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Puddle Jumper Maintenance Log

PostAuthor: ctag » Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:35 pm

Hi all,

I've wanted a motorcycle for years, and back in October I was wrapping up my undergraduate degree and finally got one.

Image

It's a 1996 XV250 Virago. Came with cracked tires, a rusty chain, and an aftermarket fuel-cutoff valve. The owner explained that the cutoff valve was because otherwise gas would flood the engine if it was left to sit for too long. Bear with me, that comes in to play shortly.

First of all, once the bike was home it didn't move until I had bought new tires, a new chain, and changed the oil.

So everything was good, I picked up some gear and got to practicing. I didn't often use the fuel cut-off valve when the bike was off, because it wasn't sitting for very long at a time, and I didn't notice any problems getting it to start.
Image

Even did some aesthetic stuff, like reupholstering the seats:
Image

Fast forward to a week ago, I've had the bike for ~3 months and have put about 200 miles on it. It stops wanting to start, and then only runs with the choke wide open, and eventually bogs down and dies.
Image

We start troubleshooting by taking out the carb and cleaning it.
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So the carb got generally cleaned (I didn't know about cleaning specific jets or anything) and the intake diaphram was replaced because the old one was cracked. I also pulled and re-gapped the spark plugs.

That helped a little... but the bike still wouldn't stay running, and it was coughing oil up into the air filter...

Then we looked at the ~3 month old oil... It was totally black, and was waaaay above the 'fill line' on the side of the engine. Drained that and filled with regular automotive 10w-30 oil, and the bike is running great again!

So, what happened? From reading around and my own intuition, I'm pretty sure that the gas-petcock that's vacuum operated is failing, and letting gas drip into the engine, which then lets it down into the crankcase.. Hence that aftermarket cutoff. I'm going to spend a few weeks now religiously attending to that cutoff valve and making sure that it's always off when the engine is, and then check to see if gas is still getting into the crankcase.

Next up: the carb is still out of whack. I can tell that someone has previously tampered with the pilot screw, because there's no longer a plug over it.. I need to figure out how to re-tune the carb.
--ctag
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Re: Puddle Jumper Maintenance Log

PostAuthor: mark75 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:34 pm

it's a 'tag-team' with petcock and float-valve joining forces and flooding X/S-fuel out, resulting in contaminating your oil [which is fatal in a running engine]
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Re: Puddle Jumper Maintenance Log

PostAuthor: ctag » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:27 pm

mark75 wrote:it's a 'tag-team' with petcock and float-valve joining forces and flooding X/S-fuel out, resulting in contaminating your oil [which is fatal in a running engine]


Good to know, thanks :thanks:

It looks like that float valve is in most standard carb rebuild kits. The accelerator pump plunger on mine also appears to be leaking, so now I need to sit down and decide whether to rebuild my carb, or buy a new one.

I'm also interested in rebuilding the engine at some point with either a new cylinder kit, or a big bore kit... That needs more thought as well.
--ctag
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Re: Puddle Jumper Maintenance Log

PostAuthor: Sr.MailMan » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:11 pm

http://www.partzilla.com/parts/search/Y ... parts.html

You might want to replace numbers 14,20 and 22 in this diagram. #14 has a little screen in the inlet that needs to be clean.
#20 should be changed to a number 20 jet size from the OEM number 17.5 to give a better starting/warm up and idle.(https://www.jetsrus.com/a_jet_kit_stree ... _Vstar.htm)
#22 replacement will stop the leaking accelerator pump. also check the floats for leakage.

Also, if a compression check & leak down test shows less than factory specs,a rebuild may be necessary.

A "Big Bore kit" will need the engine lower case to be bored larger to fit the larger diameter piston jugs. Then you have the problem of feeding them with enough fuel.
If you are after more power... a bigger cc motorcycle would be the way to go $$$$.

249cc Think MPG,not MPH.
Last edited by Sr.MailMan on Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Puddle Jumper Maintenance Log

PostAuthor: ctag » Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:33 pm

Awesome, thanks!

I'll poke around a little more and see if any other components need replacing. Now that I've thought about it, and know things like the accelerator pump can be replaced, I'd much rather keep the existing carb going than replace it if possible.

The weather finally got cold here in Alabama, it'll probably be a while before I get back to the bike, we'll see!
--ctag
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Re: Puddle Jumper Maintenance Log

PostAuthor: ctag » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:27 pm

The last time I rode the clutch kept slipping under moderate load. I decided that the dino car oil I'm using was to blame, and today was about to replace it when I remembered that we had adjusted the clutch forward a few turns. I moved the clutch adjustment screw back about halfway, and now the clutch grabs nicely again, no oil change immediately necessary!

The bike is still running alright with the pilot needle turned the initial 2.5 revolutions out from seated. In two weeks I get my first paycheck, and about a month after that I'll be to a point where I can start getting the pieces together to rebuild the carb :bg:
--ctag
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Re: Puddle Jumper Maintenance Log

PostAuthor: CX Rancher » Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:00 pm

RAH ctag!

