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ViragoTechForum.com Tech Help Only starts with starting fluid (SOLVED)

#1:  Only starts with starting fluid (SOLVED) Author: shmalphy Post Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:19 am

I replace my starter and put in carb rebuild kits. I can now start the bike with starting fluid, but it will not start on its own, and will not stay running. I am guessing that I need to clean the carb more? What areas of the carb should I focus on?

I am very excited because I am close to getting on the road. Any help is VERY much appreciated. Thanks


Last edited by shmalphy on Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:17 pm; edited 1 time in total

#2:   Author: grazingazer Post Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:44 am

i'd recommend looking for vacuum leaks...especially at the "t" under the tank

#3:   Author: shmalphy Post Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:59 am

wow you rock, graz, thanks! I would have spent hours removing and cleaning and replacing the carb when my vacuum lines are not even hooked up... what a dumbass I am, I am used to xr50 petcocks which are gravity

Does anyone have a diagram on how to hook up the vacuum lines? what size is the tubing?

#4:   Author: grazingazer Post Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:06 pm


#5:  Re: Only starts with starting fluid Author: eddiethetech Post Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:40 pm

Since you're doing the vacuum lines anyway, you may as well remove the MCV from the equation. It has no positive effect on performance and when it gets old it can be the cause of decel popping and backfiring. The rear cylinder runs the same routing. On the front just run from the small fitting straight to the petcock. Eliminate the tee fitting. The larger line that runs toward the front can be cut and plugged with a bolt at the carb mount. Use a zip tie or clamp to hold it on the fitting. Then remove the left cover (black plastic with reflector) and remove the MCV and clamp.

#6:   Author: shmalphy Post Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:47 pm

Awesome, what size are the lines, anyone know? I want to grab em on the way home from work...

#7:   Author: shmalphy Post Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:28 am

OK I bupassed the MCV, put on new vacuum and gas lines and new clamps on everything. It now starts without the starting fluid when on choke and runs for about a minute then dies. If I give it throttle it dies, and it will not start with thge choke off. where do I go frome here?

#8:   Author: grazingazer Post Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:00 am

put the petcock in the prime position and see if it runs...do not leave it in prime with the engine not running or you may fill the crankcase with gasoline

#9:   Author: shmalphy Post Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:26 am

i tried it in prime and it did not run, also tried it on "on"

made the mistake last week of leaving it in prime and learned that lesson the hard way

what should I do next?

#10:   Author: grazingazer Post Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:44 am

have you removed the covers over your pilot screws and removed the screws and replaced the o-rings after blowing air through the screw orifices?

#11:   Author: shmalphy Post Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:48 am

as a matter of fact the carb did not have covers and when I had the rebuild kit I could not figure out what they were. I made a thread about it here.

I replaced the pilot screws and o ring. I put it back to where it was, about 2 turns out from gently seated. Is that right?

#12:   Author: grazingazer Post Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:57 am

the screws should be at least 2 1/2 turns out as has been posted innumerable times on this forum...that is where you start...if it doesn't start at that setting...try it increasing the opening 1/4 turn at a time

#13:   Author: shmalphy Post Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:03 am

OK thanks. I am happy to be at the point where all I need to do is tune the carb. Progress not perfection like they say. I have not done enough research on the settings for this carb yet. I will try this tonight and post the results tomorow.

Thanks again graz, I really do appreciate the help, it is 70 degrees outside and I am aching to get out and ride this beast.

#14:   Author: shmalphy Post Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:11 pm

I adjusted pilot screws to 2.5 turns and kept trying to start it, adjusting 1/4 turns til i got to 4 turns out. No luck

What is the next logical step? I cleaned it with spray carb cleaner, but didn't use compressed air. I am thinking of just taking the carbs off (again) and cleaning all teh passage ways. Anything else I should look for in there or adjust? I am hoping it was just a peice of crud left behind, but I want to make sure there isn't something else that could be causing this.

#15:   Author: bstig60 Post Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:41 am

I would suggest checking your fuel levels before you remove the carbs again. After you verify the fuel levels are to spec, put 1/2 can of Seafoam in a full tank of gas and try to get it running long enough to get the mixture down into the carbs, then let it set overnight and then try starting again. Sometimes the Seafoam will loosen up a blockage in the pilot circuit.

