sea foam as maintenance


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glasshead
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sea foam as maintenance

Postby glasshead » Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:20 pm



I just read the post on the possible stuck starter sprag and how running sea foam in the oil could loosen it. I was just wondering if it is a good idea to run sea foam in the oil as part of a maintenance procedure on the first run of the riding season?

rich



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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:48 pm

glasshead wrote:I just read the post on the possible stuck starter sprag and how running sea foam in the oil could loosen it. I was just wondering if it is a good idea to run sea foam in the oil as part of a maintenance procedure on the first run of the riding season?

rich


I prefer to do it as part of the last oil change of the season before putting it away for maintenance. That gets any of the acidic sludge out of the engine, so it doesn't sit there all winter eating away at the engine from the inside.

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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby roadwanderer2 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:09 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
glasshead wrote:I just read the post on the possible stuck starter sprag and how running sea foam in the oil could loosen it. I was just wondering if it is a good idea to run sea foam in the oil as part of a maintenance procedure on the first run of the riding season?

rich


I prefer to do it as part of the last oil change of the season before putting it away for maintenance. That gets any of the acidic sludge out of the engine, so it doesn't sit there all winter eating away at the engine from the inside.


ok, what about a rider like me that rides all year round, what would you suggest I do.

stuart.

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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:30 pm

My experience with the starter spinning and not engaging (your experience may differ) is that higher viscosity oil and cold weather seem to make this worse. I've also seen this in engines where regular oil changes were not performed, which I suppose means that there's varnish or other gunk build up that makes this happen in the first place.

I'm not a big fan of putting anything in the crankcase except oil. I'm sure it's okay to do, because so many people do it without negative results, but I'm just not interested in doing it. I find that even in cases where poor maintenance or no maintenance has been done that running a quart of synthetic oil with oil changes will help to clean up the inside of the engine over the short term, and then I run "straight" oil (I use "diesel oil" in my bikes like Rotella, Delo 400, Delvac or WalMart brand) and change oil frequently...

My suggestion would be to refer to your owner's manual, and run oil that matches the viscosity recommendation in the owner's manual based on the ambient temperature you plan to ride in for whatever time of the year you're riding. If you can store the bike inside where there is less temperature change due to weather, all the better. Slightly thinner viscosity oil can help with this, or so I believe. I like Castrol GTX oil, if you want to vary viscosity, as it has always served me well and it is available in many viscosity options. Above all else, regular oil and filter changes are cheap insurance for longer engine life regardless of what you are driving on or riding in.

I will not criticize others who choose to put additives in their oil.
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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby roadwanderer2 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:01 pm

well, as per the repair manual, it states that oil and filter should be changed every 8,000 miles, with the oil being between 10W-30 from temps ranging from +5*F to +85*F, and 10W-40 from temps ranging from +5* to over 100*F, and 20W-40 to 20W-50 from temps ranging from +30*F to over 100*F. so, there's a big difference between viscosities and, personally I don't agree with running oil in ANY vehicle for 8,000 miles would be a good thing. I change mine every 3,000 miles whether it needs it or not, but id like to know if adding Seafoam into the oil would damage anything on the inside of the motor and unclog things like, sticky valves, (starter sprag gears like wingadmin said), and oil passageways. that's like putting marvel mystery oil in a car's fuel or oil, and I know that does work to clean out carbs and fuel injectors. been there, done that.

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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby Wilcoy02 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:02 pm

I run sea foam in the crankcase for about 100 miles and then change the oil & filter. I also put sea foam in the gas tank in the winter. I will ride all year long if there is no ice, snow, or salt on the roads.

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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby roadwanderer2 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:02 am

Wilcoy02 wrote:I run sea foam in the crankcase for about 100 miles and then change the oil & filter. I also put sea foam in the gas tank in the winter. I will ride all year long if there is no ice, snow, or salt on the roads.


I also ride all year round and always put Seafoam in my fuel tank at every fill up. I have noticed an improvement with the performance using it, but not sure about putting it in my oil. however I will try it just before my next oil change.

stuart.

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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby Wilcoy02 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:34 am

Just make sure you take some oil out before you add the sea foam to the oil. Do not want to overfill.

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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby roadwanderer2 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:38 am

Wilcoy02 wrote:Just make sure you take some oil out before you add the sea foam to the oil. Do not want to overfill.


ok, how much Seafoam is sufficient, what size container, how many ounces.

stuart.

