"New" 1990 DR350S Owner with Start Issues

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by deeve, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. deeve

    deeve Adventure Lite

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,513
    Location:
    Hillsboro, OR
    Hello! I just picked up a pretty nice and low mile (7,000) 1990 DR350S from an inmate who got rid of it because he was tired of kicking it and trying to sort it out. He said he never could get it to start well, and after taking it from winter storage it wouldn't start again, so it was time to move on. He said he checked the valves a bunch of times and cleaned the carb, but just couldn't get it to start with any regularity.

    The battery was dead, so I connected it to my Jeep for power. The lights lit up and everything electrical worked, as far as I could tell. I checked the spark and it had one. I drained the gas and put new in. I also adjusted the decomp lever. While I was at it, I checked the pilot screw and it was almost all the way in. I turned it out two turns, but it wouldn't even hint at starting. This is what I did to try and start it....

    Petcock on (it had already been replaced with a non vacuum unit.)
    Choke out, key on and RUN button out.
    I pulled in the decomp lever and kicked it slowly until it popped up, then gave it a long full kick. Nothing.
    I tried it with the choke in, out, kicking it over with the decomp lever in a bunch of times then kicking it.
    I tried holding the throttle some, not holding the throttle...nothing. Not even a tease of wanting to go.

    My plan is to pull the carb and give it a good cleaning and inspection. I want to see what jets it has in it and if there are any issues. It does have an aftermarket pipe, Cobra maybe? I cant recall and Im too lazy to walk out to the garage :freaky

    I will also check the valves and make sure they are in spec.

    My question is, am I missing anything? What should the basic jetting be? Also, how is the oil checked? I had an XR650L and I thought there was something about checking the oil with the engine warm or running..something different then the norm. I dont have an owners manual, but I do plan on getting a battery and Clymers at some point.

    Thanks!
    Dave

    PS. this isnt the greatest pic, but here it is for the ride home
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Bungholio

    Bungholio Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,547
    Location:
    Aberdeen, WA

    Many memories riding one just like it. My starting routine was to hold in the decomp and kick a few times, choke on, rotate engine till decomp releases, kicker back to top and stomp. If rode daily then the 4th time it would usually fire. I did have the vacuum hose to the petcock come off and I was pushing for a while until I looked it over and saw the hose off. Plugged it in and it started right up. That bike was a big improvement over the SP250 I had previously. Dont remember oil check procedure but it is a dry sump engine so may need to be running. Dipstick in top frame tube by headtube?
    #2
  3. deeve

    deeve Adventure Lite

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,513
    Location:
    Hillsboro, OR
    I did pull the plug and check the spark. It seems to be sparking ok.

    DAVE
    #3
  4. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    21,893
    Location:
    chico,just below rag dump(nor-cal)
    Ah........Well,I hate to be the bearer of bad news. I had one of these brand spanking new and starting was never it's strong point.

    When cold it could usually be made to start,unless it was real cold out then a heating pad had to be left on the engine cases overnight. And if it died during warmup all bets were off.

    But out on a hot day's ride,if the bike was turned off and then I tried to restart it,it was more then 3 guys working together could do to start it,sometimes. Wasnt hard to kick but not so much as a pop would come out of it. I changed carbs/plugs/jetting to no avail.
    Finally traded it for a 94 610 Husqvarna and left those premises quick like.

    Suzuki tried several fixes to make these bikes start reliably,and finally put the E-start on in 95 I think.
    #4
  5. deeve

    deeve Adventure Lite

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,513
    Location:
    Hillsboro, OR
    I have heard that about them. Too bad the e-start conversion wasn't an easy option. This one doesn't even hint that it wants to start..no sputter or anything. Usually you get a hint that it could fire up...

    DAVE
    #5
  6. plugeye

    plugeye MC rescue

    Joined:
    May 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,585
    Location:
    Garland, Texas USA
    i'm willing to wager there are many pre-Estarters that start easily.
    the 94 i'm riding now has been very reliable
    #6
  7. deeve

    deeve Adventure Lite

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,513
    Location:
    Hillsboro, OR
    And THAT is where I want this one to get at! I also noticed that he spark plug cap has electrical tape wrapped around it. I am going to peel that off and see if it is cracked. I suppose that could be another area of problem if the spark is splitting itself up.
    #7
  8. plugeye

    plugeye MC rescue

    Joined:
    May 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,585
    Location:
    Garland, Texas USA
    by all means check the plug wire & boot, valve clearances, clean the carb & ensure you have gas flow. if you encounter electrical problems, i have some replacement parts for that model if needed.
    #8
  9. deeve

    deeve Adventure Lite

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,513
    Location:
    Hillsboro, OR
    I pulled the plug and took the boot off. The rubber bushing at the bottom is hard and cracked. The actual plastic cap looks in one piece though, but I'm going to replace the whole thing with a new NGK cap.
    #9
  10. LoopGaroo

    LoopGaroo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    350
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    I have a dr350 with the tm33 carb. I found that tuning the air screw into the right place makes a big difference in getting consistent starting. I'm not sure if your bike that the CV carb or the tm33.
    #10
  11. deeve

    deeve Adventure Lite

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,513
    Location:
    Hillsboro, OR
    It has the CV carb on it, but I'm sure it makes a big difference. I'm working on getting that dialed in.
    #11