there and all of the fuel poured out, so that looked good.

I then moved to "tying up" what I could in the electrical system for an attempt at starting the thing later. Essentially I tied enough wires together to simulate the kill switch being in the "run" position and to put the headlight on "low". Through this process I noticed all sorts of weird behavior, sometimes the running light of the tail light would be on, other times it would be off but would activate when I applied the brake, but never both at the same time.

So, once the electricals were satisfactory I screwed in the new petcock and plumbed the tank. The fuel filters I got are too big for the fuel line I have so I left them out (the new petcock has a nice new strainer so I figured I was at least partially safe). I had a major hassle getting that balancing line connected (I think those tubes have a slightly larger outside diameter than the rest of the system, so I should get some bigger hose) and then it started to rain.

I didn't give up however and got the hose attached in the garage. The rain let up so I pulled the bike back out and took a shot at starting it. After about a dozen kicks it backfired (which greatly impressed Lib) and then after a few more it sprung to life. This time I had the sense to observe the tach and it seemed like I could bring the RPM's down to about 3000 but any lower and the thing dies.

Remembering that 3000 is about where the alternator starts making power, I decided to check the battery since below 3k the bike isn't generating enough power to throw a spark. Sure enough, just slightly more than 10 volts.

So I threw it on the charger last night thinking that if it ran at all with 10 volts maybe it would run great at 12-13, and even though that battery is smoked, it can usually hold a charge for an hour or so after it comes off the charger.

This morning I gave it another shot before coming in to the office and while it definitely starts easier and I can get the revs down closer to 2k, it still won't come close to idling, and when I try to hold the revs steady (around 3.5k), there is some "undulation".

So, I've got some research to do. I read somewhere that getting these bikes to idle w/o the stock exhaust is difficult, but I've seen many with modified pipes so that can't be the only cause. There are so many other possibilities but I'm going to try and narrow them down, otherwise I could spend a long time getting everything perfect.

But it was cool to hear it run again, and I think my tank nightmares are over, so I'm not complaining.

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