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  1. Hello all, Been a lurker for the last year and I'm finally posting as I need some help and couldn't find the answers I was after in prior posts. I'm afraid my V4 thinks it's only a V-twin! Forgive me that this will be rather long, as I want to give complete information in hopes that will be better able to assist me. Background: I have an '89 VR (Cali model, if it matters) that I bought almost exactly a year ago and have been slowly restoring and returning to road duty on a budget. Approximately 34,000 miles. When I bought the bike it would only run on full choke, and poorly at that. Previous owner bought it that way as a project. He attempted the shotgun cleaning method but that didn't work, then he lost interest. I have no other prior service history, though I can see that a lot of the prior "modifications" were poorly executed, so I have little faith in the competence of the PO (not who I bought it from) to properly repair and maintain the bike. Anyhow, I removed carbs and had a friend who operates an independent bike shop fully clean, rebuild, and bench synch the carbs. I have since installed and also installed new NGK iridium plugs. Running and performance: Bike has been running now for a few months, but not especially well. I have taken it out on a few "shakedown" rides of around 100 miles or so in hopes that riding it around would help it heal after coming out of an unknown period of hibernation. That hasn't fixed it. At start-up it fires right up on full choke but doesn't sound as smooth as I would expect and I hear a periodic popping that I believe to be pre-ignition or some incomplete combustion(???). Riding it it's a bit of a dog at first and I will have to feather the throttle some when I come to a stop (off of choke). It doesn't fall on its face when accelerating, it just doesn't feel as strong as it should. Mileage is horrible - I'm having to get gas after only around 75 miles or so. After riding for quite some distance (more than 15 miles) and especially after really flogging it on a more sustained basis, it seems to run noticeably better, although never 100% (at least I don't think). Still some popping on deceleration and doesn't always want to idle at stops if I let off the throttle. So in my estimation it seems to be running "kinda decent" at these times, though having never ridden one of these, I don't know what a properly running one should feel like. For reference I have owned several V45 Magnas, a ZX-12R (my main bike), and other inline 4's, among others. I have ridden a VMax once, but it was a number of years ago now. My memory of it is pretty limited, but my Venture doesn't feel nearly as powerful as I remember the VMax. My ZX-12R is in another stratosphere, but that's not an apt comparison. Current Symptoms & efforts to diagnose: I've had a suspicion that #4 is not firing, or at least not all the time. I'd previously used a pointable thermometer and saw the temperature (measured pointing at the jug) was significantly lower on #4 as compared to others. Unfortunately, I only ever checked this after starting the bike up in the driveway and riding up and down my street, rather than after an extended ride where it was running "better." I had also previously checked the spark plug in #4 and saw it was wet and likely fouled (cleaned, dried it, and reinstalled since it only had a couple hundred miles on it). This past Sunday I set about to figure out what was wrong, and fix it if I could. I started it up in the driveway on full choke and it fired right up. After letting it idle for a couple minutes I pulled the plug wire off of #4 - no change whatsoever. I stuffed another plug in it while it was still running and I do have spark - I both felt it and touched the plug to the engine and saw spark. I can't really say how strong, as it was in bright daylight, but I could definitely see it. More surprising to me was that I pulled the wire on #3 and had the very same outcome. I then pulled #1 and it immediately started to stumble, so I reinstalled. Didn't bother pulling #2 as it obviously had spark since the bike didn't immediately die when I pulled #1 . Pulled the plugs and inspected. #4 was wet and clearly fouled. Others were ok (not great), with the white ceramics a bit sooty, but not wet like #4 . Weirdly, #3 actually looked the best. Gapped and installed new NGK DPR8EA-9 plugs and crossed my fingers. I also checked the pilot mixture screws and discovered they were set anywhere from 3/4 out to 3 full turns out. I adjusted them all to 2 1/2 turns out as a baseline based upon what I read in other posts. Fired it up and it was no different. Could still pull the plug wires off of #3 & #4 without any effect. I probably should have taken the bike out and really run it before starting all this, but I didn't. Was thinking instead about having