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Old April 11th, 2024, 10:10 PM   #1
BikerB
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No Start with Spark, Compression, and Starter Fluid!

Background on this bike: I got this 08 Ninja 250 cause it was abandoned and sat for at least 2 years at my complex. The engine was seized but I put some WD-40 in the spark plug holes, left for an hour and came back and cranked the crank bolt and got it loose. It now turns over just fine but won’t start.

Any ideas what the issue could be? There’s good spark with new spark plugs when I test it outside of the cylinder but it still won’t start with starter fluid directly into the throttle body (no airbox on) and the choke open. I can get it to run for a second whenever I run or ride down a hill and pop the clutch so I think there’s good compression but it dies super quick. I cleaned the carb yesterday and it has the same symptoms as it did before I cleaned it (there wasn’t much to clean though. The only thing I can think it might be is the California emissions valve on top of the engine is disconnected (got stolen off) so some vacuum leaks through the top but even when I block it with my hand I feel compression but no difference in starting. Battery is new and fully charged with battery tender. I have a new starter and starter clutch on the way but I’ll probably return them. Any help is appreciated! Thanks!

Here’s a video of me trying to start it!

https://youtube.com/shorts/06EwRLKnLh4?feature=shared

It will start for a second when I bump start it though…

https://youtube.com/shorts/MklbDzh75eo?feature=shared
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Old April 12th, 2024, 05:25 AM   #2
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Hello Bryce, welcome!

You mentioned "throttle bodies", but I assume this is a US bike with two carburetors, correct?

Don't use starter fluid. The delicate diaphragms in the carbs can be damaged from that, and they're expensive to replace.

I'd start with a compression test. The problem could be valves that aren't sealing, maybe because of rust, or maybe because they've never been adjusted and are no longer seating.

I'll defer to @ducatiman for the question about the decel valve.
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Old April 12th, 2024, 06:01 AM   #3
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BIKERB previously posted: "I cleaned the carb yesterday and it has the same symptoms as it did before I cleaned it (there wasn’t much to clean though"

I'll submit the carb idle circuits (at minimum) still require work cleaning/clearing. Fully clearing these 250 carbs can be QUITE tricky.
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Old April 12th, 2024, 07:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple Jim View Post
Hello Bryce, welcome!

You mentioned "throttle bodies", but I assume this is a US bike with two carburetors, correct?
.
Yes it’s the US version with 2 carburetors. So the fact that it will start for a second when I bump start it isn’t a guarantee that there is compression? I’ll get a compression tester from autozone but what should the compression be? Also you don’t think the CA emissions breather on top of the engine is causing an issue? Can I just cap it or run it straight to the air box?
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Old April 12th, 2024, 07:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducatiman View Post
BIKERB previously posted: "I cleaned the carb yesterday and it has the same symptoms as it did before I cleaned it (there wasnít much to clean though"

I'll submit the carb idle circuits (at minimum) still require work cleaning/clearing. Fully clearing these 250 carbs can be QUITE tricky.
Any tips on making sure I clean it thoroughly? I was able to get the main jets out and used a wire to poke through. There wasnít really anything though. I didnít have a screw driver that fit for the idle jets but the rest of the carb was so clean I didnít bother trying to clear them which maybe is my mistake haha
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Old April 12th, 2024, 08:46 AM   #6
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Here's some information about the passages in the carbs: https://n4mwd.blogspot.com/2013/10/s...-passages.html

Or PM ducatiman and ask about his service. He's expert in restoring these carbs to new condition. He did mine for me a couple years ago.

He's right that the problem is likely clogged idle circuits. The compression test is worth doing anyway, because as I've said before, if your valves are out of spec, you'll be chasing carb problems forever.
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Old April 12th, 2024, 09:51 AM   #7
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assure that EVERY circuit within Triple Jims link is, in fact, totally clear.
If its above your expertise....PM me.
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Old April 12th, 2024, 07:35 PM   #8
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I just went through all the circuits and cleared them. The idle jets were super clear but I think the left and right holes that come from the idle circuit and main jet circuit were blocked but I poked through with a wire and now they shoot carb cleaner! Is that where the fuel gets mixed with the airó on the air box side? I figured it would get mixed on the intake side or somewhere in the middle.

Warning I tore a diaphragm pulling it out cause I got carb cleaner on it and it was weak! Take them out first! Iím waiting for a new one to come but in the mean time Iím hoping that was the issue! I went to autozone to rent a compression tester but they didnít have one small enough. Anyone know where I can find one? Iíll update on Monday when the new diaphragm comes!
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Old April 13th, 2024, 08:46 AM   #9
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*update* while trying to perform a compression test I looked down the spark plug hole and saw the hole and piston head are super dirty. I found the bike with a spark plug pretty loose and the coil unplugged on one of the plugs. Could that be causing an issue or will it burn off later?
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Old April 13th, 2024, 11:26 AM   #10
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I don't think a gunky piston crown is the source of your trouble.
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Old April 15th, 2024, 10:45 PM   #11
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Iím at a loss. I installed the carb and Iím having the same symptoms. I cleaned every passage and poked wire through all the holes in all the jets and still nothing. The only 2 things I can think of are if the plug isnít making hot enough spark under compression in the cylinder or if there isnít any compression. Most likely the latter. Iím wondering if the chug chug sound I here is the gas igniting but without compression, it doesnít do anything so it all just leaves the exhaust. Does that sound reasonable?
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Old April 16th, 2024, 05:43 AM   #12
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A compression test will answer that.
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Old April 16th, 2024, 06:34 AM   #13
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Sorry but wire can't possibly follow every bend, kink and routes of both fuel and air passageways, no way.
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Old April 27th, 2024, 09:15 PM   #14
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Finally got a compression tester. Iím getting 75psi max and it should be about 120psi so Iím thinking the piston rings got messed up if they seized to the cylinder wall and thatís why the engine was seized. Any thoughts on if itís worth rebuilding? I got the bike for free and Iím about $400 in. Iím thinking of selling it as is for $750-$1k.
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Old April 28th, 2024, 05:43 AM   #15
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Now you add a squirt of oil to each cylinder and repeat the compression test. If the pressure comes up, the rings are at fault. If not, the valves are not sealing. If the rings are not sealing, sometimes they will get better with a little run time.
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Old April 28th, 2024, 07:30 AM   #16
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i'd suggest using Marvel Mystery Oil for freeing up stuck piston rings
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Old May 17th, 2024, 02:06 PM   #17
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you can get a new rebuild kit for $12, new diaphrams and other parts, floats, etc i stuck w/my dynojet jets and idle jets, i think my valves are off, causer i took the timing plugs off and gas came out! motor ran perfect one day, i parked it, it sat for 2 days, i went and put gear on, ready to take it to get inspection, and it started on choke for a few seconds, it cut off and hasn't started since
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Old May 17th, 2024, 03:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven georgia View Post
you can get a new rebuild kit for $12...
If you mean a carburetor rebuild kit, that's a sure-fire way to trouble. The jets in kits are not stock and don't flow like stock. You can use the float valves and bowl gaskets from a kit, but not the jets.
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