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Old 10-01-2009, 09:08 PM   #1
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Default Suzuki Savage Backfiring Issue

Hey everyone.

From what I've read, the Suzuki Savage is known to have this issue. Mine does as well, as its getting progressively louder all the time, to the point where its rather embarrassing to ride it.

Is there any solution to this? Or a way to dampen the sound?

Thanks for any replies.
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:37 PM   #2
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Have you tried to drop the needle in the carb one notch?
(It will run leaner) Or, install a smaller main jet? Or, both?
Make certain to keep your air filter clean and a clean spark plug.

Eric
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:00 AM   #3
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I'm kinda new to this thing so, If you wouldn't mind explaining the needle/caborator thing to me. Also the main jet thing as well. ^_^ Sorry for being such a newbie.
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:05 AM   #4
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On the bottom of your carb lies the main jet. The jet needle, goes through the pilot jet and into the main jet. If you lower the needle, it sits lower in the main jet and allows less fuel out.
Not sure of your model year but, you can find a picture of the carb parts here:
http://www.bikebandit.com/suzuki-mot...2-2002/o/m6285

Eric

Last edited by 67fire; 10-02-2009 at 01:12 AM..
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:20 AM   #5
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Thanks for the information, I just have to figure out how the hell to figure this out. This is gonna suck.

And here's another issue. How the hell do I get to the carborator?!

Last edited by crimsonwolfe; 10-02-2009 at 09:40 AM..
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:12 PM   #6
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I would clean/replace your air filter first. If that does not solve the problem, then start looking at the carbs.

Before messing with the jets, clips, and mixture screws, which can be sort of a biker's Bermuda Triangle, first check for vacuum leaks. If you have a vacuum leak, adjusting things in the carb will only band-aid the symptoms without treating the real problem.

Once you're sure there are no vacuum leaks, then you can start looking at the carb internals. Chances are, your pilot jet passages are partially clogged with something like gummed gas (did the bike sit for several weeks?), rust, or other debris (you do have a fuel filter installed, right?). So before doing any kind of adjustment, the first thing to do is clean and blow out all of the fuel passages in the carb. You'll want to screw IN the pilot screws to the bottom, counting the turns, before removing them so you can restore them to EXACTLY the same setting during reassembly. Again, you need to make sure everything is clean before making adjustments, or you are only masking the problem temporarily.

Then, if it still backfires even though you have cleared out ALL of the tiny little fuel passages, then you can start playing with adjustments. However, this is something very difficult for a carb newb to get right. You might consider taking it to someone that has the special carb tools and experience at that point.
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:15 PM   #7
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^ Good point Tyler! Check the O-ring at the manifold to the cylinder head.

An easy thing to do is to see if you have an automatic cam chain adjuster, and see if it needs adjustment (easy procedure).
If the adjustment is out or the spring is weak, it will allow slack in the chain and change the timing events..

Eric

Last edited by 67fire; 10-02-2009 at 12:18 PM..
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:32 PM   #8
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So, I've replaced the air filter and spark plug, and looking at the O-ring to the manifold to the cylinder head. It seems someone broke a bolt inside the cylinder head. I've tried using extractors to get it out, but all fail and break. It seems this is the source of the extreme loud noise when idling and also the leak that covers the entire cylinder head.

Any suggestions on how to fix this?
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:13 PM   #9
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Is this a bolt that...

1. holds the carb holder to the cylinder head intake?
2. holds the valve cover onto the cylinder head?
3. holds the cylinder head onto the engine block?
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:20 PM   #10
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Its the bolt that goes from the exhaust pipe into the engine. I'd take a picture but i need to have 15 post or more. =P sorry.
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:45 PM   #11
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Countersink a dent in the center of the broken bolt/stud.
Douse it with penetrating oil (the broken part)
Purchase a couple of "left-hand" drill bits that will fit inside of the broken part.
Heat the area AROUND the broken part with a propane or Map gas torch. (Not to the point of injuring the head)
Drill the offending part out. ( Start with the smaller of the two bits.)

Eric
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:30 AM   #12
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So using easy outs or extractors then?

I've tried that and they kinda break. My brother says that the bolt that was put in there by god knows who was a different thread and was forced in there until the head broke off. But I haven't tried heating the area around the broken part. I'll try that and get back to you.

Thanks for the help, hopefully nothing happens, if so, I'll be back.
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:33 AM   #13
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By the way, here are a few pictures of what I'm talking about.











