Author Topic: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question  (Read 900 times)

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Offline Little Joe

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2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« on: September 21, 2017, 10:07:59 pm »
Hey COGDOM,

I'm back from a short hiatus and have a question about air filter fouling.

A month ago I started to notice a smallish backfire/misfire/hiccup with my 2001 (fastest color) California version Connie with 57Kmi.  I thought it might just be some bad gas; I normally run plain gas (no ethanol) but couldn’t find the good stuff while on my last long run in the Colorado mountains.
 
I decided it was time to do some minor maintenance and pull the air filter and check the plugs to see if anything was amiss.  The air filter came out with a big black greasy smudge on the back side (air side of the box) of it, see picture….. Not sure if this something I need to worry about, is normal or not, or maybe I need to check my air filter more often? Ok, I've already decided to do the last bit.

The carbs had been reconditioned by Steve back in November of 2014, so it has been awhile with not even a carb syncing since.  Plugs looked ok, somewhat dark, not wet at the time.

Not a mechanic....but have a few tools laying about the garage.     

Here is a picture.



LJ

Offline Bud

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2017, 10:27:46 pm »
I think you have tight valves on the cylinder that farted :rotflmao: on your air filter.  Watch Steve's video on why we do valve adjustments and the condition of your air filter should make sense to you.  If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will chime in with the correct info.  Just my opinion from your description.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQEFWeFeqUo

Offline Mcfly

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2017, 11:03:49 pm »
That dark spot, if on the back of the filter is where the fresh air intake is for the air box.
If you got the 2 minute jet mod, you'll have some foam in the other half of the inlet...
so that side will stay cleaner...   ;D
The air Filters are washable, with a mild dawn and water solution... rinse it out, then let it air dry.
My best guess:  Dirty Air Filter.

While you have the filter out, check the air box for cracks.  If the plugs are out, clean 'em with a wire brush
re-gap them, and they should be good.  I clean the plugs at every oil change (5-6k miles), and check the air filter at that time too.

Steve's bench sync was about 95% perfect on my carbs (one carb was a wee bit off).  You really don't NEED to sync them until
your next valve adjustment. 

As for the misfire/backfire/hiccup... that's three different symptoms...  You might start by checking your plug wires,
sometimes the ends get corroded and might create a misfire.  Bud made a good suggestion about a valve adjustment,
if one hasn't been done recently.  Hard to diagnose your bike from my couch.  Some of the 'Gurus' might be able to do better
with that.

 :beerchug:


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Offline Little Joe

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2017, 03:36:59 pm »
Bud, McFly,

Thank you for the replies, I took off the valve cover last night after watching another fine video by Steve. Thanks for the link.

I cleaned the air filter already and will adjust the valves this afternoon.  This weekend is shot with family activities and I have a business trip next week.

When I return, I'll do a compression check and sync the carbs.

Thanks again!

LJ

Offline Stasch

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2017, 07:04:56 pm »
Without being able to hear it, your 'backfire/misfire/hiccup' could be the spitting and sputtering resulting from a vacuum leak between carbs and head.  The CV carbs run badly with these symptoms if there are vacuum leak(s).

Check front and rear band clamps on the rubber intake manifolds between carbs and head, and that your vacuum ports are capped / connected properly, with non cracked / checked caps and hoses.
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Offline Rev Ryder

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2017, 02:29:11 am »
Wile I agree with checking for leaks in the air box, I think the dark spot is in line with where the crankcase ventilation ties into the air box.  It's a sign of some blow-by, but probably isn't anything serious.  IF the air filter is fouled and becomes a restriction to airflow, the engine will run excessively rich.  If you have air leaks in the box, it will run excessively lean.
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Offline Little Joe

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2017, 02:49:51 am »
Stash, Rev,  Thanks, and upon further review of the carbs and boots, I had one severely cracked vacuum port plug and one of the overflow tubes disconnected from the bottom of the same carb, not sure that was an issue.  I had just installed the block-off plates and was capping the other 2 vacuum ports when  I saw the cracked one.   I have 1, 2 and 4 vacuum ports capped.  Still working on the valve adjustments, should finish tomorrow morning.

