The outside of a motorbike engine seen up close near the exhaust

Repair-Chat

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ian said :-
fed up - 1990 xj900f has been off the road 7 mths and now with petrol additive and fresh fuel it is running lumpy, it ticks over, all headers get hot and it does 70mph but it isn't a happy bunny - very reluctant to take the carbs off and clean the jets especially as all that was done about 1.5 k miles ago by a professional at great expense.
~

repair chat...
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31/05/2024 11:46:20 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
Ian.
I would drain out any old fuel (any old fuel is no longer....erm....fuel) put in fresh super unleaded from Shell/Esso/BP, possibly with a system cleaner additive and run it to see if it clears.
You know the alternative.
Might be worth changing the fuel filter too.
Good luck.
Upt.

31/05/2024 19:09:30 UTC
Glyn said :-
It's surprising how the fuel systems clog up very quickly after periods of non use. The Dragstar was particularly bad for it. However, my Deauville can stand for months without starting and still run well when I want it to. The Dragstar could always be revived by putting the carbs in the electronic cleaner machine for 20 minutes. Do you remember my BMW K1100? Well the rebuild continues and, despite all suggestions to leave it be, I've removed the Paralever (single sided swingarm) to lubricate the 3 sets of shaft splines. This is a major operation and even more tricky to reassemble because the drive shaft, inside the unit, has to be phased. This is making the UJ's all line up to prevent oscillation. Very difficult to do because the shaft joins in the middle of the casing out of view to the assembler. Here's a photo from when I took it apart;
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06/06/2024 20:04:00 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
That looks like my garage (but a bit tidier!) even down to the chipped floor paint....

07/06/2024 10:10:30 UTC
Snod said :-
Since about September last year my Z250SL has refused to run for more than a minute. With fuel quite cheap and my financial situation being quite good right now I didn't really mind, and have enjoyed riding big bikes for a bit. But today I did a quick google search and found a post saying they solved a similar running issue of their KLX250 by cleaning the kill switch. I didn't expect this to help, but it would explain why there seems to be no EFI error code, so I took it to bits. The copper contacts were a bit green, so I wiped them clean and put it back together. And, well, it fired up no problem and seems perfectly happy again!? Previously it didn't want to know. I don't know quite how the kill switch is wired in but clearly it's not the sensible if-connected-then-bike-is-killed way, there must be some power running through it all the time the bike is running and a poor contact leads to poor running.

Picture of the copper pads that have to be connected:
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07/06/2024 22:28:32 UTC
Snod said :-
And a picture of the copper plate thing that is rotated by the switch to connect those pads, which was also a bit green.

A note for Ren who will probably end up doing this to Sharon's bike to bring it back to health: the spring behind the copper plate thing will escape when you unclip the white plastic part of the switch, be very careful! If possible do it inside a clear bag or something. I also found it easiest to reassemble the switch by clipping the red and white bits together first and then pushing the black pad thing into place last. But it's very fiddly. I was scrabbling around on the floor looking for that spring three times! Oh and there's another spring with a ball on it on the other side of the red part, it acts as the detent, but luckily it's not so prone to escaping because it's covered in sticky grease. But yours might not be!
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07/06/2024 22:36:41 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Oooh now Snod - thanks for the info. Sharon's Z250SL is running fine... most of the time save for the rare and entirely random just stopping when at low revs or idle. For example I started the bike the other day, it's ticking over tickety boo then just stopped. Starts again just fine as though nothing's happened. I'm wondering if merely (at this stage) just operating the kill switch a few times might do the trick.

The dip/main beam switch on my 500 is giving me gip - for probably the exact same reason - lack of regular use. I'm making a point of using it a few times on quiet roads in the hope it sorts itself out. Otherwise I'll have to look at stripping and cleaning the contacts and the way switchgear is put together I know it'll be a right old faff.

Speaking of the Z250SL I've recently fitted a home made manual camchain tensioner. Quiet as a sewing machine now. Just need to do a little filing and make a home made gasket as it's weeping just a tiny bit.

10/06/2024 08:03:52 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
"I've recently fitted a home made manual camchain tensioner." Do tell us more Ren.

Reversing somewhat the cheap reg/rec arrived and I've fitted it in an accessible and airy place on the nearside behind the side cover. I was hoping it would fit in an existing space but no luck. With that and the new battery I'm seeing a solid 14 volts when revved to 3,000 rpm or so. So a result on that front.

I eventually got fed up with the carb issue as I was still getting a gently weep into the inlet ports so bought a repair set including float needles with seats and bowl gaskets - very important as the float chambers are rotated 90 degrees from a "normal" position so these are constantly immersed. Getting the old seats out was another trial of persistence and strength as a bad move would have rendered the carbs unusable. When I eventually got the seats out they were encrusted with deposits which I think is where the weep came from.

The repair kit was only £15 (for both carbs) from ebay and seems decently made. It's missing the tiny filters that the originals had on the valve seats but given the hassle of getting the things out I think I'll risk it. Initial tests seem OK. I also took the opportunity to check the float levels which seem near enough as well. The horizontal positioning means that if the level is too high it will again flood the inlet tracts.

