In memory of Jim Adams - an R60/5 build diary

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by backdrifter, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    Edit: oops.. had not read all of the above... below is about carbys:

    Make sure you adjust the float level... with the carbs on the bike: with bowls off, hold the float gently and turn on the gas. The idea is to have fuel shut off completely when the float tops are "level", or parallel to the carbs. As the float drops, the fuel should start to flow.

    TIP: I have done the above, OFF BIKE, by simply using some (unused!) fuel line which I stuck in my mouth to blow air, and holding the carbs up at eye level while I moved the floats up and down. You can easily feel/hear/see the proper "float level"...

    The adjustment is done by gently bending the little tab that actually pushes the float needle up.

    Once you get it adjusted, then try it "live" on the bike... if you still are getting fuel overflow, then chances are that the floats are sinking. Those foam floats can be nasty looking and orange and still work fine, but they should not have absorbed ANY fuel.

    If the leaking happens intermittently, it is likely that the tab/float-needle interface is not sliding, and it could be either a worn/cruddy tab, or a bad needle. Of course, replacing both needles and both floats should get rid of any hardware problems! ($$!)

    Good luck!
    :D

    Further edit: your car battery/jump should provide enough juice for ignition system, if not turnover by starter. Are you sure you have your switch "on".... those Slash 5 "switches" can be pretty funky! If you can, just make sure you are getting 12v to the coil when the switch is "on"... and then the next thing to check is that your points are opening/closing and not shorting.
    #41
  2. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Hi bpeckm,

    I'm not sure of anything! :D The key is pushed all the way in and in the center position. A red light comes on, and a yellow light that supposedly indicates when the bike is ready to be started. Both come on, and the bike cranks (albeit weakly), but no ignition.

    Can you overfill the float bowl by using the tickler? I tried both before starting the bike just a few moments ago and then the left carb started leaking again. It had not been leaking since I set it up yesterday morning.

    I'm starting to feel like I'm going in circles....
    #42
  3. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    Yes, you can overfill with tickler.. you must have the early carbs to have the tickler. Try leaving them alone... it sounds as though you need to sort out the spark problem, first!

    If you are getting those lights, then yes, the switch is working. But you still need to find why you are not getting spark. Try these:

    Easiest check for spark: pull both plugs (makes it easier to kick/turn over, put the caps on the plugs and lay them on the cylinders. Then kick/turn over. You should see SOME kind of spark. Get new spark plugs (you will want them, anyway), since a flooded (over-flowing gas) plug is notoriously hard to fire.


    Read up on points: they are dead simple, but seem to give "those of the younger generation(s)" a hard time. The points simply provide an intermittent electrical ground to give time for the build-up of the coil "spark"...

    If the bike has not been run for some time, the points are the likely suspect for a no-spark condition, as they could have been stuck in either open or closed position, and in either case you would not have spark.

    To check points, first disconnect the battery neutral. Then, and only after the disconnect, remove the front cover of the engine. The points are down at the bottom. You can see them open and close as the starter rotates the engine. If they remain open, or remain closed, you must free them up and set them properly. Lots of places to find how to do this....

    Get started, and let me know.

    I have a 60/6, and a couple of friends with /5's, so I am reasonably familiar with your problem(s)... feel free to pm me and I can get in touch by email, or phone if it helps!

    :D
    #43
  4. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    I appreciate your help very much.

    The problem is, I am seeing some spark - I did the test you recommended of laying the spark plugs on the cylinder head yesterday. Interestingly, I'm seeing NOTHING when kicking, but when I connect the bike to the car battery and use the electric start, I see a nice strong spark. Perhaps it's still not strong enough? I did get new spark plugs too - NGK BP7ES, same as was in the bike when I got it.

    What should the plug gap be (I couldn't find this info in Clymer or with Google)? Is it possible that all or some of the connections are just corroded enough as to weaken the spark to a point of not being sufficient?

    By the way, thanks for the advice on the tickler. I went out and drained the float bowl back in to the tank, wiped everything down, and reassembled. I kicked her over a few times and tried with the battery again, and no fuel leaking. I'm glad it was just the tickler - I was rapidly losing confidence!
    #44
  5. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    It sounds as though your spark is "strong enough"... you are likely not seeing spark when kicking because your battery is just plain ng. With a jumper, you are providing the 12v necessary for the ignition system to fire.