LJ
 

Offline Rev Ryder

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2017, 04:24:21 am »
That vacuum leak will sure do the deal on her.  Quite possibly your only real issue.
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Offline LeeM

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2017, 05:07:19 am »
Great idea to set the valves and look for vacuum leaks.

One of the interesting problems with the Connie is seeing things about the engine. My daughter  gave me a Black Diamond electronic LED head lamp. While I really don't want to get crankcase oil stains on it, I use it when I work on the Connie. It helps in seeing things.

An old rule of thumb I have had (from working on my own cars for 43 years) is try and install $100 worth of parts  every time you raise the hood (or remove the seat).

The Connie is a frugal long running bike and I have stretched my parts rule to include a nice clicker type 3/8" square drive torque wrench from sears. The last time I had the valve cover off, I made the spark plug holes perfectly clean with a 1/2" bottle brush and a few drops of wd-40, I put in brand new top of the line plugs with a drop of oil or anti-seize on the threads, tightened the plugs as evenly as possible. The next valve adjustment I am going to get set with new sparkplug rubber seals. Since I wrote down the mileage I changed the plugs, and the old plugs were even and like your plugs, I'll be able to look at the old plugs get a real clear sense of how the engine is running.

Another rule of thumb, is, if a strange engine problem shows up look at what the last mechanic did no matter how unrelated the problem may seem to be.

Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2017, 06:31:15 pm »

Another rule of thumb, is, if a strange engine problem shows up look at what the last mechanic did no matter how unrelated the problem may seem to be.

  Customer : I want to speak with you about a flat tire I got after you worked on my car.

  Me : how is that related?I did the head gaskets.

  Customer : yes, but you ARE the last person to work on it.

  Me :  :-[  >:(

  Steve
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Offline Little Joe

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2017, 09:46:31 pm »
Why or why does no one sell manometers any more?? 

Yes, I know wait 3 - 6 days for one from an on-line seller!!!

LJ

Offline Mettler1

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2017, 01:23:15 am »
Wile I agree with checking for leaks in the air box, I think the dark spot is in line with where the crankcase ventilation ties into the air box.  It's a sign of some blow-by, but probably isn't anything serious.  IF the air filter is fouled and becomes a restriction to airflow, the engine will run excessively rich.  If you have air leaks in the box, it will run excessively lean.

  Just a guess but maybe too much oil in the crankcase (over filled) and getting into the filter from the crankcase vent tube?
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Offline Little Joe

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2017, 08:42:09 pm »
Mettler1 and Rev,

You both suggest the crankcase vent tube as the culprit, and my question to you both is, can a long hard ride, talking about 8 hours long and sometimes reaching some high speeds (for me anyway) of 95mph cause the crankcase vent tube to put forth such a mess?

I checked the area around the vent tube/air box connection and there was some, not a whole lot, of the same oily stuff.  Not like it was a real oil spill or anything like that....

LJ

Offline Rev Ryder

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2017, 02:49:10 am »
Hey Joe,
I can't say for sure.  It's all about the engine's condition or if it was slightly overfilled.  As the piston rings wear (and somewhat from normal operation) there is a bit of the engine's exhaust that leaks past the rings and into the crankcase.  On your car you have a PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) valve to relieve the pressure and on the C-10 you have a sort of oil separator (the rectangle on the top of the engine case with the tube going to the air filter box) that does the same thing.  In either case, they usually vent the pressure and a little oil vapor to the air cleaner area and thus some oil contamination of the filter over time is inevitable.  Yes, a hard ride and high RPM operation will likely increase the amount of leakage past the rings and thus increase the likelihood of oil finding its way to the airbox.  As Mettler1 said, overfilling with oil makes that amount go up exponentially since the engine whips the oil more and creates more "mist" to be expelled with the normal crankcase pressure.  It really is one of those cases where a little bit of extra oil is not necessarily a good thing. 
 
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Offline Little Joe

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2017, 10:03:55 pm »
Thanks Rev for the engine lesson!
I know without a doubt when I changed my oil last, it was only 3 quarts with filter!  So I don't think it was overfilled.
I'm waiting for my new manometer to come in the mail to check carb sync so I'm on to painting trim for the basement rehab.....
Thanks again, gotta love this fourm!

