Thursday, 18 September 2014

Creature From The Black Lagoon

Propping up my shed under a sheet of corrugated plastic with a flower pot capping the end of the silencer was just a quick storage solution for my CCM after last years Dirt Quake. I had hosed off most of the quagmire mud, but I certainly didn't plan to abandon it it for over a year, otherwise I would have at least taken the battery off and drained the fuel - and cocooned it a little better.
Over the weekend I dragged it out of its dank nest in preparation for riding in the last DTRA race of the season, at Rye House this Sunday. It was a sorry cobwebby state. I put the battery on charge but wasn't it expecting it to start. It didn't. It pissed out rain water from the headers. Never a good sign. Taking the plug out and kicking it over produced a proper spurt of water. An even worse sign.
With some transparent rubber hose gaffer tapped to the household Henry hoover, I sucked out a cup-full of water. At least it wasn't rusty water and the engine didn't have any problem turning over with the kicker. But then I heard the echo of waves. Never a good sign. There was even more water in the exhaust. Murky. It's not true that stainless steel doesn't rust.
I'm using a car-type BOSCH starter solenoid instead of the original Denso one, and with a brand new battery the starter was spinning up fine and the engine would fire-up for a second on full choke, no throttle, but then die, as if the main jet was blocked - but normally it runs happily from cold just on the choke, so that doesn't tally. So I cheated and bought some highly flammable Easy Start from Millards the local automotive shop. Sprayed liberally onto the air filter, it did get the engine running on the throttle, but doesn't really solve the problem....
I had already cleaned the float bowl of green gunk, carb filter mesh of pigeon's bogies, and washed the foam air filter of brown toffee,
- oh and there was a Kinder Egg Fantasy ghost (missing his badminton racquet and small section of beach shown here) hiding in the airbox. I suspected problems further afield so sought higher intelligence...
Spent an hour on the phone with Capt Simon. Who updated me on the evils of modern fuel, whose shortcomings include very short shelf life of 6 weeks (i.e. not a year and a half); very aggressively corrosive chemicals; separation of constituent ingredients creating varnish like gummy residues; water absorption - to the point it's no longer combustible. So tomorrow I will chuck the remaining fuel in the tank and properly strip the Dell'Orto. BP


themarquis said...


I'm Massimo, from MIlano, Italy.
Nice post, as often you did.


Sideburn Magazine said...

Capt Simon's right about the fuel. When I was building the Black Arrow I had it started, then left it for 2-3 months over last winter, then came back to it and it wouldn't fire. It's because I filled it with fuel that had been in a jerry can for a few months. Fresh fuel sorted it straight away.
Fingers crossed. See you Sunday

footlooselizzy said...

your kitchen looks nice.
hope to see you at Rye house , maybe you should check your exhaust for leggo men and maybe there could be a stray Boba Fett in your inlet tract?
wrote by oily rob on his birds computer . age 39 1/2

capnsimo said...

eee them where the days of proper workwear, heavy shirts and rugged hats at jaunty angles, passing femmes fatales in suitable attire....if only we could get the clothes and fuel from those days....mmm nice bit of tetraethyl lead......mmmmmmm
Real glad youre getting to the bottom of it, and if only we knew more about the politics of petrol....