:: Yamaha Virago XV Forums That Rock!!! XV920 Getting her going (SOLVED)

#1:  Getting her going (SOLVED) Author: Buickguy Post Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 11:30 pm

I'm currently trying to bring my wife's '83 XV920MK back to life.
It's been sitting since '95 when she parked it with a bit of carb trouble.
I've pulled the carbs and cleaned the goo out of them. I found a bad pilot screw and have a new one ordered. I sprayed oil into each cylinder just to make sure nothing is frozen up, drained and flushed the fuel tank and checked for cracked hoses.
I'm getting a new battery, changing the oil and filter and cleaning up all electrical connections. We'll get new tires once it is running well.

Is there anything else that I should direct my attention to?

Last edited by Buickguy on Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:30 pm; edited 1 time in total

#2:   Author: funkamongus Post Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 11:55 pm

add an additional ground to under bare spot the seat, same sized as your current one. Remove MCV, access your mixture screws if they're still capped off. Adjust valves, mix and sync according to knowledge base/tech articles.. Let us know as you go, we can show you how to make cheap tools to do stuff and all that.. you're in good hands. this is the best place a virago can bring her owner..

#3:   Author: Buickguy Post Posted: Thu May 06, 2010 12:11 am

Thanks Funkamongus!
That ground strap idea is a good one. I'll be doing that tomorrow!
I pulled the caps on the pilot screws back in '88 when we did the K&N filterchaqrger. Also upped the the main jets. We went from 124 front and 126 rear to 126 front 128 rear. The mixture screw for the rear carb was the apparent problem.

Mixture control valve? Should I just pull the tubes running to it and cap them off? I'm bench setting the pilot screws at 2 1/2 turns, hopefully that will be a good starting place.

Valve adjustment!! I knew there was something else I should do. Thanks!

#4:   Author: bstig60 Post Posted: Thu May 06, 2010 1:24 am

Just remove the MCV and cap the vacuum lines at the carb holder. Make sure you don't have any vacuum leaks after you get her running.

#5:  Re: Getting her going Author: ghostdad Post Posted: Thu May 06, 2010 9:46 am

Since your waiting for parts anyway, now would be a good time to check and clean all the wiring connections. Bad connections can cause weak spark and poor starting due to low voltage to starter. The starting system is weak enough on these bikes, they need all the voltage they can get.. A little extra effort now could save you a lot of headaches and confusion later. Best of luck..

#6:  Re: Getting her going Author: speegracer Post Posted: Thu May 06, 2010 8:34 pm

now is a perfect time to find allen head bolts for those carb bodies......., you'll be so glad you did it when you have to adjust your floats. This allows you to remove the bottom half of the carb without actually removing the carbs from the motor. Comes in handy, you'll see when it's float adjustment time.....Funk will tell ya!

I also found the dual-sided screwdriver which pulls out of the handle to reverse from phillips to flat are great. Remove it from the handle and it allows you to get into where the pilot screws are without binding up against the hot fins of your cylinder jugs. You'll still burn your knuckles on the fins but it will help adjustments. Best part is you can throw the screwdriver shank in your pocket for shakedown runs. Adjust pilot...... ride, adjust pilot......ride. Helped dial my bike in quickly.

Like Funk said tell us how it goes. GOOD LUCK!

#7:  Re: Getting her going Author: club_c Post Posted: Thu May 06, 2010 9:41 pm

Do this:

Shed Queen/sitting bike checklist

#8:  Re: Getting her going Author: Buickguy Post Posted: Fri May 07, 2010 6:11 pm

So far, so good.
The battery came in so the time spent cleaning the connections paid off. I opted for the AGM battery. I did get a smaller guage additional ground strap on. I'm going to get a larger wire as soon as possible. While checking all the electrics, I discovered that the flasher wasn't doing all that well. It flashed on the right signal kind of slowly and wouldn't flash on the left. I took apart the flasher and cleaned the contacts with a bit of 1000 grit sandpaper and it is now flashing well on both sides.

I picked up some allen head screws for the carb bowls and have them on. For future reference, they are metric M5 .80 thread bolts. My local hardware store had them for 50 cents each. Being able to do some service to the carbs whith them still on the bike makes those bolts a worthwhile investment.

For bypassing the MCV I ran a small piece of vacuum line from one port to the other. The lines that ran from the MCV to the to the manifold I just hooked to one another making it closed. could pull the lines and cap off the tube from the front head but this does essentially the same thing

I've bled out the front brake and have fresh dot 4 in there now.

The front tire has a rim leak. I'm not too worried about that since I plan on replacing those tires as soon as everything is sorted out and the old gal is running well again. The tires look good with no dry rot and plenty of tread on them but I just don't trust twenty year old tires.

