Pimp's Rowdy 150

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by Pimpwerx, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Pimpwerx

    Pimpwerx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    22
    Hi. I'm new to scooting, This is my first scooter. I've ridden a bicycle for almost 30 years, and I've ridden a friend's motorcyle once, but that's about all my 2-wheel experience.

    I ordered my Rowdy from Motobuys and after some waiting for customs, and some headaches with Conway Freight (totally unprofessional), it arrived today. It comes with some tools, but I strongly recommend getting your own. I'm not gonna make a list, just have a decent toolbox handy. My bike was supposed to come with a free half-helmet, but that didn't happen. I have to sort that out later.

    Here's my makeshift PDI:

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    There she is still on the crate. I only removed the cardboard. I noticed immediately that the bike was damaged. I also noticed immediately that it wasn't the color I wanted. I wanted black as my first option, but I guess they ran out. So red was my second option, and that's what I got. It's not bad.

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    Some gorilla Donkey Kong smashed the crate in transit, cracking the left side panel. That or someone didn't tie it down. Motobuys says they'll send a replacement for the damaged parts and file a claim with Conway Freight.

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    Removing one of these things from the crate is not as easy as suggested. Sure, the bolts some off easy, but then the clothes hangers used to cinch the wheels down must have been tied into a knot by some machine. Those were a bear to remove. Then I was reminded of how weak I am when I struggled to roll the bike forward and over the support rail that was holding up the large bike stand. There she is, free of the cage. I attached the handlebars and removed plastics.

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    Panels removed, and ready for the inspection. I have to warn that part of my problem with Conway was they were late. 1 day and 3 hours late, to be exact. So, I didn't get very meticulous. I performed a thorough scan of all hoses and wires to make sure they weren't pinched or loose. I have 1/4" fuel hose, and ordered 3/16" vacuum hose. I'll replace everything by the end of the month. With daylight burning, I decided to focus on fluids.

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    I'm not fancy, but I have a photographic memory. So I usually just lay bolts and screws with their associated body parts and rely on memory for their placement on said pieces. This did give me a few fits as the panels have to go on in a certain order. Photographic memory doesn't help with sequencing. :lol3

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    This is what it looks like under the seat. A battery compartment that I'll probably also use for registration and other paperwork. Here's my first real complaint about this bike. The lock on the seat is crap. It locks when you don't want it to and won't lock when you need it to. Something's fouling the operation of the lock, so I need to take a closer look and fix it. The operation of the seat adjustment took a lot of effort, at first, but operates smoothly. It was well greased. The seat feels solid, though I need to adjust it and the handlebars, still.

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    Closer look with the panels off.

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    My second complaint. This storage box is a piece of junk. Mine came misshapen, and refuses to stay locked. I'm keeping my disc lock alarm in there, and it's driving my nuts everytime it opens up after I hit a bump. I'm also gonna have to go in and fix this. There's enough space for a small set of tools and my lock alarm. You can probably fit a chain lock in there too. Not much else. I'm not putting any money on it being waterproof, but I'm gonna use it anyway.

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    Not a lot of shots of the rear wheel and brakes online. I thought I'd take some.
    #1
  2. Pimpwerx

    Pimpwerx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    22
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    Closer look at the left side with the panels off. There wasn't anything pinched or kinked. I got a good look at everything too.

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    Here's two bolts to hold the front panel on, but I can't reach them. I don't know if it's even possible. I might have to loosen the two top bolts first, and then squeeze a long ratchet in there...or maybe just use magic.

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    A closer look at the front wheel and disc brake.

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    I was expecting a digital dash, as that's what I've seen in pics of this bike. I have no idea why the 2012 version of the Rowdy went back to the analog dash. I have no rpm gauge, and I have no clue or faith that the fuel gauge is reading properly. I think I'm gonna have to replace this POS first. I really don't like it. I really don't even use it. It's reading 5mph or so high at 45mph. This according to those radar signs on the side of Biscayne.

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    The gas cap and on the other side is the little bay, on the left, where I currently keep my Xena disc lock alarm, while I figure out how to get the storage box to stay closed.