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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:46 pm

HawkeyeGL1200 wrote:My experience with the starter spinning and not engaging (your experience may differ) is that higher viscosity oil and cold weather seem to make this worse. I've also seen this in engines where regular oil changes were not performed, which I suppose means that there's varnish or other gunk build up that makes this happen in the first place.

I'm not a big fan of putting anything in the crankcase except oil. I'm sure it's okay to do, because so many people do it without negative results, but I'm just not interested in doing it. I find that even in cases where poor maintenance or no maintenance has been done that running a quart of synthetic oil with oil changes will help to clean up the inside of the engine over the short term, and then I run "straight" oil (I use "diesel oil" in my bikes like Rotella, Delo 400, Delvac or WalMart brand) and change oil frequently...


In this specific case, the problem is that there is very little oil flow in the area of the starter clutch. This causes sludge build-up in this area. The little sprags with their little springs can very easily be overloaded by sludge - and the colder the weather, the stiffer the sludge, so the more often the non-engaging starter issue appears.

There are three ways of fixing the problem:

1. Remove the engine from the bike, then pull the back end of the engine off and remove the starter clutch. Clean out the sludge by hand and reassemble.

2. Drill a hole in the starter clutch housing and spray a solvent directly into the clutch to dissolve the sludge deposits.

3. Add Seafoam to the crankcase oil and run the engine (gently) for an hour or so, or 60 miles. This circulates the Seafoam (which acts as a solvent) to the clutch area and gradually breaks up the sludge, clearing the problem. Then drain the oil and refill with fresh oil.

Obviously, the third option is the easiest and simplest, and as far as I have heard, I don't know of anyone it hasn't worked for. As an added bonus, all the sludge lodged elsewhere in your engine is also dislodged and pours out in chunks when you change your oil. It doesn't damage anything in the engine, and Seafoam specifically lists engine oil as a usable application. Just keep in mind that the overall viscosity of your oil is reduced, so you need to baby the engine (no hard acceleration).

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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby roadwanderer2 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:00 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
HawkeyeGL1200 wrote:My experience with the starter spinning and not engaging (your experience may differ) is that higher viscosity oil and cold weather seem to make this worse. I've also seen this in engines where regular oil changes were not performed, which I suppose means that there's varnish or other gunk build up that makes this happen in the first place.

I'm not a big fan of putting anything in the crankcase except oil. I'm sure it's okay to do, because so many people do it without negative results, but I'm just not interested in doing it. I find that even in cases where poor maintenance or no maintenance has been done that running a quart of synthetic oil with oil changes will help to clean up the inside of the engine over the short term, and then I run "straight" oil (I use "diesel oil" in my bikes like Rotella, Delo 400, Delvac or WalMart brand) and change oil frequently...


In this specific case, the problem is that there is very little oil flow in the area of the starter clutch. This causes sludge build-up in this area. The little sprags with their little springs can very easily be overloaded by sludge - and the colder the weather, the stiffer the sludge, so the more often the non-engaging starter issue appears.

There are three ways of fixing the problem:

1. Remove the engine from the bike, then pull the back end of the engine off and remove the starter clutch. Clean out the sludge by hand and reassemble.

2. Drill a hole in the starter clutch housing and spray a solvent directly into the clutch to dissolve the sludge deposits.

3. Add Seafoam to the crankcase oil and run the engine (gently) for an hour or so, or 60 miles. This circulates the Seafoam (which acts as a solvent) to the clutch area and gradually breaks up the sludge, clearing the problem. Then drain the oil and refill with fresh oil.

Obviously, the third option is the easiest and simplest, and as far as I have heard, I don't know of anyone it hasn't worked for. As an added bonus, all the sludge lodged elsewhere in your engine is also dislodged and pours out in chunks when you change your oil. It doesn't damage anything in the engine, and Seafoam specifically lists engine oil as a usable application. Just keep in mind that the overall viscosity of your oil is reduced, so you need to baby the engine (no hard acceleration).


thank you wingadmin for making this subject now perfectly clear. since I also have the starter clutch problem, and I don't want to remove the motor from the frame or drill into it, im definitely going to try this to help correct the situation just before my next oil change.

stuart.

