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Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased a 97 ZX7. When i bought it, the weather was relatively warm and now its generally cold (i live in saint louis). So it warmed up this weekend and i decided to start it up and maybe go for a quick ride. I had charged the battery up and kept it inside as i knew i was going to be doing more work than riding. I also had drained the gas tank and turned off the fuel line. When i tried to start it, the bike was having none of it. Long story short, i figured it was something to do with the spark plugs. I pulled them today, and they were carbon fouled. So i cleaned them, put them back in, and the bike fired right up first time. I know that this is caused by the plugs usually being too cold, or the mixture being too rich. I guess my question is, could someone explain this a little better, and is this a problem i should keep expecting as long as i dont get new plugs, or is it being caused by the radical shift in temperature (20s to 50s) and me not starting it regularly. Also i will be going back to school in a few weeks, and obviously wont be riding it again for a while.
 

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First thing I'd do is make sure that you have the right heat range plugs in there. A lot of people will put a colder plug in thinking that it's somehow going to help them because it's hot or they run the bike hard. Then, when you have the time, I'd spend the whoppin' $15 on another set of plugs. Just regular, non-platinum, non-quad-tipped, non-unobtanium, etc plugs. Gap them, and put 'em in. If those manage to foul, then you can start worrying. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I took it out today, it started up first time, didnt beat it up too much, as its neither licensed nor insured. But it seemed fine, great response. The only thing i noticed is i have other issues, i have to pump up my front brake to get response from it. So i took it easy because i didnt want to get response all of the sudden and go head first over the bars. Im assuming that i just need to bleed the lines?
 

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That's usually a sign of air in the lines, yes. You'll probably want to flush the whole system, since you have no idea when it was done last.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I bled the lines...twice. Still no change. This is the best i can describe it. I pump the brake before i take off down my street (about 400 ft). By the time im halfway to three quarters down the street, there is no response again, and i have to use engine braking and the rear brake. Might it have something to do with the master cylinder? Possibly the gaskets?
 

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You'll probably want to flush the whole system, since you have no idea when it was done last.
If you don't know when it was changed last, and even it has been close to a year, you need to start at the beginning as suggested and flush the system with fresh fluid. It's cheap insurance. Bleed the caliper farthest from the lever first.

It is also possible that the pad backplates could be warped - it is one of the culprits to spongy levers. If you don't know when the pads were changed last do it.

:cool:
 

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If you're still fouling plugs and using premium gas, don't. Regular will burn a bit hotter and will work just as well.
 

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If you attempt to bleed it, and get little to no fluid being taken out of the reservoir, your master cylinder probably needs a rebuild. If you do that, check the lines as well. I had an '84 250 that had one line almost swollen shut. Had to get braided steel lines.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the suggestion Jimmy. I haven't ran into any problems with the plugs again yet, but there's still plenty of time.

There is fluid coming out, because i will have to add fluid to the reservoir during the bleed process. I was thinking about it last night, and i think the hose im using on the bleed valve might be a hair to big, because i have to hold it on there to keep it from falling, but its not like its oversized either. I didn't think it would be a problem, but it might be. I'm going to look for a smaller hose, and try it again. If that doesn't work, then ill start taking a look at the master cylinder.
 

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^^ - yea - that's not going to have anything to do with it I'm afraid. While you should use a hose that fits snugly over the bleeder screw, what's important is that you are closing the bleeder at the correct time. I always close it just before the lever bottoms and fluid stops running out, eliminating the chance of air to get back in.

If you have the mechanical skills to pull the calipers, dis-assemble, inspect, & repair as necessary I highly recommend it. These are brakes - you have to have them & they have to work correctly. If you don't know the history save yourself the pain & start fresh. You've probably already spent more time donkin' with the system than it would have taken you to yank 'em & perform a full inspection.

:cool:
 
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