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GS550 wont start- not sure why, has fuel and spark.

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Endless Nameless
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PostPosted: 18:15 - 24 Jan 2009    Post subject: GS550 wont start- not sure why, has fuel and spark. Reply with quote

Erm, yeah, like it says really. Bike cranks over fine (it's a later one, 'leccy foot only), oil light goes straight out and it spins over no trouble but normally doesn't "catch" at all for ages. Sometimes it will nearly start first jab of the starter but then will just spin. Eventually it will catch briefly and very occasionally start off the starter, usually I resort to a bump start. If I've managed to get it to catch on the starter it bumps straight off, if I just try and bump it without having spun it over for ages it takes a while to go. Once running it's OK, if a bit lumpy, but does seem a bit down on power. It'll restart fine if it's been run within say 5 hours, first jab of the button.

Have hoiked a plug out after having span it over (but not had it running) the plug looks fine, as does the spark. Can smell fuel at the exhaust too when cranking it over.

Not really sure what it could be- the battery is recent and has plenty of life in it and the starter spins it over at a decent rate.

Timing has been suggested, but I thought I'd ask you lot for ideas.
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A2 passed 22/07/08; restriction up 22/07/10 (just so I don't forget)
'79 Suzuki GS550E. Yes, that's a GS550, not a GS500.
Supersports "In a video editing competition I'd kick your sorry ass"
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TUG
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PostPosted: 18:20 - 24 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

My FZR 400 used to do exactly what your describing, fueling and a set of old plugs were to blame, IIRC. I changed my plugs an it ran great for a while, but the fueling was way off. Is timing a known common problem on your model bike?
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Last edited by TUG on 22:26 - 24 Jan 2009; edited 1 time in total
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Endless Nameless
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PostPosted: 19:02 - 24 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not really, it's just old... carbs have been cleaned and haven't been touched and it was running fine, I might try a new set of plugs and have a look at the choke in case that's sticking, the cable is very stiff.
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A2 passed 22/07/08; restriction up 22/07/10 (just so I don't forget)
'79 Suzuki GS550E. Yes, that's a GS550, not a GS500.
Supersports "In a video editing competition I'd kick your sorry ass"
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.Chris.
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PostPosted: 21:56 - 24 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you tested the compression?

I seem to remember the bike was using a lot of oil on the rideout some time ago - maybe the rings are shot. That would correspond with a lack of power too.
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TUG
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PostPosted: 22:08 - 24 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

RXS100_Chris wrote:
Have you tested the compression?

I seem to remember the bike was using a lot of oil on the rideout some time ago - maybe the rings are shot. That would correspond with a lack of power too.

Its a possibility, a simple thumb over the plug hole would be a great check, it should lift your thumb off the plug hole without effort if the rings are good. Hope its nothing serious. Thumbs Up
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Endless Nameless
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PostPosted: 23:59 - 24 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, I really hadn't thought of that...

I know it needs the top end doing at some point but I was hoping it'd last a bit longer. Not a huge deal if it is, it'll just get done sooner rather than later.

Will give the thumb test a go at some point.
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A2 passed 22/07/08; restriction up 22/07/10 (just so I don't forget)
'79 Suzuki GS550E. Yes, that's a GS550, not a GS500.
Supersports "In a video editing competition I'd kick your sorry ass"
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NiteMare
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PostPosted: 00:56 - 25 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

if it's an 80s GS550 you'll quite possibly find it needs the valves gaps setting as they close up...

not a hard job to do just a pain to find a full range of shim thicknesses plus they're expensive...

i actually had a couple of shims reground to my specs as it was cheap enough to do that (couple of quid) but you need to have some old shims laying about to put in the buckets whilst you are having the grinding done ..

if you do go for regrinds make sure the ground side is placed face down in the bucket or you'll bugger the cam lobes and shims once you start it up

p.s.
i don't really think too much of the thumb over the plughole as a compression test due to 50psi being way more than enough to blow it off the plughole, all that'll tell you really is that you haven't got a hole in the piston or valves stuck wide open...
you can get a cheap comp' tester for 12-15quid which is a far more accurate way to test

edit..

if it is an 80s bike i'm pretty certain you'll find it has points ignition, have you checked the gaps and set the timing ??
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Endless Nameless
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PostPosted: 14:39 - 25 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

She's a '79 nitemare. The points are fine, been checked... timing hasn't been done.