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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:07 pm

Please remember, I didn't say NOT to do it. I said I wouldn't do it to mine.

I'm sure it is perfectly safe to do this, as many have reported using SeaFoam in their crankcase(s) and I have never seen any comments suggesting that it is "bad" to do it. I just choose not to put anything except engine oil in my crankcase.
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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby roadwanderer2 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:21 pm

HawkeyeGL1200 wrote:Please remember, I didn't say NOT to do it. I said I wouldn't do it to mine.

I'm sure it is perfectly safe to do this, as many have reported using SeaFoam in their crankcase(s) and I have never seen any comments suggesting that it is "bad" to do it. I just choose not to put anything except engine oil in my crankcase.


well, I know what marvel mystery oil does for the carbs and oil in a car's motor, so why shouldn't it work the same in a bike's engine. hey, a motor is a motor unless its an electric motor right? im willing to give it a try to see if it does some good. wont know until I try it, I mean its not like im gonna drain the motor of all its oil and using Seafoam by itself. we're only talking about 16oz, 1 pint, put it in, run it for about an hour and drain it. what could it hurt.

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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby SilverDave » Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:24 pm

When I cannot find SeaFoam, or when its too expensive ( as in not on sale ) I also use MMO.

Works almost the same :
... drain a quarter quart of oil, add a quarter quart of Marvels Mystery Oil, and drive ( gently ) for a hundred Kilometres or so.
The stuff that comes out on the oil drain is absolutely disgusting , with small black chunks in it
and the starter clutch stops its spinning without catching .

It definitely thins the oil, so I see no advantage of using it more than once a season ...
and certainly no hard driving while its in ...

but it works!!!

SilverDave

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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby roadwanderer2 » Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:32 pm

SilverDave wrote:When I cannot find SeaFoam, or when its too expensive ( as in not on sale ) I also use MMO.

Works almost the same :
... drain a quarter quart of oil, add a quarter quart of Marvels Mystery Oil, and drive ( gently ) for a hundred Kilometres or so.
The stuff that comes out on the oil drain is absolutely disgusting , with small black chunks in it
and the starter clutch stops its spinning without catching .

It definitely thins the oil, so I see no advantage of using it more than once a season ...
and certainly no hard driving while its in ...

but it works!!!

SilverDave


I know MMO works good in a car's motor, but I never thought about using it in a bike's engine, but its worth a try.

stuart.

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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby f1xrupr » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:15 am

Yeah, I'm with Hawk on this one...I'll add some slickumups or some thickumups to some old engines, but, cleanumups could have adverse effects in the old school days.
I have pulled down quite a few engines in the past 38 years, and, the ones that I have pulled down that were manufactured say...this side of the mid 90s were clean inside for the most part. Back in earlier years, oil didn't have detergent-in fact, it would say on the can (not bottle) non, or, high detergent. I believe that if you pull down an engine, and rebuild/repair it, and clean it good, I think by using quality oil, your engine will stay clean (that is if you change your oil responsibly). I think that the build up of carbon deposits in a oldwing is possibly spawned by residual deposits from years ago when these bikes were produced, and oil was simple, and maybe giving new deposits a bed to cling to. Back in the old days, if you switched to high detergent oil in a old engine, often times, it would ruin your engine (you old schoolers know what I'm talking about). That's what I ment by adverse affect. If your engine has never been treated, I'd be careful with that stuff....don't forget-your oil filter bolt is a bypass valve, and if your filter gets stopped up, it WILL send all that trash right to your bearings, and you will have good oil pressure all the while....
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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby roadwanderer2 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:48 am

I just finished running my bike after putting some Seafoam down the plenum, and boy did it ever smoke. it took 3 days, a 15 mile ride down the interstate at 70mph, and a half a tank of fuel to get it to almost stop smoking lol. it did little good to get the carbs working correctly again. it still has that low idle dead miss though its not as bad as when it first appeared. I guess maybe a few more "runs" might get it back to where its running right. like I said before, it has plenty of power and runs excellent once its warmed up and on the roads. as long as I don't have to sit there and idle, its ok. not sure what to do with it next, but im going to run some high-test fuel and some ethanol treatment in her and see if that makes any difference. maybe once I do that it will settle down and act right. who knows, maybe I just got a tank full of bad fuel. since its such a nice day out today, im thinking of taking another trip up and down the dragon where I have to keep the bike in lower gears and the rpm's up. maybe that might also help.

stuart.

