Popping and Soot

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by cedarbrook63, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. cedarbrook63

    cedarbrook63 Junior Member

    794
    28
    2
    Hi Guys,

    I noticed some popping on decel ever since I had my upgrade to 1200 done. The techs at my dealership were not familiar with the Dobeck TFi and I don't think they changed the settings so I set to the numbers Chris at Dobeck suggested.

    I still get quite a lot of popping and now I notice a thick coating of pure black soot inside my mufflers. She accels well and fuel economy is about 38 miles to US Gallon. I felt a bit uneasy reading Glider's comments about carboning things up inside the engine and fuel diluting oil when the mix is long term wrong........:34:

    In a post on 11th April, our good friend Bubbie made the very helpful suggestion as follows:

    QUOTE:
    YES, alter to work properly on your bike...
    If still popping when letting off I would open TFI up a bit more and try: on the #1 first IDLE pot= +1........ and the 3rd pot one = + one mark... give that a whirl. you might even need 2 marks up on pot 3... settings by dobecks are just suggested and your bike may need more gas than the TFI is giving... The beauty of TFI, it is easy to go back n forth as needed..

    signed....BUBBIE :UNQUOTE

    Now I have not done this yet before my last minute mad dash to Ireland last Tuesday and because I want to be clear in my head on what is happening between popping and soot - does the same fuel/air ratio fix both? Are they different symptoms of different problems requiring different solutions?

    Excuse my ignorance but is popping due to too lean or too rich and same question for soot?

    Can anyone suggest some settings for the TFi in this situation? 2009 Sportster XL883 converted to 1200, SEII pipes and K&N million mile AC.

    Thanks for your help guys/girls. I'd like to sort it out before I ride back home to England on Weds. :D
     
  2. cedarbrook63

    cedarbrook63 Junior Member

    794
    28
    2
    Well, as usual, the guys on this Forum have shown themselves to be gold nuggets of generous help and advice.

    First off my good friend Hobbit from up the road in the Shire offered his time, as he invariably does, to have a look and make it right. Top man :D. But now, perhaps we'll be able to spend the next day we meet on the road rather than peering at the bike.

    Jayson459 suggested taking out the spark plugs to see if they were blackened/carbon coated as a sure-fire way of identifying too rich a mix.

    Bubbie had recommended a few tweaks to the TFi.

    So this arvo, I took out the plugs and as I hope you can see in the pictures I attach (sorry they're blurred, the iPhone camera is definitely the weakest link), they look fairly clean to me - the terminals that is, the threads are a little black, is that an issue? I didn't have a torque wrench with me so I did a little chalk mark on the block and on one of the corners of the hex head of the plug so that I would put it back where the tech had put it (presuming he had torqued it properly :D). I'll be going over all critical fasteners and plugs to check torques when I get home in the middle of the week as she's had a darned good rattling from the way I've ridden her recently.

    Next I adjusted Pot 1 to just before 4 o'clock and Pot 3 to 2.30. allmost as per Bubbie's suggestions. I put her back together again and took her for a warm up and then a blast. I didn't warm her before adjusting the pots and did not even have her running as Dobeck recommend in their tuning advice because I was aiming for a speciifc setting and can always do the tune by ear later......

    On the road, NO decel popping at speeds of 30, 40 or 50. Once nicely warm took her onto the motorway for a few miles. There was a slight hint of a pop (but I couldn't swear to it) when I took the throttle right off from 90mph and above. I didn't have ear plugs in and the wind on the helmet noise and engine roar was fairly loud but whatever, the pop or exhaust combustion noise was pretty much gone. She is VASTLY improved :D. When I got her home, I could smell a bit more fuel than usual or so I thought but that's really hard to be objective about.

    So thank you guys as ever. I carry on learning and smiling.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    5,277
    133
    156
    Plug colour does not look too bad but definatley not rich perhaps a wee bit lean after a bit of time with the current settings check the pluds if they are black and sooty on the working part of the plug then too much fuel
    Ive never used a torque wrench on plugs just take them up to finger tight and then a wee bit more been doing it that way since 75 never had a problem as its all down to feel

    Brian
     
  4. BUBBIE

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    4,959
    83
    113
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2010
  5. cedarbrook63

    cedarbrook63 Junior Member

    794
    28
    2
    Thanks for your replies Brian and Bubbie...

    I totally respect your sense of feel for tightening plugs, and I know the experienced techs often tighten visually rather than with a torque wrench. HD recommend torqueing plugs to 18-22 foot pounds which I'm happy to work to since I forked out the $$s for the Sears units Glider recommended :D:D:D But mainly I'm a fastidious newbie......

    I had wondered about the inner threads looking a bit black and your point Bubbie is interesting that a very little antiseize might help. I should think that it would be very much a case of just enough and no more. You don't want the plugs loosening.

    The Polizei are reasonably leniant with bikes at 80mph or so in these parts, 90 is pushing my luck but then I ride that fast very seldom. I was in the role of test pilot today (a rice rocket jockey would chuckle at that - 90mph is just coming out of the driveway for some of those boys:newsmile040:) and it was all in the interests of science and research :s.

    So I'll pull the plugs when I get back home to dear old England and see if they're looking black or not. And I'll probably stay 70-80 on the way back, otherwise I might get camera shake :lolrolling
     
  6. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    5,277
    133
    156
    Instead of trying to find antiseize i would use copper grease its the same sort of thing just not branded
    you can buy from any good car place in a small tube branded or in a half litre tub being a good scotsmaqn i buy the un branded half litre stick a 1/2" paint brush in the tub and paint it on whenever i need it use sparingly a very thin film is all thats needed

    Brian
     
  7. cedarbrook63

    cedarbrook63 Junior Member

    794
    28
    2
    Thanks Brian. A good tip as always. I'll get some of that.
    BTW are you heading for Germany this summer?
     
  8. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    5,277
    133
    156
    Awaiting for instructions on where we are going i dont really care as long as its on the bikes so might be doing a wee bit of england and wales this year but as yet she is undecided so no bookings are made yet

    Brian
     
  9. cedarbrook63

    cedarbrook63 Junior Member

    794
    28
    2
    If you're down near the Cotswolds or Midlands or over toward south Wales pm me and/or Hobbit and we'll try to meet up for a day during your ride south :D
     
  10. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    5,277
    133
    156
    I think her plan would be to go to bedford for a few days then to head into wales from there she has been to these places with work and wants to visit again with me
    so i think we will be in roughly your area

    Brian