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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to all of those who are far more knowledgeable than I on all things Suzuki. I recently bought a 2004 Suzuki ltz400 and have been going through it making sure that all the maintenance is caught up and that I know that things are done for my own peace of mind.

So for the last few weeks I have been quietly lurking, sucking up knowledge like a mosquito. (Thats when I knew I had my profile name. Haha.) And I have been able to find pretty much every answer to any question I've had so far. But I recently came up on a head scratcher.

My 2004 suzuki ltz400 was sputtering when given gas and would die after it warmed up, went ahead and replaced the stock carb with a 39mm fcr carburetor, because why not and its a considerable upgrade from what I understand. In my opinion the valve train seemed to be making excessive noise, I could have been wrong in that assumption since I haven't owned one of these before. But I figured I'd checked the valve clearance to make sure that they were within the manufacturer's spec stated in the manual. From what I've read valves that are out of spec could also cause the issues I was having when giving it gas and I wanted to know that they were OK anyways as part of making sure the maintenance is up to date. So I ordered the shim kit in case I needed to replace any of the shims to bring the valves back within spec. I pop the valve cover off and open the inspection hole to see the timing mark and spun the crank until it was visible. I bring the timing mark right to where its supposed to be but instead of the cams being at the 10 and 2 o'clock position, they were at the 4 oclock for exhaust and 8 oclock for the intake. Figure I just gotta keep spinning it...... BUT EVERYTIME IT COMES UP THE SAME!! After research on the Internet, the most consistent answer I could find is best summed up as, "Thats impossible." But its not because I'm seeing it happen. Obviously I believe the previous onwner's mechanic thought that he knew what he was doing and did not refer to the manual, I kinda doubt that the owner even owned a wrench or what side of a screwdriver to use, but what trips me out is that it ran with the cams 180 degrees opposite of where they are suppose to be. It ran well enough for me to take it for a test ride and decide that I could work the bugs out, which at that time I figured was very likely to be the stock carb as it was pouring gas from the overflow. A few taps seemed to take care of that, but the carb still looked dirty as hell, so I figured a thorough cleaning would resolve the sputtering and dying once it warmed up. So naturally I just bought the new carb. (Thanks to Amazon giving a $150 gift card upon approval for thier credit card, I effectively got it for free. I knew I was waiting to do that for a good reason.)

But I am absolutely baffled on how it ran like that at all! Does the ignitiom system fire the spark plug everytime the piston comes up? I went down to the dealership where my dad just recently bought his Suzuki Kingquad and asked a tech there and he just kinda shrugged his shoulders when I asked how it ran like that and just told me to take the cams out and put them back in in the proper positions. Which I've started to do. But the way my luck goes, that will destroy my motor. (Kinda not kidding, thats just how things seem to go for me.... all the time..... with eveything..... it sucks...)

So, any thoughts on how it could run like that? And is the proper course of action to just put the cams in the proper position, torque the journals back down and them take the measurements to check if their within spec? Thank you for your time and input. Hopefully I didnt ramble too much.... I tend to do that and get sidetracked sometim.... LOOK! A BIRD!!....
 

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What you are saying is impossible. The cams are geared two to one to the crank. It is impossible for them to be in the same position every revolution. This makes it a four cycle engine. Just turn crank the engine until the cams are at 10 and two and see if it is on the timing mark. PS make sure your cams are turning when the motor turns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What you are saying is impossible. The cams are geared two to one to the crank. It is impossible for them to be in the same position every revolution. This makes it a four cycle engine. Just turn crank the engine until the cams are at 10 and two and see if it is on the timing mark. PS make sure your cams are turning when the motor turns.
That seems to be the only answer I can find. Thats why I made a video showing the timing mark and then the position of the cams and then cranked the motor by hand while showing the cams until the TDC mark was again visible. I call them like I see them. I wouldn't just make this up for some strange reason and I am getting frustrated with this thing because thats what everyone I talked to said and what every answer I found online said. That "it's impossible" and " just put the cams in the way that their suppose to be to fix it." Well I did that and now it doesn't run. Won't even try to run. So it would appear that the spark plug is firing at what now is the wrong time since I "fixed" the position of the cams. My neighbor who runs an auto shop told me to leave them in the positions that they had been, but since everyone and everything was telling me that it was wrong, I put them in exactly as the manual says to. Now that it doesn't start he said, "I told you not to change their positions, it ran when they were like that, why change it? Your not gonna like it but now you gotta take it all back apart and put them back how they were."

