I'm an Idiot (Bad Fuel?)

Discussion in 'Engine, Fuel and Exhaust' started by ellisoa, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. ellisoa

    ellisoa Member

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    So, I am about 90% sure that I did not put any fuel stabilizer in my bikes before winter. They haven't been started in probably 5 months and neither bike will turn over.

    When I try to start them they start to turn over but then the starter gives out. (Clicking noise similar to when the battery is dead).

    I know it is not the batteries, so I am pretty sure it is bad fuel.

    I was planning on draining the old fuel out of the tank, but if I do won't there still be bad fuel in the lines?

    Both bikes are fuel injected ('03 Road King & '05 Dyna Lowrider).

    What do I need to do to get them started if the fuel is bad?

    Sometimes I guess you have to learn the hard way!!!
     
  2. Chopper

    Chopper Senior Member

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    Welcome to the forum, The fuel would have nothing to do with the bike turning over, it might make it run ruff after it started. The batteries don't have the charge to crank them from what you are describing. Have you had them plugged into a tender for the winter? I would take a volt meter and check voltage, should be 12.8 with the ign off. Best bet is to get the batteries fully charged and park the bikes in the sun for a while if you don't have heated storage, then try starting.
     
  3. GARVIN

    GARVIN Active Member

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    hi - never seen bad fuel prevent an engine from turning over. If you are sure the batteries are fully charged , remove spark plugs and try to cycle engine over (ground spark plug wires), engine could be locked if injector was leaking over winter. engine should crank over fine do to no compression with plugs out .
    if still won`t crank double check & CLEAN batt terminals & starter connections
    fuel should still be good to start & run bike , but adding Seafoam or BG44K to fuel will clean fuel system & decarbon engine
    hope this helps
     
  4. ellisoa

    ellisoa Member

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    Thanks for the welcome Chopper.

    I am sure it wasn't the battery because I did have the battery on a charger. Plus, I jerry-rigged my car battery up to double check.

    My second guess, was that it might be a little too cold out. It is about 50 degrees out, so I thought the oil might just be to viscous.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
  5. Chopper

    Chopper Senior Member

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    It does take more cranking amps in cold weather, you might take the terminals off and clean them, battery tender are good but you never know I would double check the voltage to be sure, and sometimes it's hard to get good contacts with jumper cables, plus you shouldn't need them. Good luck, you'll get them fired up.
     
  6. glyd-n

    glyd-n Junior Member

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    I think Chopper has you covered on this. Bad fuel won't stop it from turning over. Even though you had the car battery rigged, in many cases the bike will not crank if the battery has drained. The battery needs to be fully charged or replaced. And welcome to HD TALKING!:)
     
  7. ellisoa

    ellisoa Member

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    Thanks Chopper/glyd-n, I appreciate your input.
     
  8. biscuit

    biscuit Junior Member

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    As mentioned,bad gas wont stop the bike turning over.It will prevent it from starting,however.
    Where i live,if petrol is 'off',stale or whatever,it STINKS.I mean,it's really rank.You open the tank and it really assails your nostrils.You'll know if you've got bad gas.(pun)
    The bigger problem is if it has gone bad,it becomes a sludge,or of a consistency like honey;which blocks fuel lines.injectors and fuel pumps.Which means dismantling these components for thorough cleaning,or tossing them.Ask me how i know this---?

    Fresh battery,tight and greased battery connections and you might be lucky.
     
  9. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    If you are questioning the quality of fuel, drain the tanks into a clean container, and as Biscuit says, if the fuel smells like old paint varnish you have bad gas. As far as flushing the system, once your battery and charging system issues are resolved or confirmed okay, you should be able to start, you can temporarily run 1/2 tank full of fresh gas and 8 ozs or so of Chemtool, Gumout or Sea Foam mixed in, and run awhile to warm out and burn the couple ounces of fuel left in the gas lines. Then do the oil and gear lube all fluids change.

    In the future, if storing bike do follow Gliders' winterizing Self Help tip which includes full fluid change BEFORE storing for the winter...run the bike, and pull the fuel pump fuse or relay, to run the hoses dry...and the rest using Stabil in the tank, raising the bike (air up the tires to full recommended pressure, etc.
     
  10. bikerdad

    bikerdad Junior Member

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    All good advice here, my vote is for a bad battery connection. The starter draws a lot of current. A poor connection will allow everything else to work except the starter.