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shuste73 05-27-2017 12:52 AM

2009 Rebel 250 idles fine but dies with a little throttle
2009 Rebel 250. It's my MIL's, who decided she didn't like riding. She wants me to sell it. I'm in California so I assume it's a California bike.

It sat for at least 5 years. She has a receipt showing an oil change in 2012.

It wouldn't start.

New battery. Still wouldn't start. Sprayed some starting fluid and it ran for a few seconds.
Pulled gas tank and drained - super clean inside.

I had FIL pull the carb and bring it to me. Valve was completely stuck, carb had no gas, not even the smell of gas. I replaced the valve and soaked the metal parts for about 30 min in SeaFoam (it's all I had).

FIL put the carb back in, it started. They drove it to my house (about 20 miles), the 2 side covers were COATED in oil. The fins had an oil film and they were smoking when the engine was hot.

They reported that you had to give it a lot of gas when starting off in 1st gear or it would die.

I test drove it, came home, let it cool down, the right-side spark plug was completely loose, so I torqued the spark plugs to spec.

I fired it up again so I could try adjusting the idle speed screw, and a few minutes later, before it came up to temp, it puked oil out the left side.

Got the bike vertical and checked the oil level - it was at the very top of the XXXX part. I checked with the bike vertical/level and the dipstick not screwed in. This level was AFTER it leaked oil on the drive over and AFTER it puked from the blown seal. I have a feeling it was overfilled. All parties deny any knowledge of overfilling. :(

I ordered a gasket kit, the pulley removal tool/screw thing, and a new seal.

Today, I opened it up and replaced the seal (it was chewed to hell). Put her back together and let her warm up to idle. I played with the idle screw but it didn't fix the problem. The pilot screw is missing the cap so I can't twist it to adjust that. I ordered a new pilot screw, which comes with the cap, from Revzilla. Should be here in a week or so.

FIRST PROBLEM: You're in first gear and ready to go. You apply a little throttle and she starts to struggle and will die if you don't: 1.)get off the throttle, or 2.)rev it like hell. This is without messing with the clutch. I've been riding for 8 years now, I know how to feather the clutch!

SECOND PROBLEM: I can't find the oil leak. There's oil pooling at the front and left fins near the spark plugs. But that's because the engine is tilted and the bike is on the stand. I suspect the valve cover gasket, but I wiped everything down and let it idle for about 40 minutes and didn't see anything building up. It's a head scratcher. I have the gasket kit, so I can replace it, but I'm reluctant to do anything unnecessary. Bikes that sit 5 years have a lot of dried out rubber.

THIRD PROBLEM: that same right-side spark plug appears to be blowing out exhaust. Or maybe it's leaking oil near there and that's the smoke? Anyway, the smoke appears to be concentrated in that area. It's been windy so it's hard to tell. I let it cool down again and re-checked the torque, and it's perfect.

Any thoughts/ideas? What to do next?

My thoughts are to pull the carb again and soak it in a carb cleaner overnight, then pull the valve cover (do the valve job since I have the offset wrench and the feeler gages) and replace the gasket. When I get the pilot screw cover, adjust the idle to see if that helps the stalling when you give it a little gas.

01-7700 05-27-2017 08:48 AM

Welcome! Good plan - good luck :)

flitecontrol 05-27-2017 03:01 PM

Welcome. Have you checked the air filter and drained the puke tube? If the air filter is oiled up, it needs to be replaced.

When you opened the carb, was there any evidence of gasoline residue? If your in-laws didn't drain the carb before storage, more than likely it needs a thorough cleaning. The best way to do that is with an ultrasonic cleaner. Another way is to soak only the metal parts for at least 48 hours, in Berrymans Chem Dip. It's available at WalMart and most auto parts stores. If the carb internals are really gunked up, it may take multiple soakings to get it clean.

Some good info here:

shuste73 05-27-2017 08:26 PM

Yes, I checked the air filter. The bike has 850 miles on it, and the air filter looks new, as expected.

