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TOPIC: Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out

Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out 31 Jul 2019 18:41 #808520

  • newkzrider18
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Hi all,

I recently took the bike, not on its longest trip, but probably the most demanding.
Speed limit was 70mph, and hills were steep both directions.
No problems on the way to the ocean, turned off, enjoyed time, turned on, and drove home.
Then at the first stoplight in my town, the engine cut out and it took the choke to get it to turn over which obviously would not be needed since it was warmed up.
This happened again as I was coming to slow down for a round-a-bout.

My first thought was a fuel problem. I checked the float levels, had to adjust a little.
Could turn it over, but the idle was jumpy, and if I tried to give any throttle it died.

So, I cleaned the carburetors, now there is no way there is something clogging the jets.
I was able to turn the bike over, but it was a fight this time. Even with the choke used at its fullest, I had to open the throttle. After it turned over the choke could go down and the throttle, but the idle was still not steady BUT better than before.
I could steadily give some throttle and it would go up, but the thing was backfiring like no ones business.

Bike has been running great since this trip.
Things I noticed were that the jets were shimmed by 3 washers! (bought bike used, also has aftermarket exhaust on it so maybe this was an adjustment?)
I don't have the pods, I made the custom air filter that's on this site.

I'm worried there is something going on with the engine, but that is an area I have yet since to touch in all my mechanical experience because I've never had to.
I checked the spark plugs to see for any issues, the side electrode went from black to white/grayish and the center electrode was white/grayish. And the threading was blackish.


I've checked everything to my knowledge so any suggestions are appreciated as the bike is not rideable :[

- Chris
1980 KZ 440 LTD Model A

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Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out 31 Jul 2019 19:01 #808523

  • Scirocco
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Chris, are you talking about your 1980 kz440 LTD?
If yes, please add it to your Avatar Profil, we can´t read the cristal ball.

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Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out 31 Jul 2019 19:08 #808524

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Scirocco wrote: Chris, are you talking about your 1980 kz440 LTD?
If yes, please add it to your Avatar Profil, we can´t read the cristal ball.


It is in his signature line.
1982 KZ1000 LTD parts donor
1981 KZ1000 LTD awaiting resurrection
2000 ZRX1100 not ridden enough

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Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out 31 Jul 2019 19:12 #808526

  • TexasKZ
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Has valve lash been checked lately? Oil level?

Do you mean that the needles had three washers? If so, that seems like a lot.
1982 KZ1000 LTD parts donor
1981 KZ1000 LTD awaiting resurrection
2000 ZRX1100 not ridden enough

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Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out 31 Jul 2019 19:45 #808529

  • hardrockminer
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It may be a fuel issue. Pull your fuel line and check to see if you're getting fuel to the carbs. Check to see that the vent on your fuel cap is working. Check your carbs with the bowls off to see if you're getting fuel into them.

It may be a spark issue. (but sounds like it isn't) Check your plugs to see if you're getting spark.

It may be an engine issue. Check your compression.
I have a couple of Z1B's restored, an '80 KZ1000LTD restored, a 1981 KZ550 restored and a 2008 KLR 650 for off road fun. My wife has a 2019 Suzuki DR 650 for on and off road.

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Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out 31 Jul 2019 19:50 #808530

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Thanks TexasKZ for the note, Mea culpa newkzrider18
I did miss something, time to get some sleep, i am in the Central European Time.

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Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out 31 Jul 2019 20:40 #808534

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Scirocco wrote: Thanks TexasKZ for the note, Mea culpa newkzrider18
I did miss something, time to get some sleep, i am in the Central European Time.


You had a good day, and so did I
:)
1982 KZ1100A-2 (sort-of)
January 2016 BOTM

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Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out 31 Jul 2019 21:43 #808536

  • newkzrider18
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TexasKZ: I adjusted the valve clearances about two months ago when I was doing other timing adjustments, so I can check it again, although I don't see a reason it would change. Oil is good. Also did a change with that and filter at that same time (2 months ago)
Yes the needles had three washers. It did seem like a lot, I did take it to a mechanic 2 years ago when I first got the bike and couldn't figure out for a month why it wasn't running, and they rebuilt the carbs so...I guess those are supposed to be there??? Usually I thought there would just be one or two...

hardrockminer: It does seem to point to a fuel issue, I just wonder why a hard ride would have brought the issue out...I will look at your items when I have time this weekend.

Scirocco: All good!

Thanks all the for the replies.
1980 KZ 440 LTD Model A

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Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out 01 Aug 2019 09:28 #808555

  • loudhvx
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Do you have a see-through fuel filter with pleated paper element? I had a similar issue with them. They are designed for cars with fuel pump. After a while they don't flow enough with gravity.

