Author Topic: Prime Setting on C10 petcock  (Read 536 times)

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Offline Dennis

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Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« on: April 14, 2018, 02:46:37 am »
Last November, 2 days before it snowed here in the Western NY area (near Niagara Falls), I bought a 2004 C10 with just over 13,000 miles.  Rode it for 3 rides and fell in love with it.  Then I winterized it and waited all winter to get out and enjoy again.  Anyway, the weather here has been terrible and no riding thus far. 
I did notice that my petcock was on the prime setting instead of the on position when I checked the bike out a few days ago.  I do not smell any gas in the garage and see no spot of gas anywhere.  Of course the petcock is now back on the on position.  Does anyone think any damage might have been done by having it in the prime position??
Dennis Y

Offline The Wizard

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2018, 04:47:44 am »
Dennis do not try to start;remove tank,sparkplugs and check for fuel(visible),with plugs out and rag over plug holes, maybe turn it over so fuel will blow out.Or is the tank empty????    Jerry
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Offline Dennis

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2018, 05:35:40 am »
Was hoping that fuel would not go any farther than carb bowls.  Tank is pretty much full
Dennis Y

Offline jettawreck

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2018, 10:32:42 am »
The safe thing to do would be as Wizard suggests, to remove the sparkplugs and place rages over the holes before cranking it over.
If no gas spews out, you have dodged a bullet and apparently your carb float needles/seats are in good condition.
Now, unless already equipped, get SISF overflow tubes installed asap.
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Offline Mettler1

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2018, 02:07:43 pm »
  You may have gotten lucky this time BUT the hydro lock demon is always there. At the very least get overflow tubes NOW before another C10 dies.  >:(


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« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 02:12:33 pm by Mettler1 »
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Offline VTconnie

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2018, 03:02:53 pm »
If you do not smell any fuel then I imagine you are fine, the whole point of the needle valves controlled by the floats, is to hold back a whole tank of fuel until more is needed. Now, because the bike sat all winter like this, I also agree on checking the cylinders anyway. The bummer will be draining at least half that fuel tank, to remove the tank to pull the plugs (disconnect power to the coils!) before rotating the engine with a rag over the cylinder openings. As a new owner checking the plugs is good, replace while you are at it and check plug wire connections.

When properly maintained and ridden, these bikes are pretty hands off. But as a new owner of a classic bike, you will want eyes on certain areas. It doesn't have to be all done at once, but you are already getting started! :motonoises:
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 03:07:42 pm by VTconnie »
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Offline Nosmo

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2018, 03:36:26 pm »
If you do not smell any fuel then I imagine you are fine, the whole point of the needle valves controlled by the floats, is to hold back a whole tank of fuel until more is needed. Now, because the bike sat all winter like this, I also agree on checking the cylinders anyway. The bummer will be draining at least half that fuel tank, to remove the tank to pull the plugs (disconnect power to the coils!) before rotating the engine with a rag over the cylinder openings. As a new owner checking the plugs is good, replace while you are at it and check plug wire connections.

When properly maintained and ridden, these bikes are pretty hands off. But as a new owner of a classic bike, you will want eyes on certain areas. It doesn't have to be all done at once, but you are already getting started! :motonoises:


Good advice, but get used to pulling the tank while it is FULL.   :(

Seems like I never need to take mine off for any reason unless I've just topped it off.   :-[
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Offline harrykaw

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2018, 07:11:11 pm »
+ 1 on the tank always being full when it's time to remove it. >:(
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Offline capmfries

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2018, 08:08:20 pm »
Wow!! I was just ready to create a topic similar to this...I just did the same thing, the tank was full when I put it away last fall, but was empty today...I thought maybe someone syphoned the gas out..So I put a quart in and started it...I was running fine at first, then a ton of gas started pouring out the air filter box while it was running...Is that the old gas coming out of the jugs from having it on prime all winter? Or is it the new gas I just put in pouring out it? It's not locked up...Either way, how bad of a situation am I in?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 08:15:26 pm by capmfries »

Offline Mettler1

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2018, 08:15:07 pm »
  Might want to check out this video!!!

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4W6k3pTdAXw&feature=plcp

    And DON'T touch the starter button again until you pull the spark plugs. keep the plug wires out and away from the area!! Put rags over the spark plug holes. If any gas comes out you may have hydrolock.

    NOW is a good time to check!!
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 08:23:49 pm by Mettler1 »
'94 Concours 115,000 miles-- 7th gear,2MM,KB fork brace,Over flowtubes,Stick coils,Tcro shifter,GPS,SiSF'sTorque cams,SPOOKFAK,block off plates, SS brake & clutch lines,KB risers, FENDA EXTENDA, emulators, SiSF carb Spa, Delkevic exhaust, Murphs' knee savers +grips, etc

Offline capmfries

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2018, 08:18:09 pm »
It is not locked up...It runs fine...just pouring gas out the fliter box WHILE it's running.

