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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all,

Vehicle is a 2007 V-Star 1100 Silverado.

Been a while since I have been active here. Been riding my bike.

Anyways, got my bike out for the season and started it up. Ran great. Ride it to and from work and it ran flawless. We had an 80 degree day and wanted to ride to work. Tried to start up and nothing. After a while, it would backfire.

I pulled the air filter off and tried to crank. Still no fire. I stuck my hand over the front cylinder exhaust pipe and I feel pressure. I do the same thing for the rear cylinder and I get suction.

Gonna check compression tomorrow and see what I get.

Jumped timing, maybe a timing chain break?

Anyone experienced this?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I pulled the timing chain cover off of the rear cylinder and the chain is tight and it turns when cranking. Stuck valve? Broken Valve Spring?
 

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Have you checked for sprark and fuel. What do the plugs look like. Any unusual engine noises while cranking? Which bike. If you make a garage with photo and a brief description of bike it really helps us to remember what ride you have or a quick description in your signature line.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sorry about that. I never thought to mention the bike.

It is a 2007 V-Star 1100 Silverado. Around 10K to 12K miles on it.

Haven't pulled plugs yet. I thought it was crap in the carbs and was rather concerned with no pressure from the rear cylinder. Since an engine is just a modified air pump, I expect pressure to come out the tail pipe. Nothing. Front cylinder...yup, rear...nope.

Will be pulling the wires to check for spark, plugs to check them out, and a compression check.

I had the starter Clutch go out about 5 years ago, so tearing it down doesn't scare me. I was really worried I had a chain break.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update.

I pulled the plugs. They look OK, but are on the rich side. (got some carbon on them). I do have spark on both cylinders. I put my compression tester and the results don't look good. I am not sure if it is the compression tester itself showing low readings, or if I am not getting a good seal (I am hoping it is not getting a good seal) with only 60 PSI out of both cylinders. So either my compression is fine and I am not getting a good seal or both cylinders are bad. I am thinking the odds of both cylinders going bad is slim...unless timing jumped which I don't think is very likely.

Anyways, I am going to put new plugs in it and see if it will fire with no fuel and a spray of ether. If it fires, the issue is the carbs and I can deal with it.
 

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did you do a wet compression test, with just a tiny bit of oil in the plug hole?

that would point to valves or rings - oil will seal the rings, but not the valves

and did you let it crank thru 5 to 10 strokes till the gauge stopped climbing?
 

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have to also add, are your sure your battery is 100% ?

because of the electronic ignition you can have an engine that will spin a bit slow, but have zero spark while cranking if the voltage drops below 10V with the starter engaged. This catches a lot of people, because we think if its cranking there should be spark too.

a weak battery will also give you low compression readings.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I got it to fire. I think the carbs need cleaned. I pulled the plugs, and cleaned them. They had carbon on them, so I cleaned with some methanol and a toothbrush. Most of the carbon was removed. Wanted to get new plugs, but nobody had them in stock.

While the plugs were out, I cranked the engine over to clear out the cylinders. Put the cleaned plugs back in and kept the fuel off and shot a little ether in the intake and she fired up and both cylinders were firing.

It is a fuel issue.

I know what caused it. My brother picked up a 1200C Sportster cheap and we worked on it during the winter. Before we tore the Sportster down, we took it for a little ride to check it out and I followed my brother with my bike. When I put it away, I didn't shut the fuel off. Need to clean the carbs.

Well, at least the motor is OK. I am still perplexed that I got suction on the rear cylinder pipe. Will have to check my timing marks. Maybe it is a little off from when I did the starter clutch many years ago, though the bike runs great.

Thanks to all that chimed in. It is appreciated.


Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It is only a 1200C, but man is that bike fast!!! My 1100 gets destroyed by that Sportster. High octane for the Sporty. My 1100, she gets good ole 87 octane.
 

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its not so much that you parked the bike with the petcock left on

10% ethanol fuel will break down in a few months and leaves a gooey jelly like substance in the carbs, jets, float bowls, fuel filter and gas tank.

If you are running E10 you need to put a fuel stabilizer in the tank with fresh gas the last time you ride the bike before storing it. If its already been sitting for a month at the end of the season, drain the fuel out first and put that in your car.

There are gas stations that sell premium gas with no ethanol, and that will not break down over the winter like E10. That is one advantage to running premium in a high compression engine, they also tend to put more additives in hi test.

