I think I’ve finally gotten the fuel system on the scuppered Fireblade sorted. The last problem (and probably what caused all the other carb and engine issues) was a leaking petcock. I tried to take apart the existing one, but I should have listened to the Chilton manual and just replaced it in the first place. The new one (40 bucks on Amazon) seems a quality thing.
The petcock in the tank was pretty mucky, and was leaking even when turned off. If it was pouring gas into the carbs all the time, even when parked for long periods, it must have filled up the carb bowls and spilled over into the intake manifold and eventually found its way into the engine oil, which would explain the seven litres of what looked like muddy water that came out of the oil drain plug.
The new petcock looks like a more finished thing than what was on it. Based on the questionable mechanics on the rest of the bike, I’m guessing this was just something that fit rather than the right spec part. The one on the top is the new one and the bottom one was what was on the bike. It seems odd that Honda wouldn’t actually tell you what the petcock is doing by writing the position on the thing.
The old one also was also lacking the fuel filter, and the new one with the filter on it wouldn’t fit throught a tube stuck up in the tank hole. I removed the old o-ring and managed to free up the tube with some WD40 and slide it out. Like everything else I’ve found in the fuel system, it was a pretty mucky thing. With those weird bits now out and the tank cleaned, that’s the whole fuel system sorted, so hopefully it’ll run like it should when I finally get the tank back on.
The goal now is to wait for a break in the weather (we’ve been in the double digital negative temperatures with a fair bit of snow), and see if I can put the tank back on and fire it all up. It’s supposed to be 6°C and raining on Monday, so that’ll clear it up and maybe give me a chance to test the tank/petcock on the bike.
As it is, the new petcock is leak free on the tank (I just held it up and tipped it over a basin, but no fuel leaked), so that’s a result! The problems with this non-runner when I got it had me focusing on the fuel system to the exclusion of all else. I’m hoping that after a carb rebuild and the various other fuel system nick nacks I’ve sorted, that’s all that’s needed, but you never know.
With any luck I’ll actually get to ride the thing up and down the driveway later this week and find out what else it might need. If it’s sorted, I can focus on winter maintenance on the Tiger and do the LED turn signals I’ve got for both bikes next. Come spring time I’ll ride it over to my local motorbike shop, Mostly Ironheads, and have them do a safety on it and then get it sorted for the road.
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