Joe Blogs

(Not so) Mysterious Cutting Out

Jul
02

I got on Marlene yesterday to run some errands. She started up nicely, but every time I tried to engage 1st gear, she cut out instantly.

Given that it was instant I had an idea of what it might be. There is a safety cut-out on the side-stand, that prevents you from going into gear with the stand down.

I got off and took a look, and lo and behold, the switch (a plunger type) was stuck in. I was in a hurry, so I simply pulled it back out with my nail and went on my way. Next time, it wasn’t an issue, so I’ve just squirted it with some lube and worked it in and out a bit and hopefully that’s that.

IMG_20130702_090721

Fuel leak

Jul
01

The morning after the MOT, I noticed a dark patch under the bike, and assumed it was oil. It was towards the back of the bike, so I thought maybe it was the drive shaft leaking. I didn’t have time to look at it, as I was working.

During my lunch break, I took a closer look, and discovered it was fuel, not oil, but it was difficult to see where it was originating. The drip (very slow) was coming from the underside of the exhaust.

IMG_20130625_124408

I was quite concerned that it was a cracked tank or something nasty, as there was a lot of muck and rust in the area. Looking at manuals and on VMaxForum.net showed that removing the tank is quite a job. It sits inside the frame, under the seat, and seems to require removal of the rear wheel and swingarm, and other gubbins to do much with it. Even it it were a dodgy fuel hose, that could be quite a job.

After work, I had another look, with a torch and it looked as though it might be the drain bolt, but the whole lot was so mucky it was impossible to tell, except that that area looked wet with fuel and nothing higher than that was wet.

IMG_20130625_124515 IMG_20130625_145353

I had a little scrub with a wire brush but that just spread the muck around, really.IMG_20130625_150200 IMG_20130625_150209

A bit more degreasant and cleaning up with an old sock (pro tip, save old socks they make good rags) made things a little clearer, but it still wasn’t entirely clear where the leak was.

IMG_20130625_151050 IMG_20130625_151055 IMG_20130625_151137 IMG_20130625_151155

After leaving it for a little while, it became more apparent. The leak is from the fuel level sensor. Additionally, when cleaning it up, one of the wires to the sensor became completely detached, which probably explains why that hasn’t been working (knew about that when I bought it).IMG_20130625_151846 IMG_20130625_151911

It looks likely that the problem is simply the o-ring for the sensor, and I think I can get it out by draining the tank and just unscrewing it, as I can access those bolts without removing the tank or wheel (I think).

IMG_20130625_160202

 

I have the replacement o-ring, courtesy of my local Motorcycle Parts Centre. I also bought new bolts and a new drain plug washer to be sure. The leak has actually slowed or stopped since I used up some of the fuel in the tank, riding, so I’m going to wait until I’m back from Hayling Island, to avoid jeopardising that if I run into problems. I’ll also try to solder the sensor wire while I’m at it.

I was interested to find, in the Haynes manual, that they include a check on this in the 4000 mile routine service:

Check for leakage from the level sensor in the base of the tank.
If it is leaking, tighten the mounting screws (see illustration).
If leakage persists remove the sensor and replace its gasket with a
new one (See Chapter 4)