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Hard to start

Old 02-20-2007, 05:39 AM
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Hard to start

For some reason It takes me quite a while to start my hawk. I dont know if its just the cold weather or what. I wasnt able to start it at all the other day. For the heck of it I pulled the plugs for the first time and found that they looked oily. Is this what fouling looks like? Its a 98 with 8400 miles.
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:06 AM
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OILY? Or, carboned up and wet. It may be that your mixture is on the rich side and that's the black carbon youre seeing, and the wetness youre seeing is a result of a no-start flooding condition, so that excess fuel on the plug, over the carbon, makes it look like oil. IIRC, carbon will be black and powdery. Oil will tend to be 'scaled' on the plug.

If it IS oil, well generally oil comes from two places....piston rings, or valve seals. If either are bad, it allows oil to get into the chambers where it's burned and creates hard carbon deposits and scaling on the piston top, chambers, valves, plugs....everything in there.

If the plugs are "good enough", dip them in some gasoline and brush them with a brass brush to get some of the carbon off....then reinstall em. If theyre bad, just replace them. When you go to start it, try starting it with just a *little* choke and as soon as it starts to pick up on the crank, blip the throttle. Always works for me esp when it's flooded.
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:12 AM
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Oh OK thanks. From what you describe its not oil then. I think I flooded it. Would cleaning the plugs be good enough or completely changing them be better.
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by StoneJrW View Post
Oh OK thanks. From what you describe its not oil then. I think I flooded it. Would cleaning the plugs be good enough or completely changing them be better.
Changing them is *always* better, but unnecessary if theyre not bad. A good brass brush is a great tool to keep around, if you don't have one get one. Put a little gas on the plug electrodes and start brushing, see how much you can get off. Carbon will come off pretty easily, oil will not. If you get the plug semi-clean looking, and the upper and lower electrode firing surfaces pretty good, just reuse them. If they still look like crap after that, then kick a few bucks out and replace them.

When I checked my plugs at 11k miles, found they werent OE's and werent that bad, so I cleaned and reinstalled em and the bike runs just fine. Watch the pennies and the dollars will come, my grandma always says that :-D
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