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Thread: What are you doing today? Thread

  1. #4546
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Arkansas
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    2,207
    Got a little T-dub brought to me to work on today.

    It's over twenty years old but practically brand new, under a thousand miles. It did have some running issue though, and got the parts cannon fired at it; Chinese buckshot.

    I checked some things, made loose things tight, installed a battery, cleaned the tank and filled with fresh fuel, and verified it had spark; dragon fire (Chinese ignition coil joke).

    Luckily it has a nice cheat for getting fuel directly in the manifold, after the carb. There's a vacuum port with a long tube the runs under the tank and is just plugged off. I guess they're made that way so it's plug-n-play for the California emission version. With the airbox design, there's no way to spray fuel directly into the filter side of the carb. Not without making a mess anyway.

    I verified it would pop and fart with fuel sprayed in, reinstalled the tank, then verified through he float bowl drain that the float was working. With the tank on an bowl full, it'd would start but not run for more than a few seconds of throttle hokey pokey.


    Carb off and it's looking nearly spotless, so I start to worry it's got a serious blockage somewhere that'll be hard to remove; there is a large rock stuck in the airbox after the filter. That has it's own story, which is easier to tell than remove the rock. Don't worry, it's too large to go through the carb.

    I'll remove that, but it's going to be fun no matter how I go about it.


    It turns out the last part of the needle jet was missing. Stock carb though, not some Amazon special.

    Fun stuff, figuring out what's wrong with something like that. I'm not complaining that it was brought to me, because I accepted it and it's not some derelict machine someone is expecting a miracle one, but, when someone takes something like that to a dealer shop, expect to be turned down, even if that model is still produced. There's a good reason why they do, and it's green. Can't quote repair cost on something that's been modified or charge accordingly.

    That's another cautionary tale for all the ones who think they can buy an old trike and get it running on the cheap, while having to pay other people to do it. That ain't happening, especially with something that old and God knows who has put a finger in it.

    This repair won't cost that much, as the bike is pert near new, with no major damage or wear.

    The rock in the airbox is another cautionary tale, brought to you by curious, little grandchildren hands. If you have a carb off and those little hands are around, you may want to keep a close eye on things. At least they didn't drop them directly into the engine. I was once that curious child, but didn't do much other than bombard my dad with questions while he was deep in an engine.
    The story of three wheels and a man...

  2. #4547
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    San Diego, CA
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    1,743
    Today I'm repairing the speedo cluster off my DR. It looks like at one point somebody used JB weld, which is a good fix, but probably did it while was installed on the bike.

    I'm going to grind all the JB weld off and clean it up and get it nice and straight and use Johnny Weld & Super Glue. I don't think I saw one on ebay that wasn't broke. They weigh a little over a pound and a 1/2, so it's a good amount of weight on those three plastic mounts.

    I hope I don't go anal & take everything apart and paint it (which I probably will)








  3. #4548
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Massachusetts USA
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    783
    Dang! That could have been way worse. Glad you and your wife are OK!
    1985 Tri-Z 250
    1985 ATC250R

  4. #4549
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Arkansas
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    2,207
    Thanks for introducing me to a new (to me) product.

    I've got several containers of new super glue laying about because I haven't used the stuff in years and I'm not too fond of just throwing new things out. I found it mostly useless, a mess, and worked best at gluing my fingers together than parts. I'm going to give that Johnny Weld a try.


    Are those DR350 gauges?

    When I look back to the 80's-90's and see the abundance of dual purpose bike models available from the Japanese manufacturers, it feels like the best times are over in the sense of affordable choices. Many manufacturers now are chasing after the premium market, like a $45,000 SxS.

    Yamaha had a slew of XT models, Suzuki the DR line, Honda XLs, and Kawasaki...KLR?

    Throw in the still produced two stroke, street legal off road machines and the choices were nearly limitless, and that's just from the Japanese.

    A lot of machine tech had improved by leaps and bounds, but the smaller displacement machines back then weren't meant to be performance kings, just be enough to get the job done, with reliability, ease of maintenance, and every-person affordable.

    They even had 50cc, full size motorcycles, like the DT50, which got liquid cooling and other goodies in the later years. Talk about making a person a better rider, trying to keep momentum up on something that low powered. You know they got thrashed too, because the only way to ride them was wide open, everywhere, all the time.