Offline Mettler1

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2018, 08:30:10 pm »
   You got lucky!! Don't start it again!! If fuel is coming out of the airbox there is something wrong with the carbs!! most likely dirt in the float needles or a stuck float!!!   HYDROLOCK has killed a lot of C10's!! >:( >:(
'94 Concours 115,000 miles-- 7th gear,2MM,KB fork brace,Over flowtubes,Stick coils,Tcro shifter,GPS,SiSF'sTorque cams,SPOOKFAK,block off plates, SS brake & clutch lines,KB risers, FENDA EXTENDA, emulators, SiSF carb Spa, Delkevic exhaust, Murphs' knee savers +grips, etc

Offline capmfries

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2018, 08:39:58 pm »
Yes.. I've delt with hydrolock before...But it usually leaked out the airbox with the bike off..Not pouring out while its running...It sounded fine til the gas started pouring out then obviously dogged out cuz of too much gas..I replace the petcock 5yrs ago...Do you think its a petcock issue again cuz engine isn't drinking it as fast as its coming out the tank?

Offline Harry Martin

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2018, 09:02:11 pm »
Based on this story...sounds like my C10 got lucky twice over the years.  :)
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Offline Mettler1

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2018, 09:04:57 pm »
   The Carb float needle controls the amount of fuel the carb bowl will hold. If is stuck open the carb bowl overflows and gas runs into the airbox and also into the cylinder causing HYDROLOCK!! Many a bent rod because of it!! :'(

    I will add even if you left the fuel valve on the carb float needles will stop the fuel from overflowing. IF gas is flowing out of the carbs into the airbox or piston cyl. with the engine off you have at least one bad Carb!!! >:(
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 09:14:35 pm by Mettler1 »
'94 Concours 115,000 miles-- 7th gear,2MM,KB fork brace,Over flowtubes,Stick coils,Tcro shifter,GPS,SiSF'sTorque cams,SPOOKFAK,block off plates, SS brake & clutch lines,KB risers, FENDA EXTENDA, emulators, SiSF carb Spa, Delkevic exhaust, Murphs' knee savers +grips, etc

Offline capmfries

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2018, 09:08:45 pm »
So my petcock might be bad again right?...cuz the petcock diaphragm shouldn't let gas go to the carb unless under pressure

Offline Mettler1

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2018, 09:26:34 pm »
So my petcock might be bad again right?...cuz the petcock diaphragm shouldn't let gas go to the carb unless under pressure

    Even if you left the fuel valve on the carb float needles will keep the gas from flowing into the cyls.  IF !! they are working correctly !! JUst a thought but if the float needles were NOT set correctly they could allow fuel into the cyl. when not running!!  OR you have dirt or float needles not set correctly

  IF your gas tank ran empty over the winter you (even with the fuel valve on) you should NOT get gas overflow at the carbs!!!
'94 Concours 115,000 miles-- 7th gear,2MM,KB fork brace,Over flowtubes,Stick coils,Tcro shifter,GPS,SiSF'sTorque cams,SPOOKFAK,block off plates, SS brake & clutch lines,KB risers, FENDA EXTENDA, emulators, SiSF carb Spa, Delkevic exhaust, Murphs' knee savers +grips, etc

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2018, 09:29:27 pm »
So my petcock might be bad again right?...cuz the petcock diaphragm shouldn't let gas go to the carb unless under pressure

Correct.
It shouldn't allow flow when its set on RUN... not PRIME...

But, even then, the float needle is the culpret at that point.... might want to ask where 7 gallons of fuel went to also... like maybe the crankcase???? (I guess I'm saying you better drain the oil, and change the filter, because its likely filled with fuel... the crankcase that is...)

Just shut the bike off, disconnect the battery, and fix ALL the stuff... don't try running it again..
Petcock repair or replace,  float needles, and adjust of float level, drain crankcase, new oil filter, and during all that, pull the plugs and spin the engine over with the red wire disconnected from the coils, and a rag over the plug holes... fire extinguisher ready at hand... work outdoors...during the purge process.

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Offline Bob_C_CT

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2018, 10:03:37 am »
Just adding a helpful hint about the gas tank removal/replace, take off the plastic fairing side covers below the tank on both sides prior to taking tank off and put back on after the tank is re-installed. When you are moving the tank these are suspeticle to scratching by the bottom edge of the tank, AMHIK.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 10:18:16 am by Bob_C_CT »
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Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2018, 01:52:28 pm »
Ithe whole point of the needle valves controlled by the floats, is to hold back a whole tank of fuel until more is needed.

