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Old 03-07-2010, 12:28 AM   #1
eclix
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Hi my name is Eric and I just joined. I have taken claim to my dad's neglected 78' Suzuki GS 400. It has not been run for quite some time maybe ten years! Today I wheeled it out of its shelter and was poking around. I tried the kick start VERY slowly by hand to see if there was movement and it did move, it doesn't move every time though, I don't do it too much though. What I did was I removed the spark plugs and put some oil in the cylinders then left it sit. I noticed the edge of what seemed to be a valve, in the picture I attached if you look you should be able to see something in the left side of the hole. Could it be left open from moving the kick start? I have taken this on as a project and hope this forum can help me along my way. I appreciate the help in advance.

Eric

Last edited by eclix : 03-07-2010 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:33 AM   #2
Dr_Sprocket
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Congratulations!

Often, older bikes can be a world of headaches. But there is something quite satisfying in keeping an old piece of history (and nostalgia) running. Good luck.
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Old 03-07-2010, 06:03 AM   #3
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Hey Eric! The first thing you want to do is a 'compression test'. Google that term and that will tell you what shape the top end is in by the numbers. Lots oftimes those old bikes just need a quick oil change and some new gas and a battery charge and they start right up. Other ones may need a complete tear down. If your bike turns over and has good compression, you can try starting it and see what happens. Spray a little starting fluid in and see if you can get it to pop.
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:19 AM   #4
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Thanks for replying. I do have a compression tester. I guess once I hopefully get the engine loosened up I will do that for sure. It's just a shame I have to put it through this because it only has 14,000 kms on it. My dad is quite content on leaving it the way it is cause he says he got his money's worth out of it and he bought it new. It also seems to shift through the gears now, although I am not all that familiar with the system, I've only driven an old Honda mini trail, so this is a learning experience.
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Old 04-08-2010, 05:09 PM   #5
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Hi I am back! I have made some progress, but the bike has left me confused!
So the engine is functioning. What I mean is it cranks, but there are a few odd things going on. I tried kick starting with the clutch held, and it propelled itself forward.
If I don't use the clutch and kick start it, the bike sounds like it's trying and there is resistance, but if I use the clutch not much happens. So it seems like at least the clutch is messed up. I tried adjusting it, but no difference. I would appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks
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Old 04-08-2010, 05:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eclix View Post
Hi I am back! I have made some progress, but the bike has left me confused!
So the engine is functioning. What I mean is it cranks, but there are a few odd things going on. I tried kick starting with the clutch held, and it propelled itself forward.
If I don't use the clutch and kick start it, the bike sounds like it's trying and there is resistance, but if I use the clutch not much happens. So it seems like at least the clutch is messed up. I tried adjusting it, but no difference. I would appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks
Can you put the bike in neutral? Will it kick and start in neutral? MSF training recommends starting the bike in neutral for safety.

Sounds like your clutch is fried. Is it cable actuated or hydraulic?
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Sprocket View Post
Can you put the bike in neutral? Will it kick and start in neutral? MSF training recommends starting the bike in neutral for safety.

Sounds like your clutch is fried. Is it cable actuated or hydraulic?
Probably not "fried" per se - just the plates all sticking-together from years of sitting.
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:27 AM   #8
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Probably not "fried" per se - just the plates all sticking-together from years of sitting.
Still likely needs new plates and springs, no?
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Old 04-09-2010, 06:16 AM   #9
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That bike needs Marvel Mystery Oil, and lots of it.

You see, Marvel Mystery Oil is blended with a proprietary mix of lubricants, metal restorererers, and just a hint of cinnamon for that just-baked goodness every old bike needs. Pour a heapin' helpin' of Marvel Mystery Oil into the cylinders, the crankcase, and yourself. It'll loosen up the bike and your bowels!

You can find Marvel Mystery Oil at your local automotive, hardware, or lubricant retailer.
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:08 AM   #10
eclix
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Thanks for all the suggestions, we have come to think that the clutch plates probably are sticking, because if you have the bike in neutral the back tire still rotates when kick started. I bet fresh gas may help it start too. When I first tried starting it, there was gas streaming from under the bike from thin hoses coming from the float bowls. The gas was a yellow like colour. I am not sure what that was about either, but once we found the correct carb setting, it seemed to stop doing that.
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