Home arrow Forums



Go Back   XS11.com Forums > Idle Talk Forum > Other Bike Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-26-2010, 09:13 PM
kierensmith kierensmith is offline
New
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 5
Unhappy XS 400 help please, new rider!

I am brand new to biking, just bought my first bike this week, and I am having some major issues. I have done my share of research and learning, so I generally know my way around a bike... here are the details

1981 XS400 Special II with 26,000 miles
brand new rebuilt carbs - clean
recent oil change

issues...

after driving it for a few days I took it out a few mornings ago and stopped to top off the tank, it wouldnt fire up, had to get jumped. i then replaced the battery (followed the directions to a T). It fired up this morning after charging it over night. I drove it a few miles to a friends house, it then wouldn't fire up. had to get ANOTHER jump. it ran until i got home, let it sit for 30 minutes, didn't start.

also...

i adjusted the idle to 1200 rpm (factory standard). it idles great when I first fire it up before driving. but whenever I drive it shoots up to 3500-4000 every time i pull the clutch in to shift or stop and it stays there until I pop it back into gear. I WD-40 the throttle line and idle adjustment, didnt help at all.

also...

there appears to be some kind of leak on the left carb. it gets wet every time i have driven.

and the kick start doesn't work at all. it doesn't turn over the engine at all...

I know this may seem vague, but I am very new to all of this. I want to learn and am willing to do what it takes to fix myself... please help!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-27-2010, 02:50 AM
prometheus578's Avatar
prometheus578 prometheus578 is offline
XS-XJ Super Guru (RESIGNED)
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Olympia , Wa.
Posts: 4,012
First, you're going to have to get a manual for the bike. Now, yes... all bikes are similar, but it'd be hard to give you the particulars for your machine unless someone here owns one, too and has the manual for reference.
Your first problem is that the bike is not charging; you're running off of the battery. Could be something as silly as an electrical connection has pulled apart or could be the generator, regulator/rectifier, etc. Without a manual to state what the numbers are supposed to be when checking components, there's little we can mention.

Second issue: High revs and leaking carb. You need to pull the carbs and clean them. You also may have a vacuum leak. As for the leaking fuel... 90% of the time it's due to worn float needles, which you'll have to replace.

Don't feel frustrated... this is all normal stuff and we've all had to do it.
First step, though, is to get the Clymer's manual for the bike.


Edit: just reread your post. Brand new rebuilt carbs, etc. Who rebuilt them and how long ago? Unless you have a leak in the fuel tank that's dripping down on that carb... they're gonna have to be pulled and inspected.
__________________
"Damn it Jim, I'm a doctor, not a mechanic!' ('Bones' McCoy)

Last edited by prometheus578; 08-27-2010 at 02:54 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-27-2010, 09:35 AM
XS1100 Newbie XS1100 Newbie is offline
XS-XJ Guru
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Battle Ground, Washington
Posts: 1,106
I agree with the former post. Pull those carbs, do a complete clean, and reset the floats. That alone could solve a lot of problem. I did not see where you specified whether the motor turns over, and won't start, or just won't turn over. Makes a big difference, as if the motor turns over and won't start, it may be the carbs, but if it won't turn over at all, then something may be draining the battery, like a short. Be aware that with the batteries these have, that even a new battery has a short life in cranking these.
__________________
1980 XS1100LG Midnight
1991 Honda CBR1000F Hurricane


"The hand is almost valueless at one end of the arm if there be not a brain at the other"

Here's to a long life and a happy one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A cold beer and another one!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-27-2010, 09:42 AM
kierensmith kierensmith is offline
New
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 5
thanks for the replies.

i pulled the battery last night and charged it, she started fine this morning. the wires do look old/dirty. so that may be the problem. im getting the manual today, so hopefully, I can start on that issue and get it starting consistently at least...

second issue, when riding this morning, I realized as I stop when the rpms shoot up to 3.5-4, if i let the clutch out to the point where they go back down to 1.2, it will stay there and idle nicely. i have to work the rpms down basically. is this a sign of anything? when i pull the clutch out i do not give it gas when working the rpms down.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-27-2010, 10:32 AM
XS1100 Newbie XS1100 Newbie is offline
XS-XJ Guru
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Battle Ground, Washington
Posts: 1,106
I wonder if the clutch cable is routed wrong. I would check to see if the cable is somehow causing a movement of the carb linkage when pulled. There is a certain routing for the cables, and the manual should show it. Keep asking questions, and take pics of what you think the problems might be.Use photobucket for the pics, and put them on the thread. Most of all, don't get discouraged. The answers are there, sometimes it just takes a bit to find them. Remember that these bikes are not youngsters, and things probably have been replaced, and not always right.
__________________
1980 XS1100LG Midnight
1991 Honda CBR1000F Hurricane


"The hand is almost valueless at one end of the arm if there be not a brain at the other"

Here's to a long life and a happy one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A cold beer and another one!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-27-2010, 11:26 AM
prometheus578's Avatar
prometheus578 prometheus578 is offline
XS-XJ Super Guru (RESIGNED)
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Olympia , Wa.
Posts: 4,012
I'm sure you'll find that the charging system is toast. With the bike idling, the battery should be reading around 12.6 volts or there about. when you rev the engine up to around 1,200/ 1,300, etc... the charging system should kick in and the voltage will go up. Without the data from the manual.. I can't tell you at what RPM that should take place nor what the higher voltage should be. But, if you see no voltage rise when the engine is revved, you at least know that the charging system isn't working.