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    Her butt tells the world she's not an actual Big Ruckus. That's coming off eventually. You will want to have a set of shortish license plate screws/bolts on hand. The bolts I used were too long, so I couldn't tighten the bolts for the mount down. As a result, I lost the two nuts holding those bolts, and my license plate fell off near my house. I rescued it, and now I have a trip to Home Depot for more bolts. LOCTITE EVERYTHING. I have a tube of loctite sitting around here. I just chose not to use it because of the lack of time. I will be securing every damn bolt on this bike. It vibrates enough that I'm scared of more bolts rattling loose. It's a legitimate concern.

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    These ugly things will never grace this bike. I'll have to find some laughing man decals or something. I think I'm gonna go all black sometime down the road. Maybe matte black. Maybe the red will grow on me.

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    The routing of some of these fuel lines is questionable, but nothing pinched or kinked.

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    I got it in my head that I would also do a carb adjustment, so I took out the battery tray to get better access to the engine. I didn't do the carb adjustment, because I don't know where the fuel/air adjustment dealy is. I see the idle control, but I need to find the air/fuel mixture knob.

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    I changed the oil to Valvoline Nextgen 10w40. Why? Why not? It's only going in for the first 1500 miles, then I'm switching to Mobil1, which I've used in my cars the last decade.

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    I have the Prima magnetic oil plugs, so I had to pinch the tip of the screen so it slipped into the center of the magnet. Otherwise, the screen will not allow you to screen in the plug. I also made sure to spray the spring and screen with brake part cleaner and let them dry first. I lubed the o-ring on the magnetic drain plug before putting it in.
    #2
  3. Pimpwerx

    Pimpwerx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    22
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    Next, I changed the gear oil. I filled with Redline 75w90, which I've used in my 325Ci the last couple of years. I used the marine pump you see pictured. I got that from Pepboys a couple years ago. It works effectively, and can keep your hands clean of the stuff. Gear oil is one of the worst-smelling car fluids ever. Really disgusting and pungent. I understand they sell gear oil in nozzled bottles now, but not Redline. So this was my only option.

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    I just filled it until the fill hole said no mas. The environment took one for the team here, as I was slow reacting...very slow.

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    Prima provided me 3 plugs. The big one from before was for the oil. The two brass ones here also came with that one. I used the one on the towel as my drain plug and just switched the washer from the old plug to the new, magnetic one. The big plug that's sitting on the pavement, I don't know what that goes with. I'm holding it in my toolbox for now. Maybe someone can buy me a clue. One thing to note is that the new magnetic drain plug for the transmission is a different size from the original. My bike came with a 10mm bolt, and Prima gave me a 12mm bolt.

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    I've never seen something like this, so I thought I'd snap a pic. It locks the handlebars, and then it has a shield for the ignition. Interesting. I'm not sure how much I'll use that. Plus, it just makes the key even more uncomfortable to hold.

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    Here's most of what I had. My trusty little Craftsman socket set, brake parts cleaner, measuring cup (for engine oil), pump, funnels, shop rags and a printed copy of this PDI.

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    I forgot to do it at the start, when my hands were clean, so I Gojo'd the gear and engine oil off my mitts and swapped out the spark plug for a NGK Iridium. My odometer read 0.6 miles, and the plug was black. I don't know why. I haven't looked at my iridium plug yet, but I hope I've got everything running fine.

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    My first impact driver. I don't know what took me so long. This thing doesn't have enough torque to remove the lugnuts on my car. I'm thinking it's not gonna have the power to remove the variator nut. I hope I'm wrong.

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    There's a "convenient" access panel on each side panel. I admire the effort, but I have no clue what I could use either of these for. You talk about a bridge to nowhere, these are doors to nowhere.

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    I finally put the footrests and mirrors on. The seat is waiting for the battery, which still didn't seem to be fully-charged after a solid 5 hours on my 1.5A charger. I didn't read the mAh rating on the battery, so I assumed it was 7mAh. Maybe it's bigger and I should have charged longer. Oh well.

    I have no pics of it, but the first thing I actually did (after swearing at the damage) was fill the battery and then put it on for a charge. By the time I got it in the bike, it was dark outside. I'd already lost all my mojo and settled into a 30 minutes, expletive-riddled search for the keys. It turns out I hid them under a piece of paper in the den.
    #3
  4. Pimpwerx

    Pimpwerx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    22
    When I first started the bike, it needed a little gas to start. I let it idle for a bit and then took off. It was already dark, so I got to test out the lighting. The headlight is decent. People will be able to see me, but it doesn't light the road that well. I still want to switch to the Big Ruckus dual headlight setup at some point. I don't anticipate driving much at night, but it would be nice for safety.

