1987 Spree - no vacuum, same easy fix as on my 1986

Trying to get your Spree/Elite to run, or run better? Post your questions here.

Moderator: Moderator

User avatar
vintagegarage
Elite
Elite
Posts: 720
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:03 pm
Location: Florida

1987 Spree - no vacuum, same easy fix as on my 1986

Post by vintagegarage » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:29 am

Last week, I bought a very pretty 1987 Spree that was not running because of a massive short in the electric system. The insulation was burnt off of every green ground wire from the front of the seat rearward, and the starter solenoid and solenoid pulg were a melted blob of metal and plastic. The only other evidence besides the burnt wires was that the small wire clip that is normally mounted under the top starter screw was missing; the starter looked like it may have been newer than the engine; and the main heavy red/white wire that goes from the starter solenoid to the starter had gotten against the exhaust pipe when the pipe was hot and the insulation had melted off the red/white wire, allowing the heavy red/white wire to come in contact with the exhaust system.

My post mortem came up with this theory as to the cause of the meltdown. A previous owner changed the starter and left the wire clip off of the top mounting bolt for the starter. That clip is supposed to hold the green and red/white wire bundle neatly away from the exhaust system. Without the clip, the wire bundle laid against the exhaust system. After a while, the insulation burned through, and the P.O. didn't know anything was wrong at this point. The next time he went to ride, he hit the starter button, and since the starter didn't turn, he held the starter button down until he saw smoke coming from the rear of the scooter. Then he called it quits and gave up. The last registration on the scooter was from 2011. I think the scooter had been sitting in storage for the past 5 years.

In any event, I neatly repaired all of the wiring, and spliced in a new used plug for the starter solenoid, installed a good used starter solenoid, and the short was gone and the engine turned over nicely. It would fire and run, but not idle, so I gave the carb a good cleaning, remounted the carb and installed a factory air filter as there was none in the airbox. I hit the starter button and the engine ran perfectly. I made a few laps around the block, then set the idle speed and mixture, and went for a fairly long test run, and came home with the scooter running perfectly. After looking it over, I set out on a long test run with quite a few WOT tests. Top speed was about 33 mph, about 2 mph faster than my 1986.

The next morning, I went to start it, and it started on the first turn, and ran for about a second or two, and quit. It acted like it wasn't getting fuel, so I squirted about a tablespoon of fuel/oil mix into the carb, and about all the engine would do is pop. The symptoms were exactly like the 1986 Spree I bought last year, that took me two weeks to diagnose. No vacuum at the intake manifold. See:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=31793&start=0 and the answer at the end of the second page in that post.

This time, without hesitation, I pulled off the belt cover, removed the nut holding on the drive pulley, slipped off the drive pulley, and sure enough the left crank seal had blown completely out of its seat in the block. I had a new seal sitting on the parts shelf, so I installed a new seal, seating it down to the lower edge of the chamfer with the correct size deep socket as described in the service manual, reinstalled the drive pulley and belt cover, and now the engine works like a champ again. A fix that took me two weeks last year to diagnose and fix, was now diagnosed and fixed in less than 10 minutes, so an old dog really can learn new tricks. Last year, I guessed that the seal in the 1986 had been blown out by the use of starter fluid. Now I think they just come out on their own when they get old and stiff.

In any event, if you have a spree with pretty good compression, but no vacuum, I think your first step should be to inspect the left crank seal.. easy to do, non destructive and less than a 10 minute job. Check the last couple of posts in the post I referenced above to see what your vacuum should look like if the seals are good.

Kustomkarma
Elite
Elite
Posts: 331
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:57 pm
Location: Florida

Re: 1987 Spree - no vacuum, same easy fix as on my 1986

Post by Kustomkarma » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:54 am

Good info!

User avatar
motormike
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4990
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:58 pm
Location: Nashville, TN.

Re: 1987 Spree - no vacuum, same easy fix as on my 1986

Post by motormike » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:49 am

very well done... :thumbwink:
RideRed
OH-ARRR Racing
#53 Gyro

<Hondas>
<Gyro S><Helix><XL75><NN50M Gyro><NS50f><NU50 Urban>
..Trooper...Buzby...Jon-Boy...Blooper
Yamahas'93 Jog><'13 Majesty><RD60>

"Live Large - Ride Small"

User avatar
noiseguy
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4345
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: South Florida
Contact:

Re: 1987 Spree - no vacuum, same easy fix as on my 1986

Post by noiseguy » Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:36 am

Haven't ever seen this type of failure, but given age of bikes suspect we'll start seeing more of them. Someone want to move this to appropriate place in Tech Docs?
Admin, Hondaspree.net

Buy air filters and gaskets here (Ebay): http://stores.ebay.com/noiseguysstore
Buy air filters and gaskets here (Amazon): www.amazon.com/shops/spreepower
Buy a t-shirt here: https://teespring.com/stores/spree-powersport-products

User avatar
Wheelman-111
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11146
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:09 pm
Location: Deepinnaharta, Texas

Re: 1987 Spree - no vacuum, same easy fix as on my 1986

Post by Wheelman-111 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:29 am

Greetings:

