Spree starts, runs, but dies after a minute or so

Trying to get your Spree/Elite to run, or run better? Post your questions here.

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Spree starts, runs, but dies after a minute or so

Post by maddiedog » Sun May 27, 2012 3:18 pm

I bought a Spree off Craigslist at a steal (only $200). The guy who owned it before me let it sit, then fixed it, then was stumped with some fuel issues and sold it on the cheap.

When I bought it, you could crank it up, it'd run for a few seconds (badly) and die. It seemed to me that the engine was flooding, so I pulled the side panel off, and saw that the scooter didn't even have an air filter attached to it! :surprise: The airbox is missing the cover, and the filter itself... :crazy:

Needless to say, I went around and tried to find SOMETHING --- ANYTHING to bolt on there at the local auto parts store so that I could at least do some basic troubleshooting. I had no luck, so here comes question 1: What should I use as a replacement air filter for this thing? I saw here that this would fit. Should I go with that, or is there a more economical option?

Throwing common sense out the window, I went ahead and kept troubleshooting without the airfilter. I adjusted a few screws on the carb and managed to get the beast to run! :rock: It'll push me 15mph or so uphill, 20mph or so on flat ground... For about a minute. Then it dies. Sounds like still another issue in the fuel system to me. The tank is rust-free, but I haven't replaced or checked the fuel filter or anything else yet. Where should I start? Thanks for the help! :thumbsup:

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Re: Spree starts, runs, but dies after a minute or so

Post by Bear45-70 » Sun May 27, 2012 3:43 pm

You need the STOCK air filter and airbox cover. A lot of Sprees will not start and run without it. This is a tuned system from the opening in the airbox to the outlet on the exhaust.
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Re: Spree starts, runs, but dies after a minute or so

Post by maddiedog » Sun May 27, 2012 6:01 pm

Ok, I'll take your word for it on that. I ordered a stock filter, and will attempt to source the filter cover.

Any ideas for where to start on my stalling issue? I went ahead and drained the float bowl, then turned it over with the drain plug unscrewed. Lots of gas came out after that, meaning fuel is probably getting to the carb fine. Could this be an issue inside the carb? Should I even troubleshoot before I get the airbox figured out?

Thanks for the help so far, it is appreciated. :smile:

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Re: Spree starts, runs, but dies after a minute or so

Post by Bear45-70 » Sun May 27, 2012 11:15 pm

maddiedog wrote:Ok, I'll take your word for it on that. I ordered a stock filter, and will attempt to source the filter cover.

Any ideas for where to start on my stalling issue? I went ahead and drained the float bowl, then turned it over with the drain plug unscrewed. Lots of gas came out after that, meaning fuel is probably getting to the carb fine. Could this be an issue inside the carb? Should I even troubleshoot before I get the airbox figured out?

Thanks for the help so far, it is appreciated. :smile:
I think you will find that your issues are caused by no air filter.
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Re: Spree starts, runs, but dies after a minute or so

Post by patthesoundguy » Mon May 28, 2012 2:26 pm

I wouldnt drive that spree untill the airbox is sorted out... molten pile of piston willl be the result. It will be leaner than an an invisible pretend cow ;-)
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Re: Spree starts, runs, but dies after a minute or so

Post by maddiedog » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:15 pm

Alright, so I got the airbox in. I oiled up the filter, put the filter and cover on, and cranked her up.

At first, she seemed REALLY rich (lotsa blue smoke), but that was probably from excess oil in the filter.

After that though, same deal -- goes for a bit, then dies on me. The engine was definitely less hot when it died out though, which is probably a good thing.

In my troubleshooting, I noticed the previous owner had drilled a 2nd hole in the exhaust, just next to the first one. I plugged it. Nothing changed, it actually ran worse after plugging it. Should I cover it or leave it?

What's the next logical step to work on this? :thumbsup:

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Re: Spree starts, runs, but dies after a minute or so

Post by maddiedog » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:42 am

:bump:

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Re: Spree starts, runs, but dies after a minute or so

Post by patthesoundguy » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:27 pm

I would shove somthing like a welding rod into the end of the pipe and make sure no cirtters have made a nice little cocoon or something in there, then I would pull the pipe and check for carbon build up in the exhaust port and then clean the pipe, it could be really plugged and they dont like that at all. I had a mud dobber mud plug in my pipe once and it wouldn't start at all.
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Re: Spree starts, runs, but dies after a minute or so

Post by maddiedog » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:34 am

I'll check the exhaust tomorrow -- I haven't done that yet.