    This is my first scooter, and I've only logged 30 miles (I'm changing the oil first thing in the morning). I can't compare the performance to anything else, but I'll give my opinion anyway.

    Break-in - I'm going with a hard break-in, so I'm basically driving it like I stole it. I try to give it a lot of revs, and varied throttle. If I get it wrong, I can always try an easy break-in when I upgrade the engine down the road.

    Acceleration - Felt adequate. I feel I want to street bike now, because above 40mph on the lame speedometer, acceleration was very slow. I don't know if I hit 50mph at all. I have to take it across the causeway to the beach. I'll get to try it going downhill.

    Speed - The fastest I got was 45 or so, according to the radar signs on the side of Biscayne. That's when it flashes "slow down" instead of your speed. Everything is stock and being broken-in. I guess I'll have to be patient in this department.

    Handling - The tires ended up being overinflated to 43psi each. Max rating is 36psi. They could have just been warm, but they were still definitely overinflated and were too firm. I lowered them to 32psi, and the ride feels more comfortable. The shocks don't do much, though there are two of them in the rear. The front is not an issue, but the back transfers every bump to your butt. The front felt solid at speed, and I felt comfortable leaning both ways into turns.

    Comfort - The riding position is awesome. The seat is a bit too firm, though. I saw someone reupholster theirs. That sounds like a great idea. This being my first scooter, I wonder if the vibrations are normal. I guess I expected a smooth ride, but the engine doesn't give me that throaty sound I hear from bigger bikes, and the sometimes jarring ride isn't as dampened as I expected. I'd love to upgrade the suspension as much as I'd love to get some more power from this thing. I wish there was a stretch kit for this thing.

    Braking - I rode a scooter with drum brakes once before. This is nothing like that. I felt like I could brake with confidence. It's still a longer distance than with my car, but I feel stable and confident under even hard braking. The brakes do make more noise than I'd like, and I think I'm gonna try bedding in the brake pads tomorrow.

    That's it for me tonight. I'm exhausted. I spent the entire day at my parents' house waiting for my delayed shipment, and then working frantically to get it inspected and road-worthy. I'm going to sleep. I'll be updating this thread with my experiences with the bike. I'll try to document tomorrow's oil change. PEACE.
    #4
  5. Tarka

    Tarka Doesn't wave back.

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,089
    Location:
    Across the pond.
    Brilliant thread with superb photos and info...thanks a bundle for the effort !!:freaky

    I really like those bikes after reading the 'My Chinese Big Ruckus Clone' thread on here.

    I`d LOVE a real Big Ruckus but they`re rarer than unobtanium over here,so you have helped me a great deal in thinking of one of these instead,as I`m sure I could get one over here somehow.

    Regarding the impact driver,you`d probably find a hand held one that you strike with a hammer to be far more durable and capable,especially for very tight fasteners.

    Sure the mystery plug bolt isn`t from under the engine for full oil drainage ?
    Just a thought.

    Thanks again!!
    #5
  6. ronnath

    ronnath Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,447
    Location:
    iowa
    excellent write-up and pix.

    between this and the "'My Chinese Big Ruckus Clone" thread anyone buying one of these clones should be good to go.

    thanks for posting.
    #6
  7. ABritOnMaui

    ABritOnMaui Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    149
    Congratulations on the scoot! Re the shipping, judging by the huge dent in the side beam of the crate it took a knock during shipping. Having said that, I don't see that it was well secured within the crate either. I have seen much better packing jobs with additional struts welded into place and used to support the scoot.

    You did right with the PDI! It will need quite a bit of love over time, however, it will reward you. My gy6 150 (same engine as yours, different shell) was great but I did spend a lot of time keeping on top of issues before they happened. You also have to adopt something of a 'walmart' attitude to parts. A carb is maybe $25, the cdi / coil etc isn't much more. Keep spares, you will need them and for all you can faff around repairing stuff like the carb (the diaphragms are notoriously weak) its quicker to simply replace it. Carry superglue with you to do an emergency fix on the diaphragm.

