'86 VF500 won't start

Discussion in '1st & 2nd Generation 1983-1989' started by Mikey30006, May 18, 2015.

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  1. Mikey30006

    Mikey30006 New Member

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    So, didn't do much with the bike itself today. Made myself an auxiliary gas tank using an aluminum water bottle and I turned a fitting on the lathe for the fuel line which I JB welded to a hole in the bottom of the bottle as I couldn't find one that fit quite right at the hardware store. It works well because I can close the drinking spout creating a vacuum in the bottle stopping the gas flow.

    Other than that, I gave the bike a good cleaning (exterior) then I replaced all four spark plugs which in itself was an ordeal because everything is so darn cramped on that bike. I also made sure I was getting spark on all four spark plugs before I installed them to their respective cylinders.

    I also hooked up a brake bleeding vacuum pump to the petcock and using a clear fuel line found that the tank seems to be a bit rusty inside and I'm thinking some crap from in there made its way into the fuel lines and/or carbs. Everything is now pointing to fuel lines and carbs now so I will begin that undertaking maybe tomorrow.

    Squirrelman advised I check all the cylinders for compression. He said that no matter what I do to the carbs, if the compression isn't good the bike won't run. How exactly does one go about this. My dad has a pressure gauge which threads into the spark plug holes but I see no feasible way to use it on this bike given the lack of space around the holes.
     
  2. NormK

    NormK New Member

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    Wouldn't get too stressed about compression at this stage, you have had it running so it has compression. Next step is to hook the fuel bottle up to the carbs and see what happens, but my guess you will have sucked rubbish up into the carbs so they will need to be stripped and cleaned. One step at a time
     
  3. Mikey30006

    Mikey30006 New Member

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    Sounds good, today I'll try to get that new tank hooked up. does anyone know offhand what size fuel lines I should be ordering and which fittings I would need? I haven't got that big air cleaner housing off yet under the tank so I'm not sure exactly how all the fuel lines look. My assumption is the main line splits into two, each of which then later split into a total of four? So is there three different diameters of fuel line involved here? I'm also under the impression there aren't any fuel filters of any sort between the tank and the carbs which seems insane to me and I was thinking of installing some when I make up new fuel lines. Anybody have any feedback on any of that?
     
  4. NormK

    NormK New Member

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    Inline fuel filter is a must, old tanks with rust in them are always going to cause carby grief. Not sure about hose diameter on a 500 but at this stage I wouldn't get stressed about it as long as you can hook the fuel bottle up. It is probably 5/16th but could be 3/8th. Leave the hoses alone at the moment, plenty of time to get your head around that
     
  5. Mikey30006

    Mikey30006 New Member

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    Thanks for that NormK, I'll keep that in mind!

    But first, GOOD NEWS (said in James May's voice for all you TG fans):

    Pulled the air intake manifold as a began to approach removing the carbs. Thought "ah those guys on the forum said try spraying some gasoline down here with a spray bottle may as well give er a go" Used an old hair product spritzer/atomizer bottle and sprayed some gasoline right into the carb air intakes. Beauty fired right up revving at about 5000 rpm with the choke on. Puked some gross black stuff out of the exhaust and then continued to run for about a minute on residual gas in the float bowls and fuel lines. Using my new auxiliary tank I got it to start up again without spraying anything in the air intake. Let off the choke and tweaked the idle screw so it purrs comfortably at about 1500 rpm (not sure where it should be idling). Probably the most excited I've been in years.

    Now boring stuff: Bled all the brakes and the clutch, also somehow managed to misplace the bolt from the front mount of the tank somehow. The screws holding the lids on the front brake and clutch resovoir were super rusty so a trip to a local fasteners store for some stainless replacements is probably in order anyway.

    My bike came with kind of a weird front fairing relative to most pics I see. The part on the headlight is the same as most VF500s I see but instead of just a little tiny skirt thing at the bottom of the frame by the oil filter there's a full wraparound piece of fibreglass that wraps around the underside of the frame and meets the bottom of the fairing on the headlight. It might be aftermarket. Next time I go out to the shop I'll take pictures. I won't be able to get out there again actually until monday or tuesday next week (which is partially why I'm so happy it fired today). I'm away for a student council conference starting thursday morning.

