why, god, why won't it run???

two days ago, i thought that my prayers had been answered. i bought a sweet little 1982 free spirit that it thought i could have some fun with. alas, i was wrong. although fixing it up with a new pedal & chain and cleaning it up has been fun, i can't get the damn thing to run. i can get it to start very easily, and it will run beautifully for about 5 to 10 seconds, but then it just dies. i cleaned out the carb as best i could with carb cleaner; i'm kind of scared to take it apart, especially if it's unneccessary. i put a brand new spark plug in, and i took the muffler off and cleaned it out too. i tried starting it with the muffler off, and it did the same thing. i also tried taking the air cleaner off and spraying starter fluid in the carb, but that didn't seem to do anything. i'm really at a loss here, and i desperately want to ride this thing to school on tuesday morning. can anyone help me?? thanks!!!


Re: why, god, why won't it run???

another chris /

Take off the head and there should be a hole in their for the exhaust make sure that is clean

Re: why, god, why won't it run???

Check the gap in your spark plug. If it hesitates and then dies after starting then thats why. It should only be the width of a quarter.

Re: i checked both things

i checked the exhaust port and it is actually pretty clean. also the spark plug is brand new and the gap is just fine.... i wanna pull an all-night moped fix-a-thon here--does anyone else have ideas?? thanks!!


Re: i checked both things

Did you check if fluid line is not clogged.

Re: i checked both things

check for fuel flow. if it starts, then all the things should be right. if it dies shortly after, it probably means there's no fuel. check the fuel line. also ... check your petcock (it might be on "off").

check out fred's troubleshooting guide (on the articles section of the site). but it sounds like you have everything ok minus fuel flow.

i checked the fuel line

i disconnected the fuel line at the place where it goes into the carburetor. i couldn't even unscrew the little gasket thing all the way before gas started spilling out all over me. so i'm assuming that the line isn't clogged.... and at least the gas fumes are making me feel better. thanks for all the help so far, and keep those tips comin'!!


Re: i checked the fuel line

Since it sounds like this bike has been setting a long time without running my guess is that the carb. will have to be cleaned. The carb has two jets in it one is the main jet the other being the low speed jet. Both of these have very ting holes in them. The low speed jet is so small that even a straight pin wont go thru it. These are easy to get to. Take the four screws on the bottom of the float bowl off. You will see the float inside. The main jet is usually in the very center it unscrews. Take it off and hold it up to light and see if you can see thru it. The slow speed jet is off to one side and smaller, it unscrews also. Every time I buy a bike that has been setting for even six months the secondary always plugs up unless the gas was drained before storage. The symtoms you mentioned is exactly what it will do with the secondary circuit plugged up.

Re: i checked the fuel line

yet another Chris /

Can you get it to start and run with the throttle open all the way? If so, then it is probably the idle jet. On a Dellorto carb, you can't even see it if it is clogged. It doesn't screw in like the main jet. It can only be seen where it opens into the manifold. You really need to take the carb off and thoroughly clean it. Follow Fred's guide.


Re: i checked the fuel line

mike hartel /

dude i got it pull the pet cock out and take the in tank filter out its proble shit it was on mine.


thanks so much to all of you who gave me these helpful tips!! the Free Spirit is now running beautifully after having its carb cleaned out. now i will be able to roll up into the ln parking lot tomorrow am and have all the ladies checking me out!! you guys rock the hardest.


Re: IT'S ALIVE!!!!

James Corbally /

Nice fix!

Let us know how you get on!



pretty good, but could be better

my moped is running quite nicely now, except that it doesn't idle. i know it's not that huge of a deal, but it's a pain in the petcock when the engine dies every time i'm at a stop sign. as soon as i come to a complete stop, it just cuts. i tried adjusting the idle mix screw on the carb, but it didn't work or else i am doing it wrong. does anyone have any ideas?? thanks!


Re: pretty good, but could be better

Is it the type of screw that is coated with the spring? If so then just use a screw driver and bring it all the way in and out a few times. It's what I did to my Tommy targa.

Re: pretty good, but could be better

if your bike has not run for along time, it might just need to warm up. my bike is tuned awesome ... but it won't idle for the first five mintues after it starts (unless the engine is alreayd warmed up). this is especially true in cold weather or when not ridden for a few days. probably the same thing. try to just ride it around for a bit.

or ... clean the carb again. check both jets on the bing carb. be sure they're both clean. check their sizes and post those (maybe you have a bad size?). screw the idle screw in a bit more.

of course ... go to the "resources" area of the website. click on "articles". under "how to fix your moped" is fred's guide. it's awesome. print it out. carry it w/ you. use it. hope it all works.

btw ... where you at the labor day moped army bbq? or am i mistaken.

wheres my vin?

im trying to get my moped registered at the goddamn bastard secretary of state. i've been there twice already today, both times turned away w/out a sticker. i need to get the vehicle identification number, but i haven't seen one amd i don't know where it should be. they tried to charge me $10 for a new number, but i didn't want to pay it.... as for the idle on my free spirit, i think i am going to take apart the carb again and soak it overnight in cleaner like it says in the guide.

ps- i was not at the bbq on monday, i am relatively new to the moped world. maybe eventually i can join the army, if you are looking for new recruits


Re: wheres my vin?

you can always come to the bbq even if you're not a moped army member. quite a few people do. but you have to hang out w/ us and ride around so we get to know you before you can join up. if you ever see any of us, just say hello. we're at fouth coast a lot and usually hanging out together. and just ride around through the vine neighborhood ... someone will spot you and stop you to chat.

the vin number should be stamped on the frame near the headlight. it is on mine. it'll say something about the manufacturing place/date. then a number. that's your vin. not the engine number. the frame number.

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