LJ

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2017, 10:49:23 pm »
Both drain plugs were removed to remove the old oil right?
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Offline Rev Ryder

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2017, 11:48:53 pm »
I'd suspect they were, but that's an outstanding question Stan.  It would be just the right amount to cause the issue if only the main plug was drained and then 3 quarts added.  And it's the easiest thing in the world to accidentally do too.  MY turbo bikes are modified to not have a front drain plug or an upper sump so I don't even think about the old dueling dual drain plugs anymore.   :-[

3 quarts is actually a slight under-fill according to the manual (3 liters), but it IS what most folks do I think.  But that with the few extra ounces in the upper sump could be an over-fill.  With my pan mods it takes a full 4 quarts just to get oil in the sight glass window, but then it is seriously over-filled. And with turbo increasing pressures and blow-by it can get real messy quick.  Especially without an airbox to vent to.  :-\
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Offline RWulf

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2017, 01:32:42 pm »
I learned this little tip years ago while maintaining generators.
Measure the amount of oil that comes out. If you get MORE
than the spec, eather you over filled or some other fluid (gas
or water) has gotten into the oil. If you get less, than you didn't
drain it all OR your motor burned some oil. I know your bike doesn't leak.
I know it's an exacter step but if you really want to know what
is going on with your motor you should take the time.

Offline Little Joe

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2017, 11:32:22 pm »
An Update:

Yes, I drained both plugs, left over night to drain, and as always changed out the oil filter as well.  I did not measure the amount that came out, just read some of the forum pages and followed the consensus - add 3 quarts.

Mr first valve adjustment went well enough, BUT..... I did a pressure check for each cylinder and came up what I figure is somewhat short of the mark.

#1-90 psi, #2-80psi #3-95 psi #4-95 psi.  The book states 125 -195, and I'm back pulling the valve cover off to re-do and retest.

LJ

ps, still painting trim too!
 


Offline Mcfly

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2017, 02:15:47 pm »
When you do the compression test is the throttle open?  If not you're limiting air into the cylinder, and that could lower the reading.
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Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2017, 11:34:37 am »
When you do the compression test is the throttle open?  If not you're limiting air into the cylinder, and that could lower the reading.


This ^ .  And a good c-10 will have 180 to 190 # compression. less than 170 and there's an issue, generally with valves. Steve

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Offline Little Joe

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2017, 12:23:06 am »
Ah!

Well, after 2nd adjustment with a few clearances off a micron or two.

Throttle wide open made some difference.

#1-120psi, #2-110psi, #3-125psi, #4-124psi.

Valve job.......hmmmmm not for this faint heart at this time.

Are the valves better tight than loose on the feeler gauge?

LJ

Offline Bud

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2017, 10:10:05 am »
Ah!

Well, after 2nd adjustment with a few clearances off a micron or two.

Throttle wide open made some difference.

#1-120psi, #2-110psi, #3-125psi, #4-124psi.

Valve job.......hmmmmm not for this faint heart at this time.

Are the valves better tight than loose on the feeler gauge?

LJ

It's better to set the valves to the loose side of the spec.  When a valve has run out of clearance, it won't close all of the way and seal well.  When valves don't seal well, you end up with low compression.  An added benefit of setting valves to the loose side of the spec is that maybe you can ride more miles before you have to do another adjustment.  If your compression numbers are correct, I'd go back and adjust all the valves to the loose side of things and then recheck compression.

Offline Little Joe

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2017, 02:06:21 pm »
Bud,

Thanks, I'll do that this morning and re-check pressures and post up what they are.

LJ

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Re: 2001 California C10 Fouled Air Filter or Carb Question
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2017, 11:12:35 pm »
It might be helpful if you could tell us what you found (valve clearance numbers) when you did the valve adjustments.  If you had a bunch of valves that weren't closing all the way, and it was ridden that way long enough, you might have carbon buildup on the valves and or seats.  You can do a valve adjustment and ride it a while and with the added clearance, will remove some of that buildup.  As the buildup is removed, the valve will loose clearance and be back on the tight end of the spec.  Sometimes it may take a few valve adjustments to get to a stable point.  If you have this carbon buildup problem, maybe that is contributing to the poor compression numbers.  Are you seeing reduced clearance numbers when you've rechecked your valve jobs?  Would also be helpful to know the history of the bike and it's previous owners.