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I have just bought a ZZR600. It was running today when i bought it but obviously not running very well. we had to hold the choke on to get it to stay going and now i have it home it has died and won't start again. it is trying to but wont. it seems like a fuel starvation problem. the guy told me it has been sat in the shed for years apart from coming out for an mot last year. he thought the carbs needed cleaning but it seems more than this. when he started it today he was pushing a fuel pump button to pump fule into the carbs i think . . .
any ideas where to start??
i plan to get the seat and panels off it and start cleaning my way through it all but if anyone has any better ideas please do let me know.
im a bit of a novice and learning as i go kind of thing so any help would be much appreciated.
I have been down and started it again today. It went no problem but again just with the choke on. It dies as soon as you try to rev the engine or turn the choke off.
I am planning on taking the petrol cap to bits first and then the fuel tap and working my way down cleaning and checking for blockages. Was going to try to locate where to drain the carbs and then see if I could find some advice,on how to test the fuel pump is working because I have no idea . . .
If any of you could give me some guidance it would be much appreciated.
How do you test a fuel pump is working for example?
I can feel your frustration, especially with a bike you have just purchased (been there, done that).
Here's my 2 pence worth:-
1. Ask the guy who sold it to you about the starting technique that he used, including why he did whatever it was that he did.
Also, find out the history of the bike from him; when did this problem start to occur?
2. Get a manual for the zzr600; you will know that these bikes were/are pretty common so there should be plenty for sale, on ebay for example.
3. From the manual you will find out if it has a fuel pump; not all bikes with carbs have one - I suspect the zzr600 doesn't have one. i.e. the fuel feeds to the carbs by gravity.
4. What you describe does appear to be a fuel starvation problem; that can be caused by a range of things, such as a gummed up fuel filter, gummed up carbs, a wrong float level on the carbs, a dirty air filter would cause the engine to run "rich" but lack of a correct air filter could cause it to run "lean".
There may be a problem with the actual choke itself.
There again, the jets in the carbs could be wrong, or worn, or the slide settings on the carbs may be wrong.
So, check everything about the fuel supply that is easy to check first, so that it is all within specification, before taking apart carburettors (for example).
5. What do the spark plugs look like at the tips? Running rich or lean, or "just right"? There was a thread about this in the Yam tech forum recently which was, basically, generic to any bike.
I agree with Ted.
I had a ZZR600 E3 from new for 13 years and used it every now and then when it was more fun on my XT or KTM.
The bike would sit in the garage for 6 months or so and would be a b$stard to start and after running crap for 200 miles and a couple of tanks of fresh fuel it would run like a swiss watch until next time I left it for months on end with stale fuel in.
After my experiences and analysis my diagnosis is:
1. Clean the carbs and all jets properly, if possible use ultrasonic means. Time and cash expensive!
2. Put a small amount of clean fresh fuel in to get it started on a fast idle(adjusted using the plastic knob bottom left of the tank, near sidepanel) as it will pop and bang on some cylinders so will not tickover or run unless the tickover adjustment is raised.
3. Put a tank or so of fresh fuel in.
4. Take for a long fast run if you can in lower gears to get the fuel flowing through all the carb jets on shall I say fuller throttle openings.
It will start to improve in its firing by running on all cylinders eventually!
5. If possible day repeat steps 3 and 4 until running sweetly.
6. Gradually reduce the tickover back to 1500 rpm as/when it will happily run on all 4 cylinders.
Basically what you are doing it burning off all the old stale fuel and replacing new which is cleaning out the jets slowly and therefore the performance improved back to what it should be!
Now you will have a fantastic real life rocketship that should tick over like a swiss watch.
Golden rule – when returning from use and you know you will not be using it for a while try to get the tank level as low as possible by careful planning of fuel stops.
Most importantly turn fuel off and leave bike ticking over on the main stand until its cuts out to fully drain the carbs so they are dry, this means that when you do use the bike again you can either fill the tank with fresh fuel thereby diluting the small amount of old fuel left or you only need to drain a small amount of stale fuel out of the tank using the reserve setting.
The root causes of the problem are:
Modern fuels that have low stability of octane rating over a relatively small amount of time that then gum up the carbs if left in.
The above combined with a lack of use, in my experience hard use. A 14000rpm redline of an engine that gets tickled is not going to get the fuel through all of the main jets on a regular basis, hence the issue in conjunction with modern fuel.
Despite it being used for touring in the UK and abroad, commuting, trackdays, a few runs down the dragstrip, sports bike riding keeping up with my mates Honda Fireplace, wheelies, knee down sessions at the local perfect roundabout.