I recleaned the carb, and have now seen the mythical pinprick of light in the pilot jet. While I was at it, I checked the fuel lines, petcock, and tank. All were a bit dirty too, so they got a good cleaning. The petcock is functioning fine, and the carb is definitely filling the float bowl with gas. I didn't realize these Sprees don't have fuel filters... Seems like a bad idea to me. :*:

At this point, the scooter will only idle if I give it full throttle. Adjusting the idle screw does nothing for me, and it appears as though some gas is coming out of the carb. Did I reassemble the carb wrong, or does something else need adjusting? :jack: I have the mix screw on the default setting (1 7/8ths out for an '85).

Also, I figured I'd check my sparkplug, but my sparkplug socket won't fit -- the plug's too big. I guess I need to get a bigger one to verify.

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Re: Spree starts, runs, but dies after a minute or so

Post by Bear45-70 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:42 am

maddiedog wrote:I'll check the exhaust tomorrow -- I haven't done that yet.

I recleaned the carb, and have now seen the mythical pinprick of light in the pilot jet. While I was at it, I checked the fuel lines, petcock, and tank. Fuel lines should be replaced, I prefer clear so you can easily see what is going on inside them. All were a bit dirty too, so they got a good cleaning. The petcock is functioning fine, and the carb is definitely filling the float bowl with gas. I didn't realize these Sprees don't have fuel filters... Seems like a bad idea to me. :*:
There is a fuel filter, it is in the tank before the petcock.
At this point, the scooter will only idle if I give it full throttle. Adjusting the idle screw does nothing for me, and it appears as though some gas is coming out of the carb. Did I reassemble the carb wrong, or does something else need adjusting? :jack: I have the mix screw on the default setting (1 7/8ths out for an '85). If have fuel leaking from the carb, you have a float issue.

Also, I figured I'd check my sparkplug, but my sparkplug socket won't fit -- the plug's too big. I guess I need to get a bigger one to verify.
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Re: Spree starts, runs, but dies after a minute or so

Post by maddiedog » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:55 am

Thanks for the response Bear -- the float's definitely my issue then. There's definitely fuel coming out of the carb.

Do I need a new float needle? New float? Replace both? Any source you'd recommend for both? I looked for them online, it looks like they'll set me back about $50.

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Re: Spree starts, runs, but dies after a minute or so

Post by noiseguy » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:16 am

Try dressing the float seat 1st with toothpaste and Q-tip stuck in a drill. Make sure to clean it well afterwards.

Look at the float needle with a magnifying glass for cracks and / or seat damage. If you don't see anything, reassemble and try that. If you do, just replace the float needle. Use new part for this.

Inspect float. If it's full of fluid / gas, replace it. I've not seen one go bad yet but always a first time.
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Re: Spree starts, runs, but dies after a minute or so

Post by maddiedog » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:16 pm

Thanks noiseguy, the float problem has been solved. The seat for the float needle must have been dirty. After I cleaned it like you suggested, fuel doesn't pour from the carb anymore. :)

I still have the full throttle issue. If I remove the airbox lid, it runs relatively normal (albeit lean). I realized that I may have overoiled my filter, so I squeezed as much oil out of it as possible and that helped some, but it's still acting like it is not getting enough air. I haven't checked the pipe yet, so I'll do that next.

Thanks again everyone for the help so far, I do appreciate it. :D

Edit: I'll probably try this method (without the lighter part :P tomorrow: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=24754 )

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Re: Spree starts, runs, but dies after a minute or so

Post by noiseguy » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:45 am

If the engine only runs with throttle cracked and won't idle, then the idle jet is plugged. You need to get it cleaned out.
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Re: Spree starts, runs, but dies after a minute or so

Post by Budster » Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:21 am

Hi thought I would jump in here even though it is not my thread but I have a similar problem. 87 elite se50 and it appears there is no petcock at all between tank and carb. Meaning there is a vacuum line that is not being used off the carb. Question is whether that causes the engine to die after bystarter warms up and bowl runs dry. Scooter starts, runs for a bit(just long enough to get me about a quarter mile down the road) and then dies. Will restart after either 5 minutes or manually squeezing the fuel line to force more fuel into carb. (Learned this after about 4 iterations of being stranded quarter mile away and pushing home.) Cleaned carb, replaced in line filter and checked bystarter. Pretty sure bystarter works fine as the engine fires on first kick when cold and no problems until warm when idle comes down to reasonable level. Checked air screw setting and ok. I am pretty sure it is the petcock not being there but haven't seen this situation on any other thread. Bought this bike from a local mechanic who seems to be ok but not really a stock set-up kind of guy. Does engine shutting off seem to be a result of vacuum line not being installed to a petcock a logical place to start? I don't want to go down the wrong road being kind of new to diagnosis of small engines. Also, bought this less than 20 miles ago and it only started happening after getting it home from the mechanic and not interested in going back to his boneyard of broken down machines to let him 'fix' it. Nice guy but is kind of a duct tape is the solution kind of guy.Thanks for any ideas. Sorry to hijack the thread but my petcock issue seemed to be in line with the author's.

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