The first picture is the one of my old air cleaner, lets just say I bought a brand new one. The rest speak for themselves.
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:59 AM   #14
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The bolt may be the correct thread. Here's the thing, though: bolts are usually steel; cylinder heads are usually aluminum. Not only do these metals have different rates of expansion (with temperature), they tend to galvanically corrode into each other. These properties combine to really make those buggers stick. It's actually fairly common for bolts in the cylinder head (which gets really hot) to kind of weld themselves into place. If/when you do get that bolt replaced, the use of some anti-seize will make life more pleasant the next time it has to come off.

As for the oil leak... maybe someone else can weigh in on this... but it kind of looks like it's originating from the head gasket. It's common for the valve cover gasket to leak but that area seems pretty dry. The head gasket, unfortunately, is a pretty big deal to replace (engine probably has to come off the bike). If compression is ok and you can live with the oil leak though, you could probably ride it like that for some time.
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Old 10-11-2009, 04:13 PM   #15
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-_- i really dont feel like messing with the head gasket. I thought it was from the pipe where it is coming off a bit, but we sealed it up and its all good, and there's still a leak. So it appears to be the head gasket. This sucks -_-
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:43 AM   #16
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Default Suzuki intruder vs 800 gln 1992

Hello everyone,I am new to the Forum, I have a vs 800 and I am having a major problem .I would be very greatfull if anyone can help.The bike starts ok but sounds as if it is running on one pot .the front pot and carb seems to be the one with the problem,I have stripped the carb and soaked it for 24 hours in cleaning fluid ,put it back and it still sounds like a bag of nails ,its backfires through the exaust when increasing the revs. it has new plugs,i have checked all wireing,cleaned out the tank .now i have ordered two new coil ignighters .please any suggestions ??
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:47 AM   #17
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If the carbs are clean, then a vacuum leak can cause those symptoms as well. Old rubber components tend to become brittle and crack and then you get vacuum leaks. Check the throttle shaft seals and carb holders.
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Old 10-20-2009, 12:25 PM   #18
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hi thanks i will check for leaks as you suggest
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Old 10-20-2009, 12:43 PM   #19
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Get a new exhaust gasket to replace that mess of Hi-temp RTV that is all over your exhaust port.
The O-ring from the intake manifold to the cylinder head tends to dry out, get brittle and crack. Try to replace it as well.

Eric
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Old 10-26-2009, 03:45 AM   #20
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It looks like your valve seals are shot. Take the heads of and get a valve job!
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:01 PM   #21
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It appears I am having the exact same problem as crimsonwolfe and I just finished a painfully difficult sidecar job on it. Only mine just started spitting out black smoke today.
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Old 11-07-2009, 09:11 AM   #22
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Hello,I have taken the Carb appart again and this time I have found a broken screw at the top of the needle Jet there is a brass hex screw cap that has broken off ,and I can not get the needle jet out of the Carb body,does any one have any suggestions,my bike is the VS 800 intruder.
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:33 AM   #23
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Without some pretty precise machine work, I doubt the screw will come out. The best bet would probably be looking for another used carb.
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:54 PM   #24
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Who went crazy with the red expanding goo?
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Old 11-27-2009, 11:46 PM   #25
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I am just finishing up my savage as I had the similar problem of backfiring. Mine was the worse when I would shut it off and 2 second later a huge band after it had warmed up. Spark plug would always faul up after it would sit for more tham few days and would not start. Really black. After cleaning the carb a few times with no change the last time I noticed a lot of oil inside the intake manifold where you can see the valves. Seemed that my valve guides where leaking oil slowly down into the intake area. That would then faul the plug as it was almost a spoon full that I seen before putting the carb back on. Anyway after having to pull the motor out and removing the head as it was also leaking like yours I found 2 of the four head bolts to be very loose. Biggest problem was the exhaust valves though which were really ----ed. Not closing all the way because of a lot of carbon buildup. This was (I believe the backfiring problem) I think it was probably started because of the leaking valve guides which caused so much carbon on the exhaust valve area??? Sorry for the long story but that is where my carb cleaning led me a couple of months ago. Hopefully be running this weekend. Mine is an 86. Age is probably why the valve seals where bad.
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Old 11-28-2009, 12:14 AM   #26
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Just to inject something here tgarreau if you found that two of your head bolts were loose make sure to get the head re-surfaced and make sure you either lap your valves/seats or have the seats/valves ground at the machine shop if you haven't all ready.. Also let us know what happens when you fire up your rebuilt machine!!!

