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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I am at my wits end and am counting on the advice of triumphrat once again. (Especially because I can't afford $82/hour labor.) I have a 2001 Adventurer that is great when it runs, but now sits in great weather:

I changed the oil a couple months ago. Ran fine, but must have been overfilled: it eventually choked out. Starter spins, but won't catch. Since then, I have:

1. Drained excess oil and replaced the plugs. (I have k&N pod filters) Tested the plugs and was getting a spark.

2. Recharged the battery. (I replaced the starter last season.)

3. Cleaned both the tank and duckbill fuel filters in the line.

4. Replaced the plugs again with one step hotter. (Denso -9's)

5. Cleaned the float bowls, main jets, pilot jets, mixture screws (and reset to 2.5 turns out.) They seemed pretty clean to begin with, so I did not disassemble the diaphragms. (Keihin CVKs)

6. Replaced the throttle cable I ruined after multiple carb removal.

7. Recharged the battery and put fresh gas in the tank.

When I go to fire her up, the bike will not catch. It just spins. (I have done every bonehead check: clutch, neutral, kill switch,) and have even blown air down the fuel line- tough to get a good seal with the bike pump. After a while, I got absolute nothing with a press of the start button, but then it worked two tries later. Still no start.

The obvious, and next step given my last sentence, it to recheck all the connections, but I have no idea what the problem is. Incidentally, can anyone recommend where to check these connections? At battery terminals, obviously, and pos to starter, then the ground- anything else?

Any and all suggestions are welcome and appreciated. Thanks fellas.
 

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I changed the oil a couple months ago. Ran fine, but must have been overfilled: it eventually choked out. Starter spins, but won't catch.
I believe overfilling the oil would have revealed itself immediately upon running the engine by puking it out either the crankcase vent hose or the side engine covers. I say that because I had kinked my vent hose when replacing my carbs and the side engine covers immediately began to leak oil from the internal crankcase pressure. If your vent hose was full of oil from overfilling, it should have sprayed it out pretty liberally, or if the oil blocked it completely, should have come out of through the path of least resistance, which would probably be an engine cover. Sometimes there is no cause and effect, but only coincidence. (Okay, I agree that usually if you do some maintenance and the bike suddenly goes south, it is probably something you did, but not always). Your list of things already tried is pretty thorough, but your description of each is too vague. Here are some questions to help everyone sort this out better:
1- Did it quit while running, and if so, do it gradually, losing power and stumbling, or suddenly just stop running?
2- Since you are running pods, where is your crankcase vent hose routed? Was it blowing out alot of oil, and were any of the engine covers also blowing oil?
3- What was the state of cleanliness of the fuel system components which you cleaned before you cleaned them? Anu evidence of corruption?
4- What color was the spark?
5- What was the condition of the plugs when you removed them?
6- How new is the battery?
There are several people here who know the wiring stuff a whole lot better than I, and they may chime in with a solution. While you wait for their posts, here's what I would do were it my bike: First, since you say you have spark, I would try some starting fluid in the carbs, which should be easy to do with pods, and will confirm the ignition is okay and the problem lies in the fuel side. If it won't fire with the ether, then I would assume that it is ignition related, regardless of the spark test, and track that down. Since it is commonly known that these bikes like a strong battery in good shape to produce an adequate spark, I would recheck that first. Just in case the oil overfilling had an effect, I would look to see if oil blew out through a hose or cover and soaked an important wire, wire connection, or even the pick up coil and/or its' gap. If the sidestand switch, etc., were not working, you shouldn't be getting a spark at the plugs, so I don't think that's a likely cause. If none of these panned out, I would look for the needle in the haystack, which could be a bare wire somewhere. I'd begin in the headlight housing, as these bundles can cause issues. The fact that you got a spark while testing the plugs does not mean that a wire might not intermittently short, or else it should fire when you crank it. Coils don't seem likely to me, unless it had shown some symptoms before this. (By the way, if others suspect coils, I do have 3 good ones I could loan you to test with, no cost except how much it costs me to send them to you and a promise to return when you are done). I don't know the engine internals well enough to say whether something could have occurred to throw off the timing, or somehow mess up the valve train so that the intake side isn't providing fuel at the proper time in the firing sequence. Someone more knowledgeable than I will have to help you there. There are some real wizards on this forum, so I have no doubt you'll get there eventually. Good luck!
 

