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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently picked up a 1977 Kawasaki KE175B, it hasn’t run for a while and knew I was taking on a project bike. I’m a rookie when it comes to mechanic work but I figured with the price I got on the bike that this would be a great opportunity to expand on my abilities while also restoring a classic.

Anyway, after cleaning the carburetor, replacing the spark plug, battery, ignition coil, and repairing the wiring according to the bike’s diagram, I have not been able to get this thing to start and run consistently. Early in the process I was able to get it started and it ran for about 6 seconds before it sputtered and died. I’ve tried using starter fluid, putting a lil gas in the cylinder, and even rolled it down a hill to attempt a clutch start like 5 times all with no success. I’ve tried adjusting the idle/air mix screw. I’ve checked the fuel drain diaphragm (which was pierced, I plugged the hole). Could it be that my timing is off? Or maybe my rotary valve is toast? My Clymer manual for the bike just doesn’t seem to have an answer for me so I’m hoping someone here might be able to help.
 

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Sounds like a timing issue. The rotary valve has to be doing it's job too, but if you got it to sputter, I would check the timing 1st. I brought parts off of a guy who had restored a '85 GS700SE Suzuki, he restored the whole bike, beautifully, but could not get it to start. He took it aapart to sell the parts, and I told him I wanted the ignition pick up off the end of the crank. He tried to take it off, and I reminded him it was a reverse thread. It was the only thing on the bike he didn't check, when I took the bolt off, the timing plate had been put on about 40 degrees of of the notch, having sput by someone using an air gun when they man handled it back together. The guy was distraught. He had this bike completely finished, but did not check that timing, and I got a sh*tload of parts for nearly nothing. Check the timing, then the rotary valve. It's been decades since I've worked in a 2 stroke that wasn't a weed whacker, so that's all I have. The rotary valves can be had for around $36 bucks for those bikes on EBAY. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sounds like a timing issue. The rotary valve has to be doing it's job too, but if you got it to sputter, I would check the timing 1st. I brought parts off of a guy who had restored a '85 GS700SE Suzuki, he restored the whole bike, beautifully, but could not get it to start. He took it aapart to sell the parts, and I told him I wanted the ignition pick up off the end of the crank. He tried to take it off, and I reminded him it was a reverse thread. It was the only thing on the bike he didn't check, when I took the bolt off, the timing plate had been put on about 40 degrees of of the notch, having sput by someone using an air gun when they man handled it back together. The guy was distraught. He had this bike completely finished, but did not check that timing, and I got a sh*tload of parts for nearly nothing. Check the timing, then the rotary valve. It's been decades since I've worked in a 2 stroke that wasn't a weed whacker, so that's all I have. The rotary valves can be had for around $36 bucks for those bikes on EBAY. ;)
In regards to checking the timing, the service manual I have says that in order to properly check timing on this bike, it is necessary to start the engine and check it with a timing light at a specific rpm. How am I supposed to check it when I can’t get the dang thing started in the first place? 😵‍💫
 

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It takes time for electricity to travel, which is why timng is alway advanced. AS WFO-ZK stated, you eyeball it, and use a gauge or something to tell you when you are at top dead center of your cylinder, remember there is a slight dwell, and you want to be at the middle of that dwell, when eyeballing. That should get you close enough to start, also, seeing the spark jump across the ponts when turning the timing plate when the motor is where it should be will get you very close. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It takes time for electricity to travel, which is why timng is alway advanced. AS WFO-ZK stated, you eyeball it, and use a gauge or something to tell you when you are at top dead center of your cylinder, remember there is a slight dwell, and you want to be at the middle of that dwell, when eyeballing. That should get you close enough to start, also, seeing the spark jump across the ponts when turning the timing plate when the motor is where it should be will get you very close. :)
Sorry, I forgot to clarify. This bike is equipped with a CDI, not points.
 

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You've got spark right? In the CDI, if the capacitors are blown, or other internal components, you could have a bad CDI. I purchased an extra 2 off of EBAY as the replacement price is around $600 bucks, and I found two at different times for $45 bucks. Now, on EBAY, the prices have risen exponentially. Electronics do age and not so gracefully. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You've got spark right? In the CDI, if the capacitors are blown, or other internal components, you could have a bad CDI. I purchased an extra 2 off of EBAY as the replacement price is around $600 bucks, and I found two at different times for $45 bucks. Now, on EBAY, the prices have risen exponentially. Electronics do age and not so gracefully. :)
I do have a spark, yes. My plan for now is to find a compression tester and see what kind of numbers I’m getting. Will update soon.
 

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You can make one of those with a spark plug and simple pressure gauge from Harbor Freight, you just drikk out the center of the spark plug and put a hose on it, and on the gauge. :)
 

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When my 5hp PowerProducts 2 cycle go kart was really hard to start, it was the crankshaft seals, sucking air instead of fuel/air thru the carb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Alright so I was able to a compression test, after about 5 kicks the gauge stops moving at about 135PSI. I feel like that’s a pretty acceptable number, right?
 

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Your compression numbers look good. It should certainly run with 135 psi.
How does the spark look? Is it a healthy, easy to see, bright blue spark?
Are you sure the carb is totally clean? Is the air filter clean? Are you using a fuel filter?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Good spark, new air filter, and yes, there is a fuel filter on the line. The carb is very clean, although I’ve found upon closer examination that the choke plunger is totally seized inside the carb. I’ve been soaking it with penetrating oil for like a week a now and it won’t budge.
 

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If there are no plastic parts, heat it, then add penetrating fluid, not WD40 either, real penetrating fluid. "Monkey Wrench", "PBBlaster" for example. If you live near an airport, the mechanics have penetrating oil that cost around $200 bucks a can. We charged everybody a "chemical fee" to recoup the costs of these chemical agents. The stuff is amazing, it gets in there, destroys rust. I don't remember the brand name, but I think you needed a liscense to buy it. You might be able to get them to squirt the part. The other thing you can do is boil the part in water. I have separated many parts likes this where electrolysis has fused them together. :)
 
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