Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Rat Bastard Lives To See Another Day

Just got done tinkering with Rat Bastard the Sporty yet again. I installed a new starter yesterday evening then put in a new set of plugs. The old set were new but after my short ride the rich mixture setting had them pretty sooty. So last night I procured a new set of the same plugs - NGK 4224 BPR4ES-11 - and gaped at .030. On the carburetor I made the idle mixture setting in between what was written in two sources; one source reads 1 and a 1/4 turns out from bottom, or closed, and the other reads 1 one full turn out from bottom, or closed. I set it at 3/4 turns out from bottom/closed.
This did the trick and and she fired up, however only on the rear cylinder. This had me puzzled again but I was holding my temper, at least Rat was running albeit poorly but running. It was getting late last night therefor Rat Bastard was left alone until today.

When I got home before I could change my clothes I set right into...helping my wife clean and dust the living room for her soon to arrive guests. Didn't take long, only twenty minutes or so. It freed us both up for other things we wanted to do. Me, I headed out to the garage after a quick bite. Rat fired up pretty easy but still on one cylinder. Checked the plug wire to be sure it was tight at both ends and it was. I grabbed another wire from a shelf hoping maybe the wire was bad. Bumped the starter again and she came to life. But still no fire on the front cylinder so I'm thinking "What gives with you Rat?"
Lets pull the plugs and have a look at them shall we. The back plug is black and sooty from such a short run time, maybe ten minutes. Move to the front plug, it looks like it did when I installed it not long ago, except, except, the ground electrode is bent slap over touching the center electrode. It's not crushed but just bent over. So there is the problem! The original NGK spark plugs I had in were fine but they had to of been close. The new set of like NGKs I put in weren't as lucky on the front.
Went and got a set of Autolite's #4316 short reach plugs, gaped ,installed and Rat fired right up on both cylinders this time. I adjusted the carb some more and got it running leaner but there is still just a hint of black when I hit the throttle, more like a puff on acceleration so it's almost there. Of course I have to adjust the idle setting each time after making adjustments and she'll idle fine for a bit then act like it's going to cut off until I give a blip. Rat will stay right around 1000 Rpm's then drop slowly down to settle at 900 Rpm's for several minutes before making a drop lower.
So at least now I can ride it hopefully, get her warmed up and make final adjustment. Yeeehaw.


Willy D said...

That’s pretty close to getting a plug tip embedded in a piston, or worse. Bet that would’ve made a big bang and scared the crap out of you!

Check the ‘manual’ and put in the plug that belongs in that engine. You’ll be glad you did. How long do you think this problem with the plugs has been going on?

FLHX_Dave said...

Yeehaw! Get along little doggy! Get along!

I cringe at the thought of a piston plowing into a plug...it's playing in slow motion over and over in my head. MAKE IT STOP! MAKE IT STOP!

WooleyBugger said...

You two should start your own show like those brothers who answer car questions in the paper and on radio. You two suckers crack me up and make it hard to stay pissed off damnit. Sonny Barger used to ride Sportsters, that might explain alot about his attitude back then eh.

Willy, "That's pretty close to getting a plug tip embedded in a piston, or worse." You bet your nuts it is. I was damned lucky. It must have hit heavy carbon build up because the same type of long reach plugs had been in there awhile. I have replaced with the correct ones this time around, Marty at the parts counter showed me on his screen the correct reach plugs for my application, seems the other plugs were for BT engines. This could also account for high sooty buildup on the plug tips.

FLHX_Dave, hopefully my little Rat doogy will be yapping at the road tomorrow. And yea, that vision made my arse draw up to the size of a stick pin.