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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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A lesson of sorts. I got confident and hurried the least little bit...


...Spurred by the success of the shiney carb cap and then the easy fix on the low fuel indicator, I put some coolant and oil in the bike and pushed the button. By golly it didn't want to, but it started. And it ran pretty well for a machine that hadn't run for 3 months. But it only ran for 3 minutes and ran out of gas. I knew I was low when I parked it. I wanted it low so I could fiddle with the petcock and not have gasoline all over the place.


So I went and got some gas and tried again. But this time it ran like crap, and warming it up didn't help. Then I noticed the oil all over my pant leg. Note to self: Always remember to put the cap on the oil fill hole before you start the motor. I got the carb stix out and did a quick check, but the sync wasn't that bad. I tweaked it and turned the idle up to 1000 so the bike would stay running.


It ran but was getting really steamy. I had left the cap off so I could burp the radiator, but when I looked it was spewing coolant like a volcano. A glance at the gauge explained that. The bike was hot, and I realized I hadn't plugged the fan in.


So, long story not quite so long, be patient and check everything twice. My negligence is going to cost me at least 2 days, to clean up the mess the anti-freeze and oil made.


Then I get to try and figure out why it's running so badly. Hopefully its just the really old gas.
 

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Pwhoever
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Welcome to the club... I done my share of rushing to get things done. One time it was about a $300 mistake all because I forgot to tighten 1 stinking bolt. And it could have turned out a lot worse. Luckily it was only parts to replace and more down time. I would have rather had to clean up some oil and anti freeze. And now I know as I'm sure you know that it pays to take the extra time to make sure to do it right. But I still find myself taking shortcuts from time to time even though I know better....
 

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Other side of the pond
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We all make those mistakes. Sometimes, just sometimes it works out cheaper and less stressful to pay a mechanic.
 

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Left the fill cap off the 600 shadow once, spewed oil all over including my pant leg, so been there done that :)
 

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Token Canuk
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I guess we are all "Just Human" after all EH? :thumbsup:
 

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Yep, oil cap left off after the last oil change. Only took about 10 seconds to ruin my last decent pair of jeans. DUH!!!!

Good luck on getting it running proper again. Hope it's something simple and cheap.
 

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On a previous bike, I was in the process of doing an oil change. I got distracted for a little while. Went back to it, started it up and took it around the block. When I pulled back into my driveway, I saw the full gallon bottle of oil sitting near the garage door. About 1/8 mile with what was left after the crankcase drain. :?
Didn't seem to do any damage.
 

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Nobody You Know
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I was attempting the 'tilt-up' method of changing the rear tire of my 1500. Was cook-booking it with some instructions which didn't mention the necessity of removing the side panels before tilting up the rear end. Should have noticed the side panels wiggling but didn't and gave it a good heave-ho when it started to resist. Several loud 'cracks' later, I had 2 side panels with all of their mounting pins broken off!

And then there was the time I was cinching down the tie-downs, putting the bike in the trailer. Decided to move one, so just popped the tension off forgetting it was the only one holding the bike up on that side. (Actually have done this one more than once, so that makes me double stupid!)
 

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Inmy line of work i Cant afford to make mistakes like leaving wires disconected or no oil in engines or no antifreeze or nuts and or bolts lose . Everything must be done correctly or else it can cost me thousands of $$$ working on High end autos. I must stay focused on what i'm doing no matter what .
 

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DrAce51 wrote:
Inmy line of work i Cant afford to make mistakes like leaving wires disconected or no oil in engines or no antifreeze or nuts and or bolts lose . Everything must be done correctly or else it can cost me thousands of $$$ working on High end autos. I must stay focused on what i'm doing no matter what .
Now mind you im not saying im perfict! Stuf has happend in the 45 yrs ive been twisting wrenches
 

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Have I done "stupid things", yup more than I want to mention, but as DrAce51 said, where I worked in the chemical plants, I had to get it right the first time every time...When you are working on a huge truck crane, that many lives depend on it being done right, You paid a lot more attention...One bolt left loose and the entire boom could fall across an unit, it could not only kill people it fell on, but cause lines to break full of nasty chemicals, that could catch fire and burn, the smoke, and fumes kill people miles away....Yeah no room for errors there....

Two pair of brand new jeans became work pants because I got in a hurry on my bike, oil just don't wash out real well....So I'm not perfect either.....
 

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I am guessing that the reason it runs bad is it picked up dirt from the bottom of the tank and when you ran out of gas it opened the needle all the way, allowing the dirt to get in the carbs. I would run it out of gas again and restart to flush the dirt into the bowl
 

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Junior Grue
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Two points.

Three month old gas is still good to go, heck I've used two year old gas without problems.

Low fuel in the tank will not pickup more dirt from the bottom of the tank as the intake is fixed and always picks up gas from the bottom of the tank.
 

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machinehead wrote:
Hope its just the old gas Dennis , do the ole Seafoam thing and let us know how it goes.
Ah Seafoam that's the ticket!works wonders !! my 02 Mazdahad a p0421 code for (cat efficiency below threshold )I used 2 cans of seafoam 2 tanks of gas no more check eng light , Its been about 2 mo now . it just runs better.Gas is just garbage !!!Its all most time to get another case of the stuff!!
 

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Ken Bergen wrote:
Low fuel in the tank will not pickup more dirt from the bottom of the tank as the intake is fixed and always picks up gas from the bottom of the tank.
Yes the pickup tube is fixed, but dirt does collect in the tank. with less gas to mix with the same amount of dirt increases the concentration ofdirt getting through the system .



Seafoam is a good idea
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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jnel57 wrote:
Ken Bergen wrote:
Low fuel in the tank will not pickup more dirt from the bottom of the tank as the intake is fixed and always picks up gas from the bottom of the tank.
Yes the pickup tube is fixed, but dirt does collect in the tank. with less gas to mix with the same amount of dirt increases the concentration ofdirt getting through the system .
Seafoam is a good idea
I don't know what happened, but it's definitely missing now. I can't determine whichcylinder is not working, which is weird. It has new plugs, but if one of those had failed I should easily be able to determine which one it was.

I don't see how I could have sucked anything out of the tank through a brand new filter.

Oddly it is easy to sync the carbs. How could that be if one of them isn't working? Also I have the idle screw turned in so much that if things were normal, it would be idling at redline. :shock:

I wonder if it's not getting enough fuel.
 

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Junior Grue
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Bike...and Dennis wrote:
Oddly it is easy to sync the carbs. How could that be if one of them isn't working? Also I have the idle screw turned in so much that if things were normal, it would be idling at redline. :shock:

I wonder if it's not getting enough fuel.
Synchronizing the carburetors won't tell you if a carburetor or spark plug is not working, it only measures the air flow/vacuum in each of your cylinders.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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Anothe bit of bad news now is the hot anti-freeze left on the new clear coat on the timing belt covers, removed said clear coat. Damn, I worked for three days on those things.

I have to see if I can get it running right first, then worry about the clear coat. I may be taking the carbs off tomorrow.
 

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Bike...and Dennis wrote:
Anothe bit of bad news now is the hot anti-freeze left on the new clear coat on the timing belt covers, removed said clear coat. Damn, I worked for three days on those things.

I have to see if I can get it running right first, then worry about the clear coat. I may be taking the carbs off tomorrow.
First things first Dennis. Get Bike running right then in your non riding time if there is such a thing worry about the spit and polish. After all it's not a Harley garage ornament.:lash:
 
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