NOTHING Kawasaki fitted to that bike as original equipment ever broke or failed.
All I ever did was service it properly and replace service items. Even the original gel battery was good when I finally sold the bike (been on an optimate all its life, when not used).
In my 13 year and 55000 mile experience of my ZZR600 was that it ran better with regular use and lots of thrashing, that is obviously not mitigation in a court for a speeding case!
Besides that engine sounds awesome at 140mph/125000rpm as it sings away with the induction roar from the trumpets under the fairing! Pure petrol running in my veins!
So I looked and noticed a little rust in the tank, took the tap off to let all the fuel out properly and see if there was anything blocked and loads of shit rusty lumps and brownish looking petrol poured out.
So I have had a look on you tube and found out a tank full of vinegar will clean the rust away, it's on my porch full of vinegar as I type and been there a day and a half.
I then plan to rinse it with distiller water and baking soda,(read it will neutralise the acid and stop it rusting again also) then stick it back on.
I have cleaned the carbs and there were traces of rust bot looked like someone had cleaned most of it out.
I have stuck a new in line filter in. Now just gonna leave the vinegar one more day before I put it all back together.
Looks like it needs an air filter too so will try and pick one up.
Any advice on DIY tank sealing?
Pet seal is 20 quid a go and I don't have it. Gonna struggle paying for a new filter. Or any advice on DIY filter cleaning? It's a sponge one and I do have some filter oil just no cleaning fluid or anything . . .
Thanks for your help so far.
Oh I have also had a go at plastic welding the panels and it has worked a treat using cable ties as a welding rod . . . .
Ahhh. Shit. The vinegar didn't work, still rust in the tank and don't want to put it all back together till I sort it. Any advice on how best to get rd of it and seal the tank?
Was gonna shake a few screws about inside for a while then put some wd40 pr oil in to line the tank . . . .
Trying to avoid spending loads on tank sealant or a new tank.
Any ideas much appreciated. I'll try anything twice.
Most old tanks have rust in them... That's why the feed from the tank is a fair bit higher than the bottom of it. That's why you always have that 0.5L of fuel you can never get to. The rust tends to settle down there.
All you can really do is flush it out as many times as you can with lots of water. Over and over and over and over.
You will get all the big parts out. Your tank SHOULD also have a filter internally. If not, maybe in the tap. These should will stop the rust finding it's way into your carb.
You have put an inline filter in and that's great. It will be good enough. Just keep an eye on it and clean it out every now and then. It will eventually filter out and bits.
If you still want to have a go at resealing it, try this link..
Right. I had a go at electrolysis, I hooked up the battery charger to the tank after filling it with salt water with the negative to the outside and the positive to a metal rod in the water. It worked a treat and got pretty much all the rust off. Problem is when I put it all back together it is still not running right. It keeps saying no fuel light flashing and dies like its getting no fuel through. It will start a couple of mins later on the choke but dies again saying no fuel.
right so its the old d model bike with a vacum and no fuel switch just a prime button. when i push the prime button fuel seems to pump through. beyond that i have not tested if fuel is flowing through and i am not sure how to test this.
i have cleaned the carbs out yes but have no idea what the fatory settings are apart from reading that the mixture screw should be 2.5 turns out.
i have tried my best to clean out all the tubes and patrol tap etc and had it in bits and it looks pretty clean in there but it is not really possible to force air through and not quite sure how to go about it . . .
the bike will start and run on the choke. it even got so i was revving it but it is like it out of fuel. it will rev a little but not run. i turned the tickover up to 5000 and it idled for a while before the petrol light comes on and it dies.
how do i check if there is enough fuel getting to the carbs? i think this might be the problem.
because it's a vacuum doesn't that mean no petrol will come out if i just remove the petrol line?
obviously i am a bit of a novice with all this so any advice is much appreciated.
Hi Ed. so it turned out there was a fuel pipe not connected. The one which switches on the fuel. As soon as this was plugged in it ran beautifully. Had a good run up the a2 and it goes like a dream . . . Just the paint is all flaking and could do with a re spray but on a very tight budget . . .
A beautiful machine though. Starts pulling at about 8000 revs and goes like a rocket. Engine purrs on Rickover without a splutter and 30,000 on the clock. 1990 model so nearly an antique . . .it has goodridge braided hoses and a full stainless exhaust. .
Will stick a few photos on when I get round to it.
Thanks for your help too. Just learning and enjoying messing about really.
All the best.
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