So do I now have to take it back apart and put them back into the "wrong" positions that they were originally at before I "fixed" them? I dont get it. I dont understand how it could run when the cams appeared to be in the 180 degree wrong positions and when I put everything exactly how the manual says to (I double and triple checked) and now it doesn't want to even try to run. Could the ignition be 180 degrees off?

I couldnt post the video on here, for some reason, so I posted it on YouTube. Here is the link:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So I took it back apart and put the cams back how they were, 180° opposite from where they should be at TDC and at 4 and 8 o'clock instead of 10 and 2. Put it back together aaaaannnnddddd.... It still didnt start. I tell you, it really sucks having luck as bad as mine. I dont just have bad luck, I have disastrous luck. If there was a contest to see who has the worst luck in the world, it wouldnt even be a contest, id win hands down. Unless there was some sort of cool prize, then i would take the first spot that didn't receive a prize. Haha. I just gotta laugh about it or ill lose the rest of my marbles... and I have precious few left. Haha.

Anyways, since it ran before I tore it apart to check the valve clearance, "fixed" the cams, then "un-fixed" the cams, put in a new #7 NGK plug gapped to spec and put on the FCR, its getting kinda frustrating. It seemed like it almost kinda wanted to start for a second a couple times, which is more than it did after I had put the cams at 10 and 2 at TDC. So I pulled the plug and it smelled like gas, so its getting gas, its getting air, so I put the plug in the plug wire boot and let it just kinda hang there and I cranked it over, and it was sparking.... but it seemed to be sparking from the nut portion of the spark plug, up by the plug wire boot and since it was hanging there it was sparking over to the head pipe, since it was the closest thing to it. Maybe it was just doing that because it was a close by metal object or because the plug wire is bad, ill go out and move it away and try again to see what it does and am going to pick up a new coil and wire tomorrow and see if that helps. But I figured I'd update my "Situation: Impossible" in case someone might possibly have some input.

I am curious if the ignition on these fires the spark plug everytime the piston reaches TDC? I believe some Hondas and the Yamaha Raptor have ignition systems that do that so maybe these do as well? Thats the easiest explanation I can think of as to how it ran with the cams 180°opposite from where they should be.

Otherwise, how does the ignition recieve the signal to fire the spark plug? Maybe whoever put the motor together put whatever sends that signal in the opposite way?

At least on a single cylinder engine, I see as which stroke is actually a compression stroke is really dictated by the cams themselves since the piston is just going up and down and up and down and doesn't know anything besides that. Its the cams that tell the valves when to open and when to not open. But I haven't been able to figure out how the ignition could be 180° off, causing it to run with the cams opposite from where they should be and not run when they are where they should be.

I'm hoping that a new plug wire and coil will see me having this running again tomorrow, with the cams in the original 180° opposite position that I found them in. But even if I do, there is still some perplexing questions about all of this.

Cue the "Mission: Impossible" theme music for the not very hotly anticipated sequel of my "Situation: Impossible...." da da da da da da da da 🎶 Hey they are totally out of movie ideas anyways, who knows, it just might happen.... and it'd be better than some of the crap they come out with nowadays..... any ways...
 

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I'd put cams in the correct way, Double check valve clearances, Try and pop start it and see if that changes anything. Could possibly be a CDI box issue as well. Did Cam gears spin? Cams still timed/Indexed?
 

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At least on a single cylinder engine, I see as which stroke is actually a compression stroke is really dictated by the cams themselves since the piston is just going up and down and up and down and doesn't know anything besides that. Its the cams that tell the valves when to open and when to not open. But I haven't been able to figure out how the ignition could be 180° off, causing it to run with the cams opposite from where they should be and not run when they are where they should be.
This is correct. The ignition fires every time it hits TDC of close to it. Forget about the ignition.
Your video didn't help. You need to use a power bar instead of a ratchet, so you know when you are coming up at 1 full turn, and not blowing past the TDC mark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I got it running, backwards cams and all. I figured the only way it could run was if the ignition fired everytime the piston was at TDC. One more time today and ill be on par with a broken clock... I now have a goal for the day!

