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Author Topic: Newbie's Question...  (Read 2755 times)

geoffbaker

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Newbie's Question...
« on: January 31, 2008, 07:52:16 PM »
Hi Everybody.

Just got my RE... a 2000 military model. Bought it from a guy in Las Vegas, and drove it back down to Tucson, an awesome if very cold ride!

I've got some books on order, and need to get to work on it right away... it died as I got into Tucson!

Had no trouble starting it but on the second day I saw that the ammeter was spending most of its time in the red.

It got so that it wouldn't hold an idle, and I'd have to keep giving it gas to keep it running. As I rolled into town it stalled at the first light. I had to have it towed home.

Now I can't start it. I've charged the battery, cleaned the spark plug... and I'm wondering:

Where should I start looking first? What's the most common cause of these symptoms? Electrical? Carb?

All help appreciated...

fredgold52

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Re: Newbie's Question...
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2008, 08:20:44 PM »
I've only had my Bullet for couple weeks so I really can't comment on problems specific to the RE.  But, four cycle engines all being similar in the basic respects, there are a few things you could start with.

It needs spark, compression and fuel to run.  All are fairly easy to identify.

First, I would unscrew the spark plug, secure the lead back onto the end of the plug, lay the plug on the cylinder head and kick the engine over with the ignition switch on.  It the plug sparks brightly and every other time the engine turns over - this is not the problem.  If the spark is weak, only occasional, or not there at all, you will need to troubleshoot through the ignition system.

With the spark plug back in the head of the engine, can you feel a definite resistance when kicking the engine over?  A resistance that goes away when you engage the compression release?  If the answer is Yes, you should have enough compression for the engine to run.  If you have access to a compression gauge, see how many psi your engine produces on its compression stroke.  If it's over 100, you should be able to make it run.

Checking fuel.  Is there good fuel in the tank?  (yeah, I know, but many of us make the assumption only to find out we were low on fuel)  Is the fuel tap turned on?  Does fuel flow through the tap?  Does fuel flow through the fuel line and filter if you have one to the carb?  Is there a good amount of fuel in the float chamber?  If not the float valve could be stuck in the 'off' position.  If fuel in a good amount is present in the float chamber - the carb may still be the problem in that the jets and passageways may need to be cleaned.

I suggest you do these basic checks to see if in fact you have spark, compression and fuel at the engine.  I'm sure there are many here who can help you with other specifics to RE I may have not included.  Also, it would be very helpful for us to know the results of these basic checks.

Keep the faith, I'm sure it will be running again very soon.

Fred
2006 '65' and a 200cc Stella, Indian all the way

HRAB

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Re: Newbie's Question...
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2008, 08:49:02 PM »
All good advise, but a couple of things unique to the RE.

1. Check the single wire from the points to the coil for a loose connection.
Infact, check the connections all over the bike. It may be a connector that has come loose preventing the alternator from charging the system. it might be that when the battery ran out of power the bike died. Fully charge the battery. Check the output from the alternator. . They are usually pretty reliable, but anything mechanical can fail. You should be able to get something over 15 VAC once the bike is turning running above idle. Max output can be as much as 40VAC at full throttle.

2. Check the fuel filter for debris. The tank may have rusted and is flakiing off restricting fuel. If there is no filter, then clean the carburetor.

With the RE, always look for the simple thngs first, then when they are eliminated, move on to the more complex possibilites.

good luck
jim
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Vince

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Re: Newbie's Question...
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2008, 09:14:09 PM »
Fred and Jim gave some good advice. Kudos guys! Go down their list first. This will eliminate all the common stuff. Then go to this next step. Check valve adjustment.  Most of the time when a customer tells me something like this it is at least a burned valve.
 If proper adjustment allows it to run, but the symptoms recur, it is a burned valve. It can also be multiple causes. That kind of ride with a rider unfamiliar with the Enfield can lead to all kinds of issues. Just take it one step at a time and you will solve the issue. Good luck!

geoffbaker

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Re: Newbie's Question...
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2008, 09:23:07 PM »
Thanks for the input guys, and all very helpful...

I will report back more after various tests.

If anyone knows a good brit bike mechanic in Tucson AZ, please let me know!. Also any good book resources out there would be appreciated!


deejay

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Re: Newbie's Question...
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2008, 09:46:47 PM »
Thanks for the input guys, and all very helpful...

I will report back more after various tests.

If anyone knows a good brit bike mechanic in Tucson AZ, please let me know!. Also any good book resources out there would be appreciated!



Get the Super Shop Manual and the Pete Snidal manual. After owning this bike for a bit YOU will be the good mechanic in Tuscon, and thats a good thing! It's all part of the experience. Soon you will find piece of mind knowing the ins and outs of your bike. Welcome to REAL bike ownership.... have fun with it!