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Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out 01 Aug 2019 10:59 #808560

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loudhvx: nope it is not pleated paper, thanks for the thought!
1980 KZ 440 LTD Model A

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Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out 04 Aug 2019 10:32 #808690

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Ok did the suggestions and everything checks out...
I did take 2 of the washers off because I checked the spark plugs closer and they were riddled with black.
So now both needles have one washer.
Valve clearance is good.
Fuel cap is venting: I just emptied all the gas into a container and it all came out, so that's how I checked.

I was a little confused on how to tell if gas was getting to the carbs...I've checked the float level by priming the bowl and then unscrewing the overfill and checking the level in a clear tube. But how can you check it while it is running? The same method? Would that be "stealing" gas away from the engine and wouldn't it not run?
A suggested method would be nice.

It really seems like a fuel issue, but like I said, every fuel item seems to check out.
I attached a video of what is happening. You can hear that it's stumbling and when you open the throttle fast, it blipped the first time, then died immediatley the second.
1980 KZ 440 LTD Model A

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Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out 04 Aug 2019 10:36 #808691

  • newkzrider18
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Ok posting videos on this site has never worked out for me.
I don't understand why. I change it to a correct format, and downsize if necesasry.
So here is a link to a private google drive shared folder with the video...

drive.google.com/open?id=1hneKAU0InmQpRXjkxnXeU-ssfqZkYvoa

Which apparently you have to download....sorry.
I tried!
But basically my explanation above gets the point across.
1980 KZ 440 LTD Model A

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Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out 04 Aug 2019 11:22 #808694

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Sounds like your engine runs very lean on the pilot circuit. Are you sure your jets and needle holder tubes ( main jet ) are clean and not clooged.

Attachments:

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Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out 04 Aug 2019 11:32 #808696

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I'm fairly confident I did.
I took all the jets, holders, pipes, what have you, out and shot carb cleaner through them, then air compressed all around, and repeated that twice; so everything got it three times.
Then I checked to make sure I could see through them, so I can clean it again I just don't know if that would even do anything.

That's what I was hoping was the problem because that would be most obvious.
I guess since I have nothing left to lose I could try and clean them...again...

Does anyone think I should up the washers to two on each side?
I don't quite understand knowing how many washers to put on the needle to adjust for aftermarket exhaust (they don't make a rejetting kit for my model, at least that I've found)
1980 KZ 440 LTD Model A

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Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out 04 Aug 2019 12:24 #808697

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Have to ask, are you sure you got the right jets size in your carbs?

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Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out 04 Aug 2019 12:30 #808698

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Yup, checked the numbers against what is in the manual the first time I cleaned the carbs after getting the bike about a year ago.

Currently going to do some vacuum tests on the diaphragm...that could be a cause. Hope it is!
1980 KZ 440 LTD Model A

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Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out 04 Aug 2019 16:13 #808705

  • hardrockminer
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Don't check fuel flow with the engine running. ...or even hot. Just pull the fuel line off the carbs and put your petcock on Pri. You can check to see if it's getting into the carbs by dropping a bowl. Again, turn it on Pri and see if you have fuel flow.
I have a couple of Z1B's restored, an '80 KZ1000LTD restored, a 1981 KZ550 restored and a 2008 KLR 650 for off road fun. My wife has a 2019 Suzuki DR 650 for on and off road.

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Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out 04 Aug 2019 16:19 #808706

  • newkzrider18
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Update: Vacuum checks out fine.

I guess me checking the float level is the same as that test then because that is the same process.
Turn to prime.
Loosen overflow screw.
Look at the level that comes out.

Anyway when I did the vacuum test the fuel was running great. Sucked on the vacuum line and them clamped it to hold that vacuum and the fuel line was running into a gas tank. Basically emptied the whole thing, so it is definitely getting fuel...and the vacuum is definitely working...and I cleaned those carbs like crazy if read above...

Now it doesn't make sense what is preventing the fuel to go in!

Going to check the compression test next I guess, I don't know. Out of my knowledge.
Just trying to think about what else makes sense for an engine cutting out with the slightest amount of throttle give other than a fuel issue
1980 KZ 440 LTD Model A

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Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out 04 Aug 2019 17:00 #808710

  • TexasKZ
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I wonder if the slides are hanging open? When you start the engine, they are down. The first blip raises them. When the second blip comes along, the slides are already up, so there is not enough velocity to pull fuel through the pilot system. With the engine off, push each slide up gently. Do they move smoothly and easily? Do they drop smoothly and at the same rate, keeping in mind that the diaphragm will not let them fall as quickly as gravity would like?
1982 KZ1000 LTD parts donor
1981 KZ1000 LTD awaiting resurrection
2000 ZRX1100 not ridden enough

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Long drive killed engine? Carbs check out 05 Aug 2019 07:19 #808740

  • newkzrider18
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The slides look like they check out OK...I posted another video in that shared drive folder.
I move them up and let them fall, sorry the angle isn't the best, then I do that compressed air test too.
Here's the link again for convenience:
drive.google.com/open?id=1hneKAU0InmQpRXjkxnXeU-ssfqZkYvoa
1980 KZ 440 LTD Model A

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