Your other issue is carb related. With the engine at idle, turn the handle bars fully in each direction. If the engine revs, the throttle cable is too tight or routed incorrectly.
Your carbs may be out of synch... one carb doing more work than the other which could give erratic rpm spikes.
Carb passages could be plugged mit gunk and not firing on both cylinders evenly until at slightly higher rpm when the faulty carb finally kicks in.
Vacuum leak at the carb manifolds will also cause madness.(hanging RPM)
__________________
"Damn it Jim, I'm a doctor, not a mechanic!' ('Bones' McCoy)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-27-2010, 12:41 PM
fredintoon's Avatar
fredintoon fredintoon is offline
Master of XSology
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Saskatoon SK
Posts: 6,780
Hi Kieren,
here's a Q&D charging check:-
Point the bike at a wall after dark and rev up.
If the patch of light from the headlight gets brighter, the alternator is charging.
If it don't, it ain't.
__________________
Fred Hill, S'toon
XS11SG with Spirit of America sidecar
"The Flying Pumpkin"
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-27-2010, 09:50 PM
kierensmith kierensmith is offline
New
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 5
here is a gallery with some pictures i took today after riding for about 30 minutes... you can see, everything is wet... it doesnt smell or look like gas, I am praying to god it isn't an oil leak, my oil level seems fine. is a little wetness like this normal/ok?

http://gallery.me.com/kierensmith#100113

as far as the starting issue, I tracked down the previous owner, he said to put the gas switch to prime when starting and it has been working much better, i may have just been killing it due to too many failed starting attempts..? i took the positive cable off the battery while it was running and it didnt die, this is an alternator test I was told.. I tried the light trick in the dark and didn't notice too much of a difference.

I got the manual and carb cleaner today, I will tackle this tomorrow. any tips/advice?

also, I know for a fact i didnt run over any paint, what the hell is that white stuff all over my chain/kickstand in the pics?!

sorry if i seem clueless, I sort of am, I am just getting into all of this, and I appreciate all the help/advice! this bike has taught me a lot already and I am eager to learn more!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-27-2010, 10:10 PM
XS1100 Newbie XS1100 Newbie is offline
XS-XJ Guru
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Battle Ground, Washington
Posts: 1,106
It is hard to see the wetness you are talking about. I would say you need to do a good cleaning with gunk or something, and then see what it is like after a ride. The white on the chain may be grease somebody put on. Clean and follow directions.
On the carbs for the float level check, i took a credit card, and measured my distance and cut it so it would span both floats, and rest in the right place. Worked really well. Look at the breadown of the carbs, and remove and clean all parts. Do a bench synch on them as well. There is a thead on here somewhere about doing a bench synch.
__________________
1980 XS1100LG Midnight
1991 Honda CBR1000F Hurricane


"The hand is almost valueless at one end of the arm if there be not a brain at the other"

Here's to a long life and a happy one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A cold beer and another one!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-27-2010, 10:50 PM
kierensmith kierensmith is offline
New
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 5
I also just looked through the service manual, it is in pretty bad shape... does anyone know where I can get a download online for it? I have searched all night for one!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-27-2010, 11:37 PM
fredintoon's Avatar
fredintoon fredintoon is offline
Master of XSology
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Saskatoon SK
Posts: 6,780
Hi Kieren,
I just looked at your photos. If the black thing with all the cracks in it in photo #1027 is the leftside sparkplug wire, best you change it.
__________________
Fred Hill, S'toon
XS11SG with Spirit of America sidecar
"The Flying Pumpkin"
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-27-2010, 11:40 PM
fredintoon's Avatar
fredintoon fredintoon is offline
Master of XSology
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Saskatoon SK
Posts: 6,780
Quote:
Originally Posted by kierensmith View Post
I also just looked through the service manual, it is in pretty bad shape... does anyone know where I can get a download online for it? I have searched all night for one!
Hi Kieren,
you need a real hardcopy. Your local library's tech shelf should have one you could borrow while your local bookstore brings one in for you.
__________________
Fred Hill, S'toon
XS11SG with Spirit of America sidecar
"The Flying Pumpkin"
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-28-2010, 04:35 AM
rpgoerlich's Avatar
rpgoerlich rpgoerlich is offline
XSive Maximus
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Katy, Tx
Posts: 641
Quote:
Originally Posted by kierensmith View Post
I also just looked through the service manual, it is in pretty bad shape... does anyone know where I can get a download online for it? I have searched all night for one!
Check your PM's.
__________________
Richard
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-28-2010, 07:31 AM
petejw's Avatar
petejw petejw is offline
XS-XJ Guru
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: sydney australia
Posts: 2,269
Hi Kieren,
When u adjust your idle, wait til the engine is fully
warmed up, adj the idle when the engine is cold can
cause the problems your having with a hanging idle.

also never disconnect the battery on a running engine
that can cause all sorts of problems with the electrical
system.

Bit hard to see your pics, that white stuff isnt battery
acid is it?
__________________
pete


new owner of
08 gen2 hayabusa


former owner
1981 xs1100 RH (aus) (5N5)
zrx carbs
18mm float height
145 main jets
38 pilots
slide needle shimmed .5mm washer
fitted with v/stax and uni pod filters

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pA8d..._order&list=UL
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-28-2010, 11:15 AM
kierensmith kierensmith is offline
New
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 5
i actually just replaced the battery... maybe it is? if so what do i do? do i need to re-grease the chain?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
idle, kick start, start, xs400

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Integrated by BBpixel ©2004-2018, jvbPlugin