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Odd kickstart problem

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Was working on the XR all afternoon yesterday, trying to get the edelbrock dialed in perfect. Ran into a problem that I just have no idea what's going on. When going to kick the bike over, the lever doesn't go all the way down. It will go down, but stop at a certain point, not completely going to the bottom until I pull in the decomp lever and continue to push down.

This is after I get it to TDC, and push through a little with the decamp lever in.

So the sequence goes like this:

Push down on lever until it stops at TDC, pull in decomp and push a tab bit more to get it past, release decomp and allow kickstart lever to return to top, then kick. Problem lies with the kick, the kick lever will only go 3/4 or sometimes 1/2 the way down then stop like I just kicked a wall. Not only does this hurt :smashpc:, it also stops me from getting a full kick, thus making it impossible to start the brp.

So what would be causing the lever to not be able to go all the way to the bottom? It didn't do this the whole time, just after a good number of kicks while trying to get the carb set right.

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How long have you had bike? you think it is metal hanging up in engine or a back-fire. does it ever start? Is idle real high? Have you had a 600 before? never give it throttle when kicking. Did I mention never? Other than this preliminary check, I have no clue or remember anyone else having this. Hopefully someone else will chime in . & by the way, Welcome to TT!

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Had the bike for a couple months. It's had carb issues since I got it. Was able to get it running, but had a high idle that would fluctuate. So been trying to get it dialed in good. So yesterday I was turning the eddie a couple clicks here, a couple clicks there, messing with the idle cable, just experimenting trying to find the best setting. So naturally it went through a bunch of kicks fine. Never started, but was able to get a full kick. Then just after no real adjustment went to kick and the lever wouldn't go all the way down. Stopped about 3/4 of the way down. If I hold the decomp in, I can push the lever all the way down, but setting the bike up to kick like every other time it just won't go all the way down. Like something has bound up, not allowing it to go farther.

It's done this before while messing with the carb where it involved a lot of kicks. Will kick fine for awhile, then it stops allowing full kicks. Last time it did this, I just stopped for the day. When I went back a couple days later it kicked fine. So I believe it has something to do with getting kicked a lot. But being a newb I have no idea what would get out of whack after a lot of kicks to cause this.

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Could it be flooding and you are locking the cylinder after a lot of kicks?

then it leaks down the the crankcase, and you are able to start again the next day

try smelling your oil

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Could it be flooding and you are locking the cylinder after a lot of kicks?

then it leaks down the the crankcase, and you are able to start again the next day

try smelling your oil

I thought exactly the same thing. If it gets flooded it becomes a bear to kick over. I know from experience. Do a search on clearing a flooded engine and try the steps outlined and see if that helps.

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Sure sounds odd..What year and what bike is this exactly as the auto decomp mechanisms are different between modern and old XR/XL,,XR-L,,XR-R ,, If it was an old bike ie,,pre 88 I'd say it's an issue with the mechanism that works off the kickstarter..if it was the later model I wouldn't know what the problem may be..cept to say possibly a jamming cam chain..though thinking more about it they all (Well XR/XL ,,XRL,,not sure on XR-R) have a piece of plastic which fits in the kickstart mechanism that may possibly be flogged out or broken and cause problems with the kicker..

Edited by Horri

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I have no idea, but sounds logical enough to me. What does it feel like when trying to kick with a locked cylinder?

Went today, and bike was back to normal after sitting over night. Was able to get a full kick. I went through the process yesterday for clearing a flooded engine, and it didn't change anything. (hold in decomp, full throttle, kick through cycle 10 times).

Still wasn't able to get the bike started though. 2003 XR650R. Has edelbrock carb, and an engine that supposedly has been worked on, in a good way. (previous owner has no paper work).

Here's the story on the bike running and starting. Have had carb problems ever since getting the bike. Gas over flowing from carb, bike running but dyeing shortly after. Bike starting, but dyeing almost instantly.

Was finally able to get her running, and started. Would have to set the eddie at 17 clicks to the right, and turn the idle adjustment 8 turns. It'd fire up, but be at an extremely high idle. Would turn the idle adjustment way down, and bike would run, had to keep it at a higher rpm still, or would die at low rpm. I could run it like that, but if it got shut off , the only way to restart was to turn the idle adjustment back up to eight turns. No matter if bike ran for 10 secs, or was all warmed up and ran for an hour.

So knowing that isn't good I started trouble shooting more. Now I'm where I am today. Re-adjusted the valves, messed around with the carb settings for hours. Only place I could get the bike to fire was 17 clicks right, and about 8 turns of the idle adjustment. But it'd just immediately die. Even if I tried to give it some go juice, it'd still just die.

Anyone have any ideas?

One thing I think I should mention is that when I was adjusting the valves, I noticed that top dead center on my kick lever is not top dead center according to my markings in the crank case. When I would push the lever to what felt like top dead center, I looked at the markings in the crank case, and the "T" was not lined up with the notches. Instead it was more closely lined up with the first 2 hash marks in the crank case. Which are the ones in front of the "t"

Is that making any sense? If so, think that's the problem?

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SpeedoJosh said,,,Anyone have any ideas

One thing I think I should mention is that when I was adjusting the valves, I noticed that top dead center on my kick lever is not top dead center according to my markings in the crank case. When I would push the lever to what felt like top dead center, I looked at the markings in the crank case, and the "T" was not lined up with the notches. Instead it was more closely lined up with the first 2 hash marks in the crank case. Which are the ones in front of the "t"

Is that making any sense? If so, think that's the problem?

