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Old 12-07-2008, 11:50 AM   #1
spqrbird
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Default Columbia Commuter

Just bought a 1979 columbia commuter, it works fine its a cool little moped only payed 460$ it has only one problem when i put the gas lever on the On position it leaks a bit of gas, it didnt do that when the guy showed it to me but noticed it when i got home, any suggetions on how to fix this, my dad suggested i put the fuel vavle in the half way position would this work? Are sachs good motors? this one seems fine other than the leak.

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Old 12-07-2008, 12:06 PM   #2
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I wouldn't attempt to "throttle" anything so far as gas is concerned. If you don't have the skills to fix this, I STRONGLY URGE you to have a competent friend to check it out - possibly it's as simple as tightening-up the petc0ck, or it might require a new gasket or O-Ring.

Fuel leaks can easily lead to FIRE - and at the absolute most inopportune times. And let me tell you, if it catches afire, it will almost certainly burn to scrap where it sits.
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Old 12-07-2008, 01:17 PM   #3
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thanks, someone mentioned putting it in reserve would that work? also, is the pet**** the actual valve or something else?
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Old 12-07-2008, 01:51 PM   #4
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I'm sure it will work - but will it LEAK? I can't say from here. What will you do when you run dry on Reserve, though? Pedal or get off and push I suppose. Good thing it's light.

That's not really a solution - get the leak fixed before it catches afire. Have you NO friends that are reasonably mechanically-competent?
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Old 12-07-2008, 03:46 PM   #5
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my dad will probably be able to fix it, my friend gordon said i should take it to a chainsaw repair person because the engines are similar and that a bike repair shop would cost more, the reserve, does it run off the same as the regular tank?
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:06 PM   #6
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The reserve runs off the regular tank, yes.
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Old 12-08-2008, 08:59 AM   #7
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Did I ever tell ya' about the time I was bombing down HWY 167 and the fatbobs on my Shovelhead started leaking and filled my crotch with gas?..sitting on top of a hot spark fired motor with a lapful of gas isn't a very comfortable place to be...

It would be best if you took this to a dealer and had it repaired properly, gas is very flammable you see...you want it inside the tank and fuel line, not outside.
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:49 PM   #8
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so my tires look decent but if i wanted to replace them would i have to use the same ones or could i shop for new ones that are from another brand? how important is it to keep the tires at the proper pressure? what do i have to be worried about in the cold? Finally what is the proper procedure for greaseing the cables for the brakes? i was riding yesterday and it was in the thirties and the rear brake froze up on me i thought i would have to walk it home had to muscle it open! any advice is greatly apreciated also: should i replace the brake drums? how do i know when this is a good idea? still havent fixed that leak having my dad look at it in a couple of days.
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:18 PM   #9
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It's perfectly ok to use tires from any brand, as long as they are the right size. You should be able to find the size markings on the side of the tires.

It is VERY important to keep the tires at the right pressure. But you should not have to pump them up all that often if the tire and tube are in good shape.

In the cold you should not have to worry about much with respect to the bike. You should worry about your own condition. Hypothermia is not fun.

You should be able to find a little cable-lubricating tool at good bike shops; that will come with instructions and probably a lube that will work. However, check the cable carefully at both ends and make sure that the cable is not rusty, and that all the strands are still attached to the nubbin at the end of the cable. If it is rusted or frayed, replace it.

As for the brake drums, the "drums" form the hubs of the wheels. What you likely mean is the friction lining on the brake shoes, which are inside the drums. You can take the cover off the side of the brake drums to look at the shoes. They should have at least 1/16 inch of material, and be nice and clean on the face that touches the brake drum. If not, replace the shoes. You should also look at the drum to ensure they are in good shape.
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:33 PM   #10
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thanks! i really appreciate your help! if i have time this weekend i might take apart the drums and clean them up, im probably going to replace the tires soon. having the brakes stick really sucks especially if you far from home...my plan for the future is to never travel more that five miles from home. the cables dont seem to have rust. I was thinking what can i do about the broken engine cover? should i glue it back on with epoxy its plastic on alluminum.
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