The carb 'rebuild' is mostly a cleaning. Mind the total suppy circuits and the air bleeds in the airhorn. The jet mods are sometimes helpful but not a must do.
Have to agree above, if you really need more power then larger cc bike is the way to go as far as low cost dictates. Dual carbs and dual exhaust will give you more power easier than a big bore kit imo. I still advise stock configuration unless you just wanna play.

Although my 2006 had no issues, I did tweek out the idle jet plug to give it an extra turn and a half out. It was at 1/2 out from the factory but really had no issues at 800ft elevations. Its a wee rich above 7500ft but still no issues enough to readjust. It will backfire on decel in the Rockies.

The 250 is surprisingly adequate. Unless you want to run 5 O'clock I-85 through Atlanta regularly. (yikes) although you just get swept up in the draftwash and its kind of entertaining.

The carb is rather simple but we who explode it do post. lol.

Have a ball with it.
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Re: Puddle Jumper Maintenance Log

PostAuthor: Wesso » Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:07 am

@ctag: It seems that no one has mentioned anything about the oil that you put in your bike.
What you need to do is make sure that the oil that you use in your bike does NOT have any friction inhibitors added. The clutch on these little bikes is a wet one which means that the engine oil is responsible for keeping the clutch plates cool and lubricated. So if you use oil with friction inhibitors the clutch will slip. Maybe not at first but it won't take long and you will certainly notice it and once the inhibitors become embedded in the clutch plates it is almost impossible to get it all out completely.
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Re: Puddle Jumper Maintenance Log

PostAuthor: ctag » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:34 pm

CX Rancher wrote:RAH ctag!

The carb 'rebuild' is mostly a cleaning. Mind the total suppy circuits and the air bleeds in the airhorn. The jet mods are sometimes helpful but not a must do.
Have to agree above, if you really need more power then larger cc bike is the way to go as far as low cost dictates. Dual carbs and dual exhaust will give you more power easier than a big bore kit imo. I still advise stock configuration unless you just wanna play.

Although my 2006 had no issues, I did tweek out the idle jet plug to give it an extra turn and a half out. It was at 1/2 out from the factory but really had no issues at 800ft elevations. Its a wee rich above 7500ft but still no issues enough to readjust. It will backfire on decel in the Rockies.

The 250 is surprisingly adequate. Unless you want to run 5 O'clock I-85 through Atlanta regularly. (yikes) although you just get swept up in the draftwash and its kind of entertaining.

The carb is rather simple but we who explode it do post. lol.

Have a ball with it.

Thanks Rancher!

I've gotten more comfortable with the bike with some riding time, and I think 250 serves decently well for around town. If I do go searching for more power, I'm pretty set on getting a different bike rather than trying to install a big bore kit on this one. Stock makes sense to me now since the brakes, frame, etc were designed for the 250 motor on it.

Wesso wrote:@ctag: It seems that no one has mentioned anything about the oil that you put in your bike.
What you need to do is make sure that the oil that you use in your bike does NOT have any friction inhibitors added. The clutch on these little bikes is a wet one which means that the engine oil is responsible for keeping the clutch plates cool and lubricated. So if you use oil with friction inhibitors the clutch will slip. Maybe not at first but it won't take long and you will certainly notice it and once the inhibitors become embedded in the clutch plates it is almost impossible to get it all out completely.

Wesso, the bit about friction modified oil permanently changing the clutch is news to me, so thanks. I went back and put some real wet-clutch compat oil in the bike a few days after my previous post, but the clutch does need to be replaced (either because of the car oil, or because it needed to be replaced when I got it, hard to tell). I'm planning on doing that soon and then adhering to the right kind of oil.


Overall the bike's been great for the past few months. I haven't tuned the carb any further yet, but it starts and runs very well, and only needs choke during cold mornings.

About a month ago I bought parts and rebuilt the front forks, and now they don't leak oil onto the front disk brake! Now the brakes and suspension are working better.

And yesterday I noticed that the shift linkage was really loose. A friend and I noticed that the pedal was just kind of jangling around on the mounting peg, so we made a shim out of soda can, greased it, and put it between the pedal and peg. Much crisper shifting now.
--ctag
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Re: Puddle Jumper Maintenance Log

PostAuthor: ctag » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:25 pm

Oh, still here? Hi again :bg:

So I traded the Virago for a Honda Del Sol, which I rebuilt with my friend's son, who is now daily driving it to highschool :cl:
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Then I bought a 1986 Honda Magna about a year ago, and absolutely love it.
Image

A week ago my coworker mentioned he had an old bike laying around, and that if I could get it running again it was mine. A friend and I arrived to pick it up and my jaw dropped, it was another XV250 Virago!!
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My coworker stopped riding after the transmission blew up on him, although he did have that damage repaired by a shop. When he went out to start it up years later the carb was all gummed up. So that's where it is now. Today I flushed the old gas out of the tank, saw that there was some rust, filled the tank again, and tried starting it up (for grins mostly). The bike doesn't start, and no gas is flowing through the clear filter, despite the pump appearing to be in good condition. It looks like I'll be pulling the carb, unless there's some way to unstick it without such an invasive process.
--ctag
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Re: Puddle Jumper Maintenance Log

PostAuthor: ctag » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:31 am

Went back out and pulled the bowl off the carb without removing the carb.

