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Hi all. Second post. I have posted an intro in the relevant section.

I think I screwed up. The first time I filled up my '92 Honda Nighthawk, I threw a bottle of carb cleaner in without much thought.

Now, I'm having difficulty starting it and I suspect putting enough cleaner for 20 gal into a 3.7 gal tank is the reason.

So two questions: 1. Do you think that's the likely reason? 2. If so, am I risking anything by trying to just run it out or should I drain and refill the tank?

It runs fine once it starts, but it's hard to start, even if warm. I've run the battery down a few times and had to jump it. At first, I thought maybe my battery was bad, or perhaps the alternator, but no. I checked them out with my voltmeter and all readings are fine.

Any comments would be appreciated. You don't need to tell me I'm a dummy for doing this, I already know it! But I deserve it, all the same.
 

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So long
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Wouldn't hurt to drain some out and dilute it.

That's not so bad. I once pulled into a gas station where a guy had just filled his tank with diesel. :surprise:
 

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Yeah Hi Tom,
I'd Drain the tank, don't have to get rid of gas, store it, put it in your car/truck. I get the idea that your ride started
somewhat easier before this happened, this stuff happens. I had a generator in bed of truck and put diesel fuel in it,
was an 8 gallon tank, I put in about 3 gallons till I realized it, hey Tom, Stuff happens.
 

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My only concern after you drain it out and refill will be if you got some junk partially dislodged and stuck near one of the many holes or jets. I hope refilling gets it back to normal but I do think I'd continue the process but with the proper amount this time. In several more tank fulls. Here's hoping it does start working as before so you can. I bet it will.:thumbsup: Yes, stuff happens and if this is the worst for you then you got it made.:grin: :wink2:
 

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My only concern after you drain it out and refill will be if you got some junk partially dislodged and stuck near one of the many holes or jets. I hope refilling gets it back to normal but I do think I'd continue the process but with the proper amount this time. In several more tank fulls. Here's hoping it does start working as before so you can. I bet it will.<img src="http://www.motorcycleforum.com/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Thumbsup" class="inlineimg" /> Yes, stuff happens and if this is the worst for you then you got it made.
Right. I wasn't trying to fix a particular issue by putting the carb cleaner in. I think the guy I bought it from was up in his maintenance. It started and ran fine. I should have left well enough alone!

Yeah! This is the only issue on a 25 year old bike! I can't complain!
 

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I ride a '92 Honda Nighthawk as well, I'll generally add a bottle of Seafoam with a fill up every six months or any time it's not running smoothly. I've never had any issues doing this. What type of Carb Cleaner did you use? Also congrats on getting an awesome bike. With proper oil changes and regular maintenance those bikes are close to bullet-proof.
 

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I ride a '92 Honda Nighthawk as well, I'll generally add a bottle of Seafoam with a fill up every six months or any time it's not running smoothly. I've never had any issues doing this. What type of Carb Cleaner did you use? Also congrats on getting an awesome bike. With proper oil changes and regular maintenance those bikes are close to bullet-proof.
It was STP carborator cleaner. Seafoam is probably better, and you probably put in the proper amount! I dumped the whole bottle in there.

I love this bike so much, I can't tell you! I'm a new rider, so I don't have a lot to compare it with. All the same, I can tell it's special. The mojo speaks to me... Too corney? ?
 

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I ride a '92 Honda Nighthawk as well, I'll generally add a bottle of Seafoam with a fill up every six months or any time it's not running smoothly. I've never had any issues doing this. What type of Carb Cleaner did you use? Also congrats on getting an awesome bike. With proper oil changes and regular maintenance those bikes are close to bullet-proof.
BTW, other than oil changes, what consists of "regular maintenance"? The short version. ?
 

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At least it is running correctly without breaking the bank.
 

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At least it is running correctly without breaking the bank.
Relatively speaking, that's true, of course. However, $91 at AutoZone shocked me. I don't know why, but I expected it would be significantly less than that. Last time I bought a car battery, Interstate maybe, it was about the same price. But that was a long time ago.

In any case, this is a good battery. The modern kind. Sealed. The one I pulled out has plugs for acid. I will keep it and see if I can bring it back to life as a spare.
 

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Batteries like everything else have gone up an up. I purchased 3 AGM batteries last year. 1 for the boat, 1 for the Nissan, and 1 for the Pontiac. They were 150 each from Battery Warehouse. I bought a sealed battery for the Honda (the don't have AGM in the right size and output) and it was 89, discounted because I bought 3 last year.
 

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So. I emptied the tank, put new gas. Rode around. Nothing. No change. It appears my theory was completely incorrect. I bought a new battery. Bang. Starts up like a new bike!

I should try not to over think things...
Hmmm. I know you said you ran the battery down but once running again it should come back up and be fine. Unless it was on it's last leg of course. So what you say is happening is a little confusing. Why didn't the original battery get brought back up? You might have a charging issue that will bite you later. Something to keep an eye on.
 

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So. I emptied the tank, put new gas. Rode around. Nothing. No change. It appears my theory was completely incorrect. I bought a new battery. Bang. Starts up like a new bike!

