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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I haven't posted in awhile but here I am a semi newb trying to take advantage of the early riding season in florida but my bike won't start!
Here's the symptoms & what I've done so far.
Symptoms:
Bike cranks every time, but doesn't always start. About half the time it turns over & runs for 2-4 second, then dies.

What I've done do far:
Replaced the battery; old 1 was about 2 yrs but took it to auto store and it tested bad. New ones charged & reads 12.6 VDC.
Drained carburetor from drain valves. Though I have no container or hose small enough to get in there and catch the gas with so I couldn't tell if there was any water in it. Was clear coming out and smelled fine.
I then put about 1/4 can of seafoam in the tank with a couple gallons of gas, and let it sit overnight.
Tried starting it again, same behavior, checked drain valves agn and there was gas agn so I'm definitely getting fuel to the carb.
I haven't checked for spark yet but I've no good reason to suspect they're bad, they're new last year and carb was serviced by a mechanic 2 years ago. I'll prob double check them anyways later today if I have time.
I visually checked carb drain hose, even felt around w a length of wire, clear.
Oh and if course I checked that I'm in neutral, have kill switch on, tried choke full on, off and every fraction in between.
I've also tried cursing, talking to it sweetly, and threatening to trade her in for that c90t I've been eyeballing.
One weird thing I noticed also is on 2nd discharge line of left side which has a cap on it, I noticed fluid so I drained it and got about 2 table spoons of oil out. No smell of gas. But I thought that was the air cleaner box discharge by the diagram in service manual however maybe I'm mixed up with the crankcase or something. It's right behind the kick stand.
Any help anyone can offer would be HIGHLY appreciated!
Oh also I'm not entirely sure if I have the right manual, I've always thought it was the vt1100c but there's a label on the tool pocket that says vt1100c4, does that mean anything to anyone else?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I forgot to mention I couldn't find the fuel pump discharge line at all on right or under side, where manual depicted it. I know I'm in right area as coolant discharge line is there, traced it to reservoir.
Here are some pics I took of the area where that line should be, and the oil I got from line on other side, mentioned in my first post.
 

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How long has the bike been sitting? In storage or outside? Are you using the choke when you try to start? Are you using throttle? If using throttle, DON'T! Don't use so much seafoam in the fuel. At max, I'd double the dose on the label. Edit; scratch the choke question, reread your post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I only wish I had a garage! Outside unfortunately, I've a mini deck I assembled out of scrap plywood, and a thick heavy bike cover.
Unfortunately it's been a month, I put stabil in but I forgot to top off tank like an idiot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How long has the bike been sitting? In storage or outside? Are you using the choke when you try to start? Are you using throttle? If using throttle, DON'T! Don't use so much seafoam in the fuel. At max, I'd double the dose on the label. Edit; scratch the choke question, reread your post.
Forgot to quote smilie; I only wish I had a garage! Outside unfortunately, I've a mini deck I assembled out of scrap plywood, and a thick heavy bike cover.
Unfortunately it's been a month, I put stabil in but I forgot to top off tank like an idiot.
Noted on the seafoam thanks!
 

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Outside storage can be hard on things. Did you have a critter make a home of your bike. Mouse nest where it shouldn't be. Mud dauber wasp nest in a drain or vent line. Get the tank full of new fuel,(properly mixed) and try again. You said, "half the time" it starts right up? If it were me, I'd run a couple tanks of seafoam through it and see if it straightens out. If not, then I'd be digging deeper. The oil is probably from the drain from your air filter or crankcase vent, not sure of your bike, but not unusual to get a little out of it once in a while
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Carb's shouldn't be an issue after only a month. You need to check for spark.
Noted w thanks, I will definitely check for spark when I get home. Stuck in a cage as chauffeur for my son, I'm new to riding but itching to get it working!
To confirm spark check procedure (was just reading some threads on this) I;
1. Pull spark plug,
2. reattach to cable,
3. Touch the outer piece to the engine block or frame (not near plug's hole so I don't blow up!)
4. Crank while watching for spark.

