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#845749 04/11/21 5:07 am
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Hi folks, I'm having a problem starting my tigger. Just rebuilt the motor over the last year, new ignition system, new carb, the works. I'm getting fuel in the fuel bowl, but it doesn't seem to make it in the cylinders. No advice will go unheard, any help is appreciated. TIA


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Hi Tom, What year Tiger?

What carb? AMAL?

Does it tickle freely? Does slide raise when turning throttle? Remove air filter & look.

With plugs laying on head do you see good spark while kicking?

What ignition? Did you static set timing per instructions?

battery must have full change 12.6 v.

When kicking does it feel normal?

If all the above is yes, you may have washed down rings. Put teaspoon oil down each spark plug hole. Kick motor over about 5 times. Put plugs back in. Tickle until gas streams down side of carb. Try starting with hard kick.

If you put break in oil down plug holes it will not effect or retard breaking in process. I do this oil on top of pistons every time. It will smoke until the excess oil burns out of exhaust. Takes 3-15 minutes or so.
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What ignition? Valve timing correct? Rockers going up and down? How much is the cold compression? Tickle it till it floods then kick it over a few times. Repeat. Pull plugs. Wet or dry?


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Fresh fuel? cos the year old stuff won't work.

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desco, pazon electronic, valves set to spec, carb is new, haven't checked the compression, but kick like a mule, plugs are dry

Last edited by TigerTom; 04/13/21 3:52 am.

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Do you have spark and are sure the spark comes at the right time?


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kommando, I have to get more fuel, but what I had wad about a year old


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Originally Posted by TigerTom
kommando, I have to get more fuel, but what I had wad about a year old

The way fuel is now, ethanol and all that rubbish in it, it doesn't last more than a month or so. Thats more than likely your issue.

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bon, I have fresh fuel, less than a week old, I get fuel into the carb, but doesn't seem to be getting into the cylinders.


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Desco, the timing is accurate, I believe the problem to be a fuel delivery issue, just not getting the bang for my buck, so to speak.


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Hi TigerTom, Things are simply not adding up.
If you push tickler until fuel flows freely down side of carb fuel will get into carb throat. It goes up the main jet, through needle jet, by needle, into throat. If not Sony is clogged along the way.
Unlikely both carbs clogged.

You do have tickle fuel running down side of carb? With air filters off, can you see gas in throat of carb during a long tickle?

If motor is not sucking fuel & air into cylinders you have cam timing problems or holes in both pistons.

Spark under compression if failing is hard to diagnose. One thing you can do is open gap of a spark plug in increments starting with .030 going to .045 or so. Lay plug on head such your sure it has good ground. EI ignition doesn’t like dry firing. So put plug on other wire with normal gap. Kick motor over fairly fast like normal kicking speed during test.

If you see fuel & spark during these tests, look elsewhere.

The carb slides are moving up/down right?

If above passes tests don’t overlook ring wash down. Is is real. Get some oil on rings through plug holes. A good teaspoon or more. Kick 5-6 times to spread oil & eject excess. On new motor use break in oil.
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I flood my 1972 mongrel Tiger (single AMAL) until the fuel is splashing off the top of the gearbox = generally a first time kick starter.

New fuel, some compression and a good spark at somewhere near the correct time should get some reaction.

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Update: Tigger is trying to start, readjusted the float level, now it pops off, then immediately dies, right thigh feels a tree


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Why adjust the float level when it was OK before? Something else was causing the problem - that something is usually muck!

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Tinkerer, the float was set too lean. On another note, just did a compression test, and I have no compression on either side......back to the drawing board...lol


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Is the compression tester a known good tester?

Is there no noticeable resistance when you kick? My 650 Tiger will just about hold my svelte 200lbs on the kickstarter, although it does ease down slowly. Not to be confused with the intermittent "locked kickstarter" problem

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Originally Posted by TigerTom
Tinkerer, the float was set too lean. On another note, just did a compression test, and I have no compression on either side......back to the drawing board...lol

No compression? Thought you said 'kicked like a mule'? Is this your first Triumph or a bike that you've ridden and are familiar with what a Triumphs compression when kicking through feels like?

Adjust valve clearances, recently rebuilt engine with no compression on both cylinders unusual and the first go to should always be the easiest. I would imagine you'd hear or see cylinder head gasket leak.

I see you said valve clearances were to spec but was this check done since the 'no start' scenario? Any chance you retightened head bolts, cylinder stud nuts, rocker boxes without resetting valves? If you still have valve clearance, then listen at carb inlet and then exhaust outlet while kicking engine through or easier while doing static comp check. A leak at either valve location will indicate poor valve seating and loss of compression and hard or no starting.

Until told otherwise, my money is on valve clearances. Mark R.

Last edited by MarksterTT; 04/30/21 3:13 pm.
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Hi Tom, Did you put oil down spark plug holes & retest compression? That is a critical thing to do at this time. What is the wet compression?

Exactly what did gauge read? What does it read wet? Always hold full throttle during compression test.

If your valve adjustment is ok, your cam timing is probably off??

Don't take anything apart until you do wet test. Trust me on this. Been down this road many times.
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We're all confused. What does "no compression" mean? Are you checking compression by holding the throttle fully open and kicking vigorously 10 times? Then doing the other side the same?
If you truly have no compression, then the head must come off to find out what's happened. Do you know what you're doing when you set valve clearances for example?

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Are the pistons moving when the kickstart is operated?

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A basic compression test is to press a volunteer's thumb onto a plug hole and kick the bike.
If they Can keep it on, you have an issue.

A can of easystart or similar squirted into the carbs should get a splutter at least

99% of carb problems........

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Originally Posted by AngloBike
A can of easystart or similar squirted into the carbs should get a splutter at least
WD40 will work, is kinder to your engine, and won't start a fire.


Knowledge speaks. Wisdom listens.

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ok, pulled the head, lapped the valves, did another compression test, compression is 50 psi in both cylinders, getting fuel into pistons, kick it 2 or 3 times with key off, turn on the key, she fires, then dies immediately, still thinking the float isn't set quite right, any ideas????? I'm brain fried at this point.


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I don't see it mentioned anywhere, do you have chokes fitted?
I know, most of these old crates will start and stay running with just tickling, but some simply will not take enough throttle to stay running without chokes on.


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Float level correct to supplier's instructions? An AMAL from Burlen? Idle jet clean? Throttle slide closed when the throttle is closed?

Valve clearances correct? Compression readings can vary according to test process e.g. hot / cold , dry / wet bore, throttle open / closed.

Are you tickling enough? Petrol dripping onto the top of the gearbox? More tickling as the engine fires might keep it going.

If no choke fitted then try hand choking .

Are you keeping the throttle closed during starting? You can try cracking the throttle open as the engine fires, but not before. I have two Brit bikes with Amals that respond well to this, but other AMAL-equipped Brit bikes might not.

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