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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought my TBird new in June of '02 and have tried to keep it maintained properly. The last couple of years a little "hard starting" problem has arisen. If I start the bike every day, no problem. If I let it set for about 3 days or longer without starting it, there is a problem. Last September I took the bike off the road due to worn chain and sprockets. Since I am taking evening classes with lots of homework, I didn't have a chance to change the parts out before putting it up for the winter. When I went to take it to the neighbors nice heated basement for the winter in late October, it wouldn't start no matter what I did to it. The starter kicks it over fine but it only pops a little bit. No start. A charged battery, choke, no choke, nothing seems to work. Does anyone know where I should start looking to find the problem? It is almost time to ride. Thanks for any and all suggestions.
John
 

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1. Make sure you have a good battery (charge it up, or buy a new one). Then

2. change the spark plugs, they've most likely gone bad after all the starting.

Choke only when you start it from cold, NEVER throttle.

T'Weed
 

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Well, there are a bunch of potential problems but it seems most likely to me that your gas has gone bad and fouled your carbs and plugs.

Did you turn off the petcock and drain the carbs before letting the bike sit for a month? If not, then you've probably got gunked-up carburetors since the new fuel mixtures seem to be designed for sealed fuel-injection systems rather than carburetor systems.

Was the fuel tank either completely empty or full to the neck? If not, then your gas has lost a bunch of its 'easy starting' volitiles. A tank that's not full has lots of surface area for the volatiles to evaporate.

A half-full tank is also an invitation for condensation, so you could have some water in the mix too.

As a starting point, I'd drain the carbs and fuel tank and put in a gallon of FRESH premium gasoline. Second, I'd pull the sparkplugs and clean them. (Brake cleaner and a tooth brush works for fuel residue and soft carbon.)

If that will get the engine firing you might not have to pull the carbs and clean the jets.

If the engine will only run with the choke on, you'll have to clean the pilot jets.

Jim
 

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I have also found that even though you may have shut off your fuel petcock, fuel over time creeps by and causes the bowls to become over filled with fuel. This will cause a hard start or even no start condition. After the bike has sat for a while, cold or heated, I find that draining the bowls just prior to starting makes a huge difference. Drain them with the fuel shut off, open the petcock, give the fuel a minute to refill the carbs and try it. Even if you drained your carbs in the fall you may find fuel in them because of the fuel weeping by the valve over time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I knew where to go for straight answers. Thank you all so much for the information. I will do all of the above when I pull her out of storage. Now, if I was able to start it everyday........

John
 
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