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Bike will not start

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Bike will not start
Started at 07:05am on the 5th March, 2018 by DanielBen
DanielBen Subject: Bike will not start
Hi, Got myself a 1979 350cc BUllet which was build in India (and looks like a cast iron). The bike was sitting for a while but was kick starting with no problem. After a 20 minutes ride, the bike stopped and didn't start again. I took the carb apart and it was really dirty. Assembled all and the bike still doesn't start. Changed the plug, but that didn't help. It seems the kickstarter runs freely with no resistance/compression. I thought the decompression lever/cable sticks and tried to free it with WD40, i looks like it helped a bit but it still feels like there is no compression. The bike did start a couple of times when i opened the throttle all the way, but i was able to keep it running only with the throttle open, and it didn't idle at all and died after a few seconds. The mixture screw is opened 1.5 times (3 halves), and petrol is flowing to the cylinder since i know i flood the cylinder after trying to kick start it several times and it smells of petrol all around. Any ideas on what to do next? i though about checking if the valves clearance is ok (But don't understand why they would go out of alignment). Thanks in advance! Daniel
Posted: 07:05am 5th March, 2018
Alan R Subject: Bike will not start
Hi DanielBen-------OK, one thing at a time then, so let's start with an "Easy-to-do" check and that's the valve clearances......Remove the spark plug and the tappet access plate at the bottom of the cylinder on the R/H side of the engine..................Set the piston at TDC on compression stroke..........In this position both valves should be shut and both pushrods free to rotate with either NO clearance or approx 4 thou ( I'm not sure what the 350 settings are )... In either case Spin the pushrods and they should be free to rotate, straight and with no signs of wobble......Look closely at the two steel ends of each rod...These are pressed on and can come loose and jam-up thus holding the valve partially open....There is a very remote chance that you have valve seat recession}-------, slowly rotate the engine through two ( 2 ) revolutions ie}--- 1 working cycle, and watch the behaviour of the rods...They should move freely up and down and without any great effort on the kick starter ..They may even rotate a bit...This is normal and due to offset of the cam follower to the cam centreline.....It helps even-out wear....

....You can visually see the respective valve by looking into the inlet manifold or the exhaust outlet............... I know it sounds a lot but should only take 15 to 20 mins to complete.............indianenfield_Bullet_tm
Posted: 09:44am 5th March, 2018
stinkwheel Subject: Bike will not start
So you've totally lost compression? Compression is caused by a sealed piston pushing up a sealed cylinder against closed, sealed valves. If they aren't all there, no compression.

If you've lost compression, then either the piston isn't sealing (stuck/broken rings, collapsed crown) or the valves are open (bound/bent stem, tight tappets) or not sealed (detached valve seat). Decompressor valve stuck open is another possability.

A logical approach to me would be to check the tappets first of all. Then whip off the rocker covers and have a physical look at the valves from the outside to see if one looks dropped.

If that all seems ok you could try sticking a mix of petrol and ATF down the sparkplug hole and leaving it to sit for a couple of days (this is called wishful thinking but could free off a stuck ring. Maybe.).

While you're at it, you can oil the decompressor cable (could be sticky) then maybe take the decompressor out and inspect it, you'll need new sealing washers to re-fit it though. DO NOT TAKE THE PIN OUT with the decompressor in the engine! It's really tempting to do so but you'll drop the valve into the engine and believe me, they are a sod to fish out again! Then when the wishful thinking is over, take the top end off and find the gremlin who's stolen your compression. My bet's on a collapsed piston crown. I'm on my 4th.
Posted: 09:59am 5th March, 2018
enfield_trials Subject: Bike will not start
I have old indian bullet lying there for few years. when i try to start . i dont feel there is compression. in my case. clutch is slipping , no didnt feel any compression. i am still in learning curve.
Posted: 11:48am 5th March, 2018
DanielBen Subject: Bike will not start
I appreciate the quick response. stinkwheel - providing it is a collapsed piston crown, will the bike start at all? My bike did start a couple of times when the throttle was fully open.
Posted: 11:49am 5th March, 2018
ric Subject: Bike will not start
You're obviously not to blame for the amount of time the bike has been left but when you mention Sitting for a while...
How long is a while?
A couple of months is more than enough time for the carb to start the gumming up process which will hamper the bike starting or idling correctly as evidenced by all the "my bike wont start" posts that appear on this forum each spring by owners who chose not to ride their bikes throughout the winter months.
Fortunately most appreciate that correct pre winter storage preparation such as completely draining the carb is the very minimum required after the last ride pre-winter ride.

An owner of a single cylinder engine has the terrific advantage over multi cylinder machines owners of being able to leave the bike (at any time of year) with the piston at top dead centre with the valves closed which removes all pressure on the valve train, prevents the ingress of moisture, wet sumping and stuck valves (yet again evidenced by posts on this forum). Yet there are still owners either ignorant or unwilling to undertake this simple five? second mechanically sympathetic procedure to help reduce unwanted problems with their bikes in the future.

Semi rant not directed at anyone now over
best of luck with your new purchase.
Posted: 12:16pm 5th March, 2018
Presto Subject: Bike will not start
I had exactly the same starting problem. Nothing to do with lack of maintenance but a burnt exhaust valve and total loss of compression. Just a suggestion.
Posted: 12:21pm 5th March, 2018
stinkwheel Subject: Bike will not start
Yes they will start and run with some quite horrific mechanical failures. A collapsed piston crown can pinch the rings and stop them sealing properly but will still run. Mine ran for over 6 months with a loose-fitting exhaust valve seat rattling around in the cylinder head.