Right?
 

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Somebody's gonna spank me for this, but I gotta tell you. DON"T hold the plug with bare hands! Hold it to a ground with an insulator of some sort. wood, rubber, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Outside storage can be hard on things. Did you have a critter make a home of your bike. Mouse nest where it shouldn't be. Mud dauber wasp nest in a drain or vent line. Get the tank full of new fuel,(properly mixed) and try again. You said, "half the time" it starts right up? If it were me, I'd run a couple tanks of seafoam through it and see if it straightens out. If not, then I'd be digging deeper. The oil is probably from the drain from your air filter or crankcase vent, not sure of your bike, but not unusual to get a little out of it once in a while
Thanks about oil I found, load off my mind.
I thought about the critter issue, that's why I was checking lines but I could only find 3 and thought there was a 4th for the pump?
I will definitely double check agn tho, probably pull seat to check airbox too just in case though it seems like air isn't issue.

Silly as it sounds I'm not really sure how to dump the tank in order to put fresh gas in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Somebody's gonna spank me for this, but I gotta tell you. DON"T hold the plug with bare hands! Hold it to a ground with an insulator of some sort. wood, rubber, etc.
LMAO thanks for the warning! I promise not to tell anyone you warned me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks about oil I found, load off my mind.
I thought about the critter issue, that's why I was checking lines but I could only find 3 and thought there was a 4th for the pump?
I will definitely double check agn tho, probably pull seat to check airbox too just in case though it seems like air isn't issue.

Silly as it sounds I'm not really sure how to dump the tank in order to put fresh gas in?
So anyone know how to drain the gas on 04 vt1100c without a siphon?
It's not clear to me from reading service manual...
Thanks to everyone who's commented and in advance for anymore!
 

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If you have a petcock, just put a piece of fuel line on it and drain it into a container.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm finally on my way home so will update after checking the spark and airbox.
In another thread about trouble starting somebody suggested doing a vacuum test so I bought a cheap little vacuum & pressure gauge from harbor freight, but honestly I've no idea from the other thread how to use it, help!
I'm basically mechanically inclined, but all my experience is not with automobiles!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If you have a petcock, just put a piece of fuel line on it and drain it into a container.
Oh, DUH! (Slaps self on forehead!)
THANKS!!
 

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I'm finally on my way home so will update after checking the spark and airbox.
In another thread about trouble starting somebody suggested doing a vacuum test so I bought a cheap little vacuum & pressure gauge from harbor freight, but honestly I've no idea from the other thread how to use it, help!
I'm basically mechanically inclined, but all my experience is not with automobiles!
Take the gauge back, you don't need it. Unsure of the thread you're referring to, but what you have you won't need. A vacuum pump (i.e. mity -vac, etc.) with a gauge, maybe.
 

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Noted w thanks, I will definitely check for spark when I get home. Stuck in a cage as chauffeur for my son, I'm new to riding but itching to get it working!
To confirm spark check procedure (was just reading some threads on this) I;
1. Pull spark plug,
2. reattach to cable,
3. Touch the outer piece to the engine block or frame (not near plug's hole so I don't blow up!)
4. Crank while watching for spark.

Right?
Easier to check for spark using a spare sparkplug.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So yeah... I may have to buy a new spark plug socket. Damned if I can find mine. Next time I reorganize my shed, I'm prioritizing the tools screw Xmas decorations. I've lost all my daylight and haven't a shop light.
No I don't have a spare plug either, but isn't the point to test the plug as much as electrical system driving it? I mean I get what you guys said about I could test w a spare plug but that only tests the wire & coil right, not if my installed plug is bad? Remember please I'm more of a newb than not. :sly:
I guess tomorrow if I can't find that socket it's either buy a new one (12 or 16mm?) Or buy another plug.
Thanks for all your help guys. Pt umpteen tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
SM says 12mm, so glad I went to the trouble of downloading and printing this beast!
 
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