Motorcycle Club » Star 1100 Classic & Custom

oil in air cleaner, cause or symptom?

10 posts from 6 voices
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  1. STLcruizer

    Hi, I bought an '05 v-star 1100 in november with 14k (had to wait through the longest winter of my life to ride it) and put about 200 miles on her in the last two weeks. Here's my problem:

    A few times, about two minutes after I hit the highway, the engine would sputter and lose power. Once it even died on me. most of the time, stopping and letting the engine cool for a few minutes and adding some carb cleaner seemed to do the trick. But the last time I wasn't so lucky. There is very little power and the engine sees to be running on only one cylinder. Nothing seems to help (octane booster, cooling off, etc.). I limped home and started poking around.

    When I opened up the air cleaner, oil poured out. Not just a little like would be considered normal, but almost a cup of old thick oil. I cleaned it all out and opened the plastic air box under the tank, cleaned that out and wiped out the tubing leading down to the carb. Both spark plugs look fine, but I'm going to replace both of them along with the air filter and fuel filter while I'm in there. I'm hoping that this was just old crap from the last owner and that was the problem and that new plugs and clean air will solve it.

    I just changed the oil about three weeks ago and having the aftermarket spin-on oil filter, I accidentally under filled it and had to top it off, so no possibility for this being because of over filling.

    Just wondering if anyone knows if this could be symptoms of something worse. Maybe something wrong with valves or head gasket problems? The only other thing that I can think of is that there was rust around the gas cap that could have fallen into the tank. If that's the case, is it possible that some of it got past the fuel filter and got jammed in the venturi cluster or fuel jet? Man, I hope not. Thanks for any input.

  2. Jonezpoj

    It's just blowby, happens mostly running highway speeds. Your air cleaner should have hose going from the valve cover to it. Normal, my R* does it when I change to 10W 40 in the winter, but not as much when I go to 20W 50 in the summer.

  3. wzdartan

    As Jonezpoj said. Some oil in the air cleaner compartment is normal. I would do exactly what you are giong to do. New plugs, fresh gas and maybe some seafoam in the gas. See how it runs, then go from there. It's not that big of a deal if you do end up having to remove and clean the carbs. Good luck!

  4. Nidhhokr

    First of all, good information from the two people posting above me. Next, Welcome to the forum from an STL rider. There are a few of us here. Myself, V*Dan, GatewayStar, Moriverrat and probably more. Be safe.

  5. STLcruizer

    Thanks to everyone for the info. I replaced all of that stuff today and it ran a whole lot better. After about a mile, everything gumming up the carbs broke loose and it took right off. Now she's running better than ever. I'll be sure to check that air filter every so often to be sure that this doesn't happen again.

  6. wzdartan

    That's good news! It kinda sounds like the other owner may not have been big on maintenence. Are the valves "ticking" nicely (as they should)? I would also have to wonder if the carbs have ever been synchronized. If the bike has never been maintained properly, and you make it a point to see these things are correct, you might be really surprised at how well it runs!

  7. STLcruizer

    The valves are ticking, and I'm glad you said that. I was wondering if that was normal. In the regular auto world, ticking valves are a bad thing.
    Not sure if the carbs are totally synched, but I have the right tools and I'll probably do that when I hit the 16k mark. The other bike is a four cyl, which means a four carb nightmare! Two ought to be only half the trouble.

  8. wzdartan

    Yep! Give a holler if you are planning to be up in the L.S.L. area w/ the G.F.
    I'm always lurking around up here. I'll do the same if I'm going to be doing any riding that takes me down south.

  9. placgzdar30

    You might want to check on the drain tube on the back side of the aircleaner. If this gets full of oil the normal blow-back has no place to go and it collects in the air cleaner. Just a plugged rubber hose attached to the back side of air cleaner. I check on mine a couple of times a month if I am doing a lot of higway riding.

  10. Bamazcood

    good manometer,,one screw adjustment,,and a few minutes,,,carbs are synched,,makes a lotta difference.


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