I have heaps of ideas ..seldom are they any good. With the ignition timing having things wrong there will surely make it hard to start and run incorrectly,,. If you want to check the timing correctly you really need to get the Tappet cover off and get the Cam lined up correctly with the T and datum marks on the sprocket and take it from there..You need some sort of stick (pencil will do) to put down the spark plug hole so you can tell when the Piston is at the top of the cylinder..then you'd check the T mark in relation to the marks/bolts on the cam..Do not get the pencil or stick jammed against the piston or cylinder or you'll likely snap it in half,,not good having a piece of stick or pencil in a cylinder....Once you know it's correct there on with the tappet cover and do the tappet gaps..

So essentially get her at TDC on the compression stroke (all tappets should be slightly loose at that point) That and the pencil is how you tell you are at TDC on the compression stroke,, then remove the Tappet cover and check for the correct alignment with the T and Cam datum marks or bolts that hold the sprocket on,,then back on with the cover not moving anything in relation to TDC and do the tappet gaps...Worn Cam chain is usually the cause of bad alignment with the T mark and Cam thus affecting ignition timing..

Edited by Horri

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Man, I just got a headache from reading that. I don't even know what a tappet is. :bang head: Guess I should read up on my XR nomenclature.

But, I think I can decipher your correct terms and replace them with my made up ones, and understand.

Here's my try: Put a pencil where the spark plug goes. Turn the bolt under the crank case cover until the pencil is at it's highest point. Mark that spot on the rim that has the "t" and other hash marks. Then adjust the valves based on where that new mark is, and not the "t". This correct?

Just throwing this out there, not sure if it's important, but since it's different from a well working XR, figured it might need attention.

One of the many weird things I've noticed about my bike, is that when trying to kick it over, it never needs any more pushing of the lever after a failed kick to get to top dead center. What I mean is that I go through the process to kick (push until heavy resistance, decomp in, push a tad, decomp out, kick) and after that failed kick, when I push down on the kick start again, it's already at that heavy resistance and ready for decomp and to be kicked again.

Kicking over my buddies XR, it always seems like it needs a little more pushing to get back to top dead center after a failed kick.

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The pencil is only so you can tell when the Piston is at the top of the cylinder..it's not used to mark anything,,You simply hold onto the end of the pencil with it in the spark plug hole and rotate the bottom Stator bolt..ie ,,it's in the other hole down by where you can see the T mark..There;s two inspection type hatches down there..get them both off and you will see the bolt to rotate with your socket...When the Pistons at the top of the cylinder the pencil will naturally be at its highest point,, all the Tappets should also now be loose to the touch (You don't loosen them,,it's part of the process) enabling you to move them up and down slightly with your fingers,, the T mark should also now be in alignment with your bottom datum mark,,..All that in combination means you are at TDC on the compression stroke..,,that is when you do the Tappet or if you want Valve lashes,,.Should all of what I described not seem correct then rotate the bottom bolt around to the T again until all I described are a "Yes that's correct"...

If the Cam chain is stretched the alignment for doing all this will be incorrect and the timing/tappets/valve timing will be off..,Only way to check that is to get the Tappet cover off (not the inspection covers) the entire cover,,that will enable you to check it,,...That must be correct to enable you to do the correct ignition timing and Valve/Tappet gaps/lashes..Might be better to take it to a shop as if the chains stretched it'll be needing a new one and that's not really a job for someone who doesn't know motors..though on a 650r it may be reasonably easy with guidance.

Edited by Horri

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Gotcha. So when the piston is at the top, stop rotating the bolt. Then adjust the valves at that height?

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Everything must be in combination..T mark lined up,,Tappets loose,, Piston at top of cylinder..Continue to rotate the motor using the bottom bolt,,not the kick starter until all the boxes are ticked..,,that is when you adjust the tappet gaps..anything else will have you getting everything messed up..It's pretty simple,,I'm off to the pub so good luck with it..

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Oh, you're talking about the normal way to adjust the valves. Yea, that's what I did today. Rotated the crank case using the bottom bolt until the "t" lines up, then used the feeler gauge to adjust.

I was wondering that if it's a problem that when I use the kick start to get top dead center for starting, it's not actually at top dead center according to where the "t" lines up.

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Forget the kickstarter., it's totally irrelevant to the issue of setting the timing..

If the T mark does not line up correctly with the datum marks on the Cam Chain sprocket you will never get the ignition timing or tappet/valve lash/gaps correct

You need to do what I said and remove the entire Tappet cover. That is the cover on the very top of the engine..I don't mean the inspection caps..The entire cover must come off for you to be able to check whether the T mark at the bottom engine inspection hole is lining up at the correct time with the datum marks on the Cam Sprocket,,(That's why it's called timing),,You will never know if things are out of alignment/time due to your possibly stretched Cam chain until you do that.

I'll also add that if it's running some hot carb chances are whoever owned it before may have installed a Hotcam...Guys that spend wads of money on power increases generally don't do things by half.., If that was the case the Tappet/Valve gaps/lashes would all be different than stock so that's something else for you to think about...

Edited by Horri

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Yea, was finally able to track down the previous owner who did all of the upgrades to the bike. Turns out it has new piston, rings, crank, and stage 2 cam. Also has the 17 needle which is not gonna cut it out east in NC.

Also figured out the whole not being able to get a full kick thing also. Due to the engine work, makes it hard to find top dead center, so was actually kicking it in the comp cycle according to the po. Guess that info got lost in the transition of the owners in-between us. :smashpc:

Anyway, so back to the drawing board for me.

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