I had done some hand turning of the crank, so I knew there wasn't a siezing issue. When it got parked in '95, the cylinders did get fogged and the fuel was stabilized but a decade and a half of sitting didn't do it any good. About a month ago I did pull the plugs and squirted some oil in.
(side note, I tried joining the forum then but the end of march/april one glitch got me)

I couldn't resist the urge to thumb the starter and make sure, so I pressed it and the engine cranked nicely. We all know the sound of the dreaded "big box o' rocks" early Virago starter flaw and this one is no exception. The engine actually fired for a split second. I reckon it ignited the oil, possible the propellant from the oil spray or most likely the carb cleaner I used on the surface of the intake openings to make sure they were clean. Either way, there's an engine in there that wants to run. I did get a backfire through the intake ports. I'll worry more about that when the carbs, manifolds, and air filter system are on.

I am still awaiting the pilot/mixture screw to come in. I expect it's arrival some time next week.
So far, the only real problem I've found was the nib on the end of the pilot screw was broken off and lodged in the passageway for the idle circuit on the rear cylinder's carb.
I must say that I'll be happy to get the old girl running again.

The bad news is my wife has been monitoring the progress! She's getting all excited to have her bike running again. She's been rememebring all of old times with the bikes. I was hoping I'd get to ride it for a while. Laughing

#9:   Author: speegracer Post Posted: Sun May 09, 2010 8:44 pm

The old gal sound like she wants to run , I'm referring to the bike , sounds like your off to a good start. Your woman has every right to be excited, these bikes really do run great when they're running right. BurnOut

Might want to put some MMO in your bike and a little in the spark plug hole.

Last edited by speegracer on Tue May 11, 2010 8:02 pm; edited 2 times in total

#10:   Author: Buickguy Post Posted: Mon May 10, 2010 8:27 am

speegracer wrote (View Post):
Might want to put some MMO in your bike and a little in the spark plug hole.

Thanks speeg!

The allen head screws was a great tip. with the MMO, do you mean through the fuel or in the crankcase? I've never tried mmo in the crankcase but I understand it can be used there too.
For through the fuel lubrication I've always used Lubri-Gas, one of MMO's biggest competitors in the mid-west a few decades ago.
My wife still had a pint of it in her sissybar bag (along with a battery tender) and I just picked up a gallon about a month ago.

I've read some good things about the Autolite AP63 spark plugs and I'm planning on getting a pair of those. Every little bit helps!

#11:  Re: Getting her going Author: Buickguy Post Posted: Mon May 10, 2010 10:47 pm

The new plugs went in today. While I was getting th eplugs, I picked up a 4 gauge battery cableand routed it to under the seat in place of the secondary of 10 gauge wire I made a couple of days ago. Of course, the stock ground is still on.

#12:  Re: Getting her going Author: speegracer Post Posted: Tue May 11, 2010 7:51 pm

I can only take credit for passing on the tip about the allen head bolts...this forum get's the credit for where the information came from..I'm only paying it forward! You'll see alot of that on Viragotech. Laughing

I was referring to adding MMO to the crankcase as an oil additive...MMO is good stuff, I've used it for years. I think others on the forum feel the same but I welcome an alternative view. Everyone has their own experiences with products they recommend! Years ago I used a product called Rislone before learning about MMO. Good luck.

I did use the AP63's and have no complaints with them.

#13:   Author: Buickguy Post Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:05 pm

It has been a month and still no carb parts. I'm starting to get a little frustrated. The pilot screw order was cancelled as no longer available so I ordered an entire rebuild kit just to get the pilot screw.
That was May 19! I stopped by the stealership to check on the kit they said they would have in three days only to find it was back ordered. The counter kid promised me it would be here Tuesday (two days ago). So I sit with a new battery, cleaned up connections, valves adjusted with the manifolds and carbs still sitting on the bench waiting for one little screw.
If CC Works was still in business I'd have ordered a single carb intake and gone with a Mikuni! KJS is a bit pricey and besides, my wife likes the was the "920" gold triangle hangs off the stock carb setup.

Sorry to vent on forum readers.
I did want to let you all know that the Virago is just awaiting carb parts.

#14:   Author: funkamongus Post Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:29 pm

I can empathize with your wait. Good luck and let us know how things go when it comes in!!!

#15:   Author: funkamongus Post Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:43 pm

Heres a cheap and easy manometer you can make for syncing your carbs.
and here
It doesnt give as much info as a vacuum gauge, but it allows you to make the pull on each cylinder equal. I found couplers at Napa that I used for restricting the pulse. One on each tube at the top of the yardstick and one at the end of each hose to couple to the bike. Make sure you use the same sized ports on your carb holders. The front has a large and small one, you want the small one. Again, best of luck to you!

PS engine MUST be fully warmed up. THeres a writeup in the knowledge base about syncing.

#16:   Author: Buickguy Post Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:54 pm

Thanks Funk.

The carb kit came in today. Kit is marked 81-83 Virago 920.
Wrong Part!
The pilot screw included is the one with the o-ring between the two ridges. The one I need is the smooth type that uses the o-ring at the top.
I went to another dealer who says the part is available so it gets ordered from that dealer.

Long story short, the process begins again!

#17:   Author: funkamongus Post Posted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:26 am


I hope your patience level is better than mine. Yours is an 83 920. the kit for 81 to 83 920. didnt work? Just the pilot screw? Weird, I would not have thought that would be a different part. Glad its still available, I hope it doesnt take long!