    OK, next try this. Leave your fuel shut off. Assuming that the carbs are on the bike, remove the air tubes between the carbs and air cleaner, and spritz a small amount of ether (starting fluid) into the mouth of each carb. Turn it over. If you hear any kind of pop, or effort to start, you do have ignition and the problem is likely in the carbs, or possibly in wrongly-timed engine. The starting fluid will bypass any carb problem for a couple of seconds...

    What you are trying to do is to confirm that a) you have spark, and then b) the spark works under "working" conditions (compression), and then c) that you have some fuel delivery.

    I have to leave the computer now, so will not be back online til tomorrow am, but if you pm me I can get an email on my phone, and I could call you if you run into a problem...

    :D
    #45
  6. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Thanks again VERY much for your efforts!

    I have not reconnected the tubes between the air cleaner and the carb (too much effort when the carbs have been coming off 20 times a day!).

    I have been spraying just a small shot of starting fluid into each carb before trying to fire her up, and I have not heard anything that sounds like any kind of ignition. So, perhaps it is a spark issue afterall - but interesting since I'm seeing a spark, don't you think?

    I appreciate the offer to contact you directly (and may take you up on it down the line), but I hate to bother you on a Sunday, and it's beer thirty, so I think I'm going to call it a day and start grilling and drinking beer. Thanks so much for your help! It sounds like the next step will need to be walking backwards through the electric system and checking everything out. I'll check the points as well, as you suggested.

    Thanks again!
    #46
  7. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

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    Sounds like the perfect workin'-on'-an-airhead-with-crazydrummerdude atmosphere...

    :ddog






    :lol3
    #47
  8. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Yeah, it does sound like good wrenching time, doesn't it?

    As much as I would like to take you up on your offer to help (and still may), it's tough. I have a crazy life with a busy wife and a two year old daughter, and because of this, time spent working on the bike is never planned. Instead, I suddenly find myself with a spare hour or two here or there and go out to the garage. Being out in St. Charles, it's about a 45 min drive from you to me, so by the time you got here, I'd be wrapping it up and going back to Daddy Duty!

    I truly do appreciate the offer though - if nothing else, we'll have to meet at the Triumph Grill for a beer once my steed is roadworthy!
    #48
  9. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    ..or he could come over and help, then you could do Daddy Duty while the 'dude marks time (he's good at it I hear!) and then go back with some beer and.....:wink:

    :D
    #49
  10. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Not a bad idea, not bad at all! :D

    BMW shop is open again tomorrow. On the shopping list: new points (might as well), new battery, and I managed to lose the little brass insert that holds the clutch cable into the lever... :pissed
    #50
  11. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    The riddle continues. I know it seems like I've spent a lot of time on it, but I really only get a half hour here and there.

    Got a compression gauge and did a compression test tonight.

    Question - does it matter how many kicks of the kick starter it takes to get to your high reading? I did 13 to 15 kicks per cylinder and wound up with a left cylinder reading of 135 psi and a right cylinder reading of 140 psi. Seemed pretty healthy to me.

    BUT, if I did 4 kicks per side, I got readings closer to 90 psi. Does this matter?
    #51
  12. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Quick question - where should the fuse panel be on my bike? Everything that I read says it should be in the headlight bucket, but I don't see it, do you?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #52
  13. Roach Carver

    Roach Carver Been here awhile

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    looking into the headlight, I believe it is at about 4 oclock. should be the plastic holder with the inline fuses inside...... I think. my 71 does not have fuses.
    #53
  14. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Thanks Roach Carver - never seen a fuse box look like that, and the Clymer manual showed a normal fuse panel like a car would have.

    Well, I checked and there are only two fuses. Both seemed fine, which is disappointing because the bike won't start anymore.

    I had it hooked up to my car battery to get her started and the positive lead slipped while I wasn't looking and grounded out on the frame. Looking for suggestions as to what to check next. The red light on the speedo will come on, and so will the lights and the horn will operate, but the 2nd light that comes on to let you know the bike is ready to start hasn't come on, and when I push the electric starter I get absolutely nothing.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!
    #54
  15. Hawk Medicine

    Hawk Medicine Coyote's Brother

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    Oops! Someone posted while I was writing!

