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Suzuki 800 Intruder Club & Forum

A UK Site Dedicated To The Suzuki C800, VL800, VX800, M800, VZ800, VS800, C50, M50 Model Intruder / Boulevard / Marauder
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 Rusty Gas ank, bike stalling and what not.

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PostSubject: Rusty Gas ank, bike stalling and what not.   Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:50 pm

OK I will try chronologically to tell this tale. 

First I am Sergio, 41, father of two, Cuban/Canadian, living in Vancouver, BC. Canada.

I purchased this 1998 VS800GLP Suzuki Intruder, some where in Hallandale Beach, Florida. The seller had nothing bad to say about the bike and even now when I have ask for the truth he denies any issue what so ever, claiming the indicators were burn... never said clearly if they ever worked for him, I believe he is full of it but he doesn't agree with my believes.

When purchasing it I did ride it for a couple blocks to try out and there were no signs of any issue, only that the rear turning signals wouldn't work, but the front ones did (weird) and a couple more details like the rubber gasket in the fuel tank cap missing so the cap is sort of dangling there... that should have warned me, but as my nickname claims, I am a newbie to this.

I paid 1500 USD the bike has under 14k miles so I figured the price was right.

As I paid and took the bike home with the title in hand etc, in 20 min riding the Florida Turnpike south the engine sputters and dies. 
I get to the side not without some difficulties since there is no indicators and every one is doing 120kmph. 
Try to sort out what could it be, the previous owner did state he put gas in it but not clear how long ago or what happen, so I turned the petcock to reserve, after a few tries it ran again, and went to a gas station near by and put some new gas into it and had to wait for a guide since the cousin driving along to show me the way home was a goner (long story not worth it now)
The point is I had to wait, as I put some fresh gas I tried starting the bike and it did start like nothing happened.
Waited for like 30 minute and started, then went as usual.
The bike was running quite smooth other than when it bogged down and stalled, lets make this clear. I would put first gear and let go of the clutch and it would pull with the idling engine like no problem at all.
Then later that day I rode it again and got "home" with no problem, this is all express way driving, so the bike rides cool due to Jan temps and the speed and the fact that I do mainly 100kmph so no harsh pushing. I did see the electric fan kicked in now and then mainly when stopping at a light. There was no warning light at all about anything out of the normal.

That night I tried to solve the indicators at least checking the bulbs etc, just to realize that the supposedly burnt bulb was actually a completely rusted socket with an almost welded by rust bulb inside, when dealing with this some how there was a short some where and a fuse went, so that was it for the night, some brain food for next day. 

Next day it was hands on, I love fixing things so I would make this part of my vacation an opportunity to bond with my bro over some mechanics and electric fixes etc (sorry I haven't explained this all happened while o our family holidays in Miami Florida, so my wife and parents were not amused), me and my bro got a service manual and got to diagnose the bad turning signal, believing this might all be due to an electric issue since the fuse went etc... We found both wires to the rear turning lights cut and left there to touch ground like no one cares. We followed the wiring diagram and went here and there testing with a voltmeter and finding continuity, seeing if there was something else touching ground, but after a while we thought the cut wires were to blame. There was also a black and brown cable loose that we couldn't find where to put it and pretended it was one of the loose ones in the diagram. (there was a description match for it in the manual going no where.)After this the bike started fine (as usual) and we called the day to do some other holiday stuff.

Then the day after I tried to do the usual ride to visit some family, and the same scenario occurred: into 20 min of ridding it bogged down and died. This time I let it rest for 5 minutes and it started but it wouldn't take me more than 5 blocks to die again. So I left it in a mall parking lot (still with no license and the locking steering broken, so any one could take it, but luckily it was still there when we came back that night)Then we got a taste of what was really coming, it would idle a little ad go for a few blocks, then die, i even pushed a little just to let it cool down and still advance on my way home. After midnight we arrived, meaning me and my cousin and bro with  the van that was giving me assistance, like jumping start so the battery didn't die and moral support so I didn't depress too much.