to work on a hot engine. Next I did a compression test. 1=190; 2=195; 3=195; 4=175 (eventually). So, #4 was lower and slower to pump up. No idea if/when valve lash has ever been inspected/adjusted. I see that it requires a special tool and shims, neither of which I have. I now suspect this may be at least part of the cause of my problems, but 175 psi still seems like it should be more than enough compression to support combustion. I continued on with checking ignition components, thinking the trouble may lay there. Holy hell what a job to get to the TCI and coils. I checked resistance on the pickup coil at the plug and all tested wires were within spec. I then checked primary resistance on the ignition coils and all 4 were in spec. at 2.9 ohms. I then checked secondary resistance by inserting a probe into plug cap and got the following resistance numbers: 1=22.5; 2=24; 3=22.1; 23.7. At first these numbers alarmed me as they are all much higher than the 15 ohm maximum specified in the service manual, but then I read that the plug cap should be 10 ohms itself +/- 10%, so if I subtract this out, all three coils are in spec for secondary resistance as well. I suppose I could remove the wires from the coils and try to test at the coil directly, but access is limited and I know I'm getting (at least some) spark to all 4 cylinders. Let me say I am not at all excited at the prospect of pulling the upper fairing to change out coils unless it is absolutely necessary. Considering they all test about the same, I'm thinking they're ok, but you guys are the experts on these bikes, not I. Those numbers also lead me to think the wires and ends must be (at least) ok too (I took apart plug wire and end for #4 and everything looked fine (no green corrosion), then I clipped a 1/4" off both ends of the wire and re-assembled). I got the TCI out of its stock location as well. From what I've read these can be the source of all kinds of poor running conditions as they start to fail. It is weird to me that when they fail it is not a complete failure, as that has been my past experience with CDI's. I can't help but wonder if this magic black box is the source of my problems. I did open the cover, but wasn't brave enough to dig out the soldering iron and desolder the pins to the main plugs just so I could look at the top of the motherboard and the diodes that are known to fail. My understanding from reading past posts is that if the TCI is not working properly, there's no fixing it. The diode replacement and resoldering of various connections is only preventative maintenance on properly functioning units. So my thinking was to leave it alone for now, since if it's broke I can't fix it, and if it ain't broke, I might just screw it up with my extremely limited soldering skills. It would certainly be helpful to have a known good one to plug in to rule in/out the TCI as a problem, but alas I do not have one and ones on ebay aren't cheap (for what may be junk anyhow). I've read about the Ignitek computer, but I don't know what my long-terms plans are for the bike and am concerned about budget. Besides, I don't want to just go throwing parts at it - especially expensive ones. I also checked to see if there's fuel getting to all 4 carbs and there is. I opened the drains on each of them and got full bowl's worth from each. So I'm not really sure where to go next with it. Based upon the compression test, I am wondering if valve adjustment should be next, though candidly I was hoping to avoid this job. I welcome suggestions, comments, offers of help, commiseration, jokes at my expense as the FNG, and further questions. I've done a ton of other work on the bike and I'm really anxious to have it finally "done." If I can ever get it running properly, I can turn my attention to the non-functioning cruise control (Grrrrr) and do a final "detailing" of the bike, before planning some longer trips. Thanks all for your patience in reading along, and thanks in advance for your assistance. [P.S. - If I have placed this post in the wrong folder, please feel free to move it and let me know where it should've been in the first place]
  2. Has anybody heard of or tried these plugs? http://www.pulstarplug.com/index.html
  3. Doing some winter maint on the bike. I see a few people mention using Autolites and of course the NGK OEM plugs and the platnums. Anyone use Champions? Pulling the original plugs, they are burning clean. The gaps are worn out to .038 Local O'Reillys has NGKs or Champions.
  4. '87, sat 4 a long time, 14k miles Had issue with fuel in carbs that a $600 injection into the dealers retirment fund did not cure! Flushed w/carb cleaner/blew everything out and then washed with engine cleaner Now no spark at plugs. Backtracked all steps cleaning and drying e/thing, still no joy! Juice at coils though. AND NOT RIDING ON HOLIDAY WEEKEND! HELP!