I should try not to over think things...
Hmmm. I know you said you ran the battery down but once running again it should come back up and be fine. Unless it was on it's last leg of course. So what you say is happening is a little confusing. Why didn't the original battery get brought back up? You might have a charging issue that will bite you later. Something to keep an eye on.
Certainly. But when the bike's running, I read about 14V on the terminals. This seems good to me (without being an expert).

Time will tell, but the simplest answer is that battery was nearing the end of it's useful life.

As I mentioned, it was a wet battery. I understand they don't last as long.

Time will tell, of course. If it happens again, I'll know I'll need to take it into the shop.
 

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If you have a place to park your bike near an electrical outlet, you might want to invest in a trickle charger. I have them for both bikes, the sports car and the boat batteries.
 
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I copied this from a Nighthawk Forum I frequent, it's got some good basic info on what things you need to lookout for:

This guide contains-

1 - Situations
2 - Inspection
3 - Tools & equipment required
4 - Applicable Systems
5 - Fluids
6 - Techniques

SITUATIONS

This guide will help owners who have had their bikes in storage for an extended period or new owners who have bought a bike that was stored. As most bikes that were "stored" were generally just parked, most bikes will need thorough maintenance before they can be safely ridden.

INSPECTION

First thing that must be accomplished is a basic inspection of the motorcycle.
- Tires - Cracking/dry rot - these tires must be replaced
- Fuel Tank - look for rusting & contamination
- Brake fluid - look at the inspection port for color. Generally it should be clear
- Lights & indicators - make sure they operate correctly
- Ignition - inspect ignition cables for cracking
- Air filter - cleanliness
- Chain & sprockets - broken rollers, sprocket condition
- Exhaust - ensure that the pipes are not full of critters
- Forks & shocks - inspect for fluid leaks and freedom of movement

TOOLS & EQUIPMENT

Service Manual - either factory Honda or Clymer manual. Follow all recommended procedures.
Basic metric hand tools including wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers, allen head wrenches, pliers
Motorcycle jack - not always necessary but indispensable for many procedures when the center stand won't work
Oil pan
Flashlight
Small wire brush
Brake bleeding kit or tubing & container
Fluid measuring cup
Infant nasal suction bulb
Paper towels / rags
Small funnel(s)

APPLICABLE SYSTEMS

Follow the recommended procedures in the manual -
Engine oil - Drain oil, replace filter & oil. Dispose of old oil responsibly (recycle it).
Fuel Tank - look for rusting & contamination. Flush tank with denatured alcohol. If rusted, consider treating fuel tank for rust.
Carburetors - Drain fuel bowls of old fuel
Air filter - Inspect for cleanliness and replace if necessary. If you can't see sunlight through a paper filter it needs to be replaced. Clean foam/oiled filters & re-oil.
Airbox - Wipe/clean out with a damp rag
Intake Boots - Inspect for cracking and replace if necessary
Chain - Inspect - look for broken rollers and cleanliness, clean. Replace if any broken rollers are found. Lubricate with proper chain lube.
Drive sprockets - Replace as a set if worn
Shaft drive oil - Drain and refill with appropriate lube
Fork Seals - ensure that they are not leaking
Fork oil - drain and replace with appropriate fork oil
Rear Shocks - ensure that they are not leaking fluid and have freedom of movement
Brakes - Bleed front & rear brakes, completely replacing the brake fluid & clean out brake reservoirs. Inspect brake rotors and pads for wear & replace if necessary. Inspect drum brake components and service as necessary. Inspect mechanical cables and replace if frayed or worn. Adjust brake lever pull as recommended. Ensure that brake light works for both front & rear brake application.
Battery - Replace if it will not hold a charge. If water can be added, used distilled water & charge. Inspect electrical connections and clean as neccessary.
Lights - Ensure that each and every light work properly. Include turn signals, headlight Hi/Low beams, instrument lights.
Ignition - Replace the spark plugs and inspect the ignition cables to each plug. Replace if cracked. Inspect each cable connection at the coils & plugs for corrosion & clean if necessary.
Tires - Inspect for dry rot - replace if ANY dry rot cracking is found. Ensure that tires are not excessively worn & are properly inflated. Replace valve stems.
Seat/Saddle - Treat leather with appropriate conditioner
Controls - Ensure that throttle & clutch cables rae not binding
Exhaust - Ensure that exhaust is tight to engine & frame & that outlets are not blocked.
Steering Stem Bearings - Ensure that full travel is available and that there is no excessive grinding or bearing play.

FLUIDS

All fluids should be replaced with the fluids recommended in the owners manual. If you do not have your owners manual, ask in the forums what is recommended - a forum member should be able to tell you what their manual recommends.
Fluids that should be replace are:
Fuel
Engine oil (with a new filter)
Front & rear brake fluid
Fork oil
Shaft drive lube

TECHNIQUES

There are sometimes multiple ways to do any procedure.
Follow the service manual as a minimum and use other member recommendations as you feel necessary. If unsure, ALWAYS follow the service manual.
 
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