I would be surprised if a 1200 sportster is faster than an 1100 Vstar. I know the 883 sportsters are only 30HP, and a stock Vstar 650 is 40HP.

One of the things that people miss about vstar bikes: it has a short throw piston and the HP peak is at a much higher RPM than a HD engine. If you are use to riding a harley you will shift a Vstar too soon if you ride it the same way. Of course your brothers HD could also be modified for more HP.

Im not sure where the peak HP is on an 1100 (you could google it) but on the 650 its at 55mph in 4th gear and 70mph in 5th gear.

If your carbs are gummed up you might be able to flush them out with carb cleaner without taking them all apart, you could go either way. Once you get the bike running, if you have been lugging it dont be afraid to rev the engine higher, it has a rev limiter and wont red line, unless you wind it out to 55mph in 4th gear and then kick it down to 3rd by mistake, and let out the clutch.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That 1200 Harley is fast. Much more than I expected. Shocked. Sure it is not crotch rocket, but much more than any Harley I have ever ridden. (Softail and a Road Glide, but 96 cubes)

There is a station a few miles away that sells Recreational fuel that is about a buck more per gallon. I run that in my 1989 Mercury Outboard. I had a small engine that had a carb completely filled with varnish. (Got it from my father-in-law's estate) A small engine shop recommended some K100 and soaking it overnight, it was perfectly clean. May just soak it in that stuff. Maybe it will fix it.
 

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K100, Seafoam, and other fuel additives work well if the engine will run and its running rough and lean. As long as some fuel if flowing thru the jets and passages then a fuel additive might be all you need.

If the carbs are so fouled that it wont start at all, you will probably need a carb cleaning fluid that you can force thru the fuel pump and into the carb float bowls directly (pull the line off the tank) - something you let soak over night.

Using pure K100 or Seafoam directly as a cleaner might work too - I have no experience with that.
 

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Here in MA, we have no choice at the pump - everything has ethanol in it. Only choices are buying it by the quart or gallon from a motorcycle or OPE dealer, or getting 100LL aviation fuel, if you can. That stuff doesn't play well with catalytic converters on modern stuff, though - just an FYI.

My '74 RD350 2-stroke is a pain the ass to drain the carbs on (17mm hex plugs that can only be accessed by disconnecting everything, and rotating the carb 120°), so I get into the habit of turning the petcock off at a predetermined section of road when I'm headed home - I'll throw it on full choke to run as much of the fuel out of the bowls as I can, as it starts crapping out on me about 500' from the driveway. Choke gets me to the driveway, then I throw it in neutral, let it race a bit, then as soon as it dies I shut the key off. Sits every winter for 5-7 months this way with no additives whatsoever in the fuel. I do it EVERY time I come home, so there's never a problem when I want to ride. :)
 

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you do not want to put aviation fuel in your modern motorcycle

I know some of the aviation fuel (maybe all of it) still has lead in it. Your engine is not designed for leaded gas, it WILL ruin the cat in your exhaust, and you absolutely do not want to be breathing leaded gas fumes or exhaust in any amount. The acceptable level of lead in the human blood stream is ZERO.

Running your carbs dry when you park the bike is one way to store it for the winter. I would still be concerned about the E10 gas left in your tank for a few months. It will break down and jell and get goopy. A can of Seafoam is good for 16 gallons of gas, I cant think of any reason to not use it at the end of the year to stabilize the fuel in your tank. Even though you drained the carbs by running them dry, if the gas in the tank has broken down the goop will be sucked right in your jets.

The general agreement is its best to keep your gas tank full of stabilized fuel during storage, an empty steel tank will rust inside, and that is a nightmare to repair. A can of Seafoam is $8, put $2 worth in each motorcycle 4 gallon gas tank.

Are you sure about there being no E0 gas in your state? Many name brand stations have ethanol free premium gas. Its ok to run hi test in a bike that does not need it. It will run a bit lean, and it costs more, but one tank full for winter storage wont damage the engine.
 

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100% positive. Lived here my whole life, except for 2 fantastic years out West. Everyone usually throws Pure-Gas.org in my face on that subject ... but every single place listed for MA on that site is NOT at a gas pump. They're motorcycle or OPE dealers, speed shops, or auto parts stores. You CANNOT legally buy fuel from a fuel pump in MA WITHOUT ethanol, regardless of grade.