The video was just basically to show that I was at TDC and the cams were 180 off, then I'd spin it and still end up at 180 off. Its running well enough now that I'll leave it until the next time I open it up. Just working on getting the jetting on the FCR carb all squared away now. I'll probably let the guy I bought it off of know that he really shouldn't let that "mechanic" that he uses work on his stuff anymore. There's been a few times where I had to take a step back to process what I was seeing and think to myself, "uh, whhhhhyyyyyyyy would someone do that?!" Thing didn't even have an air filter on it or fuel filter, hell I was surprised it had an oil filter! The fuel inlet tube on the original carb was literally, LITERALLY halfway filled/almost clogged with rubbish. Like "hmmm, ima try real hard here to figure out why its not running very well...." And there was so much crap in the fuel tank, I thought someone had swept up the floor and dumped the dustpan right into the tank. "Routine maintenance" and "common sense" was obviously not the forte of whoever was in charge of it before. Nor was reading the manual (backwards cams).

Can anyone tell me exactly what jets I should run to get it running perfect?.... Just kidding. I ive lurked around here enough to know how that irks everyone something awful. So I'll go one step further, instead of telling me, why not just come do it for me?... just kidding again. I crack myself up.

Anyways, I think that'll end the longest possible way to say, "I got it running." I do have some other questions, but I try to be a good newbie and do due diligence and research before I start up any new threads asking about them.... hmmm, maybe thats that 2nd correct thing that I do today... I just might of accomplished something..... maybe...
 

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I agree with AMCF18 when your rotating with the ratchet your blowing past the TDC point. Glad you have it running but you are living on the dangerous side trying to time it based off the cams being 180 out. Sometimes you really need to be careful when rotating to stop it from blowing past TDC as you should see the mark twice, once at TDC on the compression stroke and again at TDC on the exhaust stroke(180 out).
 

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Can you post a video of it running? I don't understand how it could be running, something has to be off, Are you sure you didn't go past TDC on Compression?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sorry for the delay, I've posted a video to YouTube of it running. I'll post it at the bottom of this message.

I agree I was blowing past the TDC mark a couple of times when using the ratchet to turn the motor and was getting frustrated about that at times. amcf18 mentioned a "power bar," what exactly is that? Is it just a "breaker bar" thats used to gain extra leverage when breaking stubborn nuts and bolts loose, that I would imagine would give added control when the need for precisely turning the motor arises? Or is it something else that I am currently not aware of? I absolutely do want to make sure that things are done properly and that I do them properly. So if it ever appears or sounds like I'm doing something improperly, please feel free to correct me. I can take constructive criticism just fine. Just don't be mean or call me names because I'm sensitive and itll just... sniffle... it'll just crush my dreams... sniffle... Haha, just kidding. But do feel free to correct any perceived error in my ways or methods. I have a quote that I came up with (I even Googled it and it has never appeared elsewhere as far as I know), I'm particularly proud of it (as far as quotes go anyways) because, well, I just think it makes a whole lot of sense.

"Experience has taught me... That there is no substitute for experience." -James Ehler

I think its pretty self explanatory and irrefutably true. Knowledge gained from experience is invaluable and those without experience would be fools to disregard any insight the experienced chose to speak on. Its one of the main reasons I decided to join this forum after lurking for a while sucking up any pertinent knowledge along the way and post any questions that I would have, after due diligence in searching for the answer, of course. I dont join many sites or forums, so when I do its because of the wealth of knowledge that I would be able to tap into by doing so. So I appreciate any time and effort that anyone ever puts in to share their knowledge and experience with me, that in all reality dont have to do so at all.

I do have a question about the oil baffle box, that maybe I can get an answer on without having to start another thread. I want to relocate it to make accessing the fcr carb easier. I know that I have to put it as high or higher and liked how I seen a member (whose name escapes me at this present moment) how they relocated theirs by their coolant overflow tank.

I was thinking about doing something like that, but here is what I was wondering about, I have an oil vent box from when I had a sandrail back in the day. Its from Empi, they make things for VWs and the box, its made of aluminum and has 3 ports for the hoses to hook up at which form a "T" shape basically, its a bit smaller and as such I believe would allow an easier time of relocating it. My main question is, it doesn't have any baffles in it. Just a open area inside in the bottom half of it where the hoses lead into, then a stainless steel screen above that, then a piece of foam, then capped off by a lid that is bolted down. Would there be any problems with using this type of box that doesn't have baffles, in place of the stock box that does have baffles? I'll post a picture of them side by side for comparison.
Technology Electronic device Metal Auto part Fashion accessory


I mean, if nothing else, its more shiny, so that should be good enough, right?