Excellent job diagnosing and correcting your issue. Take a further step to determine WHY the seal blew out.
Surely 30-year-old rubber can fail "just a'cause", but it might be worth measuring compression and crank-end runout. Wobbly cranks and excessive blow-by can blow seals too.
Wheelman-111
Most of my money is spent on scooterparts. The rest is just wasted.
"ISO": '03 Vespa ET4 Malossi187 72MPH
Flash 9: 2001 Elite SR Contesta 72 ZX Tran, 9:1 Gears, Stock Airbox/Carb/Pipe 58.8 MPH
Punkin: 2010 Vespa/Malossi S78, 61MPH

User avatar
vintagegarage
Elite
Elite
Posts: 720
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:03 pm
Location: Florida

Re: 1987 Spree - no vacuum, same easy fix as on my 1986

Post by vintagegarage » Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:29 pm

Wheelman.. crank is nice and straight, and crank bearings seem good, compression is about 114, which the manual says is minimum, so I guess blow-by is a possibility. I'll run through a few more tanks of gas before I call it fixed... Unless it fails again, I'm not going to worry much about why it happened.. If the new seal blows out I'll try to debug the reason why and add to this post.

User avatar
vintagegarage
Elite
Elite
Posts: 720
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:03 pm
Location: Florida

Re: 1987 Spree - no vacuum, same easy fix as on my 1986

Post by vintagegarage » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:18 pm

Well this happened again to me last night, but not to a Spree. I was out cruising around on my 1988 SB50 Elite ES, and was coming home WOT on level ground at about 37 MPH, when the speed suddenly dropped to 33 MPH, I closed the throttle a bit, and decelerated to about 20 MPH, and then tried WOT again, and top speed was still 33 mph. At the next stop light, the engine stalled at idle and wouldn't restart. It would pop and sputter a bit on the kick starter, but not much more than that, so I walked the scoot home, and went to bed. Today, it took me about 10 minutes to fix it, as the symptoms are by now very recognizable to me. I have another post on this forum on the original debug of a spree I bought more than a year ago, and I'll post the link to it below, but then continue with this thread.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=31793&start=0

I'll also repost a photo from that post right here below and also the text from the solution to put the whole story in one place:

Image

"If anyone wants to get one, it is a RAC 536 90180 and may have been sold by Sun, back in the day.. I can't remember. I do see several for sale right now on eBay. Search for RAC vacuum and fuel:

As you can see, when my gauge is at rest, the needle isn't centered on zero, but rather it is on 1 inch of mercury, but that really doesn't matter to me, and I have never taken the gauge apart to see if I can center it. When I blow on the tube, the needle moves to the area at the bottom of the gauge. When I suck on it, it moves to the top half of the gauge. If you hook the tube to the vacuum fitting on the input pipe on a Spree with no crankshaft seal on the left end of the crankshaft, and then turn the engine over on the starter motor with the spark plug installed, but the coil wire not connected to the spark plug, the needle essentially doesn't move. When you do the same test on a working Spree, again with the sparkplug installed, but the spark coil disconnected, the needle fluctuates rapidly between about 3 inches of mercury and zero as the engine spins. Since the gauge has no provision for saving a maximum reading, it is hard to measure the exact maximum vacuum, but the needle bounces wildly about and the difference between an engine with a well sealed bottom end and one missing a crankshaft seal is obvious. Running this test is a fairly easy, quick and non-destructive way to check if a crank seal is out of place." (end of copy of post)

In any event, this morning, the first thing I did was hook the vacuum gauge to the tube on the inlet manifold on the Elite ES (the same tube that the vacuum line to the fuel valve is hooked to), spun the engine on the starter, and there was no movement of the needle on the vacuum gauge. By now, I know if the needle doesn't bounce back and forth with each revolution, it is time to inspect the left crank seal. I pulled the side cover on the Elite ES, removed the driven gear and drive face, and here is what I found:

Image

I now keep Spree crank oil seals in stock, so I pulled one off the shelf and installed it:

Image

As far as I can tell, the workshop manual for the SB50 indicates how deep to seat the right crank seal, but doesn't tell how deep to install the left crank seal, but the NQ50 workshop manual shows to install the left seal to the bottom of the chamfer, so that is what I do. I put the drive face and driven gear back on, installed the side cover, put the body back on the Elite ES, and it now runs perfectly again, with WOT at 37 MPH on level ground.

I am not sure why I am the only person who experiences this problem and have never had a reoccurrence of the problem after installing a new seal in a NQ50 or SB50. I have no idea why it happens, but the fix is easy and seems permanent, at least in my lifetime.