    If vintage and classic bikes weren't so outrageously expensive anymore, that's mostly what I'd ride. When a old and used bike is at or near new bike prices, it doesn't make any sense to buy them other than to just look at. I guess they are easier to look at though, since most things now look like insects. The colors, oh, the colors back then, they looked so fun. Now most things are industrial, depressing, sad, or angry looking. Like most of the riders and drivers, I guess.

    No more grey cars...




    A little over the top, but point well taken Fiat.
    The story of three wheels and a man...

  5. #4550
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    San Diego, CA
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    1,743
    Quote Originally Posted by ATC King View Post
    The colors, oh, the colors back then, they looked so fun.
    Amen.

    I love those 90s colors back then....they all did it. I'm glad the colorful decals of those bikes are still being reproduced and offered for sale on eBay.

    I just purchased a set for my 94 DR350, but they will unfortunately have to go on Maier side covers as buying anything oem comes from planet unicorn. I've owned my 93 since 1998. Decals, covers, etc are all original except the rear shock which is Progressive. Back then if memory serves the shock was pink....so cool.



    Give Johnny Weld a try....I'm sure you'll love it. It bonds instantly and gets rock hard....way harder than any 2 part epoxies. I even used it on my 93 Carb....still holding






  6. #4551
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    East of Worcester ma
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    1,328
    [QUOTE=ATC King;1534027]
    the only way to ride them was wide open, everywhere, all the time.

    Oh, i know that feeling very well, actually i needed to upgrade my headlight this past fall the stock one was a bit dim for night riding full throttle on back roads (ok maybe not full but close) now this light on high beam lights up my world and everyone else's.... really just experimenting loading a pic, not sure it'll work. I do really like the fact that the aftermarket has anything and everything u could want for these bikes, i got a few goodies installed this winter to try out this spring.
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    shep
    Last edited by Shep1970; 02-05-2024 at 07:54 PM.

  7. #4552
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Arkansas
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    2,207
    Quote Originally Posted by knappyfeet View Post

    I thought 350 (or smaller) because of the tach redline on the gauges you shown, but thanks for sharing your first gen 650. That thing's in stellar condition. Not many left like that.

    The one I've never seen in person is a DR Big, more precisely, the 800. I think that was the largest production single ever made. 779cc of beak performance. It wasn't the most powerful single, but I bet it had gobs of torque just off idle.








    And yes, I meant 'beak', not peak. If anyone got a chuckle, flap you hands. That's you too, BMW riders.
    The story of three wheels and a man...

  8. #4553
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Arkansas
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    2,207
    Quote Originally Posted by Shep1970 View Post
    Oh, i know that feeling very well, actually i needed to upgrade my headlight this past fall the stock one was a bit dim for night riding full throttle on back road
    It takes about the same energy to walk a mile as it does run. I'm on the same page.

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    I've rode thousands of miles on that machine and it came with only a 12vac system, including the horn.

    Do you have any idea how anemic a 12vac horn sounds? It may as well have a rubber bulb on the end.

    I don't know what the stock headlight was like, because all of that stuff was missing when I got it. It was probably about like a stock ATC200S headlight, which isn't enough for safe riding at speed, at least anything meant to see with and not just be seen.

    I pulled the stator, converted it to a floating ground, added a reg/rec, super capacitor (not much room for a battery), and installed LED lights. The lights are now more powerful than the engine, as in drivers will cuss me for both being too bright and too slow at the same time. It's like photogenic UFO now.
    Last edited by ATC King; 02-05-2024 at 11:32 PM.
    The story of three wheels and a man...

  9. #4554
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    San Diego, CA
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    1,743
    Everytime I go for groceries/beer/parts/etc,.......I'm part of the WOT club

    You can ride like a bat outta hell...full throttle and never really need to worry about getting a ticket.


  10. #4555
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Arkansas
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    2,207
    Quote Originally Posted by knappyfeet View Post
    Everytime I go for groceries/beer/parts/etc,.......I'm part of the WOT club
    I don't have any club membership, but I did win a slow race once.

    Practice makes perfect. I'll see if I can find that award, it's actually pretty nice, considering it didn't cost to enter. Believe it or not, my Suzuki out slowed all the Harleys, the one thing they should excel at.
    The story of three wheels and a man...

