Bike won't start after tip over and running out of gas

MarieKaramazov

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Hi everyone.

Still a beginner over here so bear with me. I was hoping I could sort this one on my own but I'm stalled now. We're dealing with an 1983 heritage special.

Short version:
bike tipped, ate through the little gas I had left upon restarting. Refilled gas, still won't start. charged and changed spark plugs, still nothing. Put on prime and tried to start, nothing.

Long version:
About two weeks ago I parked my bike on my street, which has a slight downward slope. In my infinite wisdom, I leaned on my bike while waiting for my friend to show up, and the bike promptly fell over despite my attempts to save it. It fell on the throttle side; impact focused on the end of that handlebar. Bike seems fine. I get it back up and eventually get it started back up. When I do, it revs up to high heaven--which I imagine is due to all the gas that's flowed into the cylinder from the tip over and now needs to burn off. This time it really went for it and wasn't stopping; it made me a bit nervy because it wasn't redlining but it was getting at 6k RPM (and it was late at night--ie. neighbors), so I shut it off. It wouldn't start again after that. I realized though that I was also going to get gas the next morning as I was already on reserve, and that tip over and then wild burn probably ate through the last of it. Looked at tank and it was bone dry. I got gas and refilled the next day. Still won't start. Maybe I killed the battery fucking with it, so I put it on the tender for a few hours. Nothing. Spark plugs hadn't been changed in a while so I ordered more of those (which took a week :rolleyes:). Finally got those in and still nothing. Charged for a few hours again yesterday since it's been sitting and I've been cranking on the estart. I was stumped till I thought maybe I had burned through enough gas that the carbs were empty. So today I put the petcock on prime for a few minutes and then tried starting it--tried the kick and estart. Nothing.

Ideas? Fingers crossed one of you wizards sees something that I can't because I just don't know enough yet.

(In case it's of any consequence I do have two oil leaks I've irresponsibly been running with: pushrod seal (again), and leak from RH oil cover (gasket needs replacing..but this leak seems to be getting worse). If we strike out on obvious items I can run through some other things I've seen in case it's not something so simple and the refusal to start just lined up with this event.
 

5twins

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Did you gap your new plugs before installing them? New plugs usually come gapped very large for car use. Your bike ignition may not be able to fire them if the gap is too big. Set them to about .030" to .032".
 

Jim

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Hey Marie,
the high revs after the tip over sounds like you could have messed up the throttle or the cable (or both)... so it's stuck partially open.
That would mean you're trying to start a cold bike while adding throttle. Than can cause hard starting.
Maybe try disconnecting the cable at the carbs and see if it'll start.
 

Jim

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Just thinkin' out loud... the kill switch is on the right throttle housing. It's possible it got damaged or dislodged off "RUN". Try cycling that through to various positions and see what happens.
Edit: I know it ran once after... still worth looking at.
 

xjwmx

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You can check for slack in the bare throttle cable at the carb. There should be a bit there. Check that there's still play on the throttle grip -- it should push or pull a couple mm to ensure the grip isn't mashed up against the end of the bar. If the play isn't there, loosen one of the philips screws, put the play in, and tighten it back up. Check the carbs are still in the holders good. Not much from falling over that would keep it from running.
 
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Jan_P

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Hey Marie,
the high revs after the tip over sounds like you could have messed up the throttle or the cable (or both)... so it's stuck partially open.
That would mean you're trying to start a cold bike while adding throttle. Than can cause hard starting.
Maybe try disconnecting the cable at the carbs and see if it'll start.

Nice that you are back
Yes I am also at the throttle being open
If it falls it is more likely to hit the handlebar and blinkers and so
Perhaps you can move the arm where the wire pulls by hand feel if it moves freely and snaps back
all the way and then do it at the handle and as Jim says loosen the wire
Picture helps perhaps.
 
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650Skull

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Good ideas on all above. If that doesn't solve the problem.

My check list.

Bike on center-stand on level ground.

Petcock in run position.........Drain float bowls completely, Plastic tube to run fuel into container,...........With the drain screw loosened turn petcock to prime and run fuel into and through bowls, to make sure fuel is running properly, then turn petcock to run and drain the bowl again. This will show if the float/s are stuck or some dirt in the float valve seat.

If all is working as should, set to prime and fill up the bowl again...........first seat the drain screw:rolleyes:

Turn off the key and kick the bike over several times, no throttle, or choke, let it sit for a couple of min then kick over without key on or any throttle/choke.

Now key on and normal starting procedure. I do this procedure in the oft times the bike doesn't start, (first time of the day), and I smell fuel. Always worked doing this after I flooded it.