    It's good to see that you're at least trying to do things on proper order. The first time I went through what you're doing. Well... You don't want to know! :lol3

    I've come up with a new rule that I have to add to my personal Airhead Cannons: "Never refuse help from another Airhead!"

    Before you go much further, see if you can get together with the wife, schedule three hours or four hours for working exclusively on the bike and take CDD up on his offer to help. Crazy has a good understanding of machines in general and hes been screwing around with Beemers lately, so he may be able to get your bike running (Or close to it.) very quickly.

    After grounding the electrical system, you'll have to check the wiring harness for damage. My experience is that when it comes to wiring, two heads are better than one.

    Also: If you haven't done a complete tune-up yet, do one now. Check the timing, set the valves, clean or better yet replace the points and condenser, clean the electrical connections to the coils, charge the battery even if it's new, check the grounds and plug cables, etc. Then double check your work.

    Remove all of the excuses for the bike not to run and should start right up!:wink:

    PS: IMO it'a kinds difficult to jump an Airhead, using automotive jumper cables. Better to make up a dedicated set, using smaller clamps from Radio Shack and lighter wires. I made up a set 20 years ago and they've come in very handy.
    #55
  16. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    I replaced the points and had the bike starting and running - not well, but running. Once running I could tell it was going to need new gaskets all around - oil was seeping through everywhere. I got cocky and decided I was going to take it for a blast around the neighborhood before I tore the engine down, just to be able to say that I've ridden the thing. That's when I managed to short out the electrical system. Damn - just when things were going so well! :D

    I'm planning the full tune up after all the new gaskets are installed. They're on order now - hopefully in the next week. That doesn't worry me, what DOES worry me is this new electrical problem. I don't get along well with electrical issues. Guess I'd better go buy an ohm meter. It's always something, isn't it?
    #56
  17. Hawk Medicine

    Hawk Medicine Coyote's Brother

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    OK! Now you're cookin with gas!

    Since you know that the bikes runs, you may not want to do this but what you can do is stop right where you are and get into disassembling, cleaning and painting the bike. You're going to have to search out some replacement parts here and there but that easy. Having the bike run is the big "go-ahead" signal, right?

    Everybody's different. I don't mind cleaning stuff and twirling wrenches but I hate doing electrical work. Actually, it's more like the electrical stuff hates me, cause it's always blowing smoke in my face. Hell.. Once I even set myself on fire, tryin to fix a broken darkroom timer. :lol3

    Luckily, the last time I had a Airhead wiring problem Wirespokes showed up from Oregon looking for an empty bed, so I got him to play with the electrons. I owe him one but the interest rate is alarmingly low! :wink:



    <a href="http://whitehawk.smugmug.com/Other/FRIENDS/13892946_CTzaH#1019347744_RXrwa-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://whitehawk.smugmug.com/Other/FRIENDS/SUMMER-2010-027/1019347744_RXrwa-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    Keep up the reports. You're doin good!

    PS: For the level of accuracy that we need, the cheap meters from Harbor Freight work just fine. If you watch for the coupons in motorcycle mags or on the net, you can sometimes buy em for as little as $3.00. I have several and they've served me well.
    #57
  18. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    #58
  19. bmwblake

    bmwblake upside down parker

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    this would be my next step. you're to a point that you need to trace and find a failure. yes, there will always be something.



    #59
  20. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Happy birthday to me!!! :D

    Today is the big 33, and as a gift I received.... the R60 title!

    Apparently my wife kept bugging her mom to keep looking for it so they could surprise me with it for my birthday. They finally did find it late last week and gave it to me (along with a really cool R/C boat) for my birthday tonight.

    I had already started looking into the procedure for filing for a lost title posthumously, but luckily I don't have to worry about that now. Now I just need to get the electrics worked out (I'm thinking a fried diode board, from my initial, very rudimentary investigation), and then start slapping in new engine gaskets everywhere.

    It was a great ending to good day - and a jolt of motivation to get moving again!
    #60