    Thank you all again for your help! I'm not convinced I'm quite out of the woods yet but today was definitely progress.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  6. Mikey30006

    Mikey30006 New Member

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    First startup with my dad playing with the idle screw


    [video=youtube;4rOgXthRniE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rOgXthRniE[/video]
     
  7. lampman

    lampman New Member

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    It never gets old when you crank it over and the engine fires off. Sounds like you have a plan. Now to work it.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  8. a2lute

    a2lute New Member

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    Excellent! It's always nice to hear of another old machine firing up. I don't think you're planning on pulling the carbs apart and cleaning them. I'm not sure you can get the carbs "properly" clean with with any kind of fuel additive, but I know premium gas from a good station helps (BP, Shell).
     
  9. Mikey30006

    Mikey30006 New Member

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    I think at some point in the future they deserve a proper cleaning but I may make that a winter project. For now I was going to put some stable in the gas, normally it's supposed to be for stopping carbs (and other things) from getting plugged up during storage but there's actually an active solvent in it which my dad says works well if you're going for a good ride to flush out the system. Performance is hurt while stable is in the gas but it can't hurt to put a tank of it through. Carb cleaner right into the air intake of the carbs maybe too.

    I need to pick up a new battery for it this week and figure out what I'm going to do about the gas tank. There was some flakes and crap coming out of it when I drained it into a container last week. I've heard of people putting nuts and bolts inside it and giving it a good shaking for 15 minutes or so to knock all the rust and crap off the inside and then using an off the shelf tank recoating solution to seal the inside. I might give that ago although I have no idea which solution I'll use yet or how much it's going to cost. There's a pretty decent dent in the tank too so I may just take it to my dad's buddy. He's this old guy who's a wizard with gas tanks and sheet metal in general. He probably can help me out with the den't and he'd know how to clean it out properly/recoat it. I'm also considering installing fuel filters just past the Y split in the fuel line. We'll see!
     
  10. lampman

    lampman New Member

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    Just make sure you take the cards out as a unit! You can still work with them like that. Saves time having to balance them.
     
  11. a2lute

    a2lute New Member

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    As far as cleaning the tank, use nuts, bolts, ball bearings, whatever and phosphoric acid. Most other rust eating compounds will flash rust after they dry out. Phosphoric acid will leave a weak protective coating on the inside of the tank. Also, I have seen 4 gas tanks repaired with "sealer" made for sealing the inside of the tank at the last shop I worked at. All 4 came off in HUGE sheets that totally gummed up the tank and carbs. I would just aim for clean metal. I wouldn't try running the bike on carb cleaner, can't be good for the oil film. But I would try draining the float bowls, filling them up with carb cleaner through the fuel pipes, letting it sit for 10-15min and then draining it out.

    Now I'm not an expert on these particular bikes, but if this bike has some miles on it you should benefit greatly from pulling the carbs, cleaning them out, and adjusting the valves while you have the carbs off. Sorry about that run-on there. But it should make your summers riding much more enjoyable and I don't think it would take more than one Saturday to knock out.
     
  12. Ghost

    Ghost New Member

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    No, No, please do not do this. I would rather you restore this bike, and keep it workable and RIGHT. If you have any suspicions regarding the integrity of the inside, take it to a painter, and ask them to glass bead blast the inside.. GLASS. Not sand. have them turn down the pressure a little too, to ensure no peeling at the openings. Then coat it. Done. Never worry about it again.

    There should be a fuel filter in line. If yours is missing, find one online, for $20 or so. Itll save your carbs later if you suspect bad gas again.

    Knowing this bike was sitting for a while, plus the fact that it was a surprise when it didn't, AND that it has suspected sediment from the tank. Do yourself a solid, and clean the carb bowl and jets. What may be running now, and even a month from now, may let loose and stop up a jet.

    Love the video. :) Keep up the good work!
     
  13. Mikey30006

    Mikey30006 New Member

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    I have a baking soda blaster in our shop but due to the geometry of the tank I have no idea how the gun could fit inside the tank?

    Nonetheless I will look into my options as far as a proper job goes. We're becoming very attached to this bike and we hope to keep it running for many years.

    Here's a video of it running today, fresh tank of gas, new battery and after blowing a can of carb cleaner directly into the air intakes of the carbs she's running beautifully. My dad took it for a blast down the road in front of our workshop because we didn't know yet if the tranny was in good shape. It came with aftermarket Cobra F1R slip ons which I was skeptical about but she sounds like a maserati, delivered power smoothly and willingly, cycled through the gears perfectly. Dad had to take it up to 140 km/h just to get it into 6th gear.