10/06/2024 12:50:24 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
If I get my poop together Ian I'll do a piece on my now 2 DIY manual camchain tensioners.

As for that blummin' Yammy of yours - seems like a lorra hassle. Maybe you'll see the benefit of fool injunction now eh?

10/06/2024 19:30:56 UTC
Glyn said :-
It sounds like you're going well on that project Ian. I just love getting things like carbs appearing like new after so much work especially when the outcome is positive. I'm in deeper with the BMW at the moment as when I was about to locate the final drive into the Paralever swingarm I noticed the bearings were notchy. Thinking this will be inconvenient but not impossible I launched into the wonder net in search of replacements. £160 for a pair, you're aving a laugh!! But no, apparently they're very special due to monster lateral pressures and Timken, Koyo etc don't make anything that'll do. I've ended up ordering a pair of CNC machined specials from the States for $85 that will probably arrive on 8-10 days. I know that's a big risk but £160... Indeed!

11/06/2024 08:04:28 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
"It sounds like you're going well on that project Ian." - thanks Glyn, but it wasn't supposed to be a project but ready to ride! Still it keeps me occupied. Good luck with the BM. I'm always surprised that manufacturers choose to use non-standard bearings. To my mind it's poor design if the loads are such that standard components are required.

And Ren, I do see the benefits of fuel injection. You may recall I penned a short piece describing air/fuel maps for this delightful site. But I suspect when those systems get to be 40 years old they will be even more troublesome than simple carburettors, points ignition etc. You may also recall the troouble I had with the sadly departed XBR500 which turned out to be fractured solder joints on the ECU.....

And the Electra has been picked up and will be with me Thursday morning. No luck selling the ES2 as yet. 247 views on ebay.....
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/156248710453...

11/06/2024 10:16:50 UTC
Glyn said :-
Bearings are always troublesome for me it would seem. The Paralever bearings are tapered and need to be properly preloaded or they just bind up and destroy themselves. You may be able to just make out the vertical striations on the inner part of this one in the picture. If I tighten it to 10Nm on the torque guage it jams. I just have to get the back of the bearing out of the casing now without resorting to the official BMW puller priced at a mere £119. I have about a week before the replacement items arrived.

11/06/2024 14:53:42 UTC
Glyn said :-
Forgot the picture.
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11/06/2024 14:54:38 UTC
Glyn said :-
Ha, BMW special tool my bottom! I did it with bits I found in my toolbox and scattered around the garage. One length of threaded rod, 2 nuts, 2 Sockets and 2 17mm spanners. Job completed, bearings and casing now separated.
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11/06/2024 16:24:33 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
You're not wrong Glyn, that bearings ugly.
Well done fella.

11/06/2024 16:25:42 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I'm glad to see the art of fudging and thinking your way out of a situation is alive and well in you Glyn. However the complexity and finicky-ness of that BMW with "special" bearings and "specialist" tools is rather putting my off BMWs. Don't get me wrong, Honda aren't exactly renown for making the home mechanic's life easy though.

13/06/2024 08:21:15 UTC
nab301 said :-
@ Ren , I'd try contact cleaner sprayed with a long straw attachment into the switches before actually stripping them apart , it's worked for me over the years.
@ Glyn I've replaced more than one set of those bearings on my R1100S over the last couple of decades without any issues ( no special tools ) but the prices seem to have changed from ok to "HOW MUCH!!! " since my last purchase...
Nigel

13/06/2024 12:49:43 UTC
Glyn said :-
The bearings I've ordered are not actual bearings at all and called Bushings. They're made of Nylatron which is a self lubrication solid nylon / plastic. I've seen both positive and indifferent reports on the web. The Guy that runs the company is very informative and replies to emails on a Sunday, I can't fault that.
nushings.com

13/06/2024 14:47:27 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
Emails on a Sunday, on the Sabbath?
No good will come of it.
I'm sure the next government will pass legislation to prevent such efficient practices!
So Glyn, I digress, sorry. So these are an alternative to the dire initial fittings by the Bavarian Motorvorkens, yes?
I second Nigel these things used to fail on a fairly regular basis and you would check bearing wear/impending death on a daily basis. Although this more down to our hard use probably.
Upt.

15/06/2024 10:04:46 UTC
Glyn said :-
True enough Upt, I've read dozens of write ups on the process but seemingly all for the boxer engined R series bikes. There's also videos on the K75/100 but very little on the later, very different, Paralever K1100's. It does seem to be a common failure and mine have only lasted 24k miles. The R series rear suspension system is similar but the fixed and adjustable pins (that go through the bearings) are on opposite sides to my 1100 and the torques should not be mixed up as one is 10Nm whilst the other is 105Nm. On the club forums people are replacing these bearings on an annual basis. Ok for an R but a much bigger job for k owners with all the fairings etc.

16/06/2024 10:41:04 UTC

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