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Thread: Welcome back to me - first bike problem :)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    14th January 2008 - 01:44
    Bike
    1986 GSX400E
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    40

    Welcome back to me - first bike problem :)

    Hi all - old member here. Just bought another bike after about 11 years with no road bike

    I'm an engineer so I do enjoy the maintenance slightly more than the riding... so I've picked up a clapped out GSX400E to convert to a cafe style.

    My question is generic about engine troubleshooting:

    The engine isn't running and the seller said, quote: "it started getting harder to start, until finally i could only get it running via crash-start rolling down a hill, then eventually nothing. I did a compression test and was low compression. Pulled head off to investigate and nothing obvious. Gave up."

    So the head and everything was on finger tight and I've re-disassembled and confirmed so far nothing obvious is wrong. I'm also going to remove the cylinder today and check piston rings, and do a water tightness test on the valves.

    My challenge is, I want to get the engine assembled first and get her running so I can isolate all faults and price up the project (for all I know he tested compression wrong and has disassembled the engine for no reason. Might actually be a fuel or ignition issue?!)

    What I don't want is to pay for an entire gasket kit and use it for 5 minutes to reveal noisy gearbox bearings etc, only to disassemble it again.

    1: Would it run OK with the old head gasket for testing?
    2: Should I maybe just gasket-glue the old gaskets for testing?
    3: Should I bite the bullet and pay for a set, knowing I'll disassemble it soon to paint the motor anyway?

    Im leaning towards 2... $20 tube of CRC gasket...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    24th September 2004 - 06:46
    Bike
    '76 CB550 Super Sport
    Location
    On the road to nowhere...
    Posts
    6,290
    These and especially the GSX250s can be prone cracking between the valves. Yeal just for a quick test I see no reason not to use the old head gasket if it isn;t damaged. Did that on my GSX750EX. Don't use gasket material on it's own.

    Stale laquered fuel in the carbs is one thing to watch for on a bike that's been out of commision for a while.

    Reg/Rect units are notorious for going on this era Suzuki and as well alternator windings in some cases.

    What you describe happening to the previous owner could well be just the battery getting so flat it couldn't provide enough spark. This happened twice to me on my cb550 until I replace the rectifirer then later reg and rect with an after market solid state set up.
    "Every time you set your ass on a bike, you're playing a game of Russian Roulette between yourself and your own stupidity."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    14th January 2008 - 01:44
    Bike
    1986 GSX400E
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    40
    Quote Originally Posted by Bonez View Post
    These and especially the GSX250s can be prone cracking between the valves. Yeal just for a quick test I see no reason not to use the old head gasket if it isn;t damaged. Did that on my GSX750EX. Don't use gasket material on it's own.

    Stale laquered fuel in the carbs is one thing to watch for on a bike that's been out of commision for a while.

    Reg/Rect units are notorious for going on this era Suzuki and as well alternator windings in some cases.

    What you describe happening to the previous owner could well be just the battery getting so flat it couldn't provide enough spark. This happened twice to me on my cb550 until I replace the rectifirer then later reg and rect with an after market solid state set up.
    Oh thanks thats interesting.

    Scary thought that his compression test might've been low for the same sluggish battery issue ... that'll mean I got a free bike with nothing wrong with it (except it's in pieces )

    I'll be sure to check out the cracking around the valves. Cheers!

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    22nd October 2002 - 11:00
    Bike
    2019 KTM Duke 790
    Location
    Coromandel Harbour
    Posts
    4,155
    Have you got a manual? I've got an soft copy (pdf) manual for a GSX 400 F. There will obviously be differences but a lot of common stuff too. You're welcome to a copy if it's any good to you.

    Cheers,

    Geoff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    25th March 2004 - 17:22
    Bike
    RZ496/Street Triple R/GasGas/ etc etc
    Location
    Wellington. . ok the hutt
    Posts
    17,239
    Petrol test not water.

    Reread Bonez post 3 more times, it is very likely. They killed battery, stator rectifier and then eventually cdi.
    I've been told. Dreaming`s free.
    Think I'll go, back to sleep.
    Everybody listen, voices in my head
    Everybody listen, do yours say, what mine says?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    28th May 2006 - 19:35
    Bike
    suzuki
    Location
    lower hutt
    Posts
    6,993
    Quote Originally Posted by F5 Dave View Post
    Petrol test not water.

    Reread Bonez post 3 more times, it is very likely. They killed battery, stator rectifier and then eventually cdi.
    methlyated spirits is less smelly

  7. #7
    Join Date
    24th September 2004 - 06:46
    Bike
    '76 CB550 Super Sport
    Location
    On the road to nowhere...
    Posts
    6,290
    Quote Originally Posted by jellywrestler View Post
    methlyated spirits is less smelly
    Always wondered what was in that hip flask.
    "Every time you set your ass on a bike, you're playing a game of Russian Roulette between yourself and your own stupidity."

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