Next day I send the family to their daily fun and got my self to dissemble both carburetors and take a look at the fuel system overall. Didn't like my finds.
The fuel tank was clearly rusted inside but by clear view there was nothing mayor, just small rust spots. But by pouring the gas out I did find there was quite a bit in there, and when empty y rattling the tank you could hear there was some things in there. So I got to the copious labour of fishing things from inside the tank: a few screws and a piece of a previous tank cap were in there. I went removing these as I could and al the rust I found too, but at the end of this part you could still hear particles rattling in there, small ones that would take me all day to fish out, so I went for the carbs expecting the worst and hopping the mesh of the petcock to deal with the rest in the tank. 

Both carbs has quite a bit of rust residues in their containers and the jets were partially plugged, I tried blowing air into every hole possible (with my mouth... I know: Cubans)also took care of checking the diaphragms, which were both spotless and the needle looked like new, seriously this carbs looked like new, except for the rust inside. Well there was some rust in the throttle levers and so but nothing too bad. My main mistake here was that I took the carbs out by disconnecting the carb end of the cable with the adjusting turning nuts that. by counting the threads and coming back to what it was before, but this being not the accurate method I believe it was guess what the carbs are now out of synchrony and balance. when the bike started again I could feel it was running high in the rpms, but hey it was not stalling or bogging and sputtering, although when ridinng you could tell there was a sputter in the back ground of the cruising, very stressing riding a bike like that in a foreign town but hey some one has to do it so I did ride it for a day with no problem. 

Next day I took it to my moms and it rested there cuz it was too cold to ride back. So I went to get it a couple days later, this time it started with problem, as soon as you gave it the slightest touch of throttle it would die... I braced my self for bad shit coming and once it started I got on my way; then it died again in the Turnpike south (not a fan of this road is she?), luckily in the extreme right lane so I could easily get it parked but now in pure rush hour and in the top of the ramp so not really a parking lane there... Went to the side and waited for 5 minutes, tried, and it started and took me home. Pheeewh... but then all went back to the wrong end, from cold it would start but as 10 minutes or so pass it dies, I mean I started it left it warming up the day I was coming back home, since I was committed to leave it at my moms. And I thought maybe if warmed up properly it would go better. Just idling there it died and if it would start again it was super sensitive to the throttle so by the smallest pull it would die. So I had to leave it there, at my aunts (bringing some family distress I will spare you guys and girls) and came back to Canada to the daily life... to think about things from the distance and research in all fields in order to go back there and make things right. So its time to gather tools/parts to get back there some time this spring and ride it up here if possible or cut it loose, I would much prefer the first option since I am selling my Suzuki V-Strom here and will be motorbike-less for a while till this one comes up.

A lot of questions, but mainly, does it still sound like the fuel system could be still involved with the bits left behind? Or should I be focussing some where else?
To my sense it seams logically by the pattern it follows that some where the system is clogged and it leaks enough for a next ride but why would it die in 20 minutes and then ride for 45 minutes like nothing happened, and its always the same dies at those first 10-20 minutes for sure.

At no point were there any warning lights showing high temperatures at all, and yes the light comes on when the switch is on. Could the computer be giving me some problems? 

Another thing I noticed it's the Voltage regulator and rectifier is not the original one, the stock one was there but cut off the system, so I took it out and put the other one where this stock one seats for better cooling, even when its just over the exhaust pipes, not the coolest I think but I believe Suzuki designed properly, this "aftermarket" was before under the seat with the rest of the wiring. I also found the proper black with brown stripes wire to connect the one we didn't know where to, it was by the right side of the rear carb.

Also the rear carb air box was not very tight where it meets the booty that goes to the admission side of the carb, there was a zip-tie to it, but I went to Home Depot and put a plumbers metal tie, not the right (too tall) size but I believe good enough to make the air-box connection tighter than it was. We went to Suzuki shop for this and they did not have it, neither did NAPA auto-part store. I am not sure how sensitive these bikes are to air leaks out of the air filter.