  5. Not realizing a smooth running acceration and decent Gas mileage since installing the new programmable TCI I decide to plug the old TCI back in and compare the performance between the old and the new. 1st I just plugged the old TCI in with the new map sensor still hooked up with vacumn tube to the #1 Intake boot port but electrically not hooked up. Leaving the tank cover off, I go for test ride to auto parts store. It seemed to run about the same as the new programmable TCI. So I'm thinking the problem is not related to the TCI Old or New. But as I was leaving the auto parts store the bike began backfiring, bogging down then shut off and would not recrank.WTF:confused24: So, I'm sitting on the side of the road for about thirty minutes scratching my head, trying to get the bike to crank and worrying about a two mile up hill push home. Then I noticed the orange wire on the 6 pin plug to TCI is hanging 1/2 way out of the plastic plug. I push in all the way in and the bike cranks. So then I get on the highway to run the bike at highway speeds for a few exits and back. On the xway it runs about the same as the new TCI maybe a little better. But, before I could get back home on three occassions while at a traffic light the bike starts bogging down again and backfiring. After wiggling wires it straightens out. When I get home I wire in the leads to the old TPS into the new 8 pin plug so I can switch back and forth from the old TCI/TPS configuration to the new TCI/MAP Sensor configuration and unplug tube from Map sensor to intake boot and hook up tube from TPS to port. While doing this I notice that the pins inside both the 8 pin plug and the six pin plug are not all bottomed out indicating that the pins are not securely locked inside the new plastic plugs. I'm thinking INTERMITTEN WIRE CONNECTION FAILURE WITHIN THE QUICK CONNECT PLUGS On several occassions since I've owned the bike over the past 10 years poor performance and gas mileage has been traced back to bad electrical connections of the quick connect plugs to the TCI. Numerous other problems resulted from bad connections in multiple other quick connect plugs. I just dont trust quick connect plugs anymore. So, I took some small needle nose pliers and make sure all of the wires are pushed in all the way on the TCI plugs and take a ride around the neighborhood. The acceration was quicker and more responsive than I ever remember it being and the bike litterly flies. Next I'm going to take a longer test ride on xway to see if my theory holds up and the gas mileage improves.
  6. I'm gonna change my spark plugs myself. Looking at that project closely, It appears I might have to raise the gas tank to get to the front two plugs, Am I thinking right?
  7. bike is stumbling at idle, dropping down in rpms, them back up. over and over. bike is warm. i replaced the plugs, relatively new wires, new to me tci. any ideas?
  8. I'm trying to get the TCI connector plugs out. They wiggle but don't want to come out. There is a tab on top of the plug, is it a latch that needs to be lifted or do I just need to pull harder?
  9. On my old honda one of the many things I did when winterizing was I always fogged the cylinders and plugs with fogging oil before putting it away for winter. I'd also sprits the top of the plugs with a little WD-40 to keep them from getting any nasty buildup. Come summer I never had a start up problem. She would just fire right up. I've done some searching on the forum and see lot of talk about draining the carbs or putting in staybli/seafoam and not draining the carbs but no mention of fogging the cylinders. I don't want to start another "to drain or not to drain" debate, so let's stay away from that topic. Question is do you fog your cylinders or Is this not something that needs to be done on the RSTD? Thanks
  10. Greetings, I am at an end. I do not know what is wrong with my motorcycle. I have a 2006 RSTD with 8500 miles, and a few months ago I noticed a little backfiring when riding (mainly coming out of the right muffler.) It progressively got worse. I decided to change the plugs and noticed that the rear right cylinder plug was fouled (completely black.) I changed all the plugs, the problem persisted. In fact, after just a 20 min ride it fouled the new plug on the Right Rear Cylinder. My local dealer suggested to run some Techron through the bike, did not help. Also, there is a strong gas smell when running the bike. I checked the plugs and they are getting fire. I read on the forum that it might be my carbs, I bought a Carbtune 2 and synced the carbs (they were not even off that much.) No Change. A friend suggested to change the plug wire, but I quickly found out the plug wire is molded to the coil. I am not a mechanic, but I have done minor repair and maintenance on my bikes through the years. I am at a total loss. The owners manuel says that a black plug means a defective engine (I sure hope this is not the case.) Your help would be much appreciated. God Bless, Matt Powell My bike needs a good doctor
  11. starts under full choke runs 5 secs. shuts off. did this last week, then tried in morning ran ok. changed plugs after not starting and running after tryying all day. plugs were dry expecting them to be all wet. fuel pump, relay, where would you'll start looking.
