ilove bonnie

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Roadside Mechanics Series #2 Check, Double Check:

The fuel line was clogged in the petcocks. I had forgotten there was a filter in there. Jen and I had even cleaned them in Dallas, and before we left New Orleans, but I forgot about checking them in Galveston. There was just enough crud getting through the old filters in the petcocks to make it look like our in line filters were doing their job and giving me the false impression that our fuel system was clean. Check, double check, and get it done right the first time.

Our gas tank was in need of an overhaul due to rust. There are many methods to clean out a rusty gas tank. Some people would say the best method is to go on and buy a new one, but for our situation we were going to have to get dirty. The prevailing methods for cleaning out a gas tank use a three part system with the last step being the addition of a plastic liner.

I went with the first two steps. This involved shaking the tank excessively with a handful of nuts and bolts inside for over an hour. I even tried to sell this bit of work as a workout and get others to pay me to do my work. Unfortunately that didn't pay off, but my labor did. After the nuts and bolts were drained, the tank was ready for its acid bath. For this part I used a ten percent solution of muriatic acid and filled the tank all the way to the top. I let this sit for 2 hours while I cleaned out those pesky fuel petcocks. Once the acid bath was complete I washed the tank out with cold water, and dried it with an acetone to remove the last bits of water. Now it looks like a brand new tank on the inside.

Our engine starting is still hard. When cold, I can't kick the bike to life, but the starter button gets it going in about twenty seconds. The screeching is still there and the one mechanic that looked at the bike said the noise was related to an air leak. When warm, I can usually get the bike to start on the first kick. The starter button tends to hesitate when the bike is warm, but quickly gets the juice from the battery that it needs to complete the job, and it fires up in three seconds.

I took the carburetors off today to look at the flaps and fit some new gas lines. I found a little bit of Permetex gasket maker on the right side flap. This is in line with the diagnosis that our system is leaking a little bit of air. I also feel that the our RPMs are hanging at 2,000 when I pull up to a traffic light. I have heard that this is a signature sign of an air leak in the intake.

This is what we want our spark plugs look like after our tune-up.

Jen says this picture looks like the spark plug is going to hit on the motorcycle. Oh baby-baby.

My speedometer went out on me in Galveston. I haven't fiddled with it since then. So no diagnosis yet. I will take it apart and see whats up with it when we get a new front tire. When we started the ride I had to fiddle with it to get it to work right. I am not sure exactly how accurate it is, but most of the time it feels pretty consistent with traffic and those speed indicators that police forces use.

80 mph on the freeway is great. The bike handles well, and has lots of guts still to make passes. At first I assumed that we would be cruising at 60mph max, but soon enough 70 mph rolled around just fine, and when we were in a hurry to get to New Orleans 80 mph was no problem.



Mike said...

Have you changed any of the stock gearing with the front or rear sprockets? You can achieve higher MPG and run at a higher speed with lower engine revs. May have to slip the clutch at first with all the weight though. Just a thought.

Benjamin said...

Hey mike. I have tried a different gear ratio. It wasn't out of choice, and i ended up with higher engine revs and poor performance. The stock bike runs a 16 tooth front and 42 tooth rear sprocket, and this setup works incredible well. Great low range power and cruising a 5,500rpms. I haven't thought about changing the setup for mpgs.

Anonymous said...

"Carburetor flaps"?


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