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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby ram11397 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:53 pm

Hi,
I used seafoam in my gas tank about every fourth fill works great and i put some in my oil run 100 miles then do oil change. I do this last oil change of the season.

Rick
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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby roadwanderer2 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:45 pm

ram11397 wrote:Hi,
I used seafoam in my gas tank about every fourth fill works great and i put some in my oil run 100 miles then do oil change. I do this last oil change of the season.

Rick


rick, I don't give my bike a rest, I ride it all year round, in fact, I just filled it up with premium and topped it off with the Seafoam and took it for a ride down the dragon's tail. it was nice today, I had the whole place to myself. only a few cagers and a couple of other bikes. the restaurant on the S.C. side at deals gap is now open for the season. It was a very nice ride, but it still didn't do any good. the engine still has that dead miss at an idle. I thought by running it between 2nd and 3rd gears it would push whatever is in the carbs out but I guess not. now I have to consider having the carbs rebuilt at a tune of up to $500 bucks. I guess im not going down to Florida this year because I cant afford to do both the carbs and the trip :cry:.

stuart.

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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby f1xrupr » Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:55 pm

Hey Stuart, you don't suppose you could have a valve out of adjustment do you?
That can cause a mis at idle.
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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby roadwanderer2 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:07 pm

f1xrupr wrote:Hey Stuart, you don't suppose you could have a valve out of adjustment do you?
That can cause a mis at idle.


I don't see how that could be possible since the bike runs great above an idle. no misfire at high rpm like a dead cylinder would cause, absolutely no loss of power at high speed and no popping back when im decelerating. could it possibly have a bent push rod? that would also cause a misfire, but wouldn't that also cause loss of power? I mean the bike runs perfectly until I stop and let it idle.

stuart.

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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:27 pm

Have you checked the resistors inside the plugs boots to make sure they're tight inside the boot? One of the things I have taken to doing when I change plugs is checking the resistors out to make sure they're clean and tight in the plug boots. You may have some corrosion or a loose resistor that allows that cylinder to miss at idle and then as RPM increases, and voltage stabilizes, the miss can disappear.

If you've synchronized the carbs, and have good throttle response at higher RPMs, I'd suspect either the low speed jet in one carb is partially plugged up, or you have a bum plug wire.

I've dumped about everything imaginable into various fuel tanks in an effort to clear up the trash left behind by ethanol, and my favorite is the Chevron fuel cleaner with techrolene or whatever it is they call it. My usual method of adding it is, I'll wait until I'm 4 gallons or so down on the tank of fuel I'm running, stop at the store and pick up a bottle of fuel system cleaner, dump all of it in the fuel, and then ride a few miles to a gas station to fill up. I know the bottle says the container will treat "up to" 15 or 20 gallons of gas, but that's what I do. It is the only fuel treatment that I've added that I believe did anything to improve performance of the bike.

I'm also one of the few who puts small amounts of 2-cycle engine oil in my 4-cycle engines. I use about an ounce per gallon initially, then add some from time to time (as the spirit moves me, I guess) and it seems to make my engines run a little quieter. I'd like to be able to offer some evidence other than "it seems" to help, but that's all I've got. It certainly doesn't seem to hurt.. my bikes do smoke a little when I use it, but I'm unable to see what it coming out of the tail pipe when I'm riding, so I could not care less.
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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby roadwanderer2 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:41 pm

HawkeyeGL1200 wrote:Have you checked the resistors inside the plugs boots to make sure they're tight inside the boot? One of the things I have taken to doing when I change plugs is checking the resistors out to make sure they're clean and tight in the plug boots. You may have some corrosion or a loose resistor that allows that cylinder to miss at idle and then as RPM increases, and voltage stabilizes, the miss can disappear.

If you've synchronized the carbs, and have good throttle response at higher RPMs, I'd suspect either the low speed jet in one carb is partially plugged up, or you have a bum plug wire.

I've dumped about everything imaginable into various fuel tanks in an effort to clear up the trash left behind by ethanol, and my favorite is the Chevron fuel cleaner with techrolene or whatever it is they call it. My usual method of adding it is, I'll wait until I'm 4 gallons or so down on the tank of fuel I'm running, stop at the store and pick up a bottle of fuel system cleaner, dump all of it in the fuel, and then ride a few miles to a gas station to fill up. I know the bottle says the container will treat "up to" 15 or 20 gallons of gas, but that's what I do. It is the only fuel treatment that I've added that I believe did anything to improve performance of the bike.

