Help! Broken down in the Dominican Republic.
So... I'm riding home from Santiago Airport at 2am the other night and my 1987 KLR650 goes shudder, shudder, cough, cough... dead. To be fair, it took her 10 minutes to completely die.
I called my other girlfriend (the human one) and she came to rescue me and my baby and towed us the 2 hours home. En route, she tried to convince me to sell that "bloody KLR." To be fair, this was not the first time she was towing me home at 2am.
Anyways, I would greatly appreciate some help diagnosing her (not my human girlfriend - that's impossible) so I can get her back on the road again.
I have spark (although possibly weak). I have gas. I have air.
After trying many obvious solutions (listed below) here's what is happening:
The engine occasionally starts (maybe 1 in 25 tries) and runs for 10 seconds before dying. Maybe it's just me, but it seems to start better at midday after having been in the sun.
I removed the carb air intake boot and placed my hand behind the card while cranking the engine. GAS SPRAYED ALL OVER MY HANDS, out of the carb air intake.
Here's what I have done so far:
1) I checked for spark. Spark is there, but seems a little weaker than I remember. I replaced the spark plug and the spark was still looking a little weak. It's an iridium plug, so maybe that's why? I then bought a new ignition coil. Spark still looks weak, but it does spark.
2) I checked for gas. Plenty of that in the carb. I checked the float level too. That was fine. I have replaced the petcock with a non vacuum one and blocked the carb vacuum hose.
3) I cleaned the carb (twice) and that made no difference. I put my carb on a friend's KLR and his bike ran great with my carb. So, I conclude that the carb is not the problem.
4) I checked the valve clearances. All 4 were out of spec. I ordered new shims. I was convinced I'd found the culprit (and was secretly proud that I'd managed to open the engine for the first time and not break anything or drop anything in it), but when I came to start her up, she would not. She cranked and after about 30 seconds would backfire loudly - same as before.
5) I checked the timing by placing a long stick in the plug hole and rotating the engine to TDC. The piston is at the top of it's stroke at TDC.
6) I took the muffler off and inspected it for blockages thinking that might be causing the back pressure. It seemed free of blockages.
So, I'm stuck and out of things to try.
I welcome any ideas as I'm scratching my head...
Thank you in advance,