Do check the simple things people have outlined first though.

Enfield_trials makes a good point about the clutch. The kickstart runs through the clutch. If the clutch is slipping badly, the kickstart won't turn the engine over. You should be able to tell the difference, if the engine is turning over, you'll hear the air bing sucked in and blown out and the ammeter needle will flicker up and down on each revolution as the points open and close.
Posted: 01:22pm 5th March, 2018
DanielBen Subject: Bike will not start
Thank you all for your advice. In the course of three years the bike only did 3,500 km. Saying that, these are 3,500 km after the engine was rebuilt from scratch. I’ll be quite sad to find out if something was broken in the engine and not just a matter of adjustment of some sort. I do hear the engine suck air and the ammeter needle does move when i kick the kick starter. When i press the clutch i can feel the kick starter even looser, i mean i feel it move more freely. Earlier today i checked the battery’s voltage and it was around 7v, i took it apart and it is now charging. I hoping that a weak battery coupled with the bike standing for a long time plus a dirty carburetor is the reason for all the trouble starting. I read that if the bike stands for a while, all the oil drains out from the cylinder and it is recommended to add a bit of oil to the cylinder to create some compression and trying to start the bike after a few kicks. Hope this works. Thanks again! Daniel
Posted: 03:11pm 5th March, 2018
stinkwheel Subject: Bike will not start
Yes, 7v at the battery wont be making a very strong spark.

Here's hoping it's just that. Don't get despondant though. The good thing about enfields is that they are simple to work on and spare parts are generally both reasonably cheap and readily available.

I'd have expected any compression loss due to loss of oil film over time to have sorted itself out on your 20 minute ride. But your battery is definitely not right so fix that first.
Posted: 03:25pm 5th March, 2018
enfield_trials Subject: Bike will not start
@DanielBen Best of luck. hopefully after battery full charged. and fresh fuel will help. @stinkwheel you are spot on, my engine was actually not turning over. i will check amp meter next time i go near the bike.
Posted: 05:24pm 5th March, 2018
johnnyramirez Subject: Bike will not start
So have these helped you or not? Now I have similar problem with my bike so I want to find the solution
Posted: 11:47pm 16th March, 2018
johnnyramirez Subject: Bike will not start
Posted: 01:06pm 22nd March, 2018
johnnyramirez Subject: Bike will not start
Have you found dewalt dcbl720p1 for your bike?
Posted: 01:08pm 22nd March, 2018
DanielBen Subject: Bike will not start
Hi all, Just a quick update on the non starter issue. I charged the battery, checked the pushrods for any problems. At TDC, they were both spinning ok, but the intake pushrod has a really tiny up and down movement. I decided not to touch the pushrods until i made sure that the battery isn’t the problem. I installed the battery but the bike still didn’t start. I checked the spark plug to see if there is a spark and noticed the the plug was dry., which means petrol wasn’t getting to the piston. I took the carburetor apart and cleaned it again, and opned the mixture screw 2 turns. Right now the bike does start if i open the throttle a tiny bit, and i can rev up the bike but it doesn’t stay idle no matter what i try: closing or opening the idle screw doesn’t do any thing and the engine doesn’t idle at all. Unless the intake pushrod has such an effect on the bikes idle, i believe that the problem is with in the carb, or the ignition points. I later opened the points cover and saw that the bottom point has a white mark on ot. I’m not sure why or if it has an effect on idling but ill try to adjust the points once i get some spare time. With this new information, do you guys have any ideas on why the bike doesn’t idle? Thanks in advance! Daniel
Posted: 06:00pm 23rd March, 2018
Mark M Subject: Bike will not start
There is also a "throttle stop screw" which is intended to lift the slide slightly off the stop and allow a small amount of air through. If this is screwed too far out there will be no clearance and therefore no air getting through meaning you must hold the throttle slightly open to keep it running. The best way to adjust it is to take off the air filter, watch the slide and adjust the screw inwards until you see the slide lift. Do not touch the throttle at this stage. A tiny lift is all you're looking for. It is also important that the engine is good and hot when testing these adjustments, heat makes the mixture weaker and a cold engine runs rich. Good luck,

REgards, Mark
Posted: 06:11pm 23rd March, 2018
DanielBen Subject: Bike will not start
Mark M, do you mean the idle adjustment screw? If so, i have tried sevral positions but still couldn’t get the bike ti idle.
Posted: 07:15pm 23rd March, 2018
Mark M Subject: Bike will not start
No. They are separate. That's why I called it the throttle stop screw and not the idle adjustment although they both contribute to the speed at which the bike will (or won't!) idle. The idle adjustment meters fuel and the throttle stop meters air, you need both of course. This is a simplified explanation and I'm not familiar with the terminology used on the Micarb so sorry if that's not quite the term used in any Micarb literature. If I knew of one I would refer you to a diagram of the Micarb, can anyone do this and highlight the components? The Parts Book diagram isn't specific enough. On the positive side, you are very near to fixing this problem so don't give up!

REgards, Mark
Posted: 07:24pm 23rd March, 2018
Alan R Subject: Bike will not start
Hi Guys-------------try this for starters..............photo_mikuni_VM24_512_exploded_view rd350carb
Posted: 11:15pm 23rd March, 2018
DanielBen Subject: Bike will not start
Thanks Alan R! The two screws im familiar with are 15 idle screw and 17 mixture screw. And i tried to adjust both but with no luck.
Posted: 02:37am 24th March, 2018

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