Friday, April 01, 2016

Fiona Update

The modified clutch cabled received yesterday, the 31st of March from Richard Winter.  It is a truly masterful modification I must say.  It bolted right up, no adjustments needed!  Took the rig out and although I experienced intermittent power losses, managed to get her into third and find the clutch didn't seem to slip!

Richard modified the old clutch perch to accept the current URAL clutch cable.  It's longer, has an adjustment point at the perch and I won't have to worry about finding and older clutch cable when it comes time to replace this one.

This is the old clutch perch for reference

 the modified clutch perch, modified to accept the 
current URAL clutch cable.

Some troubleshooting later, verified spark from both coils, and cleaned out the carburetors using some spray carburetor cleaner.  Rode it today and she did great!  For a while anyways.  Still, the clutch is definitely good to go after I adjusted the gearbox's shift lever stop for upshifts screw.  Now troubleshooting intermittent fuel starvation symptoms.

Oh, and yes, I checked the valve clearances, they were all too tight, adjusted them to spec per the Clymer manual, .004" for intake and .008 for exhaust valves.

Cleaned out the carburetors even more thoroughly now, took the main jets out and sprayed out some dark gunk, scrubbed out the fuel bowls.  Found the right fuel hose with a big bend in it constricting fuel flow to the right carburetor.  After fixing that, flow was restored but now the right carburetor fuel bowl is leaking gas.

Sigh.  Maybe I should order new floats along with new cork seals for the bowls.

Tried swapping the cork seals but no go, will hopefully get some new ones from the BMW dealer tomorrow along with a replacement foam air filter to replace the left side cone air filter which fell off during test riding today, unnoticed by me.  One step forward, two steps back.

Still, when there were no fuel issues, she ran great!  Actually shifts quieter than my 2014 Patrol.  Once I can get the fuel situation corrected, Fiona will be back on the road!  I hope.

Update: 02apr16

Baby steps I guess.

Found/fixed the leaking fuel bowl issues.  Turned out to be a leak at the fuel line where it mated to the carburetor, not the fuel bowl itself.  Still, it got me to replace both aging fuel bowl gaskets and replaced the floats on the right side carburetor as part of the process of fixing the leak.

Basically, replaced two pieces of aging fuel line with new stuff.

Installed an oil pressure gauge using a fitting crafted by BURAL for that purpose.

That done, and the muffin air filter bought and replaced this morning, I put Fiona back together, and went out for a test ride after getting her idle to run a bit high in order to "stay lit", using the harmonizer tool.

Initially, she ran like crap but after I remembered, returned for, and installed the vacuum ports on the carburetors, she ran pretty good.  High idle but good pulling power in all gears.  Oil pressure was steady at 80 psi.

A couple of miles later, she started losing power when accelerating from a stop, hesitating a bit and eventually gaining some speed and power.  Not great as during the start of the test ride.  Thought perhaps I was low on fuel since I only put a little bit in the tank at home.  Put in two gallons, no change, still no real power and occasional surging as if fuel was reaching the engine sporadically or perhaps ignition was being inconsistent.

Using a fan to blow air over the cylinders to help keep them somewhat cool

Got her home, and tried several times to balance the carbs while getting the idle to sit consistently around 1000 rpm.  The engine fluctuated a lot between 800-1300, with occasional swings lower and higher.  Could not get it to steady, decided to take a break for now. (Bural thinks it was inconsistent fuel flow to one of the carburetors causing all the problems)

Update: 2010hrs 02APR16


This afternoon, I removed the tank to check the wiring underneath, everything looked and checked out with my multimeter where I could check for continuity and such.  Didn't find anything really amiss but did see lots of wires that didn't seem to belong.  It's almost as if the previous owner had bypassed the URAL wiring harness to get the lights and such to work.

Once I put the tank back and hooked up the fuel lines again, I cranked Fiona up and damn if she didn't run just fine.  Got the harmonizer on her and got her to idle almost steadily at around 1070 RPM +/- 20 which was much better than the wild swings before!

The theory is that fuel was sporadically not reaching one cylinder and so causing the unsteady idle and wild throttle swings.  It makes sense, when I moved the tank to check the wires, I must have sloshed the fuel inside and caused the rust or whatever inside the tank to move away from one of the two drain points for fuel.

Took her for a test ride, and she ran sweetly.  Smooth and responsive, good power on the hills.

Then suddenly, while I was turning right from Smoky Hill Road onto the Smoky Hill Library, the engine cut out.  Couldn't get her re-started!  I pushed her into the nearby library parking lot and called Martha my loving wife to get me so I could retrieve my tools and such.

I could hear the starter cranking but engine wouldn't catch.  No lights at all, which was weird too.

Once Martha brought me back to Fiona with my tools and such, I got to work troubleshooting.  Checked the wiring again under the tank, nothing amiss.  Checked the fuses, nothing, they were all fine.  Checked inside the headlight bucket, which is a snake's nest of wires, and found no fuses there.

Then I happened to spot an inline fuse!  It was at the rear of the headlight bucket, checked it and the 15 Amp fuse within was indeed blown.  I got a spare fuse from my tool kit and replaced it.  The bike started right up!  Damn.  I am going to have to find out what that fuse is protecting.  I had been running with the high beam light and auxiliary driving lights on so perhaps I eventually overloaded a circuit.

Put Fiona back together, got Martha from the house, she took the car home and I motored home while conversing on my Sena headset with Bural about the latest issues.

Tomorrow, going to replicate the fuel line setup on Brigitta for Fiona to avoid one clogged up fuel line causing rough running of the engine.  Boxer engines really don't like running on just one cylinder and this should prevent it being a clogged fuel line issue anyways.

Here's a short video showing the current idle setting RPMs and oil pressure.


RichardM said...

Where is the oil pressure gauge tied in?

SonjaM said...

Wow, she seems to be a handful, your Fiona, eh? Glad to hear your wife is on standby for recovery purposes ;-)

redlegsrides said...

RichardM, Bural made a fitting that accepts standard 1/8" fittings on the outer end and threads into the oil sensor mounting hole on the engine case end. He's quite the machinist.

SonjaM, all females can be a handful at times! :)
Mostly kidding of course, and yes, my Martha is very supportive. Fiona's issues are mostly due to her having sat for a while due to clutch issues while with her previous owner.

David Masse said...

Supportive?? A saint I told you, Martha is a saint. Lucky for you you married the saint and not one of those Russian lasses, what a fickle high maintenance lot they are.

redlegsrides said...

David Masse, truly she's a saint for putting up with my obsessions.