I was going to take her in to the garage round the corner and ask him to take a look at the timing and sort the shims 'cos I suspected that might need doing.

I'll also try and pick up a cheapy compression tester- or ask him to do that too.

Cheers for the help Smile
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A2 passed 22/07/08; restriction up 22/07/10 (just so I don't forget)
'79 Suzuki GS550E. Yes, that's a GS550, not a GS500.
Supersports "In a video editing competition I'd kick your sorry ass"
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mattsprattuk
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PostPosted: 14:42 - 25 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

by timing i assume you mean cam timing?
i seriously doubt that could be the problem, considering when it was running, it wasnt running that badly (apart from the burning oil thing).
when surepass wanker fucktards timed my bike up wrong, it was a complete cunt to start, wouldnt idle unless i jacked up the idle screw, and delivered its power like a 2 stroke.

dont take it to a mechanic.

do it yourself. i can even teach you how to take valve clearances if you really want, as ive done it enough times on both my DOHC bikes.

i personally think its the rings. it would explain the burning oil and shit starting when it did work. also, when i rode it, it wasnt exactly 550cc power (probably due to the horribly slipping clutch) get new friction plates and gaskets. may as well sort it all out in one go. they arent expensive
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Blue_SV650S wrote: it was a sh1te wheelie, but it proves that he can get it up in 3rd and can do angles. In summery, mattsprattuk is a gobby little sh1tebag, dopehead tw4t, but sadly for all of us, he probably isn't THAT full of sh1te!! Mr. Green
Kickstart wrote: Hi I tend to agree with Matt. All the best Keith
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NiteMare
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PostPosted: 18:06 - 25 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

you assume incorrectly...

cam timing once set is a "fit and forget" operation unless something drastic has gone wrong...

when i talk of points gaps and timing i talk about setting the ignition timing, which on the gs550 is easy enough to set really accurately using a bulb across the breakers/points, the gap will have a few thou leeway to assist in setting along with independantly adjusted backplates, or rather you adjust the main backplate then there'll be another one mounted on that for the other points (from memory)

question ...

does it burn oil all the time or only show evidence of it at first start, or smoke when you shift gear ??
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Endless Nameless
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PostPosted: 22:00 - 25 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Burns oil all the time I think, extra smokey on a gearchange or when being thrashed. I was hoping it was just the stem seals.

It was cam timing that was suggested to me as being "out", by a friend who had it slip on his Spitfire with similarish results. I've done the points, they were fine, but need to have a poke at the ignition timing.

Checking the ignition timing, doing a compression test, sorting the valve shimming (if you know how to do it Matt, much appreciated) and doing the stem seals (in that order) is the plan. Ta folks.
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A2 passed 22/07/08; restriction up 22/07/10 (just so I don't forget)
'79 Suzuki GS550E. Yes, that's a GS550, not a GS500.
Supersports "In a video editing competition I'd kick your sorry ass"
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TUG
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PostPosted: 23:11 - 25 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Endless, Nameless wrote:
Burns oil all the time I think, extra smokey on a gearchange or when being thrashed. I was hoping it was just the stem seals.

It was cam timing that was suggested to me as being "out", by a friend who had it slip on his Spitfire with similarish results. I've done the points, they were fine, but need to have a poke at the ignition timing.

Checking the ignition timing, doing a compression test, sorting the valve shimming (if you know how to do it Matt, much appreciated) and doing the stem seals (in that order) is the plan. Ta folks.

When you say gear change, what colour is the smoke, and what sort of revs does the smoke appear? High revs used to show black smoke when i was really gunning it or clutching wheelies as it was running rich on the top end. Is that anything like yours? Maybe mine was due for rings too if thats the case but it wasnt really burnin oil tbh.
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NiteMare
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PostPosted: 02:53 - 26 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

grey/white puffs of smoke on the over-run when changing gear indicate it's sucking oil in via the inlet valves, continual grey/white smoke would indicate there's wear all over the top, grey smoke just on start up would show stem seals worn and oil draining into the ports....

black/bluey smoke would indicate it's running rich...

valve timing won't need touching unless the cams have been removed at some time since your problems appeared and you've re-assembled them incorrectly ...

