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After Seafoam in Gas 1200 burns oil on startup

2548 Views 15 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  VTBikeman
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I am requesting some assistance in solving a behavioral problem that my bike has. I have an 84 Interstate that was missing around 2500 rpm.

I heard so many things about Seafoam making the Wings fly I thought I would try it for the hell of it. "It can't hurt" I saw repeatedly. So I used 1/2 can in a tank full for 2 tank fulls.

Now the bike blows blue smoke on startup for anywhere from a quick puff to one time up to 2 minutes. Did it clean the varnish off the valve stem seals? Also mileage went from 40 to low 30's. Did i clean some varnish off some jets?

Anyone have this experience and any suggestions on how to straighten things out? I can live with the puff of smoke as it seems not to burn any oil after that but I want to get the mileage back up.

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The puff of smoke is most likely because you are parking it on the side stand, not the center stand.

That allows oil seeping past the valve stem seals to get into the left side cylinders.

I would say that yes, the Sea Foam did remove the varnish, or at least some of it from the valves stems and seals. The puff of smoke is normal for most Goldwings parked on the left side stand.

The drop in mpg? Dunno, leave that for someone else. I really doubt that the Sea Foam caused a seal or diaphragm damage to the carbs. That is just about unheard of.
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Not unusual to smoke a little after cleaning. I used 1/2 can of seafoam with 2 gallons of fuel, and I had to have a carb re-sync, and it brought my mileage back up. He also adjusted the valves, and it it purrs like a kitten, with very very little smoke on startup on my 1980 GL1199.
Hope this helps.
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Specific Gravity...
The longer it sits, the more smoke you'll get.

...maybe, maybe not.

[align=center]Specific Gravity of:[/align]
[align=center]Regular Unleaded Gasoline: .739[/align]
[align=center]Seafoam per MSDS: .819[/align]
[align=center]Seafoam base ingrediants per MSDS:[/align]
[align=center]Pale Oil: .942[/align]
[align=center]Naptha: .667[/align]
[align=center]IPA (Isopropanol): .786[/align]

[align=left]... and of course the ring issue.[/align]
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It is not the valve seals causing the smoke. It is oil seeping past the rings on the left side when on the side stand.
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Sigh..... Dave is right, I must be needing sleep. :(

I was lulled into my old thoughts of a Chevy 454 truck engine... The oil lays on the valve seals in that instance.
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I know when I ran Seafoam through my bike, I had to change the fuel filter as I think it broke some stuff loose in the tank and clogged up the filter. Might check that out, not sure.
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I have run seafoam through my old 1100 at a rate of half a can per tank at least 2 times a month and it always cleans mine up and makes it more perky.... milage has never gone up or down though which is rather strange but hey I get a pretty steady 40MPG from her.
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I doubt if the seafoam lowered your mileage. More likely the way you filled the tank, rode it, or maybe Vermont makes the switch to winter gas, which has less energy, earlier than the rest of the northern states. Using gasahol (ethanol) will also lower your mileage as it has less energy than regular gas, even though the octane is higher.
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I use MMO in mine instead or seafoam.
I get a lil smoke on start up for a sec or two.
Mileage on my 1500 runs between 40 and 42.
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Thanks for all the help but please don't stop.

Re: oil seepage past rings. OK, I can buy that. The wild card is that this happens at random. This morning there was no blue smoke. Yesterday there was.

Also the blue smoke comes out of both pipes.

It there also the likelihood that some of the sea foam sits at the bottom of the gas tank and is slowly leaving the bike?

I don't think VT has made that switch on gas yet. I also buy gas in Mass. I try to stick with Mobil 87 proof (octane). I will look into it. Would that account for a 15% mileage loss?

Is it likely that some varnish was removed by the Seafoam changing the jet opening?

Thanks again,
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1) Is this the first time you've done this (SeaFoam or otherwise)?
2) What's the odometer reading on your bike?

The point I'm getting at is:
Something led you to do this "for the hell of it"... be it performance, mileage, wives-tale, what-have-you...

With varnish build-up, over time small and slight performance changes can happen that are not easily evident to a rider. Then something clicks and, "maybe I'll try this"...

Removing years worth of build-up can have many affects positive and negative.
A positive would be that now your fuel system is ready for a good syncing. A negative would be that all that removed varnish and other deposits are no longer providing the sealing surfaces your engine has grown to love. One of SeaFoams claims-to-fame is that it dissolves fuel varnish residues that attract petroleum carbonized deposits.

So, I would say that your carbs are probably cleaner. Rings, valves, and passage-ways are probably cleaner. And depending on the crankshafts position at engine shut-off, left-bank cylinders may or may not have oil seepage issues that it did not have before.

A compression check before treatment (or at least having figures from a somewhat recent check) would be beneficial in a comparison of a check today. Having compression checks and watching vacuum before and after will show all what SeaFoam (and some others) can do.

Remove and clean plugs, sync the carbs, and do a compression test.
I would assume shes sounds just a little bit different somewhere within her noises.
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Thanks, Captain Midnight. I really appreciate the generous effort members put into solving problems that aren't their own. If you ever need HI-End audio advice don't hesitate to sound me.

Yes, first time with Sea Foam.

The bike has 32K, about 1,500 mine, and the previous-previous owner put new carbs on about 2 years ago, I was told by the previous owner, but they were not sync'd. Both guys are engineering/tech types so I am taking them at their word.

My desire to use Seafoam came from the posts that said wonderful things about it and knowing that I would sync the carbs soon I wanted them to be clean. Also I might squeeze a few more MPG's.

Just so I am understanding this correctly, Seafoam in the gas will clean valve guides, and rings? Maybe I was better off with the varnish deposits. I do notice the oil is blacker than before. It is due for a change, I think.

Should I go the whole 9 yards and do an SF oil cleaning, too?
What is the risk and what is the reward?
MM or Sea Foam?

My guy in Brattleboro, VT, Stan Lynde of Lynde Motorsports, will do a sync next week when I return from a biz trip.

Again, much appreciation for everyone's time and expertise.

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Anytime I purchase another used bike, I flush and clean everything using fresh filters.
I see no downside in doing so, as you end up knowing that everything is as clean and fresh as you can get it. I've gone so far as to send out for oil analysis.
I would flush the motor. I'm not discounting your P/Os efforts, but starting with a fresh set of fluids ina freshly flushed engine can only beof benefit. You know what you have in the end.

SeaFoam says: 1/3 in the carbs (airbox in our case), 1/3 in the tank and a 1/3 in the crankcase... though everybody has their own formulas.

I've used all kinds of stuff over the years. Some fluids are a staple in my garage, and this is one, along with PB and many others. I like to experiment with them, but as is, SF is a good all around chem.

PS - My B&O 8000 stuff is like aBulova/Timex combo.... takes a licking but ticks in style.
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I've never tried the Sea Foam, but as you've read a lot of guys here swear by it. If in fact it did remove some varnish and open up your jetting, you might try a new air filter along with that carb sync... :gunhead:
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OK - an update. After 6 days in the garage by itself it started with no blue smoke and my mileage was 40 mpg highway at 74 mph.

Go figure. Did Sea Foam sink to the bottom of the gas tank and finally get burned off?

We shall see.

Thanks again for the help.
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