User avatar
Wheelman-111
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11146
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:09 pm
Location: Deepinnaharta, Texas

Re: 1987 Spree - no vacuum, same easy fix as on my 1986

Post by Wheelman-111 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:50 pm

Greetings:

Good job and write-up, VG. And 37 on a non-variated SB is pretty good too.
Wheelman-111
Most of my money is spent on scooterparts. The rest is just wasted.
"ISO": '03 Vespa ET4 Malossi187 72MPH
Flash 9: 2001 Elite SR Contesta 72 ZX Tran, 9:1 Gears, Stock Airbox/Carb/Pipe 58.8 MPH
Punkin: 2010 Vespa/Malossi S78, 61MPH

User avatar
vintagegarage
Elite
Elite
Posts: 720
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:03 pm
Location: Florida

Re: 1987 Spree - no vacuum, same easy fix as on my 1986

Post by vintagegarage » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:42 pm

It makes up for it by being extremely slow off the line.. my 175 pounds are a bit too heavy for it.. starting on a hill is pretty tough.. I wondered why it was so much faster at top end than my Sprees and thought it was gearing because it was so slow off the line, but then when I look at the gear chart in wikispreedia and I am not sure.. the 137 is the indicated speed.. not sure what the actual speed is.. tires are new and the same brand and size as on my Sprees. The Sprees seem faster off the line, and their max torque seems to come in about 27 mph which is the speed they will hold on a pretty good hill, and top speed on the level is about 31-33 for the Sprees.

User avatar
Wheelman-111
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11146
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:09 pm
Location: Deepinnaharta, Texas

Re: 1987 Spree - no vacuum, same easy fix as on my 1986

Post by Wheelman-111 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:24 pm

Greetings:

From reading ONLY, the SB reed block is bigger and the pipes are reportedly less restrictive - the headpipes have a bigger diameter. It would be interesting to compare a Spree and an SB engine side-by-side and feature-for-feature, particularly if Honda-san tweaked the port timing for more top-end. It would stand to reason that all else being equal, there'd be a price to pay on the take-off and low-end performance.
Wheelman-111
Most of my money is spent on scooterparts. The rest is just wasted.
"ISO": '03 Vespa ET4 Malossi187 72MPH
Flash 9: 2001 Elite SR Contesta 72 ZX Tran, 9:1 Gears, Stock Airbox/Carb/Pipe 58.8 MPH
Punkin: 2010 Vespa/Malossi S78, 61MPH

User avatar
vintagegarage
Elite
Elite
Posts: 720
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:03 pm
Location: Florida

Re: 1987 Spree - no vacuum, same easy fix as on my 1986

Post by vintagegarage » Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:44 pm

One bad feature of the SB50 in my book is that the idle mixture is not meant to be adjustable. The air bleed screw is covered over, and I'd think that cleaning the idle circuit passages would be difficult. Fortunately, both of my SB50s seem to idle correctly and I never needed to clean that circuit in either.

User avatar
Wheelman-111
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11146
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:09 pm
Location: Deepinnaharta, Texas

Re: 1987 Spree - no vacuum, same easy fix as on my 1986

Post by Wheelman-111 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:33 pm

Greetings:

Yeah, some newer bikes had E.P.A. (Entitled Party-poopers of America) -mandated caps pressed on to cover the adjustment. It's easy to overcome: using a 7/64" drill, center-punch the cap and drill CAREFULLY until you feel the drill about to pop through. Tap the hole lightly with a 1/8" screw and give it a couple of turns - again CAREFULLY so you don't bugger the head of the idle mixture screw. Then put vise-grips on the head and yank on the screw to pull off the cap.
Wheelman-111
Most of my money is spent on scooterparts. The rest is just wasted.
"ISO": '03 Vespa ET4 Malossi187 72MPH
Flash 9: 2001 Elite SR Contesta 72 ZX Tran, 9:1 Gears, Stock Airbox/Carb/Pipe 58.8 MPH
Punkin: 2010 Vespa/Malossi S78, 61MPH

User avatar
bradmeehan
Elite
Elite
Posts: 504
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:06 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO
Contact:

Re: 1987 Spree - no vacuum, same easy fix as on my 1986

Post by bradmeehan » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:09 pm

This post saved me a lot of headache.

I spent days troubleshooting this bike and sure enough, the seal was popped out just like the picture above. Than you for posting this.
1986 Spree
1986 Spree (Big Bore)
1985 Aero 50
1985 Aero 80
1988 Elite 50 (SB50)

1985 "OrangeJuice" (Sold)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CYYlkRRqa8

User avatar
bradmeehan
Elite
Elite
Posts: 504
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:06 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO
Contact:

Re: 1987 Spree - no vacuum, same easy fix as on my 1986

Post by bradmeehan » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:14 pm

Here's mine...
Attachments
20180701_191242.jpg
20180701_191242.jpg (142.44 KiB) Viewed 3477 times
1986 Spree
1986 Spree (Big Bore)
1985 Aero 50
1985 Aero 80
1988 Elite 50 (SB50)

1985 "OrangeJuice" (Sold)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CYYlkRRqa8

User avatar
vintagegarage
Elite
Elite
Posts: 720
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:03 pm
Location: Florida

Re: 1987 Spree - no vacuum, same easy fix as on my 1986

Post by vintagegarage » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:23 pm

I bet there are a lot of Sprees and SB50s sitting in non-running states with this same problem. I have seen it four times on scooters I have owned. After people see good spark, and clean the carb, they give up without going much further. In my experience, the blown out seal is way more common than bad reeds, or most anything else, except for a carb with a blocked idle tube. Thanks for your update and photo..

Post Reply