  Well, not exactly, and the distinction is worth mentioning.

  The purpose of the needle valves is to control the fuel level in it's own individual carburetor. It works the same way your toilet tank does, the float will rise on the fuel until it exerts enough pressure on the needle valve to shut off the fuel flow.

  In each needle valve, there is a tiny spring. it's there as a shock absorber to calm the vibrations and allow the needle valve to make smooth contact with the seat and not vibrate and bounce, which would let more fuel into the bowl. As needle valves age the springs weaken and the fuel levels rise because the float is allowed to go higher on the fuel column before enough pressure is exerted on the needle valve to shut off the fuel supply. This is also the precursor to hydrolock, as the fuel level isn't being controlled as it should be.

   In a properly functioning system, the petcock is really the prime control for not overloading the carb bowls. The petcock open / closes  with each vacuum pulse from the single carb (#2) that provides it's vacuum signal. This meters the fuel and won't overload properly functioning needle valves.

  In prime, there is nothing to meter the fuel, the full head pressure of the tank is available to the carbs. Properly functioning needle valves can and will hold back this pressure from overflowing the carbs. Let there be anything to disrupt that, and the needle valves will leak. This would include worn needle valves, trash stuck between the valve and seat, or deposits built up on the seat.

  It's a good system when all the components are in good repair, but certainly the most finicky system on the bike when age and disrepair and old fuel are involved. I would also add that the bikes I've seen that get constant riding have the least issues. Those bikes are certainly not the norm as most bikes in the US are used sporadically as pleasure rides, not everyday transportation. This is why that 15 year old c-10 that's been garaged for 12 years and has only 7000 miles on it needs more carb / fuel system work than the 15 year old c-10 with  100,000 miles on it that's daily driven.   Steve

 
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Offline Mettler1

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2018, 02:08:38 pm »
    YUP, Steve knows stuff!! :great:

    Thanks Steve.

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'94 Concours 115,000 miles-- 7th gear,2MM,KB fork brace,Over flowtubes,Stick coils,Tcro shifter,GPS,SiSF'sTorque cams,SPOOKFAK,block off plates, SS brake & clutch lines,KB risers, FENDA EXTENDA, emulators, SiSF carb Spa, Delkevic exhaust, Murphs' knee savers +grips, etc

Offline VTconnie

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2018, 03:45:48 pm »
Good to know Steve, I didn't know the vacuum petcock was so helpful for metering fuel. Makes sense, for instance on the first startup in 5+ months on friday, I didn't use the prime setting. 1: I knew the bowls wouldn't be completely empty, cold NE winters do that. 2: In case one of the bowls was empty, and the needle valve stuck open, I just start the bike with the petcock at 'ON' since it will take plenty of cranks after a cold winter. This gives plenty of time for the bowls to fill, I have had bad experiences with using PRIME for initial startups..

I also disconnect the overflow hoses to see if any of the floats throw a fit, and look for fuel out the nipple. She is not as fickle as my Honda, but then again Steve's carbs make a world of difference.

Really wish there was a #$%'in 'OFF' position on these petcocks, but I also don't like the idea of the manual conversions which people will just leave at the 'ON' position anyway.
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Offline TJSocal

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2018, 06:27:42 pm »
Really wish there was a #$%'in 'OFF' position on these petcocks, but I also don't like the idea of the manual conversions which people will just leave at the 'ON' position anyway.

Fair point - if people make the mistake of laying the bike up for the winter with the petcock in Prime (and how did it get set to Prime in the first place, one wonders?), they're probably not going to be saved by the presence of a manual fuel shutoff...

Offline Dennis

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2018, 09:45:45 pm »
I want to thank everyone for their advice and suggestions.  I am going to take tank off, clean away any debris from spark plugs, remove spark plugs, disconnect red wire to coils, put rags over spark plug openings and then crank to see if any gas comes out.  Will also get new plugs while I am at it.  Weather here is worst April I have seen in a long time so I will have plenty of time to do it...Thanks Dennis
Dennis Y

Offline jettawreck

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Re: Prime Setting on C10 petcock
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2018, 12:25:32 am »
As long as you will have the sparkplugs out, do the bent rod test procedure as per SISF video.
And strongly suggest to send those carb bowls away for overflow tubes installation. Peace of mind factor for the future for a small price. 
Snowmobiles, I have a bunch.
Motorcycles-I haven't had anything except dirtbikes 30 years ago, so this will be all new to me.
2005 C10 with Rifle w/s, SISF Exhaust sprocket, overflow tubes, 2 minute jet mod. (SOLD)
2004 Honda ST1300-the current mule.