Other tan that I found the battery to be in good health, sustain charge with ease the startor is giving between 13,5 and 14 volts at 2k rpms (by ear) meaning the voltage rect/regulator is working also fine, also the battery would always be right charged. There was enough oil in the window, dark oil but it was there, I did noticed the level was higher than the max mark if the bike was standing straight up and not in the side stand, is this OK?

Didn't have time to check the spark plugs to see what the mix could be looking like. But I am sure bad spark plugs by them self would not follow this pattern. Tested the coil for resistance and they were both within parameters in  the service manual. Did not check ECU for voltages etc, how likely is this to be an ECU issue in your experience??

Well thats all for now, sorry about the length. Here is the pic of the CraigsList ad and the bike, I like it a lot! 
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PostSubject: Re: Rusty Gas ank, bike stalling and what not.   Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:01 pm

Hi Sergio, Nice looking bike you've got there    from what you're saying the problem sounds like there's some sort of Vacuum is being created in the fueling system somewhere, have you tried an inline filter to stop any of the rust/crap from the tank getting in the carbs? they're usually clear plastic too, so you'll be able to see if the tank filter/gauze is allowing fuel from the tank.  your bike won't have an ECU as it's not fuel injected, it shouldn't be the charging system either from the results of your tests, so you should be able to count those out for now.
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PostSubject: Re: Rusty Gas ank, bike stalling and what not.   Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:14 pm

As Sim says, also when it dies, open the filler cap, if it hisses the vent in the cap is blocked causing a vacuum in the tank and stopping the fuel flow.
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PostSubject: More thoughts about it.   Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:42 pm

Thanks you both Amir and Andrew, I am totally doing the filter thing once I am back there, it was our first idea afterwards, I do have a nice inline filter with me here so I would use it.
I guess when I said the ECU I actually meant the CDI, the small ignition box  that creates spark in these bikes, they do act up some times with cold welds etc, so I have the slight idea that when the bike is cold is fine but as it heats up some solders could detach and create a gap in that contact, making an ignition failure to happen... long shot but I was wondering whats the general experience here dealing with specifically the boxes in these bikes.

I saw a video on youtube where some guy talks about putting these boxes in the oven for over 10 minutes to get some moisture out of them then seals them dry to make them work again, I don't think this wouldn't work with a cold weld but I was curious about it anyways...

I don't believe there is an issue with the gas tank "breathing" since there is no even a gasket there making the gas tank tight to air. I am pretty sure that could also be a source of moisture entering the system some how. Still I will do this test when I am back with the bike just in case.
In my mind instead the breathing hole been plugged in the cap I tend to believe some of the hoses going to the pump and then to the carbs might still be blocked (I should have blow those to clean them out but I did not) and not allowing the gas to pass through easily. 

Reading through this forum I found a service where they expand the tank capacity for these intruders , that made me think about this: mailing the tank here and open it like they do, give it a thoroughly clean and sand it to get read of the rust, then just to do it all right: weld (I do have  MIG welder) some expansion pieces and after that go through the work of lining the tank properly so it does not rust again. 

I mean that should be a lot of work but it would also create a solution to the tank rust and elongate my touring capacity.

Keep those wheels low and enjoy the ride.
PS: I was posting the sources for the info I have here but I am still a young member not allowed to post exterior links... I will post them after 7 days have passed.
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PostSubject: more on this issue   Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:39 am

I have a question, is it possible for gas to go "bad" in a couple days, just because the cap of the gas tank is loose and there is no gasket to make it air tight, the volatile part of the fuel could escape and the fuel goes bad, is it that easy? Meaning, like in a couple days, the gas in the tank is not good to ride the bike with?
I don't think its that easy but then if it has been raining, although I kept the bike under a tarp, could moist get into the tank and make this happen also some how?
I guess my point would be, is it possible that by putting the right gasket in the tank this issue resolves or improves considerably?