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Old 11-28-2009, 12:25 AM   #27
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Ya I had the head rebuilt. New valve guides and seals and re cut the valves. When you mention the lapping of the head that was another thing I did on a precision stone and seen some really unflat areas. It tool a lot of lapping to bring it back to flat. Mostly the head surface.
Thanks for the info. Any ideas where to get a better designed timing chain tensioner for this bike. This one seems very bad.
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Old 11-28-2009, 12:42 AM   #28
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No lapping the valves (with a compound, OK), (re-seating them as the machine shop did with angled stones BEST) On the head they just mill (re-surface) it about .0010 inch or so to make it even again. On the chain I think that OEM is the only way to go, just make sure to replace it, the spring, and the slipper when you replace the chain.
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Old 12-22-2009, 01:54 PM   #29
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Default Change of Riding Style to prevent Backfire

Quote:
Originally Posted by crimsonwolfe View Post
Hey everyone.

From what I've read, the Suzuki Savage is known to have this issue. Mine does as well, as its getting progressively louder all the time, to the point where its rather embarrassing to ride it.

Is there any solution to this? Or a way to dampen the sound?

Thanks for any replies.
The Suzuki Savage is delivered running very lean for environmental reasons. That means it will accumulate unburned gasses in the exhaust pipe at shut down and they in turn will find a hot spot in the exhaust system and kablam - you get wild backfires everytime you decelerate or shut down.

Over the 10 years I have ridden my Savage I have learned to modify my riding style to reduce this to a minimum. My trick is as follows

When slowing down and using engine braking only do so with the throttle fully closed. Keep your speed up until you are ready to make positive throttle changes - then completely close the throttle - this will reduce the amount of intake gasses getting into the exhaust pipe during the period of engine braking and will reduce the backfires to a mild wuff - still there but not shotgun sharp and loud

When shutting the engine off - let it run for 5 seconds at idel before cutting off the ignition. It will pop but not quite so loudly.

Regularly I ride my Savage on the highway at 100-110 kmph. A few 10 mile runs at steady speeds will blow a lot of carbon out of the exhaust pipe - it is the carbon that is the source of ignition when the bike backfires. Reduce the carbon - reduce the backfires.

Hope these tricks help you too
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Old 12-22-2009, 02:03 PM   #30
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The first picture is the one of my old air cleaner, lets just say I bought a brand new one. The rest speak for themselves.[/QUOTE]

You have posted almost classic pictures of the oil that accumulates on the Suzuki Savage enigine as a result of a leaking "head cap seal"

The problem looks like a head gasket but in fact the problem is in the valve/cam well at the top of the cylnder head.

I have not discovered what year your Savage is but this problem certainly is well known on Savages produced before 2003 - I am not sure that the newer ones also have the problem but I do not follow Savage boards very frequently any longer so am not aware of what is happenning with newer bikes.

the Head Cap Seal costs around 20 bucks and can be changed without removing the engine from the frame. It is an all day job though and fiddly so you might want to consider having a the work done at your5 Suzuki dealership
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Old 06-21-2010, 03:22 AM   #31
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I own a 1987 Savage and also get the back firing. I tried slowing down gradually (when possible) seems to reduce the frequency and the loudness of the backfires
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:27 AM   #32
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Default Suzuki Savage Backfire

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Originally Posted by tm99 View Post
I own a 1987 Savage and also get the back firing. I tried slowing down gradually (when possible) seems to reduce the frequency and the loudness of the backfires
This too is a well known issue with the Savage engine. The design of the carburation system causes the engine to run lean and hot - a spot of carbon in the exhaust pipe will get red hot and when unburnt gasses hit it during deceleration or when shutting off the engine - kablamma!

There are a couple of fixes - and you will have to search for the exact procedure to deal with the first one.

1. You can raise the needle in the carb - this involves drilling out a brass plug to allow access to the low speed idle adjustment screw and and shimming the needle to get more gasoline into the engine. Search for detailed instructions on this one elsewhere on the net.

2. Take your bike out for a long steady run on the highway at 100 kmph - this will give the exhaust system time to burn and blow out most of the accumulated carbon and will reduce the hot spots causing the ignition and backfires. You need to ride 20 or 30 miles to burn all this carbon out

3. This one is the most difficult - change the way you control the throttle. What I mean by this is use the throttle more like an on off switch. Do not decelerate with partial throttle open - when you go to slow down - close the throttle completely. This will reduce the amount of unburnt gasses getting into the exhaust pipe and the backfires will be reduced from a sharp crack sounding like a pistol shot to a mild wufff -

Good luck - yours certainly is not the first or only observation of this problem

Cheers
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:32 PM   #33
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Perhaps this will help:

Savage Backfire
(from January 1997 RIDER magazine's Tech Q&A)

Q) I purchased a new Suzuki Savage 650 last July. From the very beginning the motorcycle would backfire when decelerating or coming to a stop. I took it back to the dealer twice before the 600-mile service, and complained about it at the initial service. I have tried different grades of gasoline and they seem to have no effect. The dealer has told me that I should expect backfiring with the design of this engine and that it should decrease as I build up mileage. I have 900 miles on the bike now and backfiring doesn't seem to be decreasing. I have found other riders of Suzuki Savages that are having the same problem. - Jay Coney, Kerrville, Texas.

