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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-30-2001, 03:19 PM
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Problematic Invader

I have a '80 Kawasaki Invader 440 cc I bought from a garage sale for $100. When I bought it, I was told that it sputtered but would not fire. I discovered it to be a hole in the left hand (from driver's seat) piston. When I rebuilt the engine, I noticed that that piston had been replaced already, as the right hand side was still original. The new piston looked as if it had barely been run, yet still had a sizeable hole burned through it. Now I have rebuilt the top end on both sides, but still I cannot get acceptable results. When the engine runs, it runs lean and stalls with the choke off, and will not idle with the choke on. When it does run, it runs very well and will even pull the skis off the ground! Other days, it will start and slowly die out as if running out of fuel. Does this sound like a simple carburetion problem or could this be something even more troublesome? If anyone has any experience tuning these carbs (Mikuni 36mm), I could benefit from a few words of advice! No one in my area will touch a sled that old!

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2001, 11:00 AM
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Re: Problematic Invader

A hole in your piston is an indicator of a lean condition. I would go thru the carbs. Check all the parts, they should be almost exactly the same between both carbs. I had a sled once that some one had installed the needle jets backward which is pretty hard to do, but I burned it down twice before I found it. If you send me the numbers off the components I'll take a look. Get the numbers off of the mains, needle jets, pilots, needles, slides, and even the fuel inlet valve. Is it air or liquid cooled and what elevation are you riding at? A air leak can also cause a burn in the piston but where it has just been rebuilt it should be OK other than the crank seal behind the clutch. This can be checked if you get it to run by squirting stater fluid or WD40 on the seal, if the engine runs differently either faster or slower then you have a bad seal. Look at this first, it might save you the time of going thru the carbs. Look it over well I saw a used machine that had a hole almost punched through the crankcase from a previous problem which made for a leak.
Try those and see if they help.

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