I checked the puke tube a few weeks ago - a tiny bit of stuff came out. From what I can tell by reading a zillion posts on this forum, that's normal.

There was no evidence of residue in the carb - it was super, super clean. However, the secondary was clogged (couldn't see all the way through it), and I think there were some other ports internal to the carb that might have been clogged. There was what looked like verdigris on the valve, and the valve didn't move freely. The new one slipped in there so smoothly that I thought I'd done something wrong. Anyway, that was definitely why it wouldn't start on its own but the starting fluid got it started for a few seconds - it wasn't getting any gas at all.

The little priming plunger thing on the side was stuck and there was something clogging a port in there. I got it moving again and cleared out what I saw.

I reset the pilot screw to 2 3/4 turns out, though I'm in Sacramento, which is at sea level, and the repair manual says to turn it another 1/2 turn out. I'll do that when I take it out again.

I don't own or have access to an ultrasonic cleaner. I went to Wally World today and got a bucket of Berryman's dip and I'm going to stick as much of the carb in there as I can for 48 hours.

Discovered a black tube that my FIL left off when he pulled the carb out and put it back in last time. I don't actually know where it goes. Is there supposed to be a tube on the float bowl drain? If so, that's it because if I open the float bowl drain, it just dumps onto the transmission.

I'm going to drain out the oil and put the proper amount in, too. Don't want to blow another seal :(

shuste73 05-28-2017 02:32 PM

Bike is pretty much new at 850 miles... but I checked and the air filter is pristine.
The puke tube had a little bit drain out, looks normal.

No gas residue in the carb - there was verdigris on the valve and it was hard to get out. The secondary was clogged (couldn't see through it), so I poked that out. Was very, very clean in the carb, though. That plunger/primer thing on the side was stuck and some of the passageways weren't looking too hot. I unstuck the plunger but it's still pretty stiff.

I got a big can of Berryman's at Wally World yesterday and I'm going to soak as many of the metal parts as I can, for at least 48 hours.

kryton 05-30-2017 08:09 AM

The pilot mix screw doesn't really need the cap, it is a flathead screw, and you adjust it without the cap in place anyway. Its tab is more to keep it from backing out too much on its own from vibration if the spring doesn't.
First problem sounds like the accelerator pump, that little pushrod looking thingy next to the idle stop screw. It's job is to squirt a little extra gas down the throat just as you begin to crack the throttle so it won't starve during that brief time between the throttle plate starting to open and the vacuum piston lifting to start opening the main jet; basically to prevent what you are experiencing. the rubber diaphragm could be shot, or the passage it squirts fuel through could be clogged, or both. there might also be an issue with the rubber boot of the vacuum piston so it only reacts at "lots of throttle". My 09 sat for a few years before I bought it, and I ended up replacing EVERY bit of rubber in the carb.

flitecontrol 05-30-2017 11:00 AM

Remember, no plastic or rubber parts, including the float valve, go into the Dip.

shuste73 06-05-2017 06:30 PM

Sorry for posting twice before. It took over a day so I thought it didn't go through.
I agree it could be the accelerator pump. I think a passageway is clogged. The rubber looks good and it's flexible.

What I've done: finally got a chance to take the carb apart today, the bowl and the cover to the accelerator pump are soaking, as well as the primary and secondary jets. Took the valve cover off, did the valve job. One valve was too high out of spec, so I adjusted it. The other three were fine. Replaced the valve cover gasket, hoping that's gonna fix the oil leak, torqued the 2 bolts on top to spec... seemed not very tight at all, but it's to spec. Plugs look pretty black for a bike with 800 miles... but I put them back in and torqued them to spec with my inch-lb torque wrench (it has newton-meters, too). The left-side oil puking is fixed with a seal - was actually a really easy job. Drained/filled the oil to the PROPER level.

The replacement cap for the pilot screw should be here tomorrow. It's actually the whole pilot screw assembly, so I'll swap it out.