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Came back inside and immediately bought the rebuild kit :ops:
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Re: Puddle Jumper Maintenance Log

PostAuthor: ctag » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:35 am

I was too impatient to wait for the rebuild kit to arrive, so I decided to go ahead and pull the carb and start cleaning.

When people talk about ethanol gas "gumming up" I imagined something much less bad than this.
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I probably shouldn't have taken the morning off work, but between the weather and catharsis of working on a bike this is the best I've felt in a pretty long while.
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I've been told before to be very careful with Chem-Dip, but boy does it work!
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Image

I put it all back together, with all but one jet visibly cleared out. The bike still won't catch and run, so I guess I need to get some of those nozzle wires and clear out that last jet.
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Re: Puddle Jumper Maintenance Log

PostAuthor: ctag » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:01 pm

It runs! :bg:

After work today I picked up a welding torch tip cleaning wire, and ran that through the clogged jet on the carb, after that the bike fired right up and idled unassisted. I did notice that the bike bogs down under any acceleration, which I think indicates another clogged jet :ops: I'm not sure if I'm going to try clearing it up with fuel additives or bite the bullet and pull the carbs again... As the wise forum posters have told me: you either clean the carbs right the first time, or you clean them again.

Since the battery that came with the bike was shot, and the temporary battery was too big to bolt the seat on, I ran up to the parts store and bought a new one. They didn't have any AGM battery that fit :-/ so I got an acid one and have it on the trickle charger now.
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Re: Puddle Jumper Maintenance Log

PostAuthor: ctag » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:30 pm

Rode to work today :cl:

Image

The acceleration was a tiny bit better today, I was able to reach 35-40 mph, but that was the limit. The engine just bogs down under any sort of throttle. But it was worth the hassle, my coworker asked for me to keep him in the loop as I worked on the bike, and I told him "Go check outside" He was pretty thrilled to see the bike out in the parking lot.
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Re: Puddle Jumper Maintenance Log

PostAuthor: ctag » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:33 pm

On the hunt to fix the lack of acceleration.

When I got to work this morning and shut off the bike, it dieseled for 5 strokes. Between that and the throttle response I read around on the forum and it sounds like the engine was running (way) lean.

I drove more slowly home and the bike didn't fuss when I cut power at the end. I let the engine cool a bit then pulled the spark plugs:

Image

Image

The front plug looked lean; the back one a little rich?

Then I started the bike, and while it idled I sprayed starting fluid around at the carb and throttle body. No engine response, so I think a vacuum leak there is unlikely, though I did see some cracks on the y-pipe from the carb to the engine.

I guess all that's left is to pull the carb and clean it again?
--ctag
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Re: Puddle Jumper Maintenance Log

PostAuthor: hypophthalmus » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:39 pm

Your last two pictures aren't showing up for me -- just a circle with a dash in it.

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Re: Puddle Jumper Maintenance Log

PostAuthor: ctag » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:59 pm

hypophthalmus wrote:Your last two pictures aren't showing up for me -- just a circle with a dash in it.


Thanks for the heads up, but I don't see any way to edit the post? :ops:

Oh well, here are the links to those images:

https://rldn.net/Ax6

https://rldn.net/1Rf
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Re: Puddle Jumper Maintenance Log

PostAuthor: ctag » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:44 pm

The eBay rebuild kit arrived, it was one of those puzzle ones where you get to guess if a new gasket actually goes in the carb, or is an extra haha.

As I was disassembling the carbs, I pushed on the hollow cap screw with my finger and it just popped in half.
Image

So I epoxied it back in place for now...
Image
--ctag
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Re: Puddle Jumper Maintenance Log

PostAuthor: ctag » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:04 am

With the epoxied carb back on the bike, it will start and run but loses power under acceleration. How do I go about troubleshooting that kind of problem?

I think perhaps it is caused by the fill nozzle and plug that pivots with the float? But I'm not sure how to check or adjust it. I also bought a replacement for that hollow bolt, should arrive at the end of this week.
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Re: Puddle Jumper Maintenance Log

PostAuthor: mark75 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:15 pm

sadly I have no experience with XV250,

but problem you describe @ WOT might indicate issue with fuel supply [float valve adjustment, stingy petcock, partially obstructed fuel filter, etc] or main a jet issue.
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"Over the Mountains of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride" ... E.A. Poe

'13 - FXDC Super Glide Custom
'82 - XV750

Time flies whether you're having fun __ :bike: ... or not ... :fan: ---
and --- Any day above ground is a good day.
so Laissez les bon temps roulez ... just roll safely

"I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand." ... Confucius*

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