The trick to storing this crap fuel is to fill the tank right to the brim, and make sure your cap has good seals in it (and don't store it more than 6 months if it gets hot there). If so, it'll be fine next season, as long as the bike isn't stored under a tarp. In that case you'll want to dump the fuel at the beginning of the season, since the ethanol will probably separate from all the moisture it will absorb. Filling it to the top reduces this problem quite a bit, however, but YMMV. Riding for 28 years, storing bikes the same way every winter. Always parked in a stick built shed, or garage though. Never had my fuel turn to goo - it usually only does that when exposed to air. Cleaned the goo out of many customer's carburetors over the years, though.

Yeah, lead will ruin your cat, like I mentioned prior. Yes, aviation fuel has lead in it - that's the last "L" in 100LL - 100 octane low-lead. It's not as bad as you make it sound though, otherwise everyone born before 1985 would be dead already, along with every single pilot of piston-powered aircraft, every airplane mechanic, and all the ground crew at airports across the planet. My grandfather spent his entire life up to his elbows in leaded gasoline, breathing the fumes of exhaust (and asbestos brakes and boiler liners), and lived to be 86. My mom, who NEVER smoked, hadn't drank in 55 years, ate right (never had sugary food or drink), and exercised daily, plus was NEVER around mechanical work or industry, died of cancer last year at age 72. Lead poisoning from leaded fuel is the last thing I'd be worrying about in this day and age.

Besides, Av gas exhaust smells fantastic. :)
 

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filling the tank to the brim can also be a problem. I did that a few years ago on my VS650, it had started to snow so I filled the tank in my garage with a gas can, 28F in the garage. In March I smelled gas in the garage - it had expanded in the tank and was all over the top of it and dripping on the engine and floor. California bikes have air tight tanks, but everywhere else they are vented and will leak if the fuel expands enough.

If you had the right setup you could fill the tank to the brim, connect a dry nitrogen bottle to the vent, then drain out of pint, pulling the nitrogen in... but 4 ounces of seafoam or stabil is only $2 per bike.

Either way, every method that works is good, this is no single right answer.

About the lead in gas, you wont be exposed to enough lead from normal handling of fuel to kill you, but lead in your blood stream does have profound negative effects. In simple terms it affects your mental abilities, it makes you stupid.

The entire unleaded gas change happened as a result of several refinery workers dying from exposure to the raw leaded liquid they put in the mixture. When the medical examiner tried to find out if other people at the refinery had lead in their system, they all did at lower levels. When he attempted to run tests to measure the lead in the average persons system, he could not find any place to run the test, because every lab in every city in the entire country had so much lead in the air, that running the test on tap water showed a level of lead present.

When they attempted to set a minimum acceptable level of lead in the human body, they went thru several cycles, and ended up at 0 parts per million.

That is why they stopped putting lead in gasoline. It was very effective for improving the quality of the fuel, but it was putting lead in the air and water literally everywhere in the entire country. It took over a decade from the time they discovered that this was a problem until the last gas station in the US stopped selling leaded "regular" gasoline.

Its ironic, because we point our fingers at ancient Rome and the dark ages when people used lead for serving food and drinking water, because we know they were filling their bodies with lead, and then we did the same thing with leaded gasoline for several decades. Its not enough to kill you unless you ingest lead in large doses, but it does have a serious effect on your mental health.

I had a few friends in the late 1970s who worked at gas stations, before there was self serve. They had to take a blood test once a year to see how much lead was in their blood, and they had a clear increase from working there.

BTW, when I was a kid in the 1960s we made lead fishing sinkers with a mold using the kitchen stove burner to melt the lead in a ladle. We played with mercury on the table and held it in our palms, and smeared it on silver coins so they looked like chrome for about a day.

Has it affected my health or dropped my IQ by several points? How could I ever know? But lead has been pretty much banned from everything except batteries in the US now.
 

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I guess I’m fortunate to be able to still get ethanol free fuel. Here it’s $2.79 a gallon and we run it in the movers and bikes, and in my Tahoe and Blazer. There’s a few places that one can get premium unleaded, but it’s rare. Kinda sad that they can control what fuel you can purchase. Most reputable bike shops I’m familiar with frown on using ethanol fuel.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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That 1200 Harley is fast. Much more than I expected. Shocked. Sure it is not crotch rocket, but much more than any Harley I have ever ridden. (Softail and a Road Glide, but 96 cubes)
If you think 1200 Sportster is fast then you'll be very surprised by M8 114 CI engine... :smile:

Glad you got your bike running.
 
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