    [video=youtube;2-A4E6tDL4o]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-A4E6tDL4o[/video]

    Next steps are just finishing details, some of the grommets are missing for the side covers, I ordered new ones today.

    It needs new handlebar grips, also ordered some obnoxiously purple ones off ebay for $5 (my school's colours are purple and white)

    I have two more questions for you guys though, two more details I'm trying to work out.

    1) I'm finding that the side stand interferes with upshifting, my shoe gets caught on it. Is this a common issue or is there something wrong with mine

    WP_20150603_006.jpg

    There's this little peg just behind the mounting point of the side stand, I don't know what its function is, maybe you guys do?

    WP_20150603_007.jpg WP_20150603_008.jpg

    2) I have a 2 piece front fairing which I haven't really seen before on any other VF500, it might be aftermarket. Regardless there's an interesting little clip which I'm missing on one side of the bike. Does anyone know how exactly these work as fasteners and where to buy them + any other hardware I'd need for them?

    WP_20150603_009.jpg WP_20150603_010.jpg WP_20150603_011.jpg


    Thanks again in advance!
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015
  14. Ghost

    Ghost New Member

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    Lookin good Mike.

    1. Yes, thats normal. You'll get used to this. I would suggest altering your foot a bit to accommodate.
    2. Both the Peg and the rusty brackets, are Fairing Mounts. Your bike has what is called a Fairing Chin or Lower Fairing. The top is called the Cowl.

    Here's a pic of the chin in place.

    [​IMG]

    Now, In the past these small mounts are sometimes provided with the lower fairing. But more of then than not, you are going to find mounting hardware simply is too difficult to come by, and need to make your own. The pegs are simple. You need a long bolt, with a piece of Plastic tubing, cut to make up the spacer. Don't use Steel pipe, you want the compression of the plastic of when you torque down the fairing bolt, so that it doesn't crack the fairing hole. As for the brackets. Here is an example of how another guy did his own brackets (may need to scroll down a bit to see the sheet metal and bending.)

    http://vintagedirtbikes.blogspot.com/2012_10_01_archive.html
     
  15. Mikey30006

    Mikey30006 New Member

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    See that's the thing though, I don't have that chin thing, I have a bigger cover that actually meets what you call the cowl up top. I'll take a picture of it tonight! It's pretty scratched up, It looks like someone has dumped the bike on the left side before. I'll be repainting I think but I just want to get mounting hardware first.

    EDIT: also, that's a beautiful bike
     
  16. a2lute

    a2lute New Member

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    Ghost, those polished headers and black side cover look EXCELLENT, Nice bike!
     
  17. Ghost

    Ghost New Member

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    Id love to take credit. Hell, Id love it if that was my bike. But that was a wiki photo I grabbed real fast just to show Mikey. I agree. That is a nice lookin bike.
     
  18. MPH Racing

    MPH Racing New Member

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    I had the same problem with the side stand on mine originally. what it ended up being was the hole and the bolt had worn out and the spring would pull the stand away from the frame when it was up. I took my welder and filled the mount hole where it was worn then welded the bolt where it was cupped and then ground it smooth again. The stand now tucks up right beside the frame and is out of the way.
     
  19. Mikey30006

    Mikey30006 New Member

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    For anyone who might care, the bike is running beautifully.. My Dad and I are both really impressed by it.

    I removed the side stand, turned out it was a little bent right on the flanges that mount to the frame. They were kind of V shaped instead of parallel causing the unwanted play. I put it in a vice and bent it back into shape, sandblasted it and gave it a coat of tremclad. It fits really nicely now and tucks up out of the way properly. If it remains an issue I'm prepared to turn up a spacer on the lathe and move the footpeg out 3/4" or so. I'll post pics tomorrow or Wednesday, I forgot to take any this weekend.
     
  20. Mikey30006

    Mikey30006 New Member

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    Here are some pictures of the fairings I mentioned earlier. It doesn't look stock to me. Obviously it has been repainted also. The block of wood is just to hang them while I was getting the bike running. Once I sort out fasteners they'll be back on. I think the bike will need to be repainted eventually too. It's pretty obvious that it has been dropped on the left side. WP_20150609_001.jpg WP_20150609_002.jpg
     
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