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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Problem started Yesterday: I was riding down the road - after ~10 miles my bike lost power then regained power so that I was able to get to my destination ~2 miles away with no problem.

Today: I turned my bike on - idled normally - rode ~10 miles highway and it lost power but this time it didn't return and I could not get the bike started and had a tow.

One of the things I noticed on the side of the road while I waited was my rectifier terminals in the plugs were badly corroded and the plugs were ****. I changed them out.
Two hours later I started the bike and it idled for 2 - 3 minutes normally > then ran hesitant > then died.

-The bike starts fine and I have never had a problem with the battery since I bought it 3 months ago. The rectifier likely is not defected. Also, I took a ~500 mile trip 3 weeks ago and put on ~450 miles since then till now (this bike doesn't sit too long). Any ideas?
- Also, I recently drained the crankcase breather tube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Update: I went to take another look.
- I went to take a look at the crankcase again and it spit out more fluids, enough to cover my hand. It was a watery/gassy oil almost. Light brown in color. The first drain two days earlier was a thicker and darker brown and a little more fluids than the second drain.
-I then went to check the carburetor bowls and emptied them. Out came a very small amount of gas. About 20ml (1/5 volume of a baby food jar). No water.
- Turned the bike on and ran it for while. On the first minute of the ride I noticed a hesitation - I stopped the bike, waited a few moments, and rode about 8 miles without hesitation. Speeds up to 50mph.
Any thoughts? I bet the stalling is going to occur again
 

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From your description it sounds as if the bike has overheated and you have blown a head gasket..unless I have misread your post you are adding coolant to your oil..and that is serious..the stalling seems to be the engine seizing, then you stop and let it cool down a bit and it goes until it gets too hot again.. these engines are very forgiving but if I am right you need a rebuild, engine out, heads skimmed, new gaskets, might as well replace the shells while you are at it..or look for a good replacement engine..

That bike looks a bit like my '84 VT700.


Or I could be wrong..

John.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Yes, this is a 1985 VT700.
I'm not adding coolant to the oil. I just changed the oil with 15-40 rotella 450 miles ago (I have noticed a stiffer shift once I have done so but that goes away). This bike has never been in the overheat segment on the temperature gauge ever and I read it diligently. Its 55 degrees at the hottest point in the day where I am from and the bike barely makes it past the first rideable temperature zone even if I'm standing at stop lights.
 

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I wouldnt condem the engine or head gasket just yet, I dont know what the temps or weather is like where you are at John, but I'm not to far from where he's at. its not uncommon in the cold weather, to see a creamy light brown mixture of water and oil in the upper areas of an engine in this kind of weather, take the oil cap off your car engine and look at the under side of it, thats exactly what you will find. and a breather tube or moisture tank is where you will most likely find it. John may be rite. but I would continue with diag before condeming the moter, or head gasket.
 

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What is battery voltage at idle and say 4-5K rpm's? Check it with digital meter, it needs to be 12.5+.
 

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Check it right across the battery when the bike is running?
Yes. Red lead to positive, black to negative. Set meter for 20VDC (or anything just above say,15).

Check it off, idle, and revved...see what you got. This will tell you how your charging system is doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I checked the batteries water/electrolyte levels and they were a 1/4 inch below the lower line. I refilled with distilled to a little above halfway. Then charged it.
I also noticed the drain tube for the battery was unattached but besides the corrosive fumes hurting the bike I don't think this does anything.
I'll checking the charging unit on this bike - I just need to get a meter.
 

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Problem started Yesterday: I was riding down the road - after ~10 miles my bike lost power then regained power so that I was able to get to my destination ~2 miles away with no problem.

Today: I turned my bike on - idled normally - rode ~10 miles highway and it lost power but this time it didn't return and I could not get the bike started and had a tow.

One of the things I noticed on the side of the road while I waited was my rectifier terminals in the plugs were badly corroded and the plugs were ****. I changed them out.
Two hours later I started the bike and it idled for 2 - 3 minutes normally > then ran hesitant > then died.

-The bike starts fine and I have never had a problem with the battery since I bought it 3 months ago. The rectifier likely is not defected. Also, I took a ~500 mile trip 3 weeks ago and put on ~450 miles since then till now (this bike doesn't sit too long). Any ideas?
- Also, I recently drained the crankcase breather tube.
This is your original issue. Did you replace the terminals ONLY or the wires also. Cause those wiires between the stator and rectifier also need to be upgraded. Have you RECHRGED or replaced the battery yet. Cause with the rectifier wiring being buggered up it will have been discharged. A discharged or weak battery can cause ignition problems. 20ml in the bowls is about right. Where did the liquid you drained come from? any oil in the coolant? Oil/water in the airbox? Water in the oil?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I purchased the bike about 3 1/2 months ago. Drove it 3,000k miles and changed the oil. The oil was not contaminated with anything. I decided to open the crankcase breather plug and out came a water/oil mixture, which to my understanding, is OK for WNY.
As to the 3 yellow wires, I cut the wires an inch away from the plug on both sides and rewired a new plug (I have a spare vt700 bike). I'm not sure of the age on the battery - I haven't replaced it. It is a yusa Honda battery and doesn't look too old but certainly not brand new. The battery never died and has retained a charge well. When I took my bike on a trip 3 weeks ago for 500 miles I hooked up a GPS to the battery. When I parked it home and went to restart it 4 - 5 days later it was low on juice. This was unusual and never happened to me - I'm thinking that this is my problem. On the other hand, it is getting cold here.

When I realized the water levels were low, I refilled it and then charged it with my battery tender and it only needed 1 hour to bring up to full power.

I cleaned the air filter 2 months ago and there was no oil in it. I can check it later. I put a tube in the reserve antifreeze and sucked some of it up and there was no oil. Haven't checked the main neck but I'm pretty certain that I didn't blow the gasket.
 

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I have to disconnect my GPS when I park the bike for any length of time..also a VT700c 1986..I also have a spare VT700c 1984..both bikes are totally different.

John.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Vapor lock is a good idea and fits the symptoms but my bike never had these symptoms in summer of 90 degree weather. It recently just started and the temperature hasn't reached 65 once. Additionally, 3 weeks ago when it was warmer I took a 500 mile trip without it happening (thank you lord).
I'll check the coils maybe during winter and if it shorts out again I'll see if the plugs are firing. I should be able to get on it tomorrow and test it for a ride.
Thank you
 

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Charging system looks good to me, have you looked at fuel filter and pump?
 
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