BSA starfire, not starting.

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Looper
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Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:04 am
Location: Ireland

BSA starfire, not starting.

Unread post by Looper » Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:48 pm

Hi. I’m a bit hesitant to ask because it’s just the age old question “why wont my bike start?”. The bike is a 1968 Starfire that’s been sat up in a shed for several years. It was running when it was parked up. Now it will fire and start intermittently but I haven’t had it running or starting properly at any point. The compression is very good, 160psi, and the valve clearances are spot on. There is a good blue spark, (outside the cylinder). I’ve checked and cleaned the carb, and the fuel is getting into the cylinder. The fact that it will run makes me think the spark is happening at the right time, more or less. So what am I missing? Any ideas welcome.

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Zunspec
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Re: BSA starfire, not starting.

Unread post by Zunspec » Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:55 pm

Hello Looper,

Hmm... I would try a new spark plug as an easy first step (if you haven't already). Next would be a double check on the carb, if it's been firing but not continuing to run it would point to the carb not performing as it should.

Cheers Geoff

Crankcase
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 11:03 am

Re: BSA starfire, not starting.

Unread post by Crankcase » Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:41 pm

Reckon your carb requires cleaning ie the pilot jet/starter circuit make sure the two little holes on the intake side are clear and you should be good to go. Have assumed you have a Mk1 concentric fitted.

Happy new year
A bike on the road is worth two in the garage.

Looper
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:04 am
Location: Ireland

Re: BSA starfire, not starting.

Unread post by Looper » Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:59 pm

Thanks for the replies. I've been swapping the plug with others I have kicking around but a new one would be a good idea. I was cleaning the idle circuit today, I'll go back at it again. It's a bike that's had a hard life by the looks of it, and nothing is really all that good on it. Should a Starfire be easy enough to start if all is as it should be, or are they fussy? Thanks again.

Crankcase
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 11:03 am

Re: BSA starfire, not starting.

Unread post by Crankcase » Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:39 pm

Have a look at the auto advance unit make sure it is not sticking on full advance I would junk it any way and fit a Pazon as I dont think a new AAU can be found for a Bsa anyway. As regards starting in general they are pretty good, from cold a couple of kicks ignition off to prime then one or two kicks to fire up . They are a nice little classic cheap to keep running and a lot of fun for 250cc single.
A bike on the road is worth two in the garage.

Triton Thrasher
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Re: BSA starfire, not starting.

Unread post by Triton Thrasher » Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:52 am

Are you flooding it enough, with the tickler?

If it still has the air slide, do you know how to use it?

Yes, the idle jet-bush thing may be blocked, but the bike should run with a bit of throttle.

Looper
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:04 am
Location: Ireland

Re: BSA starfire, not starting.

Unread post by Looper » Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:45 am

Thanks for the further replies. I've had a look at the advance/retard and it seems to be working fine. The idle jet is clear but I'm not certain the passage inside the carb is totally clear, I'll have another look at it. There's no air slide fitted and I've tried flooding it with the tickler, a lot, a little, not at all. I've tried different amounts of throttle. I'm having trouble seeing any pattern as to when it will start, but something is just not right and my leg has started to hurt.

Willpower
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Re: BSA starfire, not starting.

Unread post by Willpower » Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:47 pm

Once you've done the easy options (new condenser/plug/ht lead), then I'd go with the advice re carb cleaning. Those 2 'pin holes' in the carb need to be cleaned then blasted through with air.

Looper
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Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:04 am
Location: Ireland

Re: BSA starfire, not starting.

Unread post by Looper » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:45 pm

Fairly sure I've the carb cleaned out now. So, back to the ignition system. Think you're right Willpower, new everything and try again.

DerryUK
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:24 pm

Re: BSA starfire, not starting.

Unread post by DerryUK » Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:43 pm

Two things come to mind. Is the petrol fresh and the condenser may be failing.

I once had an X7 that was laid up for several years but wouldn't start. I drained the tank put some new petrol in and it burst into life.

Is the plug getting wet? If so then it must be lack of sparks intermittently rather than fuel. Condensers do die so try a new one.

Derry.

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