I'm also one of the few who puts small amounts of 2-cycle engine oil in my 4-cycle engines. I use about an ounce per gallon initially, then add some from time to time (as the spirit moves me, I guess) and it seems to make my engines run a little quieter. I'd like to be able to offer some evidence other than "it seems" to help, but that's all I've got. It certainly doesn't seem to hurt.. my bikes do smoke a little when I use it, but I'm unable to see what it coming out of the tail pipe when I'm riding, so I could not care less.


I have to assume that the plug wires on this bike are the originals, but there is one thing that I just thought of, I put new chrome spark plug covers on, and when I did I pulled on the left wires and I might have done something to it because this didn't start until I put the new chrome covers on. is it possible that I broke the wire at some point internally and its not making good contact inside the plug wire or at the coil end of the wire?

stuart.

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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:55 pm

While I can't really comment on what anyone else will experience, I believe that the heating up and cooling down of the plug boot over time will often cause the screw(s) that retain the resistor in the end of the boot(s) to loosen over time. Any electrical connection that is either loose or has (even the potential for) corrosion build up is suspect when you have a problem that could be attributed to poor or inadequate spark.

It takes me like 2 minutes to pull the boots one at a time, take a flat bladed screwdriver, and tighten the boots. I can't tell you the number of times I've found loose screws over the years in various models of bikes I've ridden. If you take each one apart and clean everything and then put the parts back in, you can spray a little wd-40 in the plug boot before snapping it back in place and that should keep the internal parts free of water contamination for a good while.

I change my plugs a couple of times a year whether they need it or not. I've got a little container I toss the used plugs in and I'll keep a couple of extras on the bike in the event one fails while I'm out and about. Every time I remove a plug boot, I check the screws.

As with every comment I make, this may have absolutely nothing to do with your problem. Checking the plug boots only costs you a few minutes of time and no money. I'd even be inclined, in your case, to check the top end of the plug wires to make sure they haven't loosened over time.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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roadwanderer2
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Location: sweetwater, Tennessee
Motorcycle: 83 GL1100A aspencade, previously owned, 1981 honda GL500i silverwing interstate, 1974 yamaha xs400, 1974 Honda cb450 twin cam, 1983 honda vt30, 1982 honda 700 shadow, 1972 cb750four, and my first bike, a brand new 1982 honda CM400e. and a new to me 1986 GL1200 aspencade SEi
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Re: sea foam as maintenance

Postby roadwanderer2 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 7:10 pm

HawkeyeGL1200 wrote:While I can't really comment on what anyone else will experience, I believe that the heating up and cooling down of the plug boot over time will often cause the screw(s) that retain the resistor in the end of the boot(s) to loosen over time. Any electrical connection that is either loose or has (even the potential for) corrosion build up is suspect when you have a problem that could be attributed to poor or inadequate spark.

It takes me like 2 minutes to pull the boots one at a time, take a flat bladed screwdriver, and tighten the boots. I can't tell you the number of times I've found loose screws over the years in various models of bikes I've ridden. If you take each one apart and clean everything and then put the parts back in, you can spray a little wd-40 in the plug boot before snapping it back in place and that should keep the internal parts free of water contamination for a good while.

I change my plugs a couple of times a year whether they need it or not. I've got a little container I toss the used plugs in and I'll keep a couple of extras on the bike in the event one fails while I'm out and about. Every time I remove a plug boot, I check the screws.

As with every comment I make, this may have absolutely nothing to do with your problem. Checking the plug boots only costs you a few minutes of time and no money. I'd even be inclined, in your case, to check the top end of the plug wires to make sure they haven't loosened over time.


ya know, its very coincidental that this all started just after I put on the new chrome spark plug covers. im starting to think I broke or stretched a wire when I pulled on the left side spark plug wires to get them to fit under the covers. tomorrow im gonna remove the tank cover and try to get to the plug wires at the coils and see if I did infact break something up in there. its possible I pulled one of the wires that go to the coils apart internally and that's what could be causing the misfire.

stuart.




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