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So, my birthday is tomorrow, I'll be 32, and seeing how we had decent weather I went for a nice 200 mile ride. I hit the slab at a nice pace, took some mountains, and scraped the pegs a bit.

Up in Harrisburg, on my way back, I was running low on fuel, 15 miles over my reserve. I pulled into a Hess station and filled her back up (32 mpg again). When I fired it back up, it sounded rough, and I stalled it when pulling away. It just wasn't putting out all the power. I had lost a cylinder. So I let it set for a few minutes, and tried again. Same thing, only 2 out of 3 cylinders firing. I rode it home 35 miles that way, as a 600cc unbalanced twin.

Then I finally made it back in town, had to cross one street to get on my street. I had to rev it up a good bit when stopped to get enough power to go. This time I revved it up a little more and then I lost it in the middle of street, coasting to the other side out of the way of a car. It wouldn't turn back over. Right there, at the bottom of my street, which is a hill. When I tried to start it, the starter made this funky straggled sound. I pushed it up the street some more, tried to start it again, same thing. Then I waited a moment and it fired up and I brought it home.

Yeah, so it didn't leave me sit today, but it felt like it came pretty ***** close. I'm just glad it all happened at the tail end of the trip instead of further away from home, up in the mountains. Do you think it's a coil that's gone bad? I have just turned 18,000 miles, so the bike is due for a service and valve adjustment. Do you think if I rode it 40 miles to the dealer on 2 cylinders that it would be ok? Or should I try to buy and swap out the coil on my own?
 

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Traditionally when the coils act up they do so when hot so the bikes run fine when cold. What's strange is that a bad coil shouldn't have affected the way the starter works, nor would a clogged carb. Although it sounds like it to verify its the coil try swapping the leads and see if the dead cylinder changes. Can you bump start the bike?

[ This message was edited by: TBSstunta on 2006-12-10 17:19 ]
 

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I would wonder about two other possibilities. One is that there was ***** in the bottom of the tank that got sucked into the carbs when the fuel was so low. The other was that there might be water or junk in thhe gas you fueled up with.

Perhaps checking the fuel filters and carbs would give you soem answers?

If a coil was bad you might see a weak spark on one cylinder if you attach a spare plug to each plug wire in turn.

Sorry for your problem but in a "glass half full" moment , at least you made it home with your ride.

Good luck

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It wasn't necessary to bump start the bike, TBS, as the starter eventually did work when it had stopped at the end of my street. Hopefully it isn't a coil. The bike was fully hot - I had done 165 miles or so, many at full gallup, and it had ran fine.

Paul, that's a good idea that there could have been something in the fuel or the tank. I normally don't ride 15-20 miles over the reserve, so maybe you have a point that some sludge got past the filter or something. I had checked my fuel filters in the petcock awhile back and found it pretty dirty. I guess I was thinking that if it was something bad in the gas that it would have cleared up over the ride home.

Thanks for the comments, guys. I don't have the money to take it to the shop right now, so it looks like I'll be hitting the Haynes manual pretty hard this winter. If anyone has any further insight into my bike's ailments, please throw me a bone.






[ This message was edited by: Rincewind on 2006-12-11 06:41 ]
 

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The fact that it sounded rough right after your fill-up points to ***** in the fuel. I've had this happen to me when filling up from a station that's sucking the bottom of their tank -- picked up lots of crud and clogged the fuel filters, and once when the floodwaters had gone over the station's tank fillers. Guess they weren't tight, as I got water in the tank from that episode. (Incidentally, both occurences were from different stations, but were coincedentally in Holly Springs, MS, many years ago.) Why do I remember these so clearly? Well, when you lose all power while in the middle lane of a major road at rush hour and live to tell about it, it DOES make an impression!

Later,
 

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I was coming across the country one time and filled my truck up with gas from a station at the denver airport. It had been running great and right after that i could barely make 45mph. It didn't run good again until I burned it all out.
 

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The fact that it sounded rough right after your fill-up points to ***** in the fuel. I've had this happen to me when filling up from a station that's sucking the bottom of their tank --
That's why I stop and fill every 100 miles. If I get bad gas the good gas in the tank dilutes it.

No help for water in the gas though.

Jim
 

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Rince,

drop some carb cleaner/sea foam into the tank along w/ a top end lube (marvel miracle, etc) and let it run. I filled up last year w/ some "bad stuff" and dropped a bunch of "stuff" into it to clear it up. Sounded like the whole thing was going to come apart. I had an old Norton guy swear by putting some Marvel in with the fuel along w/ all of the other additives and after doing it, will swear by it. good luck, but i agree, probably fuel related.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Marvel stuff, you say. I may have to look for that, thanks.

Hey - great news. My bike fixed itself overnight and gave me a nice ride for my birthday. She's running like a champ, and I've gotta big smile on my face again. When I started her again today, there was some blue smoke coming out of the RH pipe, the side where I thought had lost the cylinder. I'm just really glad it sorted itself.
 

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Alex,

I use Marvel all the time in my bike (not every tank) However, I notice it will make a difference with the carbs

Mike
 
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