  12. I have drilled the brass plugs out and now I need to know which way to turn to richen my carbs up a bit. I have searched on a lot of Mikuni sites but they seem to all have instructions because I can't seem to fine much info on BDS28/4 carb banks. So what do...counter clock or clock to richen just a bit?
  13. My 2004 RSMV has developed a fluctuating idle, which seems to get worse the warmer the engine gets. It surges 800-1200 on the tach, and up to about 1500 rpm, then smooths out. I'm due for a valve adjustment and am planning to do that soon, but this happened suddenly, in the middle of a ride. I didn't start gradually and get worse. I pulled the carbs and removed the bowls and sprayed everything I could get to with carb cleaner, checked the float levels (all were good) and changed the fuel filter. I didn't split the carbs or completely tear them down yet. Air filters are fine, and I'll probably do plugs just to rule them out. I'm currently running some B12 thru it, and it seems a little better, but it's still there. Hoping this rings a bell for someone. I'm going to do a complete tear down on the carbs when I do the valves, and re sync if no one has any other ideas. Thanks for the help. Jon
  14. For the most part, at anything above idle, my stock voltage gauge reads 14ish. Lately, it's been getting up there but it seemed a bit random. Tonight, I checked the wires leading to the R/R and man...did I ever get there just in time. One of the wires from the 3 prong plug had gotten so hot, it not only melted the plug, it heated up the connector enough to slide out of the crimp. One slight tug and it came completely free. I have been going over my bike and re-seating and greasing plugs as I come to them...I was planning on doing this anyway but damn...there was some serious puckering happening when I saw that bare wire. I pulled all the connectors out of the burned and melted plug, cleaned them up and plugged the wires together, without the plug, and insulating them. A quick startup showed the volts at around 14...right off of idle and steady as a rock no matter the load. Moral of the story; check those plugs. If you catch them in time, you may save yourself the time and effort of getting stranded and buying a new R/R.
  15. What spark plugs are the best to use in an 83. If it matters the YICS has been disabled.
  16. well today i got the bike all put together and running and took her out for a little rip, got in 50 km before the plugs fowled and i had to returen home, will pul the carbs tomorrow and test all my floats and valves
  17. i am trying to get a set of non resistor spark plugs, i can get them but without the projected tip. does it make a big difference on our bikes?
  18. I found out something very interesting today. My 2005 Ford Escape died on the side of the road. (Yes I know what FORD stands for!) It seemed like it was being starved for fuel..but I checked and the pump and the filter were just fine. So I had it towed to the dealer. It seems the platinum plugs that are supposed to be good for over 100,000 km (60,000 miles) are NOT! In fact...what happens is as the plug wears, the gap increases. This causes the coils (one for each plug) to work harder which in turn causes radio frequency interference which fries the main computer. So...my dead truck cost me -6 new plugs at $8 each. -6 new coils at almost $100 each:mo money: Plus the new PCM or TCI or whatever they call the main computer a$1,125 (or if could try and find a used one at $750) To change the rear plugs and coils they have to remove part of the intake manifold so lots of labor and a gasket to boot. Total cost of the repair? $2,550.00:mo money: All because of worn out plugs. (my truck only has 90,000 km) The mechanic is the son of a family friend, and he suggested the main computer might not be fried....that I should change coils and plugs and try it. He said the bad parts could cause the computer to show as bad also. I might get lucky...but then again this is ME we are talking about. :mo money:I got it towed home and will try to do it myself.... Did I mention $2500????:crying: So there goes the international, :smile5:Friday the 13th, some safety chrome and a few other things like food and utilities for the next few months.
