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  1. #1
    override's Avatar
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    My piston wash seems I might be running too lean, your opinions?

    2003 XLT1200 - Fully rebuilt motor with Rich's help last year. Motor has protec reed stuffers, Carbs rebuilt with Oside's recipe, Premix running Klotz @ 40:1, 14/20 Turned down to 12/18 and then all of the normal mods that go along with the XLT1200. I pulled the ride plate and head today and sent off to Jim for him to cut, we didn't discuss head but I am sure it will be 150 psi when he is done. Ski has 9 hours on the hour meter which was put on after break-in so I figure it has 13-15 hours or so total on the rebuild.

    The piston wash to me looks like it is lean, seeings as 40:1 and Klotz seems to be what a lot of people run I doubt it is overly rich on the oil mixture. So that leads me to the carbs. Now here's what is weird, last year when I was tuning and getting everything right with Oside's recipe going lean or rich affected the ski in a negative manner (loss of RPM either way), If I remember correctly I believe I ended up with about a 1/16th richer on all the highs.

    So why the heck do my domes and pistons look like this?!

    1 Front




    2 Middle




    3 Rear




  2. #2
    THE PLATE MAN JIM'S PERFORMANCE's Avatar
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    need to richen it up Robert it's to lean.

  3. #3
    jeffg426690's Avatar
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    When is the last time you ride the ski? What's the weather like (last time it was ridden) compared to when you were tuning the carbs? Just a thought...
    Does look a bit lean - or maybe 40:1 doesn't suit your riding style?

  4. #4
    override's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JIM'S PERFORMANCE View Post
    need to richen it up Robert it's to lean.
    Quote Originally Posted by jeffg426690 View Post
    When is the last time you ride the ski? What's the weather like (last time it was ridden) compared to when you were tuning the carbs? Just a thought...
    Does look a bit lean - or maybe 40:1 doesn't suit your riding style?
    Now I am beginning to wonder if something else isn't off, if memory serves me correct 1/8th to 1/4 richer from the recipe brought my RPMs down quite a bit last year. Guess I will be fine tuning again this year, how lean would you say it looks? I have seen a number of pictures which entail what to look for on piston wash and they are all different in some manner. Some where you can clearly see where the air/fuel is moving through the intake and exhaust ports, some with a half dollar size circle in the center and others where you can just barely make out where the edges of ports are.

    Last time I rode it was toward the end of the season, it was already getting into the 70's here in my area, took a friend out for one last spin around the lake. The last time it was run was around january when I winterized and flushed it out on the hose.

    As for my riding style, it's usually 1/2 to full throttle, a lot full throttle blips in the slower areas and some minor wake jumping, I only ride the ski in the lakes around here. As for my day at the lake - go to a cove, anchor, mix a drink, move to the next cove anchor, mix a drink, so on and so forth.

  5. #5
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    Richen it up. Should look something like this.

  6. #6
    override's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabagool984 View Post
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    Richen it up. Should look something like this.
    Thanks for the reference picture. Now I just need to figure out how to reach the High needles without removing the damned exhaust. Hmm flexi-screw driver with a cut out socket tip might work.

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  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by override View Post
    Thanks for the reference picture. Now I just need to figure out how to reach the High needles without removing the damned exhaust. Hmm flexi-screw driver with a cut out socket tip might work.
    Yeah man, there's things are a pain. Idk if I should feel lucky to have EFI or not lol

  9. #8
    jeffg426690's Avatar
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    You can reach the highs... #2 is the hardest depending on how big your mitts are. Reach down towards the front and slide your hand back once your wrist is past the exhaust pipe, out the same way. Should be easy w the head off. If you've got a decent temp swing through the season you may be leaning it back out some later when it gets hot, temp swings about 25 degrees down here w humidity changes too. 1/8 turns is what I usually do while trying to dial it in, YMMV.
    You did leak test the motor when you built it right?!?

  10. #9
    override's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffg426690 View Post
    You can reach the highs... #2 is the hardest depending on how big your mitts are. Reach down towards the front and slide your hand back once your wrist is past the exhaust pipe, out the same way. Should be easy w the head off. If you've got a decent temp swing through the season you may be leaning it back out some later when it gets hot, temp swings about 25 degrees down here w humidity changes too. 1/8 turns is what I usually do while trying to dial it in, YMMV.
    You did leak test the motor when you built it right?!?
    Haha, yeah I have large hands and forearms, no getting all three for me I have tried a few different ways and it just isn't happening. I'm going to pull the exhaust before I put things back together so I will reset the needles and go +1/8 for my first run this season and adjust from that point. Jim was telling me that the 14/20, even though it's turned down, without the extra PSI on the head will drop some RPM's so hopefully between the two changes she will be right. Yes I did a leak down test - crazy enough the first time didn't pass, I had to tear down the motor again, split the cases and completely redo my seal job because the rear seals leaked. Second time motor held 8-10 PSI for an hour before I called it good.

  11. #10
    jeffg426690's Avatar
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    Some folks have used about a 2" hole saw to cut a hole in the exhaust bracket under the stinger to be able to get to carb 2 w a long slotted screwdriver or whatever will reach.

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