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Just a point......

about crankcase overpressure. Given that the engine side covers are metal to metal with a very thin paper gasket in between and are 'torqued' up to each other. Then crankcase over pressure will not affect them, in most cases.

What 'gives' first in the case of overpressure is the top cover gasket pops. This generally occurs at the one of the four points where the semi circular pieces of the gasket fit into the cylinder head/top cover at the ends of each camshaft.

How do I know this? Due to breather modifications on my bike, to prevent ingress of water when washing the machine it was my habit to remove the small filter and secure the modified breather hose to the drain plug of the left side carb. The hose was a neat and tight fit onto the fitting. One day I forgot to remove it and took off. A couple of miles down the way felt this very hot sensation on the leg. Covered in oil and gasket had popped out of place. It was easy enough to poke the gasket back into place on the side of the road, have a look around and realise the balls up I hadd made, head back home and clean up.
 

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How old is the battery?

A weak battery will not accept a full charge.

Therefore there is not enough juice to power the coils enough to provide a good hot spark.

Can you take it to an auto parts store and have it stress tested?
+1

Also check your new throttle cable is not hung up and holding the throttle open. This can stop it starting - not firing at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info, particularly ssevy. I checked the crankcase vent house, which runs left to right underneath the carbs. Pulled off the round filter and it seemed slightly dirty, but not drenched in oil. No other oil anywhere external on the bike.

The battery is only a year old, but hasn't been performing great. I'll get it to an auto shop for a load test. Bought from my local bike/Triumph shop, so I may have to harangue them a bit, too.

The spark I was looking at was very slight, and somewhat irregular. (Timing?) I'll check it again, but thought the spark was minimal without compression in the cylinder. (At least that's what I've read around here.) I may wait until it gets dark to test it again.

After the oil overfill, the bike ran fine for a bit. Then rougher. I'd start it up again, and it would die. Run times got shorter and shorter, and then it just choked off, so I guess the answer is that it just lost power and stumbled- nothing sudden.

I forgot to mention I'd tried the starter fluid, to no effect. It may be time to start reading up on coils and tracing electrical stuff- about which I know next to nothing.
 

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its sounding more and more like the battery to me
 

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Once the bike is running, doesn't the alternator provide 100% of the electrical needs, and recharge the battery simultaneously? Or, with the battery in a weakened state, does the alternator send most of the current to the battery for recharging, thus reducing what is available to the running circuit? Since he said the bike was running and then quit, if the alternator is okay and was providing the current for the engine to run, I don't understand why a weak battery would then be a suspect? I thought that the battery was needed for cranking and sending enough juice to the coils to fire properly, but then was out of the picture once the engine started and the alternator was spinning? Can someone please explain this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
that is the problem- it won't start. It will crank for a while, but won't turn over. It seems these bikes need a lot of juice from the battery. I'll try and jump it off my buddy's truck to test. Right now, though, I just can't get the bike to fire up.
 

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Ouch !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for the info, particularly ssevy. I checked the crankcase vent house, which runs left to right underneath the carbs. Pulled off the round filter and it seemed slightly dirty, but not drenched in oil. No other oil anywhere external on the bike.

The battery is only a year old, but hasn't been performing great. I'll get it to an auto shop for a load test. Bought from my local bike/Triumph shop, so I may have to harangue them a bit, too.

The spark I was looking at was very slight, and somewhat irregular. (Timing?) I'll check it again, but thought the spark was minimal without compression in the cylinder. (At least that's what I've read around here.) I may wait until it gets dark to test it again.

After the oil overfill, the bike ran fine for a bit. Then rougher. I'd start it up again, and it would die. Run times got shorter and shorter, and then it just choked off, so I guess the answer is that it just lost power and stumbled- nothing sudden.



I forgot to mention I'd tried the starter fluid, to no effect. It may be time to start reading up on coils and tracing electrical stuff- about which I know next to nothing.
Never ever use starting fluid in a petrol motor, especially one you love! This stuff raises compression levels to ridiculous levels and just using a small amount can cause bent rods or holed pistons in a well designed and high compression petrol motor. This spray is for use on diesel engines where, because of their stronger internal construction to support the combustion process, ether spray used sparingly will generally do no harm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, I finally took it in and it turns out to be the ignition module. Order the Sparker TCIP-4 from Ignitech and am getting it installed this week, so we'll see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
that is more so the case. I put it into storage for the season, was out of the country, and now am back. Just took it to the mechanic; just don't have time or patience to wrench anymore.
 
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