Just kidding. But let me know if there would be any issues with using that type of box.

And the video of it running.
 

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I don't see why that aluminum box would not work but I am not sure, I have no fitment issues with my 39MM FCR, the cams can not be out quad sounds good,a little sluggish but I think the FCR will fix that.
 

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Yes, a power bar is a breaker bar. I think that box would work, give it a try and report back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hello again!

Sorry it's been a minute, I've had to focus on getting my 92 Prelude Si running with an H22A4 swap.

That oil baffle box seems to be working really well. I ended up mounting it up front on the horizontal bar with holes in it, that runs between the mounting points with the bushings for the front plastics. The holes in that bar meant that I didn't have to drill any holes somewhere else on a round bar and also just so happened to line up with the bolt holes on the aluminum baffle box. So that location seemed to check all the boxes that I needed for mounting it. It doesn't leak or anything. Picture added.

I had to get a little creative with the port that comes out on the long side of it. The hose would tend to want to kink no matter how I tried to run it. So I looked around my garage, seems that no matter what I need I always seem to be able to find it or something that I can make work. What I ended up doing was using a 90 degree ACCEL plug wire boot connected to a .30-30 shell casing with the primer end cut off (yes, I did make sure to use a empty one before cutting the end off with a grinder) so that it was essentially a short section of thin walled pipe. Then I connected the hose to the other end of the shell casing. Worked like a charm.

I do seem to be having another problem though. I debated starting up another thread and if any of you recommend that then I will, but since I don't know what's causing the problem then I suppose it could theoretically be possible that it is related to the cams, so here goes:

When I give it full throttle and try to run it up through the gears, when it gets into the upper rpms, seems like it's about the same rpms everytime, it just stops making power. The rpms will still climb and it will still accelerate and I don't detect any misfires, but it's very noticeable sudden and consistent drop in power.

First I figured I just had to get the jetting right, being as it's a new FCR carb. Ordered a jet kit with like 30 different jets. 20 main jets and 10 pilot jets. Starts right up with a 50 pilot. For the main I've tried everything from a 120 up to a 185 and it still would have the same type of noticeable drop in making power around the same point in the rpm range. Played with the needle position a little bit, same thing. Took the carb back off, took it apart, cleaned it, reset the float position because it seemed to be off like someone set it with the carb in the wrong position and I was thinking that maybe I was running low on fuel in the bowl, put it all back together and back on, power drop still there. Checked the intake boots for any leaks and put on new clamps, same thing. Gas cap is working fine and I have a Raptor petcock. Put on a new "performance" ignition coil, which although it seems to be running better with it, still has the power loss. Cleaned the fuel tank, new fuel filter and new lines and even new hose clamps.

How I said I have a 92 Prelude with an H22A4, I duno if any of you have driven a honda with VTEC, but a decent description of what I am feeling with the loss of power is like a reverse VTEC. Where at the same rpm in every gear instead of a sudden boost in power there is a sudden loss in power.

I even took the cams back out after checking the valve clearance again and reinstalled them again while making absolutely sure that they were exactly how they should be and triple checked the torque on all the bolts (even took the valve cover back off again to make sure one more time that they were all to spec) I am baffled. It's starting to drive me crazy. Everything else works and runs fine.

I ordered a rebuild kit for the stock carb and am gonna try it out to see if it still does the same thing to at least eliminate or isolate the FCR as the problem. That's my next step I suppose. Other than that, what else could it be? Floating valves, stretched timing chain, bad tensioner, CDI box, God ******* with me because he thinks it's funny or maybe I missed something with me being a moron as a significant contributing factor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok. I solved that mysterious issue where no matter what I tried, it would stop making power in the upper rpms. Don't ask me why or how or for me to explain something I don't understand. I only know what ended up fixing that issue.

It was the aftermarket fuel screw. I replaced it with the stock brass one after the aftermarket one worked itself loose while I was riding and VIOLA!!! The ***** ran perfect. It rips now. I think it can run just a lil bit better, but I think that is related to jetting. So, what should I jet it at?..... Just kidding. Haha. I Crack myself up. Even I don't know if I am laughing with myself or at myself.... I may never know.....
 
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