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Old 04-09-2008, 10:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Smoke from front cylinder, thru exhaust

I just got the bike, 1998 FXSTS, pretty moded dynoed at 84hp with 22k miles and runs strong. I noticed today there is a slight amount of smoke coming from the exhaust of the front cylinder's exhaust at idle, not when I rev it. I haven't checked the compression yet or pored oil down the cylinder to see if it's the rings because I don't have a compression tester but I can borrow one. I don't shut the gas off when I put it in the garage however, I noticed the oil level no longer reads on the dip stick.

Other than the two items I mentioned above, any help would really be appreciated.

On another note, where is the breather valve?

Thanks.
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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breather gear is in the cam chest could be valve seal run a leak down test change the oil if it's nasty these breath threw the heads but the stock plastic breather gear is usually worn out by 20 k
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sounds like a valve seal to me.
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Old 04-10-2008, 06:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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claydbal is reading this now saying WTF is this?
to get 84 hp, someone has been in the cam chest. see otto post above.
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Old 04-10-2008, 07:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Valve seal? Could be, valve seals will show up even more readily when coming down on compression for a bit and then a puff when you get back on the gas.

A leak down test is obviously the best advice. (For a sure bet, agree with Otto)
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Is the leak down test when bring the cyclinder to TDC and fill with compressed air?

I also noticed when it's cold, there is no visiable smoke. After a 30 minute ride, there is a trace of visiable smoke from the one exhaust.

As a newbie, I appreciate the quick and informative responses.

Last edited by lowflyby; 04-10-2008 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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here is the thought and a good bet being cammed it's been run hard i bet the has ben atleast 1 missed shift in its life and limited clearance depending valve springs & valve seal. Mr top collar introduced himself to mr valve seal. now smoke. as the oil thins it gets worse i would still check to make sure the plastic breather has been replaced. because the next thing will be leaky base gaskets if it hasn't.

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Old 04-11-2008, 06:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Smokin'

I have to agree with all on this one, particulaly Otto's comments.
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I pulled the plug and it looks good, not oily or wet?

Actually, it's a little on the lean side.

I'm buying a compression tester tomorrow. The guy I bought it from said it never smoke when he had it..... I guess it started smoking on my way home from when I bought it He said he could help me with the leak-down test but he needs to finish working on a custom build bike so it could be another week before I could come over.

He did say he just changed the oil before I bought it. It has organic HD 20-50 in it.

I just topped it off and I burned almost 1/2 quart in 700 miles. That seems like a lot to let go all summer.

I want to fix this so I don't have to worry about it this summer, my buddy says wait till the winter. He says that cause his FXSTS doesn't burn any oil.

BTW, thank for all the great comments and suggestions. I have an electrical/electronic background so I'm hoping to pay my dues on this forum in return.

Closing comments anyone?

Last edited by lowflyby; 04-11-2008 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 04-12-2008, 06:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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claydbal is reading this now saying WTF is this?
one thing to consider, you said you topped the oil off and it used 1/2 qt in 700 miles. its common for the top 1/2 qt to go out the breather. if you are running the vents back into the backing plate, you may run the bike 1/2-3/4 qt low and actually cure the smoking and consumption.
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Old 04-12-2008, 09:41 AM   #11 (permalink)
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It wasn't reading on the dipstick so I put enough in to read on the bottom of the dipstick. The same oil level it was at when I got the bike about a month ago.

Too bad it wasn't that simple.

Last edited by lowflyby; 04-12-2008 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 04-12-2008, 01:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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claydbal is reading this now saying WTF is this?
yep, i missed that line. you said it earlier, but i scaned right past the empty tank part.
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Old 05-08-2008, 11:32 AM   #13 (permalink)
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UPDATE:
When I told the guy I brought it from that it smokes lightly from the front cylinder, he said it never smoked when he had it. He also said he didn't drive it in 30-40 weather.

Now that the weather finally warmed up to mid seventies and higher, no smoke? So I wiped the inside of the exhaust pipe, cause it had a wet oil film on it from the smoke, drove for 50 miles and no oil droplets?

So I'm going to watch it for the next tankful or two but this doesn't make sense? Temperature has nothing to do with seals, valve guides, or anything else that would cause it to slightly smoke in the first place.
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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my 97 fxstc has just started puffing smoke at idle only the oil looks a little watery is that the problem any help would be apreatiated. thanks Clint from Austrailia.
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