The issue you are having sounds like a faulty wire connection (easy fix once you find it) and probably a blocked jet in the carb (also easy to fix). Also learn how to set your timing.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2008, 09:51:28 PM by deejay »

baird4444

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Re: Newbie's Question...
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2008, 09:53:56 PM »
here are a couple of links to try-

http://workshopmanual.tripod.com/

http://cybersteering.com/cruise/feature/bullet/bullet.html

I am also going to PM you some lenthly text electricul stuff.
YOU CAN FIND THIS, make the bike YOURS and do it yourself- Mike
"You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning!! "
        -Cody Baird
'My dear you are ugly,
 but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly'
 - Winston Churchill

geoffbaker

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Re: Newbie's Question...
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2008, 10:30:17 PM »
I really cant thank you guys enough!  All great input and great advice and great links!

I've started taking off bits as I go :)

So far, I can report that I have a decent spark on the spark plug. I've taken off the air filter (which was extremely dirty) and so far no firing...

With a fully charged battery (it may not hold a charge, but thats a different problem) and spark at the plug,  I'm beginning to think that its definitely a carburetor problem... esp as it was not maintaining an idle. So another stupid newbie question... how do I adjust the idle on this carb? (2000 military bullet).

I like to tinker, which is one of the reasons I bought the bike!


baird4444

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Re: Newbie's Question...
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2008, 11:34:47 PM »
Idle speed is set with the large knurled screw on the side of the carb. The end sets into a taper on the slide. Give it a little throttle and screw it in a little to raise the bottom setting of the slide giving you a faster idle. the following is on carb set up
by Dan Holmes.
            - Mike

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is a simple task although it can be difficult. Especially if there are external influences that are affecting engine performance . The procedure is to check or set the idle mixture screw at 1.5 turns out ,and then warm up the engine , I usually let it idle for five minutes or so . I test to see if I have good throttle response and then set the idle stop screw to a slightly low idle speed. Now adjust the idle mixture screw in or out slowly to find the fastest idle speed . I then turn the screw back in about a 1/8 turn or enough to slightly reduce the idle speed from the higher setting.This is effectively richening the mixture slightly and makes it a little more predictable . I then adjust the idle stop screw up or down to set the idle to the desired speed ! Some of this is a feel thing . The idle speed will vary some as: ambient temperature, engine temp ,fuel flow , dirty carb, valve adjustment and timing changes will influence engine performance ! I cannot emphasis enough to install a inline fuel filter. Also to check the rubber intake manifold anytime the bullet gets hard starting or has a erratic idle. We have found cracks in half of the bikes we have examined ! All bullets shipped to the US need rejetted ,if not already done so !
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hello all people with unreliable idle!
Idle control is managed using two screws, a big one for throttle setting an=
d a small one for mixture setting.
Turn the big one by hand, clockwise until you get a firm but low idle,
turn the small one using a screwdriver, to the position where you get the highest possible smooth idle. Often it means screwing it to the bottom.
That's it!
Sten
"You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning!! "
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 but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly'
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cyrusb

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Re: Newbie's Question...
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2008, 12:41:52 AM »

Before you touch the carb, have you checked your valve adjustment? It's the other thing that can effect idle. Remember It ran fine with that carb adjustment when you started out. The carb could be dirty, but readjusting it  without knowing if it is dirty might not be the way to go.

LotusSevenMan

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Re: Newbie's Question...
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2008, 10:14:31 PM »
Geoff B

Good luck with this. Most Bullet problems are pretty straightforward to sort I have found.

"I will report back more after various tests".

We look forward to hearing of your successful fix!!!

LSM
If it ain't broke-------------------------- fix it 'till it is!

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birdmove

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Re: Newbie's Question...
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2008, 01:56:14 AM »
   Keep us informed.We'll all learn something together!

    Jon
Jon in Keaau, Hawaii

geoffbaker

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Re: Newbie's Question...
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2008, 09:15:41 PM »
The story so far...

Electrical seems OK; carburetor still unknown but noIthing looks too bad.

Reading the forums, and the online manual, I saw some discussion of compression, so I got a cheap tester and lo and behold, my compression was a mere 30 psi. Obviously something wrong!

Pulled the head today and the thing was just covered in gunk. Tons of carbonization - I mean a thick black layer everwhere!

The good news, I see no evidence of a cracked head or block; but clearly I'm going to need to pull the valves and lap them, ditto the cylinder bore, and then put it all back together.

Just as a test, I pulled off the decomp unit and cleaned it up and reinstalled everything; my compression rose to just under 60!

So now I'm going to tear it all apart and rebuid the head completely.

I'll keep you all updated!

The good news is that I haven't worked on anything this easy in decades. Took me less than an hour to take off the head, and half that to put it back together.


fredgold52

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Re: Newbie's Question...
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2008, 09:27:53 PM »
geoff, looks like you found a good reason for your Bullet not to run.  I know this isn't what you had in mind to do with your new bike right off the bat, but you will know your engine better than anyone when it's back together and running.

Hopefully, reseating the valves will go well.  I expect you will probably stick some new rings in it while you're there.

You didn't say how many miles were on this engine.  What's the clock say about that?
2006 '65' and a 200cc Stella, Indian all the way

geoffbaker

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Re: Newbie's Question...
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2008, 09:36:40 PM »
It has 5000 miles on it... according to the manual, it's just about time to decarbonize anyway!

It's a fun project. I'm just relieved the block and head look good.

Can I use a regular valve tool on the head or do I need to buy a special tool to remove and reseat the valve?