Water in the fuel (airhead)

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by dragoon, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. dragoon

    dragoon I'm the REAL Dingo Joe

    Feb 24, 2003
    Frazeysburg, OH
    I was coming back from BYOBGYNII Sunday and my '88 GS started backfiring. It would run for a while then it would backfire, run, backfire several times. I pulled over and it died. I tried to start it and it would fire then quit.

    What I know:
    The last gas I purchased was cheapo.

    The cap on my Dakar tank has the little tit broken off where the vent tube attached and has a pin sized opening (it has been like this for years)

    It rained like a mother on Friday. No problems Fri. or Sat

    What I did:
    I dumped most of the gas out of the tank and emptied the float bowls and tapped on the floats.

    Checked the spark plugs to see if they were carboned (they weren't)

    Pulled the wires from the coil to see it they may have been corroded

    It started and I rode 1/2 mile to gas station with no problems

    I filled it with Citgo 93 (only station around)

    What happened:

    It started and I rode 500 miles home with out a hiccup

    So will an airhead backfire, hesitate and keep on runing with moisture in the fuel?

    What do you think? :ear

    Also the carbs have just been rebuilt and have 500 miles on them. It back fired once (one pop) before the BYII trip.

    The bike has 102,000 miles
  2. Rubber Cow

    Rubber Cow GS Dork

    Jul 9, 2001
    Aloha... yes, Aloha, Oregon
    Hmmmm. You bet they'll stumble if there is water in the bowls. You did the right things with the carb bowls and tank. I'd go the extra step and clean off the main jets and emulsion tubes. See the diagram on the Bing Agency's web page here
    Oh and get a new filler cap with a hose and one way check valve.
    You should also check the electrics for issues by doing the following:
    Start the bike and let it idle.
    Take you garden hose or spray bottle and wet the sparkplug cables. If the bike caughs or stutters you may have a cracked cable. The same goes for the coil. How old is yours and what color is it? I believe that the newer ones are gray. The older/stock coils eventually develop small hairline cracks. Under certain really wet conditions water will seep into the cracks and short out the coil causing stalling.
    Do you have any inline fuel filters? If not, you should ....especially if your PD tank is metal as they tend to accumulate debris which can enter the carb and casue the same symptoms.

    Hope this helps.
  3. dragoon

    dragoon I'm the REAL Dingo Joe

    Feb 24, 2003
    Frazeysburg, OH
    Thanks Jorge! I'll give these things a try. The coil is new. The old one did exactly as you said and it left me sitting on the side of the road in the rain :nod
  4. bigrichard

    bigrichard Long timer

    Nov 22, 2001
    Northern California
    When you pull the float bowls look at what's in them

    Water, being heavier than gas, will form a bubble at the bottom of the bowl

    Easy to see
  5. Queen

    Queen Long timer

    Sep 30, 2003
    That wasn't water, I saw Paul peeing in your tank :nod - too far to the potty I guess. :rofl