Once the carb is done soaking, I'll get it back together and adjust the idle speed with the pilot and idle screw. I'll take her out and see if she's fixed. I'll post back here either way.

shuste73 06-07-2017 05:59 PM

I don't know why it takes days for my updates to appear but I'm assuming they're in a queue somewhere.

I adjusted the valves a couple of days ago. One was at .15mm where .10mm is the spec. Tightened it down so the .10mm wouldn't slide but the .08mm dragged. All three others were fine.

Got an ugly orange valve cover gasket off eBay. Used that but kept the black one just in case. Valve cover bolts don't seem like they're tight at all, but it's torqued to spec.

Today was 48 hrs. in the Berryman's. Took the float bowl, accelerator cover, and the primary/secondary nozzles out and rinsed them in water, dried them out, and put the carb back together.

I got a new pilot needle because I wanted the cap. Yes, I know you don't *need* the cap, but I couldn't get it to twist any other way while it was installed without burning my hand because the engine has to be warmed up. I swapped the whole thing and put a drop of blue threadlock in the cap. Totally worth the $20.

I picked up a $12 tach where you wrap a wire around the spark plug wire.

After a goof on my part (forgot to tighten the nuts on the carb where the fuel/air mixture enters the engine, resulting in a massive amount of air and I had to hold the throttle open to compensate with fuel... /forehead slap), she was spinning like a top.

Adjusted the idle speed and pilot screw per the carb rebuild instructions in the manual. Get the black knob to 1400rpm, then adjust the little cap to highest rpm, then the black knob again, a tweak to the cap to get rpm down 50rpm, then the black knob again.

I put the seat back on while I was waiting for her to warm up.

I put in just shy of 1.6 quarts of oil, put the bike vertical and checked the level - a hair under the top mark. Perfect.

Took some 2000 grit to wet sand a few light scratches on the tank, followed up with some Meguiar's 105, she looks great now.

Test drive: flawless. No weird issue on the highway, no stalling when you first get on the throttle from stop, and she seemed to shift a little better with fresh oil at the correct level. I made some quick stops, some quick shifts, got on and off the highway, and came to complete stops several times. Rode for about a half hour.

As of now, she's good as new. Literally, it has 860 miles on it! I've been checking CraigsList and these bikes are going for about $2800-$3500 in my area with around 2000 miles. I think I'll list it somewhere in that range, strategically priced to pull in buyers filtering for a certain price range and mileage limit.

It's a shame to let bikes sit. If you're not going to ride it, just sell it! I ran through this same crap with my first bike 8 years ago - a 1986 Honda Shadow 750 that the prior owner let sit for about 3 years because the hydraulic clutch didn't work - someone backed into him in a parking lot, knocking over his bike, warping the master cylinder cover, causing it to leak when it was on the kickstand, and not have enough pressure to operate the clutch... I spent $20 on a new cover and it was fixed. Score for me because I got that bike for $500 and later sold it for $1100 2 years later. Anyway, I had to pull the carbs and replace some parts with a kit, some of the California emissions stuff was giving me issues, and there were some other rubber parts I had to replace. Also had a Suzuki Savage that belonged to an Air Force guy and he rode it sporadically... the carb float valve had an o-ring that was leaking by, flooding it and dripping gas into the garage floor via the airbox, so I had to do a full carb overhaul on that.

Don't let bikes sit around! Ride them!

EDIT: also got an inline fuel filter because there was a little crud in the bottom of the float bowl, and some new tubing - one of the tubes to the carb tore a little when my FIL first pulled it off (he didn't twist to break the rubber free first, he just pulled). Picked up new spark plugs, arriving tomorrow, but not going to mess with them at this point because she's running great. Freebie to the new buyer.

76Paw 06-07-2017 10:06 PM

shuste73, for some reason your posts were being sent to moderation, and being held from view until a moderator approved them. I am not sure why this was happening, but have sent a note to Administration to look at it, so hopefully it won't happen again.

Congrats on getting the bike running. Don't ride it too much, or you may decide to keep it. :)

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