#16:   Author: shmalphy Post Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:52 am

Well I cleaned out the carbs real good with compressed air and put em back on, and the side stand switch started acting up. It would only turn over if I pushed up on the kickstand, then it stopped altogether.

Once I get that taken care of I will try the seafoam.

#17:   Author: shmalphy Post Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:42 am

I had a friend come over last night. He is experienced with Harleys. It turns out it was the solenoid making it not turn over, it works if you shake it.

So we had it so it could turn over but it would only start with fluid. I removed the pilot srew, blasted it out with air, and put it 2.5 turns out, and it still wouldn't start without ether. It actually ran better on 2 turns out. He couldn't figure out how the carbs worked. I said "venturi effect" and he kind of looked at me funny. With the air intake tubes off we tried starting it and it seemed that the throttle was not lifting the slides.

So we inspected the whole carb, the floats work. The diaphragms looked ok, but there was slight cracking on the edge of 1.

I am so confused, I am ready to just start making a PVC mana this weekend and slap a sportster carb on. Screw this venturi crap....

#18:   Author: grazingazer Post Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:56 am

all carbs have venturis what the virago has is a variable venturi...have you checked to see if the vent hoses that go from the carbs to the air filter do not have clogged filters...they supply the necessary calm air that allows the slides to function correctly

#19:   Author: shmalphy Post Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:29 am

I took those hoses off and blew thru them, I will put them back on and blow thru again to make sure it is clear all the way thru the frame. Is there a separate filter for that, or does it go into the air filter?

#20:   Author: grazingazer Post Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:33 am

they have inline filters at the carb end originally...if you blew through them while they were attached to the carbs you may have damaged your diaphragms...as a rule the first gen hitachi carbs will not let you start and run your engine with the air filter disconnected...have you tried running with the petcock in the prime position and the carbs hooked to the air filter?

Last edited by grazingazer on Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:39 am; edited 2 times in total

#21:   Author: shmalphy Post Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:37 am

no just blew thru the hoses to check for blockage in there. I was thinking of putting them on the frame and blowing thru to see if that passageway is clear.

#22:   Author: shmalphy Post Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:51 pm

I will take a pic of the bike later. There seems to be no in line filter on the carb breathers. I blew into both hoses while they were attached to the frame, one seemed kind of clogged. I will try to clean it out with compressed air and a coat hanger later and see if that helps.

I have tried to start it in prime with the air filter on the bike, and with the carb hooked to the frame, is that what you mean, or are you saying I need the inline filter? If so do I need an oem part or is there an after market one that will work?

#23:   Author: grazingazer Post Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:27 pm

yes what i meant was that the air filter assembly must be hooked to the carburetor...spray the starter fluid onto the air filter...wait 2/3 minutes put the petcock[s] in the prime position and see if it starts and runs...don't give it any throttle till it catches and then only a little bit at a time

#24:   Author: shmalphy Post Posted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:39 am

that is the exact process I have been doing, and it dies as soon as the starting fluid burns away.

I am going out to get some allen bolts for the carb, then I am gonna take off the air filter and use compressed air to clean out the frame and passageways for calm air for the carb. Then I will reinstall the carb, and try to start in prime with the carb hooked to the airfilter, and spray starting fluid on the air filter and only give slight throttle when it engages.

Thanks for bearing with me. I do appreciate it.

#25:   Author: grazingazer Post Posted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:02 am

loosen your drain screws on the carbs to see if you're actually getting fuel to the carbs...could be your petcock filters are clogged

#26:   Author: shmalphy Post Posted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:07 am

no, i did taht, just went outside and sucked on the vaccum hose a lil bit and fuel draned from the petcock when it was in the on poition

I just looked at the back of one of the carb boots, there is an o ring there. One side was a half moon! That was a huge vaccum leak, so it could definitely be my problem.

I am getting 2 new ones and slapping it back on, I will let ya know as soon as she fires up.

#27:   Author: shmalphy Post Posted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:14 pm

SUCCESS!

what a great feeling. not only does the bike now run with throttle, the carbs are cleaned mint, have all new stainless allen bolts on the top and bowls, WD40'd throughout, the boots and intake hoses are cleaned up with son of a gun, and it has new vaccum hoses and all the air lines are clean, and best of all, I have a much better understanding of the bike.

Now on to the next problem! Thanks GG, I owe you a beer if I ever meet ya!
ViragoTechForum.com Tech Help Only starts with starting fluid (SOLVED)


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