Another thought is. If the tank has never been fluhed out the tip over may have dislodged dirt in the bottom of the tank and could be causing a carb blockage.
 

gggGary

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Pic showing just a bit of cable slack and how the throttle arm should be be touching the idle stop screw.
throttle cable slack.jpg
 

MarieKaramazov

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Alrighty.
Short version: struck out. Still have to try 650Skull's suggestions but no time for it before work today.
Long version:
--Gapped spark plugs .030-.032. I hadn't before becuase I was grumpy, short on time, and hoping stock would be good again. They were pretty close already though: .035 or so. When I put em back I even torqued em to spec in case that was it. No start.

--Re the throttle: the throttle arm is touching idle screw. As for the housing and grip, the grip is definitely pushed right against the housing; in fact the grip is busted open at the end, and I can see shards of plastic from the inner housing at the end of open grip. (it was busted open form the last time someone hit my bike while it was parked--yes, again. And no they didn't leave a note either. That made it parked hit/run #4.) Judging from the fact that the throttle arm is touching the screw and I can feel it's closed, it seems the throttle isn't stuck open. Throttle arm snaps back fine when I move it by hand. Throttle housing however is not snapping closed the way it should anymore--it's more like a slow-mo roll--but I dont think that'd impact the start since throttle arm is touching screw and I'm not opening the throttle to start anyway as I'm not even getting to that point in the starting where I hear it starting and then i help with throttle. It's just cranking. Nonetheless, I took the housing off and cleared the plastic shards and then put it back on. I didn't disconnect the throttle cable from the carb since the arm was touching idle screw so it seemed that wasn't the issue; if I should still try that, let me know.

--kill switch: great suggestion since the last time someone knocked my bike it made the kill switch sensitive and a bit janky so that the on and right side "off" position are very close now and the position aren't as clear. That said, when it's in "off," the bike won't even crank with estart and I can hear it click to the different positions and I've instinctively sussed when it's "on". I tried cycling through them anyway and nothing.

Tried kick and e-start today for the attempts. Tried kicking it through a few times with ignition off (both with choke and off) as I often do since that helps it with the start when cold. I'll charge again next time; it's just a real pain as I have to run cable from my apartment window, tape it down on the street and ensure my bike is in the street parking spot that reaches it :shootme:

Unless anyone has other ideas or corrections, it's on to Skull's suggestions on Sunday.

Also, I've never used the prime setting before really so let me know if I'm buggering it up. I've just been putting it on prime for a minute (while parked, on side stand, there is a bit of a backwards slope towards rear tire); I then tried starting it while still on prime and also while in on position. From my understanding, prime just means free flowing gas (letting gravity take over and bypass some vacuum thing I don't understand yet) from tank into carb bowls; I used to think it would run forever but read that the floats will stop it--so I shouldn't have to worry about when to turn prime "off". With this logic, it should just be a minute I'd think and then I'd put it back to on to try to start.
maybe slant in road is messing with how much is flowing?
 
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Jim

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Unless anyone has other ideas or corrections, it's on to Skull's suggestions on Sunday.
Since you've got a set of plugs that are (presumably) good, take one and hook it up to one of the HT leads (the plug leads) with the plug firmly resting against the engine... see if you get a spark when you spin it over.
Agree with what skull's suggesting, but I'd like to narrow it down to either ignition or fuel first.
 

5twins

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I forget but do you have a centerstand? If so then use it. I find all my bikes start easier and are less prone to fouling the plugs when started on the centerstand.
 

gggGary

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You know if the sidestand cutout circuit is still installed? Prior to this, if you put it in gear with the stand down, did the engine shut off?
I believe that circuit also should stop the starter from spinning.
tci 004.JPG
 

5twins

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No, I don't think so. All it does is short out the TCI black box and kill the spark. That's why I removed it on my '83. If the switch down on the sidestand goes bad (and they do), you're dead in the water.
 

Jim

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I believe that circuit also should stop the starter from spinning.
Not real familiar with it, but I believe all the sidestand sw and relay do is ground out the TCI box.... killing just the ignition.
 

gggGary

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No, I don't think so. All it does is short out the TCI black box and kill the spark. That's why I removed it on my '83. If the switch down on the sidestand goes bad (and they do), you're dead in the water.

Not real familiar with it, but I believe all the sidestand sw and relay do is ground out the TCI box.... killing just the ignition.
See the factory diagram...........
scratching head,
It would kinda defeat the whole purpose if the starter was allowed to roll the bike off the sidestand..........
 
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