  11. #4556
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    San Diego, CA
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    1,743
    Today I gave tire painting a go.

    I'm getting a new set of Michelin Pilots so I practiced painting the letters on this. I would like tire lettering/rubber decals on my ride but they are expensive...not worth it. I had these yellow tire pens and it seemed easy enough. A friend did his awhile back, and they looked great. For lack of a better term his looked textured/rhino lined/etc. He did it by painting and then letting it dry for a while. Then using his finger while it's still kind of "tacky" he pressed down on the letters....making that textured appearance. Super cool.

    I do not possess his skill so mine looked not as good. One time I did it too early and smeared everything and the next time I waited a little too long and some parts were already dried.

    Still , i'm thinking if I practice and do a good job on the next set of tires....... Just parked at the local bike hang out they will be good enough while looking at them standing up.




  12. #4557
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Arkansas
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    2,207
    I've been working on this TW200 and it's eating my lunch.

    I'm double guessing everything I do because it's had other work done before and some Chinese parts installed. Add to that it's over 20 years old, with low miles. That's a recipe for disaster, as most of the rubber parts are now harder and shrunk. Even the intake boot was smaller than the clamp would hold. I had to remove the clamp stop to be able to tighten it enough the carb wouldn't just slip about.

    Anyway, it's been a big pain and exhibiting problems I haven't experienced before, so I'm having a very difficult time diagnosing them. I haven't had this kind of frustration with such a simple machine since I worked on a Kubota RTV someone plugged a ground into a positive wire on the firewall. That was bullet connectors, but the wires were different colors. There was a major short and I had equipment to trace such things, but who in the hell plugs loose wires together that are different colors just because they seen them dangling there. I'll tell you who, a government employee, riding the gravy train, with a smooth brain.


    Update: Jesus tap dancing Christ, I got it figured out!

    Saying it makes it sound easier than it was, but the important thing is to presume everything could be wrong if someone else has worked on it.

    I did get a hand on a new CDI (owner already had it), tried that and it made no difference. It was time to look elsewhere, even thought the source and pulse coil weren't in spec, I suspected that wasn't the issue. I don't like to use the resistance specs for those, instead I rely on the voltage produced, which isn't a spec but after testing enough of them there's a pretty good idea what will and won't work, at least without a load. Back probing them while connected would be better.

    Carb issues tend to affect only certain engine speeds and loads. Sometimes they won't idle but will run out, and other times they'll idle but won't rev. Then there's issues at different loads. This thing has a consistent and repeatable misfire at all engine speeds.

    The exhaust smelled rich, if there's a constant misfire it will. The engine is pumping out raw fuel during every misfire. I've seen weak CDIs than started and ran OK but the engine felt down on power. Those CDIs had issues which reduced their spark energy. One in particular that I seen ran okay but after a new one was installed it enlightened a new problem, because it now smoked like a chimney. Like an actual chimney, no exaggeration. Before, the exhaust tip was just oily, but with a new CDI the engine was able to burn that oil and produce large amounts of smoke. It ran a whole lot better though.

    I was applying past ignition experience to this TW issue and was way off, but for good reason.

    I knew the carb had been into and that a major part was left out, which should have been seen as a red flag to thoroughly check every minuscule detail. I didn't and that's a fail on my part and cost me in time that I can't recoup.

    There's rich conditions that cause engine popping, farting, hesitation, stumbles, diluted oil and all kinds of issues depending on load, RPM, and other factors. It usually affects certain functional aspects, like it'll idle but not rev, or rev but not idle. I'm not dealing with fuel pumps, fuel supply, or other issues like on vehicles. This is a gravity fed, small engine carb and while sitting, not running, it's not dribbling fuel from the bowl overflow. It's not a fuel height or pressure issue and the carb is very clean inside.

    I bought an inexpensive carb kit, which I only do for the gaskets and some other parts, not the jets. I only like to use genuine jets. The ones in cheap kits often aren't even numbered. Jets are precision machined parts. It's not a guess or close enough type of component, it has to be precise.

    The kit I bought was Taiwanese though, which tend to produce higher quality than Chinese. The jets in this one were numbered and the same as the stock TW carb, so they're not some random parts thrown in a box. That number isn't total assurance they're correct but any factory that's taking the extra step to stamp them, which cost money, is likely an actuate reproduction.