A) This column receives a lot of mail over the course of a month, and the single biggest gripe among our readers are problems with lean-running. late-model carbureted bikes. The poor old LS 650 really suffers at the hands of the EPA, and I certainly sympathize with you, Coney. We can fix it, but first let me explain the hows and whys.

When the throttle of any engine is rolled or snapped shut, some fuel is drawn through the engine and kicked out the exhaust without being burned. In abundance, this raw fuel vapor can be smelled, tasted - and when light is passed through it- seen. It's referred to as photo-hydrocarbons or more commonly smog. Yes, there are several other pollutants coming out of the exhaust, but the human senses can't detect them. The manufacturer of motorcycles have three methods of dealing with excessive hydrocarbons. Forcing air down into the exhaust port with an air pump and diluting the outgoing fuel vapor is one method. Kawasaki pioneered this method with their 'Clean Air System', which employed a vacuum-driven pump that puffed air through reed valves placed over the exhaust system. A 'cat' is nothing more than an oven which bakes the hydrocarbons, burning them off.

The most common method is to simply lean out the carburetor. The low-speed and midrange circuits of the late-model carburetor are not adjusted to give optimum performance - they're set up to produce a minimum hydrocarbon count on deceleration. What miserly amount of fuel they do deliver to the combustion chamber when the throttle is closed causes misfire and an audible afterfire in the exhaust pipe. Now, I haven't mentioned fuel injection or other exhaust gases. As I said, the bulk of complaints from readers of this column is deceleration backfire and also poor idling of carbureted engines. No doubt we'll get around to discussing other emission-control devices and their problems in future issues.

Getting back to your Savage 650, Coney, here's how we can specifically cure its problem. We need to richen those two areas of the carburetion curve that are factory set on the ridiculous side of leanness. Remove the diaphragm slide from the carburetor and look down inside its bore. Two small screws hold a plate over the slide needle.

Removing the plate, you'll see a small, white plastic spacer with a hole through it sitting on top of the needle. Throw that spacer away and reinstall the plate. A spring under the needle clip will now push the needle up to the plate occupying the space vacated by the white spacer. The distance that the needle has been 'lifted' is the thickness of the discarded spacer - and that's ideal. With the needle raised, more fuel will flow by it, meeting the actual needs of midrange running.
We can also fatten up the low end of your bike's carburetor by turning out the low-speed mixture screw. To gain access to this screw, you'll need to drill out the brass plug pressed in over it and yank it out with a sheet-metal screw attached to a slide hammer. You'll find that plug up high on the right side of the carb about where the mouth enters the carburetor. Usually Suzuki applies a splash of white paint over the brass plug so that it's immediately noticeable. With the engine warmed up and idling, turn the mixture screw out incrementally until you achieve the highest idle. There will be no doubt in your mind that you're making progress because the idle will come up and sound stronger. At this point, turn the idle adjuster knob out and bring the idle back down to a leisurely gait.

Just these two, relatively simple adjustments will not only eliminate the backfire, they will make an amazing improvement in throttle response and driveability.


Visit http://www.suzukisavage.com where there is lots of help for us thumper owners.

Cheers,

Mike
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:47 AM   #34
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Mike, once again, thank you for the article. Great info for all of us who deal with the backfire problem. My company has a parking garage and the motorcycle parking is right next to the smoking area. I've had several mornings where I'll pull up, shut down and....POW! People almost s*** themselves it's so loud in that garage. Funny, but not.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:24 AM   #35
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No problem, Shipwreck.

I don't know if the OP is still onboard, but now that I know the Savage a bit better, I agree with polar pilot about the leak. That looks like it is originating right at the plug which is in the recess behind the exhaust, on the bottom side of the head cover. It can fool you because the wind blows the oil all over the place and when on the stand, of course, the oil accumulates on the left side as shown in the pictures. I still have that little job to do on mine.

I have found also (I think and am about to prove or disprove it) that the decomp lever not releasing or not being adjusted correctly can increase the backfiring, too.

Cheers,

Mike, finding out how "special" the Savage is lol
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:57 PM   #36
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I'm working on collecting all the required parts and materials to replace the Head Cap Seal. The Clymers manual says to secure it with Three Bond No. 1216. Anyone agree or disagree with that product?
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