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Spada troubles

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by JobberGobber, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. Hi there folks,
    First time poster here and was hoping to tap into the plethora of wisdom that is the Netrider Forums.

    Here's the situation:
    I have an '88 Honda Spada which I filled with a bit too much oil (ignorance is not bliss) and now it won't start.

    We've done some poking around, cleaned up the spark plugs and the air filter and it doesn't appear as though the gaskets have blown.

    After trying that the engine still doesn't turn over but it almost feels as though it wants to. However, I started it before and it got going, barely, for a few seconds, before I let off the throttle and it just dies. There's a lot of popping coming from the carburetor which leads my step-dad to believe it may have something to do with the amount of fuel being delivered; either too much or not enough.

    Any hints, suggestions, whatever would be greatly appreciated. I'd rather attempt to fix it myself than be charged through the nose by someone just in case it's something simple.
  2. Doesn't turn over or turns over but doesn't fire?

    If it started briefly I assume you mean the latter but can you confirm before we try diagnosing a problem with the starter that may not exist.
  3. I remember reading about some other fellow who filled too much oil. Here is the link to that forum post


    Search for "honda spada carburetor woes" in netrider forum search. I made a thread that was a basically a log/journal of my investigation into problematic carbies. Also I believe popping is indicative of a lean mixture. Not too hard at all to go down the path of carb cleaning/servicing with spadas took me a day on mine.

    I love my spada :)
  4. The starter is working but as you say it doesn't fire. Tried it again this arvo and its as if im trying to start it with the kill-switch on.

    Admittedly, I'm a bit of a newbie with the whole DIY maintenance thing but I'm not really in a position to throw money at someone to even have a look at it. Are there any tests I can do to eliminate potential problems?
    There was some compression in the engine and I've read of how over filling oil has a good chance of blowing the gasket so I guess the question is if there isn't enough compression, but still some, will the engine still not fire? And I know I'm probably asking for a bit much but is there a way to definitively test if the gasket is blown besides eye-balling it?
  5. I doubt you've blown a gasket.
    Pull the tank off, then remove the airbox lid. How much oil is in there? Is it on the inside of the filter?
  6. The filter was clean of any oil. There was a small pool (maybe 10, 20ml) of oil under the filter as if it came up through the carbs.
  7. The crankcase and the air box have a vent pipe that oil can migrate up if you have overfilled. That oil has probably been pulled down into the carbs. Clean up the oil in the filter, maybe replace the filter if it is sodden.

    Pull the spark plugs and check they are not fouled with oil, if so clean them up with Kero or petrol and screw them back.
    Make sure the battery is fully charged.
    Spray "Start ya Bastard" or similar into the carby throats and try and start. If it starts then hold the throttle open reasonably hard to pull the remnants of the rubbish through the carbys.

    If that works make a sacrifice to the Motorcycle deities, if it doesn't then you may need to get the carbys cleaned. You could try one of the spray carby cleaners, not sure how effective they are.
  8. Interesting call on the oil CJVFR. I was wondering how overfill could cause not starting. Given this another thing that needs to happen is to drain some oil.

    But definitely if not firning then check the plugs to see if they are fouled. If not obviously ouled try eatrthing them to the engine while out, turn the bike over and check for spark.
  9. As Grey says, first thing to do is drain the oil back down to the right level if you haven't already. Then if the air filter is not oil soaked it should start normally. If the battery is low you can use jump leads from a car (car engine NOT running).
  10. Just a working hypothesis GreyBM, ;)

    Yes +1 to GreyBM and the mole, drain the oil to the correct level I forgot that Doh!!!
  11. Thanks for the replies fellas. Going to pull the carbs out tomorrow and see if there are any obvious blockages etc. Might post some pics if i get lost. Any tips on detaching the choke cables? Had a quick gander today and there doesnt seem like an easy way to do it. A bit of head scratching might be the answer.

    And dont worry guys, draining the oil was the first thing i did lol.

  12. The choke cables are very easy to detach. See the parts where they enter they dual carbies? There should be a black plastic hex nut shape fastener at each point. Just use a spanner and loosen the plastic nuts till they fall out and the chokes will fall out too. I made the mistake of removing the choke cables via the hand grip and pulling the carbies out with choke cables attached. Completely unnecessary. Bear in mind though that you won't have much access to the front carb's choke cable attachment. Therefore you will have to partially remove the carbs to get to it.
  13. Got it running. Thought better of playing with the carbs. Just had to clean up the sparks a bit more. Got some advice to pour a little petrol down into where the sparks go and then giving the starter a go. That loosened up the gunk in there and it started first time after putting the sparks back in. Its still spewing white smoke out the exhaust which im guessing will clear up eventually. Is there anyway to accelerate that process ie changing the oil, changing the petrol or maybe using one of those additives you add to the tank when you fill up?
  14. The White smoke is the oil you have pulled through being burnt. It is worth using one of the Carby cleaner additives which are just basically a detergent to keep it moving through but other than that you will just have to wait it out.

    Fill the tank and add the amount of cleaner for your tank size then go for a ride in the local area. If it feels ok go out for a longer ride at a reasonable pace.
  15. The smoke cleared out after 15 mins of riding. She's still a bit lacking in the power department but otherwise its all good in the hood.

    Thanks for all the advice guys.