    Long story long, I pulled the carb off again and looked closer at the jets, holding the ones in the kit next to the OE, and holy moley was the pilot wallowed out. The main, possibly, but not as visually obvious.

    It's downright impressive that someone had something small enough to fit in the pilot, that was stiff enough to hold true and enlarge it that much. It was running so pig rich that it affected the entire RPM range and manifested as a hard ignition misfire at all RPM. The engine would idle but shook, like a dead miss, which I've seen before with bad ignitions.

    In the end, this wasn't a typical malfunction, it was an owner induced one and they spent a lot of money buying parts that weren't needed. It also threw me for a loop and reinforces the idea that if someone worked on it first, labor is premium priced for having to unf**k everything.
    Last edited by ATC King; 02-13-2024 at 11:39 PM.
    The story of three wheels and a man...

  13. #4558
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Arkansas
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    2,207
    For most of my life I've picked up odd mechanical jobs back home. Sometimes because I could use the money, but most of the time just to help friends and family out.

    I'm just to beat up anymore to crawl around and do that kind of work. If I had a full service shop at home, with multiple types of lifts, it wouldn't be the same situation. That would be a regular shop though, as in a normal, tax number business.

    I'm not set up like that but have taken on past jobs where a setup like that would have made me more money. At this point in life I can't justify investing that. If I were in my 20's and seen that kind of setup would pay for itself then turn a profit, sure. That's not where I'm at now but still have no shortage of people asking for major repairs. I just turned a pickup engine replacement down today because it's 4x4. I ain't touching that without a lift. Been there, done that, and my body hurts thinking about it without a lift. I really dislike 4x4 vehicle repairs anyway, especially on modern and compact vehicles. Most never see off road use and they deserve the wannabe tax.

    Before anyone dismisses me on the wannabe tax, I've worked in the oil fields, driving an 18-wheeler, hauling a frac pump. I've also drove a log truck. Both of those were in more off-road conditions than the overwhelming number of 4x4 pickup drivers will ever be in. I've drove 80,000+ pounds into and out of areas most people would never take their soccer mom F-150 into and sure in the hell couldn't get out of on their own.
    Last edited by ATC King; 02-20-2024 at 12:23 AM.
    The story of three wheels and a man...

  14. #4559
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    East of Worcester ma
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    1,328
    Water pump and thermostat replacement day...... oh what fun. Actually very easy. Only issue was the mouthful of antifreez (dexcool) draining the reservoir so less spillage into my bucket under the truck-
    She's been running cool for the last few weeks (therm wasn't closing fully) At 110,000 it was time. Water pump wasnt weaping and the bearing sounds ok but when we travel we dont take short trips its easier now than on the side of the road or hotel parking lot
    My windshield washer pump died on me too this past week, jeez ive never had that happen but its a cheaper fix.
    Out of curiosity i had a quote from a shop to do the work and they wanted $649 for parts and labor using non oem parts- this cost me about an hour of my time and a couple hundred to do it myself.

    Oh and that antifreeze does actually taste yummy (wont make that mistake again) well i'll try not to anyway. Have a great wk end guys- were off to visit my son in NY

    shep
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  15. #4560
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Arkansas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shep1970 View Post
    She's been running cool for the last few weeks (therm wasn't closing fully) At 110,000 it was time. Water pump wasnt weaping and the bearing sounds ok but when we travel we dont take short trips its easier now than on the side of the road or hotel parking lot
    That's the thing, but most people don't understand it or have very poor short term memories.


    You get one point and a free cup of tomorrow coffee, for being a responsible vehicle owner.

    Now, when you're at a busy traffic light and smell antifreeze, then ask yourself 'did I get everything tight?, is that me, oh ffs I can't get a break', then you see the vehicle next to you pull forward, dripping.

    Congratulations! While the completely oblivious go about enjoying their day, never giving two shites about anyone else on the road or seriously contemplating the odds of them not making it to their destination, they're you'll be, freaking out at the slightest smell of impending mechanical failure. Why? Because you care, enough to do unnecessary work on unbroken parts, to spare yourself the indignity of flashing crack to passersby while you struggle with something that would have been easy if done at home instead of on the roadside.


    :
    The story of three wheels and a man...

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