    Also, you mention switching to dual headlights, you may wish to uprate the stator to help. There are much better bulbs about than stock. Switching all none headlight bulbs to LED's gives you more light for less power, freeing up power. The battery it came with will likely be junk. I just charged mine up weekly, some Friday's it still needed a kick start. It's like having a British bike from the 50's (insert joke about the brits drinking warm beer because lucas made refrigerators :)). If its allowed on the forum I have a couple of links to places that I used for bulbs and led's, the bulbs you probably want to wait on though until you replace the headlights and see what sockets you need. Also check out the fuse, if its a glass cylinder type you may wish to replace it with a standard auto fuse inline socket. A couple of dollars and a quick solder and you have a better solution.

    Let me know how the breakin goes. I am a fan of the ride it like you stole it breakin, however, I wasn't sure it was best for older engine designs when I got mine. I am not saying I am right, just interested to see how it goes for you!

    Edit: The air / fuel mix is usually a screw near the base of the carb, looking at that picture of yours, I'm guessing its towards the bottom of the carb, on the top right (from the viewpoint of that picture), possibly by where the black hose is running. There are a whole shedload of gy6 manuals about the place with diagrams etc.
    #7
  8. Pimpwerx

    Pimpwerx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    22
    I'd like to know that. I took two pics of it.

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    Do I need to drain that plug along with the big one that has the screen? If so, I guess I'll complete my next oil change tomorrow when I hit 100 miles instead of when I hit 150. I supposed that could be where that extra Prima magnetic bolt goes. PEACE.
    #8
  9. Pimpwerx

    Pimpwerx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    22
    I'll look into buying spares, or just keeping old units around as backups, if I upgrade anything.

    I know about upgrading the electrical system for the BR headlights. I think I'll leave that mod for summer at the earliest. Thanks for the reminder about the fuse. I saw it and knew I needed to replace it, but I didn't have time. I also didn't know what amp rating it had.

    I'll let you guys know how it breaks in and how it performs. Adjusting the tire pressure made the ride a lot better, though I would still like to upgrade the rear shocks.

    As for the air/fuel mixture screw, I took pics of where it should be. Where there should be a knob or screw, there's a flat face. It doesn't look like anything broke or got sheared off. It just looks like that hole was filled.

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    I don't know what to make of it. I just know I'm not taking the panels off again until I know where to look for that thing. The other side of the engine looks like this:

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    I'll try to track down a manual/schematic. PEACE.
    #9
  10. Pimpwerx

    Pimpwerx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    22
    Oh yeah, I took a pic of the storage compartment opened. I don't think anyone's taken a pic to show the amount of space in there.

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    You can fit a number of narrow or tubular things in there, but the rear deck is where it's at.

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    This is the problem I have with the box not closing properly. It sits open like this, and then falls completely open after a few bumps. It stayed shut all day today, but I don't know if that's just coincidence, or because the heat from the engine bay is reshaping the box back into form. I make it a point to close it properly each time. Hopefully it starts sealing properly so I don't have to take it out and heat gun it myself.

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    A parting shot of my disc lock in its temporary storage place. Unfortunately, that makes that little door flip open at speed.

    Sorry, I didn't take pics of the oil change today. There were tiny flakes of metal in the oil and on the magnet. I don't know when I'm gonna change the gear oil again. Maybe at 150 miles, or at 500 miles. PEACE.
    #10
  11. deezildennis

    deezildennis Its a what?

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    913
    Location:
    in the powa band
    Sweet!

    Almost as Nice as Mine... Almost... :)

    Can you adjust that side box to get it to close better?

    I Donno...I like the analog speedo!

    I Havent swapped out my headlight. I Still really dig the big ole ugly square light.


    Good Times! Have fun with it. I Know I Have with mine.
    #11
  12. wanna bECO

    wanna bECO Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    727
    Location:
    Third stone from the sun
    :lurk great report... what did u pay
    #12
  13. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Western Montana
    Nice buy. Nicer write-up.

    I had damage to mine, too - that somehow the brick&mortar didn't catch or hoped I wouldn't. I didn't, until I got home and the busted panel fell apart at the touch - the forward splash-shield right behind the front wheel, protecting the gas tank.