  19. Well, damn. Had my tank off so that I could run the GPS wire under it and decided that I had 47k on the bike, figured I'd change plugs. Took out an old one, #2, was an NGK DPR8EIX9 Irridium. Hmmmmmmmmm..... Wonder when these were put in? They looked ok, not really burnt, but what the hey, go to the parts store, they don't have them i stock but can get them by the morning. Kewl, I order. Picked up this morning, read a few posts here, anti-sieze, grease for the caps, man, what a deal! Finish for the night, get out my log to write down al I did and as I am coping the numers, DAMN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Plug numbers are different? Does anyone know wha the difference in an; NGK DPR8EIX9 and an NGK DPR7EIX9 is????????????????? I've already got them gapped and installed..................................
  20. Friday night I synced the carburetors on the old girl and then Saturday I put a little over 100 miles on her. I seems to be running pretty good. I really enjoy riding it. I do hope the gas mileage gets better though. I’m only getting 27 mpg. I put new plugs in it when I first started working on it but I have run a lot of Seafoam through it. I may need to put new plugs in it again. I want to thank everyone on this site for their help. I know that I still have some work to do and will need more help, but I feel like, because of all the help I’ve gotten, the bike has come a long way. Does anyone have any ideas on how to improve my gas milage?
  21. Went on fairly long trip last weekend and notice the bike was sputtering a little and had a little backfire once in a while. Anyway, I pulled the plugs and found that the front left was much darker then the rest as you can see in the photo below. Some history, I replaced the TCI with the new electronic one from the group buy, I run a shot of seafoam with every gallon of gas, I only use Premium fuel. After replacing these plugs today, I installed Skydocs Shim Mod on the sliders and since the Torx screw was not present I have to assume the previous owner was already into these carbs. Diaphragms looked new with no holes at all. I do have a set of new NGK spark plug wires I bought from ebay but i have yet to install them. I know I will need to have the carbs synced soon, but I am having trouble finding a dealer that will work on this vintage in my area. http://i906.photobucket.com/albums/ac264/bobandlou3/IMG_0368.jpg
  22. Hi, Find attached an mp3 audio file of me starting my bike. It's hard to describe but the bike will start, then die. I've put in a new sealed battery, changed the spark plugs and rode 40 miles yesterday with 1/4 can of seafoam in the tank. What do I need to look at next? Thanks chuk
  23. Is there a trick to pulling the wires from the spark plugs?? Do the just pull off or are they screwed in somehow?
  24. What are these plugs called? The one the arrows are pointing to. Both of mine are cracked and I need to replace them. Can't find the number on them so I can order some. The plug on the right. Thanks and isn't the weather wonderful here in the state of Michigan. Suppose to be in the 80"s today. [ATTACH]65245[/ATTACH]
  25. Well I ordered the SS brake lines and Flanders bars from http://www.buckeyeperformance.com/ and installed all today. Thanks to all the help here and especially my brother Chris. We worked on this all day, from about 7 AM until 10 PM tonight. We did take a few brakes and ate three good meals today that my wonderful wife cooked up. We did all the front and rear brake lines,clutch line, and throttle upgrade. Everything has new Dot 4 fluid and no air. I removed the tank, so I decided that before we put the tank back on, it would be good to go ahead and install the new plugs (NGK DPRea8-9). So we did after removing the dog bones. The plugs gap at 30-35. I put them on 32. The plugs torque at 13 lb each also. So for those inclined to do the SS line upgrade. Would I recommend this as a do it yourself job ? Yes, for those somewhat mechanically inclined. You should plan on a good all day to do it all. I still have to button up a few things, and put all the tools back up. The SS lines will adjust somewhat at the connections and there is a tool included to do this. I would recommend you use plastic garbage bags to cover everything up so the brake fluid does not harm your paint. Fuzzy
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