Thanks guys.

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PostSubject: Re: Rusty Gas ank, bike stalling and what not.   Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:27 pm

Given that petrol tends to start deteriorating after about a month, I wouldn't have thought that it would have gone that far in a couple of days, especially if the tank was full
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PostSubject: Re: Rusty Gas ank, bike stalling and what not.   Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:02 am

Thanks for your answer Dave. I am still wondering if you mean a month in an open contaner or a regular gas air tight container? 

I am not sure, google'ing didn't sort it out and I am not a chemistry masters, but I would think gas would start oxidizing much faster if the container is open and not air tight?? I can only find the answer for gas in a fuel container, which are always air tight... I think. Ad it takes months for the whole thing to go bad, but what if it is open to air? would it go faster?

I guess this is still a long shot. I will still correct the gasket issue for sure , also make sure the breather hole to the tank is goos so it does not create a vacuum once the gas start flowing down to the carbs.

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PostSubject: Re: Rusty Gas ank, bike stalling and what not.   Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:34 am

I see what you're getting at.  Personally, unless you're in extreme conditions, or leaving it fully open to the elements eg. top off in the rain, I wouldn't have thought that a couple of days with a loose cap would make that much difference.  Only way to be sure is to empty it all out (use it in your car (assuming it's a petrol)) & refill with fresh & try immediately.  Or fill your mower - again assuming you're using a petrol mower - & see if your mower works fine.  How you getting on with it?
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PostSubject: the bike is fixed now, i love it!   Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:29 pm

Hello, I went to Miami and fixed the bike, here is what I would like to share with you as my feedback.
I bought a bunch of parts off eBay for relative not much expense, HAIL EBAY!

Put in a brand new fuel tank cap. Brand new battery and an used battery box with the right plastic cover so there is less chance for the positive of the battery to touch the bike frame. I also hooked a fuel filter between the gas tank and the fuel pump. Added new fuel of course and changed motor oil and oil filter just because. 

In the middle of all of this and because I has also purchased a new Voltage Regulator/Rectifier, the stock unit for this bike since there was an aftermarket unit there, so I am playing around this unit when I decided to take a look to the connection and there they were, a bunch of cables shorting, over heated and rusted, much of them exposed to elements and each other, what a mess... I jumped of joy, I found something gruesome, this means this is the main reason for all my anguish!

The stock regulator harness was cut and spliced to spade contacts, so I remove the hole thing and plugged in the new unit straight to the plastic square 6 pins plug as in a stock bike. Then I changed the spark plugs for the stock ones as well.

As I was in a huge fixing momentum I took some time to hook up a carburettor balancing tool and balanced the carbs then regulated idle with the little hand screw by the right of carb number one (rear one)... I also had with me a new service manual for this bike making everything easier.

I also bought an epoxy resin treatment for lining the tank inside but I decided to not doing so, I will try in the future to expand or change the tank since I would like to use this bike for touring maybe and the tank on the small side for this purpose. 

The bike starts idles and pulls like it should for sure... I took it for a ride a few times, city and highway and it never stalled again, except for that time when the petcock was in off for installing the filter and I almost had a heart attack. lol.

Cheers and thanks to those ho helped with their comments. Peace.

PS: I also added a voltmeter and a 12V cigarette lighter output to the dash. 
PSS: Here I added some pictures of my find and a small vid of the bike running.

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PostSubject: Re: Rusty Gas ank, bike stalling and what not.   Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:54 pm

Ooo - that's some nasty wiring there. Good to hear you sorted it & she's running fine for you now
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PostSubject: Re: Rusty Gas ank, bike stalling and what not.   Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:02 pm

wow  That's a serious case of 'arcing' there! glad you got it sorted    even with my duff advice that it'd be a fueling problem as opposed to electrical    Ride safe Sergio 
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PostSubject: Re: Rusty Gas ank, bike stalling and what not.   Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:51 pm

Keep up the good work & search round the other connectors as they may be as bad themselves?
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