    My top speed is 51 mph, and at that speed the engine is over the redline. Which is odd since I'm a heavy cuss; a lighter rider would have the engine whipping to the redline even faster. Needs different weights in the variator.

    The speedo change, is immaterial. The thing is so far off it's literally useless, digital or analog. It's right between kPh and mph...remember 100 kPh is 62 mph. Ninety kPh is about 55. Yet on mine, a reading of 60 is 49. That doesn't cross-rate to anything.

    So...I'm planning to mount a GPS right on the front bar , probably blocking the useless speedo.

    Anyway...it's a good package and excellent value - except for the limited top speed. I'd love to find a way to bump it up to 65...or more accurately, a cruising speed of 65. But whether I do or not...I like the ride.
    #13
  14. deezildennis

    deezildennis Its a what?

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    913
    Location:
    in the powa band
    I want to get my Rucklone out and go riding now!

    I Hope Motobuys takes care of you.

    Are you able to put it up at night or do you have to store it outside?
    #14
  15. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Western Montana
    I'd love one, too - but they're spendy; they're yesterday's technology (rear drums and stamped-steel wheels) and frankly, other scoots of that engine size give a better riding experience for much less money.

    So...much as I love the style, unless a BR drops into my lap, I'll content myself with a RucKlone.

    I just wish it would go just a little faster...and that I could have more confidence in running it WOT for long periods.
    #15
  16. Warney

    Warney Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    568
    Location:
    Omaha, Ne
    You own an R1200GS and think a Honda Big Ruckus is spendy?:rofl
    #16
  17. Pimpwerx

    Pimpwerx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    22
    $1455 from Motobuys.

    Outside parking lot at my apartment building. I have a cover and disc lock alarm. However, seems I might have some issue to handle with my building manager regarding parking motorcycles in parking spaces.

    I hope I can. It looks like it's completely plastic, so I think I can form it into shape properly with a heat gun. The top of the box is slightly warped, so the cover doesn't want to sit properly where the lock engages. So it slips looks and the thing pops open. So far, not once today, and I've done some hard riding today. Maybe it's already coming around. PEACE.
    #17
  18. ABritOnMaui

    ABritOnMaui Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    149
    It 'should' be on this side . In theory it is to the left of the auto enricher. I think I see it. It should be a slightly recessed flathead screw. It looks like it is just below that black pipe \ breather hose is to the left of the two screws holding the autoenricher in place. To the left of those screws is an approx 1 inch brassy circle, now go down a little to the bottom of that breather hose and I think I see it hiding there :)

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    carb2 by ABritOnMaui, on Flickr

    Circled in red.
    #18
  19. Pimpwerx

    Pimpwerx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    22
    Two days in and couldn't agree more. The speedo is just plain useless. I've never looked at a gauge and laughed before. I feel like plastering a sticky over the top of it and write "something" on it. I'm going some speed. Slightly faster than city traffic and slightly slower than causeway traffic. That could be anywhere from 45-55mph.

    The next time I change the gear oil, I'm gonna take the variator apart and start logging roller weight changes and performance. I will have to find some sort of metric that doesn't use rpms though. I guess the butt dyno mixed with GPS readings will do. I'm thinking lighter weights, even if it means even lower top speed. I only have to cross the causeway a two days of the week, so I'd rather have more acceleration around town. PEACE.
    #19
  20. Pimpwerx

    Pimpwerx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    22
    Thanks for the edited pic. That's exactly what I was looking at when I snapped that picture. There's a bit of an optical illusion from the reflection. That's not a flat head screw. That's a completely-flat surface. It doesn't look like a screw was broken or sheered-off. It looks like the hole was filled, or almost like they didn't drill the hole, but milled a little circle there.

    I've pressed and poked at it with my screwdriver, and it's solid. No give, no rotation, no nothing. The PDI I printed had a diagram of the engine, and that's where the screw was supposed to be. I've also seen and done limited work with model airplane engines, and they're pretty much setup the same way with the idle and fuel screws.

    So...any ideas? It's not like the engine is stalling on me or giving trouble starting, but I would like to have some control over how my engine runs. PEACE.
    #20