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Discussion Starter #1
Desperately need some help finding a mechanic in Tulsa that is willing to work on a 1985 Shadow 500,so far I am just
S.O.L. finding anyone willing to. I'm really afraid I just purchased a huge headache not knowing what I was doing buying an older bike, starting to regret my decision! Know I have some Carb issues, scared to think if something else goes wrong with the shaft drive or ANYTHING ELSE I'll have a hunk of inoperable junk in my garage....
PLEASE HELP, ANY SUGGESTIONS APPRECIATED!
 

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The shaft drive will be probably the last thing that will give you trouble.
Does it start and run at all?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes it starts and runs, took it for about a half hour test drive before I bought it, rode fine on the way home. Had a lot of trouble starting last night, there is a delay in the throttle that makes me wary of riding it in much traffic. Runs fine on the highway though. Assuming it has some carburetor issues. I know absolutely NOTHING mechanically about bikes... None of the local dealers will even work on it for any reason other than putting the new tires on...
 

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That's a good beginning. Try some Seafoam in the gas and maybe that can help the hesitation without taking off the carbs.


Is the factory intake tubing all still on it?


You may have to learn the starting technique for your bike. They all have a different procedure that can take experimenting with. Go easy with the choke till you learn the secret.


Maybe new spark plugs is a good investment.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, Seafoam was my next step. I wouldn't know the difference between factory tubing and aftermarket to be honest with you. I rarely use the choke as it seems to only flood it out, same with my Honda rebel...
This morning it took CONSTANT action on the throttle to keep it running for a short bit, finally died out. 😣 Going for new spark plugs now.
 

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How does the gas tank look. That’s a battle I’m dealing with right now. My main tank is fine, but my aux tank is in bad shape. Just a bunch of crap in it that is contaminating my gas. We have similar year bikes, mines a 84 700. Not sure if you have the auxiliary tank. But that seems to be the root of my issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
ENGINE PROBLEMS in tulsa, ok

I'm so dumb I'm not even sure mine has an AUX tank, looks like it does just by looking down inside there. Finally got it started this morning, had to choke it all the way to get it to fire. Has lots of power, but really wants to die when I show down, like at a stop sign. Have to keep on the throttle and clutch. Seems like it's idling too slow. Can that be adjusted on an 85 without disassembling anything? If so can someone please tell an idiot like me how to do it? Thanks for the replies!
 

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Yes easy to get the idle speed up. A large black plastic headed screw on the left side- screw it in to increase speed.

And easy to adjust the mixture screws also. They are on the sides if the cover plugs have been removed they can be seen below the throttle shaft area. A small screwdriver and turn them gently out a 1/2 turn to see if that helps the idle also.
 

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Start with something you can do.turn the gas petcock off, at the petcock output take the gas line clamp off then the line off of it.Put a clear container under it to catch gas,turn the petcock slowly to reserve not to on,this will bring out the gas from the bottom off the tank,when it gets nearly full turn the gas off and look at what is in the container,if you see anything other than gas you need to drain it all out.If you see things in there they will be in your carburetor fuel bowls to and they will need to be drained.There should be a bolt on the bottom of the fuel bowl at the bottom of the carburetor, draining these is the only way to get any dirt out.This is just a start it is not cleaning anything just seeing what might be wrong in your fuel system.This would be a good time to change or add a fuel filter the size of your fuel line.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys, will try all of these suggestions! Adding a fuel filter is something I really want to do. This thing sat in a barn for quite a while, when I went to look at it there were ANTS crawling out of the tach.... If they were in there, who knows where else they got to...
 

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Also you can download the shop manual from this site for your bike. It’s not designed for those with little mechanical knowledge, but still may be a good starting point for diagnosing your bike. And it’s free.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Oh hell, guys, now I've got A REAL problem... The battery got almost dead with all the cranking trying to get it started. When I took the cover off I encountered something I hadn't seen before, a battery with only a positive terminal.... After watching a YouTube video, I hooked up my battery charger with the positive on the battery terminal, and I grounded the negative clamp to the metal on the motor... I had seen my father do this when I was younger with cars... After a few hours and the charger meter showing almost full charge, I took it off and turned the key. NOW NOTHING WILL LIGHT UP AT ALL, CERTAINLY WON'T TURN OVER. None of the console lights come on at all. Have I burnt this S. O. B. up?? Screw me....
CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME HOW TO GET THE SEAT OFF SO I CAN GET THE BATTERY OUT? THANKS ALL.
 

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Look for the main fuse - it is a 30 amp fuse for all the electrical system. Might be an old metal strip type in a small black plastic box near the battery or regulator unit.I changed mine to an inline fuse holder.


First make sure the battery cable terminals are clean and tight.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Update. After hacksawing the sissy bar strap brackets off i was finally able to get the seat off and remove the battery. Of course all the wiring connectors, including the plastic fuse connector are impossible to separate.... Still trying to seperate the fuse connector to check the curse itself. Dealer says I likely finished off the battery (which looks new) and he'll be happy to sell me another for $120, lol. At this point I don't care if I spend another $2k, I'm getting this ******* running right and I'm gonna ride the hell out of it!!
 

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Update. After hacksawing the sissy bar strap brackets off i was finally able to get the seat off and remove the battery. Of course all the wiring connectors, including the plastic fuse connector are impossible to separate.... Still trying to seperate the fuse connector to check the curse itself. Dealer says I likely finished off the battery (which looks new) and he'll be happy to sell me another for $120, lol. At this point I don't care if I spend another $2k, I'm getting this ******* running right and I'm gonna ride the hell out of it!!

Charging a battery won't damage it unless you hooked it up to an automotive type charger and set the charger to some ungodly high current value. But if you did that, it would most likely start boiling and blow the caps clean off the battery. Bike batteries should be charged ideally between .75 and 2.0 amps max. Slow down, grasshopper. Hack-sawing parts off your bike is going to guarantee you burn up that $2,000 motorcycle fund in very short order.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It was just a normal 6v/12v automotive battery charger. So given that, are you saying it's likely the fuse that's shot? Why would charging the battery cause everything to black out?
It seemed impossible to remove the sissy strap since it was riveted in place and bolted to the frame. Reading another post is why I went ahead and did that. Other user had to use his sawzall... Don't know how they expect you to remove the seat otherwise.
 

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I actually live in oklahoma, and I’m not far from you! If we can find the time I’d be more than happy to take a look at your bike and offer what I can. I JUST finished rebuilding my 85 vt700 the hardest thing is FINDING the parts to replace them as they don’t really make much for older bikes like ours. I bought mine in March and I’m just now getting it on the road. Seems like every test run I find a new issue, buts that’s really just how it goes!
 

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You can take the battery to an auto parts store and they will check it.

I would still like to know the steps you took to have melted wires.

Did you touch the battery positive terminal to ground when charging?
 

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If your battery is dead. Try batterystuff.com for a battery. I have used them several times with good results. I have bought AGM batteries cheaper than the regular lead acid batteries there.
 
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