now this bike being 30 years old is likely to be showing signs of general wear and tear, valve seals and guides getting a little tired, valve seats recessing and not sealing 100%, rings could "possibly" do with replacing but without carefully measuring/checking the bores and ring gaps you won't know for sure, but there is a simple test to give you a basic indication of compression problems, run the test over each pot once and record the results for each cylinder, then run the test a second time but this time pump a couple of squirts down onto the piston and record the results again, compare the before and after pressures to see if there is indication of bore/ring wear , then compare the oiled pressures with the pressures stated in the manual to see if the valves are not seating properly...

come back and give us the pressures to give a diagnosis of needs

p.s.
how nice is your GS ?? put up a picture, i've got 1.75 GS550l's, ones nice and tidy (not mint) and another for a future project

p.p.s.
these engines are "almost" indestructible with regular oil/filter changes
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TUG
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PostPosted: 04:49 - 26 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that information, i should take notes for work purposes an further my knowledge, i might get a pen an pad after. I was taught all that but you know how it is, sleep since, reset/ Thumbs Up Karma
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Endless Nameless
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PostPosted: 14:18 - 26 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Y'know, I really haven't paid much attention to the smoke- Chris or Tristan, you've both followed me- what do you think?

I'd say it's grey on start- up. She is fairly high mileage, getting on for the 70k mark. Cams haven't been touched- all that's been off since I've bought her is the carbs, the exhaust and the points cover. I suppose the starting issue could be fuelling but I'd like to solve the oil burning too while I'm having a tinker.

I'll try and acquire a compression tester, have a play and get back to you, thanks everso for your help... have an e.pint on me, or a real one if I ever meet you...

Oh, piccies, we can do that.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y66/brianthesnail96/CIMG0234.jpg

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y66/brianthesnail96/CIMG0237.jpg

A long way from mint, but not too shabby. Have got rid of the motad now, something small and noisy on there.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y66/brianthesnail96/meeeeonGS.jpg

I actually dont have any decent side- on photos.
____________________
A2 passed 22/07/08; restriction up 22/07/10 (just so I don't forget)
'79 Suzuki GS550E. Yes, that's a GS550, not a GS500.
Supersports "In a video editing competition I'd kick your sorry ass"
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Tristan.
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PostPosted: 14:42 - 26 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other than white smoke when you start it I havent noticed a large enough amount of smoke to pay attention to.
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.Chris.
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PostPosted: 17:04 - 26 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed, I didn't actually notice much in the way of smoke when you were riding it.
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Tristan.
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PostPosted: 17:15 - 26 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

do we have your compression tester?
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.Chris.
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PostPosted: 17:17 - 26 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope, I brought it back last time.
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Tristan.
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PostPosted: 17:33 - 26 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good, was worried I'd lost it.
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TUG
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PostPosted: 17:54 - 26 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

That bike is gorgeous! Thumbs Up Very Happy
Any signs of a small leak on your bike? My CG had a small leak an when i'd check my oil level it would of dropped a fair bit within a couple of long rides.
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NiteMare
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PostPosted: 00:05 - 27 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks quite tidy Smile

if you want to sort the start up smoke you'll be wanting to lift the head off to fit new stem seals, which will give you ample opportunity to sort the valve gaps/seats while you're at it ...

also i'd check the condtion of the bores and rings whilst in bits ...

google "robinsons foundry" , sign up with "old skool suzuki" as you'll get 10% off as a member of that site and aboslutely tons of knowledgeable folks on there
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Endless Nameless
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PostPosted: 00:12 - 27 Jan 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was more- or- less the plan Nitemare. Ta for the link, hadn't seen/ heard of that before.

So sign of an oil leak at all- she's parked on a big sheet of cardboard at the mo (due to a chainsaw oil/ garage floor incident) so it'd be obvious unless it was dropping onto somewhere else on the bike.

The piccies flatter her wolfie, she's shabbier than that in real life. And absolutely filthy at the mo, winter m-ways are bad for bikes! Gonna give her a damn good clean soon.
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A2 passed 22/07/08; restriction up 22/07/10 (just so I don't forget)
'79 Suzuki GS550E. Yes, that's a GS550, not a GS500.
Supersports "In a video editing competition I'd kick your sorry ass"
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