#18:   Author: Matthew Post Posted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:40 am

Id say it depends on the bowls, the semi split bowl has the non removeable pilot jet tube

#19:   Author: funkamongus Post Posted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:56 am

Ahhhh....I see, say glasshoppa.

#20:   Author: Matthew Post Posted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 2:34 am

Some 920s got them is all I know, id guess Id say burnt on a set of 920 carbs as almost nothing was usable for spare parts in the bowl area.
[I had bought them for parts.]

I was able to use the slides n rubber diaphragms and springs, and noticed they were different then the 750s, shorter rubber with stiffer springs, 750 is longer rubber with light springs.

guy who bought em said they worked great though ;) Felt bad that I sold em but I wasn't gonna be the test dummy.

#21:   Author: Matthew Post Posted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 2:42 am

More of the story, watch out when it comes to 920 carb stuff, it was a slight newer design, but it was done to make pilot jet adjustments easy, the screw was right in the open, and not plugged off anymore n hard to reach, but that pressed in brass tube won't let ya clean it easy or change its size easy.

A cruel compromise, you can now play with it easy, but your stuck with a .40 jet.

#22:   Author: Buickguy Post Posted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:19 pm

Yep, those are the carbs I have. Non rejettable pilot jets.

#23:   Author: Matthew Post Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:43 pm

Id probably keep the carb kits ya got but find the other style of carb. [your will sell good on ebay ;)]

that .50 pilot jet mod in the performance mags was spot on worth it..........

Or go even newer then that design but the brass tube is and was a bad idea.

#24:   Author: Buickguy Post Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:19 pm

Well, the second dealer returned with an out of production on the pilot screw. They offered to get a K&L kit. Having just been down that road, I informed the parts guy that the 81-83 920 kit has the wrong screw in it. We ordered an 84-85 XV 1000 kit and we'll see what that has. The problem is these are the newer style carbs with the brass tube pilot jet and the smoother pilot screw that puts the O-ring at the top.
The Yamaha parts book shows a lot of bikes used that screw, not just the 83 920. The 84-85 XV 1000 shows the same screw (part number wise) as does the 83 750 and the slightly newer 700s
My carb looks like a thrid gen without the accelerator pump attached.

I'm really developing a distaste for Hitachi carbs...

Oh well, I'll keep hanging in there.

#25:   Author: funkamongus Post Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:28 pm

Ok, hold on, let me see if I have one. Damn, the bag of parts I have is in Parker Arizona. I'll be there in about 2 weeks. I sure wish I could tell you one way or the other today, but I cant.

#26:   Author: Buickguy Post Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:09 pm

Thanks Funk, that is might nice of you.

The 84-85 rebuild kit came in today and it has the right pilot screw. So, perhaps during the weelend I'll be able to get the carbs bolted back on and see it I can get an idle out of the ol' gal. Then comes the fun of setting idle and balancing the carbs.

#27:   Author: funkamongus Post Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:41 pm

Yeah! Glad you got it!! Im gonna be here for another week! My schedule is, uh, fluid. I hope she runs GREAT for ya! Dont forget to Adjust your Valve lash first!!

#28:   Author: Buickguy Post Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:49 pm

I've had the valves adjusted for weeks, while waiting for parts.

This bike has always been particularly frustrating. It's titled as 1982, but it is a midnight which means it's the VX920MK and that was only made in '83, now to top that off I had to get parts for the '84-'85 carbs.
If it wasn't so nice to ride, it would hardly be worth the trouble.

#29:   Author: funkamongus Post Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:59 pm

Youre gonna love it! Pics when you can!!!

#30:   Author: funkamongus Post Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:00 pm

OH did you get all the info on homemade manometers, etc.?

#31:  Re: Getting her going Author: Buickguy Post Posted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:28 pm

Thanks Funk! Yes, I got the specs on the home made manometers.
I bolted up the carbs today! I set the bench specs pretty well, I guess. I ended up with bench setting the pilots at 2 and 5/8 turns. Floats are set nice, throttle looks good.
I punched the starter and she fired right up and settled in to a nice idle.
I just got back from a 10 minute warmup ride around the neighborhood.
Keep in mind, I haven't ridden the ol' gal since '95 but it has never run so well!
I think it did have the MCV problem because with that bypassed, it is just great! I think the second ground helped too. Powerful, smooth and no pops or spits! That's without setting the pilots running or the manometer balance!

Funk, you are right! That sweet feeling of running down the road with a powerful V-twin makes it all worth the time and frustration.

Next up:new front brakes!

Last edited by Buickguy on Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

#32:   Author: funkamongus Post Posted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:33 pm


#33:  Re: Getting her going (SOLVED) Author: Buickguy Post Posted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:11 pm

Here's a quick shot i took with my cellphone.
Sorry for the poor quality.

All in all, not too terrible for a bike that sat for fifteen years.

Running again
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#34:   Author: funkamongus Post Posted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:41 pm

Nice!! XV920 Getting her going (SOLVED)

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